Burgos – the Cathedral of Cathedrals

Burgos (founded in the year 884) in Castilla  y Léon is strategically set on the main road Madrid – France and also on the road to Santiago. The city has always had a prominent position in Spain.

We entered the old city through Arco de Santa Maria.

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of Burgos is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Its construction began in 1221, and the style of the cathedral is the Gothic, although it has, in its interior, several decorative Renaissance and Baroque elements. The construction and renovations were made with limestone.

The design of the main facade is related to the purest French Gothic style of the great cathedrals of Paris and Reims, while the interior elevation as a reference to Bourges Cathedral.

The characteristic pinnacles with crab ornaments can be seen in the header.

El Cid (Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, born 1043) was a charismatic, brave and courageous warrior who conquered the Mores and took Valencia for the Christians (and ruled the city until his death). He earned his name, El Cid, from Arabian Sidi (Lord) because of his great courage, but was made immortal by the poem El Cantar de Mío Cid (1180). His (and his wife´s) grave is just beneath the magnificent star dome. A dream place to be buried…

In the cathedral are preserved works of extraordinary artists, and the numerous architectural, sculptural and pictorial treasures inside include:

15th century art work – now being restored

The Cathedral could have been built yesterday…or restored the day before…that magnificent is its beauty. Every detail exquisite – I have never seen anything like it. And, I have seen many Cathedrals and churches… We enjoyed these treasures for more than two hours, and we could have stayed longer…

The Renaissance Golden staircase by Diego de Siloé, covers a whole wall – and in my opinion, this is the most outstanding gem in the cathedral. In fact, it became so famous, that it served as a model for many other famous staircases. Among others, the one of the Paris Opera.

The cathedral was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on October 31, 1984. It is the only Spanish cathedral that has this distinction independently, without being joined to the historic center of a city or in union with other buildings.


17 comments on “Burgos – the Cathedral of Cathedrals

  1. Absolute stunning and amazing and I can’t stop thinking of all those people who build this with the simple tools and all the effort it must have cost, both in strenght, knowledge and people. It is almost hard to believe that they could bulit like this so early. I am a bit jeolous of you for being able to go there 😉

    • Well, the cathedral has been built on for decades…but I always think the same as you do! And my next thought is how helpless we are today without computers to calculate every single step. If someone pulled the plug…we would all be back to stoneage…
      Going to Spain need not be that expensive. A cheap flight and hire a car. That’s what we do. Of course there can be other obstacles more difficult to fix.

    • Isn’t it! And I did not know he was buried here either. He is one of those persons I would have liked to meet in real life. And I wonder how his wife lived her life.

    • A ”labour of love” – how well you describe it. And yes, I really loved this Cathedral. Beauty, serenity, light, delicate craftsmanship, delicate restorations – it lacked nothing.

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