What does the gothic world have that draws our attention so much?
A certain Christian Jacq, who knows a lot about this, tells us all in his book about cathedrals. According to him, to be able to build gothic cathedrals, like the one you’re looking at, was exclusively reserved for people with a long time of training and hard work. People that would start at the bottom, working on the hardest tasks, carrying water and stones with their bare hands in order to, little by little, raise these buildings to the very sky. And only after many years, when the apprentice had proved to be trustworthy, then, the secret Numbers and Symbols that make this Gothic Cathedrals would be revealed to them.
The method for building such cathedrals was so secret that, around the 14th century, it was the master builders who created the first masonic societies, when the king of France, Felipe el Hermoso, decided to persecute the traders, whom, following the Knights Templar, opted to run away towards the Middle East.
And so, this forced migration was the prize for the ones that built from 1250, more or less, this great Cathedral: la Pulchra Leonina (meaning, the beautiful Cathedral of León) which, someone that knows it really well, Manuel Chamoso Lamas, says is the most perfect cathedral of Spain thanks to the master Enrique from France, who worked on it until his death in the year 1277.
Even before you enter the Cathedral and see all its treasures like the Mozarabic manuscripts and different pieces of art from the Romanic times to the Baroque, you can see that it’s a very special building. To start with it’s one of the highest cathedrals in Europe. Not only for its great bell tower (the one to your right if you stand in front of the principal entrance of the building), but also for the flying buttresses that, like in all the Gothic cathedrals, hold the walls. Look closely, because it’s probably the highest you’ve ever seen, giving this cathedral a much lighter visual appearance than many other cathedrals. Although, everything has to be said, not only was their visual aspects but they were actually too light. So much, that in the 19th century the Cathedral almost collapsed, forcing risky renovations which are the ones that gave it the look that you and your camera can see now.
The stained glass windows are truly special, they have lasted since the Middle Ages, which it’s not an easy thing… Especially when in 1755, the Lisbon earthquake almost destroyed them…or when later, as we were telling you earlier, when they were doing the renovations, the fragile Cathedral forced the architect Juan B. Lázaro to dismantle, restore and reassemble them carefully as the medieval masters had done. Something that, as you can imagine, was not an easy task.
From here on, there is not much more we can tell you. Not because there is nothing more to see, but because we think is much more entertaining that you discover it for yourself, both on the exterior and in the interior, the thousands of details that are inscribed on its walls, surviving for so many years.