San Isidoro Basilica

San Isidoro Basilica is one of the most important Romanesque churches in Spain and was built in 966. It was built on top of an old church dedicated to St. John the Baptist, but was demolished by the Moorish King Almanzor in 988. King Alfonso VI rebuilt it and King Fernando I placed a new temple to hold the relics of San Isidoro and San Vicente. There are three naves and a sanctuary with three apses. The main door is called the Cordero and shows Isaac's sacrifice on the tympanum, and there are statues of San Isidoro and San Pelayo on either side of the door.

The church holds the Royal Pantheon, where the Kingdom of Leon's royal family was buried. Among those buried here are Alfonso I, Ramiro II, Alfonso V, Sancho I, Fernando II, Doña Sancha and Doña Urraca. There are a total of 23 kings and queens, 12 princes, and 9 couunts. It has many beautiful Romanesque paintings on its ceiling, and is called the Sistine Chapel of Romanesque art. Experts say that these paintings are the best Romanesque paintings in all of Europe.

Its museum has many treasures and contains a coffer of ivory which contains the relics of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Pelayo. The Coffer of Relics contains the remains of San Isidoro. The Doña Urraca chalice dates from the 11th century and is made of onyx mounted in gold. Also there is the processional cross of Enrique de Arce, as well as medieval ivories, fabrics and codices, and a Visigothic Bible.