Route of Cathedrals in Castile and León

Believe it or not, these grandiose monuments are authentic architectural and artistic gems that are well worth a visit or two. We will lead you through this route of cathedrals in Castile and León that will help you discover the importance of the different forms of art through time in these special cities. Are you joining us?

We begin our tour with the exceptional cathedral of León. Undoubtedly, this reason alone is enough to make a visit to León. It is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Spain and is known for the family name of Pulchra Leonina. Its the perfect example of French Gothicism with wonderful designs in its 737 stained glass windows. The height of the vaults and towers make it impossible to stop contemplating this visual spectacle.

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We continue our route to Astorga, a city with great historical importance. Here, the grandiose temple began construction in 1471, but its last additions were completed in the XVIII century. This is why we can see Renaissance (such as the main altarpiece), plateresque and baroque elements as in the main facade. Also worthy of special mention is the Episcopal Palace, designed by Gaudí.  Both monuments create a vision of incomparable contrast.

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We continue towards Zamora, known as the Romanesque city. Therefore, its cathedral could not have been stylized anyway else. It soars in the highest part of the city, built between 1151 and 1174. In Romanesque style, the building is simple yet monumental. The great tower-bell of the rectangular shape stands out in the overall structure. Also of great interest, the Door of the Bishop, in the southern facade, is of unique Romanesque original.

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The next stop is at the well-known university city of Salamanca. Surprisingly, in this city you will not only discover one cathedral but two: the New and the Old. The latter was built in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. We highlight its beautiful dome, called “Torre del Gallo”, derived from the Cathedral of Zamora. The New began its construction in 1513 and lasted until 1733. This explains why its exterior decoration goes from late Gothic to Renaissance and baroque styles.

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Perhaps one of the most unknown cathedrals we will include in this list is the magnificent one in Ciudad Rodrigo. Still well worth a visit, we highlight the Portico del Perdón (12th and 13th centuries), whose Romanesque reminiscence of the Pórtico de la Gloria of the Cathedral of Santiago, the Portada de las Cadenas, and the Capilla del Pilar.

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In Avila, a majestic cathedral rises. Particularly surprising for its defensive character, the front of the structure is integrated into the wall, giving it a temple-fortress aspect. In the exterior, the Chapel of the Apostles (13th century) is particularly noteworthy, being transferred to this place in the middle of the 15th century. In clear contrast with the outside appearance, its interior showcases elegance and slenderness.

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We leave this medieval city to go to Segovia. In the Plaza Mayor we find the Catedral de la Asunción, known as “The Lady of the Cathedrals.” The cathedral was built between 1525 and 1768 to replace the earlier Romanesque cathedral, facing the Alcazar. The new structure emphasizes the previous tower, one of the highest in Spain.

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To reach our next destination we will have to travel 132 km: Burgo de Osma. Construction began in 1232 and was completed in the eighteenth century, combining many styles. As you will see at first glance, the most representative element is its baroque tower of 72 meters in height, which is the symbol of the province.

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Following the course of the river Duero we will arrive to Valladolid. On Arribas Street is the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. It was commissioned by Felipe II to Juan de Herrera in 1578. It has never been completed due to the both of their deaths and the subsequent economic problems.

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On the banks of the Río Carrión is our penultimate stop, Palencia. The Cathedral of San Antolín, nicknamed “La Bella Desconocida”, is one of the largest and most diverse cathedrals in Spain with remains of the Visigothic and Romanesque times.

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Finally, we finish the route with the only cathedral in Spain declared Patrimony of the Humanity, the one of Burgos. Its harmony of styles, symmetrical proportions and accumulation of works of art gives it an extraordinary beauty. Another singularity is that it is the only temple that in addition to being a cathedral it is also basilica. There is no better way to end this route of cathedrals in Castile and Leon.

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