Burgos Cathedral (World Heritage)

By | August 3, 2021

The cathedral was started in the style of the French Gothic in the 13th century and was not completed until 1539, but was changed and supplemented until the 18th century. The monumental building with its richly decorated facade has two 84 m high towers. Inside is the tomb of El Cid. Burgos was an important stop on the Way of St. James to Santiago de Compostela.

Burgos Cathedral: facts

Official title: Burgos Cathedral
Cultural monument: Gothic cathedral from the 13th to 16th centuries; Nave with 100 m length, transept with 60 m length
Continent: Europe
Country: Spain, Castile-Leon
Location: Burgos, on the banks of the Arlanzón River
Appointment: 1984
Meaning: Gothic church architecture in the highest perfection

Burgos Cathedral: history

884 Foundation of Burgos
1065-1109 under the reign of Alfonso VI. Building land donated to the cathedral
1074 Burgos Bishopric
1094 El Cid (1043-99) conquered Valencia
07/20/1221 Laying of the foundation stone for the Gothic cathedral
07/20/1260 Consecration of the cathedral
1442-58 Construction of the west towers by Hans von Köln
1574 Burgos as the seat of the archbishop
1790 Redesign of the portal zone with the sculptures of Alfons VI. and Ferdinand III.
1813 powder explosion destroys the medieval glass window
07/20/1921 “Burial” of the bones of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, known as El Cid, and his wife in the cathedral

A lady with a Gothic top turret

According to aristmarketing, she is a lady among Spain’s cathedrals; a lady who, with her beauty, dwarfs the surrounding old town of Burgos in two senses of the word, storms into the sky with her double tower facade and with all her Gothic spire turrets looks filigree and sublime at the same time.

Under Bishop Mauricio and King Ferdinand III. the foundation stone for the new church was laid on the site of a Romanesque church. In those times, Burgos no longer served as the capital of Castile, but it was a diocese, an important stopover for pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela and a Castilian metropolis for the wool trade, which oriented towards Flanders and England and helped the city to prosperity. The cathedral should stand for this great wealth.

However, no less than three centuries passed before the construction, which began in the French Gothic style, was completed. During this period, Burgos attracted master builders from all over Europe, who managed to create a stylistic unity despite the long time span and the enormous dimensions of the church building. The lancet-shaped twin towers, which with their over 80 meters height still deserve respect today, with their openwork spiers and the stylized leaf tendrils represent a perfectly shaped Gothic style. For many visitors, this is the most beautiful sight in the entire city, which, standing respectfully in front of the facade on Plaza Santa María, lightly forgives everything, such as its unsightly outskirts, which are eaten away by industrial giants and high-rise necks, or the infamous Climate.

Often it is a warm scent of candles and incense with which the cathedral welcomes its visitors. What follows is a journey through a world of its own in the heart of the city; a world through which one drifts weightlessly and in which one’s gaze dances between heaven and earth. One looks up to the richly decorated domed vault, the Gothic rose window and the magnificent main altar with scenes from the life of Mary. Sometimes the view does not glide upwards, but rather discovers the down-to-earth tomb in honor of El Cid, who comes from the Burgos area. Spain’s national hero has gone down in history as a heroic fighter against the Moors, even though he temporarily switched sides and served under the Moors king of Zaragoza.

Wherever you look in Burgos Cathedral, a breathtaking abundance of ornamentation, splendor and splendor unfolds in every corner. Important sculptors and builders of their time left their handwriting in one of the largest cathedrals in Spain: Diego de Siloé with his Golden Staircase, Felipe Vigarny with the valuable walnut choir stalls for the 103 members of the chapter and Simon of Cologne with the Capilla del Condestable, one of them octagonal late Gothic chapel with a beautiful star vault. Among the many chapels, the one in honor of Christ will not be forgotten. The portrait of the crucified is strangely real. The artists are said to have worked in human hair and buffalo skin there.

Burgos Cathedral (World Heritage)