The Cathedral

Built on a former Romanesque Cathedral from the late 11th century, construction began on the new Gothic cathedral of Burgos in 1221.

King Ferdinand III of Castile and Bishop Mauricio, who was educated in Paris, were the ones who commenced this prodigious building, based on the latest European Gothic style.

From early on, the Cathedral was notably international in nature. Consequently, its structure was based on the purest of French models, and it was the first classic Gothic building in Spain. Spanish and foreign architects worked throughout the 13th century to produce one of the most outstanding constructions of Medieval Spain.

The combination of these elements brought in from abroad and the skill of the architects and artists who worked on the temple through the centuries to create a harmonious whole gave rise to an impressive complex worthy of recognition by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1984.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Burgos Cathedral is how it reflects a rich succession of artistic styles, spanning classic Gothic to Baroque, to generate an eclectic, yet deeply harmonious, building.

Particularly noteworthy is the pure architecture of the basilica built during the 13th century, and the large cloister, constructed in the late 13th century, based on French models. Examples from that period include the ornate sculptural embellishments on the Sarmental and Coronería portals and the cloister entrance, which reflect the influence of sculptors who had worked in France on cathedrals like the one in Amiens.

This building is known for more than its architecture and sculptural wealth. The temple is also famed for its collection of pieces linked to other arts.

Within the extensive collection of religious paintings, there is a series of works from Flanders obtained as a result of trade between Burgos and that region. Combined with the cathedral’s tapestries, they represent one of the most important European collections of Flemish works.

Also noteworthy is the metalwork, the Western and Eastern textile products spanning the Middle Ages to the Baroque, and the series of stained-glass windows that have filtered colourful light into the temple since the late 13th century.

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