Cathedrals in Spain

San Sebastián Cathedral

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is located in the city of San Sebastián. It is the seat of the suffragan Diocese of San Sebastián and subordinated to the Archdiocese of Pamplona y Tudela. The most remarkable religious building of San Sebastián, it is endowed with a strong verticality and is the largest in Gipuzkoa. Its construction took place in the last years of the 19th century in a Historicist Neo-Gothic style. T ...
Founded: 1888-1897 | Location: San Sebastián, Spain

Astorga Cathedral

The Cathedral of Astorga edifice was begun in 1471, within the same walls of its Romanesque predecessors from the 11th-13th centuries. The construction lasted until the 18th century, thus to its original Gothic style appearance were added elements from later styles, such as the Neo-Classicist cloister (18th century), the Baroque towers, capitals and the façade, and the Renaissance portico. The interior houses nume ...
Founded: 1471 | Location: Astorga, Spain

Zamora Cathedral

Built between 1151 and 1174, Zamora Cathedral is one of the finest examples of Spanish Romanesque architecture. A previous church, also entitled to El Salvador ('Holy Savior') existed at the time of King Alfonso VII of Castile, but it was apparently in ruins, so that the king donated the church of St. Thomas in the city to act as cathedral. The church was built under bishop Esteban, under the patronage ...
Founded: 1151-1174 | Location: Zamora, Spain

Jerez de la Frontera Cathedral

The Jerez Cathedral is a beautiful building from the 17th century which combines Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassical styles and stands above the earlier Great Mosque of Jerez and the old Church of El Salvador. The chapels of La Inmaculada, El Sagrario and Las Ánimas stand out inside, the latter dedicated to the famous Cristo de la Viga, from the 14th century. The bell tower, which is outside, was possibly built over ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Ciutadella de Menorca Cathedral

The Cathedral Basilica of Ciutadella de Menorca was constructed on the orders of King Alfonso III of Aragon, the conqueror of the island, in 1287 on the site of an old mosque. Construction started in 1300 and was finished in 1362, creating a building of the Catalan Gothic style, and is notable for the width of the nave, flanked by six chapels to each side. The five-sided apse is oriented to the east. After the d ...
Founded: 1300-1362 | Location: Ciutadella de Menorca, Spain

Cathedral of Santa María de Vitoria

The Cathedral of Santa María de Vitoria is a Gothic-style, Roman Catholic cathedral located in Vitoria-Gasteiz. Construction of the cathedral of Santa María in Gothic-style began in the late 13th century and continued throughout the 14th century. It was conceived as a fortress church, with great volume and enclosed appearance, being part of the city"s defences. Between 1496 and 1861, the building operated as a ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

Santander Cathedral

Santander Cathedral was built between the end of the 12th century and the 14th century on top of the former Santander Abbey. The church was built from the 8th century on the hill known as Cerro de Somorrostro, surrounded by water, where the Roman settlement of Portus Victoriae Iuliobrigensium had previously been located, in order to keep safe the relics of the saints martyred in Calahorra five centuries before, wh ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Santander, Spain

Tui Cathedral

Construction of the Tui Cathedral began in 1120, but it was not consecrated until 1225 under the reign of Alfonso IX. It looks like a fortress because of its crenellated towers. Its structure is clearly Romanesque and later diverse decorative Gothic elements were added. From the Romanesque period there are the capitals that top the interior columns, and from the Gothic period there is the portico of the main entrance. T ...
Founded: 1120-1225 | Location: Tui, Spain

Palencia Cathedral

Palencia Cathedral was built from 1172 to 1504 stands over a low vaulted Visigothic crypt (the Crypt of San Antolín). It is a large Gothic building, popularly dubbed as 'The unknown beauty' because not as well known as other Spanish cathedrals, though, it is a valuable building which has in its interior a large number of works of art of great value. Its more than 130 metres long, 42 metres high and 50 metr ...
Founded: 1172 | Location: Palencia, Spain

Alcalá de Henares Cathedral

The Cathedral of St Justus and St Pastor in Alcalá de Henares was constructed between 1497 and 1515 in late Gothic style. The tower was built between 1528 and 1582. During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) the church was burned losing virtually all its treasures, saving some bars and some chairs from the old choir. In 1991 the diocese of Alcalá restored and elevated to the status of cathedral-master, the Diocese Comp ...
Founded: 1497 -1515 | Location: Alcalá de Henares, Spain

Guadix Cathedral

Guadix is believed to be one of the oldest diocesan seats in Spain; tradition has it that the diocese was founded by Saint Torquatus of Acci in the first century A.D. The cathedral sits on the site of an earlier Hispano-Visigothic church extant in the 10th century, and which functioned during the Islamic period as a mosque. During the Reconquista, Guadix was captured by the Christian forces in 1489, and the Hispan ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Guadix, Spain

Almería Cathedral

Almería cathedral was built in Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles from 1524 to 1562. Its last bell was built in 1805. It had a dual role: as a place of worship, but also to protect the citizens when pirates attacked the city of Almeria after the Reconquest. After an earthquake destroyed the previous structure, the cathedral is constructed, like so many churches in Spain, on the site of a mosque. Largely late Go ...
Founded: 1524-1562 | Location: Almería, Spain

Burgo de Osma Cathedral

The Cathedral of Burgo de Osma is in the Gothic architectural style, and was constructed on an area previously occupied by a Romanesque church. It is one of the best preserved medieval buildings in the country and considered one of the best examples of thirteenth-century gothic architecture in Spain. The building of the church started in 1232, and was completed in 1784. The cloister is from 1512. The tower is from 17 ...
Founded: 1232 | Location: Burgo de Osma, Spain

Mondoñedo Cathedral

The Cathedral of Mondoñedo was built in Romanesque and Gothic styles, mainly between 1219-1243. In the 18th century the facade was remodeled and the towers were added. It has three naves. The polychrome statue in the high altar, called Nuestra Señora la Inglesa (the English Madonna) was rescued from St Paul's Cathedral in London during the Protestant Reformation of Henry VIII of England.
Founded: 1219 | Location: Mondoñedo, Spain

Ciudad Rodrigo Cathedral

Construction of the Ciudad Rodrigo Cathedral began in the 12th century and did not finish until the 14th century. The architecture of the cathedral is uniform, despite later reforms and additions that can be seen in some of the chapels, such as the San Blas chapel. The Portico del Perdón alone contains more than 400 Romanesque and Gothic sculptures of great beauty. Although it began in the 12th century, the work continu ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ciudad Rodrigo, Spain

Huelva Cathedral

The convent church from the 17th century was destroyed by several earthquakes in the 18th century. A church rebuilt in 1775 in Neoclassical style. The church was declared a National Monument in 1970, and was elevated to the status of a cathedral in 1953.
Founded: 1775 | Location: Huelva, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Trinity Sergius Lavra

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.

Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.

In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.

The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.

In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by  Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.

After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.

In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.

Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.

In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.

In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.