If you are in front of Segovia’s Cathedral, you will undoubtedly think it looks of a Gothic style. But it was actually built in the middle of the sixteenth century, in the middle of the Renaissance, so it could be said that there is Gothic art, late Gothic, very late Gothic, and then there is the Cathedral of Segovia.
Obviously, there is a reason for this. In the city, there was a Romanic Cathedral before, which was standing there for fewer centuries than it should have, thanks to the Civil War that devastated three quarters of Segovia and half of other Castilian cities: the War of the Communities.
In 1520, the revolt against Emperor Charles V, then a young man with little experience, dramatically divided the population into two camps, as it always happens in the Civil Wars. Brothers fought against brothers and fathers against sons, so the cities were split in two: neighbourhoods or houses faithful to the King, and those who sympathised with the rebels, the Comuneros, who claimed some things to a ruler with no desire to deal with anyone.
The result was a bloody and long fight. In Segovia, the royalists locked themselves in the Alcázar, and the other side, stayed outside looking, between guns and cannons shots, for a way to take the fortification. But the location of the old cathedral made it very difficult to assault the castle, so the Comuneros decided to destroy a good part of it, but not before they had a good fight with the chapter of the Cathedral, who did not seem to like that way of doing things.
The rebels made their way breaking up the Romanesque stones, but at the temple, they met the enemy forces, which became a battleground, and between loading and charging, the naves of the cathedral were shattered.
When the uprising was over and things, more or less, got back to normal, the Emperor ordered to build a new cathedral somewhere else. And it was decided to make it with Gothic ornaments, although, the experts say that you can see in it the Renaissance concept of space. Well… it’s not strange since it was the sixteenth century!
Diego de Colmenares took care to leave us the chronicle of the spectacular inauguration of the new temple. It was on the 15th of August 1558, and the previous night, apparently, the city was filled with colourful lights, torches were lit on all the streets, and even dragons and fire bulls could be seen in the main square.