The site of the Pamplona Cathedral (Santa María la Real) is the oldest part of the Roman Pompaelo. Archaeological excavations have revealed streets and buildings from the 1st century BC. The oldest cathedral was demolished in 924 during the invasion of Abd-al-Rahman III, Caliph of Cordoba. During the reign of Sancho III (1004–1035) the church was reconstructed. That church was demolished from 1083 to 1097, and the Romanesque cathedral was built from 1100 to 1127. It collapsed in 1391, with only the façade remaining. The building of the current Gothic church began in 1394 and lasted to 1501. The floorplan is cruciform with ambulatory, a central nave and four shorter aisles, all covered by partially polycromed rib vault. The style is very influenced by French models.
The sculpture of the interior includes the sepulchre of Charles III of Navarre and spouse Eleanor of Castile, by Jehan Lome de Tournai (1419), and the image of Royal Saint Mary, a Romanesque woodcarved silverplated sculpture. The choir, with its Renaissance choir stalls (1541), is separated from the nave by a Gothic iron grating (1517). There was a Renaissance retable (1598) in the presbytery, now in the church of Saint Michael in Pamplona. In the lateral chapels there are two Gothic, one Italian Renaissance, one late Renaissance and five Baroque retables.
Probably, the most outstanding element of the cathedral is its 13th century cloister. As the temple, the style followed the French Gothic architecture, and the sculptural decoration is very rich. The door that gives access from the temple shows the Dormition of the Virgin, and at the mullion stands a 15th-century sculpture of the Virgin Mary. The Barbazan chapel, named after Arnaldo de Barbazán (the Pamplonese bishop buried there), is covered by a Gothic eight-rib vault. The so-called 'Precious Door' gives access to the ancient canons' dormitory and shows a complete sculptural story of the Virgin Mary's life. There are several notable burials: Bishop Miguel Sánchez de Asiáin's (14th century), Viceroy of Navarre Count of Gages' (Baroque, 18th century) and guerrilla fighter Francisco Espoz y Mina's (Neo-classical, 19th century). The lavatory is closed by a grid whose iron is said to be from the battle of Navas de Tolosa. Another decorated Gothic door gives access to the old kitchen and the refectory.
The former canons' rooms house the Diocesan Museum. The main room is a 14th-century rib-vault covered refectory. The adjacent kitchen is covered by a pyramidal stone-built chimney. This museum exhibits pieces of religious art from the cathedral and from many other Navarrese churches, many of them abandoned today: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque sculpture, Gothic and Baroque painting, and 13th to 18th centuries goldsmith and silversmith.
The most outstanding silversmith pieces are the Gothic Holy Sepulcher reliquary, made in 13th century Paris; the 14th century Lignum Crucis reliquary and the Renaissance 16th century processional monstrance.References:
Křivoklát Castle was founded in the 12th century, belonging to the kings of Bohemia. During the reign of Přemysl Otakar II a large, monumental royal castle was built, later rebuilt by king Václav IV and later enlarged by king Vladislav of Jagellon.
The castle was damaged by fire several times. It was turned into a harsh prison and the building slowly deteriorated. During the 19th century, the family of Fürstenberg became the owners of the castle and had it reconstructed after a fire in 1826.
Today the castle serves as a museum, tourist destination and place for theatrical exhibitions. Collections of hunting weapons, Gothic paintings and books are stored there.