The Cathedral VIII Centenary Foundation. Burgos 2021 organized at the San José seminar a meeting with the media to advance some of the activities planned for 2021, the year in which eight centuries will be commemorated since the first stone was laid in the Burgos Cathedral. Of particular note are the actions around the Jacobean Holy Year, the exhibition and sports programme, and the night-time visit to the temple, within the “important” programme that the vice-president of the Foundation, Antonio Miguel Méndez Pozo, outlined.
One of the projects the Foundation is working on is that the Cathedral can be visited at night. It will be a journey of light, sound and storytelling, which will tell the spiritual history and the great construction milestones of the temple, with five places where the groups will stop and which will culminate in a “Marian apotheosis” in the altarpiece and dome, explained René Payo, president of the Advisory Council of the Cathedral VIII Centenary Foundation. Burgos 2021. “The Cathedral Chapter wanted the stones to speak“, insisted Payo. This visit will allow us to discover the beauty of the Cathedral at night and to boost the tourist offer of Burgos, and thus facilitate the overnight stay in the city, as the president of the Foundation, Mario Iceta, highlighted.
A very Burgos Jacobean Year
The Jacobean Holy Year will take on a major role in Burgos. A large, ten-metre-high plant figure in the shape of a pilgrim will be installed in Rey San Fernando Square, a centre for receiving pilgrims will be opened, “which will prestige the arrival of pilgrims in our city”, and several silhouettes of pilgrims made by the sculptor Cristino Díez will mark the route through Burgos, with the possibility that at the end of the Holy Year they will be installed on the Jacobean route as it passes through the province of Burgos. Likewise, the Burgos Way of St. James will be repeated, with its own compostela, and it is intended that the great European pilgrimage of young people who will stop in Santiago will make a stop in Burgos.
A journey into the past through exhibitions
In the exhibition chapter, ‘Burgos, 1921: when the Cathedral celebrated its 700th anniversary’ will show how the people of Burgos lived a century ago. The Casa del Cordón and the Monastery of San Juan, linked by La Puebla Street, will be the epicentre of this exhibition, which will have a total of thirteen locations throughout the city. Las Edades del Hombre, with ‘Lux’, will have one of its venues in Burgos Cathedral, where it will occupy its two cloisters and the adjacent chapels. It is scheduled to open between May and June and remain until November or December, as announced by Iceta.
It is also being considered to give an international dimension to the 8th Centenary of the death of Saint Dominic of Guzmán, and that an exhibition on the “geniuses” Felipe Bigarny and Diego de Siloé could become the exhibition with which the museum of the Monastery of San Juan opens.
Gustavo Dudamel, two concerts and school visits
In the musical section, the vice-president of the Foundation has commented that the talks are well advanced for the Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel to come to Burgos in 2021. The idea is for him to give two concerts, one inside the Cathedral and the other outside, and to stay in the city for a week so that he can go to schools and the conservatory. Luis Abril, from Burgos, is the person who is collaborating to close the agreement.
World Cycling Capital in August
The Vuelta 21 will start from Burgos and will have “great surprises” along the way, although the vice-president of the Foundation could not go any further. The coincidence of this great cycling round with the Vuelta a Burgos and women’s and disabled cycling events will make Burgos the world capital of this sport for three weeks, during which several thousand people will remain in the city.
On the sporting side, work is also being done to organise children’s championships between neighbourhoods, so that Burgos can host an international men’s football match and a women’s football match.
Iceta defends a “non-fossilized” vision of art
Iceta recalled one of the projects that will allow “valuable doors to replace the merely functional ones” that currently exist on the Santa María façade. “The Cathedral has integrated elements of the art of each moment” and has been “in continuous evolution until the 19th century“. What he defended is “a non-fossilised vision of art” and he highlighted the good fortune that the Cathedral has had when an artist of the prestige of Antonio López agreed to intervene on its doors.
Iceta also underscored the social agenda that the Foundation will lead and explained the steps it will take to officially invite the Pope to visit Burgos in 2021. Thus, first he will meet with the apostolic nuncio in Spain, then with the president of the Episcopal Conference and hopes to be received when he goes to Rome on the day of St. Peter and St. Paul. In a nod to the new president and his devotion to El Rocío, the Cathedral will also host a peasant mass.
As for the fitting out of the upper part of the Cathedral for its visit, the dean of the temple, Pablo González, said that “it is worth studying it”, since “the Cathedral must be the motor of the city and the province“, but always with several determining factors: safety for tourists, accessibility and conservation of the aesthetics of the building.