Burgos Cathedral is known for its majesty and beauty. It stands imposingly in the middle of the city, as if everything around it were its own. A unique and unrepeatable jewel that has been part of the UNESCO list as a World Heritage Site since 1984. And it is one of those buildings that when you see it you cannot stop looking.
The history of Burgos cathedral
King Alfonso IV of León was the one who first had the idea of building a cathedral in this place, where before there was a small palace. We are talking about the 11th century and a temple that must have been Romanesque, because little is known about it.
This cathedral would soon be too small for so many parishioners. A) Yes, at the beginning of the 13th century plans began to be forged to build a new temple much larger, the one we know today and which involved the demolition of the old cathedral.
By then, Fernando III of Castile, known as the Saint, was already reigning. The first stone was laid in July of the year 1221 and just 17 years later the head, part of the transept and the naves were already finished.
The cathedral was consecrated in the year 1260, although worship had already been celebrated for a few years before. There were still, however, auctions and extensions that would be completed during the thirteenth century and part of the fourteenth.
what makes it different
One of the architects who worked on the works of the cathedral, Master Enrique, was of French origin and it seems that he was inspired by the Reims cathedral. Nevertheless, the architecture of this temple is uniqueso elegant and harmoniously beautiful that it is difficult to take your eyes off her.
Facade of Santa Maria
It is the main facade, in whose lower part the Portal of Santa María opens, which is used as access to the temple and has three jovial arches. It has three doors: the Royal or Forgiveness, which is the central one; and those of the Assumption and the Immaculate, which are shown somewhat smaller to the sides of the first.
Above the two side gates stand two towers that, if at first glance they seem identical, they are not. These have pilasters decorated with statues and pinnacles and several pointed openings on the sides.
Door of the Coronary
When you surround the cathedral, each door, each facade, each detail, is more beautiful than the previous one. The exterior of the temple is full of impressive motifsof stories told on the walls.
In this case, over the arch of this door you can see the archangel Michael with a scale weighing the souls and at her side, the devil trying to unbalance her in his favor and with those condemned to hell behind him. A beautiful door from which you can access one of the most beautiful corners of the cathedral: the Golden Staircase.
Although the gate is from the 13th century, it was renovated in the 18th century to replace some deteriorated Gothic elements by other baroques that would give it greater utility. For example, a mullion was changed to a round arch.
The interior of the Burgos Cathedral
If Burgos Cathedral is beautiful on the outside, inside there are no words to express what it contains. The Main Chapel stands out in the central nave, of which it occupies a large part. If her altarpiece is spectacular, the path of carved white marble columns that leads to it is no less.
Y At the back of the same nave stands out the Chapel of the Constables. Its octagonal floor plan, its altarpieces, its vault and the sepulcher of the founders are real gems. As are the many other chapels that can be seen inside the temple.
But there are many more treasures inside Burgos Cathedral. Impossible to describe them all, but at least we will mention a few. It is worth stopping to admire the choir, the image of Santa María la Mayor, the transeptthe dome, the double-structured vault or the tomb of the Cid and his wife.
“Travel makes one modest. You see the small place you occupy in the world.”
Definitely, visiting Burgos Cathedral is visiting one of the jewels of Spanish Gothic, a magnificent building that will surprise you in every detail. If you visit the city, keep in mind that you will need time to admire this magnificent temple as it deserves.