What you need to know before visiting León Cathedral

León Cathedral is the most visited monument in the city for its beauty and majesty. In fact, it is an icon of the city of León and one of the most refined Gothic cathedrals in Spain. Are you thinking of visiting it? Check out our essential information before traveling!

TO the cathedral of León It is also known as Pulchra leonina, what does it mean Bella Leonesa. It is located on the road to Santiago, so it is a popular place for tourists and pilgrims. In addition, its walls are protagonists of many legends, such as the mole that destroyed what the workers built the day before.

History of the cathedral of León

León Cathedral - David Herraez Calzada

The construction of the cathedral of León began in the thirteenth century. It was performed on the ruins of Roman baths that were larger than the cathedral. Its existence was not known until the remains were discovered in the 19th century.

Hardly any mosaics and ceramics found in the cathedral museum have been preserved. However, it is known that the hot springs became a royal palace during the Christian reconquest.

And in the year 916, the king gave the palace to begin the construction of the primitive cathedral. Later, during the Romanesque period, Princess Urraca, sister of the king, ordered that it be transformed following the new style. Of that temple there are only a few remains.

The cathedral we know today began to rise in the year 1205, although problems in the foundations forced to paralyze the work. The works were already resumed during the reign of Alfonso X the Wise.

In 1302 the structure was finished, although elements were added that modified the initial intention of its appearance a bit.

The style of the cathedral of León

Cloister - Mariluz Rodriguez / Flickr.com

The style of the cathedral is purely French Gothic. It has carved porches, colorful stained glass windows and rosettes. However, the cathedral is known for the dematerialization of the Gothic style, since there are practically no walls, but stained glass. In fact, there is one of the largest collections of medieval stained glass windows that exist.

The appearance of the cathedral resembles that of the Notre Dame deParis, or also to the cathedral of Reims and the basilica of Saint Denis. Therefore, the influence of the French Gothic style in the construction of the cathedral is demonstrated.

But nevertheless, there is hardly any information about the responsible architects, although it is thought that they were the teacher Simón and Enrique, of French origin. The latter also participated in the construction of the cathedral of Burgos. Finally, we must mention the teacher Juan Pérez, Spanish.

What is the most important of the cathedral of León

Stained glass windows in the cathedral - Jose Ignacio Soto

Outside, the western facade stands out, surrounded by two Gothic towers (the one of the Bells and the one of the Clock). In addition, in the porch there is a central rose window with stained glass. It also highlights the southern facade, whose portico is called the Porch of Death, since it has a skeleton with wings.

As for the interior of the cathedral, We advise you to enjoy the light and color produced by the 125 stained glass windows that make up the cathedral. Also from the choir of masonry, the oldest in Spain. And finally, the main altar and the chapel of the White Virgin.

Schedules and rates of the cathedral

Another essential aspect to know before visiting León Cathedral is when to do it and how much it will cost. At the time of entering you can decide if you want to visit only the cathedral or also the museum. The normal ticket is worth 5 euros in each case, although there are discounts to retirees, groups and students.

The schedule of the visit varies depending on the time of the year. In summer, it opens from Monday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.. On Sundays and holidays from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.. During winter, the schedule is Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m. Sundays and holidays from 8.30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Interior of the cathedral - Jose Maria Cuellar / Flickr.com

How to get

León Cathedral is located in the Plaza de Regla, in the historic center of the city. To get there, you can use the bus network, taking line 14 and getting off at Calle Ancha, or lines 3, 5, 8 and 11 stopping at the Plaza de Santo Domingo.

León Cathedral is not only the most representative monument of the city, but also one of the most important Gothic temples that exist. In fact, It was the first place in Spain declared a National Monument, in 1844.

Get carried away by the charms of all Castile and Leon and get ready to live a wonderful experience. You will not regret!