I’ve seen my fair share of cathedrals and the exterior of the Burgos Cathedral, at least, has something to recommend itself. before a crowd that included monarchs and church officials, construction began in July of 1221 to replace the Romanesque cathedral commissioned by Alfonso VI (in the late 11th century); the majority of the project concluded nine years later. Maurico, bishop to Fernando III (el Santo) spearheaded fundraising, even donating a portion of his fortune, and convinced the Pope to issue indulgences to major contributors.
the first mass took place in 1230; the high altar consecrated in 1260; and the installation of a lantern spire over the main cross officially completed construction in 1567. the cathedrals in Paris and Reims heavily influenced the architects, while the spires echoed German examples popular during the 16th century. the immense cruciform floor plan makes for impressive proportions; when the openwork lantern vault was completed in 1568, King Felipe II said it was the “work of angels, not of men.” some 15 chapels circle the nave and in 1921, the remains of El Cid and his wife were brought to lay at the crossing of the transept. it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.