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Burgos Cathedral :: Burgos, Spain

June 21, 2010 by  
Category: Landmarks

Built during the early 12th century, Burgos Cathedral in Burgos, Spain is famous for its massive size and amazing Gothic architecture. Construction began on the cathedral on the orders of King Ferdinand III of Castile and Mauricio, Bishop of Burgos on July 20, 1221. After a hiatus of nearly 200 years work resumed on the cathedral toward the middle of the 15th century and continued for more than 100 years. It wasn’t fully completed until 1567, three years after the death of Michelangelo, when the lantern spire over the main crossing was added. In 1919, Burgos Cathedral became the final resting place of Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar (El Cid), a Castilian nobleman, military leader and diplomat who after being exiled, captured and ruled the city of Valencia in 1094.

In 1984 the cathedral was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list due to many reasons including the considerable influence on the evolution of architecture during its time. It is the only cathedral in Spain to receive the UNESCO distinction without being included in a historical center of a city or in union with other buildings. Inspired by the French Gothic cathedral style it features three bays topped by two lateral square towers, the cathedral also features steep spires influenced by German designs that were added in the 15th century by Juan de Colonia. Burgos Cathedral is home to a plethora of incredible art including works by the architects and sculptures of the Colonia family, Felipe Vigarny (one of the leading sculptures of the Spanish Renaissance) as well as works by Italian Renaissance-Mannerist painter Sebastiano del Piombo. There are many sights to see once inside this magnificent cathedral. One of the more popular features is the Papamoscas, a mechanized statue which opens its mouth each hour upon the sounding of the bells. In the center of the north section of the cathedral you can view the Puerta de la Coronería, which is adorned with statues of the Twelve Apostles. The cathedral is full with many glorious altars, monuments and chapels that are an amazing look into history and culture of the time.

Be sure to take a peek at the Chapel of the Condestable, it’s glitzy Gothic style is loaded with intricately decorated patters in the windows, knights, angels and much more. Burgos Cathedral is free to all visitors. If you wish to take in the Chapels, cloisters and treasury tickets are available for about $5 for Adults, $3.75 for Seniors, $3.25 for students and $1.25 for children 7-14. The cathedral is open daily, during the summer from 9:30am to 7:15pm, spring and fall from 9:30am to 1:15pm and 4pm to 7:15pm and in the winter time from 10am to 1:15pm and 4pm to 6:45pm.

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