If something characterizes the French Way is its architectural jewels and its vast cultural richness and this is another great reason to encourage you to complete the Camino de Santiago. Along the French Way, you will have the opportunity to discover some of the most beautiful Cathedrals of Spain, in this article we give you more information about them.
CATHEDRAL OF PAMPLONA
Pamplona is the first major city you will find along your route of the Camino de Santiago from Saint Jean Pied de Port or Roncesvalles. In Pamplona is located the Cathedral of Santa María la Real, a Romanesque cathedral from the 12th century almost entirely destroyed during the 14th century. It was soon rebuilt although with a Gothic style due to the nearness and the French influences. It’s the largest cathedral complex in the Spanish state, besides the imposing temple it has several buildings that were used as the incumbents of the church.
CATHEDRAL OF LOGROÑO
It was built between the 16th and 17th Century. Due to its circular shape, the official name of the cathedral of Logroño is Concatedral (Procathedral) of Santa María la Redonda. The style of its exterior is baroque and a stone art piece and two imposing towers called the “Gemelas” (the twins) that have become a symbol of the city of Logroño stand out. Inside, a Crucifixion painting attributed Michelangelo’s work and the tomb of the general Baldomero Espartero.
CATHEDRAL OF SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA
The cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada is considered a place of cultural interest. It was built as a pilgrim church as it is located in the middle of the French Way. Its construction is dated between the 8th and 16th Century even though some changes were made in the subsequent centuries. Since it was built in many phases both its Romanesque and baroque style can be seen. There is a particular ambulatory inside, behind the main altar that allows the circulation in the cathedral.
CATHEDRAL OF BURGOS
The cathedral of Burgos was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984, it’s one of the biggest cathedrals on the French Way in the gothic style. In addition to being a cathedral, it also has the particularity to be a basilica. It should be noted that it was the first temple of the crown of Castile. Inside can be found the tombs of the Cid Campeador and its wife doña Jimena, that can be visited for a small fee.
CATHEDRAL OF LEÓN
The Pulchra Leonina, this is how is known the Cathedral of León and which means “Bella Leonesa” (Beautiful Leonesa). It’s undoubtedly one of the greatest cathedrals of the Camino de Santiago and furthermore, we could say the most “French” one due to its huge similarity to the cathedrals of Saint-Denis, Reims or Notre Dame. Its more than 1764 square metres of stained glasses, also of gothic origin, let the daylight shine through transforming its interior in a spectacle of light and colour.
CATHEDRAL OF ASTORGA
The earliest writings date the Cathedral of Astorga from the 2nd Century in times of Fernando I and Sancha. There are only a few remains from the original building. The current cathedral was constructed between the 15th and 18th centuries and mixes gothic parts in the nave and chapel, Renaissance parts in the south portal, baroque parts on the main façade and neoclassical parts in the cloister. Inside the altarpiece of the main altar stands out, it’s one of the masterpieces designed by the architect Gaspar Becerra.
CATHEDRAL OF SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
The beginning of the works of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela date from the year 1075 even though it wasn’t consecrated until the year 1128. The imposing cathedral has a Romanesque and baroque style, the Pórtico de la Gloria sculpted by the Maestro Mateo stands out, but also the museum, the roofs that can be visited and the grave of Apostle Santiago and the main façade that faces the Plaza del Obradoiro where thousands of pilgrims end their Camino de Santiago each year. Another important attraction of the cathedral is the “Botafumeiro”, probably the world biggest censer that can be seen in the most solemn masses.
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