The Burgos Cathedral (Spanish: Catedral de Burgos) is a Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral in Burgos, Spain. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is famous for its vast size and unique architecture. Its construction began in 1221, and was in use nine years later, although work continued on and off for two hundred years. It was primarily influenced by the French Gothic style.
It had very important modifications in the 15th and 16th centuries (spires of the principal façade, Chapel of the Constable, cimborio of the transept: these elements of advanced Gothic give the cathedral its distinguished profile). The last works of importance (the sacristy or the Chapel of Saint Thecla) occurred during the 18th century, the century in which the Gothic statuary of the doors of the principal façade was also transformed.
At the beginning of the 20th century, some semidetached construction to the cathedral was eliminated, such as the Archepiscopal Palace and the upper floor of the cloister. The style of the cathedral is Gothic, although it has inside some Renaissance and Baroque decorations.
In the cathedral, works of extraordinary artists are kept, such as the architects and sculptors of the Colonia family (Juan, Simón and Francisco), the sculptors Gil de Siloé, Felipe Vigarnyor Juan de Anchieta, the sculptor and architect Diego de Siloé, the grillworker Cristóbal de Andino or the painter Sebastiano del Piombo (“Holy Family On A Voyage”), among many others.
The cathedral was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on October 31, 1984. It is the only Spanish cathedral that has this distinction independently, without being joined to the historic center of a city (as in Salamanca, Santiago de Compostela, Ávila, Córdoba, Toledo, Alcalá de Henares or Cuenca) or in union with others buildings, as in Seville.
The principal façade was inspired by the pure French Gothic style of the cathedrals of Paris and of Reims. It consists of three bays topped by two lateral square towers. The steep spires of German influence were added in the 15th century and are the work of Juan de Colonia.
Some elements of great interest within of the cathedral are the ‘Papamoscas’ (Flycatcher), an articulated statue which opens its mouth upon the sounding of the bells every hour, the Romanesque sepulchre of Mudarra, the vengeful stepbrother of the death of the seven princes de Lara (brought to the cathedral from its original location in the Monastery of San Pedro de Arlanza due to its abandonment by alienation), the carved chairs of the choir, the sepulchre of the Bishop Mauricio, the tomb of El Cid and his wife Doña Jimena, the letter of security of El Cid and his chest.