The Gothic style appeared in the 12th century in the North of France and was introduced in Spain over the pilgrims’ routes to substitute the Romanesque style. The great innovation that brought this architecture was the pointed arch, a revolutionary construction that allowed the raising of lighter buildings, much higher and luminous than those of the Romanesque period. Thus, some of the most impressive buildings that we can find all around the Iberian Peninsula are built in this style that was present in our country until the 16th century. Today we share with you five of the best examples of the Gothic style in Spain.
The city of Burgos has one of the temples in which the Gothic style can be appreciated in its purest form, despite the fact that in some parts the construction contains elements added in later centuries. This is an amazing Gothic colossal cathedral could not be left out as one of the references of the Gothic in Spain that cannot be missed. Its construction started in the 13th century following the parameters of the Gothic French style and being inspired by the Reims Cathedral. In the 1990s, when one of the sculptures on the façade became detached, extensive restoration work began, the results of which we can enjoy today.
Other treasure in this kind of Spanish Gothic architecture is the Cathedral located in the city of León, which is along with the one in Burgos, an important stop in the Way to Santiago. Its construction, which started in the 13th century, was leadered by the master Enrique, who worked as well in the Burgos Cathedral. This building, known as “La Bella Leonesa” (The Beauty from León) has the most characteristic Gothic element; the elimination of walls substituted instead by colorful stained windows that create a special environment in the interior, making up one of the biggest medieval stained windows in the whole world.
The economic prosperity in the East of the Peninsula during the Middle Ages fomented the construction of Gothic style civil buildings in regions like Catalonia and Valencia. We are talking about the Lonja de la Seda in the city of Valencia, one of the main monuments of that time. It is an impressive Gothic construction due to its lush decoration and creative design. It is especially remarkable the “sala de contratación”, or “columns room”, where eight impressive helicoidal pillars hold the ribbed vaulting.
By the end of the 13th century and during the 14th century the historical circumstances due to the different peninsular kingdoms fomented the apparition of variations from the Gothic style because of the different ways of using the architectonic and decorative elements. The most important of these variations was the Levantine Gothic style, style of the Palma Cathedral and some of the Mediterranean regions during the XIV century. In the main temple of this beautiful city we see some of its most important characteristics, like the lacking decoration on the walls and the verticality, being one of the highest cathedrals in Spain with 44 meters in its central nave and the one with the biggest Gothic rose window.
San Juan de los Reyes Monastery
With the arrival of the Catholic Monarchs, the last phase of the Spanish Gothic style appeared right next to the Renaissance: The Isabelline Gothic style; whose most remarkable building is this amazing monastery that the monarchs ordered to build in the city of Toledo (city that also has an amazing Gothic cathedral). This building commemorates the Battle of Toro and it pretended to be a royal mausoleum, reason why it is merely decorated with Castellan, Muslim and European elements being part of this Isabelline phase. In this way the building is an amazing place that commemorates wonderfully these Catholic Monarchs.