The Segovia Cathedral

The Cathedral of Santa Maria was started in 1525 and construction was finished in 1768. It occupies the highest point of the city. This is the last Gothic church built in Spain. The style is late Gothic and it replaced the old Romanesque Cathedral after it was destroyed in a fire during the uprising of the Comuneros in 1520.

The ground plan has three naves and chapels in the periphery. The architect was Juan Gil de Hontañon. The main facade has an entrance that was designed by Juan Guas. There are two other doors called the San Geroteo and San Frutos Doors. The dimensions of the church are 105 m long, 50 m wide and 33 m high at the main nave. The tower is 88 m high. The Cathedral has plenty of light and beautiful stained glass windows, many made in the 17th century.

The main altarpiece is made of marble, jasper and bronze, and is in the Neo-classic style. This was designed by Sabatini and it has a 12th century statue of the Virgen de la Paz in the center. The screens in the choir and main chapel are masterpieces of Baroque grill work. There are many chapels and one ends up in the cloister that overlooks the beautiful garden. The treasure room, or cathedral museum, is very impressive. There is a salon where the bishop meets with the priests. This is also a very impressive room in the Renaissance style, the Chapter House (Sala Capitular), with an impressive white and gold ceiling. On the ceiling beams were huge faces of men, with wings of angels. Usually angels are portrayed as children, but not here. There are fine paintings and beautiful Flemish tapestries also. Some of the artists featured are Van Eyck, Berruguete, and Morales.

There is a library collection that was donated to the Cathedral by the Bishop Arias Davila. There are two very important books in this collection. One is the Cancionero de la Catedral, which is an anthology of songs from Castile and other European countries from the end of the 15th century. The other book is the Sinodal de Aguilafuente, which was printed in Segovia by Juan Parix in 1472 and was the first book printed in Spain.