Discovering León, Part Five: Inside the León Cathedral

León’s Cathedral is the finest example of French Gothic architecture in all of Spain. Most of the church was built between 1255 and 1302. The cloister and north tower were added later in the 14th century and the south tower was completed near the end of the 15th century. The church’s design is similar to that of Rheims and here and there one can see influences from Chartres, Sainte Chapelle and Amiens. Here are some pictures from my hour-long tour one afternoon in May of this year.

View of main altar with altarpiece created by Nicolas Frances in the 15th century.

Click on any photo to see a larger version of that photo.

The cathedral contains 125 large stained glass windows covering close to 1800 feet of wall space, the most of any church in Spain. Most of the windows were created in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries and most of these were restored in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Some are still being restored.

View from the choir. No, there is no rose window on the east facade. What you see is the reflection of the west facade’s rose window behind me.

Looking east at the elaborate retrochoir.

The sculptures in the retrochoir date back to the 16th century.

One of the four alabaster sculptures in the retrochoir depicting the life of Mary.

There are  many tombs throughout the church. This one is in Capilla de Nuestra Senora del Carmen.

The tomb of Bishop Rodrigo Alvarez who died in 1232. A Calvary scene is on top. The middle scene shows the bishop’s funeral with another bishop on the right and a number of professional mourners on the left. The bottom scene shows Rodrigo passing out food to the needy.

Sculpture (I think it’s St Anthony of Padua) and painting of Madonna and child in another chapel.

View from the ambulatory of some of the stained glass windows in the chancel.

Stained glass windows and organ in the choir. The large windows are 40 feet high.

Famous statue of a pregnant Virgin Mary (Virgen de la Esperanza).

The original La Virgen Blanca that used to stand in the middle of the west facade’s central portal.

I’ll show some more photos of the cathedral’s stained glass windows in tomorrow’s posting.


About crowcanyonjournal

I am a family man with interests in family history, photography, history and travel.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Art, Spain, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Discovering León, Part Five: Inside the León Cathedral

  1. Betty says:

    Thanks, Jerry. I’m enjoying re-visiting Leon!

  2. Amy says:

    These photos are remarkably. Thank you for the tour of this magnificent cathedral! 🙂

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