The four most beautiful cathedrals in Spain, according to Lonely Planet followers

ABC Travel



This 2021 Burgos celebrates the eighth centenary of its cathedral, the great temple that changed the appearance, history and future of the city. It was July 1221 when its first stone was laid, in full development of what would be called much later “The age of cathedrals”. At that time a construction fever began throughout the Christian world, in France, in Spain. First they were in the Romanesque style, and soon, with the Gothic as a hallmark. These cathedrals were key in the development of the Camino de Santiago, and a source of pride for many Kings. Were also the symbol of the new cities, of the towns that grew quickly. At the beginning of the 13th century, Burgos already had a population of close to 20,000 inhabitants.

Cathedrals are part of our history. In Spain there are dozens of overwhelming beauty. Lonely Planet’s Instagram account has been asking its subscribers for some time about their favorite tourist destinations in Spain. For example, castles. Or the World Heritage city. Now it is the turn of the cathedrals. As we know, this type of voting does not imply a categorical statement, but rather provides a reference of popularity among regulars on social networks. And, in any case, they invite us to remember its importance from all points of view: faith, architecture, tourism, urban design …

This time around 96,000 travelers took part in the Lonely Planet survey. The winner has been the Seo of Zaragoza, which prevailed in the final to that of Santiago de Compostela. Internet users had to choose between 20 proposals, in a competition that has been developed based on eliminations: round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals … until reaching the grand final. In third and fourth position, the travelers chose the cathedrals of Burgos and Leon.

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An image of the cathedral of Santiago already without scaffolding, taken in May – Miguel Muniz

In the initial list there were twenty cathedrals. Namely: Burgos, León, Zamora, Plasencia, Palma de Mallorca, Oviedo, Granada, Córdoba, Santiago de Compostela, Salamanca, Zaragoza, Murcia, Seville, Toledo, Vitoria, Cuenca, Barcelona, ​​Segovia, Palencia and Jaca.

In Zaragoza there are two cathedrals: the oldest, la Seo (Cathedral of the Savior), and a few meters further on, the new one, the Basilica del Pilar, where the hands worship the Pilarica. La Seo has a history of two thousand years, built on a Romanesque temple, this on a Muslim mosque, and this on a Visigoth church, built on the old Roman forum. Outside there is one of the most curious corners: the Parroquieta wallFrom 1360, the lateral facade of the temple adorned with colored tiles and Mudejar motifs.

The works of the Seo, as we know it now, began in the 12th century, although it was the subject of extensions until 1704, the year in which the baroque spire that crowns the tower was placed, and 1788, when the sculptures representing the cardinal virtues. It consists of five naves and six sections covered with ribbed vaults, which gives it an almost quadrangular appearance. Inside is a combination of marble, bronze, polychrome and gilded wood, and plaster, featured in Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque elements.

As for the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, it is convenient to know that, this is the Jacobean Year, its façade appears again without scaffolding or cranes, eight years after the restoration works began. At the foot of the Obradoiro façade, countless people end their pilgrimage every day. An incomparable symbol.

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