The Most Beautiful Cathedrals of Spain
Thanks to its Catholic tradition, Spain has an impressive repertoire of Cathedrals. Temples that have lasted in time and that make us travel to the past, to remember that one day, many centuries ago, these impressive buildings were place of worship and home of kings, monks and counts.
Due to the 88 Cathedrals we have in Spain, our country has become one of the most attractive religious tourist destinations worldwide. Making possible that year after year, thousands of people, enjoy a journey full of art, culture and spirituality.
Anyway, to visit the most beautiful cathedrals in Spain, you do not have to participate in a religious trip. In fact, anyone who has an interest in architecture and art and is going to travel to spain, should reserve some of time to visit these amazing monuments.
Each Spanish region, at least has one Cathedral, but sometimes there are regions that have two or even three Cathedrals. There are all kinds of architectural styles; you can enjoy the sobriety of the Romanesque, the baroque exuberance, the Renaissance balance, the verticality of the Gothic or the simplicity of Mudejar architecture.
In this article, we wanted to make a selection of the most beautiful cathedrals in Spain. We hope you can visit it soon, and tell us what has been your favorite!
Cathedral of Saint Mary of Burgos, Burgos (Castile and León)
This Gothic Cathedral, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and built during 1221, is considered one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world.
Besides being beautiful and to has Renaissance and Baroque decorative elements. History lovers, will like to know that in this Spanish Cathedral, you can find the tomb of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, El Cid. A noble Castilian and military leader in medieval Spain.
Among other jewels and curiosities, in the Cathedral of Burgos is the articulated statue of Papamoscas, an automaton that every hour, opens the mouth to activate a bell.
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, Cordoba (Andalusia)
More popularly known as the Mosque of Cordoba, it is undoubtedly one of the most unique cathedrals of Spain.
This impressive monument was built as a Mosque, after the Muslim invasion of the Iberian peninsula, and besides the Alhambra in Granada, it is one of the most important monuments of Islamic architecture in Spain.
The current Cathedral of Cordoba, was the second largest mosque in the world, and during the thirteenth century was convert to Christianity. This beautiful monument was declared Cultural Patrimony of the Humanity Site by UNESCO and it well deserves a visit if you are planning to travel to Andalusia.
Saint Mary of León Cathedral, León (Castile and León)
Popularly known as “La Pulchra Leonina”. This 13th-century Cathedral, was build on ancient Roman baths, is a Gothic jewel that stands out of having one of the best collections of medieval stained glass in the world.
The natural lighting of this sanctuary undoubtedly places the Cathedral of León in the top 5 of the most beautiful cathedrals in Spain.
Santa María la Real de la Almudena, Madrid (Madrid)
Perhaps thanks to its perfect situation, next to the Royal Palace of Madrid, this Spanish Cathedral was chosen by many Kings to celebrate their weddings, among them Felipe VI, King of Spain.
The Cathedral of Madrid, better known as the Cathedral of the Almudena, is a mixture of neo classical, neo gothic and neo-Romanesque elements, and currently is one of the most visited monuments in Spain.
Saint Mary of Palma, Palma de Mallorca (Balearic Islands)
The Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca, better known by islanders as La Seu, is an immense monument built in the Bay of Palma in 1229 and today is the main icon of this Mediterranean city.
This Spanish Cathedral was built on the ancient walls which protected the city. The Cathedral of Mallorca, is characterized by having the largest Gothic rosette worldwide and being the second highest Cathedral of Europe.
Santiago’s Cathedral, Santiago de Compostela (Galicia)
This beautiful cathedral located at Plaza del Obradoiro in Santiago de Compostela, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is in charge of welcoming pilgrims from all over the world who arrive there after many hard days walking El Camino de Santiago (the way of Saint James) to kiss the statue of the Apostle James.
The tradition says that tomb of St. James remains in this Spanish Cathedral, and that is why Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is one of the main destinations for Catholic pilgrimage in the world.
In addition to art masterpieces, one of the most famous and popular symbols of the Cathedral is El Botafumeiro (“censer” in Galician). It is a large thurible that hangs by means of a system of pulleys from the main dome of the Cathedral and swings toward the side naves by eight men known as “tiraboleiros”.
If you have the chance to attend to a mass with the Botafumeiro, do it! That is a truly unique experience.
Segovia Cathedral, Segovia (Castile and León)
Known as the “Lady of the Cathedrals” due to its elegance and dimensions, this imposing cathedral, located just in front of the Plaza Mayor of Segovia, starts to be build in 1525 with the disinterested collaboration of Segovia locals.
With late gothic style and Renaissance details, the current Cathedral of Segovia, was built to replace an earlier cathedral near the Alcázar, which had been destroyed during the War of the Comuneros, a revolt against the king.
Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, Seville (Andalusia)
With its 11,500 square meters The Cathedral of Seville, is considered the third largest Christian temple in the world.
This wonderful Cathedral, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, which houses the mortal remains of the Christopher Columbus and several kings of Spain, began to be built in 1401 on the site that remained after the demolition of the old Aljama Mosque Seville. Of this old mosque they conserved the Giralda, that now is the Belfry of the Cathedral and the beautiful Patio de los Naranjos.