Burgos Cathedral is one of the most important monuments in Spain, and one of the most beautiful in the world. It was declared "Heritage of Mankind" by the UNESCO on 31 October, 1984, the only Cathedral to receive this distinction in the Iberian Peninsula. In this harmonious architectural work of art every corner has its importance and contribute to the beauty of the whole. It stands over a Romanesque temple built in 1077.
The construction of the Cathedral was began in 1221 ,commissioned by Alfonso VI the Saint, King of Castile, and the bishop of Burgos, Mauricio. It was not completed until 1765. The construction of the Cathedral was began in 1221 ,commissioned by Alfonso VI the Saint, King of Castile, and the bishop of Burgos, Mauricio. It was not completed until 1765.
The Gothic style predominates, but there are also some features of other artistic tendencies that harmonize with the construction. It has a cross-shaped ground plan, with three naves and an ambulatory. Its interior houses 14 chapels, built between the 13 and 18 C; and 4 from the 14-16 C that open to the high cloisters. The nave is closed by a large grill that divides it into the High Altar, the Choir and the Transept Crossing.
The Cathedral houses many artistic treasures, such as sculptures, tombs, wrought irons...But the most outstanding works in the Cathedral are: the Renaissance retable in the high altar, Bishop Mauricio´s tomb, the carved choir stalls, the Christ of Burgos, the Cid´s case and the tombs of Cid and his wife, Doña Jimena, the museum included in the Cloisters, the Romanesque tomb of Mudarra, the revengful stepbrother of the seven infants of Lara, a letter of Cid, a bible dating back to the 9 C.
This magnificent monument is famous for its doorways. The Santa María or Real or del Perdón is the main entrance. It was completed in the middle of the 13 C, but had to be rebuilt in the 18 C. Most of the Gothic ornamentation disappeared. The Sarmental doorway was built around 1230. It is a remarkable example of Spanish Gothic sculpture. The Pellejería or Corralejo doorway was commissioned in 1516 in order to connect the temple with the Pellejería district. It was built in the Renaissance style, but there are still a few features of the waning Gothic style. And finally the Coronería or Cordelería Alta or de los Apóstoles doorway, dated to 1259. On the spandrel is represented the scene of the Final Judgement, with Christ in his throne sorrounded by the Virgins and San Juan Bautista. On the low part is a representation of San Miguel weighing souls and separating the saved ones from those condemned to hell.
The majestic cupola should also be noted. Built in the 16 C, it has eight sides and two floors. The structure is stands on four solid piers crowned by four spectacular fleches. The main façade was inspired by the pure French Gothic style, that of the Paris and Reims Cathedrals.