Found project: León Cathedral


    Project : León Cathedral

    Language variant : Catedral de León

    Architect : Enrique

    Completion: 1302 (mainly)

    Locality : León

    Country : Spain

    Building style : Gothic

    Description :

    Leon is the one Gothic church in Spain which can be called sublime. It is a complete harmony, a perfect example of Gothic architecture at its best. Standing high up in the Castilian plateau, it has an exotic appearance, for in plan, construction, and detail it is absolutely French. And yet it is far from being a slavish imitation, and in fact, it has no single prototype.

    Leon was the first church in Spain to have, not only a glazed triforium throughout, but also clerestory windows which occupy the whole of the space between the slender vaulting shafts. The vault at Leon is supported by double flying buttresses, but too small a margin of safety was allowed and within two hundred years of completion the building became unstable. The Triforium and the outer lights of the clerestory were walled up. In 1631 the vault of the crossing fell in, and by 1733 four bays of the aisles were in ruins. In the middle of the 19th century a complete restoration was started and all Renaissance and Baroque “improvements” were removed.

    The west front is not very successful. The steeples are low and ungainly. The best feature is the triple portico. The stained glass is undoubtedly the finest in Spain. The church is a blaze of colour. Beautiful as Leon is, however, it lacks one quality, genius. Compared with Chartres or Bourges it is academic. And Spanish Gothic, after Leon, declines rapidly.

    Bevan, Bernard: History of Spanish architecture. B. T. Batsford, London 1938, pp. 82–85.

    Ed. Heikki Nikkinen



    Images 1-20 of 106

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    León Cathedral
    León Cathedral
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski