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Gothic Architecture Of Le�n Cathedral

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Over three decades after the beginning of construction at Burgos, the second phase of the integration of French Gothic Style began with León Cathedral in 1255. At this point in time, the kingdoms of Castile and León were combined into a single kingdom of Castile. This could explain the facilitation of the transfer of the style westward from Burgos to León. León should be viewed as a separate step in the development of Spanish Gothic because it is radically different from Burgos. While Burgos began to incorporate the style and features of Gothic architecture, it still maintains the decorative style popular in the region. León Cathedral is a complete embrace of the French Gothic style and is considered to be the “purest” example in Spain. George Edmund Street, an English architect traveled through out Spain in the early 1900 to study and describe the Gothic architecture of the region. Of León Cathedral he said, “Regarding this cathedral, then, as a French, rather than as a Spanish church, and giving up all attempt to make it illustrate a chapter of the real national artistic history, we shall best be able to do justice to it as a work of art.” The extreme “Frenchness” has is baffling. There is little surviving evidence to explain this phenomenon, other than records of a French architect, Master Enrique, working at the cathedral at one point. Whatever the cause, the pure French Style demonstrated at León Cathedral was an important step in the development the Spanish Style
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