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World Heritage Site

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Burgos Cathedral

Burgos Cathedral

The Burgos Cathedral is a masterwork of Gothic Architecture. Its layout resembles that of contemporary cathedrals in the north of France.

The first phase of construction took place between 1221 and 1293. Toward the middle of the 15th century, a set of further embellishments was made. An international team of architects and artists worked on the front spires, chapel and the choir in late Gothic style. Later on, Renaissance additions were made.

The cathedral is also the burial place of the Spanish national hero El Cid and his widow.

Map of Burgos Cathedral


  • Cultural

Visit August 2009

I had only an hour to spare before my flight back home, but thought that that would be just enough to see another cathedral. The first noticeable aspect in the area is the marvellous town gate Arco de Santa Maria. It gives entrance to the square where the cathedral is situated.

August 2009

The Burgos Cathedral itself is an enormous complex, built over several centuries. There was a long queue for the ticket office, so I just walked an entire round around the cathedral (quite a hike, on various levels).

August 2009

When I arrived back at the entrance, the queue fortunately had gone so I did get in eventually. There are lots of chapels, each with their own kind of decoration. My favourite part of the building was the 16th century Golden Staircase.

August 2009

Burgos is a town busy with tourists and pilgrims alike. The city looks pleasant enough, so to other visitors I would suggest to tour the nearby Atapuerca WHS during the day and stay overnight in Burgos.

Community Reviews

Clyde Malta 22-Jun-16

Burgos Cathedral by Clyde

I visited this WHS in May 2016. I stayed in Burgos for 3 days as it was my first resting point along the Camino Frances. It is the only cathedral in Spain which is solely inscribed as a WHS (without the rest of the historic centre). And rightly so; if you were to choose only one cathedral in Spain, make sure you visit this one as you won't regret it. Its gothic exterior is decorated with several facades, sculptures, gargoyles, statues, an octagonal tower, etc. and its sheer size alone is mindboggling. I visited at different times of the day and always found something new to gaze and marvel at. The original statues can be admired inside, just near the cloister, and they will help to grasp the immense size of this cathedral. In front of the main facade (picture) is a lovely fountain and just next to it, on the floor is the UNESCO WHS plaque which most miss while looking up at the cathedral spires. Just next to the Church of St Nicholas, again on the floor, lies the only UNESCO WHS plaque in Spanish commemorating the Camino's inscription. I would recommend a visit of the cathedral's interior with a complimentary informative audio guide but you'll have to allow at least an hour or two to take in the never ending chapels, retablos, stucco, ceilings, tombs, etc. My favourite highlights were the Gothic staircase and the Renaissance Golden Staircase, the Gothic Plateresque dome and the Papamoscas statue. I would recommend visiting first thing in the morning to beat the crowds, while a short walk uphill to the castillo in the evening will be rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view of Burgos and its cathedral. This is definitely one of Spain's best WHS.

Cecilia, Irlanda 30-Jul-11

I visited Burgos twice. The first time was 1990. I don't remember too much about this trip, but what I did remember is the outside of the cathedral. I went again 2001 and I was surprised with the cathedral. It looks like amizing after the clean up.

I would suggest also to visit " El monasterio de las Huelgas" also in burgos city and Santo Domingo de silos. It is a medieval village not so far from Burgos.

Alan Morrison-Topping, UK 26-Jan-10

Visited as teenager in 60s by steam train, before the 'clean-up'. Quiet enough then for kids to play in the street and Spanish enough for them to think my red hair was amusing!

I remember the cathedral seemed to be hemmed in by, presumably later though still ancient, buildings and my having a great deal of difficulty in framing a pic of the facade, even with my 6x6 Rolliecord 5b! In the dusk honey/rose glow people in the streets appeared as silhouttes against the glowing stone. As you can tell, the experience never left me. Am returning in the near future for another fix

jolina, virgin island US 09-Sep-08

Burgos Cathedral by jolina

Burgos Cathedral is one of the Spaniard historical events and places the old church that unite the people of Spain. A lot of wonders and miracle happen in this church the Catholic are the dominant religion in Spain, I love the design of the church and art.


Burgos Cathedral is wonderful, its realy an outstanding art piece. I think it is the most beutiful building in west-europe! come to see it.

phil, uk

Burgos cathedral has now a fully restored clean stone exterior, so for the first time in a hundred years you can see what the designers intentions really meant for the viewing public.

God didn't build many like this one.

Ivanna, France

Burgos Cathedral at night is one of the most beautiful sights for me. Luminated, it looks almost magical... I also love the fact that its interior is a combination of many different architecture styles. Finally, the chaphel of Christ of Burgos is deeply serene...

Claudine McClean, UK

Burgos is a beautiful cathedral, with outstanding artwork, and it houses the tomb of El Cid. It is well worth the admission, although charging people to enter a house of God rankles.

Marco Silvestri, Italy

I've been in Burgos several time for work, and during each transfert I went back to the Cathedral, which is really a wonderful monument.

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Community Rating

Community Rating 3.32. Based on 11 votes.

Site Info

Full name: Burgos Cathedral

Unesco ID: 316

Inscribed: 1984

Type: Cultural

Criteria: 2   4   6  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 1984 - Inscribed 


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