Burgos Cathedral - History and Facts | History Hit

Burgos Cathedral

Burgos, Castile and Leon, Spain

Burgos Cathedral is UNESCO-listed and a stunning example of Gothic style, with a history begun in the 13th century.

Image Credit: Sergey Dzyuba / Shutterstock.com

About Burgos Cathedral

Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful in Spain, Burgos Cathedral is a majestic, predominantly Gothic cathedral. With its grand proportions as well as a fine collection of religious works of art, Burgos Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Construction of Burgos Cathedral began in 1221 during the reign of King Ferdinand and, whilst it was consecrated in 1260, it was only completed in 1567, with changes continuing until 1795. The layout of Burgos Cathedral is of a Latin cross, while the dome of the transept is octagonal in shape.

History of Burgos Cathedral

The cathedral is located in the centre of the historic Spanish city centre of Burgos, in northern Spain.

Burgos became a bishopric in 1075 by King Alfonso VI of Leon and Castile, who dedicated its construction to the Virgin Mary. In 1096 the church was completed, and though little information remains about its shape and style, it was most likely Romanesque.

The church soon became too small for the needs of the parish, which was the symbolic capital of the kingdom, and was an increasingly busy trade location.

In the 13th century, a decision was made to build a new cathedral, and during the 1240s and 1250s the Romanesque church was destroyed. Burgos Cathedral was consecrated in 1260.

During the following centuries, chapels of the aisles were completed, and spires and a dome were added, and during the 19th and 20th centuries, a number of restoration works took place, which have helped to preserve the cathedral’s distinctly French Gothic style.

Indeed, since it took so long to build, almost every aspect of the Gothic style can be found there, from Early to Flamboyant.

Since 1984, Burgos Cathedral has had UNESCO world heritage status.

Burgos Cathedral Today

Today, tourists and locals alike can enjoy Burgos Cathedral’s unique collection of artwork, paintings, choir stalls, reredos, tombs, and stained glass windows, all of which are emblematic of and heavily influenced the European Gothic style across the world.

Though the cathedral is beautiful and is more than deserving of its UNESCO World Heritage status, it is lesser known than others such as Notre Dame. As a result, it makes for a fascinatingly unique visit.

Getting to Burgos Cathedral

The cathedral is located on Plaza Santa Maria, the city’s main town square. It is filled with a number of of restaurants, cafes, and bars, and is a short walk from the scenic Paseo del Espolon, which is a stunning walkway that offers fantastic river views.

From the centre of Burgos, the cathedral is reachable by foot in around 12 minutes via Calle de Fernan Gonzalez. It takes around 5 minutes by car via the N-120, though parking at near the cathedral might prove difficult.