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Title: Cathedrals of Spain
Author: Gade, John Allyne
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


[Illustration: SALAMANCA]




Fully Illustrated


Boston and New York
Houghton Mifflin Company
The Riverside Press Cambridge

Copyright, 1911, by John A. Gade
All Rights Reserved

Published February 1911




In the last dozen years many English books on Spain have appeared. They
have dealt with their subject from the point of view of the artist or
the historian, the archæologist, the politician, or the mere sight-seer.
The student of architecture, or the traveler, desiring a more intimate
or serious knowledge of the great cathedrals, has had nothing to consult
since Street published his remarkable book some forty years ago. There
have been artistic impressions, as well as guide-book recitations, by
the score. Some have been excellent, though few have surpassed the older
ones of Dumas, père, and Gautier, or Baedeker's later guide-book. A year
ago appeared the second and last volume of Señor Lamperez y Romea's
"Historia de la Arquitectura Cristiana Española en la Edad Media," a
work so comprehensive and scholarly that it practically stands alone.

It has seemed to me that certain buildings, and especially cathedrals,
cannot be properly studied quite apart from what surrounds them, or from
their past history. To look comprehendingly up at cathedral vaults and
spires, one must also look beyond them at the city and the people and
times that created them. In some such setting, the study of Avila,
Salamanca the elder and the younger, Burgos, Toledo, Leon, Segovia,Seville, and 
Granada is here attempted, in the hope it will not prove
too technical for the ordinary traveler, nor too superficial for the
student of architecture. The cathedrals selected cover nearly all
periods of Gothic art, as interpreted in Spain, as well as the earlier
Romanesque and succeeding Renaissance, with which the Gothic was
mingled. All the great churches were the work of different epochs and
consequently contain several styles of architecture. The series here
described is very incomplete, but the book would have grown too bulky
had it included Santiago da Compostella with its heavenly portal, and
Barcelona or Gerona, Lerida or Tudela.

Whether we read a page of Cervantes, or gaze on one of Velasquez's
faces, or wander through one of the grand cathedrals of Spain, we
realize that this great world-empire has never ceased to exist in
matters of art, but still in the twentieth century must rouse our wonder
and admiration. In barren deserts, on parched and lonely plains, amid
hovels crumbling to decay, still stand the monuments of Spain's
greatness. But if nowhere else in the world can one find such glorious
works of art surrounded by such squalor, let us draw from the past the
promise of a revival in Spain of all that constitutes the true greatness
of a nation. In the fourth century, Bishop Hosius of Cordova was, from
every point of view, the first living churchman--Cordova itself became,
under the Ammeyad Caliphs in the tenth century, the most civilized, the
most learned, and the loveliest capital in Europe. Three hundred years
later, Alfonso X of Castile was not only a distinguished linguist and
poet, but the greatest astronomer and lawgiver of his age. When the
Spanish people have once more made education as general as it was under
the accomplished Arabs, and adopted the division of power insisted on
in a letter from Bishop Hosius to the Emperor Constantius, "Leave
ecclesiastical affairs alone.... We are not allowed to rule the earth,"
they will take the rank their character and genius deserve among the
nations. Their cathedrals will then stand in an environment befitting
their grandeur, a society which will help them to transmit to coming
generations the noblest, imperishable hopes of humanity.




      I. SALAMANCA          1

     II. BURGOS            31

    III. AVILA             65

     IV. LEON              89

      V. TOLEDO           119

     VI. SEGOVIA          165

    VII. SEVILLE          189

   VIII. GRANADA          237

         BOOKS CONSULTED  267

         INDEX            269


NEW CATHEDRAL OF SALAMANCA (page 24)                       _Frontispiece_

CATHEDRALS OF SALAMANCA: The towers of the old and new buildings       3

CATHEDRALS OF SALAMANCA: Plans                                         6

THRESHING OUTSIDE THE WALLS OF SALAMANCA                              10

CATHEDRAL OF SALAMANCA: The Tower of the Cock                         16

SALAMANCA: From the Vega                                              28

CATHEDRAL OF BURGOS: West front                                       33

CATHEDRAL OF BURGOS: Plan                                             36

CATHEDRAL OF BURGOS: View of the nave                                 40

CATHEDRAL OF BURGOS: Lantern over the crossing                        46

CATHEDRAL OF BURGOS: The Golden Staircase                             50

CATHEDRAL OF BURGOS: The Chapel of the Constable                      54

CATHEDRAL OF BURGOS: The spires above the house-tops                  58

CATHEDRAL OF AVILA                                                    67

CATHEDRAL OF AVILA: Plan                                              68

CATHEDRAL OF AVILA: Exterior of the apse turret                       72

AVILA: From outside the walls                                         80

CATHEDRAL OF AVILA: Main entrance                                     86

CATHEDRAL OF LEON: From the southwest                                 91

CATHEDRAL OF LEON: Plan                                               94

CATHEDRAL OF LEON: Looking up the nave                                98

CATHEDRAL OF LEON: Rear of apse                                      104

CATHEDRAL OF TOLEDO                                                  121

CATHEDRAL OF TOLEDO: Plan                                            124

CATHEDRAL OF TOLEDO: The choir stalls                                140

CATHEDRAL OF TOLEDO: Chapel of Santiago, tombs of Alvaro
de Luna and his spouse                                               158

CATHEDRAL OF SEGOVIA                                                 167

CATHEDRAL OF SEGOVIA: Plan                                           170

CATHEDRAL OF SEGOVIA: From the Plaza                                 176

CATHEDRAL OF SEVILLE: The Giralda, from the Orange Tree Court        191

CATHEDRAL OF SEVILLE: Plan                                           194

CATHEDRAL OF SEVILLE: Gateway of Perdon in the Orange Tree Court     210

CATHEDRAL OF SEVILLE AND THE GIRALDA                                 228

CATHEDRAL OF GRANADA: West front                                     239

CATHEDRAL OF GRANADA: Plan                                           242

CATHEDRAL OF GRANADA: The exterior cornices of the Royal Chapel      248

CATHEDRAL OF GRANADA: The reja enclosing the
Royal Chapel and tombs of the Catholic Kings                         256

CATHEDRAL OF GRANADA: The tombs of the Catholic Kings,
of Philip and of Queen Juana                                         262



[Illustration: Photo by Author


The towers of the old and new buildings]




    In quella parte ove surge ad aprire
      Zeffiro dolce le novelle fronde,
      Di che si vede Europa rivestire.

    _Paradiso_, c. XII, l. 46.


Nowhere else in Spain, and certainly in few places outside her borders,
can one take in the whole architectural development of successive styles
and ages so comprehensively as in Salamanca. Byzantine and Romanesque,
Gothic from its first fire to the last flicker and coldness of the
ashes, and the triumphant domination of the reborn classicism,--all are
massed together here.

Contrasts are eloquent to belittle or magnify. Here two cathedrals stand
side by side, the older from the days of the Kingdom, a mere chapel in
size compared to the larger and later expression of Imperial Spain. A
David beside a Goliath, simple power by the side of ponderous
self-assurance. Rude in its simplicity, seemingly unconscious of its
great inheritance and the genius it embodies, the old church stands a
monument of early virile effort, in strength and poetry akin to the
wind-swept rocks round which still whisper mysterious Oriental legends.
The huge bulk that overshadows it betrays exhausted vigor and a decadent
form. Here is simplicity by complexity, majestic sobriety close to
wanton magnificence, poise by restlessness; each speaks the language of
the age that conceived and brought it forth. Proximity has compelled the
odiousness of comparison, for you can never see the later Cathedral
apart from the old. You are haunted by the salience of their divergency,
the importance of their contrasts, until their meaning becomes so far
clear to you that the solid blocks of the ancient temple seem to
symbolize the Church Militant and Triumphant. That indomitable spirit
did not meet you under the mighty arches of the newer church, but go
into the hushed perfection of those abandoned walls and walk along the
dismantled nave and you will repeat the old epithet coupled with the
city, "Fortis Salamanca!"

This once famous town lay in a curious setting as seen from the
cock-tower in the month of August. Here and there were rusty,
copper-colored fields, where the plow had just furrowed the surface.
There were vineyards in which the sandy, white mounds were tufted by the
deep emerald of the grape-vines, but the prevailing color was the yellow
straw of harvested fields. These were a busy scene,--laborers were
driving their oxen harnessed to primitive carts and treading out the
grain as in olden times. They made their rounds between the high yellow
cones built up of grain-stalks and filled the hot air with golden dust.

This is Salamanca of to-day, seemingly robbed of all but her rich
vowels. The whole city, like her two cathedrals, bears traces of the
dynasties that have swept over her. Their footprints are everywhere.
Hannibal's legions passed through Roman Salmantica on their victorious
march to Rome, and the city soon afterwards became a military station in
the province of Lusitania. Plutarch praises the valor of her women. Age
after age generals have built her bridges and the towers and walls that
surround the valley and the three hills, on one of which stands her
supreme mediæval creation.

From the eighth century Salamanca became an apple of discord between
Moslem bands and the forces of early Castilian kings, Crescent and Cross
constantly supplanting each other on her turrets. Not until the latter
half of the eleventh century, in the days of King Alfonso VI, were the
Moors driven south of Leon, and Salamanca could at last claim to be body
and soul Christian. The safety of the city was finally assured by
Alfonso's conquest of Toledo.

The university, destined to become so famous, was founded by Alfonso IX
about 1230. Among the Arab rulers in Spain, there were not a few as
eager as their co-believers in eastern Islam to learn all that the
civilized world could teach in art and science. The Caliphate of Cordova
had from the tenth century drawn to its schools and academies
proficients in astronomy, mathematics, and jurisprudence, as well as in
the more graceful arts of music, rhetoric, and poetry. The monks of
Cluny, belonging to the Order of Saint Benedict, then the most
influential in Europe, now became domiciled in Salamanca under the
protection of King Alfonso. They contributed the arts of France,
preëminently architecture, and the training of their order as
instructors and veracious compilers of historical annals to the learning
and skill already established by the followers of Mahomet in several
cities of the Spanish Peninsula. Thus the science and arts of the Orient
joined forces with those of the Occident within the strong walls of
Salamanca and founded there an illustrious seat of learning. Only three
universities, Oxford,[1] Paris, and Bologna, could boast a greater age,
but Salamanca soon attained such eminence as to rank with these by papal
decree among the "four lamps of the world." In the sixteenth century,
she numbered over seven thousand scholars. Among those destined to
become famous in the world's history were Saint Dominic, Ignatius
Loyola, Fray Luis of Leon, and Calderon.

To-day solitude and intellectual stagnation reign in the halls and
courts of this once renowned university. In a few half-empty
lecture-rooms the rustic now receives an elementary education, as he
listens to the cathedral chimes across the sunlit courtyard.

Within the crumbling crenelations of the ancient battlements twenty-four
once large parishes are more or less abandoned or laid waste with their
convents, monasteries, and palaces.


    A. Old Cathedral.
    B. New Cathedral.
    C, C. Crossing.
    D. Cloisters.
    E. Choir.
    F. Apse.
    G, G. Apsidal Chapels.
    H. Altar.]

The history of Salamanca's ecclesiastical architecture is connected with
the campaigns which were carried on in Castile and Leon at the end of
the eleventh and the beginning of the twelfth centuries. These had
established the dominion of King Alfonso VI, and the great influence
of the distinguished immigrant prelates of the French orders. King
Alfonso left Castile to his daughter Urraca, who, with her husband,
Count Raymond of Burgundy, settled in Salamanca. The old city, which had
suffered so long and terribly from the successive fortunes of war and
its quickly shifting masters, was once more to feel the blessings of law
and order. To replace its sad depopulation, Count Raymond allotted the
various portions of the city to newcomers of the most different
nationalities,--Castilians, Gallegos, Mozarabes, Basques, and Gascons.
Among them were naturally pilgrims and monks, who played an important
part in every colonizing enterprise of the day, introducing new ideas,
arts, and craftsmen's skill. After his conquest of Toledo, Alfonso VIplaced on 
the various episcopal thrones of his new dominion Benedictine
monks of Cluny,--men of unusual ability and energy. The great Bernard,
who had been crowned Archbishop of Toledo, had brought with him many
brethren from the mother house, whose patrimony was architecture. Among
them was a young Frenchman from Périgueux in Aquitaine, Jeronimo
Visquio, whose ability as organizer and builder, up to the time of his
death in 1120, left great results wherever he labored, and most
especially in Salamanca. He was the personification of the Church
Militant of his time,--fighting side by side with the most romantic hero
of Spanish history and legend, confessing him on his death-bed, and
finally consigning him to his tomb. Jeronimo was transferred from the
See of Valencia to that of Zamora, to which Salamanca was subject, and
shortly afterwards Salamanca was elevated to episcopal dignity by Pope
Calixtus II, Count Raymond's brother. Even in the days of the Goths, we
find mention of prelates of Salamanca who voiced their ideas in the
Councils of Toledo, and later followed, for such scanty protection as it
offered, the Court of the early Castilian kings. In calling Jeronimo to
Salamanca, Raymond had, however, a very different purpose in mind from
that of attaching to his court an already celebrated churchman. He
understood the vital importance of building up within his city a
powerful episcopal seat with a great church. Grants and other assistance
were at once given the churchman and were in fact continued through
successive reigns until, with indulgences, benefices, and privileges, it
grew to be a feudal power. As late as the fifteenth century, the workmen
of the Cathedral were exempted from tributes and duties by the Spanish
kings.[2] During the first years of Jeronimo's activity and the earliest
work on the building, we find curious descriptions of how the Moorish
prisoners were put to work on the walls, even to the number of "five
hundred Moslem carpenters and masons."

The Cathedral stands upon one of the hills of the old city. The exact
date of its inception, as well as the name of the original architect, is
doubtful, but it is certain that it was begun not long after the year
1100. At Jeronimo's death it could not have been far advanced, but the
crossing and the Capilla Mayor could be consecrated and employed for
services in the middle of the century, and the first cloisters were
built soon after. The nave and side aisles followed, their arches being
closed in the middle of the thirteenth century. The lantern was probably
placed over the crossing as late as the year 1200. Following an order
inverse to that pursued by later Gothic architects, the Romanesque
builders finished their work with the eastern end.

Its building extended over long periods marked by a gain in confidence
and skill and a development of architectural style, so that in its
stones we may read a most interesting story of different epochs, and to
serious students of church-building, the old Cathedral of Salamanca is
possibly the most interesting edifice in Spain. It is magnificent in its
early, virile manhood. The tracing of the many and varied influences is
as fascinating as it is bewildering. Every student and authority on the
subject has a new conception or some definite final conclusion in regard
to its many surprising elements. No student of Spanish architecture has
studied its origin with greater insight or knowledge than Señor Don
Lamperez y Romea in his recent luminous work on Spanish ecclesiastical

To say that the old Cathedral was wholly a French importation would be
unjust; to speak of it as sprung entirely from native precedents and
inspiration would show equal ignorance. No, there were many and subtle
influences affecting its original conception and formation; first of all
and naturally, those derived from Burgundy, now only partially visible,
as for instance the vaulting of the nave. These precedents have been
altered or concealed in the evolution of the building. Byzantine
influences follow,--most obvious in the magnificent dome crowning the
crossing. The School of Aquitaine of course made itself felt through
Bishop Jeronimo as well as several of his successors. Great portions are
Gothic, slightly visible in some of the later exterior work, but
throughout in the last interior portions of the great arches and vaults.

After carefully considering all these influences and going to their
roots, we may conclude that the old Cathedral of Salamanca is both in
plan and structure a Romanesque church of the Burgundian School built on
Spanish soil by French monks from Cluny, who in their new surroundings
were strongly affected by Byzantine and Oriental influences and possibly
by the original Spanish or Moorish development of the dome. At a later
date, under Aquitaine bishops, certain forms of vaulting characteristic
of their region were adopted as well as devices to bring about the
transition between the circular dome and the square base.

Strange to say it is a Romanesque church erected at the time when what
are regarded as the finest Gothic cathedrals were being built in France.
The Spaniard clung more tenaciously to the older style, which in many
ways adapted itself better to his climate and requirements, while it
easily flowed into native streams of inspiration to form with them a
mighty whole. The church is neither French nor Spanish nor Arab nor
Italian in its various composition, but distinctly Romanesque in

[Illustration: Photo by Author


The plan is in general that of the old basilica: a nave with side aisles
of five bays, a crossing prolonged one bay to the south beyond the side
aisle, while to the east the nave and side aisles all terminate in a
semicircular apsidal chapel. A portion of the southern wall of the huge
new Cathedral replaces the northern one of the old church by encroaching
on its side aisle. A flight of eighteen broad stone steps occupies the
northern bay of the old Cathedral's crossing and leads from its
considerably lower pavement up to the level of the new one. To the south
lie the great cloisters. It was a plan which for its time was
undoubtedly as magnificent in scale as it seemed diminutive and
insignificant in the sixteenth century when the new Cathedral was built.

The massiveness on which the old Romanesque builders depended to obtain
their elevations and support the great weight is most impressive. The
outer walls have in some places a thickness of ten feet and the piers
are much larger in section than those of the new Cathedral which carry
vaults soaring far above the roof of the earlier structure. The choir
had formerly blocked the clear run of the nave; to the good fortune of
the old church and the injury of the new, this was removed to the latter
when it was sufficiently advanced to receive it. Unfortunately, the plan
of the west front was very radically disturbed by the building of the
new Cathedral, the two old towers flanking the entrance being removed
and a narrow passage, which leads into the nave through the immense
later masses of masonry, taking the place of the old entrance. The nave
is 33 feet wide, 190 feet long and 60 feet high; the side aisles are 20
feet broad, 180 feet long and 40 feet high, thus surprisingly high in
proportion to the nave.

The main piers which subdivide nave and side aisles are most
interesting, as their greater portion belongs to the original structure.
They are faced by semicircular shafts which carry simple, unmolded,
transverse ribs in the central aisle. A small additional columnar
section is seen in the angles of the piers, supporting in an awkward
position, with the assistance of the interposed corbel, molded, diagonal
vaulting ribs. Columns, reaching to about two thirds of the height of
the tall shafts of the nave, carry the arches separating nave from side
aisles. The undecorated base-molds of the total composite piers are all
supported upon a heavy, widely projecting, common drum, a curious
remnant of the earlier single Byzantine pillar of but one body and base.

The capitals are among the great glories of the edifice. They are
remarkable from every point of view, and among the finest Byzantine
extant, comparable to the best of Saint Mark's or of Sancta Sofia. The
acanthus leaves are carved with all the jewel-like sparkle and crispness
and the play of light and shade of the best period; the life and spring
of a living stem are in them. Their oriental parentage is apparent at a
glance. Much of the carving is alive with all the fancy and imagination
of the day,--beasts and monsters, real and mythical animals, masks and
contorted human figures and devils interlace on the bells and peer out
from the foliage. The execution is quite unrestrained. It has a
divergency which must have had its unconscious origin in the different
antique caps serving again in the early Byzantine edifices. The ancient
carvers must have realized the full importance of sculptural relief in
their poorly lighted edifices. Again, the corbels which carry the
diagonal ribs are formed by crude contorted beings and animals, in some
instances bearing figures leaning against the lower surfaces of the
diagonal ribs and intended still further to conceal its faulty spring.
At the intersections of the diagonal ribs are bosses with figures at the
salient points.

With an astonishment verging on incredulity, we look up at the vaulting
supported by these piers. In place of the great Burgundian barrel vaults
above the nave and semicircular arches between nave and side aisles,
there are pointed Gothic transverse arches and quadripartite vaulting of
low spring and simplest sections, but nevertheless ogival. It is evident
both by the appearance of shafts, as well as by other indications, that
it could not have been the original construction, but rather one reached
at a later day when the new art was supplanting the old, a substitution
for the original Romanesque vaulting; the upper windows and the most
glorious lantern are all constructed in the Romanesque style to which
the Spanish builders clung so long and tenaciously in preference to the
subtle and nervous French Gothic which suited neither their temperament
nor conditions. The church must originally have been carried out in
their more native art, which they better understood.

The western termination of the church is formed by three semicircular
apses crowned by semicircular vaults. In the central one, closed from
the transept by a simple iron reja, stands the high altar backed by a
great Gothic retablo of fifty-five panels and crowned in the vaulting by
a most remarkable painting. In the walls of the niches is a series of
tombs of persons with varying claims to our interest and esteem. Its
original exclusiveness in the reception of royal princes of pure lineage
gave way in the thirteenth century to admit princesses and bastards.
Here lies the Dean of Santiago and Archdeacon of Salamanca, a natural
son of the King of Leon. His mother, owing to her short-comings, got no
farther than the cloister vaults. Some one has extracted from the
archives of the old Cathedral the origin of the ancient mural decoration
above the high altar. On the 15th of December, 1445, the Chapter engaged
the services of Nicholas Florentino, painter, who for a consideration of
75,000 maravedis "of current white Castilian money, which is worth two
old white ones and three new," promised to complete the painting "from
top to bottom." On a rich blue background the Supreme Judge stands in
the centre; to the right, is a regiment of the dead clad in white
raiment, graciously welcomed by angels with trumpets; on the left, the
damned are being hustled into hell by devils. As a well-preserved
example of very ancient Spanish painting, it certainly is of intrinsic
value and interest and recalls the naïve representations of early
Italian artists.

It is unusually well lighted for a Romanesque church, which is naturally
owing to the dome and not to the various windows or roses. There is no
triforium, but the side walls, transepts, and apses are pierced by
openings of true Romanesque type. The thick masonry has been most
timidly pierced for narrow, round-headed slits of light, with splayed
jambs and colonettes engaged to their sides carrying the typically
ornamented archmolds enframing the whole. The stone mullions of the two
remaining roses are equally timid and typical, but have not suffered
like the windows from the encroachment of the new edifice.

The pavement undulates like that of Saint Mark's. High above the
crossing of nave and transepts rises the tower flooding the church with
light and internally as well as externally expressing one of the
grandest architectural conceptions of the Spanish Peninsula.

Superlatives can alone describe the Torre del Gallo,--truly a product
and glory of Spanish soil. Many writers have argued its similarity to
the domes of Aquitaine churches, to Saint Front of Périgueux and others,
but it is distinctly different from and far superior to those with which
it has been compared in the magnificently interposed members of the
drum, which shed light into the church through their openings and raise
the cupola high enough to make of it a finely proportioned, crowning
member. The cupola alone, certainly not the general disposition, may be
regarded as a copy of earlier examples.

The internal and external cores have been admirably managed, the outer
one being much higher to be in correct proportion to the surrounding
masonry which it crowns. The interior transition from the square to the
round base, twenty-eight feet in diameter, is rather clumsily managed.
The successive masonry courses of the angles step out in Byzantine
fashion in front of each other. The four piers of the crossing, upon
which the pendentives descend, are no larger than the main piers of the
nave. Above the pendentives which stand out, in their undecorated
masonry, the circle is girdled by a carved cyma, above which rises a
double arcade of sixteen arches, each arch flanked by strong and simple
columns with Byzantine caps of barely indicated foliage. Powerful,
intermediate columnar shafts separate the superimposed arcades and carry
on their caps the sixteen ribs that shoot upwards and meet in the great
floral boss at the apex of the inner dome. The lower arcades are
semicircular, the upper, trefoiled, while the intermediate shafts are
broken by two band-courses. All the moldings, and especially the
energetic, muscular ribs, are splendidly simple and vigorous in their
undecorated profiles. The lower arcade is blind, the upper admits light
through timidly slender apertures, with the exception of every fourth
arch, which coincides with an exterior turret.

[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


The Tower of the Cock]

Externally the lantern is even more remarkable than internally. As seen
from within, it is faced alternately by four tympanums and four turrets.
These are broken by long, narrow, round-headed openings, vivified by
ball moldings ornamenting the heavy rounding of their splays. The
tympanums, as well as the windows between them, and the turrets are
flanked by a series of Romanesque columns. Their grouping, the deep
reveals and resulting shadows, the play of light and shade brought out
in the foliage of their various caps, which is but indicated in the
simple manner of the style, and the adjacent moldings, all give a most
archaic impression. The roofing of the turrets, as well as that of the
outer dome, suggests a stone coat-of-mail. The flags are laid in
scallops or stepped rows, like the scales of a fish, giving a far
tighter joint than the stone channels covering the roofing of Avila
Cathedral. The outline of the dome is that of a cone with a slightly
modulated curve, perhaps unconsciously affected by a Moorish
delineation. The angles are marked by bold crockets. Above, crowning the
apex, perches the cock, gayly facing whatever part of the heavens the
wind blows from. There is an everlasting triumph in it all, reminding
one not a little of that won at a later date in Santa Maria del Fiore.
Salamanca holds the religious triumph of a militant age; Florence, the
sacred glory of an artistic one. The lofty aspiration, boldly hewn in
the Spanish fortress, is no less admirable than the constructive genius
rounded in Brunelleschi's dome.

The remainder of the interior is now singularly undecorated and severe.
The entrance has been so much transformed by later additions that, in
place of the original portal and vestibule, there remains only a
vestibule considerably narrower than the nave, compressed on one side by
the huge towers of the new Cathedral, and on the other by later
alterations. The two older towers which contained, one the chimes and
the other the dwelling of the Alcaide, have quite disappeared. The
vestibule has excellent allegorical sculptures and Gothic statuary.

The northern aisle still has a few mural paintings, but the larger part
of those which once illuminated the bare walls were washed off by a
bigoted prelate in the fifteenth century and the present gray of the
stone, as seen in the dim light, looks cold compared to the rich gold of
the exterior masonry bathed in sunshine. The excellence of the vaulting
is such that to-day hardly a fissure or crack is visible. The old
pavement consists of great rectangles marked by red sandstone borders
and bluestone centre slabs, the size of a grave, with central dowels for
lifting and closing. In the southern transept-arm leading to the
cloisters, some of the original windows are still preserved with their
fine columns, archivolts, and carved moldings. The ribs of the vaults
are decorated by zigzag ornamentation, and here a few magnificent old
tombs remain intact in their ancient niches.

There is, properly speaking, no exterior elevation of the whole
structure. The western front is hidden by the modernization, the north
and south, by the new Cathedral, the cloisters, and squalid, encumbering
walls and chapels. From the "Patio Chico" alone, the old structure can
be seen unobstructed. The curves of the apses bulge out like
full-bellied sails, their great masonry surfaces broken by the small
windows, which are cut with enormous splays and encased and arched by
typical Romanesque features, the windows protected by heavy Moorish
grilles. Engaged shafts run up the sides of the central apse to below a
quatrefoil gallery, originally a shelter for the archers stationed to
defend the building. Two fortress-towers formed the eastern angles north
and south; the one to the north was removed in building the new
Cathedral. A scaled turret, broken by later Gothic pediments, crosses
the one remaining. Above all soars the dome, the inspiration of our
greatest American Romanesque temple, Trinity Church in Boston.

At the end of the twelfth century the houses of a sacrilegious Salamanca
gentleman were confiscated and given to the Cathedral Chapter, who
forthwith began the cloisters upon their site. They lie to the south and
thus came to be planned and built into the original fabric and with
Romanesque arches and wooden roof. They were practically entirely
rebuilt in the fifteenth century and again restored in the eighteenth.
Curious, elaborate, vaulted chapels--in one of which the Mozarabic rite,
the ancient Gothic ritual prolonged under Moslem rule, is still
occasionally celebrated--adjoin it to the east and south. Recently, old
Byzantine niches and tombs, some of great interest, have been uncovered
in the outer walls.


"Most Reverend Father in Christ, Lord Cardinal, our much beloved and
very dear Friend; We the King and the Queen of Castile, of Leon, and of
Aragon, Sicily, etc., send this to salute you, as one whom we love and
esteem highly, and to show we desire God may give life, health, and
honor, even to the extent of your own desire. We inform you that the
City of Salamanca is one of the most notable, populous, and principal
cities of our kingdoms, in which there is a society of scholars, and
where all sciences may be studied, and to which people from all states
continually come. The Cathedral Church of the said city is very small,
dark, and low, to such an extent that the divine services cannot be
celebrated in such a manner as they should be, especially during
feast-days when a large concourse of people streams to the Cathedral,
and by the Grace of God, the said city increases and enlarges day by
day. And considering the extreme narrowness of the said Church, the
Administrator and Dean and Chapter have agreed to rebuild it, making it
as large as is necessary and convenient, according to the population of
the said city. This furthermore as the form and the fabric of the said
Church cannot be rebuilt without disfigurement. And in order to build
better and promptly, as the said Church has a very small income, it is
necessary that our most Holy Father concede some indulgences in the form
that the Bishops of Vadajos and Astorga, our agents and emissaries to
your Court, will tell your Reverend Fatherhood, and we request you to
beseech His Holiness to concede the said indulgences. Therefore we
affectionately beg you to undertake the matter in the manner which we
affectionately supplicate, because our Lord will be served, and the
Divine Service increased, and we will receive it from you in peculiar
gratitude. Regarding this, we wrote details to the said bishops. We beg
you to give them credit and favor. Most Reverend Father in Christ, Lord
Cardinal, our very dear and beloved friend, may God our Lord at all
times especially guard and favor your Reverend Fatherhood.


SEVILLE, the 17th day of February, in the ninety-first year."

That was the way the Catholic Kings wrote to the Cardinal of Angers to
make plain to him that the plain, dark, small, old Cathedral was no
longer in keeping with their glory or the times, and to begin the
movement for a larger edifice. The stern simplicity of the ancient
Church was indeed out of harmony with the brilliance and craving for
lavish display and magnificent proportions which characterize the age of
Ferdinand and Isabella.

Pope Innocent VIII answered the appeal in the year 1491, granting
permission for the transference of the services to a larger edifice more
fitting the congregation of Salamanca, now at the zenith of its
prosperity and academic renown. In 1508 Ferdinand passed through
Salamanca, and was again sufficiently fired by religious zeal to issue
the following order: "The King to the Master Mayor of the works of the
Church of Seville. Since it has now to be decided how the Church of
Salamanca may be made, in order that its design may be made as it ought,
I consent that you be present there. I charge and command you instantly
to leave all other things, and come to the said City of Salamanca, that,
jointly with the other persons who are there, you may see the site where
the said Church has to be built, and may make a drawing for it, and in
all things may give your judgment how it may be most suited to theDivine Worship 
and to the ornature of the said Church; which, having
come to pass, then your salary shall be paid, which I shall receive
return for in this service. Done in Valladolid, the 23d day of November,

The famous Master of Toledo, Anton Egas, received a similar summons
(served in his absence on his two maids), but neither architect seems to
have been over-zealous in carrying out the royal commands, for next year
Queen Juana, Ferdinand's daughter, growing impatient, writes again: "Ifind it 
now good, as I command you, that immediately that this my letter
shall be made known to you, without making any excuse or delay, you go
to the said City of Salamanca."

This produced the desired result, for the two delinquent architects
hurried to the city, studied the conditions, and, after considerable
squabbling with each other and the Chapter, many drawings, and a lengthy
report, agreed to disagree. This was too much for the Bishop, and
without further ado he summoned on the 3d of September, 1512, a famous
conclave of all the celebrated architects in Spain to pass on the report
of Egas of Toledo and Rodriguez of Seville and settle the matter. Here
sat besides Egas, Juan Badajos, Juan Gil de Hontañon, Alfonso
Covarrubias, Juan de Orazco, Juan de Alava, Juan Tornero, Rodrigo de
Sarabia and Juan Campero. The matter was thrashed out both as to site
and form and a final report sent in, stating the result of their
deliberations, "and as they were much learned and skilful men, and
experienced in their art, their opinion ought certainly to be acted on."
However, to leave no further doubt, every one of them swore "by God and
Saint Mary, under whose protection the Church is, and upon the sign of
the Cross, upon which they all and each of them put their hands bodily,
that they had spoken the entire truth, which each of them did, saying,
'So I swear, and Amen.'" This settled the business. Three days
afterwards, Juan Gil de Hontañon, the later builder of Segovia and
rebuilder of the dome of Seville, was named Maestro Mayor and Juan
Campero, his apprentice.

On a stone of the main façade there still stands an inscription
recording the solemn laying of the corner-stone on the 12th of May,
1513. It was dedicated to the Mother and the Saviour. The wisest of the
resolutions passed by this wisest of architectural bodies was the
recommendation to leave the old edifice undisturbed.

Work was immediately started on the western entrance front and continued
with untiring energy by Juan Gil until his death in 1531. His two sons
assisted him, and they were all constantly guided and aided by a body of
the most eminent Spanish architects who yearly visited the edifice. On
the death of Maestro Alvaro, six years later, Juan's son, Rodrigo Gil,
was selected as Maestro Mayor. He naturally tried to carry out all his
father had planned, building with equal rapidity and no less excellence.
By 1560 the work had been carried as far towards the east as the
crossing. Amid immense popular rejoicing, and with ecclesiastical pomp,
the Holy Sacrament was moved from the old Basilica to the new. "Pio III
papa, Philippe II rege, Francisco Manrico de Lara episcopo, ex vetere ad
hoc templum facta translatio xxv mart. anno a Christo nato MDLX." This
of course gave a new impetus to the work, and arch after arch, chapel on
chapel, rapidly grew through the next decades. The bigoted Philip
naturally looked on with favoring eye.[3] Twice the work languished, but
was resumed through the waning period of the Gothic style. The new
classicism was triumphantly replacing the dying art, and the builders of
Salamanca were sorely perplexed whether or not to make a radical
departure to the newer style. Most fortunately, the conclave called
together at this critical moment remained loyal to the original
conception, and the Renaissance only took possession in ornamentation
and the dome. Not until 1733 was the final "translation" celebrated.
Later, earthquakes and lightning shook down both dome and tower, so that
practically it was not till the nineteenth century that the last mortar
was dry. The building spanned a long and glorious epoch in the city's
history, from a time when her imperial master ruled the world until a
foreign upstart trampled her under foot.

The plan of the new Cathedral, like that of Seville, is an enormous
rectangle of ten bays, resembling a huge mosque, 378 feet long by 181
feet wide. It consists of nave and double side aisles without projecting
transept; square chapels fill the outer aisles as well as the bays of
the eastern termination. After much discussion it was decided that the
nave (130 feet high) should be about one third higher than the first
side aisles; the chapels are 54 feet in height.

The choir blocks the third and fourth bays of the nave, while the
Capilla Mayor occupies the eighth. Over the sixth soars the lantern. The
platform of the Patio Chico separates the sacristy and the old Cathedral
that practically abuts the entire southern front. At the southwestern
angle, the intersection of the two cathedrals is hidden by the gigantic
tower. The northern front is admirably free, the whole structure being
visible on its high granite platform. The western front is entered
through the great triple doorway, the central being that of the
Nacimiento; the northern, through the Puerta de las Ramos, the southern,
through the Puerta del Patio Chico.

Glancing at the plan as a whole, one cannot but deplore that a
conception of such daring proportions with no limitation of time nor
money, having centuries and the wealth of the Indies to draw on, was not
conceived with that most perfect of all Gothic developments, the
semicircular apsidal termination. The Spanish, as well as the customary
English eastern end, can never, from any standpoint of ingenuity or
beauty, be comparable to the amazing conceptions of Rheims or Amiens or

The interior effect is expressed in one word,--"grandiloquence." It is a
true child of the age which conceived it, and the spirit which informed
its erection. If the fabric of the old Cathedral is essentially
Romanesque, with later Gothic ornamentation and constructional features,
the new is entirely Gothic, with Renaissance additions. The spirit and
form are Gothic,--Spanish Gothic,--and one of its last sighs. The fire
was extinct. By display and sculptural fire-works, by bold flaunting of
mechanical mastery, a last trial and glorious failure were made in an
attempt to emulate the marvelous structural logic and simplicity which
had marked the Gothic edifices of an earlier age.

The blending of the two styles does not jar, but has been effected with
a harmony scarcely to be expected. If one were not hampered with an
architectural education, one could admire it all, instead of criticizing
and wondering why a Renaissance lantern is raised upon a Gothic crown,
and why a fine Renaissance balustrade above Gothic band-courses
separates the nave arches from its clerestory, while those of the side
aisles are separated by a Gothic one. The interior fabric itself is
fine: it is more in detail, in the stringiness and multiplicity of
moldings, in the fineness, subdivision, and elaboration of carvings and
ornament that one feels the advancing degeneration. From being frank and
simple, it has become insincere and profuse.

The Gothic window openings, which had been steadily developing larger
and bolder up to their culmination in the glorious conservatory of Leon,
had again grown smaller and more fitted to the climate. In Salamanca
they are small and high up. Nave and side aisles both carry
clerestories; that of the nave consisting of seventy-two windows in
alternate bays of three windows and two windows with circle above, that
of the side aisle, of one large window subdivided within its own field.
The chapel walls are also pierced by smaller openings. Some have good
though not excellent coloring.

The form of the Renaissance lantern is not infelicitous, either from the
inside or outside. It was first built by Sacchetti. The double base is
octagonal, with corners strengthened by columns and pilasters and
executed with much artistic skill. Were it not for the vulgar interior
coloring and ornamentation of cherubs, scrolls, and scallop shells,
contorted, disproportionate, and unmeaning, its high, brilliantly
lighting semicircle might be pleasing. Horrible decoration fills the
panels of the octagonal base. The dome itself is almost as gaudily

The interior is built of a clear gray stone on which sparing employment
of color in certain places is most effective. Thus in the bosses of the
vaulting ribs throughout, in the capitals of the piers of nave and
transept, in the very elaborate fan-vaulting of the Capilla Mayor, and
in the soffits of nave-clerestory, the blue and gold contrasts finely
with the cold gray surfaces. Renaissance medallions decorate the
spandrels of the nave, but those of the side aisles bear the
coats-of-arms of the Cathedral and the City of Salamanca. A differently
designed fan-vaulting spreads over every chapel. Great rejas enclose
choir and Capilla Mayor from the transept. The rear of the choir is
badly mutilated by a Baroque screen, while the sides and back of the
high altar still consist of the rough blocks which have been waiting for
centuries to be carved. The choir-stalls are very late eighteenth
century, a mass of over-elaborate detail, as fine as Grinling Gibbon's
carving, and if possible even more remarkable in the detail.

The west and north façades are, for a Spanish cathedral, singularly free
and unencumbered. The west faces the old walls of the university. The
entire composition is overshadowed by the tremendous tower that looms up
for miles around in the country. It is indeed "Salamanca qui érige ses
clochers rutilants sur la nudité inexorable du désert." Though it has
nothing to do with the rest of the composition, it is a happy mixture of
the two styles; the massive base is as high as the roofing of the nave,
blessedly bare and severe beside the restlessness of the adjoining
screen. A clock and a few panels are all that break it. Classical
balconies run round it above and below the first bell-story, the sides
of which are decorated with a Corinthian order and broken by round
arched openings. A similar order decorates the drum of the cupola, while
Gothic crocketed pyramids break the transition at angles. At the peak of
the lantern, three hundred and sixty feet in the air, soars the
triumphant emblem of the Church of Christ. That man of architectural
infamy, Churriguera, erected it, showing in this instance an
extraordinary restraint.

The façade belongs to the first period of the Cathedral, and portions of
it are Juan Gil de Hontañon's work, though the later points to Poniente.
It is interesting to compare it with the last Gothic work in France,
with, for instance, Saint-Ouen at Rouen. The end of the style in the two
countries is totally different--one expiring in a mass of glass and
tracery, the other, in a meaningless jumble of ornamentation, of cusped
and broken and elliptical arches and carving incredible in its delicacy.
One can scarcely believe it to be stone. The Spanish, though not wild in
its extravagance, yet lacks all sense of restraint. The front is
composed of a screenwork of three huge arches, within which three
portals leading to the aisles form the main composition, the whole
crowned by a series of crocketed pinnacles. A plain fortress-like pier,
resembling the remnant of an old bastion, terminates it to the north.
Great buttresses separate the portals. Around them are deep reveals and
archivolt; somewhat recalling French examples in their forms; above them
is an inexhaustible effort in stone. There are myriads of brackets and
canopies, some few having statues. There are enough coats-of-arms to
supply whole nations with heraldic emblems, and recessed moldings of
remarkable and exquisite workmanship and crispness of foliage. Some of
the bas-reliefs, as those of the Nativity and Adoration, are very fine.
The Virgin in the pillar separating the doors of the central entrance
gathers the folds of her robe about her with a queenly grace and

[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


From the Vega]

The whole doorway on its great scale is a remarkable work of the
transition from Gothic to Renaissance. While the treatment of the
figures has a naturalism already entirely Renaissance, the main bulk of
the ornamental detail is still in its feeling quite Gothic.

From the steps of the Palazzo del Goberno Civil, the northern front
stretches out before you above the bushy tops of the acacia trees in the
Plaza del Colegio Viejo. The demarcations are strong in the horizontal
courses of the balconies which crown the walls of the nave and
side-aisle chapels,--the two lower quite Gothic. The thrust of the naves
is met by great buttresses flying out over the roofs of the side aisles,
and there, as well as above the buttresses of the chapel walls,
pinnacles rise like the masts in a great shipyard. The whole organism of
the late Spanish Gothic church lies open before you. The long stretch of
the three tiers of walls is broken by the face of the transept, the door
of which is blocked, while the surrounding buttresses and walls are
covered with canopies and brackets, all vacant of statues. In place of
the condemned door, there is one leading into the second bay, the Puerta
de los Ramos or de las Palmas, in feeling very similar to the main doors
of the west. Its semicircular arches support a relief representing
Christ entering Jerusalem. A circular light flanked by Peter and Paul
comes above, and the whole is encased in a series of broken arches
filled with the most intricate carving.

The grand and the grandiloquent Cathedral seem to gaze out over the town
and the vast plain of the old kingdom of Leon and to listen. It is a
golden town, of a dignity one gladly links with the name of Castile. It
is a city--or what is left of it after the firebrands of Thiebaut, of
Ney, and of Marmont--of the sixteenth century, of convents and churches
and huge ecclesiastical establishments. They rise like amber mountains
above the squalid buildings crumbling between them, and stand in grilled
and latticed silence. Las Dueñas lies mute on one side and on the other
San Esteban, where the great discoverer pleaded his cause to deaf ears.
In the evening glow their brown walls gain a depth and warmth of color
like the flush in the dark cheeks of Spanish girls.




West front]

    Whereat he wondred much, and gan enquere
    What stately building durst so high extend
    Her lofty towres unto the starry sphere.

    _The Faerie Queene_, book I, c. x, lvi.


The best view of the spires of Burgos is from the ruined walls of the
Castillo high above the city. From these crumbling ramparts, pierced and
gouged by a thousand years of assault and finally rent asunder by the
powder of the Napoleonic armies, you look directly down upon the
mistress of the city and the sad and ardent plain. A stubbly growth,
more like cocoa matting than grass, covers the unroofed floor beneath
your feet. From this Castle, Ferdinand Gonzales ruled Castile, and here
the Cid led Doña Zimena, and Edward I of England Eleanor of Castile, to
the altar. The only colors brightening the melancholy hillside are here
and there the brilliant blood-stain of the poppy, the gold of the
dandelion, and the episcopal purple of the thistle. Below and beyond,
stretches a sea of shaded ochre, broken in the foreground by the
corrugations of the many roofs turned by time to the brownish tint of
the encircling hillocks and made to blend in one harmony with its
monochrome bosom. Fillets of silver pierce the horizon, glittering as
they wind nearer between over-hanging birches and poplars. The deep,
guttural, roar of the great Cathedral's many voices rises in majestic
and undisputed authority from the valley below, now and again joined by
the weaker trebles of San Esteban and San Nicolas. Regiments of soldiers
march with regular clattering step through holy precincts and up and
down the crooked lanes and squares; barracks and parade-grounds occupy
consecrated soil,--still Santa Maria la Mayor raises her voice to
command obedience and proclaim her undivided dominion over the plains of
drowsy, old Castile.

From this height, one does not notice the transformation of the Gothic
into seventeenth-century edifices, nor the changes wrought by later
centuries. In the glare of the dazzling sun, the tremulous atmosphere,
and the lazy, curling smoke of the many chimneys, Burgos still seems
Burgos of the Middle Ages, the royal city, mistress of the castles and
sweeping plains, and the Cathedral is her stronghold.

She is very old,--tradition says, founded by Count Diego Rodriguez of
Alava with the assistance of an Alfonso who ruled in Christian Oviedo
towards the end of the ninth century. For many years his descendants, as
well as the lords of the many castles strewn along the lonely hills
north of the Sierra de Guadarrama, owed allegiance to Leon and the
kingdom of the Asturias. Burgos finally threw off the yoke, and chose
judges for rulers, until one of them, Ferdinand Gonzalez, assumed for
himself and his successors the proud title of "Conde of Castile." Under
his great-grandson, Ferdinand I, Castile and Leon were united in 1037,
thus laying the foundations of the later monarchy. Burgos became a
capital city. Against the dark background of mediæval history and
interwoven with many romantic legends, there stands out that greatest of
Spanish heroes, the Cid Campeador. This Rodrigo Diaz was born near
Burgos. The lady Zimena whom he married was daughter of a Count Diego
Rodriguez of Oviedo, probably a descendant of the founder of the city.
In the presence of the knights and nobles of Burgos, the Cid forced
Alfonso VI to swear that he had no part in the murder of King Sancho,
and in the royal city he was then elected King of Castile by the Commons
(1071). Alfonso never forgave the Cid this humiliation, and later exiled
him. To the Burgalese of to-day, he seems as living and real as he was
to mediæval Castilians. Spanish histories and children will tell you of
two things that make Burgos immortal--her Cathedral, and her motherhood
to Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar.[4]

The importance of the city as a Christian centre becomes evident at the
end of the eleventh century (1074), when it receives its own bishop, and
shortly afterwards, fully equipped, convokes a church council to protest
against the supplanting by the Latin of the earlier Mozarabic rite, so
dear to the hearts of the people. The same Alfonso transferred his
capital to the newly conquered Toledo and, contemporaneous with the
great prosperity of Burgos during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries,
there was endless jealousy as to precedence, first between Burgos and
Toledo and afterwards between these and Valladolid. Burgos reaches the
zenith of her power in the reign of Saint Ferdinand and the first half
of the thirteenth century, though as late as 1349, Alfonso XI, in the
assembled Cortes, still recognizes Burgos's claim as "first city" by
calling on her to give her voice first,--"prima voce et fide," saying
_he_ would then speak for Toledo. Not long after, Valladolid overshadows
them both.

The greatness of Burgos is that of the old Castilian kingdom; with its
extinction came hers. Her flowering and expansion were contemporaneous
with the most splendid period of Gothic art. Her day was a glorious one,
before bigotry had laid its withering hand upon the arts, and while the
rich imagination and skilled hands of Moorish and Jewish citizens still
ennobled and embellished their capital city.


The present Cathedral is singularly picturesque and by far the most
interesting of the three great Gothic Cathedrals of Spain,--Leon,
Toledo, and Burgos. The interest is mainly due to her vigorous organism,
an outcome of more essentially Spanish predilections (as well as a
natural interpretation of the French importations) than we find in
either of the sister churches. Later additions and ornamentation have
naturally concealed and disfigured, but the old body is still there,
admirable, fitting, and sane.


    A. Chapel of Santa Thecla.
    B. Chapel of Santa Anna.
    C. Chapel of the Holy Birth.
    D. Chapel of the Annunciation.
    E. Chapel of Saint Gregory.
    F. Chapel of the Constable.
    G. Chapel of the Parish of St. James.
    H. Chapel of Saint John.
    I. Chapel of Saint Catherine.
    K. Chapel of Jean Cuchiller.
    L. Chapter House.
    M. Sacristy.
    N. Minor Sacristy.
    O. Chapel of Saint Henry.
    P. Altar.
    Q. Choir.
    R. Chapel of the Presentation of the Virgin.
    S. Choir.
    T. Golden Staircase.
    U. Door of the Pellegeria.
    X. Door of the Sarmental.
    Y. Door of the Perdon.
    Z. Door of the Apostles.]

Burgos Cathedral is built upon a hillside, her walls hewn out of and
climbing the sides of the mountain, making it necessary either from
north or south to approach her through long flights of stairs. What she
loses in freedom and access, she certainly gains in picturesqueness. She
is flesh of the flesh and blood of the blood of the city, scaling its
heights like a great mother and drawing after her the surrounding houses
which nestle to her sides. She would not gain in majesty by standing
free in an open square, nor by receiving the sunlight on all sides. And
so, though many later additions hide much of the early fabric, they
combine with it to form a picturesque whole, a wonderful jewelled
casket, a sparkling diadem set high on the royal brow of the city, such
as possibly no other city of its size in Christendom can boast.

It was King Alfonso VI who at the end of the eleventh century gave his
palace-ground for the erection of a Cathedral for the new Episcopal See.
We know nothing of its design, nor whether it occupied exactly the same
site as the later building. The early one must, however, have been a
Romanesque Church;--what might not a later Romanesque Cathedral have
been!--for the style had arrived at a point of vitally interesting
promise and national development, when it was forced to recoil before
the foreign invaders, the Benedictines and Cistercians.

Two great names are linked to the founding of the present Cathedral of
Burgos, Saint Ferdinand and Bishop Maurice. The latter was bishop from
1213 to 1238, and probably an Englishman who came to Burgos in the train
of the English Queen, Eleanor Plantagenet.[5] He was sent to Speyer as
ambassador from the Spanish Court to bring back the Princess Beatrice
as bride for Saint Ferdinand. Maurice's mission took him through those
parts of Germany and France where the enthusiasm for cathedral-building
was at its height, and he had time to admire and study a forest of
exquisite spires, newly reared, particularly while the young lady given
him in charge was sumptuously entertained by King Philip Augustus.
Naturally he returned to his native city burning with ardor to begin a
similar work there, and probably brought with him master-builders and
skilful artists of long training in Gothic church-building.

Queen Berengaria and King Ferdinand met the Suabian Princess at the
frontier of Castile. The first ceremony was the conference of the Order
of Knighthood, in the presence of all the "ricos hombres" (ruling men),
the cavaliers of the kingdom with their wives and the burgesses. The
sword was taken from the altar and girded on by the right noble lady
Berengaria. We read that the other arms had been blessed by Bishop
Maurice and were donned by the King with his own hands, no one else
being high enough for the office. Three days later Ferdinand was married
to "dulcissimam Domicellam" in the old Cathedral by the Bishop of Burgos
without protest from the Primate of Castile, Archbishop Rodrigo of
Toledo. This took place in 1219, and two years after King and Bishop
laid the corner-stone of the new edifice.

[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


View of the nave]

The work must have been spurred on by all the religious ardor which
fired the first half of the thirteenth century, for only nine years
later services were held in the eastern end of the building. The good
Bishop was laid to rest in the old choir, where he still lies
undisturbed, though to-day it is the Capilla Mayor. By the middle of the
century, the great bulk of the old structure must have been well
advanced. The lower portions of the towers and the eastern termination
are fourteenth-century work; the spires themselves, fifteenth. A
multitude of changes and additions, new chapels and buildings,
gradually, as years went on, transformed the primitive plan from its
first harmony and beauty to a confused mass of aisles, vaults, and
chapels. When we compare the present fabric with the early plan, we see
with what masterly skill and simplicity the original one was conceived.

All that is left or can be seen of this first structure is splendid.
Though built in the second period of the great northern style, it has
none of the lightness of the French churches which were going up
simultaneously, nor even that of Spanish Leon or Toledo. It has heavy
supporting walls and is of the family of the early French with a
magnificently powerful and efficient system of piers and buttresses. It
is not free from a certain Romanesque feeling in its general lines, its
windows, and in many of its details. Though a splendid type of Gothic
construction, this first church is a convincing proof that the nervous,
subtle, fully developed system was foreign to Spanish taste. The
complicated solutions, the intricate planning, were not in accordance
with their temper nor predilections. Rheims may be said to express the
radical temper of its French builders, Burgos, the conservative Spanish.
In Spain, construction and artistic principles did not go hand in hand
in the glorious manner they were wont to in France. Burgos seems much
more emotional than sensitive. Riotous excess and empty display take the
place of restrained and appropriate decoration. The organic dependence
which should exist between sculpture and architecture, so invariably
present in the early French church, is lacking in Burgos. A careful
analysis is interesting. It reveals the fusion of foreign elements, the
severe monastic of the Cistercians and the later sumptuous secular
style, the florid intricacy of the German, the glory of the Romanesque,
the dryness of its revival and the bombast of the Plateresque, all more
or less transformed by what Spaniards could and would do. In its
construction and buttresses, it recalls Sens and Saint-Denis; in its
nave, Chartres; in its vaulting, the Angevine School. The symmetry of
the early plan is fascinating, and Señor Lamperez y Romea's sincere and
beautiful reconstruction must be a faithful reproduction. It makes the
side aisles quite free, the broad transepts to consist of two bays,
while the crossing is carried by piers heavy enough to support an
ordinary vault but not a majestic lantern. Five perfectly formed radial
chapels surround the polygonal ambulatory and are continued towards the
crossing by three rectangular chapels on each side. The vaulting of nave
and transepts is throughout sexpartite; that of the side aisles,
quadripartite. Most of this has, as will be seen, been profoundly

The old structure is the kernel of the present church. It consists of a
central nave of six bays up to a strongly marked crossing and three
beyond, terminating in a pentagonal apse. The side aisles are decidedly
lower and continue across the transept round the apse. These again are
flanked on the west by the chapel churches of Santa Tecla, Santa Anna,
and the Presentacion, as well as by a number of other smaller, vaulted
compartments. Only two of the radial chapels outside the polygonal
ambulatory remain, the others having been altered or supplanted by the
great Chapels of the Constable, of Santiago, Santa Catarina, Corpus
Christi, and the Cloisters. The western front is entered by a triple
doorway corresponding to nave and side aisles; the southern transept, by
an incline 40 feet wide, broken by 28 steps. On reaching the door of the
northern transept, one finds the ground risen outside the church some 26
feet above the level of the inner pavement, and instead of descending by
the interior staircase, one wanders far to the northeast, there to
descend to a portal in the north of the eastern transept. The whole
church is about 300 feet long, and in general 83 feet wide, the
transepts, 194 feet.

The piers under the crossing, as well as those of the first bay inside
the western entrance, are much larger than the others, in order to
support the additional weight of crossing and towers, and the piers,
abutting aisle and transept walls, are also unusually strong. The
interior pillars are of massive cylindrical plan, of well-developed
French Gothic type, solid, but kept from any appearance of heaviness by
their form and by eight engaged columns. The ornamented bases are high
and of characteristic Gothic moldings. The finely carved capitals carry
square abaci in the side aisles and circular ones in the nave. Both
abaci and bases have been placed at right angles to the arches they
support. The three engaged pier columns facing the nave carry the
transverse and diagonal groining ribs, while the wall ribs are met by
shafts on each side of the clerestory windows.

The four main supports at the angles of the crossing are rather towers
than piers. In the original structure, they were probably counterparts
of those supporting the inner angles of the tower between nave and side
aisles, with a fully developed system of shafts for the support of the
various groining ribs. With the collapse of the old crossing and the
consequent erection of an even bulkier and far more weighty
superstructure, tremendous circular supports upon octagonal bases were
substituted. They are thoroughly Plateresque in feeling, 50 feet in
circumference and delicately fluted and ribbed as they descend, with
Renaissance ornaments on the pedestals and similar statues under Gothic
canopies, evidently inserted in their faces as a compromise to the
surrounding earlier style.

Glancing up at the superstructure and vaulting, there is a great
consciousness of light and joy,--a feeling that it would have been
well-nigh perfect, if the choir and its rejas could only have remained
in their old proper place east of the crossing, instead of sadlycongesting a 
nave magnificent in length and size. The brightness is due,
partly to the stone itself, almost white when first quarried from
Ontoria, and partly to the uncolored glass in the greater portion of the
clerestory. Here and there the masonry has the mellow tones of
meerschaum, shaded with pinkish and lava-gray tints, but the effect is
rather that of ancient marble than of limestone. The interior, compared
to Toledo, is a bride beside a nun. Granting the loss of original
simplicity and a rather distressing mixture of two styles, the
combination has been handled with a skill and genius peculiarly Spanish
and therefore picturesque. The austerity of the French prototype has
been replaced by joyousness and regal splendor. If we examine carefully
the older portions of the interior structure and carving as well as the
traces of parts that have disappeared, we feel how very French it is,
and undoubtedly erected without assistance from Moorish hands. The
vaulting is like some of the French, very rounded, especially in the
side aisles. It is all plain excepting under the dome and the vaults
immediately abutting, where additional ribs were evidently added at a
later time. The vaulting ribs of the main arches start unusually low
down, almost on a level with the top of the triforium windows, giving
the church relatively a much lower effect than Leon or the French Rheims
or Amiens.

Both triforium and clerestory are very fine, especially in the nave,
where, although they have undergone alterations, these are less radical
than in the Capilla Mayor. The triforium, which is early
thirteenth-century work, is strikingly singular. Its narrow gallery is
covered by a continuous barrel vault parallel to the nave. Six slender
columns divide its seven arches, while above them are trefoil and
quatrefoil penetrations contained within a segmental arch, broken by
carved heads. The fine old shafts, separating the trefoiled or
quatrefoiled arcade, are hidden by crocketed pinnacles and a traceried
balcony. The triforium east of the crossing has only four arches, with
much later traceried work above. The charming old simplicity is of
course lost wherever gaudy carving has been added, but the oldest
portions belong decidedly to the early Gothic work of northern France.
Above rises the clerestory in its early vigor, with comparatively small
windows, consisting of two arches and a rose.

Probably the crossing had originally a vault somewhat more elaborate
than the others, or, possibly, even a small lantern. To emphasize the
crossing, both internally and externally, was always a peculiar delight
to Spanish builders. This characteristic was admirably adapted to
Romanesque churches and in the Gothic was still felt to be essential,
but Burgos shared the fate of Seville and the new Cathedral of
Salamanca. The old writer, Cean Bermudez, relates that "the same
disaster befell the crossing of Burgos that had happened to Seville,--it
collapsed entirely in the middle of the night on the 3d of March, 1539.
At that time the Bishop was the Cardinal D. Fray Juan Alvarez de Toledo,
famous for the many edifices which he erected and among them S. Esteban
of Salamanca. Owing to the zeal of the Prelate and the Chapter and the
piety of the generous Burgalese, the rebuilding began the same year.
They called upon Maestro Felipe, who was assisted in the planning and
construction by Juan de Vallejo and Juan de Castanela, architects of the
Cathedral. Felipe died at Toledo, after completing the bas-reliefs of
the choir stalls. The Chapter honored his memory in a worthy manner, for
they placed in the same choir under the altar of the Descent from the
Cross this epitaph: 'Philippus Burgundio statuarius, qui ut manu
sanctorum effigies, ita mores animo exprimebat: subsellis chori
struendis itentus, opere pene absoluto, immoritur.'"[6]

In place of the old dome rose one of the most marvelous and richest
structures in Spain, a crowning glory to the heavenly shrine. It is at
once a mountain of patience and a burst of Spanish pomp and pride. It is
the labor of giants, daringly executed and lavishly decorated. "The work
of angels," said Philip II. Nothing less could have called forth such an
exclamation from those acrimonious lips and jaded eyes. The men who
designed and erected it were the best known in Spain. There was Philip,
the Burgundian sculptor with exquisite and indefatigable chisel, who had
come to Spain in the train of the Emperor. Vallejo, one of the famous
council that sat at Salamanca, had with Castanela erected the triumphal
arch which appeased Charles's wrath kindled against the citizens of
Burgos, and is even to-day, after the Cathedral, the city's most
familiar landmark. In the year 1567, twenty-eight years after the
falling of the first lantern, the new one towered completed in its
place. It was a magnificent attempt at a blending, or rather a
reconciliation, of the Renaissance and the Gothic. There is the
character of one and the form of the other. Gothic trefoil arches and
traceries are carried by classical columns. Renaissance balustrades and
panels intermingle with crockets and bosses, and Florentine panels and
statues with Gothic canopies. They are so interwoven that the careful
student of architecture feels himself in a nightmare of styles and
different centuries. It was of course an undertaking doomed to failure.

The outline is octagonal. Above the pendentives, forming the transition
of the octagon, comes a double frieze of armorial bearings (those of
Burgos and Charles V) and inscriptions, and a double clerestory,
separated and supported by classical balustraded passages; the window
splays and heads are a complete mass of carving and decorations. The
vaulting itself contains within its bold ribs and segments an infinite
variety of stars, as if one should see the panes of heaven covered with
frosty patterns of a clear winter morning.

Théophile Gautier's description of it is interesting as an expression of
the effect it produced on a man of artistic emotions rather than trained
architectural feeling: "En levant la tête," he says, "on aperçoit une
espèce de dôme formé par l'intérieur de la tour,--c'est un groupe de
sculpture, d'arabesques, de statues, de colonettes, de nervures, de
lancettes, de pendentifs, a vous donner le vertige. On regarderait deux
ans qu'on n'aurait pas tout vu. C'est touffu comme un chou, fenestré
comme une truelle à poisson; c'est gigantesque comme une pyramide et
délicat comme une boucle d'oreille de femme, et l'on ne peut comprendre
qu'un semblable filigrane puisse se soutenir en l'air depuis des

[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


Lantern over crossing]

The work immediately around and underneath this gigantic effort is
really the earliest part of the church, for, as was usual, the portion
indispensable for services was begun first. The transepts, the abutting
vaults, the southern and possibly the northern entrance fronts,
undoubtedly all belong to the work carried so rapidly forward by Bishop
Maurice's contagious enthusiasm. The work of the transepts is very
similar to that in the nave, but, in the former, one obtains really a
much finer view of the receding bays north and south than in the nave
with its choir obstruction. The huge rose of the south transept, placed
directly under the arch of the vaulting, is a splendid specimen of a
Gothic wheel. Its tracery is composed of a series of colonettes
radiating from centre to circumference, every two of which form, as it
were, a separate window tracery of central mullion, two arches and upper
rose. The other windows of the transepts are, barring their later
alterations, typically thirteenth-century Gothic, high and narrow with
colonettes in their jambs. While the glazing of the great southern rose
is a perfect burst of glory, that of the northern transept arm is later
and very mediocre.

There is a little chapel opening to the east out of the northern
transept arm which is full of interest from the fact that it belongs to
the original, early thirteenth-century structure. Probably there was a
corresponding one in the southern arm, with groining equally remarkable.
The northern transept arm is filled by the great Renaissance "golden
staircase" leading to the Puerta de la Coroneria, now always closed. It
must have been a magnificent spectacle to see the purple and scarlet
robes of priest and prelate sweep down the divided arms of the stair
uniting in the broad flight at the bottom. Such an occasion was the
marriage in 1268 of the Infante Ferdinand, son of Alfonso the Wise, to
Blanche of France, a niece of Saint Louis. The learned monarch ever had
a lavish hand, and he spared no expense to dazzle his distinguished
guests, among whom were the King of Aragon and Philip, heir to the
French throne. Ferdinand was first armed chevalier by his father, and
the marriage was then celebrated in the Cathedral of Burgos with greater
pomp and magnificence than had ever before been seen in Spain.

The gilt metal railing is as exquisite in workmanship as in design,
carried out by Diego de Siloé, who was the architect of the Cathedral in
the beginning of the sixteenth century. There is also a lovely door in
the eastern wall of the southern transept, now leading to the great
cloisters. The portal itself is early work of the fourteenth century,
with the Baptism of Christ in the tympanum, the Annunciation and David
and Isaiah in the panels, all of early energy and vitality, as full of
feeling as simplicity. And the extraordinary detail of the wooden doors
themselves, executed a century and a half later by order of the
quizzical-looking old Bishop of Acuna, now peacefully sleeping in the
chapel of Santa Anna, is as beautiful an example of wood-carving as we
have left us from this period. If Ghiberti's door was the front gate of
paradise, this was certainly worthy to be a back gate, and well worth
entering, should the front be found closed.

The choir occupies at present as much as one half the length of nave
from crossing to western front, or the length of three bays. With its
massive Corinthian colonnade, masonry enclosure and rejas rising to the
height of the triforium, it is a veritable church within a church. The
stalls, mostly Philip of Burgundy's work from about the year 1500,
surround the old tomb of the Cathedral's noble founder. As usual, the
carvings are elaborate scenes from Bible history and saintly
lore,--over the upper stalls, principally from the old Testament, and
above the lower, from the New.

A very remarkable family of German architects have left their indelible
stamp upon Burgos Cathedral. In 1435 a prominent Hebrew of the tribe of
Levi died as Bishop of the See, and was succeeded by his son, Alfonso de
Cartagena. Alfonso not only followed in his father's footsteps, but
became one of the most renowned churchmen in Spain during the early
years of Ferdinand of Aragon. And he looks it too, as he lies to-day
near the entrance to his old palace, in fine Flemish lace, mitre covered
with pearls, and sparkling, jewelled crozier. As Chancellor of Spain,
Alfonso was sent to the Council of Basle, and thereafter, like his
predecessor Maurice, he returned to Burgos, bringing with him visions of
church-building such as he had never dreamed of before and the architect
Juan de Colonia.

The Plateresque style was rapidly developing towards the effulgence so
in harmony with Spanish taste. Interwoven and fused with the work Juan
was familiar with from his native country, he and his sons, Simon and
Diego, encouraged and royally assisted by Alfonso and his successor, D.
Luis of Acuna, set about to erect some of the most striking and
wonderful portions of Burgos Cathedral,--the towers of the façade, the
first lantern and the Chapel of the Constable.

The Chapel of Don Pedro Fernandez de Velasco, Count of Haro and
Constable of Castile, was not erected with pious intent, but to the
immortal fame of the Constable and his wife. In the centre of the
chapel-church on a low base lie the Count and Countess. The white
Carrara of the figures is strangely vivid against the dark marble on
which they rest, and all is colored by the sunlight striking down
through the stained glass. It is very regal. The Constable is clad in
full Florentine armor, his hands clasping his sword and his mantle about
his shoulders. The carving of the flesh and the veining, and especially
the strong knuckles of the hands, are astonishing. The fat cushions of
the forefinger and thumb seem to swell and the muscles to contract in
their grip on the cross of the hilt. The robe of his spouse, Doña Mencia
de Mendoza, is richly studded with pearls, her hand clasps a rosary,
while, on the folds of her skirt, her little dog lies peacefully curled

The plan of the chapel is an irregular hexagon. It should have been
octagonal, but the western sides have not been carried through and end
in a broad-armed vestibule, which by rights should be the radial chapel
upon the extreme eastern axis of the whole church. Above the vaulting
early German pendentives are inserted in the three faulty and five true
angles in order to bring the plan into the octagonal vaulting form. The
builder seems almost to have made himself difficulties that he might
solve them by a tour-de-force. A huge star-fish closes the vault. The
recumbent statues face an altar. The remaining sides are subdivided by
typically Plateresque band-courses and immense coats-of-arms of the Haro
and Mendoza families. The upper surfacing is broken by a clerestory with
exquisite, old stained glass. It is melancholy to see tombs of such
splendid execution crushed by meaningless, empty display, out of all
scale, vulgar, gesticulating, and theatrical, especially so when one
notices with what extraordinary mechanical skill much of the detail has
been carved. It thrusts itself on your notice even up to the vaulting
ribs, which the architect, not satisfied to have meet, actually crossed
before they descend upon the capitals below.

[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


The Golden Staircase]

The reja closing the chapel off from the apse is among the finest of the
Renaissance, the masterpiece of Cristobal Andino, wrought in the year
1523. Curiously enough, the supporters of the shield above might have
been modeled by Burne-Jones instead of the mediæval smith.

The interior could not always have been as light and cheerful as at
present, for probably all the windows were more or less filled with
stained glass from the workshops of the many "vidrieros" for which
Burgos was so renowned that even other cathedral cities awarded her the
contracts for their glazing. The foreign masters of Burgos were
accustomed to see their arches and sculpture mellowed and illumined by
rainbow lights from above, and surely here too it was of primary

After the horrible powder explosion of 1813, when the French soldiers
blew up the old fortress, making the whole city tremble and totter, the
agonized servants of the church found the marble pavements strewn with
the glorious sixteenth-century crystals that had been shattered above.
They were religiously collected and, where possible, reinserted in new

Chapels stud the ground around the old edifice. The Cloisters, a couple
of chapels north of the chevet and small portions here and there, rose
with the transepts and the original thirteenth-century structure, but
all the others were erected by the piety or pride of later ages or have
been transformed by succeeding generations. Their vaulting illustrates
every period of French and German Gothic as well as Plateresque art,
while their names are taken from a favorite saint or biblical episode or
the illustrious founders. The fifteenth century was especially sedulous,
building chapels as a rich covering for the splendid Renaissance tombs
of its spiritual and temporal lords. They are carved with the admirable
skill and genius emanating once more from Italy. The Castilian Constable
and his spouse, Bishop Alfonso de Cartagena (in the Capilla de la
Visitacion), Bishop Antonia de Velasco, the eminent historian-archbishop
(in the Sacristia Nueva), are splendid marbles of the classic revival.
They must all have been portraits: for instance Bishop Gonzalvo de
Lerma, who sleeps peacefully in the Chapel of the Presentacion; his fat,
pursed lips and baggy eyelids are firmly closed, and his soft, double
chin reposes in two neat folds upon the jeweled surplice. So, too,
Fernando de Villegas, who lies in the north transept and whose scholarly
face still seems to shine with the inner light which prompted him to
give his people the great Florentine's Divine Comedy.

The poetry and romance that cling to these illustrious dead are equally
present as you pass through the lovely Gothic portal into the cloisters
which fill the southeastern angle of the church and stand by the figures
of the great Burgalese that lie back of the old Gothic railings in many
niches of the arcades. To judge from the inscriptions they would, if
they could speak, be able to tell us of every phase in their city's
religious and political struggles, from the age of Henry II down to the
decay of Burgos. Saints, bishops, princes, warriors, and architects lie
beneath the beautiful, double-storied arcade. Here lies Pedro Sanchez,
the architect, Don Gonzalo of Burgos, and Diego de Santander, and here
stand the effigies of Saint Ferdinand and Beatrice of Suabia. The very
first church had a cloister to the west of the transept, now altered
into chapels. For some reason, early in the fourteenth century, the
present cloister was built east of the south transept and with as lovely
Gothic arches as are to be found in Spain. We read of great church and
state processions, marching under its vaults in 1324, so then it must
have been practically completed. Later on the second story was added,
much richer and more ornate than the lower. The oldest masonry, with its
delicate tracery of four arches and three trefoiled roses to each
arcade, seems to have been virtually eaten away by time. New leaves and
moldings are being set to-day to replace the old. The pure white, native
stone, so easy to carve into spirited crockets and vigorous strings
similar to the old, stands out beside the sooty, time-worn blocks, as
the fresh sweetness of a child's cheek laid against the weather-beaten
furrows of the grand-parent. A careful scrutiny of all the details shows
in what a virile age this work was executed. The groining ribs are of
fine outline, the key blocks are starred, the foliage is spirited both
in capitals and in the cusps of the many arches, the details are
carefully molded and distributed, and the early statues in the internal
angles and in places against the groining ribs are of rich treatment,
strong feeling, and in attitude equal to some of the best French Gothic
of the same period. The door that leads out of the cloisters into the
old sacristy with the Descent from the Cross in its tympanum is truly a
beautiful piece of this Gothic work.

While these cloisters lie to the east, the broad terraces leading to the
glorious, southern transept entrance are flanked to the west by the
Archbishop's Palace, whose bare sides, gaudy Renaissance doorway and
monstrous episcopal arms, repeated at various stages, hide the entire
southwestern angle of the church.

Between the cloisters and the Archbishop's Palace at the end of the
broad terraces, rises the masonry facing the southern transept arm. It
belongs, together with that of the northern, to the oldest portions of
the early fabric erected while Maurice was bishop and a certain
"Enrique" architect, and shows admirable thirteenth-century work. The
Sarmentos family, great in the annals of this century, owned the ground
immediately surrounding this transept arm. As a reward for theirconcession of it 
to the church, the southern portal was baptized the
"Puerta del Sarmental," and they were honored with burial ground within
the church's holy precincts. It cannot be much changed, but stands
to-day in its original loveliness.

[Illustration: Photo by A. Vadillo


The Chapel of the Constable]

A statue of the benign-looking founder of the church stands between the
two doors, which on the outer sides are flanked by Moses, Aaron, Saint
Peter and Saint Paul, and the two saints so beloved by Spaniards, Saint
James and Saint Philip. The archivolts surrounding the tympanum are
filled by a heavenly host of angels, all busied with celestial
occupations, playing instruments, swinging censers, carrying candelabra,
or flapping their wings. Both statues and moldings are of character and
outline similar to French work of this best period, nevertheless of a
certain distinctly Spanish feeling. The literary company of the tympanum
is full of movement and simple charm. In the lowest plane are the twelve
Apostles, all, with the exception of two who are conversing, occupied
with expounding the Gospels; in the centre is Christ, reading to four
Evangelists who surround him as lion, bull, eagle and angel; finally,
highest up, two monks writing with feverish haste in wide-open folios,
while an angel lightens their labor with the perfume from a swinging

It is sculpture, rich in effect, faithful in detail and of strong
expression, admirably placed in relation to the masonry it ornaments. It
has none of the whimsical irrelevancy to surroundings characterizing so
much of the work to follow, nor its hasty execution. It is not
meaningless carving added indefinitely and senselessly repeated, but
every bit of it embellishes the position it occupies. Above the portal
the stonework is broken and crowned by an exquisite, early rose window
and the later, disproportionately high parapet of angels and
free-standing quatrefoiled arches and ramps.

The northern doorway, almost as rich in names as in sculpture, is as
fine as the southern, so far below it on the hillside. It is called the
Doorway of the Apostles from the twelve still splendidly preserved
statues, six of which flank it on each side. It is also named the Door
of the Coroneria, but to the Burgalese it is known simply as the Puerta
Alta, or the "high door." The door proper with its frame is a later
makeshift for the original, thirteenth-century one. On a base-course in
the form of an arcade with almost all its columns likewise gone, stand
in monumental size the Twelve Apostles. The drapery is handled
differently on each figure, but with equal excellence; the faces, so
full of expression and character, stand out against great halos and
represent the apostles of all ages. Similar in treatment to the southern
door, the archivolts here are filled with a series of fine statues.
There are angels in the two inner arches and in the outer, and the naked
figures of the just are rising from their sepulchres in the most
astonishing attitudes. The tympanum is also practically a counterpart of
the southern one, only here in its centre the predominating figure of
the Saviour is set between the Virgin and Saint John.

As the Puerta Alta is so high above the church pavement, and ingress
would in daily use have proved difficult, the great door of the
Pellejeria was cut in the northeastern arm of the transept at the end of
the furriers' street, and down a series of moss-grown, cobblestone
planes the Burgalese could gain entrance to their church from this side.
The great framework of architecture which encases it is so astonishingly
different from the work above and around it that one can scarcely
believe it possible that they belong to one and the same building. It is
a tremendous piece of Plateresque carving, as exquisite as it is out of
place, erected through the munificence of the Archbishop Don Juan
Rodriguez de Fonseca in 1514 by the architect Francisco de Colonia. It
might have stood in Florence, and most of it might have been set against
a Tuscan church at the height of the Renaissance. There is everywhere an
overabundance of luxurious detail and rich carving. Between the
entablatures and columns stand favorite saints. The Virgin and Child are
adored by a very well-fed, fat-jowled bishop and musical angels. In one
of the panels the sword is about to descend on the neck of the kneeling
Saint John. In another, some unfortunate person has been squeezed into a
hot cauldron too small for his naked body, while bellows are applied to
the fagots underneath it and hot tar is poured on his head. While the
whole work is thoroughly Renaissance, there is here and there a curious
Gothic feeling to it, from which the carvers, surrounded and inspired by
so much of the earlier art, seem to have been unable to free themselves.
This appears in the figure ornamentation in the archivolts around the
circular-headed opening, the angel heads that cut it as it were into
cusps and the treatment and feeling of some of the figures in the larger

The exterior of Santa Maria is very remarkable. It is a wonderful
history of late Gothic and early Renaissance carving. The only clearing
whence any freedom of view and perspective may be had is to the west, in
front of the late fifteenth-century spires, but wherever one stands,
whether in the narrow alleys to the southeast, or above, or below in the
sloping city, the three great masses that rise above the cathedral roof,
of spires, cimborio, and the Constable's Lantern, dominate majestically
all around them. If one stands at the northeast, above the terraces
that descend to the Pellejeria door, each of the three successive series
of spires that rise one above the other far to the westward might be the
steeple of its own mighty church. The two nearest are composed of an
infinite number of finely crocketed turrets, tied together by a sober,
Renaissance bulk; that furthest off shoots its twin spires in Gothic
nervousness airily and unchecked into the sky, showing the blue of the
heavens through its flimsy fabric. Between them, tying the huge bulk
together, stretch the buttresses, the sinews and muscles of the
organism, far less marked and apparent, however, than is ordinarily the
case. At various stages above and around, crowning and banding towers,
chapels, apse, naves, and transepts, run the many balconies. They are
Renaissance in form, but also Gothic in detail and feeling. Like the
masts of a great harbor, an innumerable forest of carved and stonytrunks rise 
from every angle, buttress, turret, and pier. In among them,
facing their carved trunks and crowning their tops, peeping out from the
myriads of stony branches, stands a heavenly legion of saints and
martyrs. Crowned and celestial kings and angels people this petrified
forest of such picturesque and exuberant beauty.

[Illustration: Photo by A. Vadillo


The spires above the house-tops]

The general mass that rises above the roofs, now flat and covered with
reddish ochre tiles, is, whatever may be the defects of its detail,
almost unique in its lavish richness. The spires rest upon the
house-tops of Burgos like the jeweled points of a monarch's crown. The
detail is so profuse that it well-nigh defies analysis. It seems as if
the four corners of the earth must for generations have been ransacked
to find a sufficient number of carvers for the sculpture. The closer one
examines it, the more astonishing is the infinite labor. Rich, crocketed
cornices support the numerous, crowning balconies. Figure on figure
stands against the many sides of the four great turrets that brace the
angles of the cimborio, against the eight turrets that meet its octagon,
on the corners of spires, under the parapets crowning the transepts,
under the canopied angles of the Constable's Lantern, on balconies, over
railings, and on balustrades. Crockets cover the walls like feathers on
the breast of a bird. It surely is the temple of the Lord of Hosts, the
number of whose angels is legion. It is confused, bewildering, over-done
and spectacular, lacking in character and sobriety, sculptural
fire-works if you will, a curious mixture of the passing and the coming
styles, but nevertheless it is wonderful, and the age that produced it,
one of energy and vitality. Curiously enough, the transepts have no
flying, but mere heavy, simple buttresses to meet their thrusts. The
ornamentation of the lower wall surfaces is in contrast to the
superstructure, barren or meaningless. On the plain masonry of the lower
walls of the Constable's Chapel stretch gigantic coats-of-arms. Knights
support their heads as well as the arms of the nobles interred within.
Life-sized roaring lions stand valiantly beside their wheels like
immortally faithful mariners. Above, an exquisitely carved, German
Gothic balustrade acts as a base for the double clerestory. The angle
pinnacles are surrounded by the Fathers of the Church and crowned by
angels holding aloft the symbol of the Cross. The gargoyles look like
peacefully slumbering cows with unchewed cuds protruding from their
stony jaws. Tufts of grass and flowers have sprung from the seeds borne
there by the winds of centuries.

Outside the Chapel of Sant Iago are more huge heraldic devices: knights
in full armor and lions lifting by razor-strops, as if in some test of
strength, great wheels encircling crosses. Above them, gargoyles leer
demoniacally over the heads of devout cherubim. In the little street of
Diego Porcello, named for the great noble who still protects his city
from the gate of Santa Maria, nothing can be seen of the great church
but bare walls separated from the adjacent houses by a dozen feet of
dirty cobblestones. Ribs of the original chapels that once flanked the
eastern end, behind the present chapels of Sant Iago and Santa Catarina,
have been broken off flat against the exterior walls, and the cusps of
the lower arches have been closed.

Thus the fabric has been added to, altered, mutilated or embellished by
foreign masters as well as Spanish hands. Who they all were, when and
why they wrought, is not easy to discover. Enrique, Juan Perez, Pedro
Sanchez, Juan Sanchez de Molina, Martin Fernandez, Juan and Francisco de
Colonia and Juan de Vallejo, all did their part in the attempt to make
Santa Maria of Burgos the loveliest church of Spain.

The mighty western façade rises in a confined square where acacia trees
lift their fresh, luxuriant heads above the dust. The symmetry of the
towers, the general proportions of the mass, the subdivisions and
relationship of the stories, the conception as a whole, clearly show
that it belongs to an age of triumph and genius, in spite of the
disfigurements of later vandals, as well as essentially foreign masters.
It is of queenly presence, a queen in her wedding robes with jewels all
over her raiment, the costliest of Spanish lace veiling her form and
descending from her head, covered with its costly diadem.

North and south the towers are very similar and practically of equal
height, giving a happily balanced and uniform general appearance. The
lowest stage, containing the three doorways leading respectively into
north aisle, nave, and south aisle, has been horribly denuded and
disfigured by the barbarous eighteenth century, which boasted so much
and created so little. It removed the glorious, early portico, leaving
only bare blocks of masonry shorn of sculpture. No greater wrong could
have been done the church. In the tympanum above the southern door, the
vandals mercifully left a Coronation of the Virgin, and in the northern
one, the Conception, while in the piers, between these and the central
opening, four solitary statues of the two kings, Alfonso VI and Saint
Ferdinand, and the two bishops, Maurice and Asterio, are all that remain
of the early glories. The central door is called the Doorway of Pardon.

One can understand the bigotry of Henry VIII and the Roundheads, which
in both cases wrought frightful havoc in art, but it is truly
incomprehensible that mere artistic conceit in the eighteenth century
could compass such destruction. The second tier of the screen facing the
nave, below a large pointed arch, is broken by a magnificent rose. Above
this are two finely traceried and subdivided arches with eight statues
set in between the lowest shafts. The central body is crowned by an
open-work balustrade forming the uppermost link between the towers. The
Virgin with Child reigns in the centre between the carved inscription,
"Pulchra es et decora." Three rows of pure, ogival arches, delicate, and
attenuated, break the square sides of the towers above the entrance
portals; blind arches, spires and statues ornament the angles.
Throughout, the splays and jambs are filled with glittering balls of
stone. Inscriptions similar in design to that finishing the screen which
hides the roof lines crown the platform of the towers below the base of
the spires.

The towers remained without steeples for over two hundred years until
the good Bishop Alfonso de Cartagena, returning to his city in 1442 from
the Council of Basle, brought with him the German, Juan de Colonia.
Bishop Alfonso was not to see their completion, for he died fourteen
years later, but his successor, Don Luis de Acuna, immediately ordered
the work continued and saw the figures of Saint Peter and Saint Paul
placed on the uppermost spires, three hundred feet above the heads of
the worshipping multitude.

The spires themselves, essentially German in character, are far from
beautiful, perforated on all sides by Gothic tracery of multitudinous
designs, too weak to stand without the assistance of iron tie rods, the
angles filled with an infinite number of coarse, bold crockets breaking
the outlines as they converge into the blue.

When prosperity came again to Burgos, as to many other Spanish cities,
it was owing to the wise enactments of Isabella the Catholic. The
concordat of 1851 enumerated nine archbishoprics in Spain, among which
Burgos stands second on the list.

Such is Burgos, serenely beautiful, rich and exultant, the apotheosis of
the Spanish Renaissance as well as studded with exquisitely beautiful
Gothic work. She is mighty and magnificent, speaking perhaps rather to
the senses than the heart, but in a language which can never be
forgotten. Although various epochs created her, radically different in
their means and methods, still there is a certain intangible unity in
her gorgeous expression and a unique picturesqueness in her dazzling



[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


    I lift mine eyes, and all the windows blaze
    With forms of saints and holy men who died,
    Here martyred and hereafter glorified;
    And the great Rose upon its leaves displays
    Christ's Triumph, and the angelic roundelays
    With splendor upon splendor multiplied.


The Cathedral of San Salvador is the strongest link in the chain that
encircles the city of Avila,--"cuidad de Castilla la vieja." Avila lies
on a ridge in the corner of a great, undulating plain, clothed with
fields of grain, bleached light yellow at harvest, occasional groups of
ilex and straggling pine and dusty olives scrambling up and down the
slopes. Beyond is the hazy grayish-green of stubble and dwarfed
woodland, with blue peaks closing the horizon. To the south rises the
Sierra Gredos, and eastwards, in the direction of Segovia, the Sierra de
Guadarrama. The narrow, murky Adaja that loiters through the upland
plain is quite insufficient to water the thirsty land. Thistles and
scrub oak dot the rocky fields. Here and there migratory flocks of sheep
nibble their way across the unsavory stubble, while the dogs longingly
turn their heads after whistling quails and the passing hunter.

The crenelated, ochre walls and bastions that, like a string of amber
beads, have girdled the little city since its early days, remain
practically unbroken, despite the furious sieges she has sustained and
the battles in which her lords were engaged for ten centuries. As many
as eighty-six towers crown, and no less than ten gateways pierce, the
walls which follow the rise or fall of the ground on which the city has
been compactly and narrowly constructed for safest defense. It must look
to-day almost exactly as it did to the approaching armies of the Middle
Ages, except that the men-at-arms are gone. The defenses are so high
that what is inside is practically hidden from view and all that can be
seen of the city so rich in saints and stones[7] are the loftiest spires
of her churches.

To the Romans, Avela, to the Moors, Abila, the ancient city, powerfully
garrisoned, lay in the territory of the Vaccæi and belonged to the
province of Hispania Citerior. During three later centuries, from time
to time she became Abila, and one of the strongest outposts of Mussulman
defense against the raids of Christian bands from the north. Under both
Goths and Saracens, Avila belonged to the province of Merida. At a very
early date she boasted an episcopal seat, mentioned in church councils
convoked during the seventh century, but, during temporary ascendencies
of the Crescent, she vanishes from ecclesiastical history. For a while
Alfonso I held the city against the Moors, but not until the reign of
Alfonso VI did she permanently become "Avila del rey," and the
quarterings of her arms, "a king appearing at the window of a tower,"
were left unchallenged on her walls.


    A. Capilla Mayor.    B. Crossing.
    C. Cloisters.
    D. Towers.
    E. Main Entrance.
    F. Northern Portal.]

By the eleventh century the cities of Old Castile were ruined and
depopulated by the ravages of war. Even the walls of Avila were
well-nigh demolished, when Count Raymond laid them out anew and with the
blessing of Bishop Pedro Sanchez they rose again in the few years
between 1090 and the turning of the century. The material lay ready to
hand in the huge granite boulders sown broadcast on the bleak hills
around Avila, and from these the walls were rebuilt, fourteen feet thick
with towers forty feet high. The old Spanish writer Cean Bermudez
describes this epoch of Avila's history.

"When," he says, "Don Alfonso VI won Toledo, he had in continuous wars
depopulated Segovia, Avila and Salamanca of their Moorish inhabitants.
He gave his son-in-law, the Count Don Raymond of the house of Burgundy,
married to the Princess Doña Urraca, the charge to repeople them. Avila
had been so utterly destroyed that the soil was covered with stones and
the materials of its ruined houses. To rebuild and repopulate it, the
Count brought illustrious knights, soldiers, architects, officials and
gentlemen from Leon, the Asturias, Vizcaya and France, and from other
places. They began to construct the walls in 1090, 800 men working from
the very beginning, and among them were many masters who came from Leon
and Vizcaya. All obeyed Casandro Romano and Florin de Pituenga, Masters
of Geometry, as they are called in the history of this population, which
is attributed to the Bishop of Oviedo, D. Pilayo, who lived at that time
and who treats of these things."

During these perilous years, Count Raymond wisely lodged his masons in
different quarters of the city, grouping them according to the locality
they came from, whether from Cantabria, the Asturias, or the territory
of Burgos.

A nobility, as quarrelsome as it was powerful, must have answered Count
Raymond's call for new citizens, for during centuries to come, the
streets, like those of mediæval Siena and Florence, constantly ran with
the blood of opposing factions. Warring families dared walk only certain
streets after nightfall, and battles were carried on between the
different castles and in the streets as between cities and on
battlefields. In the quarrels between royal brothers and cousins, Avila
played a very prominent part. The nurse and protectress of their tender
years, and the guardian of their childhood through successive reigns of
Castilian kings, she became a very vital factor in the fortunes of
kings, prelates, and nobles. In feuds like those of Don Pedro and his
brother Enrique II, she was a turbulent centre. Great figures in Spanish
history ruled from her episcopal throne, especially during the
thirteenth century. There was Pedro, a militant bishop and one of the
most valiant on the glorious battlefield of Las Navas; Benilo, lover of
and beloved by Saint Ferdinand; and Aymar, the loyal champion of Alfonso
the Wise through dark as well as sunny hours.

The Jews and the Moriscoes here, as wherever else their industrious
fingers and ingenious minds were at work, did much more than their share
towards the prosperity and development of the city. The Jews especially
became firmly established in their useful vocations, filling the king's
coffers so abundantly that the third of their tribute, which he granted
to the Bishop, was not appreciably felt, except in times of armament
and war. With the fanatical expulsion of first one, and then the other,
race, the city's prosperity departed. Their place was filled by the
bloodhounds of the Inquisition, who held their very first, terrible
tribunal in the Convent of Saint Thomas, blighting the city and
surrounding country with a new and terrible curse. The great rebellion
under the Emperor Charles burst from the smouldering wrath of Avila's
indignant citizens, and in 1520 she became, for a short time, the seat
of the "Junta Santa" of the Comuneros.

It is still easy to discern what a tremendous amount of building must
have gone on within the narrow city limits during the early part of its
second erection. The streets are still full of bits of Romanesque
architecture, palaces, arcades, houses, balconies, towers and windows
and one of the finest groups of Romanesque churches in Spain. Of lesser
sinew and greater age than San Salvador, they are now breathing their
last. San Vicente is almost doomed, while San Pedro and San Segundo are
fast falling.

But San Salvador remains still unshaken in her strength,--a fortress
within a cathedral, a splendid mailed arm with its closed fist of iron
reaching through the outer bastions and threatening the plains. It is a
bold cry of Christian defiance to enemies without. If ever there was an
embodiment in architecture of the church militant, it is in the
Cathedral of Avila. Approaching it by San Pedro, you look in vain for
the church, for the great spire that loomed up from the distant hills
and was pointed out as the holy edifice. In its place and for the
eastern apse, you see only a huge gray bastion, strong and secure,
crowned at all points by battlements and galleries for sentinels and
fighting men,--inaccessible, grim, and warlike. A fitting abode for the
men who rather rode a horse than read a sermon and preferred the
breastplate to the cassock, a splendid epitome of that period of Spanish
history when the Church fought instead of prying into men's souls. It
well represents the unification of the religious and military officesdevolving 
on the Church of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries in
Castile,--a bellicose house rather than one of prayer.

All the old documents and histories of the Church state that the great
Cathedral was started as soon as the city walls were well under way in
1091 and was completed after sixteen years of hard work. Alvar Garcia
from Estrella in Navarre is recorded as the principal original
architect, Don Pedro as the Bishop, and Count Raymond as spurring on the
1900 men at work, while the pilgrims and faithful were soliciting alms
and subscriptions through Italy, France, and the Christian portions of
the Spanish Peninsula.

Of the earliest church very little remains, possibly only the outer
walls of the great bastion that encloses the eastern termination of the
present edifice. This is much larger than the other towers of defense,
and, judging from the excellent character of its masonry, which is
totally different from the coarse rubble of the remaining city walls and
towers, it must have been built into them at a later date, as well as
with much greater care and skill. Many hypotheses have been suggested,
as to why the apse of the original church was thus built as a portion of
the walls of defense. All seem doubtful. It was possibly that the
altar might come directly above the resting-place of some venerated
saint, or perhaps to economize time and construction by placing the apse
in a most vulnerable point of attack where lofty and impregnable masonry
was requisite.

[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


Exterior of the apse turret]

The church grew towards the west and the main entrance,--the transepts
themselves, and all work west of them, with the advent of the new style.
We thus obtain in Avila, owing to the very early commencement of its
apse, a curious and vitally interesting conglomeration of the Romanesque
and Gothic. Practically, however, all important portions of the
structure were completed in the more vigorous periods of the Gothicstyle with 
the resulting felicitous effect.

The building of the apse or the chevet westward must, to judge from its
style, have advanced very slowly during the first hundred years, for its
general character is rather that of the end of the twelfth and beginning
of the thirteenth centuries (the reign of Alfonso VIII) than of the pure
Romanesque work which was still executed in Castile at the beginning of
the twelfth century. A great portion of the early Gothic work is, apart
from its artistic merit, historically interesting, as showing the first
tentative, and often groping, steps of the masters who wished to employ
the new forms of the north, but followed slowly and with a hesitation
that betrayed their inexperience. Arches were spanned and windows
broken, later to be braced and blocked up in time to avert a
catastrophe. The transepts belong to the earliest part of the fourteenth
century. We have their definite dates from records,--the northern arm
rose where previously had stood a little chapel and was given by the
Chapter to Dean Blasco Blasquez as an honorable burial place for himself
and his family, while Bishop Blasquez Davila, the tutor of Alfonso IX
and principal notary of Castile, raised the southern arm immediately
afterwards. He occupied the See for almost fifty years, and must have
seen the nave and side aisles and the older portions, including the
northwestern tower, all pretty well constructed. This tower with its
unfinished sister and portions of the west front are curiously enough
late Romanesque work, and must thus have been started before the nave
and side aisles had reached them in their western progress. The original
cloisters belonged to the fourteenth century, as also the northern
portal. Chapels, furnishings, pulpits, trascoro, choir stalls, glazing,
all belong to later times, as well as the sixteenth-century mutilations
of the front and the various exterior Renaissance excrescences.

It is interesting to infer that the main part of the fabric must
virtually have been completed in 1432, when Pope Eugenio IV published a
bull in favor of the work. Here he only speaks of the funds requisite
for its "preservation and repair." We may judge from such wording the
condition of the structure as a whole.

The most extraordinary portion of the building is unquestionably its
"fighting turret" and eastern end. This apse is almost unique in Spanish
architectural history and deeply absorbing as an extensive piece of
Romanesque work, not quite free from Moorish traces and already
employing in its vaulting Gothic expedients. It may be called "barbaric
Gothic" or "decadent Romanesque," but, whatever it is termed, it will be
vitally interesting and fascinating to the student of architectural

Externally the mighty stone tower indicates none of its interior
disposition of chapels or vaulting. The black, weather-stained granite
of its bare walls is alternately broken by slightly projecting pilasters
and slender, columnar shafts. They are crowned by a corbel table and a
high, embattled parapet, that yielded protection to the soldiers
occupying the platform immediately behind, which communicated with the
passage around the city walls. This is again backed by a second wall
similarly crowned. The narrowest slits of windows from the centres of
the radiating, apsidal chapels break the lower surfaces, while double
flying buttresses meet, at the level of the triforium and above the
clerestory windows, the thrusts of the upper walls.

The plan is most curious, and on account of its irregularity as well as
certain inconsistencies, it is difficult to guess how far it was
originally conceived in its present form, or what alterations were made
in the earlier centuries. Some changes must have been made in its
vaulting. The chevet or Capilla Mayor, which at first very properly
contained the choir, is surrounded by a double ambulatory, outside of
which the thick walls are pierced by nine apsidal chapels. It is
probable that these were originally constructed by the engineers to
lighten the enormous bulk of the outer masonry. They are not quite
semicircles in plan, and are vaulted in various simple ways. Where ribs
occur, they meet in the key of the arch separating chapel from
ambulatory. The piers round the apse itself are alternately
monocylindrical and composite; the intermediate ones, subdividing
unequally the "girola," are lofty, slender columns, while those of the
exterior are polygonal in plan, with shafts against their faces. Some of
the caps are of the best Romanesque types, and composed of animals,
birds, and leaves, while others, possibly substituted for the original
ones, have a plain bell with the ornamentation crudely applied in color.

The Capilla Mayor has both triforium and clerestory of exquisite early
work. Dog-tooth moldings ornament the archivolts. Mohammedan influence
had asserted itself in the triforium, which is divided by slender shafts
into two windows terminating in horseshoe arches, while the clerestory
consists of broad, round, arched openings.

The construction and balance of the apse thrusts were doubtless
originally of a somewhat different nature from what we find at present,
as may easily be observed from the materials, the function and positions
of the double flying buttresses. They may have been added as late as
three centuries after the original fabric. Lamperez y Romea's
observations in regard to this are most interesting:--

"We must observe in the two present orders of windows, that the lower
was never built for lights and its construction with double columns
forming a hollow space proves it a triforium. That it was actually so is
further abundantly proved by several circumstances: first, by a parapet
or wall which still exists below the actual roof and which follows the
exterior polygonal line of the girola, as well as by some
semi-Romanesque traceries which end in the wall of the Capilla Mayor,
and finally, by a continuous row of supports existing in the thickness
of the same wall below a gutter, separating the two orders of windows.
These features, as well as the general arrangement of the openings,
demonstrate that there was a triforium of Romanesque character,
occupying the whole width of the girola, which furthermore was covered
by a barrel vault. Above this came the great platform or projecting
balcony, corresponding to the second defensive circuit. Military
necessity explains this triforium; without it, there would be no need of
a system of continuous counterthrusts to that of the vaults of the
crossing. If we concede the existence of this triforium, various obscure
points become clear."

The Capilla Mayor has four bays prior to reaching the pentagonal
termination. The vaulting of the most easterly bay connects with that of
the pentagon, thus leaving three remaining bays to vault; two form a
sexpartite vault, and the third, nearest the transept, a quadripartite.
All the intersections are met by bosses formed by gilded and spreading
coats-of-arms. The ribs do not all carry properly down, two out of the
six being merely met by the keystones of the arches between Capilla
Mayor and ambulatory. The masonry of the vaulting is of a reddish stone,
while that of the transepts and nave is yellow, laid in broad, white

In various portions of the double ambulatory passage as well as some of
the chapels, the fine, deep green and gold and blue Romanesque coloring
may still be seen, giving a rich impression of the old barbaric splendor
and gem-like richness so befitting the clothing of the style. Other
portions, now bare, must surely all have been colored. The delicate,
slender shafts, subdividing unequally the ambulatory, have really no
carrying office, but were probably introduced to lessen the difficulty
of vaulting the irregular compartments of such unequal sides. Gothic art
was still in its infancy, and the splendid grasp of the vaulting
difficulties and masterly solution of its problems exemplified in so
many later ambulatories, had not as yet been reached. Here we have about
the first fumbling attempt. The maestro is still fighting in the dark
with unequal thrusts, sides and arches of different widths, and a desire
to meet them all with something higher and lighter than the old
continuous barrel vault. A step forward in the earnest effort toward
higher development, such as we find here, deserves admiration. The
profiles of the ribs are simple, undecorated and vigorous, as were all
the earliest ones; in the chapels, or rather the exedras in the outer
walls, the ribs do not meet in a common boss or keystone, its advantages
not as yet being known to the builders. A good portion of the old
roof-covering of the Cathedral, not only over the eastern end, but
pretty generally throughout, has either been altered, or else the
present covering conceals the original.

Thus it is easy to detect from the outside, if one stands at the
northwestern angle of the church and looks down the northern face, that
the upper masonry has been carried up by some three feet of brickwork,
evidently of later addition, on top of which comes the present covering
of terra-cotta tiles. The old roof-covering here of stone tiles, as also
above the apse, rested directly on the inside vaults, naturally
damaging them by its weight, and not giving full protection against the
weather. The French slopes had in some instances been slavishly copied,
but the steep roofs requisite in northern cathedrals were soon after
abandoned, being unnecessary in the Spanish climate. Over the apse of
Avila, there may still be found early thirteenth-century roofing,
consisting of large stone flags laid in rows with intermediary grooves
and channels, very much according to ancient established Roman and
Byzantine traditions. Independent superstructure above the vault proper,
to carry the outside covering, had not been introduced when this roofing
was laid.

In its early days many a noted prelate and honored churchman was laid to
rest within the holy precinct of the choir in front of the high altar or
in the rough old sepulchres of the surrounding chapels. With the moving
of the choir, and probably also a change in the church ceremonies, came
a rearrangement of the apse and the Capilla Mayor's relation to the new

The retablo back of the high altar, consisting of Plateresque ornament,
belongs for the most part to the Renaissance. The Evangelists and church
fathers are by Pedro Berruguete (not as great as his son, the sculptor
Alfonso), Juan de Borgoña and Santos Cruz. In the centre, facing theambulatory 
behind, is a fine Renaissance tomb of the renowned Bishop
Alfonso Tostada de Madrigal. He is kneeling in full episcopal robes,
deeply absorbed either in writing or possibly reading the Scriptures.
The workmanship on mitre and robe is as fine as the similar remarkable
work in Burgos, while the enclosing rail is a splendid example of the
blending of Gothic and Renaissance.

The glass in the apse windows is exceptionally rich and magnificently
brilliant in its coloring. It was executed by Alberto Holando, one of
the great Dutch glaziers of Burgos, who was given the entire contract in
1520 by Bishop Francisco Ruiz, a nephew of the great Cardinal Cisneros.

Such, in short, are the characteristics of the chevet of the Cathedral
of Avila, constructed in an age when its builders must have worked in a
spirit of hardy vigor with the trowel in one hand and the sword in the
other. As we see it to-day, it imparts a feeling of mystery, and its
oriental splendor is enhanced by the dim, religious light.

In entering the crossing, we step into the fullness of the Gothic
triumph. The vaults have been thrown into the sky to the height of 130
feet. It is early Gothic work, with its many errors and consequent
retracing of steps made in ignorance. The great arches that span the
crossing north and south had taken too bold a leap and subsequently
required the support of cross arches. The western windows and the great
roses at the end of the transepts, with early heavy traceries, proved
too daring and stone had to be substituted for glass in their apertures;
the long row of nave windows have likewise been filled with masonry.
Despite these and many similar penalties for rashness, the work is as
dignified as it is admirable. Of course the proportions are all small in
comparison with such later great Gothic churches as Leon and Burgos, the
nave and transepts here being merely 28 to 30 feet wide, the aisles only
24 feet wide. Avila is but an awkward young peasant girl if compared
with the queenly presence of her younger sisters. Nevertheless Avila is
in true Spanish peasant costume, while Leon and Burgos are tricked out
in borrowed finery. The nave is short and narrow, but that gives an
impression of greater height, and the obscurity left by the forced
substitution of stone for glass in the window spaces adds to the
solemnity. The nave consists of five bays, the aisle on each side of it
rising to about half its height. The golden groining is quadripartite,
the ribs meeting in great colored bosses and pendents, added at periods
of less simple taste. In the crossing alone, intermediary ribs have been
added in the vaulting.

[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


From outside the walls]

The walls of the transept underneath the great blind wheels to the north
and south are broken by splendid windows, each with elaborate tracery
(as also the eastern and western walls), heavy and strong, but finely
designed. The glazing is glorious, light, warm, and intense. The walls
of the nave, set back above the lowest arcade some eighteen inches, have
triforium and clerestory, and above this again, they are filled quite up
to the vaulting with elaborate tracery, possibly once foolhardily
conceived to carry glass. Each bay has six arches in both triforium and
clerestory, all of simple and early apertures. The glazing of the
clerestory is white, excepting in one of the bays. In this single
instance, a simple, geometric pattern of buff and blue stripes is of
wonderfully harmonious and lovely color effect.

The shafts that separate nave from side aisles are still quite
Romanesque in feeling,--of polygonal core faced by four columns and
eight ribs. The capitals are very simple with no carving, but merely a
gilded representation of leafage, while the base molds carry around all
breaks of the pier. It may be coarse and crude in feeling and execution,
certainly very far from the exquisite finish of Leon, nevertheless the
infancy of an architectural style, like a child's, has the peculiar
interest of what it holds in promise. Like Leon, the side aisles have
double roofing, allowing the light to penetrate to the nave arcade and
forming a double gallery running round the church.

Many of the bishops who were buried in the choir in its old location
were, on its removal to the bay immediately west of the crossing, also
moved and placed in the various chapels. The sepulchre of Bishop Sancho
Davila is very fine. Like his predecessors, he was a fighting man. His
epitaph reads as follows:--

"Here lies the noble cavalier Sancho Davila, Captain of the King Don
Fernando and the Queen Doña Isabel, our sovereigns, and their alcaide of
the castles of Carmona, son of Sancho Sanches, Lord of San Roman and of
Villanueva, who died fighting like a good cavalier against the Moors in
the capture of Alhama, which was taken by his valor on the 28th of
February in the year 1490."

The pulpits on each side of the crossing, attached to the great piers,
are, curiously enough, of iron, exquisitely wrought and gilded. The one
on the side of the epistle is Gothic and the other Renaissance, the body
of each of them bearing the arms of the Cathedral, the Agnus Dei, and
the ever-present lions and castles. The rejas, closing off choir and
Capilla Mayor in the customary manner, are heavy and ungainly. On the
other hand, the trascoro, that often sadly blocks up the sweep of the
nave, is unusually low and comparatively inconspicuous. It contains
reliefs of the life of Christ, from the first half of the sixteenth
century, by Juan Res and Luis Giraldo. The choir itself is so compact
that it only occupies one bay. The chapter evidently was a modest one.
The stalls are of elaborate Renaissance workmanship. The verger now in
charge, with the voice of a hoarse crow, reads you the name of the
carver as the Dutchman "Cornelis 1536."

Strange to say, there are no doors leading, as they logically should,
into the centre of the arms of the transept. Through some perversity,
altars have taken their place, while the northern and southern entrances
have been pushed westward, opening into the first bays of the side
aisles. The southern door leads to a vestibule, the sacristy with fine
Gothic vaulting disfigured by later painting, a fine fifteenth-centurychapel and 
the cloisters. None of this can be seen from the front, as it
is hidden by adjoining houses and a bare, pilastered wall crowned by a
carved Renaissance balustrade. The galleries of the present cloisters
are later Gothic work with Plateresque decorations and arches walled up.

Avila Cathedral is, as it were, a part and parcel of the history of
Castile during the reigns of her early kings, the turbulent times when
self-preservation was the only thought, any union of provinces far in
the future, and a Spanish kingdom undreamed of. She was a great church
in a small kingdom, in the empire she became insignificant. Much of her
history is unknown, but in the days of her power, she was certainly
associated with all great events in old Castile. Her influence grew
with her emoluments and the ever-increasing body of ecclesiastical
functionaries. In times of war, she became a fortress, and her bishop
was no longer master of his house. The Captain-General took command of
the bastions, as of those of the Alcazar, and soldiers took the place of
priests in the galleries. She was the key to the city, and on her flat
roofs the opposing armies closed in the final struggle for victory.

The Cathedral has, in fact, only an eastern and a northern elevation,
the exterior to the west and south being hidden by the huge tower and
the confused mass of chapels and choir which extend to the walls and

The western entrance front is noble and dignified in its austere
severity; probably as old as the clerestory of the nave, it is a grim
sentinel from the first part of the fourteenth century. With the
exception of the entrance, it speaks the Romanesque language, although
its windows and some of its decoration are pointed. It is magnificent
and impressive, very Spanish, and almost unique in the Peninsula. Four
mighty buttresses subdivide the composition; between these is the
entrance, and to the north and south are the towers which terminate the

The southern tower has never been finished. The northern is full of
inspiration. It is broken at two stages by double windows, the upper
ones of the belfry being crowned by pediments and surmounted by rich,
sunk tracery. The piers terminate in hexagonal pinnacles, while the
tower, as well as the rest of the front, is finished with a battlement.
The later blocking up of this, as well as the superimposed roofing, is
very evident and disturbing. All the angles of buttresses, of windows,
arches, splays, and pyramids,--those also crowning the bulky piers that
meet the flying buttresses,--are characteristically and uniquely
decorated with an ornamentation of balls. It softens the hard lines,
splashing the surface with infinite series of small, sharp shadows and
making it sparkle with life and light. The angles recall the blunt, blue
teeth of a saw.

The main entrance, as well as the first two bays of the naves underneath
the towers, must originally have been of different construction from the
present one. Inside the church, these bays are blocked off from nave and
side aisles by walls, on top of which they communicate with each other
as also with the eastern apse by galleries, probably all necessary for
the defense of troops in the early days. Possibly a narthex terminated
the nave back of the original entrance portal underneath the present
vaulted compartment.

The main entrance door is indeed a strange apparition. In its whiteness
between the sombre tints of the martial towers, it rises like a spectre
in the winding-sheets of a later age. It is distressingly out of place
and time in its dark framework.

"But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver,
but also of wood and of earth, and some to honor, and some to dishonor."

The semicircular door is crowned by a profusely subdivided, Gothic
archivolt and guarded by two scaly giants or wild men that look, with
their raised clubs, as if they would beat the life out of any one who
should try to enter the holy cavern. Saints Peter and Paul float on
clouds in the spandrels. Above rises a sixteenth-century composition of
masks and canopied niches. The Saviour naturally occupies the centre,
flanked by the various saints that in times of peril protected the
church of Avila: Saints Vincente, Sabina and Cristela, Saint Segundo and
Santa Teresa. In the attic in front of a tremendous traceried cusp, with
openings blocked by masonry, the ornamentation runs completely riot.
Saint Michael, standing on top of a dejected and doubled-up dragon,
looks down on figures that are crosses between respectable caryatides
and disreputable mermaids. It is certainly as immaterial as unknown,
when and by whom was perpetrated this degenerate sculpture now
shamelessly disfiguring a noble casing. The strong, early towers seem in
their turn doubly powerful and eloquent in their simplicity and one
wishes the old Romanesque portal were restored and the great traceries
above it glazed to flood the nave with western sunlight.

The northeastern angle is blocked by poor Renaissance masonry, the
exterior of the chapels here being faced by a Corinthian order and
broken by circular lights.

The northern portal is as fine as that of the main entrance is paltry.
The head of the door, as well as the great arch which spans the recess
into which the entire composition is set, is, curiously enough,
three-centred, similar to some of the elliptical ones at Burgos and
Leon. A lion, securely chained to the church wall for the protection of
worshipers, guards each side of the entrance. Under the five arches
stand the twelve Apostles, time-worn, weather-beaten and mutilated, but
splendid bits of late thirteenth-century carving. For they must be as
early as that. The archivolts are simply crowded with small figures of
angels, of saints, and of the unmistakably lost. In the tympanum the
Saviour occupies the centre, and around Him is the same early, naïve
representation of figures from the Apocalypse, angels, and the crowned

[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


Main entrance]

Two years before Luther, a true exponent of Teutonic genius, had nailed
his theses to the door of a cathedral in central Germany, there was born
in the heart of Spain as dauntless and genuine a representative of hercountry's 
genius. Each passed through great storm and stress of the
spirit, and finally entered into that closer communion with God, from
which the soul emerges miraculously strengthened. Do not these bleak
hills, this stern but lovely Cathedral, rising _per aspera ad astra_,
typify the strong soul of Santa Teresa? A great psychologist of our day
finds the woman in her admirable literary style. Prof. James further
accepts Saint Teresa's own defense of her visions: "By their fruits ye
shall know them." These were practical, brave, cheerful, aspiring, like
this Castilian sanctuary, intolerant of dissenters, sheltering and
caring for many, and leading them upward to the City which is unseen,
eternal in the heavens.



[Illustration: CATHEDRAL OF LEON

From the southwest]

    Look where the flood of western glory falls
    Through the great sunflower disk of blazing panes
    In ruby, saffron, azure, emerald stains.


In the year 1008 the ancient church of Leon witnessed a ceremony
memorable for more reasons than one. It was conducted throughout
according to Gothic customs, King, Queen, nobility and ecclesiastics all
being present, and it was the first council held in Spain since the Arab
conquest whose acts have come down to us. The object was twofold: to
hold a joyous festival in celebration of the rebuilding of the city
walls, which had been broken down some years before by a Moslem army,
and to draw up a charter for a free people, governing themselves, for
Spain has the proud distinction of granting municipal charters one or
two hundred years before the other countries of Europe. For three
centuries of Gothic rule, the kings of Leon, Castile and other provinces
had successfully resisted every attempt at encroachment from the Holy
See and, in session with the clergy, elected their own bishops, until in
1085 Alfonso VI of Castile takes the fatal step of sending Bernard
d'Azeu to receive the pallium and investiture as Bishop of Toledo from
the hands of Gregory VII. From this time forth, kings are crowned,
queens repudiated, and even the hallowed Gothic or Mozarabic ritual is
set aside for that of Rome by order of popes.

In 1135 Santa Maria of Leon is the scene of a gorgeous pageant. An
Alfonso, becoming master of half Spain and quarter of France, thinks he
might be called Emperor as well as some others, and within the Cathedral
walls he receives the new title in the presence of countless
ecclesiastics and "all his vassals, great and small." The monarch's robe
was of marvelous work, and a crown of pure gold set with precious stones
was placed on his head, while the King of Navarre held his right hand
and the Bishop of Leon his left. Feastings and donations followed, but,
what was of vastly more importance, the new Emperor confirmed the
charters granted to various cities by his grandfather.

Again a great ceremony fills the old church. Ferdinand, later known as
the Saint, is baptized there in 1199. A year or two later, Innocent III
declares void the marriage of his father and mother, who were cousins,
and an interdict shrouds the land in darkness. Several years pass during
which the Pope turns a deaf ear to the entreaties of a devoted husband,
the King of Leon, to their children's claim, the intercession of Spanish
prelates, and the prayers of two nations who had good cause to rejoice
in the union of Leon and Castile. Then a victim of the yoke, which Spain
had voluntarily put on while Frederic of Germany and even Saint Louis ofFrance 
were defending their rights against the aggressions of the Holy
See, the good Queen Berenzuela, sadly took her way back to her father's
home, to the King of Castile.

His prerogative once established, Innocent III looked well after his
obedient subjects. When Spain was threatened by the most formidable of
all Moorish invasions, he published to all Christendom a bull of crusade
against the Saracens, and sent across the Pyrenees the forces which had
been gathering in France for war in Palestine. Rodrigo, Archbishop of
Toledo, preached the holy war and led his troops, in which he was joined
by the bishops of Bordeaux, Nantes, and Narbonne at the head of their
militia. Germany and Italy sent their quota of knights and soldiers of
fortune, and this concourse of Christian warriors, speaking innumerable
tongues, poured through mountain defiles and ever southward till they
met in lofty Toledo and camped on the banks of the Tagus. Marches,
skirmishes, and long-drawn-out sieges prelude the great day. The hot
Spanish summer sets in, the foreigners, growing languid in the arid
stretches of La Mancha, and disappointed at the slender booty meted out
to them, desert the native army, march northwards and again cross the
Pyrenees to return to their homes. It was thus left to the Spaniards,
led by three kings and their warlike prelates, to defeat a Moslem army
of half a million and gain the glorious victory of Las Navas de Tolosa
on the sixteenth of August, 1212.

With Rome's firm grasp on the Spanish Peninsula came temples no less
beautiful than those the great Mother Church was planting in every
portion of her dominion north of the Pyrenees,--Leon, Burgos, Toledo and
Valencia rose in proud challenge to Amiens, Rheims, Beauvais and

Leon may be called French,--yes, unquestionably so, but that is no
detraction or denial of her native "gentileza." She may be the very
embodiment of French planning, her general dimensions like those of
Bourges; her portals certainly recall those of Chartres, and the
planning of her apsidal chapels, her bases, arches, and groining ribs,
remind one of Amiens and Rheims; but nevertheless this exotic flower
blooms as gloriously in a Spanish desert as those that sprang up amid
the vineyards or in the Garden of France.


    A. Capilla Mayor.
    B. Choir.
    C. Crossing.
    D. Tombs.
    E. Trascoro.
    F. Towers.
    G. Cloisters.]

Leon is almost as old as the history of Spain. In the first century
after Christ, the seventh Roman legion, on the order of Augustus,
pitched their tents where the city now stands, built their customary
rectangular enclosure with its strong walls and towers, happily seconded
by the nature of the surrounding country. From here the wild hordes of
the Asturias could be kept in check. The city was narrowly built in the
fork of two rivers, on ground allowing neither easy approach nor
expansion, so that the growth has, even up to the twentieth century,
been within the ancient walls, and the streets and squares are in
consequence narrow and cramped. On many of the blocks of those old walls
may still be seen carved in the clear Roman lettering, "Legio septima
gemina, pia, felix." The name of Leon is merely a corruption first used
by the Goths of the Roman "Legio." Roman dominion survived the empire
for many years, being first swept away when the Gothic hordes in the
middle of the sixth century descended from the north under the
conqueror, Loevgild. Its Christian bishopric was possibly the first in
Spain, founded in the darkness of the third century, since which time
the little city can boast an unbroken succession of Leonese bishops,
although a number, during the turbulent decades of foreign rule, may not
actually have been "in residence." The Moslem followed the Goth, and
ruled while the nascent Christian kingdom of the Asturias was slowly
gaining strength for independence and the foundation of an episcopal
seat. In the middle of the eighth century, the Christians wrested it
from the Moors. On the site of the old Roman baths, built in three long
chambers, King Ordoño II erected his palace (he was reconstructing for
defense and glory the walls and edifices of the city) and in 916
presented it with considerable ground and several adjacent houses to
Bishop Frumonio, that he might commence the building of the Cathedral on
the advantageous palace site in the heart of the city. Terrible Moorish
invasions occurred soon after, involving considerable damage to the
growing Byzantine basilica. In 996 the Moors swept the city with fire
and sword, and again, three years later, it fell entirely into the hands
of the great conqueror Almanzor, who remained in possession only just
the same time, for we may read in the old monkish manuscripts that in
1002 from the Christian pulpits of Castile and Leon the proclamation was
made: "Almanzor is dead, and buried in Hell."

Leon could boast of being the first mediæval city of Europe to obtain
self-government and a charter of her own, and she became the scene of
important councils during the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth
centuries. In the eleventh century, under the great Ferdinand I, who
united Castile and Leon, work on the basilica was pushed rapidly
forward. French influence was predominant in the early building
operations, for Alfonso VI of Castile, who assumed the title of Emperor
of Spain, had two French wives, each of whom brought with her a batch of
zealous and skillful church-building prelates.

The church was finally consecrated in 1149. About twenty-five years ago,
the Spanish architect, D. Demetrio de los Rios, in charge of the work of
restoration on the present Cathedral, discovered the walls and
foundations of the ancient basilica and was able to determine accurately
its relation to the later Gothic church. The exact date when this was
begun is uncertain,--many writers give 1199. Beyond a doubt the
foundations were laid out during the reign of Alfonso IX, early in the
thirteenth century, when Manrique de Lara was Bishop of the See of Leon
and French Gothic construction was at the height of its glory. It is
thus a thirteenth-century church, belonging principally to the latter
part, built with the feverish energy, popular enthusiasm, and
unparalleled genius for building which characterizes that period and
stamps it as uniquely glorious to later constructive ages. Though
smaller than most of the immense churches which afterwards rose under
Spanish skies, Leon remained in many respects unsurpassed and unmatched.

    "Sevilla en grandeza, Toledo en riqueza,
     Compostella en fortaleza, está en sutileza
     Santa Maria de Regla."

In the middle of the thirteenth century, after the consecration of the
new church, a famous council of all the bishops of the realm was held in
the little town of Madrid, and there the faithful were exhorted, and
the lukewarm admonished with threats, to contribute by every means to
the successful erection of Leon's Cathedral. Indulgences, well worth
consideration, were granted to contributors, at the head of whom for a
liberal sum stood the king, Alfonso X.

But Leon, capital of the ancient kingdom, was doomed before long to feel
the bitterness of abandonment. The Castilian kings followed the retreat
southward of the Moorish armies, and the history of the capital of Leon,
which, during the thirteenth century, had been the history of the little
kingdom, soon became confined within the limits of her cathedral walls.
Burgos, a mighty rival, soon overshadowed her. The time came when the
Bishop of Leon was merely a suffragan of the Archbishop of Burgos, and
her kings had moved their court south to Seville. The city of Leon was
lost in the union of the two kingdoms.

The fortunes of the Cathedral have been varied and her reverses great.
Her architects risked a great deal and the disasters entailed were
proportionate. Though belonging preëminently in style to the glorious
thirteenth century, her building continued almost uninterruptedly
throughout the fourteenth. We have in succession Maestro Enrique, Pedro
Cebrian, Simon, Guillen de Rodan, Alonzo Valencia, Pedro de Medina, and
Juan de Badajoz, working on her walls and towers with a magnificent
recklessness which was shortly to meet its punishment. Although Bishop
Gonzalez in 1303 declared the work, "thanks be to God, completed," it
was but started. The south façade was completed in the sixteenth
century, but as early as 1630 the light fabric began to tremble, then
the vaulting of the crossing collapsed and was replaced by a more
magnificent dome. Many years of mutilations and disasters succeeded. The
south front was entirely taken down and rebuilt, the vaulting of aisles
fell, great portions of the main western façade, and ornamentation here
and there was disfigured or destroyed by the later alterations in
overconfident and decadent times, until, in the middle of the eighteenth
century, very considerable portions of the original rash and exquisite
fabric were practically ruined. There came, however, an awakening to the
outrages which had been committed, and from the middle of the nineteenth
century to the present day, the work of putting back the stones in their
original forms and places has steadily advanced to the honor of Leon andglory of 
Spain, until Santa Maria de Regla at last stands once more in
the full pristine lightness of her original beauty.

The plan of Leon is exceedingly fine, surpassed alone among Spanish
churches by that of Toledo. Three doorways lead through the magnificent
western portal into the nave and side aisles of the Church. These
consist of five bays up to the point where the huge arms of the transept
spread by the width of an additional bay. In proportion to the foot of
the cross, these arms are broader than in any other Spanish cathedral.
They are four bays in length, the one under the central lantern being
twice the width of the others, thus making the total width of the
transepts equal to the distance from the western entrance to their
intersection. The choir occupies the fifth and sixth bays of the nave.
To the south, the transept is entered by a triple portal very similar in
scale and richness to the western. The eastern termination of the
church is formed by a choir of three and an ambulatory of five bays
running back of the altar and trascoro, and five pentagonal apsidal
chapels. The sacristy juts out in the extreme southwestern angle. The
northern arm of the huge transepts is separated from the extensive
cloisters by a row of chapels or vestibules which to the east also lead
to the great Chapel of Santiago. All along its eastern lines the church
with its dependencies projects beyond the city walls, one of its massive
towers standing as a mighty bulwark of defense in the extreme
northeastern angle.

[Illustration: CATHEDRAL OF LEON

Looking up the nave]

It is a plan that must delight not only the architect, but any casual
observer, in its almost perfect symmetry and in the relationship of its
various parts to each other. It belonged to the primitive period of
French Gothic, though carried out in later days when its vigor was
waning. It has not been cramped nor distorted by initial limitation of
space or conditions, nor injured by later deviations from the original
conception. It is worthy of the great masters who planned once for all
the loveliest and most expressive house for the worship of God. Erected
on the plains of Leon, it was conceived in the inspired provinces of
Champagne and the Isle de France.

It has a total length of some 308 feet and a width of nave and aisles of
83. The height to the centre of nave groining is 100 feet. The western
front has two towers, which, curiously enough, as in Wells Cathedral,
flank the side aisles, thus necessitating in elevation a union with the
upper portions of the façade by means of flying buttresses.

There is a fine view of the exterior of the church from across the
square facing the southwestern angle. A row of acacia plumes and a
meaningless, eighteenth-century iron fence conceal the marble paving
round the base, but this foreground sinks to insignificance against the
soaring masses of stone towers and turrets, buttresses and pediments,
stretching north and east. Both façades have been considerably restored,
the later Renaissance and Baroque atrocities having been swept away in a
more refined and sensitive age, when the portions of masonry which fell,
owing to the flimsiness of the fabric, were rebuilt. The result has,
however, been that great portions, as for instance in the western front
and the entire central body above the portals, jar, with the chalky
whiteness of their surfaces by the side of the time-worn masonry. They
lack the exquisite harmony of tints, where wind and sun and water have
swept and splashed the masonry for centuries.

The two towers that flank the western front in so disjointed a manner
are of different heights and ages. Both have a heavy, lumbering quality
entirely out of keeping with the aerial lightness of the remainder of
the church. It is not quite coarseness, but rather a stiff-necked,
pompous gravity. Their moldings lack vigor and sparkle. The play of
fancy and sensitive decorative treatment are wanting. The northern tower
is the older and has an upper portion penetrated by a double row of
round and early pointed windows. An unbroken octagonal spire crowns it,
the angles of the intersection being filled by turrets, as uninteresting
as Prussian sentry-boxes. The southern tower, though lighter and more
ornamented, has, like its sister, extremely bald lower surfaces, the
four angles in both cases being merely broken by projecting buttresses.
The lowest story was completed in the fourteenth century. It was added
to in successive centuries by Maestro Jusquin and Alfonso Ramos, but its
great open-work spire, of decided German form, probably much influenced
by Colonia's spires at Burgos, was first raised in the fifteenth

It is a complete monotonous lacework of stone, not nearly as spirited as
similar, earlier, French work. The spire is separated from the bald base
by a two-storied belfry, with two superimposed openings on each surface.
Gothic inscriptions decorate the masonry and the huge black letters
spell out "Deus Homo--Ave Maria, Gratia plena."

At the base, between these huge, grave sentinels, stands the magnificent
old portico with the modern facing of the main body of the church above
it. This screen of later days, built after the removal of a hideously
out-of-keeping Renaissance front, is contained within two buttresses
which meet the great flying ones. In fact, looking down the stone gorge
between these buttresses and the towers, one sees a mass of pushing and
propping flying buttresses springing in double rows above the roof of
the side aisles towards the clerestories of the nave. The screen itself
contains, immediately above the portico, an arcade of four subdivided
arches, corresponding to the triforium, and above it a gorgeous rose
window. It is the best type of late thirteenth or early
fourteenth-century wheel of radial system, very similar in design to the
western wheel of Notre Dame de Paris and the great western one of
Burgos. Springing suddenly into being in all its developed perfection,
it can only be regarded as a direct importation from the Isle de France.
The ribs of the outer circle are twice as many as those of the inner,
thus dividing the glass surfaces into approximately equal breadth of
fields. This and the rose of the southern transept are similar, and both
are copies of the original one still extant in the north transept. A
fine cornice and open-work gallery surmount the composition, flanked by
crocketed turrets and crowned in the centre by a pediment injurious in
effect and of Italian Renaissance inspiration. The gable field is broken
by a smaller wheel, and in an ogival niche are statues of the

The portico is the most truly splendid part of the Cathedral. Erected at
the end of the thirteenth or beginning of the fourteenth century, much
of its Gothic sculpture is unsurpassed in Spain. A perfect museum of art
and a history in magnificent carving. The composition as a whole recalls
again unquestionably Chartres. It consists of three recessed arches
hooding with deep splays the three doorways which lead into nave and
side aisles. Between the major arches are two smaller, extremely pointed
ones, the most northerly of which encases an ancient columnar shaft
decorated with the arms of Leon and bearing the inscription, "locus
appellationis." Beneath it court was long held and justice administered
by the rulers of Leon during the Middle Ages.

The arches of the porches are supported by piers, completely broken and
surrounded by columnar shafts and niches carrying statues on their
corbels. These piers stand out free from the jambs of the doors and
wall surfaces behind, and thus form an open gallery between the two.
Around and over all is an astounding and lavish profusion of
sculpture,--no less than forty statues. The jambs and splays, the
shafts, the archivolts, the moldings and tympanums are covered with
carving, varied and singularly interesting in the diversity of its
period and character. Part of it is late Byzantine with the traditions
of the twelfth century, while much is from the very best vigorous Gothic
chisels, and yet some, later Gothic. Certain borders, leafage, and vine
branches are Byzantine, and so also are some of the statues, "retaining
the shapeless proportions and the immobility and parched frown of the
Byzantine School, so perfectly dead in its expression, offering,
however, by its garb and by its contours not a little to the study of
this art, and so constituting a precious museum." Again, other statues
have the mild and venerable aspect of the second period of Gothic work.
The oldest are round the most northerly of the three doorways. Every
walk of life is represented. There is a gallery of costumes; and most
varying emotions are depicted in the countenances of the kings and
queens, monks and virgins, prelates, saints, angels, and bishops.
Separating the two leaves of the main doorway, stands Our White Lady.
But if the statues are interesting, the sculpture of the archivolts and
the personages and scenes carved on the fields of the tympanums far
surpass them.

Mrs. Wharton says somewhere, "All northern art is anecdotic,--it is an
ancient ethnological fact that the Goth has always told his story that
way." Nothing could be more "anecdotic" than this sculpture. The
northern tympanum gives scenes from the Life of Christ, the Visitation,
the Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi, and the Flight into Egypt. In
the southern, are events from the life of the Virgin Mary; but the
central one, and the archivolts surrounding it, contain the most
spirited bits. The scene is the Last Judgment, with Christ as the
central figure. Servants of the Church of various degrees are standing
on one side with expressions of beatitude nowise clouded by the fate of
the miserable reprobates on the other. In the archivolts angels ascend
with instruments and spreading wings, embracing monks or gathering
orphans into their bosoms, while the lost with horrid grimaces are
descending to their inevitable doom. Not even the great Florentine could
depict more realistically the feelings of such as had sinned grievously
in this world.

The long southern side of the church has for its governing feature the
wide transept termination, which in its triple portal, triforium arcade,
and rose is practically a repetition of the west. The central body is
all restored. The original, magnificent old statues and carving have,
however, been set back in the new casings around and above the main
entrance. An old Leonese bishop, San Triolan, occupies in the central
door the same position as "Our White Lady" to the west, while the
Saviour between the Four Evangelists is enthroned in the tympanum.

[Illustration: CATHEDRAL OF LEON

Rear of apse]

One obtains a most interesting study in construction by standing behind
the great polygonal apse, whence one may see the double rows of flying
buttresses pushing with the whole might of the solid piers behind them
against the narrow strips of masonry at the angles of the choir. From
every buttress rise elegantly carved and crocketed finials. Marshalled
against the cobalt of the skies, they body forth an array of shining
lances borne by a heavenly host. The balconies, forming the cresting to
the excessively high clerestory, are entirely Renaissance in feeling,
and lack in their horizontal lines the upward spring of the church
below. Almost all of this eastern end, breaking through the city walls,
is, with the possible exception of the roof, part of the fine old
structure, in contrast to the adjoining Plateresque sacristy.

It is generally from the outside of French cathedrals that one receives
the most vivid impressions. Though the mind may be overcome by a feeling
of superhuman effort on entering the portals of Notre Dame de Paris, yet
the emotion produced by the first sight of the queenly, celestial
edifice from the opposite side of the broad square is the more powerful
and eloquent. Not so in Spain,--and this in spite of the location of the
choirs. It is not until you enter a Spanish church that its power and
beauty are felt.

The audacious construction of Leon, which one wonders at from the square
outside, becomes well-nigh incredible when seen from the nave. How is it
possible that glass can support such a weight of stone? If Burgos was
bold, this is insane. It looks as unstable as a house of cards, ready
for a collapse at the first gentle breeze. Can fields of glass sustain
three hundred feet of thrusts and such weights of stone? It is a
culmination of the daring of Spanish Gothic. In France there was this
difference,--while the fields of glass continued to grow larger and
larger, the walls to diminish, and the piers to become slenderer, the
aid of a more perfectly developed system of counterthrusts to the
vaulting was called in. In Spain we reach the maximum of elimination in
the masonry of the side walls at the end of the thirteenth century, and
in the Cathedral of Leon, whereas later Gothic work, as in portions of
Burgos and Toledo, shows a sense of the futile exaggeration towards
which they were drifting, as well as the impracticability of so much
glass from a climatic point of view.

Internally, Leon is the lightest and most cheerful church in Spain. The
great doorways of the western and southern fronts, as well as that to
the north leading into the cloisters, are thrown wide open, as if to add
to the joyousness of the temple. Every portion of it is flooded with
sweet sunlight and freshness. It is the church of cleanliness, of light
and fresh air, and above all, of glorious color. The glaziers might have
said with Isaiah, "And I will make thy windows of agates and thy gates
of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones." The entire walls
are a continuous series of divine rainbows.

The side walls of the aisles for a height of some fourteen feet to the
bottom of their vaulting ribs, the triforium, commencing but a foot
above the arches which separate nave from side aisles, and immediately
above the triforium, forty feet of clerestory,--all is glass, emerald,
turquoise, and peacock, amber, straw, scarlet, and crimson, encased in a
most delicate, strangely reckless, and bold-traceried framework of
stained ivory. Indeed, the jeweled portals of Heaven are wide open when
the sun throws all the colors from above across the otherwise colorless
fields of the pavement. "The color of love's blood within them glows."
There is glazing of many centuries and all styles. In some of the
triforium windows are bits of glass, which, after the destruction or
falling of the old windows, were carefully collected, put together, and
used again in the reglazing. Some of it is of the earliest in Spain,
probably set by French, Flemish, or German artisans who had immigrated
to practise their art and set up their factories on Spanish soil
adjacent to the stone-carvers' and masons' sheds under the rising walls
of the great churches. Like all skilled artisans of their age, the
secret of their trade, the proper fusing of the silica with the
alkalies, was carefully guarded and handed down from father to son or
master to apprentice. They were chemists, glaziers, artists, colorists,
and glass manufacturers, all in one. The heritage was passed on in those
days, when the great key of science which opens all portals had not yet
become common property. Some of the oldest glass is merely a crude
mosaic inlay of small bits and must date back to early thirteenth
century. Coloring glass by partial fusion was then first practised and
soon followed by the introduction of figures and themes in the glass,
and the acquisition of a lovely, homogeneous opalescence in place of the
purely geometrical patterns. Scriptural scenes or figures painted, as
the Spanish say, "en caballete," became more and more general. The best
of the Leon windows are from the fifteenth century, when the glaziers'
shops in the city worked under the direction of Juan de Arge, Maestro
Baldwin, and Rodrigo de Ferraras, and its master colorists were at work
glazing the windows of the Capilla Mayor, the Capilla de Santiago, and a
portion of those of the north transept. "Ces vitreaux hauts en couleur,
qui faisaient hésiter l'œil émerveillé de nos pères entre la rose du
grand portail et les ogives de l'abside." The glazing has gone on
through centuries; even to-day the glaziers at Leon are busy in their
shops, making the sheets of sunset glow for their own and other Spanish

In some of the side aisles, they have, alas, during recent decades
placed some horrible "grisaille" and geometrically patterned
windows,--in frightful contrast to the delightful thirteenth-century
legends of Saint Clement and Saint Ildefonso, or that most absorbing
record of civic life depicted in the northern aisle. In studying the
windows of Leon, Lamperez y Romea's observations on Spanish glazing are
of interest: "In the fourteenth century the rules of glazing in Spain
were changed. Legends had fallen into disuse and the masters had learned
that, in the windows of the high nave, small medallions could not be
properly appreciated. They were then replaced by large figures, isolated
or in groups, but always one by one in the spaces determined by the
tracery. The coloring remained strong and vivid. The study of nature,
which had so greatly developed in painting and in sculpture, altered the
drawing little by little, the figures became more modeled and lifelike,
and were carried out with more detail. At the same time the coloring
changed by the use of neutral tints, violet, brown, light blues, rose,
etc. Many of the old windows are of this style. And so are the majority
of the windows of Avila, Leon, and Toledo, as it lasted in Spain
throughout the fifteenth century, and others which preserve the
composition of great figures and strong coloring, although there may be
noticed in the drawings greater naturalism and modeling."

These rules differed slightly from those followed in France, where, with
the exception of certain churches in the east, the windows of the
thirteenth century were richer in decoration, more luscious in coloring
and more harmonious in their tones than those of the fourteenth. There
is little in this later century that can compare with the
thirteenth-century series of Chartres figures.

The Leonese windows are perhaps loveliest late in the afternoon, when
the saints and churchmen seem to be entering the church through their
black-traceried portals, and, clad in heavenly raiment, about to descend
to the pavement,--

    As softly green,
    As softly seen,
    Through purest crystal gleaming,

there to people the aisles and keep vigil at the altars of God to the
coming of another day.

There are, fortunately, scarcely any other colors or decorations,--or
altars off side aisles,--that might divert the attention from the
richness of glass. The various vaulting has the jointing of its
stonework strongly marked, but, with the exception of the slightly
gilded bosses, no color is applied. The glory of the glass is thus
enhanced. Owing to the great portions of masonry which have been
rebuilt, this varies in its tints, but the old was, and has remained, of
such an exquisitely delicate creamy color that the new interposed
stonework merely looks like a lighter, fresher shade of the old. The
restoration has been executed with rare skill and artistic feeling.

In studying the inner organism and structure of the edifice, one soon
sees how recklessly the original fabric was constructed and in how many
places it had to be rebuilt, strengthened and propped,--indeed,
immediately after its completion. Here, as was the general custom in the
greater early Gothic cathedrals, the building began with the choir and
Capilla Mayor, to be followed by the transepts, the portions of the
edifice essential to the service. The choir was probably temporarily
roofed over and the nave and side aisles followed. The exterior façades,
portals, and upper stories of the towers were carried out last of all by
the aid of indulgences, contributions, alms and concessions.

In old manuscripts and documents which record the very first work on the
cathedrals we find the one in charge called "Maestro,"--or _magister
operis_, _magister ecclesiae_, _magister fabricae_, but not till
the sixteenth century does the appellation "arquitecto" appear.
His pay seems to have varied, both in amount and in form of
emolument,--sometimes it was good hard cash, often a very poor or
dubious remuneration, handed out consequently with a more lavish hand;
sometimes grants, and again royal favor. Generally the architect entered
into a stipulated agreement with the Cathedral Chapter, both as to his
time and services, before he began his work. We find Master Jusquin
(1450-69) receiving from the Chapter of Leon not only a daily salary but
also annual donations of bushels of wheat, pairs of gloves, lodgings,
poultry, other supplies, and the use of certain workmen.

Leon's unquestionable French parentage is, if possible, even more
obvious in the interior than in the exterior. The piers between nave and
side aisles are cylindrical in plan, having in their lowest section on
their front surface three columns grouped together that continue
straight up through triforium and clerestory and carry the transverse
and diagonal ribs of the nave. They have further one column on each side
of the axis east and west and, strange to say, only one toward the side
aisles, which thus lack continuous supports for their diagonal ribs. The
outer walls of the side aisles are formed by a blind arcade of five
arches, surmounted by a projecting balcony or corridor and a clerestory
subdivided by its tracery into four arches and three cusped circles. The
nave triforium consists of a double arcade with a gallery running
between (one of the very rare examples in Spain). Each bay has in the
triforium four open and two closed arches, surmounted by two
quatrefoils. The clerestory rises above, divided by marvelously slender
shafts into six compartments and three cusped circles in the apex of the
arch. Here shine, in dazzling raiment and with ecstatic expressions, the
saints and martyrs ordered in the fifteenth century from Burgos for the
sum of 20,000 maravedis.

Throughout all the glazed wall surfaces we find evidence of the anxiety
that overtook their reckless projectors. All but the upper cusps of the
windows of the side aisles have been filled in by masonry, painted with
saints and evangelists in place of the translucent ones originally
placed here. The lower portions of the triforium lights have been
blocked up and also the two outer arches of the clerestory. The light,
clustered piers and slender, double flying buttresses could not
accomplish the gigantic task of supporting the great height above. Nor
could the ingenious strengthening of the stone walls (consisting of
ashlar inside and out, facing intermediate rubble) by iron clamps supply
the requisite firmness.

It seems doubly unfortunate that the choir stalls should occupy the
position they do here, when there is such liberal space in the three
bays east of the crossing in front of the altar. The stone of their
exterior backing is cold and gray beside the ochre warmth of the
surrounding piers. The classic Plateresque statues and bas-reliefs, as
well as the exquisitely carved, Florentine decoration, seems strangely
out of place under the Gothic loveliness above. The trascoro itself is
warmer in color, but of the extravagant later period. Its pilasters,
spandrels, and band-courses are filled with elaborate and fine
Florentine ornamentation, while the niches themselves, with high reliefs
representing the Annunciation, the Nativity, and the Adoration of the
Magi, are not quite free from a certain Gothic feeling. Above, great
statues of Church Fathers weigh heavily on the delicate work and smaller
scale below.

The carving of the double tier of walnut choir stalls is at once
restrained and rich. Beautiful Gothic tracery surmounts in both tiers
the figures that fill the panels above the seats. Below are characters
from the Old Testament,--Daniel, Jeremiah, Abel, David busily playing
his harp, Joshua "Dux Isri," Moses with splendid big horns and tablets,
Tobias with his little fish slit up the belly. Above stand firmly
full-length figures of the Apostles and saints. With the exception of
some of the work near the entrance, which is practically Renaissance in
feeling, all this carving is late Gothic from the last part of the
fifteenth century and executed by the masters Fadrique, John of Malines,
and Rodrigo Aleman. Two of the stalls, more elevated and pronounced than
the rest, are for the hereditary canons of the Cathedral, the King of
Leon and the Marquis of Astorga. Excellent as they are, these stalls are
not nearly so rich in design nor beautiful in execution as the Italian
Renaissance choir stalls, in the Convent of San Marcos directly outside
the city walls, carved some decades later by the Magister Guillielmo

The crossing is splendidly broad, the transepts appearing, as one
glances north and south, as much the main arms of the cross as do the
nave and choir. The southern arm is quite new, having been completely
rebuilt by D. Juan Madrazo and D. Demetrio Amador de los Rios. The
glazing of its window and the arabesques cannot be compared to those of
the original fabric in the northern arm. The four piers of the crossing,
though slender and graceful, carry full, logical complements of shafts
for the support of the various vaulting ribs, intersecting at their

The retablo above the high altar is in its simplicity as refreshing as
the light and sunniness of the church. In place of the customary gaudy
carving, it merely consists of a series of painted fifteenth-century
tablets set in Gothic frames. Simple rejas close the western bays and a
florid Gothic trasaltar, the eastern termination. Directly back of the
altar lies a noble and dignified figure, the founder of the church, King
Ordoño II. At his feet is a little dog, looking for all the world like
a sucking pig in a butcher's window. And above him is an ancient and
most curious Byzantine relief of the Crucifixion. The lions and castles
of his kingdom surround the old king. The greater portion of the carving
must belong to the oldest in the church.

In looking at the vaulting and considering the difficulty of planning
the "girola" or ambulatory, one realizes that such construction could
only be the outcome of many years of study, experiment and inspiration.
Perfection means long previous schooling and experience. The apsidal
chapels that radiate from it have glass differing in excellence. Here
and there frescoes of the thirteenth century line these earliest walls.
It is surprising in how many different places old sepulchres are to be
found, all more or less similar in their general design and belonging to
the period of transition from the Byzantine to the Gothic, yet each
denoting the building period of the place where it stands. Some of the
subjects of the carving are most curious: a hog playing the bagpipes,
the devil in the garb of a father confessor, tempting a penitent; or
again, a woman suckling an ass. Saint Froila lies on one side of the
altar. Not only his sanctity but even his authenticity were disputed by
various disbelievers in the city, prior to his being brought to this
final resting-place. The matter was decided by placing the body in
question on an ass's back, whereupon the sagacious animal took his holy
burden to the spot where it deserved burial.

In the Capilla de Nuestra Señora del Dado, or "of the die," stands a
Virgin with the face of the Christ child ever bleeding, it is said,
since the time when an unlucky gambler in a fit of despair threw his
dice against the Babe.

Directly opposite Ordoño's tomb lies the Countess Sancha, who, in a
burst of religious enthusiasm, decided to leave her considerable worldly
goods to the Church instead of to her nephew. This was more than he
could stand, and he murdered her. Below her figure he is represented,
receiving his just reward in being torn to pieces by wild horses.

To the north, a florid Gothic portal leads on a higher level to the
Chapel of Santiago. This has been, and is still being, restored. Its
three vaults are differently arched, the ribs not being carried down
against the side walls to the floor, but met by broad corbels supported
by curious figures. The stonework is cold and gray in comparison to the
church proper.

Separating the northern entrance from the cloisters is a row of chapels,
leading one into the other and crowded with tombs and sculpture. There
are few more complete cloisters in Spain. Large and elaborate, they are
a curious mixture of the old Gothic and the Renaissance restorations of
the sixteenth century. Ancient Gothic tombs, their archivolts crowded
with angels, pierce the interior walls, while the vaults themselves are
most elaborately groined, the arches and vaulting being later filled
with Renaissance bosses and rosettes. In the sunny courtyard are piled
up the Renaissance turrets and sculptures that once usurped on the
façades the places of the older Gothic ornamentation. The northern
portal itself is practically hidden by the chapels and cloisters. It is
fine Gothic work. A Virgin and Child form a mullion in its centre, while
very worldly-looking women parade in its archivolts. Everywhere are the
arms of the United Kingdoms. A great portion of the ancient tapestry
blue and Veronese red coloring is still preserved, throwing out the old
Gothic figures in their true tints.

This aerial tabernacle, so rich and yet so simple, lies in the heart of
a city so fabulously old that the Cathedral itself belongs rather to its
later days. The old houses and streets have a dryness and close smell
like that in the ancient sepulchres of parched countries. Monuments and
walls and turrets of Rome crumble around the houses and vaults of
Byzantium. The naïve frescoes and carvings of the eighth and ninth
centuries seem to look down with childlike wonder and amazement on the
pedestrians now crowding the patterned pavements, or pressing against
the shady sides of the time-worn arches.

The worshipers who tread the narrow lanes leading to and from the altar
have changed, but little else. The square, mediæval castles with their
angular towers still command the approach of the main thoroughfares. The
crabbed old watchman with lantern and stick under his cape treads his
doddering gait across the courtyards through the night hours, crying
after the peal of the bell above, "Las doce han dado y sereno," "Las
trece han dado y aleviendo," "Las quince han dado y nublano," just as in
the middle ages, so that the good peasant may know time and weather and
merely turn in his bed, if neither crops nor creatures need care.

Santa Maria de Regla too stands to-day as she stood in the middle ages,
a monument to the care and affection of her children. She has the same
spirituality, harmony of proportions, slenderness, and purity of lines,
and she looks down and blesses us to-day with the same serenity and
queenly grace which she wore in the fourteenth century. She is the
finest Gothic cathedral in Spain.



[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


I withdrew at once with the Morisco into the cloisters of the
Cathedral.--_Don Quixote._


The peace of death is over Toledo, unbroken by any invasion of modern
thought or new architecture since her last deep sighs mingled with the
distant echoes of the middle ages. But she still wears the mantle of her
imperial glory. She sleeps in the fierce, beating sunlight of the
twentieth century like the enchanted princess of fairy tales,
undisturbed by, and unconscious of, the world around her.

The atmosphere is transparent; the sky spreads from lapis-lazuli to a
cobalt field back of the snow-capped, turquoise Sierra de Gredo
mountains, while a clear streak of lemon color throws out the sharp
silhouette of the battlements and towers.

There is sadness and desolation in the decay, a pathetically forlorn and
tragical widowhood, strangely affecting to the senses.

    A blackened ruin, lonely and forsaken,
    Already wrapt in winding-sheets of sand;
    So lies Toledo till the dead awaken,--
    A royal spoil of Time's resistless hand.

Toledo! The name rings with history, romance and legend. Enthralling
images of the past rise before one and vanish like the ghosts of
Macbeth. Capital of Goth, of Moslem, and of Christian; mightiest of
hierarchical seats,[8] city of monarch and priest, she has worn a double
diadem. Gautier says, "Jamais reine antique, pas même Cléopatre, qui
buvait des perles, jamais courtisane Vénitienne du temps de Titien n'eut
un écrin plus étincelant, un trousseau plus riche que Notre Dame de
Tolède." But the flame of life which once burned warm and bright is now
extinct and all her glory has vanished. Neglected churches, convents,
palaces, and ruins lie huddled together, a stern and solemn vision of
the past, waiting with the silence of the tomb, broken only by the
continual tolling of her hoarse bells.

The city has a superb situation. Once seen, it is forever impressed upon
the memory. The hills on which it stands rise abruptly from the
surrounding campagna, which bakes brown and barren and crisp under the
scorching rays of the sun, and stretches away to the distant mountains,
vast and uninterrupted in its solitude and dreariness. It is "pobre de
solemnidad,"--solemnly poor, as runs the touching phrase in Spanish.
There is no joy and freshness of vegetation, no glistening of wet
leaves, no scent of flowers. You read thirst in the plains, hunger in
the soil-denuded hills. All is naked and bare, without a softening line
or gentler shadow, lying fallow in spring, unwatered in drought, and
ungarnered at harvest time.

The Tagus rushes round the city in the shape of a horseshoe, confining
and protecting it as the Wear does the towers of Durham. It boils and
eddies 'twixt its narrow, rocky confines, hurrying from the gloomy
shadows to the sunshine below, through which it slowly sweeps, murky and
coffee-colored, to the horizon, no life between its flat banks, no
commerce to mark it as a highway.

You pass over the high-arched Alcantara Bridge, which the Campeador and
his kinsman, Alvar Fanez, crossed with twelve hundred horsemen at their
back, to demand justice from their sovereign. A broad terrace crawls
like a serpent up the steep incline to the city gates. A forest of
soaring steeples rises above you, topped by the square bulk of the

The city smells sleepy. The narrow streets, or rather alleys, of the
town wind tortuously around the stucco façades, with no apparent
starting-point or destination, as confused as a skein of worsted after a
kitten has played with it. Thus were they laid out by the wise Arabs, to
afford shade at all hours of the day. At every corner, one runs into
some detail of historical or artistic interest,--history and
architecture here wander hand in hand.

Huge, wooden doors, closely studded with scallop nails as big as a man's
fist, proud escutcheons of noble races lost to all save Spain's history;
charming glimpses of interior courtyards and gardens glittering fresh in
their emerald coloring, and sweet with the scent of orange blossoms;
Gothic crenelations, Renaissance ironwork and railing, and Moorish
capitals and ornamentation, all pell-mell, the styles of six centuries
often appearing in the same building. More than a hundred churches and
chapels and forty monasteries crumble side by side within the small
radius of the city. Half of its area was once covered by religious
buildings or mortmain property.


The church, be it a grand cathedral or the humble steeple of some little
hamlet, is always the connecting link between past and present. It has
been the highest artistic expression of the people, and it remains an
eloquent witness to continuity and tradition. It is what makes later
ages most forcibly "remember," for it seeks to embody and satisfy the
greatest need of the human heart.

The history of a great cathedral church of Spain is so closely connected
with the civil life of its city that one cannot be thoroughly studied
without some familiarity with the other. Spanish cathedrals differ in
this respect from their great English and French sisters. In England,
cathedrals were built and owned by the clergy, they belonged to the
priests, they were surrounded and hedged in from the outside world by
their extensive lawns and cloisters, refectories, chapter houses,
bishops' palaces, and numerous monastic buildings. They were shut off
from the rest of the world by high walls. In France, the cathedrals were
the centre of civic life; their organs were the heart-throbs of the
people; their bells were notes of warning. The very houses of the
artisans climbed up to their sides and nestled for protection between
the buttresses of the great Mother Church. Notre Dame d'Amiens, for
instance, was the church of a commune, what Walter Pater calls a
"people's church." They belonged to the people more than to the clergy.
They were a civil rather than an ecclesiastical growth, essentially the
layman's glory.


    A. Chapel of Saint Blase.
    B. Chapel of the Parish of Saint Peter.
    C. Octagon.
    D. Chapel of the Virgin of the Sanctuary.
    E. Large Sacristy.
    F. Court of the Hall of Accounts.
    G. Chapel of the New Kings.
    H. Chapel of the Master of Santiago, D. Alvaro de Luna.
    I. Chapel of Saint Ildefonso.
    K. Chapter House.
    L. Chapel of the Old Kings or of the Holy Cross.
    M. Capilla Mayor.
    N. Chapel of the Tower or of the Dean.
    O. Mozarabic Chapel.
    P. Choir.
    Q. Portal of the Lions.
    R. Portal of the Olive, or Gate of La Llana.
    S. Portal of the Choir.
    T. Portal of the Little Bread.
    V. Portal of the Visitation.
    W. Portal of the Tower or Gate of Hell.
    X. Portal of the Scriveners or of Judgment.]

In Spain, the church belonged to both. Municipal and ecclesiastical
history were one and the same, going hand in hand in bloody strife or
peaceful union,--the city was the body, the cathedral its animating
soul. The cathedrals were meant, not for prayer alone, but to live
in,--they were for festivals, meetings, thanksgivings, for surging,
excited crowds. The church was an _imperium in imperio_. It was the
rallying place in all great undertakings or excitements. Here the Cortes
often met, the great church conclaves assembled, the mystical Autos or
sacred plays were performed, in them soldiers gathered, prepared for
battle, edicts were published, sovereigns were first proclaimed, and
allegiance was sworn; kings were christened, anointed, and buried. The
troubled murmurings of the lower classes were here first voiced. They
were the art galleries; here were displayed their finest paintings,
statues and tapestries; they were even museums of natural history, and
exhibited the finest examples of their wood-carving and glass-work, and
the iron and silversmith's arts. It is thus easy to see that the
political history of Toledo becomes vital in connection with its
Cathedral church.

The history of Toledo dates back to Roman days,--we find Pliny referring
to the city as the metropolis of Carpentania. She was among the first
cities of Spain to embrace Christianity. All the barbarians, with the
exception of the Franks, were Arians, but the last Gothic ruler in Spain
to withstand the Roman faith was Leovgild, who reigned in the last half
of the sixth century. He was also their first able administrator, the
first who consistently strove to bring order out of the chaos of warring
tribes and conflicting authorities. Contemporaries describe his palace
at Toledo, his throne and apparel, and his council chamber, as of truly
royal magnificence. It was reserved to his son Reccared to change the
history of Spain by publicly announcing his conversion to the Roman
faith before a council of Roman and Arian bishops held in Toledo in 587,
at the same time inviting them to exchange their views fearlessly and,
as many as would, to follow him. The Goths were never difficult to
convert, and many of the bishops and of the lords who were present
embraced the Catholic faith, to which a majority of the people already
belonged. Gregory the Great, hearing of the success of Reccared's gentle
and liberal proselytism, wrote to him: "What shall I do at the Last
Judgment when I arrive with empty hands, and your Excellency followed by
a flock of faithful souls, converted by persuasion?" He summoned a third
council at Toledo in 589, and in concert with nearly seventy bishops,
regulated the rites and discipline of the Church, at the same time
excluding the Jews from all employments. In royal Toledo Reccared was
anointed with holy oil, and he substituted the Latin for the Gothic
tongue in divine service, where Isidore was the first to use it. In
daily life Latin soon replaced Gothic. King Wamba built the great walls
round the city, and King Roderick held his glorious tournament inside

Greater than any fame of Gothic monarch was that of the Church Councils
which met here to determine the course of early dogma and shape the
destinies of the larger part of Christendom.

The most salient figure during the rule of the Gothic kings was Saint
Ildefonso, who quite overshadows his royal contemporaries. In 711 the
Moors conquered the city, which then became a dependency of the Caliphs
of Damascus and Bagdad until a Moorish prince shook off the foreign
yoke. Independent Arab princes ruled, with Toledo as capital of their
empire, until Alfonso VI, King of Castile and Leon, in 1085, finally
conquered it for himself and his successors.

During the reigns of the early Castilian kings, we find names connected
with the city's history which became famous all over Spain. The Cid was
the city's first Alcaide. Alfonso el Batallador and Pedro el Cruel stand
out in sombre relief, and Toledo was the cradle of the dramatic
Comunidades' rising, and the scene of the noble death of their patriotic
leader Padella. The streets ran with blood, and the walls spoke of
glorious resistance before the Flemish emperor had crushed the liberties
of the people.

We have a description of the brilliant pageant of Ferdinand and
Isabella's entry after defeating the king of Portugal. "The Prince of
Aragon was in full armour on his war horse and Isabella riding a
beautiful mule, splendidly caparisoned, the bridle being held by two
noble pages. Followed by their gorgeous retinue they rode slowly towards
the Cathedral, while the highest dignitaries of the Church, the
archbishop, himself a mitred king, the canons, and the clergy, in their
pontifical garments, preceded by the Cross, came forth from the Puerta
del Perdon to receive them. On each side of the arch above the doorway
were two angels, and in the centre a young maiden richly clothed, with a
golden crown on her head, to represent the image of 'La Bendita Madre de
Dios, nuestra Señora.' When Ferdinand and Isabella and all the company
had gathered around, the angels began to sing. The following day the
trophies of war were presented to the Cathedral."

During the period immediately following the reign of the Catholic Kings,
Toledo reached her highest prosperity. She numbered as many as 200,000
inhabitants;--to-day she has only 20,000. Glorious processions swept
through her streets, the proud knights of the military orders of
Alcantara, Calatrava, and Santiago, black-robed Dominican inquisitors,
executioners, royal chaplains and major-domos, the Councils of the
Indies, Castilian grandees, Roman princes and cardinals, brawling
Flemish and Burgundian nobles, German landsknechts, and great Catholic

Toledo received her death-blow when Philip II, unable to brook the
haughty claims of the Toledan archbishops, and feeling his power second
to theirs, finally, in 1560, moved the capital of his realm to Madrid.
Toledo's annals grew dark. So merciless was the Tribunal of the
Inquisition that under its vigilant eye 3327 processes were disposed of
in little more than a year. So Toledo fell from her former greatness.

The site of the Cathedral in the very heart of the city is by no means
dominant. The church lies so low that even the spire is inconspicuous in
the landscape. On three sides adjacent buildings completely bar all
view or approach. The only free perspective is on the fourth side, from
the steps of the Ayuntamiento across the square.

The inscription above the door of the city hall, with its trenchant
advice to the magistrates, is well worth notice:--

    Nobles discretos varones,
    Qui gobernais a Toledo
    En aquatos escalones
    Codicia, temor y miedo.
    Por los comunes provechos
    Deschad los particulares
    Puez vos hezo Dios pilares
    De tan requisimos lechos
    Estat vermes y derechos.[9]

In the streets, the _alcazerias_ which wind around the sides of the
Cathedral, the rich silk guild traded. Here were shipped the goods that
freighted vessels sailing for the American colonies.

During the Visigothic reign in Toledo, the Cathedral site was occupied
by a Christian temple. It was transformed by the Moors after their
occupancy of the city into their principal mosque; there they were still
permitted to carry on their worship, according to the terms of the
treaty made on their surrender of the city to King Alfonso IV in 1085. A
year afterwards King Alfonso went off on a campaign, leaving the
capital in charge of his French queen, Constance, and the Archbishop
Bernard, recently sent to Toledo at the King's request by the Abbot of
Cluny. No sooner was King Alfonso outside the city walls than the
regents turned the Moors out of the church. The Archbishop arrived with
a throng of Christian citizens, battered down the main entrance, threw
the Moslem objects of worship into the gutters, and set in their place
the Cross and the Virgin Mary. When the news of this outrage reached the
ears of the King, he returned in wrath to Toledo, swearing he would burn
both wife and prelate who had dared to break the oath he had so solemnly
sworn. The Moslems, sagely fearing later vengeance would be wreaked upon
them should they permit matters to take their course, besought the
returning sovereign to restrain his wrath while they released him from
his oath,--"Whereat he had great joy, and, riding on into the city, the
matter ended peacefully."

The appearance of this fanatic Cluny monk is of the greatest importance
as heralding a new influence in the development and history of Spanish
ecclesiastical architecture. His coming marks the introduction of a
foreign style of building and a revolution in the previous national
methods, known as "obra de los Godos," or work of the Goths. Further,
with the gradual arrival of French ecclesiastics from Cluny and Citeaux,
came also a greater interference from Rome in the management of the
Spanish Church, and a radical limitation of the former power of the
Peninsula's arrogant prelates. Owing to the new influence, the Italian
mass-book was soon presented in place of the ancient Gothic ritual and
breviary. The foreign churchmen likewise aided in uniting sovereign,
clergy, and nobility in common cause against the Saracen infidels now so
firmly ensconced in the Peninsula. Spanish art had previously felt only
national influences; now, through the door opened by the monks, it
received potent foreign elements.

Spain had been far too much occupied with internal strife and political
dissension to have had breathing spell or opportunity for the
development of the fine arts and the building of churches. The passion
for building which the French monks brought with them awoke entirely
dormant qualities in the Spaniard, which in the early Romanesque, but
especially in the Gothic edifices, produced beautiful, but essentially
exotic fruits. First in the days of the Renaissance the architecture
showed features which might be termed original and national. With the
Cluniacs came not only French artisans but Flemish, German, and Italian,
all taking a hand in, and lending their influences to the great works of
the new art.

Nothing remains of the old Moorish-Christian house of worship. It was
torn down by order of Saint Ferdinand (he had laid the foundation stone
of Burgos as early as 1221), who laid the corner stone of the present
edifice with great ceremony, assisted by the Archbishop, in the month of
August, 1227 (seven years prior to the commencement of Salisbury and
Amiens). The building was practically completed in 1493, during the
reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, the most illustrious epoch of Spanish
history. Additions and alterations injurious to the harmony and symmetry
of the building were made till the end of the seventeenth century, and
again continued during the eighteenth. It thus represents the
architectural inspiration and decadence of nearly six hundred years.
In style it belongs to the group of three great churches, Burgos, Toledo
and Leon, which were based upon the constructional principles and
decorative features termed Gothic. In some respects these churches
embodied to a highly developed extent the organic principles of the
style, in others, they fell far short of a clear comprehension of them.
None of them had the beauty or the purity of the greatest of their
French sisters. Burgos may be said to be most consistently Gothic in all
its details, but neither Toledo nor Leon was free from the influence of
Moorish art, which was indeed developing and flowering under Moslem rule
in the south of the Peninsula, at the time when Gothic churches were
lifting their spires into the blue of northern skies under the guidance
and inspiration of the French masters. In many respects the Gothic could
not express itself similarly in Spain and France,--climatic conditions
differed, and, consequently, the architecture which was to suit their
needs. In France, Gothic building tended towards a steadily increasing
elimination of all wall surfaces. The weight and thrusts, previously
carried by walls, were met by a more and more skillfully developed
framework of piers and flying buttresses. Such a development was not
practical for Spain nor was it understood. The widely developed fields
for glass would have admitted the heat of the sun too freely, whereas
the broad surfaces of wall-masonry gave coolness and shade. Nor were the
sharply sloping roofs for the easy shedding of snow necessary in Spain.
In French and English Gothic churches, the light, pointed spire is the
ornamental feature of the composition, whereas in the Spanish, with a
few exceptions, the towers become heavy and square.

None of the three Cathedrals in question impresses us as the outcome of
Spanish architectural growth, but seems rather a direct importation.
They have the main features of a style with which their architects were
familiar and in which they had long since taken the initial steps. They
are working with a practically developed system, whose infancy and early
growth had been followed elsewhere.

While in the twelfth, and the early portion of the thirteenth century,
Frenchmen were gradually evolving the new system of ecclesiastical
architecture, the Spaniards, destined to surpass them, were to all
purposes still producing nothing but Romanesque buildings, borrowing
certain ornamental or constructional features of the new style, but in
so slight and illogical a degree, that their style remained based upon
its old principles. They employed the pointed arch between arcades and
vaulting, and unlike the French, threw a dome or cimborio over the
intersection of nave and transepts. In some instances we find a regular
French quadripartite vault at the crossing, but such changes are not
sufficient to term the cathedrals of the period (Tudela, Tarragona,
Zamora, and Lerida) Gothic. They remain historically, rather than
artistically, interesting. With the second quarter of the thirteenth
century, comes the change.

In style Toledo corresponds most closely to the early Gothic of the
north of France. Its plan reminds one forcibly of Bourges, though it is
far more ambitious in size. Owing to the long period of its building, it
bears late Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque features, while traces of
Moorish influence are not wanting.

The Cathedral of Toledo was built in an imaginative, creative and
passionate age,--an age when the ordinary mason was a master builder as
well as sculptor, stimulated by local affection, pride and piety. The
results of his work were tremendous,--his finished product was a
storehouse of art. Artists of all nations had a hand in the work.
Bermudez mentions 149 names of those who embellished the Cathedral
during six centuries. Here worked Borgoña, Berruguete, Cespedes, and
Villalpando, Copin, Vergara Egas, and Covarrubias. It is rather
difficult to analyze their genius. They were not naturally artists, as
were the French and Italians; they did not create as easily, but were
rather stimulated by a more naïve craving for vast dimensions. With this
we find interwoven in places the sparkling, jewel-like intricacy and
play of light and shade so natural to the Moorish artisan, and the
sombre, overpowering solemnity of the warlike Spanish cavalier.

It is necessary for a people at all times to find expression for its
æsthetic life. Architecture, like literature, reflects the sentiments
and tendencies of a nation's mind. As truly as Don Quixote, Don Juan, or
the Cid express them, so do the stories told by Toledo, Leon, or Burgos.
They reproduce the passions, the dreams, the imagination, and the
absurdities of the age which created them.

Toledo's first architect, who superintended the work for more than half
a century, was named Perez (d. 1285). He was followed by Rodrigo,
Alfonso, Alvar Gomez, Annequin de Egas, Martin Sanchez, Juan Guas, and
Enrique de Egas. Hand in hand with the architects, worked the high

The Archbishop of Toledo is the Primate of Spain. Mighty prelates have
sat on that throne, and the chapter was once one of the most celebrated
in the world. The Primate of Toledo has the Pope as well as the King of
Spain for honorary canons, and his church takes precedence of all others
in the land. The offices attached to his person are numerous. As late as
the time of Napoleon's conquest of the city, fourteen dignitaries,
twenty-seven canons, and fifty prebends, besides a host of chaplains and
subaltern priests, followed in the train of the Metropolitan. At the
close of the fifteenth century, his revenues exceeded 80,000 ducats
(about $720,000), while the gross amount of those of the subordinate
beneficiaries of his church rose to 180,000. This amount, or 12,000,000
reals, had not decreased at the beginning of the nineteenth century. In
the middle ages he was followed by more horse and foot than either the
Grand Master of Santiago or the Constable of Castile. When he threw his
influence into the balance, the pretender to the throne was often
victorious. He held jurisdiction over fifteen large and populous towns
besides numbers of inferior places.

Many who occupied the episcopal throne of Toledo ruled Spain, not only
by virtue of the prestige their high office gave them, but through
extraordinary genius and remarkable attainments. They were great alike
in war and in peace. Many of them combined broadness of view and real
learning with purity of morals. They founded universities and libraries,
framed useful laws, stimulated noble impulses, corrected abuses, and
promoted reforms. Popes called them to Rome to ask their advice in
affairs of the Church. Bright in the history of Spain shine the names of
such prelates as Rodriguez, Tenorio, Fonseca, Ximenez, Mendoza, Tavera,
and Lorenzana.

From the tenth to the sixteenth centuries Castile was far less bigoted
than other European nations, for, of all the daughters of the Mother
Church, Spain was the most independent. Her kings and her primate were
naturally her champions, ever ready and defiant. King James I even went
so far as to cut out the tongue of a too meddlesome bishop. From early
Gothic days to the time when Ferdinand began to dream of Spain as a
power beyond the Iberian Peninsula, no kingdom in Europe was less
disposed to brook the interference of the Pope. Ferdinand and Isabella
thwarted him in insisting upon their right to appoint their own
candidates for the high offices of the Spanish church, and the Pope was
obliged to give way.

The figure we constantly encounter in the thrilling tilts between Rome
and Spanish prelates is the Archbishop of Toledo. Like Richelieu and
Wolsey, Ximenez and Mendoza towered above their time, and their great
spirits still seem present within their church. Ximenez, better known in
English as Cardinal Cisneros, rose to his high office much against his
will from the obscurity of a humble monk. The peremptory orders of the
Pope were necessary to make him leave his cell and become successively
Archbishop of Toledo, Grand Chancellor of Castile, Inquisitor General,
Cardinal, Confessor to Queen Isabella, Minister of Ferdinand the
Catholic, and Regent of the Kingdom of Charles V. He was "an austere
priest, a profound politician, a powerful intellect, a will of iron, and
an inflexible and unconquerable soul; one of the greatest figures in
modern history; one of the loftiest types of the Spanish character.
Notwithstanding the greatness thrust upon him, he preserved the austere
practices of the simple monk. Under a robe of silk and purple, he wore
the hard shirt and frock of St. Francis. In his apartments, embellished
with costly hangings, he slept on the floor, with only a log of wood for
his pillow. Ferdinand owed to him that he preserved Castile, and Charles
V, that he became King of Spain. He did not boast when, pointing to the
Cordon of St. Francis, he explained, 'It is with this I bridle the pride
of the aristocracy of Castile.'"[10]

History may accuse him of the unpardonable expulsion of the Moriscos,
and the retention of the Inquisition as well as its introduction into
the New World,--but what he did was done from the strength of his
convictions and according to what, in the light of his age, seemed the
best for his country and his Church. He was perhaps even greater as a
Spaniard than as a churchman. His conceptions were all grand, and he was
as versatile as he was great. Victor in the greatest of all Spanish
toils, he executed the polyglot version of the Scriptures, the most
stupendous literary achievement of his age. Fitting his greatness is the
simplicity of his epitaph:--

    Condideram musis Franciscus grande lyceum,
      Condor in exiguo nunc ego sarcophago.
    Praetextam junxi sacco, galeamque galero,
      Frater, Dux, Praesul, Cardineusque pater.
    Quin virtute mea junctum est diadema cucullo,
      Cum mihi regnanti paruit Hesperia.

The figure of Cardinal Mendoza stands out clear and strong in the final
struggle with Granada. It was he who first planted the Cross where the
Crescent had waved for six centuries, and he was the first to counsel
Isabella to assist the great discoverer. His keen intellect made him
lend a ready ear and friendly hand to the rapid development of the
science of his time and the fast-spreading taste for literature.

And so the line of Toledo's illustrious bishops continues,--leaders of
the church militant, like the Montagues and Capulets, they fought from
the mere habit of fighting, but they seldom stained their swords in an
unworthy cause.


There is a great discrepancy between the interior and the exterior of
the Cathedral. The former is as grand as the latter is insignificant and
unworthy. The scale is tremendous. Only Milan and Seville cover a
greater area, if the Cathedral is considered in connection with its
cloisters. Cologne comes next to it in size. It runs from west to east,
with nave and double side aisles, ending in a semicircular apse with a
double ambulatory. As is characteristic of Spanish churches, it is
astonishingly wide for its length,--being 204 feet wide and 404 feet
long. The nave is 98 feet high and 44 feet wide, while the outer aisles
are respectively 26 and 32 feet across.

The exterior, with the exception of the ornamental portions of the
portals and a few carvings, is all built of a Berroqueña granite. The
interior is of a kind of mouse-colored limestone taken from the quarries
of Oliquelas near Toledo. Like many limestones, it is soft when first
quarried, but hardens with time and exposure.

The impression of the exterior is strangely disappointing. Imposing and
massive, but irregular, squat, and encumbered by surrounding edifices
clinging to its masonry. An indifferent husk, encasing a noble interior.
Only one tower is completed, and no two portions of the decoration are
symmetrical. The exterior has no governing scheme, no "idée maîtresse,"
no individual style, and is the outgrowth of no definite period.
Successive generations of peace or war have enriched or destroyed its
masonry. You stop with an exclamation of admiration in front of certain
details of the exterior; before others, you only feel astonishment. The
want of order and unity in the execution of its various portions and
elevations is distressing.

Order and harmony may be preserved, even where an edifice is carried on
by successive ages, each of which imparts to its work the stamp of its
own developing skill and imagination. Very few of the great cathedrals
were begun and completed in one style. Most of the great French churches
show traces of the earlier Norman or Romanesque; most of the English
Gothic, traces of the Norman or of the different periods of English
Gothic architecture; but one dominating scheme has been followed by the
consecutive architects. The lack of such a governing and restraining
principle is felt in the exterior of Toledo. Further than this, although
successive wars and religious fanaticism have with their destructive
fury injured so many of the beautiful statues and exquisite carvings and
much of the stained glass of the French and English religious
establishments, still the architecture itself has in the main been left
undisturbed. In Toledo, there is hardly a portion of the early structure
and decoration of the lower, visible part of the Cathedral which has not
been altered or torn down by the various architects of the last three

As an obvious result, the portions of the exterior which are interesting
are individual features, and not a unified scheme; and they are
interesting historically, rather than in relation to or in dependence
upon one another.

The west front, which is the principal façade, the various doorways and
completed tower form the most interesting portions of the exterior.

The west front is flanked by two projecting towers, dissimilar in
design. To the south is the uncompleted one, containing the Mozarabic
chapel,[11] roofed by an octagonal cupola and surmounted by a lantern,
strangely betraying in exterior form its Byzantine ancestry.

[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


The choir stalls]

To the north rises the spire which commands the city and the Cathedral
of Toledo. It was begun in 1380 and completed in sixty years,--no long
time when we take into account its size and detail and the carefulness
of its construction. Rodrigo Alfonso and Alvar Gomez were the
architects, and the Cardinals Pedro Tenorio and Tavera directed the
work. Although it lacks the soaring grace of the towers of Burgos, it
possesses quiet strength and a majestic dignity, and the transitions
between its various stories have been executed with a skill scarcely
less than that shown in the older tower of Chartres. It is in fact full
of a character of its own. Divided into three parts, it rises to a
height of some three hundred feet and terminates in a huge cross. The
principal building material is the hard but easily carved Berroqueña
granite, with certain portions finished in marble and slate. The lower
part, which is square, has its faces pierced by interlacing Gothic
arches, windows of different shapes, ornamental coats-of-arms and marble
medallions. It is crowned by a railing and, at the corners where the
transition to the hexagon occurs, by stone pyramids. The central part is
hexagonal in plan and ornamented by arches and crocketed finials. Above
it rises the slate spire terminating under the cross in a conical
pyramid, added after a fire in the year 1662. The spire is curiously and
uniquely encircled by three collars of pointed iron spikes, intended to
symbolize the crowns of thorns.

The great bells of the Cathedral peal from this tower, among them the
huge San Eugenio, better known, though, by the name "Campana gorda," or
the Big-bellied Bell, weighing 1543 arobes (about 17 tons) and put up
the same day it was cast in the year 1753. Its fame is shown by the old
lines, which enumerate the wonders of Spain as the--

    Campana la de Toledo,
    Iglesia la de Leon,
    Reloj el de Benavente,
    Rollos los de Villalon.[12]

Fifteen shoemakers could sit under it and draw out their cobbler's
thread without touching each other. A legend relates that "the sound of
it reached, when first it was rung, even to heaven. Saint Peter fancied
that the tones came from his own church in Rome, but on ascertaining
that this was not the case, and that Toledo possessed the largest of all
bells, he got angry and flung down one of his keys upon it, thus causing
a crack in the bell which is still to be seen."

Not only does the hoarse croak of Gorda's voice remind the tardy
worshiper of the approaching hour of prayer, but it tells each and all
of the "barrio" where the fire is raging. Though the prudent Toledan may
not know the art of signing his name or reading his Pater Noster, full
well he knows, whenever Gorda speaks, whether the danger is at his own
door or at his neighbor's.

The lower portion of the façade between the towers is composed of a fine
triple portal dating from 1418 to 1450, which, despite later changes, is
still an excellent piece of Gothic work. It contains over seventy
statues. Above, the façade is composed of an ornamental screen
inexpressive of the structure and the internal arrangement of the
edifice. A railing separated the "lonja," or enclosure immediately in
front of the entrances, from the street outside. The central entrance
is the Gate of Pardon; to the north is the Gate of the Tower, also
called the Gate of Hell; to the south is the Gate of the Scriveners or
of Judgment. The middle door is the largest and most important. For
centuries the steps leading to it have been climbed and descended by the
pregnant women of Toledo, to insure an easy parturition.

The doors themselves are covered with most interesting bronze work,
showing how far the Spaniards had in later centuries developed the art
of their skillful Saracenic predecessors. The arch of the Gate of Pardon
is exquisitely formed and its moldings and recesses are profusely
decorated with finely chiseled figures and ornaments. Each of the three
doors is surmounted by a relief, that over the Pardon representing the
Virgin presenting the chasuble to Saint Ildefonso, who is kneeling at
her feet.

The Scriveners' Gate derives its name from having been the door of entry
for the scriveners when they came to the Cathedral to take their oath,
but, though they had a gate for their own particular use, they did not
seem to enjoy an especially good reputation. According to an old verse,
their pen and paper would drop from their hands to dance an independent
fandango long before their souls ever entered the Kingdom of Heaven.

Above the door is an inscription commemorative of the great exploits of
the Catholic Sovereigns and Cardinal Mendoza and of the expulsion of the
Jews from the Kingdoms of Castile, Aragon and Sicily.

The principal feature above the doors is a classical gable which extends
the whole width of the façade, its field filled with colossal pieces of
sculpture representing the Last Supper. Our Lord and the Apostles are
seated, each in his own niche. It recalls the carving over the northeast
entrance of Notre Dame du Puy. Nothing could be more ineffective and out
of place than to crown this portion of the Gothic building with a Greek
gable end. Finally, above the gable, with a curious pair of arches built
out in front of it, comes a circular rose almost thirty feet in
diameter, of early fourteenth-century work, this again being surmounted
by late eighteenth-century Baroque additions.

There are two doorways on the south side. The Gate of the Lions, which
forms the southern termination to the transept, is of course named from
the lions standing over the enclosing rail directly in front of it, each
supporting its shield. Here you have a bit of the finest work of the
exterior, a most exquisite specimen of the Gothic work of the fifteenth
century. Its detail and finish are remarkable, and few pieces of Spanish
sculpture of its time surpass it in elegance and grace. The larger
figures are most interesting, varying greatly in execution and
character. Those of the inner arches are stiff and still struggling for
freedom from tradition, but of admirably carved drapery,--while the
bishops in the niches to the right and left have faces radiating
kindness and patriarchal benignity, faces we meet and bless in our own
walks of life to-day. The bronze Renaissance doors are as fine as their
setting,--splendid examples of the metal stamping of the sixteenth
century, and the wooden carving on their inner surfaces is equally fine.
The bronze knocker might easily have come from the workshop of the great
Florentine goldsmith.

The Gate of La Llana, west of the Gate of the Lions, is as ludicrous in
its eighteenth-century dress as the gable of the west façade.

On the north side of the church we find three gates; in the centre,
forming the northern entrance to the transept, the Puerta del Reloi[c],
and east and west of it, the Puerta de Santa Catalina, and the Puerta de
la Presentacion.

You leave the outside with a feeling of distress at having viewed a
patchwork of architectural composition, feebly decorating and badly
expressing a noble and mighty frame. You enter into a light of celestial
softness and purity. It seems an old and faded light. As soon as you
regain vision in the cool, refreshing twilight, you experience the
long-deferred exultation. You are amid those that pray,--the poor and
sorrowing, those that would be strengthened. Here voices sink to a
reverent whisper, for curiosity is hushed into awe. "I could never
fathom how a man dares to lift up his voice to preach in a
cathedral,--what has he to say that will not be an anti-climax?" says
Robert Louis Stevenson, and you are struck by the force of his remark
when you compare the droning voice coming from one corner of the
building with the glorious expression of man's faith rising above and
around you. The quiet majesty and silent eloquence of the one
accentuates the feebleness of the other.

For the interior is as simple and restrained and the planning as logical
and lucid as the exterior is blameworthy and unreasonable. Here is
rhythm and harmony. The constructive problems have been ingeniously
mastered, and the carved and decorated portions subordinated to the
gigantic scheme of the great monument. The sculptures are limited to
their respective fields. Structural and artistic principles go hand in
hand. Eloquently the carvings speak the language of the time,--they
become a pictorial Bible, open for the poor man to read, who has no
knowledge of crabbed, monastic letters. They are the language of true
religion, the religion that may change but can never die.

The plan is unquestionably the _grand_ feature of the Cathedral; the
beauty and scale of it challenge comparison with those of all other
churches in Christendom. The vaulting and its development, the
concentration of the thrust upon the piers and far-leaping flying
buttresses are unquestionably on such a scale and of such character as
to place it among the mightiest, if not the most pure and well-developed
Gothic edifices. It is like a giant that knows not the strength of his
limbs nor the possibilities in his mighty frame.

You do not feel the great height of the nave, owing to the immensity of
all dimensions and the great circumference of the supporting piers. The
nave and the double side aisles on each side are all of seven bays. The
transept does not project beyond the outer aisles. The plan proper has
thus, at a rough glance, the appearance of a basilica and seems to lack
the side arms of the Gothic cross. The choir consists of one bay, and
the chevet formed by an apse to the choir of five bays. Both aisles
continue around the chevet. Outside these again, and between the
buttresses of the main outer walls, lie the different chapels, the
great cloister and the different compartments and dependencies belonging
to church and chapel,--a tremendous development, accumulation,
growth,--a city in itself. The cloisters, as well as almost all the
chapels, were added after the virtual completion of the Cathedral

The chevet is the keynote of the plan, and the solution of the problem,
how to vault the different compartments lying between the three
concentric circular terminations beyond the choir. Their vaulting shows
constructive skill and ingenuity of the highest order. The architects
solved the problem with a simplicity and grandeur which places their
genius on a level with that of the greatest of French builders. There
are no previous examples of Spanish churches where similar problems have
been dealt with tentatively. We are thus forced to acknowledge that the
schooling for, and consequent mastery of, the problem, must have been
gained on French soil. The central apse is surrounded by four piers, the
two aisles are separated by eight, and the outer wall is marked by
sixteen points of support. The bays in both aisles are vaulted
alternately by triangular and virtually rectangular compartments. The
vista from west to east is perfectly preserved, and the distance from
centre to centre of every second pair of outer piers is as nearly as
possible the same as that of the inner row. The outer wall of the
aisles, except where the two great chapels of Santiago and San Ildefonso
are introduced, was pierced alternately by small, square chapels
opposite the triangular, vaulting compartments and circular chapels
opposite the others.

In the cathedrals of Notre Dame de Paris, Saint Remi of Rheims, and in
Le Mans, we find intermediate triangular vaulting compartments
introduced, but they are either employed with inferior skill or in a
different form. In none of these cathedrals do they call for such
unstinted admiration as those of the architect of Toledo. They just fall
short of the happiest solution. In Saint Remi, for instance, we have
intermediate trapezoids instead of rectangles, the inner chord being
longer than the exterior.

The seventy-two well-molded, simple, quadripartite vaults of the whole
edifice (rising in the choir to about one hundred, and, in the inner and
outer aisles, to sixty and thirty-five feet) are supported by
eighty-eight piers. The capitals of the engaged shafts, composed of
plain foliage, point the same way as the run of the ribs above them.
Simple, strong moldings compose the square bases. The great piers of the
transept are trefoiled in section. The outer walls of the main body of
the church are pierced by arches leading into uninteresting, rectangular
chapels, some of them decorated with elaborate vaulting. In the outer
wall of the intermediate aisle is a triforium, formed by an arcade of
cusped arches, and above this, quite close to the point of the vault, a
rose window in each bay. The clerestory, filling the space above thegreat arches 
on each side of the nave, is subdivided into a double row
of lancet-pointed windows, surmounted by a rosette coming directly under
the spring of the vault.

The treatment of the crossing of transept and nave is in Toledo, as in
all Spanish churches, emphatic and peculiar. The old central lantern of
the cruciform church was retained and developed in their Gothic as well
as in their Renaissance edifices, and was permitted illogically to break
the Gothic roof line. The lantern of Ely is the nearest reminder we have
of it in English or French Gothic. In Spain the "cimborio" became an
important feature and made the croisée beneath it the lightest portion
of the edifice. It shed light to the east and west of it, into the high
altar and the choir.

The position of the choir is striking and distressing. Its rectangular
body completely fills the sixth and seventh bays of the nave,
interrupting its continuity and spoiling the sweep and grandeur of the
edifice at its most important point. It sticks like a bone in the
throat. Any complete view of the interior becomes impossible, and its
impressive majesty is belittled. One constantly finds the choir of
Spanish cathedrals in this position, which deprives them of the fine
perspective found in northern edifices. In Westminster Abbey, strangely
enough, the choir is similarly placed, and there, as here, it is as if
the hands were tied and the breath stifled, where action should be

This peculiar position of the choir was owing to the admission of the
laity to the transept in front of the altar. In earlier days the choir
was adjacent to and facing the altar, the singers and readers being
there enclosed by a low and unimportant rail. The short, eastern apses
of the Spanish cathedrals and the undeveloped and insufficient room for
the clergy immediately surrounding the altar almost necessitated this
divorce of the choir. In France and England the happier and more logical
alternative was resorted to, of providing sufficient space east of the
intersection of the transept for all the clergy.

The rectangular choir of Toledo is closed at the east by a magnificent
iron screen; at the west, by a wall called the "Trascoro," acting as a
background to the archbishop's seat. A doorway once pierced its centre
but was blocked up for the placing of the throne.

If the position of the choir is unfortunate, its details are among the
most remarkable and glorious of their time and country. The only
entrance is through the great iron parclose or reja at the east. This,
as well as the corresponding grille work directly opposite, closing off
the bay in front of the high altar, are wonderful specimens of the
iron-worker's craft, splendid masterpieces of an art which has never
been excelled since the days of its mediæval guilds. The master Domingo
de Cespedes erected the grille in the year 1548. The framework seems to
be connected by means of tenons and mortices, while the scrolls are
welded together. The larger moldings are formed of sheet iron, bent to
the shape required and flush-riveted to their light frames. Neither the
general design nor the details (both Renaissance in feeling) are
especially meritorious, but the thorough mastery of the material is most
astonishing. The stubborn iron has been wrought and formed with as much
ease and boldness as if it had been soft limestone or plaster. It is
characteristic of the age that the craftsman has not limited himself to
one material. Certain portions of the smaller ornaments are of silver
and copper. Originally their shining surfaces, as well as the gilding of
the great portion of the principal iron bars, must have touched the
whole with life and color. It was all covered with black paint in the
time of the Napoleonic wars to escape the greedy hands of La Houssaye's
victorious mob, and the gates still retain the sable coat that protected

Even a more glorious example of Spanish craftsmanship is found in the
choir stalls which surround us to the north and south and west as soon
as we enter. Here we are face to face with the finest flowering of
Spanish mediæval art. Théophile Gautier, generalizing upon the whole
composition, says: "L'art gothique, sur les confins de la Renaissance,
n'a rien produit de plus parfait ni de mieux dessiné." The whole
treatment of the work is essentially Spanish.

The stalls, the "silleria," are arranged in two tiers, the upper reached
by little flights of five steps and covered by a richly carved, marble
canopy, supported by slender Corinthian columns of red jasper and
alabaster. All the stalls are of walnut, fifty in the lower row, seventy
in the upper, exclusive of the archbishop's seat. The right side of the
altar, that is, the right side of the celebrant looking from the altar,
is called the side of the Gospel,--the left, the side of the Epistle.
The great carvings, differing in the upper and lower stalls in period
and execution, are the work of three artists. The carvings of the lower
row were executed by Rodriguez in 1495, those of the upper, on the
Gospel side, by Alonso Berruguete, and those on the side of the Epistle,
by Philip Vigarny (also called Borgoña), both of the latter about fifty
years later (in 1543).

The reading desk of the upper stalls forms the back of the lower and
affords the field for their sculptural decoration. The subjects are the
Conquest of Granada and the Campaigns of Ferdinand and Isabella. We are
shown in the childish and picturesque manner in which the age tells its
story, the various incidents of the war, all its situations and groups,
its curious costumes, arms, shields, and bucklers, and even the names of
the fortresses inscribed on their masonry. We can recognize the Catholic
monarchs and the great prelate entering the fallen city amid the
grief-stricken infidels.

The spirit of the work is distinctly that of the period which has gone
before, without any intimations of that to come. It has the character of
the German Gothic, recalling Lucas of Holland and his school. If it has
a grace and beauty of its own, there is also a childish grotesqueness
without any of the self-assured mastery, so soon to spread its Italian
light. The imagination and composition are there, but not the
execution,--the mind, but not the hand.

The carvings of the upper stalls were executed by their masters in
generous rivalry and in a spirit that shows a decided classic influence.

Many curious accounts of the time describe the excitement which
prevailed during their execution and the various favor they found in the
eyes of different critics. Looking at them, one's thoughts revert to
that glorious dawn in which Cellini and Ghiberti and Donatello labored.
The inscription says of the two artists, "Signatum marmorea tum ligna
caelavere hinc Philippus Burgundio, ex adverso Berruguetus Hispanus:
certaverunt tum artificum ingenia; certabunt semper spectatorum

Berruguete's work (on the Gospel side) shows distinct traces of Michael
Angelo's influence and his study in Italian ateliers with Andrea del
Sarto and Baccio Bandinelli.[13] The nervous vigor of the Italian giant
and the purity of style which looked back at Greece and Rome, are

The subjects of Vigarny's work, as also of Berruguete's, are taken from
the Old Testament. They have a more subtle charm, more grace and
freedom. Some of them show strength and an unerring hand, others,
delicacy and exquisite subtleness. Where the Maestro Mayor of Charles V
is powerful and energetic, Vigarny is imaginative and rich.

Comparing the upper and lower rows of panels, we must see what
remarkable steps had been taken in so short a time by the sculptors. A
lightness of execution, a victorious self-reliance, seems to follow
close on the steps of tentative, even if conscientious, effort. The
carving, the bold relief of the chiseling, have a vividness and
intensity of expression, surpassing some of the best work of Italy and

The niches in the marble canopy above the upper row of stalls are filled
with figures standing almost in full relief, and representing the
genealogy of Christ.

The outer walls of the choir are also completely covered with sculpture.
It is thoroughly Gothic in character, crude, and fumbling for
expression, consisting of arcades with niches above containing
alto-relievo illustrations of Old Testament scenes and characters. You
recognize the Garden of Eden, Abraham with agonized face, Isaac, Jacob,
passages from Exodus, and other familiar scenes. Many of the panels
depict further the small, everyday occurrences and incidents so loved by
mediæval artists, and so full of earnest, religious feeling. Crowning it
all, amid the pinnacles, are a whole flock of angels, quite prepared for
Ascension Day. It is all very similar to the early fourteenth-century
work in French cathedrals.

The bay in front of the high altar, forming with it the Capilla Mayor,
and the choir are closed from the transept by a huge reja as fine as the
one facing it, and the work of the Spaniard Francesco Villalpando

The Capilla Mayor originally consisted of the one bay to the east of the
transept, the adjacent terminating portion of the nave being the chapel
containing the tombs of the kings. The great Cardinal Ximenez received
Isabella's permission to remove the dividing wall in case he could
accomplish the task without disturbing any of the monarchs' coffins. The
walls all round, both internally and externally, are completely covered
with sculpture. Many of the figures are faithful portraits; many of the
groups tell an interesting story. On the Gospel side there are two
carvings, one over the other, the upper representing Don Alfonso VIII,
and the lower, the shepherd who guided the monarch and his army to the
renowned plains of Las Navas de Tolosa, where the battle was fought
which proved so glorious to Christian arms. One likewise sees the statue
of the Moor, Alfaqui Abu Walid, who threw himself in the path of King
Alfonso and prevailed upon him to forgive Queen Constance and Bishop
Bernard for the expulsion of the Moors from their mosque, contrary to
the king's solemn oath.

All around us lie the early rulers of the House of Castile, Alfonso VII,
Sancho the Deserted, and Sancho the Brave, the Prince Don Pedro de
Aguilar, son of Alfonso XI, and the great Cardinal Mendoza. Below in the
vault lie, by the sides of their consorts, Henry II, John I, and Henry

At the end of the chapel, acting as a background to the altar, you find
a composition constantly met in and characteristic of Spanish
cathedrals. The huge "retablo" is nothing but a meaningless, gaudy and
sensational series of carved and decorated niches. It is carved in
larchwood and merely reveals a love of the cheap and tawdry display of
the decadent florid period of Gothic.
Back of the retablo and the high altar, you are startled by the most
horrible and vulgar composition of the church. Nothing but the mind of
an idiot could have conceived the "transparente."[15] It has neither
order nor reason. The whole mass runs riot. Angels and saints float up
and down its surface amid doughy clouds. The angel Raphael
counterbalances the weight of his kicking feet by a large goldfish which
he is frantically clutching. It is a piece of uncontrolled, imbecile
decoration, perpetrated to the everlasting shame of Narciso Tomé in the
first half of the eighteenth century.

Nothing except the choir and Capilla Mayor disturb the simplicity of
the aisles and the great body of the church. All other monuments or
compositions are found in the numerous rooms and chapels leading from
the outer aisles or situated between the lower arches of the outside
walls. There are many of them, some important, others trivial. The
Mozarabic chapel, in the southwest corner of the cathedral, is the oneplace in 
the world where you may still every morning hear the quaint old
Visigothic or Mozarabic ritual recited. The chapel was constructed under
Cardinal Ximenez in 1512 for the double purpose of commemorating the
tolerance of the Moors, who during their dominion left to the Christians
certain churches in which to continue their own worship, and also to
perpetuate the use of the old Gothic ritual. It is most curious, almost
barbaric: "The canons behind, in a sombre flat monotone, chant responses
to the officiating priest at the altar. The sound combines the
enervating effect of the hum of wings, whirr of looms, wooden thud of
pedals, the boom and rush of immense wings circling round and round." It
is strange to hear this echo a thousand years old of a magnanimous act
in so intolerant an age.

In the eleventh century King Alfonso, at the insistence of Bernard and
Constance, and the papal legate Richard, decided to abolish the use of
the old Gothic ritual and to introduce the Gregorian rite. The Toledans
threatened revolt rather than abandon their old form of worship. The
King knew no other method of decision than to leave the question to two
champions. In single combat the Knight of the Gothic Missal, Don Juan
Ruiz de Mantanzas, killed his adversary while he himself remained
unhurt. At a second trial, where two bulls were entrusted with the
perplexing difficulty, the Gothic bull came off victor. Councils were
held and the Pope still persevered in his determination to abolish the
old Spanish service book. Outside the walls of the city, in front of the
King and churchmen and amid the entire populace of Toledo, a great fire
was built, and the two mass-books were thrown into it. When the flames
had died down, only the Gothic mass-book was found unscathed. Only after
many years, when traditions had gradually altered and even much of the
text had become meaningless to the clergy, did the Roman service book
become universally introduced into Toledan houses of worship.

Two other chapels are of especial interest: those of Saint Ildefonso and
Santiago. Saint Ildefonso, who became metropolitan in 658, is second
only in honor to Saint James of Compostella; he was unquestionably the
most favored of Toledo's long line of bishops.

Three natives of Narbonne had dared to question the perpetual virginity
of Our Lady. Saint Ildefonso gallantly took up her defense and proved it
beyond doubt or questioning in his treatise "De Virginitate Perpetua
Sanctae Mariae adversus tres Infideles." It was a crushing vindication
and a discourse of much reason and scriptural light. Shortly afterwards
the Bishop, together with the King and court, went to the Church of
Saint Leocadia to give public thanks. As soon as the multitude had had
sufficient time to kneel at the saint's tomb, a group of angels appeared
amid a cloud and surrounded by sweet scents. Next the sepulchre opened
of its own accord. Calix relates, "Thirty men could not have moved the
stone which slid slowly from the mouth of the tomb. Immediately Saint
Leocadia arose, after lying there three hundred years, and holding out
her arm, she shook hands with Saint Ildefonso, speaking in this voice,
'Oh, Ildefonso, through thee doth the honor of My Lady flourish.' All
the spectators were silent, being struck with the novelty and the
greatness of the miracle. Only Saint Ildefonso, with Heaven's aid,
replied to her. Now the virgin Saint looked as if she wished to return
into the tomb and she turned around for that purpose, when the King
begged of Saint Ildefonso that he would not let her go until she left
some relic of her behind, for a memorial of the miracle and for the
consolation of the city. And as Saint Ildefonso wished to cut a part of
the white veil which covered the head of St. Leocadia, the King lent him
a knife for that purpose, and this must have been a poniard or a dagger,
though others say it was a sword. With this the saint cut a large piece
of the blessed veil, and while he was giving it to the King, at the same
time returning the knife, the saint shut herself up entirely and covered
herself in the tomb with the huge stone."

But even this was not a sufficient expression of gratitude to satisfy
Saint Mary, for next week she herself came down to enjoy matins with
Saint Ildefonso in the Cathedral. She sat in his throne and listened to
his discourse with both pleasure and edification. A celestial host
dispensed music in the choir, music of heaven, hymns, David's psalms and
chants, such as never had been heard before, either in Seville or in
Toledo. To cap it all, the Virgin made her favorite a splendid present
of a chasuble worked by the angels with which she invested him with her
own hands before she said good-bye. You may still kiss your fingers
after having touched the sacred slab upon which the Virgin stood and
above which run the words of the Psalmist: "Adorabimus in loco ubi
steterunt pedes ejus." The chapel is, similarly to the screens around
the choir, of fourteenth-century work.

[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


Chapel of Santiago, tombs of D. Alvaro de Luna and his spouse]

The Chapel of Santiago was erected by Count Alvaro de Luna, for more
than thirty years the real sovereign of Castile. It is most elaborately
decorated throughout with rich Gothic work, interwoven with sparkling
filigree of Saracenic character. The tombs of the Lunas are of interest
because of the great Count. His own is not the original one. The first
mausoleum which he erected to himself was so constructed that the
recumbent effigy or automaton could, when mass was said, slowly rise,
clad in full armor, and remain kneeling until the service was ended,
when it would slowly resume its former posture. This was destroyed at
the instigation of Alvaro's old enemy, Henry of Aragon, who remained
unreconciled even after the death of his old minister. At each corner of
Alvaro's tomb kneels a knight of Santiago, at his feet a page holds his
helmet, his own hands are crossed devoutly over the sword on his breast,
and the mantle of his order is folded about his shoulders. His face
wears an expression of sadness.

Alvaro began his career as a page in the service of Queen Catharine
(Plantagenet). He ended it as Master of Santiago, Constable of Castile,
and Prime Minister of John II, whom he completely ruled for thirty-five
years. He lived in royal state, became all-powerful and arrogant. His
diplomacy effected the marriage of Henry II and Isabella of Portugal,
but he later incurred the enmity of Isabella, was accused of high
treason, found guilty, and executed in the square of Valladolid. Pius II
said of him, "He was a very lofty mind, as great in war as he was in
peace, and his soul breathed none but noble thoughts."

And thus we may continue all around the Cathedral, past the successive
chapels, vestries, sanctuaries and treasuries,--the architecture and
sculpture of each connected with great events and telling its own story
of dark tragedy or lighter romance.

In one, the Spanish banners used to be consecrated before leading the
hosts against the Moors; in another, Spain now keeps her priceless
treasures under the locks of seven keys hanging from the girdles of an
equal number of canons. There are silver and gold and pearl and precious
jewels sufficient to set on foot every stagnant Spanish industry. The
8500 pearls of the Virgin's cape might alone feed a province for no
short time. They are buried in the dark. Outside in the light, the
children of Spain are starving and without means of obtaining food. At
one's elbow the whine of the beggar is continually heard, till one
recalls Washington Irving's words: "The more proudly a mansion has been
tenanted in the days of its prosperity, the humbler are its inhabitants
in the days of her decline, and the palace of the king commonly ends in
being the resting-place of the beggar."

Here and there, in the interior as in the exterior, we find, mixed with
or decorating the Gothic, Moorish and Renaissance details and the later
extravagances which followed the decline of the Gothic. Even where the
carvers are expressing themselves in Gothic or Renaissance details, we
frequently observe an extreme richness, a love of chiaroscuro, of
sparkling jewel-like light and shade, and intricately woven
ornamentation which betrays the influence of the Arab. We see the
Morisco, a kind of fusion of French and Moorish, in many places. The
triforium of the choir is decidedly Moorish in its design, although it
is Gothic in all its details and has carvings of heads and of the
ordinary dog-tooth enrichment instead of merely conventionalized leaf
and figure ornament. It consists of a trefoil arcade. In the spandrels
between its arches are circles with heads and, above these, triangular
openings pierced through the wall. The moldings of all the openings
interpenetrate, and the whole arcade has the air of intricate ingenuity
so usual in Moorish work. Again, in the triforium of the inner aisle we
find Moorish influence,--the cusping of the arcade is not enclosed
within an arch but takes a distinct horseshoe outline, the lowest cusp
near the cap spreading inward at the base. We see Moorish tiles, we find
Moorish cupolas as in the Mozarabic chapel, and Moorish doorways, as the
exquisite one leading into the Sala Capitular,--here and there and
everywhere, we suddenly come upon details betraying the Arab intimacy.

The children of the Renaissance also embellished in their new manner,
not only in the magnificent carvings of the choir but in a variety of
places, for instance, the doors themselves contained within the Moorish
molds leading to the Sala just mentioned, the entire chapel of St. Juan,
the Capilla de Reyes Nuevos, portions of the Puerta del Berruguete, and
the bronze doors of the Gate of the Lions.

Again, on the capitals and bases of many of the piers, with the
exception of those of the central nave, Byzantine influence may be seen.

So each age, according to its best ken, dealt with the Cathedral. In
among the varying styles of architectural decoration, the sister arts
embellish the stone surfaces or are hung upon them. There are paintings
by Titian, Giovanni Bellini, and Rubens, by El Greco, Goya, and Ribera;
Italian and Flemish tapestries, and frescoes too. Probably the greater
portion of the main walls were covered with them, for here and there
traces are still to be seen and a tree of Jesse remains in the tympanum
of the south transept, and near it an enormous painting of Saint

While the "Tresorio" may have been the treasure-house of the clergy, the
church itself was that of the people. Here was their art museum, here
were their galleries. The decorations became the primers from which they
learnt their lessons. Here they would meet in the afternoon hour as the
light fell aslant sapphire and ruby, through the clerestory openings. It
would light up their treasures with strange, unearthly glory and form
aureoles and haloes of rainbow splendor over the heads of their beloved
saints. Cool amethyst and emerald and warmer amber and gold touched the
darkest corners, and a gold and purple glory illuminated the high altar.

Some of the earlier glass is as fine as any to be found in Europe. The
depth and intensity of the colors are remarkable. Probably none of it
was Spanish, but all was imported from France, Belgium, or Germany. The
glass in the rose of the north transept and in the eastern windows of
the transept clerestory can hold its own beside that of the cathedrals
of Paris and Amiens. The subject scheme of the rose in the north
transept is truly noble. The earliest glass is that in the nave (a
little later than 1400), and this is Flemish. The windows of the aisles
are at least a century later. Their composition is simple and broad, the
coloring rich and deep, and the interior dusk of the church enhances the
value of the sunlight filtering through the glass.

Better than to descend into the immense crypt below the Cathedral, with
its eighty-eight massive piers corresponding to those above, is it to
stray into the broken sunlight of the green and fragrant cloister

Bishop Tenorio procured the site for the church from the Jews, who here,
right under the walls of the Christian church, held their market. A
fresco adjoining the gate explains by what means. It represents on a
ladder a fiendish-looking Jew who has cut the heart out of a beautiful,
crucified child and is holding the dripping dagger in his hand. This
fresco stirred up the fury of the Christian populace to the point ofburning the 
Jewish market, houses and shops, which then were annexed by
the Bishop. The fine, two-story Gothic arcade of the cloisters encloses
a sun-splashed garden filled with fragrant flowers. Around the walls of
the lower arcade are a series of very mediocre frescoes. The
architecture itself is not nearly as interesting as that of the
cloisters of Salamanca. It ought particularly to be so in this portion
of the church, for here is the very climate and place for the courtyard
life of the Spaniard.


So lies the Cathedral, crumbling in the sunlight of the twentieth
century. Beautiful, but strange and irreconcilable to all that is around
her, she alone, the Mother Church, stands unshaken, lonely and
melancholy, but grand and solemn in the midst of the paltry and tawdry
happenings of to-day. She has served giants, and now sees but a race of
dwarfs; princes have prostrated themselves at her altars, where now only
beggars kneel. Her walls whisper loneliness, desertion, widowed

     NOTE.--In connection with the remarks on page 160, a Catholic
     friend has pointed out how rarely, when Peter has been robbed,
     ostensibly to pay Paul, Paul (otherwise the Poor) has derived any
     benefit from it. It is willingly conceded that Henry VIII bestowed
     much of the wealth derived from the dissolution of the religious
     houses on his own favorites, and recent disclosures in France show
     as scandalous a diversion of some of the funds similarly obtained.



[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


    Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
    The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.


Once upon a time, long, long ago, in the days of the Iberians, there was
a city and its name was Segovia. It is now so old that all of it, with
the exception of the great heap of masonry which crowns its summit, has
practically crumbled into a mountain of ruins. The pile still stands,
dominating the plain and facing the setting sun, triumphant over time
and decay,--the Cathedral of Saint Mary and Saint Froila. Though Mary
was the holier of the two patrons, owing to whose protection the church
stands to-day so well preserved, still Froila was in certain respects no
less remarkable. The Segovians of his day saw him split open a rock with
his jackknife and prove to the Moslems then ruling his city, beyond all
doubt, the validity of his Christian faith.

But long before saints and cathedrals, the Romans, recognizing the
tenacious and commanding position as a military stronghold of the rock
of Segovia, which rises precipitously from the two valleys watered by
the Erasma and Clamores, pitched their camp upon its crest, renaming it
Segobriga. The city was fortified, and under Trajan the truly
magnificent aqueduct was built, either by the Romans or the devil, to
supply the city with the waters of the Fonfria mountains. A beautiful
Segovian had at this early time grown weary of carrying her jugs up the
steep hills from the waters below and promised the devil she would marry
him, if he only would in a night's time once and for all bring into the
city the fresh waters of the eastern mountains. She was worth the labor,
and the suitor accepted the contract. Fortunately the Church found the
arcade incomplete, the devil having forgotten a single stone, and the
maid was honorably released from her part of a bargain, the execution of
which had profited her city so greatly. Segovia still carries on her
shield this "Puente del diabolo," with the head of a Roman peering above

The strong position of the city made it an envied possession to whatever
conqueror held the surrounding country. It lay on the borderland,
constantly disputed with varying fortune by Christian and Moslem. Under
the dominion of the early Castilian kings, and even under the triumphant
Moors, the youthful church prospered and grew, for in the government of
their Christian subjects, the Mohammedans here, as elsewhere, showed
themselves temperate and full of common sense. The invaders had, indeed,
everywhere been welcomed by the numerous Jews settled in Spanish cities,
who under the new rulers exchanged persecution for civil and religious
liberty. Prompt surrender and the payment of a small annual tax were the
only conditions made, to confirm the conquered, of whatever race or
religion, in the possession of all their worldly goods, perfect freedom
of worship and continued government by their own laws under their own

In the eleventh century, Segovia was included in the great Amirate of
Toledo, but the Castilian kings grew stronger, till in 1085 they were
able to recapture Toledo. The singularly picturesque contours of the
city are due to the various races which fortified her. Iberians were
probably the first to strengthen their hill from outside attack,--the
Romans followed, building upon the foundations of the old walls, and
Christian and Moslem completed the work, until the little city was
compactly girdled by strong masonry, broken by some three to four score
fighting towers and but few gates of entrance. Alfonso the Wise was one
of the great Segovian rulers and builders. He strengthened her bastions,
added a good deal to the walls of her illustrious fortress, and in 1108
gave the city her first charter. A few years later Segovia was elevated
to a bishopric.

Long before the earliest cathedral church, the Alcazar was the most
conspicuous feature in the landscape, and it still holds the second
place. Erected on the steep rocks at the extreme eastern end of the
almond-shaped hill, it stands like a chieftain at the head of his
warriors, always ready for battle, and first to meet any onslaught.
Several Alfonsos, as well as Sanchos, labored upon it during the
perilous twelfth century. Here the kings took up their abode in the
happy days when Segovia was capital of the kingdom, and even in later
times it sheltered such illustrious travelers as the unfortunate Prince
Charles of England, and Gil Blas, when out of suits with fortune.

The first Cathedral was erected on the broad platform east of the
Alcazar, directly under the shadow of its protecting walls. The
ever-reappearing Count Raymond of Burgundy was commissioned by his
father-in-law, the King, to repopulate Segovia after the Moorish
devastations, and he rebuilt its walls, as he was doing for the
recaptured cities of Salamanca and Avila. The battlements were repaired,
and northerners from many provinces occupied the houses that had been

To judge from the ruins as well as from well-preserved edifices,
Romanesque days must have been full of great architectural activity. One
is constantly reminded of Toledo in climbing up and down the narrow
streets, where one must often turn aside or find progress barred by
Romanesque and Gothic courtyards or smelly culs-de-sac. Everywhere are
Romanesque portals and arches, palaces and the apses and circular
chapels of the age, bulging beyond the sidewalks into the cobblestones
of the street. They seem indeed venerable. Some of the old palaces
present a curious all-over design executed in Moorish manner and with
Moorish feeling. It is carved into the sidewalk, showing in relief a
geometrical, circular pattern, each circle filled with a quantity of
small Gothic lancets, surely difficult both to design and to execute.
Some of the old parish churches stand with their deep splays,
round-headed arches and windows and broad, recessed portals almost as
perfectly preserved as a thousand years ago. The Romanesque style died
late and hard. Even in the thirteenth century, the city could boast
thirty such parish churches. To-day they seem fairly prayer-worn. Beyond
their towers stretch the plains in every direction, seamed by stone
walls and dotted with gray rocks. Olive and poplar groves cluster round
the small hillocks, rising here and there like camels' backs.


    A. Capilla Mayor.
    B. Choir.
    C. Crossing.
    D. Sacristy.
    E. Cloisters.
    F. Tower.]

As long as the welfare and development of the city depended on strong
natural fortifications, Segovia remained intact. To the twelfth and
thirteenth centuries belongs her glory. Her power passed with the middle
ages and their chivalry, and in the sixteenth century she was a dead

Villages, convents and churches lie scattered over the plain, the houses
crowded together for protection against the blazing, scorching, pitiless
sun. Standing by itself is the ancient and severe church, where many a
knight-templar kept his last vigil before turning his back on the plains
of Castile, and apart sleeps the monastery where Torquemada was once
prior. They all crumble golden brown against the horizon.

Many a bloody fray or revolution upset the city during the middle ages.
The minority of Alfonso XI witnessed one of the worst. The revolt which
broke out in so many of the Spanish cities against the Emperor Charles
V, proved most fatal to the Cathedral of Segovia.

The first Romanesque Cathedral had been built in honor of St. Mary,
under the walls of the Alcazar, during the first half of the twelfth
century. It was consecrated in 1228 by the papal legate, Juan, Bishop of
Sabina. Some two hundred and fifty years later, a new and magnificent
Gothic cloister was added to it by Bishop Juan Arias Davila, and
likewise a new episcopal palace more fitting times of greater luxury and
magnificence. This palace, despite the coming translation of the
Cathedral itself, remained the abode of the bishops for the three
following centuries. In the new cloisters a banquet of reconciliation
was celebrated in 1474 by Henry IV and the Catholic Kings. It was held
on the very spot whence Isabella had started in state on a journey
proving so eventful in the history not only of Castile but of the entire
Peninsula and countries beyond. Three years after the furious struggle
which took place around the entrance of the Alcazar, Charles V issued
the following proclamation:--

"The King: To the Aldermen, Justices, Councillors, Knights, Men-at-arms,
Officials, and good Burghers of the city of Segovia. The reverend Father
in Christ, Bishop of the church of this city, has told me how he and the
Chapter of his church believe that it would be well to move the
Cathedral church to the plaza of the city on the site of Santa Clara,
and that the parish of San Miguel of the plaza should be incorporated in
the Cathedral church; and this, because when the said Cathedral church
is placed in a situation where the divine services may be more
advantageously held, our Saviour will be better served and the people
will receive much benefit and the city become much ennobled; it appears
to me good that this plan should be carried out, desiring the good and
ennoblement and welfare of the said city because of the loyalty and
services I have always found in it, therefore I command and request that
you unite with the said Bishop or his representative and the Chapter of
said church and all talk freely together about this and see what will be
best for the good of the said city, and at the same time consider the
assistance that the said city could itself render, and after discussion,
forward me the results of your combined judgment, in order that I
better may see and decide what will be for the best service of Our Lord,
Ourselves, and the welfare of the city. Dated in Madrid, the 2d day of
October, in the year 1510.--I, the King."

While the discussion of the feasibility and expense of commencing an
entirely new cathedral upon a new site nearer the heart of the city was
at its height, the revolt of the Comunidades broke out, in 1520, and
swept away in its burning and pillaging course the Romanesque edifice.
This stood at the entrance to the fortress, where the fight naturally
raged hottest. Only a very few of the most sacred images, relics and
bones were carried to safety within the walls of the Alcazar before the
old pile had been practically destroyed. Segovia was without a Cathedral

In the centre of the city, on the very crest of the hill, lay the only
clearing within the walls. Here at one end of the plaza was the site of
the convent mentioned by Emperor Charles, which had long sheltered the
nuns of Santa Clara. They had abandoned it for other quarters, and the
adjacent convent of San Miguel had become unpopular and was dwindling
into insignificance. Both could thus in this most free and commanding
location give way to a new and larger cathedral, distant from what would
always prove the rallying point of civic strife. Following the mighty
wave of revolt which had swept the city, came a great receding wave of
religious enthusiasm to atone in holy fervor for the impious act
recently committed. Citizen and noble alike proposed to build an edifice
which would be much more to the glory of Saint Mary than the shrine
which they had so recently pulled down. Lords gave whole villages;
women, their jewels; and the citizens, the sweat of their brows. We find
in the archives of the Cathedral the following entry by the Canon Juan

"On June 8th, 1522, ... by the consent and resolution of the Lord Bishop
D. Diego de Rovera and of the Dean and Chapter of the said church, it
was agreed to commence the new work of the said church to the glory of
God and in honor of the Virgin Mary and the glorious San Frutos and all
saints, taking for master of the said work Juan Gil de Hontañon, and for
his clerk of the works Garcia de Cubillas. Thursday, the 8th of June,
1552, the Bishop ordered a general procession with the Dean and Chapter,
clergy and all the religious orders."

The corner stone was laid and the masonry started at the western end
under the most renowned architect of the age. Juan Gil had already
worked on the old Segovian Cathedral, but had achieved his great fame on
the new Cathedral of Salamanca, started ten years previously, whose
walls were rising with astounding rapidity. His clerk was almost equally
skilled, always working in perfect harmony with his master and carrying
out his designs without jealousy during the "maestro's" many illnesses
and journeys to and from Salamanca. Garcia lived to work on the church
until 1562, and the old archives still hold many drawings from his
skillful hand.

The two late Gothic Cathedrals are so similar in many points that they
are immediately recognizable as the conception of the same brain.
Segovia is, however, infinitely superior, not only in the magnificent
development of the eastern end with its semicircular apse, ambulatory,
and radiating apsidal chapels, as compared with the square termination
of Salamanca, but, throughout, in the restrained quality of its detail
and the refinement of its ornamentation. How far the abrupt and
uninteresting apsidal termination of Salamanca was Juan Gil's fault, it
is difficult to say, for we find records of its having been imposed upon
him by the Chapter as well as of his having drawn a circular apse.
Fortunately, the Segovian churchmen had the common sense to leave their
architect alone in most artistic matters and allow him to make the head
of the church either "octagonal, hexagonal, or of square form." Where
Salamanca has been coarsened by the new style, Segovia seems inspired by
its fidelity to the old.

The similarity of the two churches is visible throughout. The general
interior arrangements are much alike. The stone of the two interiors is
of nearly the same color, and the formation and details of the great
piers are strikingly similar. There is the same thin, reed-like descent
of shafts from upper ribs, the same, almost inconspicuous, small leaves
for caps, and, in both, the bases terminate at different heights above
the huge common drum, which is some three feet high. Externally, there
are analogous buttresses, crestings, pinnacles and parapets, and a
concealment of roof structure, but there is none of the vanity of
Salamanca in the sister church of Segovia. The last great Gothic church
of Spain, though deficient in many ways, was not lacking in unity nor
sincerity. The flame went out in a magnificent blaze.

Such faithfulness and love as possessed Juan Gil for his old Gothic
masters seems well-nigh incredible. He designed, and during his
activity there of nine years, raised the greater portions of Segovia in
an age when Gothic building was practically extinct, when Brunelleschi
was building Santa Maria del Fiore, and the classic revival was in full
march. Segovia and Spaniards were as tardy in forswearing their Gothic
allegiance as they had been their Romanesque. Not until the beginning of
the sixteenth century does the reborn classicism victoriously cross the
Pyrenees, and then only in minor domestic buildings. The last
manifestations of Gothic church-building in Spain were neither weak nor
decadent, but virile, impressive and logical. Segovia Cathedral may be
said to be the last great monument in Spain, not only of Gothic, but of
ecclesiastical art. Thereafter came the deluge of decadence or
petrification. What must not the power of the Church, as well as the
religious enthusiasm of the populace, have been during this
extraordinary sixteenth century! It is almost incredible that this tiny
city, in a weak little kingdom, and so few miles from Salamanca, had the
spirit for an undertaking of the size of this Cathedral church, so soon
after Salamanca had entered on her architectural enterprise. Either of
the two seems beyond the united power of the kingdom.

Even more remarkable than the starting of Segovia in the Gothic style at
so late a date, was the fact that the architects succeeding Juan Gil,
who were naturally tempted to embody their own ideas and to employ the
new style then in vogue, should nevertheless have faithfully adhered to
the original conception and completed in Gothic style all constructive
and ornamental details everywhere except in the final closing of the
dome and a few minor exterior features. Naturally the Gothic of the
sixteenth century was not that of the thirteenth,--not that of Leon or
Toledo, nor even of Burgos,--it had been modified and lost in spirit,
but still its origin was undeniable.

[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


From the Plaza.]

In 1525 Segovia was fairly started. House after house that impeded the
progress of the work was destroyed, until up to a hundred of them had
been razed. Santa Clara was kept for the services until the very last
moment, when a sufficient portion of the new building was ready for
their proper celebration.

It was unusual to start with the western end, the apse and its
surrounding arches being the portion necessary for services. In Segovia,
however, as well as in the new Salamancan Cathedral, the great western
front was the earliest to rise. Gil did not live to finish it, but it is
evident that, as long as he directed, the work drew the attention of the
entire artistic fraternity of the Peninsula. We find constant mention in
old documents of the visits and the praise of illustrious architects,
among them Alfonso de Covarrubias, Juan de Alava, Enrique de Egas, and
Felipe de Borgoña. Gil's clerk-of-the-works, Cubillas, succeeded him as
"maestro," and under him the western front with its tower, the
cloisters, and the nave and aisles as far as the crossing, were
virtually completed by 1558. Aside from the manual labor, "it had taken
more than forty-eight collections of maravedis" to bring it to this
point. The magnificent old cloisters erected by Bishop Davila beside the
old Cathedral in 1470, had been spared the fury of the mob, and in 1524
they were moved stone by stone to the southern flank of the new
Cathedral. This would have been a remarkable feat of masonry in our
age, and, for the sixteenth century, it was astonishing. Not a stone was
chipped nor a piece of carving broken. Juan de Compero took the whole
fabric apart and put it together again, as a child does a box of wooden

The 15th of August, 1558, when the first services were held in the
Cathedral, was the greatest day in Segovia's history. Quadrado, probably
quoting from old accounts, tells us, "The divine services were then held
in the new Temple. People came to the festival from all over Spain, and
music, from all Castile. At twilight on August 14th, 1558, the tower was
illuminated with fire-works, the great aqueduct, with two thousand
colored lights, and the reflection of the city's lights alarmed the
country-side for forty leagues round. The following day, the Assumption
of Our Lady, there was an astonishing procession, in which all the
parishes took part and the community offered prizes for the best
display. The procession went out by the gate of Saint Juan, and, after
going all around the city, returned to the plaza, where the sacrament
was being borne out of Santa Clara. There was a bull-fight,
pole-climbing, a poetical competition and comedies. The generosity of
the donations corresponded to the pomp of the occasion. Ten days
afterwards the bones were taken from the old church and reinterred in
the new one, among which were those of the Infante Don Pedro, Maria del
Salto, and different prelates."

The bones of the two former were laid to rest under the arches of the
cloister. Don Pedro was a little son of King Henry II who had been
playing on one of the iron balconies in front of the Alcazar windows,
and, while his nurse's back was turned, pitched headlong over the
precipice into eternity and the poplar trees three hundred feet below.
The nurse, who knew full well it would be a question of only a few hours
before she followed her princely charge, anticipated her fate and jumped
after him. Maria del Salto ("of the leap") was a beautiful Jewess who,
having been taken in sin, was forced to jump from another of Segovia's
steep promontories. Bethinking herself of the Virgin Mary as a last
resource, she invoked her assistance while in mid-air, and the blessed
saint immediately responded, causing the Jewess to alight gently and
unharmed. It was naturally a great pious satisfaction to the Segovians
to carry to the new edifice such cherished bones.

With services in the church, the building was well under way. Juan Gil's
son, Rodrigo Gil, had worked on Salamanca as well as very ably assisted
Cubillas. Upon the latter's death, in 1560, Rodrigo became maestro
mayor. Three years later, when the corner stone of the apse was laid,
the Chapter seems to have seriously discussed the advisability of
finally deviating from the original Gothic plans and building a
Renaissance head. It was, however, left to Rodrigo, who loyally adhered
to his father's original designs, and when he died in 1577, there was
fortunately but little left to do. Indeed, most of what followed in
construction, repair or decoration was rather to the detriment than
embellishment of the church. It was consecrated in 1580. Chapels were
added to the trasaltar by Rodrigo's successor, Martin Ruiz de Chartudi;
the lantern above the crossing was raised by Juan de Mogaguren in 1615;
five years later, the northern porch was erected and Renaissance
features invaded the edifice. Like most Spanish churches, it has been
constantly worked upon and never completed.

The plan is admirable,--at once dignified and harmonious, and the
semicircular Romanesque termination is striking. The total length is
some 340 feet, its entire width, some 156; the nave is 43 and the side
aisles are 32 feet wide. It is thus logical, symmetrical, and fully
developed in all its members. Beyond the side aisles stretches a row of
chapels separated from each other by transverse walls. As the transepts,
which are of the same width as the nave, do not project beyond the
chapels of its outer aisles, the Latin cross disappears in plan. The
nave, aisles and chapels consist of five bays up to the crossing crowned
by the great dome. Beyond this comes the vault of the Capilla Mayor and
the semicircular apse surrounded by a seven-bayed ambulatory, or
"girola," and an equal number of radiating pentagonal chapels. The
chevet is clear in arrangement and noble in expression. Entrances lead
logically into the nave and side aisles of the western front and into
the centres of the northern and southern transepts, while cloisters
which abut to the south are entered through the fifth chapel. When
Segovia was built, Spaniards were thoroughly reconciled to the idea of
placing the choir west of the crossing and the Capilla Mayor east, and
consequently the latter was designed no larger than was requisite for
its offices, and a space was frankly screened off between it and the
choir for the use of the officiating clergy. The third and fourth bays
of the nave contained the choir.

As one enters the church, there is a consciousness of joy and order. The
stone surfaces are just sufficiently warmed and mellowed by the
glorious light from above. The piers are very massive and semicircular
in plan; the foliage at their heads underneath the vaulting is so
delicate and unpronounced that it scarcely counts as capitals. The walls
of the chapels in the outer aisles, as well as round the ambulatory, are
penetrated by narrow, round-headed windows, as timid and attenuated as
those of an early Romanesque edifice; the walls of the inner aisle, by
triple, lancet windows; and the clerestory of the nave, by triple,
round-headed ones. Under them, in the apse, is a second row of
round-headed blind windows. None of them have any tracery whatever. The
glass is of great brilliancy of coloring and exceptional beauty, but the
designs are as poor as the glazing is glorious. In the smaller windows,
the subjects represent events in the Old Testament; in the larger,
scenes from the New. Around the apse much of the old, stained glass has
been shamefully replaced by white, so as to admit more light into this
portion of the building.

There is no triforium, but a finely carved late Gothic balcony runs
around the nave and transepts below the clerestory. In the transepts,
this is surmounted by a second one underneath the small roses which
penetrate their upper wall surfaces. Both nave and side aisles are
lofty, the vaulting rising in the former to a height of about 100 feet
and, in the latter, to 80 feet, while the cupola soars 330 feet above.
The vaulting itself is most elaborate and developed. While the early
Gothic edifices have only the requisite functional transverse, diagonal
and wall ribs, we now find every vault covered with intermediate ones of
most intricate designs. Especially over the Capilla Mayor in its
ambulatory chapels and around the lantern, this ornamentation becomes
profuse,--everywhere ribs are met by bosses and roses. The general
effect of the endless cutting up of the vaults into numberless
compartments by the complicated system of lierne ribs is one of
restlessness. One misses the logical simplicity of the thirteenth and
fourteenth centuries and is reminded of the decadent surfacing of late
German work and the ogee, lierne ribs of some of the late English, in
which the true ridges can no longer be distinguished from the false.

Looking up into the dome over the crossing, we see that the pendentives
do not rise directly above the four arches, but spring some fifteen feet
higher up above a Gothic balustrade which is surmounted by elliptical
arches pierced by circular windows. The dome, disembarrassed of the ribs
which still cling to some of its predecessors, is finely shaped,--a
thorough Renaissance piece of work. Light streams down through the
bull's eye under the lantern.

There is considerable difference in the design as well as workmanship ofthe many 
rejas. Tremendous iron rails, surely not as fine as those of
Seville, Granada, or Toledo, but still very remarkable, close the three
sides of the Capilla Mayor and the front of the choir. The emblematical
lilies of the Cathedral rise in rows one beside the other, as one sees
them in a florist's Easter windows. Rejas close off similarly all the
outer chapels from the side aisles.

Among the very few portions of the old Cathedral which remained intact
after the fury of the Comunidades, were the choir stalls and an
exquisite door. The former were placed in the new choir and the latter
became an entrance to the transplanted cloisters. It was indeed
fortunate that these stalls were spared, for they are among the most
exquisite in Spain and excelled by few in either France or Germany.

Wood-carving had long been a favorite art in Spain, one in which the
Spaniards learned to excel under the skillful tutelage of the great
masters from Germany and Flanders. The foreign carvers settled
principally in Burgos, where there grew up around them apprentices eager
to fill the churches with statues, retablos, choir stalls, and organ
screens executed in wood. The art of carving became highly honored. An
early ordinance of Seville referring to wood-carving, masonry and
building, esteems it "a noble art and self-contained, that increaseth
the nobleness of the King and of his kingdom, that pacifieth the people
and spreadeth love among mankind conducing to much good." In the
numerous panels of cathedral choir stalls, there was a wonderful
opportunity for relief work and the play of the fertile imagination and
childlike expressiveness of the middle ages. Curious freaks of fancy,
their extraordinary conceptions of Biblical scenes, the events and
personages of their own day, could all be portrayed and even carved with
wonderful skill. Leonard Williams, in his "Art and Crafts of Older
Spain," tells us that "the silleria consists of two tiers, the _sellia_
or upper seats with high backs and a canopy, intended for the canons,
and the lower seats or _sub-sellia_ of simpler pattern with lower backs,
intended for the _beneficados_. At the head of all is placed the throne,
larger than the other stalls, and covered in many cases by a canopy
surmounted by a tall spire."

Few of the many Gothic stalls are finer than those of Segovia. The
contrast with the work above them, as well as with that which backs onto
them, is doubly distressing. The tremendous organs above are a mass of
gilding and restless Baroque ornamentation, while their rear is covered
by multicolored strips of stone which would have looked vulgar and gaudy
around a Punch and Judy show and here enframe the four Evangelists. The
chapels and high altar are uninteresting, decorated in later days in
offensive taste. Apart from these furnishings, which play but a small
part, it is rare and satisfying to survey an interior in which there has
been so much decorative restraint, in which the constructive and
architectural lines dominate the merely ornamental ones, and where
harmony, severity and excellent proportions go hand in hand. Were it not
for the cupola and a few minor details, there would be added to these
merits, unity of style.

The cloisters are rich and flamboyant, but nevertheless more restrained
than those of Salamanca. They are elaborately subdivided, carved and
festooned, and, in the bosses of the arches, they carry the arms of
their original builder, Bishop Arias Davila. Just inside their entrance
lie three of the old architects, Rodrigo Gil de Hontañon, Campo Aguero,
and Viadero. The old well in the centre is covered with a grapevine, and
nothing could be lovelier than the deep emerald leaves dotted with
purple fruit growing over the white and yellow stonework.

Few Spanish cathedrals can be seen to such advantage as Segovia, its
situation is so unusual and fortunate. In mediæval towns closely packed
within their city walls, there could be but little room or breathing
space either for palace or hovel, and the buildings adjacent to a
cathedral generally nestled close to its sides. The plaza of Segovia is
unusually large compared to the area of the little city. The clearing
away of Santa Clara and San Miguel and all the smaller surrounding
edifices condemned for the Cathedral site, left much room also in front
of the western entrance for a fine broad platform as well as an
unobstructed view from the opposite side of the square. Most of the
flights of granite steps leading to it from the streets below are now
closed by iron gates and overgrown with grass and weeds. The days of the
great processions are past, when the various trades, led by their bands
of musicians, filed up to deliver their offerings towards the
construction, and the staircases are no longer thronged by devout
Segovian citizens anxious to see the daily progress of the work. The
platform is paved with innumerable granite slabs which in the old
Cathedral covered the tombs of the city's illustrious citizens, whose
names may still be easily deciphered.

Taken as a whole, the façade is bald and void of charm. It is neither
good nor especially faulty, of a certain strength, but without interest
or merit. It is logically subdivided by five pronounced buttresses
marking the nave, side aisles and outer row of chapels. Their relative
heights and the lines of their roofing are clearly defined. To the
north, a rather insignificant turret terminates the façade, while to the
south rises the lofty tower, three hundred and forty-five feet above the
whole mountain of masonry, the most conspicuous landmark in the
landscape of Segovia. It consists of a square base of sides thirty-five
feet wide, broken by six rows of twin arches; the first, the third and
the sixth are open, the last is a belfry. The present dome curves from
an octagonal Renaissance base, the transitional corners being filled
with crocketed pyramids similar to the many crowning buttresses and
piers at all angles of the church below. The dome and lantern are almost
exact smaller counterparts of those crowning the crossing. They were put
up by the same architect, Mogaguren, who certainly could not have been
over-gifted with artistic imagination. The tower had varying
fortunes,--much to the distress of the citizens, it has been twice
struck by lightning. The wooden structure and lead covering were burned
and melted by the fire which followed the first catastrophe, but
fortunately it was soon put out by the rain which saved the Cathedral
and city. After the second thunderbolt, in 1809, the surmounting cross
was replaced by a lightning-rod.

The nave is entered by the Perdon portal, which, under a Gothic arch, is
subdivided into two elliptical openings. Peculiarly late Gothic railings
here, as elsewhere, crown the masonry and conceal the tiling of the
sloping roofs.

Rounding the church to the south, we find the view obstructed by the
cloisters and sacristy; only the façade of the transept, ascended from
the lower ground by a flight of steps, remains visible. The southern
doorway is quite denuded, and even its buttresses rise without as much
as a corbel to soften their lines. When one has, however, dodged through
the tortuous, narrow, malodorous streets and come out opposite the apse
and northern flank, the whole bulk of the logical organic body of the
church becomes visible with its larger squat and higher lofty domes
towering into the blue. To the same Renaissance period as the two domes
belongs the classical portal of Pedro Brizuela, leading to the northern
transept. The view from the northeast is particularly fine. Every
portion of the structure is expressed by the exterior lines. One above
the other rise chapels, ambulatory, apse, transepts and lanterns, each
level crowned by its sparkling balustrade. The sky is jagged by the
crocketed spires which terminate the flying buttresses, the piers and
the angles of the wall surface. Here the Latin cross may be seen, and
the sub-divisions of every portion of the interior. There is no
deception nor trickery. It is simple and straightforward. Its artistic
merits may be small, the forest of carved turrets rising all around the
apse, tiresome, but this final impression of Spanish Gothic was
thoroughly sincere.



[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


The Giralda, from the Orange Tree Court]

    "Wen Gott lieb hat, dem giebt er ein Haus in Sevilla."

Seville is ever youthful, for the blood which courses in her veins
absorbs the sunlight. Venice is the city of dreamy love, Naples, of
indolence, Rome, of everlasting age, but Seville keeps an eternal youth.

What picturesqueness, what color, what passion blend with memories of

    All sunny land of love!
    When I forget you, may I fail    To ... say my prayers!

And Seville is the queen of Andalusia, of noble birth, proud and
beautiful. Distinctly feminine in her subtle, indefinable charm, like a
woman she changes with her surroundings, and her mutability adds to her
fascination. We never fathom nor quite know her, for she is one being as
she slumbers in the first chalky light of morning, another, in the
resplendent nakedness of noontide, overarched by the indigo firmament,
and yet another, in the happy laughter of evening when her mantle has
turned purple and her throbbing life is more felt than seen. The roses,
hyacinths and crocuses have closed in sleep, but the orange groves, the
acacia, and eucalyptus, jasmine, lemon, and palm trees and hedges of box
fill the air with heavy, aromatic perfume. To the exiled Moors she was
so sweet in all her moods that they said, "God in His justice, having
denied to the Christians a heavenly paradise, has given them in exchange
an earthly one." With the oriental languor of her ancestors, she keeps
the freshness and sparkle of the dewy morn. She is as gay and full of
youthful vitality as her Toledan sister is old and worn and haggard.
While Toledo is sombre and funereal, Seville is alive with the tinkling
of silver fountains, the strumming of guitars and mandolins, and the
songs of her women. She lies rich and splendid on the bosom of the
campagna, fruitfulness and plenty within her embattled walls. "She is a
strange, sweet sorceress, a little wise perhaps, in whom love has
degenerated into desire; but she offers her lovers sleep, and in her
arms you will forget everything but the entrancing life of dreams."

Andalusia and Seville justly claim an ancient and royal pedigree, which
through all the vicissitudes of centuries has still left its stamp upon
them. Andalusia was the Tarshish of the Bible, whither Jonah rose to
flee. Her commerce is spoken of in Jeremiah, Isaiah, the Psalms, and the
Chronicles: "Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all
kind of riches, with silver, iron, tin, and lead they traded in thy
fairs" (Ezekiel xxvii, 12).

In passing the Straits of Hercules, Seville and Ceuta alone caught
Odysseus' eye:--

                Tardy with age
    Were I and my companions, when we came
    To the Strait pass, where Hercules ordain'd
    The bound'ries not to be o'erstepp'd by man.
    The walls of Seville to my right I left,
    On th' other hand already Ceuta past.

    _Inferno_, xxvi. 106-110.

The honor of founding the city of Seville seems to be shared by Hercules
and Julius Cæsar. In the popular mind of the Sevillians, as well as
through an unbroken chain of mediæval historians and ballad-makers,
Hercules is called its father. Monuments throughout the city bear
witness to its founders. On one of the gates recently demolished the
inscription ran,--

    Condidit Alcides, Renovavit Julius urbem.
    Restituit Christo Fernandus tertius heros.

The Latin verses were later paraphrased in the Castilian tongue over the
Gate of Zeres:--

    Hercules me edifico,
    Julio Cesar me cerco,
    de meno y torres altes
    y el rey santo me ganó,
    Con Garci Perez de Vargas.

"Hercules built me, Julius Cæsar surrounded me with walls and high
towers, the Holy King conquered me by Garcia Perez de Vargas." Statues
of the founder and protector still stand in various parts of the city.

In the second century B. C., the shipping of Seville made it one of the
most important trade centres of the Mediterranean. Phœnicians and
Greeks stopped here to barter. In 45 B. C., Rome stretched forth her
greedy hand, and Cæsar entered the town at the head of his victorious
legion. Eighty-two years later the Romans formed the whole of southern
Spain into the "Provincia Bætica." With its formation into a Roman
colony, Seville's historical background begins to stand out clearly and
its riches are sung by the ancients. "Fair art thou, Bætis," says
Martial, "with thine olive crown and thy limpid waters, with the fleece
stains of a brilliant gold." The whole province contained what later
became Sevilla, Huelva, Cadiz, Cordova, Jaen, Granada and Almeria.
Seville, or Hispalis, became the capital and was accordingly fortified
with walls and towers, garrisoned and supplied with water from aqueducts
and adorned with Roman works of art. After the spread of Christianity
during the later Emperors, Seville was important enough to be made the
seat of a bishop.

With the fall of Rome, Hispalis was overrun by hordes of Goths and
Vandals. They held possession of the country until they were conquered
in 711 by the Moors, who, after crossing the strait between Africa and
Europe, gradually spread northward through the Iberian peninsula. The
Goths made Hispalis out of the Roman Hispalia, and the Arabians in their
turn, unable to pronounce the p, formed the name into Ixbella, of which
the Castilians made Seville.

To the Moors, Andalusia was the Promised Land flowing with milk and
honey. What was lacking, their genius and husbandry soon supplied. The
land which they found uncultivated soon became a garden filled with
exotic flowers and rich fruits, while they adorned its cities with the
noblest monuments of their taste and intelligence. They divided their
territory (el Andalus) into the four kingdoms of Seville, Cordova, Jaen,
and Granada, which still exist as territorial divisions. To-day the
three latter contain only the ruins of a great past. Seville alone
remains in many respects a perfectly Moorish city. Her courts, her
squares, the streets and houses, the great palace and the tower are
essentially Arabian and bear witness to the magnificence of her ancient


    A. The Giralda.
    B. Royal Chapel.
    C. Chapter House.
    D. Sacristy.
    E. Old Sacristy.
    F. Colombina Library.
    G. Portal of the Perdon.
    H. Courtyard of the Orange Trees.
    I. The Sagrario.
    J. Portal of the Orange Trees.
    K. Choir.
    L. Capilla Mayor.
    M. Portal of the Lonja (San Cristobal).
    N. Portal of the Palos.
    O. Portal of the Campanillas.
    P. Portal of the Bautismo.
    Q. Puerta Mayor.
    R. Portal of the Nacimiento.
    S. Trascoro.
    T. Dependencias de la Hermandad.
    U. Portal of the Sagrario.
    V. Portal of the Lagarto.
    X. Tomb of Fernando Colon.]

They had lost all the rest of Spain except Granada before Cordova and
Jaen surrendered, and finally Seville fell into the hands of Ferdinand
III of Castile in 1248, and its Christian period began. Three hundred
thousand followers of the detested faith were banished from Seville, and
slowly the power of the Catholic Church began to rise and the
agricultural beauty and industry of the surrounding province to wane.

The city was divided into separate districts for the different races,
the canals were dammed up, the water-works fell to pieces, the valley
was left untilled, and fruit trees were unpruned and unwatered. Hides
bleached in the sun and webs rotted on the looms, sixty thousand of
which had woven beautiful silk fabrics in the palmy days of the Moors.

Ferdinand the Holy was a great king, of a saintliness and greatness
still acknowledged by the soldiers of Seville. After eight centuries
they still lower their colors as they march past the great shrine of the
Third Ferdinand, in the church which he purged from Mohammedanism and
dedicated to the worship of the Christians' God and the Holy Virgin.

After him, Seville became the theatre of momentous deeds and events that
had a far-reaching influence on the history of the country. Into her lap
was poured the riches of the New World; within her halls Queen Isabella
laid the foundation of her united kingdom; from Seville came the
intellectual stimulus that revived the arts and letters of the whole
Peninsula. Here were born and labored Pedro Campaña, Alejo Fernandez,
Luis de Vargas, the several Herreras, Francisco de Zurbaran, Alfonso
Cano, Diego de Silva Velasquez, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, and Miguel
Florentino. The riches of the western world made of Seville a second
Florence, where art found ready patrons, and literature, cultivated
protectors. She rivaled the great schools of Italy and the Netherlands,
but out of her secret council chambers came the Institution of the Holy
Office, the scourge that withered the nation. In the latter half of the
sixteenth century, forty-five thousand people were put to death in the
archbishopric of Seville. Finally, under Philip II, Seville and her
great church rose to stupendous wealth and power.

"When Philip II died, loyal Seville honored the departed king by a
magnificent funeral service in the Cathedral. A tremendous monument was
designed by Oviedo. On Nov. 25th, 1598, the mourning multitude flocked
to the dim Cathedral while the people knelt upon the stones, and the
solemn music floated through the air. There was a disturbance among a
part of the congregation. A man was charged with deriding the imposing
monument and creating disorder. He was a tax-gatherer and ex-soldier of
the city named Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Some of the citizens
took his side, for there was a feud between the civil and the
ecclesiastical authorities in Seville. The brawler was expelled from the
cathedral,--but he had his revenge. He composed a satirical poem upon
the tomb of the King which was read everywhere in the city:--

    _To the Monument of the King of Seville_

    I vow to God I quake with surprise,
    Could I describe it, I would give a crown,
    And who, that gazes on it in the town
    But starts aghast to see its wondrous size;
    Each part a million cost, I should devise:
    What pity 'tis, ere centuries have flown,
    Old time will mercilessly cast it down!
    Thou rival'st Rome, O Seville, in my eyes!
    I bet, the soul of him who's dead and blest,
    To dwell within this sumptuous monument,
    Has left the seats of sempiternal rest!
    A fellow tall, on deeds of valour bent,
    My exclamation heard. "Bravo," he cried,
    "Sir Soldier, what you say is true, I vow!
    And he who says the contrary has lied!"
    With that he pulls his hat upon his brow,
    Upon his sword-hilt he his hand doth lay,
    And frowns--and--nothing does, but walks away!"[16]

Far more ineffaccable even than the record left by Philip's life upon
the history of Seville and Spain is that of this immortal soldier and
scribbler, who "believed he had found something better to do than
writing comedies."

The soft, sonorous syllables of Guadalquivir (from the Arabic
Wad-el-Kebir, or The Great River) would picture to the imaginative eye a
river far more poetic than the sluggish stream that loiters across the
wide plain and fruitful valley until it pierces the amber girdle of
crenelated walls and embattled towers which enclose the treasures of
Seville. On its broad bosom have swept the barks and galleys of
Phœnicia and Greece, of Roman, Goth, and Moor. On its shores Columbus
lowered the sails of his caravel and presented Spain with a new world on
Palm Sunday, 1493; Pizarro and Cortez here first embarked their greedy
and daring adventurers; hither Pizarro returned with hoards of gold and
silver treasures from Mexico and Peru, for the Council of the Indies
restricted all the trade of the colonies to the port of Seville. The
valley through which the river descends is sheltered from the cold
tablelands lying northward by the Sierra Moreña chain. Gray olive trees,
waving pastures, and fields of grain cover its slopes. A soft, tempered
wind whispers through the grassy meadows of La Tierra de Maria
Santissima, and the atmosphere is so dry and clear that far away against
the horizon objects stand out in clear silhouette. So vivid are the
colors that the smoky olive groves, the orange and lemon-colored walls,
the fir trees, the chalky white of the stucco, the fleshy, prickly
leaves of the cacti, and the tall standards of the aloes seem
photographed on the brain.

In a fair and fruitful land lies the city, and her spires pierce a
smokeless, unspotted sky.

In the heart of the city, set down in the very centre of her life of
song and laughter and childish simplicity, surrounded by crooked streets
and great airy courts, in the widest sunlit square, lies her Cathedral.

The first impression made by a building is generally not only the most
distinct but the truest. That produced by Seville's Cathedral is its
immensity of scale.

    Toledo la rica,
    Salamanca la fuerta,
    Leon la bella,
    Oviedo la sacra,
    Sevilla la grande,

runs the Spanish saying. The size is overpowering. Each of the four side
aisles is nearly as broad and high as the nave of Westminster Abbey,
while the arcades of Seville's nave have twice the span. To the
impressionable sensitiveness of Théophile Gautier it was like a mountain
scooped out, a valley turned topsy-turvy. Notre Dame de Paris might walk
erect under the frightful height of the middle nave; pillars as large as
towers appear so slender that you catch your breath as you look up at
the far-away, vaulted roof they support.

Here are the first impressions of two early Spanish writers. Cean
Bermudez finds that, "seen from a certain distance, it resembles a
high-pooped and beflagged ship, rising over the sea with harmonious
grouping of sails, pennons, and banners, and with its mainmast towering
over the mizzenmast, foremast, and bowsprit." Caveda is struck by "the
general effect, which is truly majestic. The open-work parapets which
crown the roofs; the graceful lanterns of the eight winding stairs that
ascend in the corners to the vaults and galleries; the flying buttresses
that spring lightly from aisle to nave, as the jets of a cascade from
cliff to cliff; the slender pinnacles that cap them; the proportions of
the arms of the transept and of the buttresses supporting the side
walls; the large pointed windows to which they belong, rising over each
other, the pointed portals and entrances,--all these combine in an
almost miraculous effect, although they lack the wealth of detail, the
airy grace, and the delicate elegance that characterize the cathedrals
of Leon and Burgos."

Such are the varying impressions of ancient critics. To the student's
question, "To what period of architecture does the Cathedral of Seville
belong?" we must answer, "To no period, or rather to half a dozen."
Authorities and writers will give completely different information, and
Seville has found more willing and loving chroniclers than any other of
Spain's churches. Gallichan classes it as the "largest Gothic cathedral
in the world," and Caveda calls it "a type of the finest Spanish Gothic

The interior of the main body of the church is pure, severe Gothic, the
sacristy major, highly developed Renaissance; the main portions of the
exterior are what might be termed for want of a better word "Spanish
Renaissance--plateresco"; other details are Moorish, classical, late
florid Gothic, rococo, and so forth. As if to add to the incongruity of
the architectural hodge-podge, it is surrounded by shafts of old Roman
columns as well as Byzantine pillars from the original mosque, sunk deep
into the ground and connected with iron chains. The total impression to
any student of architecture is one of outraged law and order,
composition and unity. Recalling the carefully membered and distinctly
developed plan of the great Gothic churches of France, the expressive
exteriors of the huge Renaissance cathedrals of Italy, the satisfying
perspective of English monastic temples, one feels the hopelessness of
attempting a comparison between this huge, impressive undertaking and
any accepted standards or schools. It is something so entirely different
and apart, a mighty and unbridled effort which cannot be classified nor
grouped with other churches, nor studied by methods of earlier
architectural training. It is full of romance,--a building romantic as
the Cid, a child of architectural fervor or even architectural furor.
Centuries of Spanish history and religion and the various temperaments
of different and inspired races have created it and fostered its
growth. Like many of its sister churches, the artisans that labored on
it were gathered from different lands and their work stretches through
centuries of time and architectural thought. There is the sparkling,
oriental fancy of the Mudejar, the classic training of the Italian, the
brilliant color and technique of the Fleming and Dutchman, the skilled
and masterful chiseling of the German, and the restless pride and
domination of the Spaniard. You find it expressed in every way,--on
canvas, in wood and clay and stone, on plaster and in glass. It is a
museum of art from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries, with
portions still waiting for the work of the twentieth. The artists range
from Juan Sanches de Castro, "the morning star of Andalusia," in 1454,
to Francisco Goya, the last of the great Spanish painters.

It is colossal, incongruous, mysterious, and elusive. It breathes the
spirit of the middle ages with all their piety and loyalty to church and
crown, and their unparalleled ardor in building religious temples.
Gazing at it, you feel the same religious fervor that flung the arches
of Amiens and Chartres high into the northern air and rounded the dome
of Santa Maria del Fiore under Lombardy's azure vault.

If you stand in the Calle del Gran Capitan, or better, the Plaza del
Triumfo, best of all, near the gateway of the Patio de las Banderas,
where the Cathedral and the Giralda pile up in front of you,
unquestionably you have before you Spain's mightiest architectural work,
a sight as impressive as the view from the marble pavement of the
Piazzetta by the Adriatic.

The lofty tower is entirely oriental. The walls of the Cathedral which
rise from a broad paved terrace consist below of a classical screen,
whose surface is broken by a Corinthian order carrying a Renaissance
balustrade and topped by heavy, meaningless stone terminations. Windows
with Italian Renaissance frames pierce the ochre masonry. Above rises a
confusion of buttresses, kettle-shaped domes, and Renaissance lanterns,
simple, massive walls, some portions entirely bare, others overloaded
with delicate Gothic interlacings full of Spanish feeling; flowers and
rosettes, broad blazons and coats-of-arms,--above all, a forest of
Gothic towers, finials, crockets, parapets, and rails peculiarly Spanish
in carving and treatment. There is practically no sky line. The interior
of the nave and aisle vaulting are entirely concealed externally by the
parapets and walls.

So lacking in sobriety is the first view!--but you are ready to echo the
Spanish saying,--

    Quien no ha visto Sevilla
    No ha visto maravilla.[17]

or the words of Pope, "_There_ stands a structure of majestic fame!"

The Spanish Christians in Seville, like those who obtained possession of
other Moorish strongholds, first appropriated the old Arab mosque for
their house of worship. Later, when it no longer sufficed, they and
their fellow-believers elsewhere built the new cathedral on, around, or
adjacent to, the old consecrated walls. Like all other churches from
which Islam had been driven, the great mosque of Seville was dedicated
to Santa Maria de la Sede. The famous Moorish conqueror, Abu Jakub
Jusuf, had laid the foundation stones of his mosque and tower in 1171,
building his walls with the materials left by imperial Rome, and laying
out orange courtyard and walls in a manner befitting his power and the
traditions of his race. It belongs to what architectural writers have
for convenience called the second period of the Spanish Arabs, between
1146 and about 1250, under the Almohaden dynasty. This was the period of
the Moors' greatest constructive energy,--they no longer blindly copied
the ancient architecture of Byzantium, but endeavored to create a bold
and independent art of their own.

After the capture of Seville in 1248, Ferdinand at once consecrated the
mosque to Christian service, and it was used without alteration until it
began to crumble. Its general plan was probably very much like the one
in Cordova, a great rectangle filled with a forest of columns: its high
walls of brick and clay supported by buttresses and crowned with
battlements enclosed an adjacent courtyard with fountain and rows of
orange trees, abutted by the bell or prayer tower. The courtyard and
tower remain with but slight changes or additions; portions of the
foundation walls, the northeast and west porticos, decorative details
and ornamentation still to be found on the Christian church are all
Moorish. The plan and general structure have been restricted by the
lines of the old Moorish foundations. There are no documents extant that
give a trustworthy account of what portions of the old mosque were
allowed to remain when the Christians finally decided to rebuild, but
the most cursory glance at the outline of the Cathedral shows how
organically it has been bound by what was retained. The mosque must have
been built on as large and magnificent a scale as the one which still
amazes us in Cordova. The peculiar, oblong, quadrilateral form was
probably common to both.

On the 8th of July, 1401, the Cathedral Chapter issued the challenge to
the Catholic world which to the more practical piety of to-day rings
with a true mediæval fervor. Verily a faith that could remove mountains!
The inspired Chapter proclaimed they could build a church of such size
and beauty that coming ages should call them mad to have undertaken it.
And their own fat pockets were the first to be emptied of half their
stipends. The pennies of the poor, grants from the crown, indulgences
published throughout the kingdom, all went to satisfy the ever-grasping
building fund.

In 1403 the work of tearing down and commencing afresh on the old
foundations was begun. These measured about some 415 feet in length by
278 feet in width. The old mosque or the present church proper is now
only the central edifice in a rectangle of about 600 by 500 feet. This
is the size of a village, with its courts, its tower, the great library
of the Cathedral Chapter where books were collected from all over the
lettered world by the son of Columbus, the parroquia or parish church,
the endless row of chapels, some larger than ordinary churches, the
sacristy, the chapter house and offices. It became the largest church of
the middle ages, covering 124,000 square feet; Milan covers only 90,000,
Toledo, 75,000, and Saint Paul's in London, 84,000. Among the churches
of all ages, Saint Peter's, with an area of 162,000 square feet, alone
exceeds it in size.

In 1506, under the archbishops Alfonso Rodriguez and Gonzalo de Rojas,
the building was completed. For a century the work had been carried on
with such reckless haste that inferior building methods had been
employed, which led to subsequent disasters. On December 28, 1511, to
the consternation of the devout workmen, the great central dome fell in
during an earthquake, carrying with it or weakening many of the vaults
and much of the masonry below. After the earthquake, some of the large
piers supporting the great crossing as well as the adjacent ones were
found filled with the most carelessly laid rubble and earth, with no
carrying power nor resistance. About 1520 the building might in the main
be said to be finished. Externally it has never been completed, although
in the nineteenth century the west front was finished and its central
doorway ornamented. An extensive restoration which took place in 1882
was interrupted by the second earthquake of 1888, during which the dome
again fell in. To-day it is all rebuilt.

The entrance is at the west end. The plan, as I have said, was governed
by the old basilica-shaped mosque. The transepts do not project beyond
the chapels of the side aisles, and at the east end it differs from most
Spanish churches in having a square termination instead of an apse. Also
along the east wall chapels have been built between the buttresses
similar to those between the north and south sides. The central portions
of the east end open into the great Capilla Real. There are nine
doorways to the church.

In studying the plan, it is interesting to note what Mr. Ferguson has
indicated, that similarly to what is found in the Indian Jain temples,
the diagonal of the aisle compartments has the same length as the width
of the nave. The original documents and accounts of the church, which
have disappeared, were probably burnt among Philip II's papers destroyed
by the great Madrid fire.

Scarcely two of the Cathedral's many biographers agree as to its
architects, its historic precedents or what part of the work was
actually inspired by earlier Spanish architecture and national builders.
Naturally Spanish writers attribute workmanship, precedents and builders
all to their own Peninsula, while the different foreign authorities vary
in their estimates. Distinctly Spanish features of construction as well
as ornamentation are found side by side with others which unquestionably
came from masters trained beyond the Pyrenees. In various places
vaulting is found thoroughly German in its complexity and florid detail.
Several authorities point out the resemblances between Milan and
Seville, not that the ornamentation of the frosted and encrusted Italian
misconception can be intelligently compared with the Plateresque
carving, but there is a certain mixture of local and foreign feeling in
both. In Seville French and German feeling seems to be struggling under
Spanish fetters, just as in Lombardy the German seems to be laboring
with Italian comprehension of Gothic, finally abandoning the inorganic
scheme for a lovely, riotous, and marvelous attempt at carving to which
the material no longer placed any limitations.

The Spanish architect of the middle ages was placed in a novel
situation, and his art had very peculiar and unusual influences bearing
upon it. Gothic methods of construction and ornamentation had slowly
spread over the country with the growing sovereignty of Aragon and
Castile, and in spite of the corresponding decline of the Arab kingdoms,
Moorish art began to work hand in hand, as far as was possible, with the
forms of the Christian invader, although the hostility between the races
hindered any extensive fusion of the two. They began, however, to
influence each other for good or bad and to flourish side by side. The
result might be called architectural volapük. In Seville it is certain
that, whatever the nationality of the original architect and however
incongruous and expressionless the exterior may finally have become, the
interior is less exotic, less unquestionably a French importation, than
in either of the great Gothic churches of Toledo or Burgos. When we
recall the organic completeness, the truthful exterior expression, of
interior lines and construction in the greatest Gothic cathedrals of
France, we turn with sadness to the outer form of so fair a soul as that
of Santa Maria of Seville, the work of the most famous architects of her
age. Some attribute the original plans of the church to Alfonso
Rodriguez, others to Alfonso Martinez, who was Maestro Mayor of the
chapter in 1396, others again to Pedro Garcia; a long list of names
follows: Juan the Norman, Juan de Hoz, Alfonso Ruiz, Ximon, Alfonso
Rodriguez, and Gonzalo de Rojas, Pedro Mellan, Miguel Florentin, Pedro
Lopez, Henrique de Egas, Juan de Alava, Jorge Fernandez Alleman, Juan
Gil de Hontañon and the masters who after the earthquake hurried to
Seville from their buildings in Toledo, Jaen, Vittoria, and other
places. Casanova is the last of her many architects.

Correctly speaking, there is no façade. The Cathedral runs from west to
east, the western or main entrance portal being pierced by three ogival
doorways, the Puerta Mayor with a modern relief of the Assumption, the
Puerta del Nacimento or de San Miguel to the south, and the Puerta del
Bautizo or de San Juan to the north. Saint Miguel has a relief of the
Nativity of Christ, Saint Juan, one representing Saint John baptizing.
In the moldings surrounding these, are very exquisite little figures of
early sixteenth-century work executed in terra-cotta. They are full of
the best Gothic feeling, splendidly fitted to their spaces, alive with
the expression of the imaginative period of their sculptor, Pedro
Millan. Above and around the door of San Juan is a Gothic tracery of the
most elaborate character.

One cannot refrain from comparing the sculptural work of these three
doorways. Riccardo Bellver's modern Assumption over the central doorway
is as congealed as the terra-cotta sculptures above and around the side
portals are admirable. They are unquestionably among the most
interesting bits of relief as well as figure sculpture of their kind
produced in Spain during the fifteenth century. Pedro Millan stands out
as a great mediæval master, not only from the consummate skill with
which the drapery is treated but from the living, breathing personality
and attitudes of the men and women around him, which we still gaze at in
the truth of their curious, naïve, fifteenth-century light.

As the whole western façade was not completed in its present form until
1827, much of its work is as poor as it is modern.

There are two entrances to the eastern end, richly decorated with fine
terra-cotta statues and reliefs of angels, patriarchs, and Biblical
figures, attributed to Lope Marin. In the northern façade there are
three,--one classical and of very little interest leading to the parish
church; the second is the Puerto de los Naranjos.

In the Puerta del Lagarto, where the Giralda abuts the Cathedral, there
hangs a poor stuffed crocodile, once sent by a Sultan of Egypt in token
of admiration to Saint Ferdinand. The beast, having died on his way from
the Nile, could never crawl in the basins of the Alcazar gardens, but
found a resting-place under the shelves of the Columbina library.

On the opposite side of the orange-tree court is the Puerta del Perdon.
The Florentine relief above, representing the crouching traders as they
were driven from the Temple, naturally spoils the effectiveness of the
magnificent Moorish portal below. Its horseshoe curve, with delicate
Moorish interlacing, arabesques, frieze and bronze doors, is a curious
and striking note of a bygone age, leading as it does to the walled and
fragrant courtyard of its builders, and the fountain where they made
their ablutions. Later Renaissance statues of the Annunciation and Saint
Peter and Saint Paul, as well as Florentine pilasters and ornament,
flank the Moorish moldings in an utterly meaningless manner.

On the south is the gate of San Cristobal, or of the Lonja, finished
only a few years ago.

In and out of these many entrances the populace stream, to worship, to
whisper, to gossip, to rest, to bargain, to beg, and to make love. The
whole drama of life in its conglomerate population goes on within the
walls of the Cathedral. It is the most frequented thoroughfare, where
the people enter as often with a song on their lips as with a prayer.
The great edifice with all the ceremonial of its religious services is
woven into their life, as is the sound of the guitars and castanets that
echo within its portals and courtyards. The church and her children are
not strangers. The Sevillian does not approach her altars with religious
awe and fear, but with a childish trust; he kneels down before them as
much at home as when rolling his cigarette on the bench of his café. The
Cathedral, like the houses nestling and crumbling around it, opens wide
and hospitable gates that lead to the refreshing shade and comfort

The western front is practically the only one which presents the
Cathedral unobscured by adjacent buildings climbing up its sides or
struggling between the buttresses,--or which is not concealed by
enclosing screenwork. To the north the walls of the Orange Court block
the view; to the east, the high screen; and to the south, the chapter
house and the Dependencias de la Hermanidad and the sacristy. The mass
of domes with supporting flying buttresses, ramps and finials above it,all 
remind one curiously of a transplanted and ecclesiasticized

[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


Gateway of Perdon in the Orange Tree Court]

As the plan conforms to the conditions of the old rectangular mosque and
has neither projecting transepts nor semicircular chevet, it can
scarcely be called Gothic. It consists of nave and double side
aisles,--the nave 56 feet wide from centre to centre of the columns and
145 feet high, and the inner side aisles 40 wide and about 100 high.
Outside these is another aisle filled with various chapels.

At the crossing of the nave and transept, we have the typical, small
Spanish octagonal dome,--in this instance covering possibly what was in
the original mosque a central octagonal court. It is a construction
rising some hundred and seventy feet above the level of the eye,
admitting light below its spring into what in the French Gothic edifices
would usually be the gloomiest portions of the building.

The side aisles differ slightly in width, the two lateral ones being
filled with various chapels. There are nine bays, separated by
thirty-six clustered pillars, some of them perfect towers in their huge
and massive strength. Their detail and outline are excellent, all of the
greatest simplicity and restraint. The delicate engaged shafts which
surround the huge supports of fifteen feet diameter terminate below the
vaulting ribs in delicately interlaced palm-leaf caps. Nothing is
confused or intricate. Sixty-eight compartments spring from the various
piers with a loftiness reminding one of Cologne. The groining differs
very much. The greater portion is admirably plain, of simple
quadripartite design; other parts are fanciful and elaborate, recalling
florid German prototypes. The five central vaults forming the cross
under the dome alone have elaborate fan-vaulting; the geometrical design
is as excellent as its detail. The richness given this central and most
correct portion of the great roofing is all the more effective by
contrast with the plain, unelaborated groins of the surrounding vaults.
The petals of the flower, the very holy of holies, between the choir
and the Capilla Mayor, before the high altar, are what is most beautiful
and enriched.
The lighting is very unusual, and better than either Leon or Toledo.
Ninety-three windows are filled with the most glorious glass. There are
two clerestories to light the body of the church, one in the walls of
the second side aisle, admitting light above the roofs of the chapels,
the second in the nave. Added to this come the huge lights of the five
rose windows.

In Seville, as in Toledo and many of the other great Spanish cathedrals,
the general view of the interior is blocked, and the majesticeffectiveness of 
the columnar rows marred, by the placing of the great
choir in the centre of the edifice.

But the interior effect is nevertheless one of the most inspiring
produced by the imagination and hands of man. All truly majestic
conceptions are simple and, though we may at times wonder at the secret
of their power, we always find their enduring grandeur due to a hidden
simplicity. This is true of the Parthenon, of the Venus of Milo, and the
Sistine Madonna. Whoever enters the Cathedral of Seville is struck first
of all by its simplicity. The tremendous scale of the interior is
unperceived, owing to the just proportion between all the parts. There
is height as well as width, massiveness and strength, boldness and
light. None of the detail is petty or too elaborate, but simple and
effective, making a harmony in all its parts. Even the furniture carries
out the tremendous boldness and grandeur of the edifice. Bells, choir
books, candles, altar chests, are all on the same grandiose scale. It
has true majesty in its simplicity of direct, honest appeal, and a
proud unconsciousness, because it is free from the artificiality which
is invariably vulgar. The truly beautiful woman needs none of the
devices of art. The shafts and vaults and string courses in Seville's
Cathedral need little ornamentation to bring out their beauty; they are
in fact as effective as the elaborate carving of Salamanca and Segovia.
Seville preaches a great lesson to our twentieth century, of peace, rest
and completeness. It has room for all its children; they may kneel at
eighty-two different shrines and find romance or encouragement or the
consolation they are seeking. Some churches are strangely secular in
their restlessness of feeling, while others breathe an atmosphere full
of poetry, exaltation and the infinite peace of the Gospels. Seville's
religion is for the humble and simple as much as for the grandee. It is
not only the great cathedral church of the archbishop and bishop, the
eleven dignitaries, forty canons, twenty prebendaries, twenty minor
canons, twenty veinteneros, twenty chaplains and the host of a choir,
but the beloved home of the poor, miserable, starving sons and daughters
of Santa Maria de la Sede.

Although architecturally the injurious effect of placing choir and high
altar in the middle of the church cannot be overstated, from the point
of view of ritual, of closely uniting the officiating body with the
worshipers, it is undoubtedly a far happier arrangement than where the
prayers and psalms proceed from the extreme apsidal termination. In the
former case the religious guidance seems to emanate from the very soul
of the edifice, and to reach all humble worshipers in the remotest nooks
and corners.

The Spanish nature craves the sensuous and theatrical in religious
rites, and not far-away but intimately, as part and parcel of it. In the
time of the great ecclesiastical power of the bishopric of Seville
20,000 pounds of wax were burned every year, 500 masses were daily
celebrated at the 80 altars, and the wine consumed in the yearly
sacrament amounted to 18,750 litres. Seville's children wished to be
close to the glare and flicker of the wax candles and torches and to
hear distinctly the unintelligible Latin service. Seek the shade of the
cathedral when the July sun is burning outside, or during one of the
nights of Holy Week, when the great Miserere of Eslava is sung, and you
will find it the most thronged spot in all Seville. In the words of
Havelock Ellis: "Profoundly impressive,--around the choir an impassive
mass, in the rest of the church characteristic Spanish groups crouched
at the bases of the great clustered shafts, and chatted and used their
fans familiarly, as if in their own homes, while dogs ran about
unmolested. The vast church lent itself superbly to the music and the
scene. It was a scene stranger than the designs of Martin, as bizarre as
something out of Poe or Baudelaire. In the dim light the huge piers
seemed larger and higher than ever, while the faint altar lights dimly
lit up the iron screen of the Capilla Mayor, as in Rembrandt's
conception of the Temple of Jerusalem. In the scene of enchantment one
felt that Santa Maria of Seville had delivered up the last secret of her
mystery and romance."

If you enter the church from the west through the main portal, or the
Puerta Mayor, the whole length of the nave is broken by various
structures. On the axis, under the second vault, is the tomb of
Fernando Colon; the fourth and fifth vaults contain the choir; the sixth
comes under the dome; the seventh and eighth take in the Capilla Mayor
and Sacristia Alta; back of the ninth and terminating the eastern end,
rises the great Renaissance royal chapel (Capilla Real). Fernando Colon
deserves to live not only in Seville's history but in the memory of all
Spain, first and foremost for being his father's son (by his mistress
Beatrix Enrigues), and, secondly, for leading a most pious and studious
life and devoting his time and fortune while traversing Europe during
the first half of the sixteenth century, to the purchase of the most
valuable books and manuscripts of the time. These he united into the
famous Columbina Library and presented to the Cathedral Chapter. The
enormous wooden tabernacle erected every Passion Week over the great
Discoverer's son, to reach the very arches of the vaults overhead, is as
hideous as the inscription is touching. Three caravels are inlaid on the
slab, between which runs the legend, "A Castilla y a Leon mundo nuevo
die Colon"[a] (To Castile and Leon Columbus gave a new world), and the
following inscription: "Of what avails it that I have bathed the entire
universe in my sweat, that I have thrice passed through the new world,
discovered by my father, that I have adorned the banks of the gentle
Bati and preferred my simple tastes to riches, in order to gather around
thee the divinities of the Castalian Spring and offer thee the treasures
already gathered by Ptolemy, if thou in passing this stone in Seville,
dost not at least give a greeting to my father and a thought to me."

Directly back of Fernando Columbus' tomb rises the rear surface or
trascoro of the choir. The choir, which occupies the fourth and fifth
bays, is enclosed by the most elaborate walls, except at the entrance to
the east, where it is screened by the remarkable iron reja. This, as
well as the rejas of the choir, is in design and workmanship a marvelous
example of mediæval craft, quite as fine as the screens of Toledo and
Granada and the best work of the German forgers and guilds. The design,
from 1519, harmonizes splendidly with the ironwork facing it. Its
gilding must have improved as each century has toned it down. Now in the
evening hours when it catches the reflection of some light, the spikes
look like angels' spears rising flame-like out of the mysterious
twilight and guarding the holy places beyond.

The choir, placed so nearly under the dome, naturally suffered greatly
by its fall. A portion of the 127 stalls has been so well restored that
it is difficult to distinguish the old from the new. "Nufro Sanchez,
sculptor, whom God guarded, made this choir in the year 1475." The
subjects are as usual from the New and Old Testaments, and the character
of the carving constantly betrays Moorish influence. The pillars as well
as the canopies and the figures themselves are possibly entirely Gothic,
but one glance at the gaudily inlaid backs shows Arab workmanship. Along
the outer sides of the choir around the four little stonework niches,
which serve as smaller chapels, the Gothic carving (some of it executed
in transparent alabaster), works more happily than usual in combination
with the later Plateresque or Renaissance, here containing the fine
feeling of the Genoese school. One piece of sculpture stands out from
all the rest, viz., the Virgin, carved by Montañes. Her hands are of
such exquisite girlish delicacy, of such immature and dimpled softness,
that one cannot pass them by without a feeling of delight.

The organs, which form a part of the choir, have an incredible number of
pipes and stops. According to a remarkable old tale, they were filled
with air by the choir boys, who walked back and forth over tilting
planks placed on the bellows. Whether or no the boys still have this
happy outlet for their ecclesiastic activities, the music means little
to the Spaniard, and their design still less to the architect's eye.

The Capilla Mayor faces the choir, merely separated from it by the space
lying directly under the dome and forming the intersection of nave and
transepts. As the church services constantly require the simultaneous
use of the choir and the high altar of the Capilla Mayor, a portion of
the intermediate space or "entre los dos Coros" is roped off during
service time for the clergy to pass from one to the other. The Spanish
taste for pomp and magnificence centres in all its extravagance about
the high altar, while a more subdued richness characterizes the
surrounding stone and iron work which encloses the sanctuary on all
sides. Not only on the front, complementing and balancing admirably the
facing reja of the choir, but on the western ends of the sides, immense
ornamental iron screens bar the way. The front one is quite overpowering
in size, rising some seventy-five feet above the altar. The Spaniard was
equal to any undertaking in the days of early Hapsburg splendor under
the pious Reyes Catolicos. With the aid of Sancho Munoz and Diego de
Yorobo, a Dominican Friar, Francesco de Salamanca designed them (1518)
and then superintended the welding, gilding and the final erection in

The east end of the Capilla Mayor is formed by the magnificent retablo,
almost four thousand square feet in size. One is immediately struck by
its immense proportions and the infinite amount of carving bestowed on
it. Its great scheme was conceived in 1482 by the Flemish sculptor
Dancart, evidently a man of prolific and versatile imagination. If we
try to compare it with the work of English churches, we might best liken
it to the great altar screens. This and the retablo at Toledo are
probably the richest specimens of mediæval woodwork in existence.
Portions of the execution are somewhat inferior to the conception, and
yet the artists who labored on it with loving skill until the middle of
the following century carried out all their work with a richness and
delicacy which make it not only a representative piece of late Gothic
sculpture but one of the most magnificent specimens of this branch of
Spanish art. Its various portions embrace the whole period of florid
Gothic from its earlier, more restrained expression to the very last
stroke of the art, when wood was mastered and carved into incredible
filigree work as if it had been as soft and pliable as silver leaf.
Everything that could be carved is there, figures, foliage, tracery,
moldings and mere conventionalized ornament. The central portions are of
the earlier fifteenth century, the outer ones, of the late sixteenth,
executed under Master Marco Jorge Fernandez. The wood is principally
larch, with minor portions of chestnut and pine. The whole field is
divided by slender shafts and laboriously carved bands into forty-four
compartments representing in high and low relief various scenes from the
life of Christ and the Virgin Mary. In the centre is Santa Maria de la
Sede, the patron saint of the church, surmounted by a Crucifixion with
Saint John and the Virgin on either side.

Between the retablo and the rear wall enclosing the rectangle of the
Capilla Mayor, there is a dark space known as the Sacristia Alta, where
is preserved the Tablas Alfonsinas[18] brought from Constantinople to
Paris by Saint Ferdinand's son, Alfonso.

Seville ranks high among the churches of Spain in the beauty of its
carving. The stone screen that forms the rear of the retablo is filled
with admirable Gothic terra-cotta statues, saints, virgins, bishops,
martyrs and prelates executed with a little of the curious rigidity of
the Dutch School still awaiting its Renaissance emancipation, but with
faces full of holy devotion. The modeling is correct and the treatment
of the drapery excellent.

Within the enclosure of the Capilla Mayor, there is still to be seen at
certain times of the year, a ceremony which has been performed for
centuries, and which is certainly the most unique religious rite
celebrated in any Christian church. To the Saxon it is most
extraordinary. During the last three days of the Carnival or after the
Feast of Corpus Domini, we may see boys dressed in costumes perform a
dance before the high altar of the Cathedral. Children, so the tale
runs, danced, skipped and shouted for joy when the city of Seville was
finally taken from the Mohammedans, and these childish demonstrations so
touched the hearts of the clergy who entered the city with the
conquering army, that they resolved that succeeding generations of boys
should perpetuate them forever. Of all the festivals and religious
processions culminating in or outside Saint Mary's shrine, surely none
can give her so much pleasure as the sight of these little boys dancing
and singing in her honor.

This naïf and charming ceremonial is part of the Mozarabic Ritual, the
work of Saint Isidore, a metropolitan of Seville a hundred years before
the arrival of the Saracens. In his early years, when his elder brother
Leander ruled the Gothic Church with stern hand, Isidore had time and
talents to master in his cloistered seclusion so much art and science
that he became the Admirable Crichton of his day. His work on "The
Origin of Things" shows the profundity of his knowledge, his history of
the Goths is beyond doubt his most valuable legacy to us, but what
endeared him above all to his countrymen was the Mozarabic Rite, of
which he composed both breviary and music. The Benedictine monks of
Cluny, those architects and chroniclers, who had been obliged to
sacrifice their Gallican liturgy for the Roman, could not rest satisfied
until they had imposed it on the Peninsula. They were supported in this
truly foreign aggression by Constance of Burgundy, Queen of Alfonso VI,
and by the masterful Gregory VII, himself a Benedictine. And so Saint
Isidore's quaint old hymn with the accompanying melody was banished from
all but one or two favored chapels. Fortunately Cardinal Ximenez became
its enthusiastic and powerful protector. He endowed in the Cathedral of
Toledo a special chapel and had thirteen priests trained for the
service, "Mozarabes sodales." In Ximenez' time a German, Peter
Hagenbach, first printed "missale secundum regulam beati Isidori dictum
Mozarabes," what Saint Isidore called "those fleeting sounds so hard to
note down." His breviary was the first Roman one to be used in Spanish

To enumerate the endless rows of chapels with their countless treasures
and chaste or tawdry architecture and decoration would be tiresome and
unprofitable,--with a plan and guide-book, one may pass them in review.
"Sixty-seven of the great sculptors and thirty-eight of the painters
here display to the astonished and incredulous eye the masterpieces of
their hand," says one. Here is almost every painter belonging to the
great Sevillian school of painting of the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries. They form a veritable museum or a series of small museums,
each chapel being a separate room of masterpieces. But here, as in the
museum, there are good and bad paintings and statues, and only the
excellent are worth attention. They are better worth studying here than
elsewhere, for they have been left in the surroundings for which they
were intended and painted. Spain's great religious artist did not paint
his Madonnas so full of distracting and sensuous loveliness for the
walls of the Prado; their smiles, human and pathetic, were for the
altars and panels of sanctuaries. Here is the light in which they were
studied and for which they were colored; here are the walls and frames
which were intended to surround them; they are in the company they
would choose, and they were painted with the same religious devotion
that inspires the prayers now offered before them. The painter's
inspiration sprang from the fervor of his faith.

Three of the paintings are lovely above all others. Two are Murillo's,
namely the Angel de la Guarda and the San Antonio of the baptistery; the
third is the Deposition from the Cross, by Pedro de Campana (or more
correctly Kempeneer), hanging in the great sacristy. This is the
painting, Spanish historians will tell you, Murillo loved so well that
whenever he was downhearted he would stand in front of it for hours, and
become lost to all around him, even forgetting his own Madonnas. One day
the sacristan asked him impatiently, why he so often stood there
staring. "I am waiting," Murillo answered, "till those holy men have
taken the Saviour down from the Cross." It hangs well lighted over one
of the altars of the Sacristy. Few faces have ever been painted which
convey depth and intensity of feeling in a more affecting way. The
agonized faces of the women at the foot of the Cross express all an
innocent human heart can feel of compassion, heart-wrung sorrow and
despair. The ecstasy with which Saint Anthony, who is kneeling in
prayer, gazes at the Child Jesus has seldom been surpassed in reality
and power. Entirely lifted beyond the earthly sphere, his features
kindle with ardent piety and divine love. The angels surrounding the
Infant Jesus have a simplicity of expression which never escapes those
who have loved and studied children. The coloring is unique and of a
truly penetrating softness. All the little details of the miserable cell
in which the saint is kneeling are rendered with the vigorous reality
so characteristic of the Spanish school, while in the upper part of the
painting one seems to see even the dust particles floating in the rays
of sunlight. The shadows have a marvelous transparency.

The Angel de la Guarda, or Guardian Angel, is one of the master's very
best works. The purples and yellows of the angel's vesture have kept
their depth and richness through all the centuries in which the colors
have been drying.

There might be a guide-book dealing with the paintings of the Cathedral
alone. How differently it is decorated from the great Gothic cathedrals
of the present Anglican Church! In Seville as in Florence, all the fine
arts seemed to flower and come to perfection during the sixteenth
century. Sculpture and painting were employed to embellish architecture,
as in the ancient days of Greece. The sister arts walked once more hand
in hand. The figures in stone and still more in terra-cotta which adorn
the exterior porches and the more decorative portions of the interior
are unusually fine. Many of the bishops, saints and kings have an
unmistakable Renaissance feeling. Take, for instance, such a statue as
the Virgin del Reposo, so dear to the Sevillians,--you feel in all the
handling the period of transition. Such sculptors as Miguel Florentin,
Juan Marin, and Diego de Pesquera must have been influenced by Italy
when they carved the statues which adorn the Cathedral of Seville.

The contact with Italy and the many Italian workmen gradually induced
faithlessness to the earlier Gothic ideals of the founders and builders
of the church. The great Maestro Mayor of Toledo Cathedral, Henrique de
Egas, was among the first to introduce restraint in Spanish building
after the fanaticism of the later flamboyant. In the time of Ferdinand
and Isabella, a well-known Toledan published a Spanish abridgment of
Vitruvius; this in conjunction with the influence of many foreign
artists led the way to classical building. Granada was soon resurrected
as a Greek-Roman "Centralbau" and even the crossing of Gothic Burgos was
unfortunately restored by Borgoña after classic models.

The new foreign movement found expression in architecture, in sculpture
and in painting, often with the most extraordinary attempts to employ
the new without discarding the old. Grotesque and fantastic ornaments
crown illogical construction.

The royal chapel, the chapter house, the sagrario and the great sacristy
are examples of the new-born style. The first two are magnificent
specimens of Spanish Renaissance. Each of them is a fine church in
itself, and they can only be classed as chapels because they bear that
relation and are proportioned to the immense mother church of Seville.

The walls of the Capilla Real form the eastern termination to the
Cathedral, and the chapel is very properly planned upon the axe of the
church and entered through a splendidly decorated lofty arch. It is
about 81 by 59 feet in plan, and 113 feet high to the lantern crowning
the really fine dome. A round altar at its eastern extremity is closed
off by a typically impressive reja. The architecture is of the
magnificence of Saint Peter's in Rome, and not unlike it in detail.
Eight Corinthian pilasters support the dome, breaking the wall space
into panels and carrying the richest classical cornice surmounted by
fine statues of the Apostles, Evangelists and kings. The chapel takes
its name from being the burial place of the royal house. Along its walls
are the tombs of Saint Ferdinand's consort, of Alfonso the Learned and
his mother, Beatrice of Suabia, and the beautiful Doña Maria de Padilla,
the mistress of Pedro the Cruel. He himself is buried below in the vault
with many other of the royal princes. In the centre of the chapel Saint
Ferdinand lies in full armor with a crown on his head. Three times a
year he is shown to the soldiers of Spain, who march past with sounding
bugles and lowered banners.

The chapel was planned and built by Martin Ganza during the reign of
Charles V. Shortly after the defeat of the Moors, an earlier royal one
was built upon the same site and added to the old mosque. When the great
new Cathedral was planned, the Chapter begged permission to remove
temporarily the bodies of the royal personages interred in the
chapel,--the holy King Ferdinand, his mother and son. This petition was
granted by Queen Joanna on condition that they would rebuild it on a
more fitting scale at as early a date as possible. The Chapter
preferred, however, to expend all its means and energies on the great
vaulting of the Cathedral rather than on the new royal sepulchre, and
this was not rebuilt until Charles V finally lost patience over the
negligent and disrespectful manner in which the remains of his forbears
were treated and wrote to the Chapter, in 1543, commanding them "to
start the work without any delay whatsoever, and to bring it to
completion as rapidly as possible, and to execute the work as
excellently as befitted its royal guests." That the workmen made no
delay in obeying the royal commands is shown by the fact that the walls
were well up as early as 1566 and finished shortly afterwards.

None of the Spanish cathedrals have a better type of Plateresque
architecture and decoration than the sacristy, built during the first
half of the seventeenth century. The plan is that of a Greek cross, 70
by 40 feet, and about 120 feet high. Its dome, spanning the great
central vault, is a distinct feature in any comprehensive exterior view
of the Cathedral. The Sacristy is filled with curious and priceless
relics, treasures, and vestments belonging to the church. As Santa Justa
and Santa Rufina are in a manner the patron saints of Seville, their
picture by Goya hanging here is of interest. Both of them hold vessels
of the character of soup dishes; and their faces, taken from Seville
models, are of decidedly earthly types.

To the west of the façade as you enter, lies the large sagrario, or
parish church. It is a building entirely by itself, 112 feet long, with
a single nave spanned by a dangerously bold barrel vault.

Here and there among the chapels you come suddenly on famous subjects by
great masters, names renowned in Spanish history or striking works of
art. Learning and statesmanship are honored in great Mendoza's monument:
the silent mailed effigies of the Guzmans commemorate the thrilling
exploits of Spanish arms. What sympathies are stirred as you stand
uncovered before the tomb of the great and deeply wronged Discoverer! We
hear again the passionate appeals and the vain pleadings of his
undaunted faith. The living head was left to whiten within prison
walls; its effigy is now proudly carried on the four gorgeous shoulders
of the Spanish states; the poor bones, after their weary travels from
Valladolid to the Carthusian monastery of Las Cuevas, from Hispaniola to
Havana, have finally found a resting-place within the very walls where
they were once treated with such contumely,--for here lies the Great
Admiral, Cristoforo Colon.

You pass paintings by Alfonso Cano, Ribera, Zurbaran, Greco and
Goya,--Murillo's Immaculate Conception, better known than all his other
works; Montañez' exquisite Crucifixion, canvases by Valdes, Herrera,
Boldan and Roelas. There are subjects curious and out of keeping with
our present artistic sentiments, saints walking about with their heads
instead of breviaries under their arms, dresses more fitting for the
ballroom than the wintry scenery amid which they are worn, marriage
ceremonies of the Virgin, Adam and Eve, entirely forgetful of their lost
Eden in the contemplation of the Virgin's halo, keys with quaint old
Arab inscriptions: "May Allah render eternal the dominion of Islam in
this city," saints with removable hair of spun gold and jointed limbs,
others snatched from quiet altar service to plunge into the turmoil of
battle on the saddle bow of reigning kings. Verily a museum of
historical curiosities as well as of the fine arts, satisfying
sensational cravings as well as the finer artistic sense.

The structure is revealed to us through a light of unearthly sweetness.
None of the Spanish cathedrals are more satisfactorily lighted, for
Seville has neither the brilliant clarity of some of the northern
churches, which robs them of a certain mystery and awe, nor has it the
sinister obscurity of some of the southern, where both structure and
detail are half lost in shadows, as in Barcelona.

The light from the cimborio and from the two rows of windows as well as
the doors penetrates every chapel with its rainbow hues; it reveals the
whole majestic structure, the lofty spring of the arches, the glittering
ironwork of the screens, the titanic strength and simple caps of the
columns, and breathes celestial life into the army of saints and
martyrs. It gives a soul to it all. The effect produced by the early
morning and late afternoon light is very different. Santa Maria de la
Sede, like all her earthly sisters, has a variety of expressions. At
times she burns with animation, even a remnant of earthly passion may
glow in her holy countenance, and again she is cold, impassive and
nunlike in her gray garb of renunciation.

According to an Andalusian proverb, the rays of the sun have no evil
power where the voice of prayer is heard. For this reason, only a few of
the highest windows are screened by semi-transparent curtains, and the
light pours in unbroken through most of their brilliant tints--down the
nave in deep blood reds and indigo blues. The greater portion of the
glass is unusually rich in coloring,--perhaps too florid, but typical of
the Flemish School of glass-painting. Ninety-three windows were stained
during the first half of the sixteenth century, for which the church
paid the painters the large sum of 90,000 ducats. The earliest ones are
by Micer and Cristobal Aleman, who in 1538 introduced in Seville real
stained glass. Aleman's, representing the Ascension of Christ, Mary
Magdalen, and the Awakening of Lazarus, the Entry into Jerusalem, the
Descent of the Holy Ghost and the Apostles, all in the transept,
together with those by his brother Arnao de Flanders, are thebest,--better than 
most Flemish windows of the time in any European
cathedral. True, they are somewhat heavy in outline and the coloring
lacks softness and restraint in tone, but they have great depth,
excellency of drawing and power of expression in faces and figures.

[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


Illustration: AND THE GIRALDA]

The little chapel, the Capilla de los Doncelles, contains a magnificent
sheet of glass representing the Resurrection of Christ, painted by
Carlos de Bruges, one of the great Flemish artists. A whole school of
foreign painters seem to have gathered round these famous "vidrieros,"
many of them working in their shops. Among the best known are Arnao de
Vergara, Micer Enrique Bernardino de Celandra and Vicente Menardo.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Giralda is incomparable, a unique expression of feminine strength.
She is as oriental and mysterious as the Sphinx, or might be likened to
a great sultana in enchanted sleep. Though her majestic head has towered
for centuries beside her Christian sister, they still seem as
irreconcilable as their faiths a thousand years ago. It has been a
strange companionship. The oriental loveliness and splendor of the
Giralda, like that of Seville, are best felt at the twilight hour, when
her jewels sparkle in the last rays of the setting sun. With the waning
light the coloring becomes purple, then indigo, while the silhouette
still stands out in startling clearness and strength against the
spotless blue of the evening sky. You feel as if the whole mountain of
masonry were slowly but surely leaning more and more from its base and
about to bury you in its fall. The vermilion and ochre coloring are like
the petals of the rose. Nowhere is the surface uniform, but passes
gradually from light cream and buff through warmer amber to brilliant
orange and carmine and crimson lake, even to the color of the
pomegranate's heart. The exquisite surface of delicate tinting, mellowed
by the storms and suns of centuries, is everywhere relieved by the
brilliant sparkle, the delicate play of light and shade, of the Moorish
designs. When the low rays of the Andalusian sun illumine the Giralda,
just touched here and there with dots of molten gold like the orange
trees from whose green bed it rises, you see the boldest creation of
Moorish imagination in all its splendor. The great Cathedral itself
becomes a modest nun with rich, but sombre, cape over her shoulders,
beside this dazzling creature glowing with Saracenic fire.

The Giralda is the greatest of all the monuments of that enlightened
civilization. She is so different from any other tower that comparison
becomes difficult. There is a robustness, an appearance of adequate
solidity and strength which are lacking in the Italian towers of Saint
Mark's, of Pistoja, or of Florence. This holds true even in relation to
other Moorish towers, or such edifices as the Mosque at Cordova, the
Alcazar at Seville, or the pillared halls of Granada; all other Moorish
work seems to have a certain feminine weakness, a timidity and
insecurity, when compared with the tower which dominates Maria
Santissima. The Giralda is your first and last impression of this
corner of the world, for it embodies all the grace and strength that can
be combined in architecture. Old Spanish authorities assert that it was
in the very year when believers throughout Christendom were anxiously
expecting the end of the world that the Moslem infidels began to build
their huge monument. More probably it was started about the year 1185,
as the prayer tower or minaret of the mosque which was then rapidly
progressing. The Spanish historian Gayangos says that it was completed
by Jabar or Gever in 1196, during the reign of the illustrious Almohad
ruler, Abu Jakub Jusef, the same monarch who erected the Mesquita at
Cordova. Other authorities insist that its original purpose was as an
observatory,--but although it may have been used for astronomical
purposes, it was certainly erected as a tower from which the muezzin
could call the faithful to prayer in the Mosque of Seville. While
building it, Gever claims to have invented algebra.

The original tower has undergone skillful but of course detrimental
changes from the hands of later generations. We have descriptions and
representations of it prior to the changes made in 1500. The main Arab
structure was, like almost all Mohammedan prayer-towers, surmounted by a
smaller tower and capped by a spire. It was about 250 feet high, and on
its summit an iron standard supported, before the earthquake of 1395,
four enormous balls of brass. King Alfonso the Wise, in his "Cronica de
España," describing Seville in the thirteenth century, says that "when
the sun shone upon these balls, they emitted so fierce a light that they
might be seen a day's journey away from the city." When Seville was
taken by Saint Ferdinand in 1248, the tower was standing in the full
glory of its original conception. The thought that it might fall into
the hands of the conquerors so horrified its builders that they were
only prevented from destroying it by Saint Ferdinand's threat that, if a
single brick were removed, not an infidel in Seville should keep his

The Giralda had already lost the Byzantine crown which it had worn
proudly for five hundred years when, in 1595, it came near total
destruction, and was only saved during the terrible earthquake and storm
which almost destroyed the city by the interposition of its special
protectresses, the potter girls of Triana, Santa Justa and Santa Rufina.
There are pictures which show us these blessed Virgins supporting the
tower while the wind devils with distended cheeks are blowing on its
sides with all their might and main. We are not only grateful to them
for this timely intervention, but very glad it cost them so little
exertion, for we find them shortly afterwards holding the tower in their
hands as lightly as a filigree casket. The architects who restored it
about twenty years ago fortunately refrained from all attempts at
improving or renovating its sunburned, wind-swept surface.

The Giralda is as strong as it looks. The huge walls have a thickness of
eight feet below, diminishing to seven feet in the upper stories. The
height to the very top of the crowning figure is 308 feet. In the
foundations are bricks, rubble, and huge blocks of earlier Roman and
Visigothic masonry; even Latin inscriptions are found immured. The
Moors, like all other builders, used the materials readiest at hand;
the rejected building stones of one generation become the corner stones
of the next.

Below the Renaissance addition with which the tower was terminated in
1568, the broad sides of the shaft had been broken by the Arabs in the
simplest and most felicitous manner. The brickwork was treated in three
panels with the corner borders very properly broader and stronger than
the two intermediate ones. The panels, which could not be of a happier
depth, are filled down to eighty feet of the ground with varying Moorish
arabesque patterns; the figured diaper-work on all sides is broken in
the two outer panels by blind cusped arches, and in the central
patterns, by Moorish windows of the "ajuiez" variety. Their double
arches are subdivided by small Byzantine columns; these again are framed
within larger cusped and differently broken horseshoe curves. Small
Renaissance balconies have at a later date been placed below the
windows. The small niches comprising the total Moorish composition
sparkle throughout with life and charm, and, though no two are alike,
they form a harmonious whole. The Arab seemed to have an instinctive
aversion from tedious repetition. He would always vary the design just
enough to satisfy his imagination and creative faculty, but never
sufficiently to disturb the harmony of the general scheme. As with the
windows, so also with the arabesques. They begin at slightly varying
heights on the different sides of the tower, so that the windows may
properly meet the different elevations of the interior stair. Their
patterns are not quite the same, neither on the various sides of the
tower nor at different heights on the same side. The decoration
employed is admirably fitted to a large surface which would have been
weakened by strong cutting or deep relief. Considering what Arab art
achieved within prescribed limits, the student of Christian art may well
deplore that the Koran, in its abhorrence of idol-worship, forbade its
followers in any way to reproduce human or animal forms. Forever
debarred all the wider possibilities of movement and poetry these would
have given them for interior decoration, Moorish art necessarily
stagnated to mere conventionalization of floral and natural subjects.
These are well adapted to exterior mural surfacing. When we look at the
fancifully handled geometric patterns on the Giralda, we can only
rejoice that the frescoes added by the later Renaissance artists in the
upper arches and along some of the lower surfaces have been washed away
by time. They were ineffective; all that remains of Moorish is
magnificent. A small arcade, running the width of each side in its
single panel, terminates the Moorish work.

It is almost to be regretted that the Renaissance top has been so well
done, for its barbarous exotism is sufficient to condemn it. It has
excellently fulfilled a dastardly purpose.

The original Moorish termination was taken down by the architect,
Francisco Ruiz, who was commissioned by the Cathedral Chapter in 1568 to
give it a more fitting crown. His design consists of three stages
reaching to a height of about a hundred feet. The first, of the same
width as the shaft below, is pierced by openings "to let out the sweet
sounds of the bells inside." The second stage consists of a double tier
of considerably smaller squares pierced by wide arches. Around the four
sides of its upper frieze runs the inscription so legible that all
Sevillians who know how may read, "Nomen Domini Fortissima Turris"
(Proverbs, xviii, 10). The third stage consists of a double lantern
surmounted by a soaring Seraphim, bearing in one hand the banner of
Constantine and in the other the Roman palm of conquest. The
"Girardello" was cast in gilded bronze by Bartolomé Morel in the year
1568. Intended to symbolize Faith, the name, a diminutive of Giralda, or
weathercock, is most inappropriate. Despite her enormous size and
weight, the faintest zephyr blowing down from the Sierra Moreña sets her
turning on the spire she treads so lightly, whereupon the crowds of
hawks resting on Girardello disperse in noisy scolding.

Dumas gazed at her in wonder and admiration. "C'est merveilleux," he
said, "de voir tourner dans un rayon de soleil cette figure d'or aux
ailes deployées, qui semble, comme un oiseau céleste fatigué d'une
longue course, avoir choisi pour se reposer un instant le point le plus
proche du ciel."

The great bells of the tower, all baptized with holy oil, a custom very
frequent in Spain, are dear to the hearts of those whom they daily call
to rest and prayer. As they strike the hours, passers-by look up to see
their great tongues protrude. Their sweet peal is heard in the most
distant quarters of the city, and beyond on the waters of the
Guadalquivir and in the fertile valley through which it flows. The deep
resonant note of Santa Maria is the last sound we hear before falling

Inside you may ascend to the very summit by steps so broad and easy
that two horses abreast may go as far as the platform of the bells.
Below you lies the city with its scattered white buildings that once
housed half a million, and beyond, the valley that enfolded twelve
thousand villages. Though dwindled and changed, time has dealt gently
with Seville. There is gay laughter in her sunny streets and the olive
groves echo with rippling song. Just under your feet throbs the heart of
it all. Though repeatedly struck by lightning, the great Cathedral still
stands, an everlasting symbol of the Church, triumphant and eternal.



[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


West front]

    Kennst du das Land we die Citronen blühn,
    Im dunkeln Land die Goldorangen glühn,
    Ein sanfter Wind vom blauen Himmel weht,
    Die Myrte still und hoch der Lorbeer steht?

    GOETHE'S _Wilhelm Meister_.

    Thus being entred, they behold arownd
    A large and spacious plaine, on every side
    Strewed with pleasauns, whose fayre grassy grownd
    Mantled with greene, and goodly beautifide
    With all the ornaments of Floraes pride.

    _Faerie Queene_, book 2, c. xii.


The first stars shone pale in the fields of upper air over walls and
towers wrapt in the mystery of twilight which softened every outline and
cast a kindly veil over the decay of a thousand years. The air was
oppressively sweet with the fragrance exhaled by southern vegetation on
a summer evening. The roses had climbed to the top of the walls, where
they could cool their flushed cheeks on the marble copings of the
battlements. The myrtle and ivy trembled in the evening breeze, and
through the broken casements the aloes whispered to the sweet-breathing
orange trees in the courtyards. The martlet twittered in the branches.
On all sides was heard in cool silvery continuity the gurgle and plash
of streams which, issuing from mountain snows, had wound their loitering
way through fields of violets and forget-me-nots to the "large and
spacious plaine" of the Vega. The fairy palace of the Alhambra, the
Acropolis that once held forty thousand defenders of the faith, crowns
and encircles the hill. From its watch-tower the nightingales pour forth
lovers' songs, plaintive and passionate, heightening the enchantment of
a scene unsurpassed in natural loveliness and the charm of a romantic

The hillsides undulating from the vermilion ramparts of the Alhambra are
clad with graceful elms, with orange and pomegranate trees bearing deep
red and golden fruit and with the mulberry's glistening olive green.
Here and there are open spaces between the groves; fields of roses and
lilies. The Darro and the Xenil flow by the foot of the hill, and from
their banks for almost thirty miles stretches the Vega. At the base of
the fortress, between the rivers, lies the city of Granada,--

    The artist's and the poet's theme,
    The young man's vision, the old man's dream,--
    Granada, by its winding stream,
    The City of the Moor.

Out on the plain the settlement becomes gradually sparser, the houses
more scattered. White stucco walls are interspersed with plots of green
garden, the ochre houses are smaller shining patches amid the
yellow-flowering fig-cactus and the regularly planted olive groves,
until finally the eye must search for the farmhouse hidden among
vineyards, orchards and waving fields of corn. The gleaming villas and
farmhouses still look as they did to the Moor, like "oriental pearls set
in a cup of emeralds."

The endless plain, once the fertile bosom of fourteen cities,
innumerable strong castles and high watch-towers, is shut in from the
outside world like a very Garden of Eden, by the mountain walls of the
Alpujarras and Sierra Alhama. Far away on the horizon the barrier is
broken at a single point, the Loja gorge. This was once guarded by
sentinels ever on the watch for the distant gleam of Christian lances to
light the fires that signaled approaching danger to the distant citadel.
Most Spanish cities were densely built within high walls, but Granada
felt so secure in her mountain fortress that her dwellings were strewn
broadcast over the plain. Behind the walls of the Alhambra, on a second
slope wooded with cypress, the brilliant towers of the Generaliffe gleam
against the dark foliage. Beyond, across the whole southern sweep, rises
the chalky, hazy blue of the Sierra Nevada, capped with glittering,
everlasting snow. Gazing up from the valley below, one might fancy it a
white veil thrown back from the lovely features of the landscape.

Thus lies Granada, a verdant and perfumed valley wrapt in the soft
mystery of its hazy atmosphere,--"Grenade,--plus éclatante que la fleur
et plus savoureuse que le fruit, dont elle porte le nom, semble une
vierge paresseuse qui s'est couchée au soleil depuis le jour de la
création dans un lit de bruyères et de mousse, défendue par une muraille
de cactus et d'aloes,--elle s'endort gaiement aux chansons des oiseaux
et le matin s'éveille souriante au murmure de ses cascatelles."[19]

More than any other spot on earth, Granada seems haunted by memories of
bygone glory. The wide plains, now inhabited by less than seventy-five
thousand, once swarmed with over half a million souls. The artist feels
poignantly the charm of those long centuries of Arabian Days and Nights
that were forever blotted out by the zeal of the Christian sword. The
ruined temples still attest the thrift and industry, the refinement and
learning of the vanished race; the squalid poverty that has replaced it
is deaf and blind to the records of ancient grandeur, but the traveler
and the historian may still be thrilled by the struggle that destroyed
"the most voluptuous of all retirements" and feel there as nowhere else
the relentless power of the most Catholic Kings, the pathos of the Moor.

Granada is a very old city, and like Cordova and Seville, it was one of
the principal Moorish centres; in fact after their fall, the industries
and culture which had been theirs went to swell the inheritance of
Granada. Its name has always been associated with the scarlet-blossoming
tree which covers its slopes, whose fruit the Catholic sovereigns
proudly placed in the point of their shield, with stalks and leaves and
shell open-grained. During the Roman occupation, a settlement had been
made on the wooded slopes at the foot of the Sierra Nevada and called
Granatum (pomegranate). The Goths in their turn swept over the peninsula
until, in 711, they were driven out of the valley by the advancing Arab
hordes. These transformed the name given it by the Romans to Karnattah.
Seven hundred and eighty-two years passed before the Crescent set
forever on the Iberian peninsula. Dynasties had succeeded one another in
the various kingdoms formed of larger and smaller portions of southern
and central Spain, but in the north, hardy monarchs had founded more
stable thrones on the ruins of the Gothic Empire, and they were eagerly
watching the advancing decay, the domestic discord of the Mohammedan
power and grasping every opportunity for the aggrandizement of their own


    A. Sagrario.
    B. Royal Chapel.
    C. Capilla Mayor.
    D. Choir.
    E. Door of the Perdon.
    F. Door of St. Jeronimo.
    G. Main Entrance.]

In the tenth century, the Moorish power was at its zenith. During the
eleventh, Granada had become strong enough to break away from the
caliphate of Cordova. There the Almorvides and Almohades dynasties had
alternated while the Nasrides ruled in the kingdom and city of Granada
until the luckless Boabdil surrendered its keys.

During the last three centuries of Moorish rule, the northern Cross cast
an ever longer shadow before it. Alfonso of Aragon advanced to within
the walls of the outer forts in 1125, and in the two and a half
centuries following, tribute was exacted by the crown of Castile. The
Moors of Cordova were more hardy and warlike than the Arabs of Granada.
The arts of peace flourished with this latter poetical, artistic and
commercial race, who as time went on became less and less able to defend
themselves against the fanaticism and skill of the Spanish armies. Like
Hannibal's soldiers on the fertile plains of Lombardy, they had become
enervated in the luxury of their beautiful valley. When their imprudent
ruler answered the Castilian envoys who had come to collect the usual
tribute, "that the Kings of Granada who paid tribute were dead, and that
the mint now only coined blades of scimeters and heads of lances," the
hour of Granada's destiny had struck. The smiling valley became for ten
years a field of blood and carnage, after which its devastation was
relentlessly completed by the Holy Office of the Inquisition.

Ferdinand and Isabella entered the last stronghold of the Moors in the
very year when the history of the civilized world was changing its
course. Its helmsman, Columbus, was received in the Castilian camp
outside the walls of the beleaguered city. On the second of January,
1492, Hernando, Bishop of Avila, raised the Christian Cross beside the
banner of Castile on the ramparts of the highest tower of the Alhambra;
four days later, on the day of the Kings and the festival of the
Epiphany, Ferdinand and Isabella entered the city.

"The royal procession advanced to the principal mosque, which had been
consecrated as a cathedral. Here the sovereigns offered up prayers and
thanksgivings and the choir of the royal chapel chanted a triumphant
anthem, in which they were joined by the courtiers and cavaliers.
Nothing could exceed the thankfulness to God of the pious King Ferdinand
for having enabled him to eradicate from Spain the empire and name of
that accursed heathen race, and for the elevation of the Cross in that
city where the impious doctrines of Mohamed had so long been

Bells were rung and masses celebrated in gratitude throughout the
Christian world. As far away as Saint Paul's in London town, a special
Te Deum was chanted by order of the good King Henry the Seventh. Spain
had reached the summit of her glory, before which yawned the abyss.

And now in the name of Christ the Inquisition was established and one of
its chief offices founded; in His name the Jews were driven out,
Christian oaths and covenants broken, and the peaceful Moorish
inhabitants hounded from their hearths. Under Philip III, in 1609, their
last descendants were banished from the realm.

No scene of chivalry during the middle ages displayed a more brilliant
and bloody pageant than the battlefield of Granada. It was the
culmination of the work of Spain's greatest rulers,--the great crisis in
her history.

    Here gallants held it little thing for ladies' sake to die,
    Or for the Prophet's honour, or pride of Soldenry.
    For here did Valour flourish and deeds of warlike might
    Ennobled lordly palaces in which was our delight.[21]

Gazing over this famous plain, the Vega, that "Pearl of Price," with its
courtyards now desolate, its gardens parched and well-nigh calcined by
the sun, one recalls Voltaire's words: "Great wrongs are always recent
wounds!" and long years have passed since the iron heel of Austria set
its first impress on the soil.

James Howell, the English traveler and busybody in the capital at the
time Prince Charles went surreptitiously wooing, writes home in 1623,
after visiting Granada: "Since the expulsion of the Moors, it is also
grown thinner, and not so full of corn; for those Moors would grub up
wheat out of the very tops of the craggy hills, yet they used another
grain for their bread, so that the Spaniard had nought else to do but go
with his ass to the market and buy the corn of the Moors."

Only once more does Granada's name emerge from the oblivion of
ages,--when the Iron Duke occupied the city during the Peninsular War.
He covered with a kindly hand some of her barrenness, planting English
elms beneath her fortress.


In the heart of a crumbling mass of chalky, chrome-colored walls and
vermilion roofs, rises the dome of the Cathedral. Here, as in Seville,
the ground once sanctified to Moslem prayer was cleansed by the
Catholics from the pollution of the Moor, and the Christian edifice was
reared on the foundations of the Mohammedan mosque. As already noted,
one of the first religious acts of the conquerors was the consecration,
in January, 1492, of the ancient mosque, which thereafter was used for
Christian worship under the direction of the wise and tolerant Talavera,
as first Bishop of Granada. The new building was not begun until the
year 1523, an exceedingly late date in cathedral-building,--a time when
the great art was slowly dying down, and, in northern countries,
flickering in its last flamboyancy.

On March 25, 1525, the corner stone was laid of the new Cathedral of
Santa Maria de la Encarnacion. It was planned on a much more elaborate
scale than the previous mosque, which, however, continued to be
independently used as a Christian church until the middle of the
seventeenth century and was not demolished till the beginning of the
eighteenth, to make room for the new sagrario, or parish church, of
Santa Maria de la O.

The old mosque was of the usual type of Moslem house of prayer, its
eleven aisles subdivided by a forest of columns and resembling in
general aspect the far greater mosque of Cordova. Prior to the actual
commencement of the new Cathedral, though not to its design, the Royal
Chapel was erected, between the years 1506 and 1517, and when the
Cathedral was built, it became its southern, lateral termination and by
far the most magnificent and interesting portion of the interior. It was
planned and executed by the original designer of the church, and even
after this was finished, the Royal Chapel remained, like the chapel of
Saint Ferdinand of Seville, an independent church with its own Chapter
and clergy and independent services.

About a dozen master-builders, almost all working under foreign
influence, are known as the architects of the great Spanish cathedrals.
They seem generally to have worked more or less in conjunction with each
other, several being employed on the same building, or called in turn to
advise in one place or superintend in another. Sometimes a whole body of
them reported together, or several of them were jointly consulted by a
cathedral chapter.

The original conception of the Cathedral of Granada was the work of
Enrique de Egas of Brussels, who, when he was commissioned by the new
Chapter to plan a fitting memorial to the final triumph of Christianity
over Islam in Spain, was among the most celebrated builders of his day.
He had already succeeded his father as Maestro Mayor of the Cathedral of
Toledo when, just before his death, in 1534, he executed the Royal
Chapel of Granada Cathedral, as well as built the hospital of Santa Cruz
in the same city. The Colegio de Santa Cruz at Valladolid was also his
work, and he had been summoned with other leading architects to decide
the best mode of procedure in Seville Cathedral after the disastrous
collapse of its dome. At times he was giving advice in both Saragossa
and Salamanca. Enrique de Egas' designs were accepted in 1523. He had
hardly proceeded further in two years than to lay out the general plan
of the Cathedral, when, either through misunderstanding or some
controversy, he was supplanted in his office by the equally celebrated
Diego de Siloé. Like Egas, his activity was not confined to Granada, but
extended to Seville and Malaga.

In the year 1561, two years before Siloé's death, the building was
sufficiently completed to be opened for public worship, and consequently
on August 17th of that year it was solemnly consecrated. The foundations
and lower portion of the northern tower were executed about this time by
Siloé's successor, Juan de Maeda. The tower was completed and partially
taken down again during the following twenty years by Ambrosio de Vico.
Then follows the main portion of the exterior work, especially the west
façade (of the first half of the seventeenth century), by the
celebrated, not to say notorious, Alfonso de Cano, and José Granados.
The decoration of the interior, the addition of chapels and the building
of the sagrario were continued through the latter part of the
seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth centuries.

[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


The exterior cornices of the Royal Chapel]

The building operations thus extended over a period of two hundred and
fifty years. Alfonso de Cano's reputation was of various kinds; the son
of a carpenter and a native of Granada, as soon as his talents were
recognized, he was apprenticed to the great Montañes. To judge from
contemporaneous accounts, he must have been as hot-headed and
quarrelsome as the Florentine goldsmith of similar talents and
versatility. He was always ready to exchange the paint-brush or chisel
for his good sword, and there was scarcely a day during the years of his
connection with the Cathedral in which he was not enjoying a hot
controversy with the Chapter. His favor with the weak monarch and the
powerful ruling Conde-Duc was so great that they had the audacity to
appoint him a prebendary of the Chapter after he had been forced to fly
from justice in Valladolid on a charge of murder, as well as for having
beaten his wife on his return from a meeting of the ecclesiastical body.
The Chapter deprived him of his office as soon as they dared, which was
six years after his appointment.

Egas' original plan, like the work he actually carried out in the Royal
Chapel, was undoubtedly for a Gothic edifice, as this style was
understood and executed in Spain. From the fact that the original Gothic
intention was abandoned for a Spanish Renaissance church, many
authorities give the date of its commencement as 1529, when Diego de
Siloé's Renaissance work was under way. In the end of the fifteenth and
beginning of the sixteenth centuries, the great turning-point had come.
Italian influences were beginning to predominate over earlier styles and
the last exquisite flames of the Gothic fire were slowly dying out to
give place to the heavy Renaissance structure of ecclesiastical
inspiration. Spaniards who had returned fresh from Italian soil and
tutelage evolved with their ornate sense and characteristic love for
magnificence, the style, or rather decorative treatment, which marks the
first stage of Spanish Renaissance architecture called "Estilo
Plateresco." This is a happy name for it, its derivation being from
"plata," or silver plate, and indicating that architects were attempting
to decorate the huge superficial spaces on their churches with the same
intricacy and sparkle as the silversmiths were hammering on their
ornaments. There was evolved the same lace-like quality, the same
sparkling light and shade. Wonderful results were indeed obtained by the
stone-cutters of the sixteenth century.

The Cathedral of Granada is not at all remarkable. Its interest is
derived from the city of which it is the chief Christian edifice and the
great bodies which it contains; to students of architecture it is in a
manner a connecting link between the Gothic building of the middle ages
and the modern revival of classical building methods.

It is the death of the old and the birth of the new; it marks the advent
of stagnant, uninspired formalism in constructive forms. Its sarcophagi
and much of its decoration are both in design and execution most
exquisite and appropriate examples of Renaissance art in Spain. Its easy
victory in decorative forms was owing to the fact that there had
practically been evolved little or no Spanish ornamental design outside
of that produced by the ingenuity and peculiar skill of the Moors. The
influence of Moorish design is long traceable in Christian decoration.
The Spanish nature craves rich adornment in all material. The art of the
great sculptors who, like Berruguete, returned at the beginning of the
new century with inspiration gained in the workshops of the Florentine
Michael Angelo, soon found a host of pupils and followers. Not only in
stone, but in wood, metal, plaster, and on canvas, the new forms were
carried to a gorgeous profusion never dreamt of before. Charles V stands
out amid its glories in as clear relief as in the tumult of the
battlefield. The decline and frigid formality did not set in until the
reign of his unimpassioned and repulsive son. The grandest epoch in
Spain's history thus corresponds to the most inspired period of its
sculpture. The first architects of this period worked on Granada
Cathedral; the work of the greatest sculptor, the Burgundian Vigarny, is
found in inferior form on the retablo of the Royal Chapel. In Spain,
where the climate made small window openings desirable, the churches
offered great wall spaces to the sculptor. The splendid portals, window
frames, turrets and parapets, the capitals and string courses and niches
all became rich fields for Spanish interpretation of the exquisite art
of Lombardy.

The new art first found tentative expression in decorative forms, then
in more radical and structural changes. The world-empire of which
Ferdinand had dreamed, and which his grandson almost possessed, placed
untold wealth and the art of every kingdom at the disposal of Spain.

Granada Cathedral has a strange exterior, meaningless except in certain
portions, which are essentially Spanish. To the Granadines it is as
marvelous as Saint Peter's to the Romans. Its view is obstructed on all
sides by a maze of crumbling walls, yellow hovels, and shop fronts
shockingly modern and out of keeping. It is all very, very provincial.
The stream of the world has left it behind and its pageants and glories
had departed centuries ago. Donkeys heavily laden with baskets of market
produce stand--personifications of wronged and unremonstrating
patience--hitched to the iron rails before its main portals. Goats
browse on the grass in its courtyards, and are milked between the
buttresses. Immediately to the south of it lies the old episcopal
palace, where the archbishop preached the sermons criticized by the
ingenuous Gil Blas.

The main entrance is to the west. This front is the latest portion of
the building with the exception of certain portions of the interior.
Though not as corrupt as some of the surgical decorations in the
trascoro, it is the heaviest and least interesting part of the church.
It bears no relation to the sides of the building, but seems to have
been clapped on like a mask. The central portion is subdivided into
three huge bays, the spring of the arch, which rises from the
intermediate piers, being considerably higher in the centre than those
of the two to the north and south. Diego de Siloé probably designed the
composition, intending that it should be flanked and terminated by great
towers. Three stages, rising to a height of some 185 feet, stand to the
north. Corinthian and Ionic orders superimpose a Doric entablature over
a plain and restrained base. Arches frame more or less meaningless and
unpierced designs between the pilasters and engaged columns of the
orders. The whole is as painfully dry as the transfer of a student's
compass from a page of Vignola. Old cuts and descriptions represent this
northern tower crowned by an octagonal termination with a height of 265
feet. Despite the apparent massiveness of the substructure, this soon
made the whole so alarmingly insecure that it was pulled down. The
present tower scarcely reaches above the broken lines and flat surfaces
of the roof tiles and, particularly at a distance, has the effect of a
huge buttress. The southern tower was never erected, but in place of it
the front was supported by a makeshift portion of base. The northern
tower is the work of Maeda, the façade principally by Cano, although
much of the sculpture, such as the Incarnation over the central doorway,
and the Annunciation and Assumption over the side portals, are by other
inferior eighteenth-century sculptors.

Statues, cartouches and ornamental medallions relieve the paneled
surfaces of the stonework, the masonry of which has been laid and
jointed with the utmost conceivable mechanical skill. The whole central
composition fizzles out in a meaningless mass of parapets and variously
carved stone terminations. One feels as if the original designer had
started on such a gigantic scale that he either had to give up finishing
his work proportionately or keep on till it reached the sky,--he wisely
chose the former alternative.

In Granada, as in most of the Spanish cathedrals, the decoration of the
doorways and portals forms one of the principal features of exterior
interest. Their ornamentation, with that of the parapets crowning the
outer walls of chapels and aisles, is practically all that relieves the
huge surfaces of ochre masonry. The walls themselves indicate in no
manner the interior construction; the windows which pierce them are very
low and narrow and Gothic in outline. The north and south façades,--if
despite their many obstructions they may be spoken of as such,--differ
radically. The northern is to a great extent executed in the same
ponderous magnificence as the western. Two doorways pierce it, the
Puerta de San Jeronimo with mediocre sculpture by Diego de Siloé and his
pupil and successor, Juan de Maeda, and the Puerta del Perdon, leading
into the transept. The decoration of this doorway is as good pure
Renaissance work as was executed in Spain during the first quarter of
the sixteenth century. It consists of a double Corinthian order crowned
by a broken pediment. The shafts of both orders are wreathed. The
pilasters, the moldings of the arch, the archivolt and jambs are all, in
the lower order, most profusely covered with exquisite designs,
admirably fitted to their respective fields, full of imagination and
virility. They are as good as the best corresponding work in Italy.Above the 
arch key of the main door, splendidly treated bas-reliefs of
Faith and Justice support from the spandrels an inscription recounting
the defeat of the Moors. The frieze band of both lower and upper orders
is profusely filled with ornament, while small cherubs in excellent
scale replace the conventional volutes of the Corinthian capitals. In
the upper order the niches have unfortunately been left uncompleted. A
bas-relief of God the Father fills the semicircle of the main arch;
Moses and David occupy the lunettes.

The huge pilasters or buttresses of the church which run up east and
west of the entire composition are decorated with the enormous imperial
shields of Charles V, overshadowing in their vulgar predominance all the
exquisitely proportioned and delicate detail adjacent to them.

Some of the bays on the southern side of the Cathedral can be better
seen, as a small courtyard separates them from the adjacent building,
the episcopal palace. The others are choked by the Capilla del Pulgar,
the Royal Chapel and the sagrario.

This side of the church exhibits in its balustrades, its ornamentation
and the crocketed terminations and finials to the exterior buttresses,
what is far more interesting in the Plateresque style of Spain than the
purely borrowed and imitative features of the west and northern fronts.
Here appear in jeweled play of light and shade, in all their imaginative
and exquisite intricacy, those forms of carved string courses which were
developed by the Spanish Renaissance and were essentially Spanish and
national. You feel somewhere back of it the Moorish influence. It
presents all the richness, the magnificence and exuberant fancy which
characterizes the spirit in which its masters worked. The labor it
involved must have been enormous. The splendor of the solid lacework ten
to twelve feet high is thrown out by contrast with the naked walls which
it crowns.

The Capilla del Pulgar, which blocks the most westerly corner of the
south elevation, was named in honor of Hernan Peres del Pulgar, the site
of whose brave exploit it marks. In 1490, during the last siege of
Granada, he determined on a deed which should outdo all feats of heroism
and defiance ever performed by Moslem warriors. At dead of night, some
authorities say he was on horseback, others that he swam the
subterranean channel of the Darro, he penetrated to the heart of the
enemy's city and fastened with his dagger to the door of their principal
mosque a scroll bearing the words "Ave Maria." Before this insult to
their faith had been discovered, he had regained Ferdinand's camp.

A double superimposed arcade faces the southern side of the sagrario:
the lower story has been brutally closed and defaced by modern
additions, almost concealing its original carving. The upper story,
however, which forms a balcony, strongly recalls by its fancifully
twisted shafts, elliptical arches and Gothic traceried balustrade,
similar early Renaissance work at Blois, where the Gothic and early
Italian work were so charmingly blended.

The Royal Chapel is entered through an Italian Renaissance doorway of
good general design and decoration, but the Spanish cornice and
balustrade crowning the outer walls are much more interesting in
details. The principal member consists of a band of crowned and
encircled F's and Y's, the initials of the Catholic Kings. It is broken
over the window by three gigantic coats-of-arms. To the left is
Ferdinand's individual device of a yoke, the "yugo," with the motto
"Tato Mota" (Tanto Monta) tantamount, assumed as a mark of his equality
with the Castilian Queen; to the right Isabella's device of a bundle of
arrows or "flechas," the symbol of union. In the centre is the common
royal shield, proudly adopted after the union of the various kingdoms of
the Peninsula had been cemented. The Eagle of Saint John the Evangelist
and the common crown surmount the arms of Castile and Leon, of Aragon,
Sicily, Navarre, and Jerusalem and the pomegranate of Granada.

[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


The reja enclosing the Royal Chapel and tombs of the Catholic Kings]

The various roofs of the Cathedral are covered with endless rows of
tiles, which in the furrowed, overlapping irregularity of their surfaces
add to the general play of light and shade. Above them all spreads the
umbrella-shaped dome which crowns the Capilla Mayor.

At the period when Gothic church-building was disappearing, we find not
a few edifices where the old and new styles are curiously blended. A
Renaissance façade added in later days might encase a practically
complete Gothic interior. In Granada, with the exception of the Royal
Chapel, very little of the interior contained traces of the expiring
style. In the Cathedral proper, it is principally found in a groined
vaulting of the different bays, which is covered with varying and most
elaborate schemes of ornamental Gothic ribs, which seem strangely
incongruous to the architect as he looks up from the classical shafts in
the expectation of finding a corresponding form of building and
decoration in the later vaulting.

The general plan of the church is more Renaissance than Gothic,
exhibiting rather the form of the "Rundbau" than the "Langbau" of the
Latin cross. Its main feature is likewise the great dome rising above
and lighting the Capilla Mayor. The Spanish cimborio has at last reached
its fullest development in the Renaissance lantern.

The church is divided into nave and double side aisles, outside of which
is a series of externally abutting chapels. East and west it contains
six bays. The choir blocks up the fifth and sixth bays of the nave, and
in the customary Spanish manner it is separated from the high altar in
the Capilla Mayor by the croisée of the transept. Back of this, forming
the eastern termination, runs an ambulatory.

The vaulting, one hundred feet high, is carried by a series of gigantic
white piers consisting of four semi-columns of Corinthian order with
their intersecting angles formed by a triple rectangular break. The
vaulting springs from above a full entablature and surmounting
pedestals, the latter running to the height of the arches dividing the
various vaulting compartments. The church is about 385 feet long and 220feet 

The choir is uninteresting; the carving of its stalls and organs in
nowise comparing with the "silleria" of Seville or Burgos. The Capilla
Mayor, the principal feature of the interior, is circular in form, and
separated from the nave by a splendid "Arco Toral." The dome, which
rises to a height of 155 feet, is carried by eight Corinthian piers. In
general scheme it is pure Italian Renaissance, of noble and harmonious
proportions and very richly decorated. At the foot of the pilasters
stand colossal statues of the Apostles. Higher up there is a series of
most remarkable paintings by Alfonso Cano and some of his pupils. Cano's
represent seven incidents in the life of the Virgin,--the Annunciation,
Visitation, Nativity, Assumption, etc. Though some of his carvings, and
especially the dignified and noble Virgin in the sacristy, are
admirable, still, to judge from this series, it was as a painter that he
excelled. They show, too, how essentially Spanish he was, like his great
master, Montañez. The careless, lazy quality of his temperament is
sufficiently apparent, but he cannot be denied a place among the great
masters of Spanish painting who immediately preceded the all-eclipsing
glory of Velasquez, Murillo, and Ribera.

The lights of the dome which rises over the paintings are filled with
very lovely stained glass, representing scenes from the Passion by the
Dutchmen, Teodor de Holanda, and Juan del Campo. On the two sides of the
choir below are colossal heads of Adam and Eve carved by Cano and
kneeling figures of Ferdinand and Isabella.

There are endless chapels outside the outer aisles, but, in spite of
some good bits of sculpture and painting here and there, one longs to
sweep them out of the way and free the edifice from their encumbrance.

The interior of the great sagrario is an expressionless jumble of the
later Renaissance decadence,--and it is a shame that no more fitting
architecture surrounds the tomb of the good Talavera, here laid to rest
by his friend Tendilla, the first Alcaide of the Alhambra, with the
inscription over his tomb, "Amicus Amico."

The general color scheme in the interior of the Cathedral is white and
gold. One feels that it is handsome, even harmonious and magnificent,
but that all the mystery and religious awe that pervaded the great
churches of the previous centuries have vanished forever.

The Royal Chapel, although the oldest part of the building, should be
considered last of all, as it is by far the most interesting portion and
leaves an impression so vivid as to overshadow all other parts of the
great edifice. It is situated between the sagrario and the Sacristia and
is entered through the southern arm of the transept. The chapel itself
is the very last Gothic efflorescence from which the spirit has fled,
leaving only empty form. It consists of a single big nave flanked by
lower chapels. The ornamentally ribbed vaulting with gilt bosses and
keystones is carried by clustered shafts engaged in its side walls. The
shafts are too thin and the capitals too meagre. A broader and more
generous string course runs, at the height of the capitals, across the
wall surfaces between the upper clerestory and the lower arcades.
Portions of this reveal a strong Moorish influence, as the manner in
which the great Gothic lettering is employed to decorate the band.
Similarly to the invocations to Allah running round the walls of the
Alhambra, we read here that "This chapel was founded by the most
Catholic Don Fernando and Doña Isabel, King and Queen of the Españos[d],
of Naples, of Sicily, and Jerusalem, who conquered this kingdom and
brought it back to the faith, who acquired the Canary Isles and Indies,
as well as the cities of Ican, Tripoli, and Bugia; who crushed heresy,
expelled Moors and Jews from these realms, and reformed religion. The
Queen died Tuesday, November 26, 1504. The King died January 25, 1516.
The building was completed 1517." Enrique de Egas had, at Ferdinand's
order, commenced building two years after Isabella's death. The grandson
enlarged it later, finding it "too small for so much glory."

The high altar with its retablo and the royal sarcophagi are separated
from the rest of the chapel by the most stupendous and magnificent iron
screen or reja ever executed. Spaniards have here surpassed all their
earlier productions in this their master craft. Not even the screens of
the great choir and altar of Seville or Toledo can compare with it. With
the possible exception of the curious Biblical scenes naively
represented by groups of figures near the apex, which still tell their
story in true Gothic style, it is a burst of Renaissance, or Plateresque
glory. It is not likely that the crafts, with all their mechanical
skill, will ever again produce a work of such artistic perfection. It
represents the labor of an army of skilled artisans,--all the sensitive
feeling in the finger-tips of the Italian goldsmith, the most cunning
art of the German armorer and a combination of restraint and boldness in
the Spanish smith and forger. The difficulty naturally offered by the
material has also restrained the artisan's hand and imagination from
running riot in vulgar elaboration. The design, made by Maestro
Bartolomé of Jaen in 1523, is as excellent as the technique is
astonishing. It may be said that in grandeur it is only surpassed by the
fame of the Queen whose remains lie below. The material is principally
wrought iron, though some of the ornaments are of embossed silver plate
and portions of it gilded as well as colored. Bartolomé's design
consists in general of three superimposed and highly decorated rows of
twisted iron bars with molded caps and bases. Each one must have been a
most massive forging, hammered out of the solid iron while it was red
hot. The vertically aspiring lines of the bars are broken by horizontal
rows of foliage, cherubs' heads and ornamentation, as well as two broad
bands of cornices with exquisitely decorated friezes. Larger pilasters
and columns form its panels, the central ones of which constitute the
doorway and enclose the elaborate arms of Ferdinand and Isabella and
those of their inherited and conquered kingdoms. The screen is crested
by a rich border of pictorial scenes, of flambeaux and foliated
Renaissance scrollwork, above which in the centre is throned the
crucified Saviour adored by the Virgin and Saint John. The crucifix
rises to the height of the very capitals which carry the lofty vaulting.

Inside the reja, a few steps above the tombs, rises Philip Vigarny's, or
Borgoña's, elaborate reredos. To the Protestant sense this is gaudy and
theatrical, a strikingly garish note in the solemnity and grandeur of
the chapel. To the right and left of its base are, however, most
interesting carvings, among them the kneeling statues of Ferdinand and
Isabella. Behind the former is his victorious banner of Castile. The
figures are vitally interesting as contemporaneous portraits of the
monarchs, aiming to reproduce with fidelity their features and every
detail of their dress. There is also a series of bas-reliefs portraying
incidents in the siege of Granada,--the Cardinal on a prancing charger,
behind him a forest of lances, the lurid, flaming sky throwing out in
sharp silhouette the pierced walls and rent battlements. The Moors, very
much like dogs shrinking from a beating, are being dragged to the
baptismal font;--the gesticulating prelates hold aloft in one hand the
cross and in the other, the sword, for the tunicked figures to make
their choice. The scene has been described by Sir W. Stirling Maxwell,
who tells us "that in one day no less than three thousand persons
received baptism at the hands of the Primate, who sprinkled them with
the hyssop of collective regeneration."

Again, in another, the cringing Boabdil is presenting the keys of the
city to the "three kings." Isabella is on a white genet, and Mendoza,
like the old pictures of Wolsey, on a trapped mule. Ferdinand is there
in all his magnificence; the knights, the halberdiers and horsemen, all
the details of the dramatic moment, full of the greatest imaginable
historic and antiquarian interest, perpetuated by one who was probably
an eye-witness of the scene.

[Illustration: Photo by J. Lacoste, Madrid


The tombs of the Catholic Kings, of Philip and of Queen Juana.]

At the foot of the altar, in the centre of the chapel, stand the tombs
of Ferdinand and Isabella and of Philip and Joan. They are as gorgeous
specimens of sepulchral monuments as the reja is of an ecclesiastical
iron screen. Both sarcophagi are executed in the softest flushed
alabaster; that of Ferdinand and Isabella by the Florentine Dominico
Fancelli; that of their daughter and her son by the Barcelonian
Bartolomé Ordenez, "The Eagle of Relief," who carved his blocks at
Carrara. The tomb of poor crazy Jane, and the unworthy, handsome husband
whom she doted on to the extent of carrying his body with her throughout
the doleful wronged insanity of her later years, is somewhat more
elevated than that of the Catholic Kings, though its general design is
very similar. Philip of Austria sleeps vested with the Order of the
Golden Fleece.

Isabella's celebrated will begins with her desire that her body may be
taken to Granada and there laid to rest in the Franciscan monastery of
Santa Isabella in the Alhambra, with a simple tomb and inscription: "but
should the King, my lord, prefer a sepulchre in some other place, then
my will is that my body be there transported, and laid where he can be
placed by my side, that the union we have enjoyed in this world, and
which through the mercy of God may be hoped for again when our souls are
in heaven, may be symbolized by our bodies being side by side on earth."
The humble burying-ground designated by Isabella, and where she was
first laid to rest with the simple rites she desired, was, however, no
fitting place for the grandparents of Imperial Charles. Here, in the
Cathedral's principal chapel, he had them laid in the year 1525.

The sarcophagus consists of three stages, containing the ornamental
motives so characteristic of the best sculpture of the Italian
Renaissance. No other form of statuary brought out their skill and
genius so fully as a sepulchral monument. Medallions, statues, niches,saints, 
angels, griffins and garlands are all woven into a magnificent
base to receive the recumbent effigies. Apostles and bas-reliefs of
scenes from the life of Christ surround the base, while winged griffins
break the angles. Above are the four Doctors of the Church, the arms of
the Catholic Kings and the proud and simple epitaph, "Mahometicē
sectē prostratores et hereticē pervicaciē extinctores:
Fernandus Aragonium et Helisabetha Castellē, vir et uxor unanimes,
catholici appelati, marmoreo clauduntur tumulo."[22] In tranquil crowned
dignity above lie Ferdinand in his mantle of knighthood, his sword
clasped over his armored breast, and Isabella with the cross of her
country's patron saint. The recumbent figures are extremely fine; the
faces, which are portraits, convey all we know of their prototypes'
characteristics. Ferdinand's proud, pursed lips whisper his selfish
arrogance, his iron will, and the greatness and fulfillment of his
dreams. The hard, masterful jaw confirms the character given him by the
shrewd French cynic as one of the most thorough egotists who ever sat on
a throne, as well as that of his English son-in-law, who knew enough to
call him "the wisest king that ever ruled Spain."

Beside Ferdinand sleeps his lion-hearted consort. It is her lofty soul
which broods over the sepulchre and heightens the feeling of reverence
already inspired by reja and sarcophagus. She is still the brightest
star that ever rose in the Spanish firmament and shone in clear radiance
above even the lights of Ximenez, of Columbus, or the Great Captain. Her
smile is now as cold and her look as placid as moonlight sleeping on

Noble, tender-hearted and true, dauntless, self-sacrificing and
faithful, she rose supreme in every relation of life and the great
crisis of her people's history. "In all her revelations of Queen or
Woman," said Lord Bacon, "she was an honour to her sex, and the corner
stone of the greatness of Spain."

Standing before her tomb, on the battlefield of her victorious armies,
the clear perspective and calm judgment of four centuries still declare
her "of rare qualities,--sweet gentleness, meekness, saint-like,
wife-like government, the Queen of earthly queens."



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(OFFICIAL PUBLICATION). _Los Monumentos Arquitectonicos de España_.


Aaron, 54.

Abel, 110.

Abu Jakub Jusuf, 203, 231.

Abraham, 153.

Acropolis, 240.

Acuna, Bishop of, 48, 49, 62.

Adaja, 67.

Adam, 227, 259.

Adriatic, 201.

Africa, 194.

Aguero, Campo, 184.

Alava, Juan de, 22, 177, 207.

Alcides, 193.

Alcaide, 127, 259.

Alcantara, Bridge of, 123.

Alcantara, Order of, 128.

Alcazar of Avila, 84.

Alcazar of Segovia, 169, 171, 172, 173.

Alcazar of Seville, 209, 230.

Alcazar of Toledo, 123.

Alcazerias, Toledo, 129.

Aleman, Christobal, 228.

Alfaqui Abu Walid, 154.

Alfonso, architect of Toledo, 135, 141.

Alfonso I, 68, 127, 243.

Alfonso III, 37.

Alfonso IV, 129, 130, 156.

Alfonso VI, 5, 7, 37, 61, 68, 69, 91, 96, 127, 220.

Alfonso VII, 155.

Alfonso VIII, 73, 154.

Alfonso IX, 5, 6, 74, 96.

Alfonso X, The Wise, 47, 70, 97, 169, 219, 225, 231.

Alfonso XI, 36, 155, 171.

Alfonso, King, 34.

Alfonso de Cartagena, Bishop, 49, 52, 62.

Alfonsinas, Tablas, 219.

Alhambra, 240, 241, 244, 259, 260, 263.

Alleman, Jorge Fernandez, 207.

Almanzor, 95.

Almeria, 194.

Almohaden, 203, 243.

Almorvides, 243.

Alpujarras, 241.

Alvarez of Toledo, Juan, 44.

Alvaro, Maestro, 23.

Amiens, Cathedral of, 25, 43, 93, 94, 124, 131, 163, 201.

Andalusia, 122, 191, 192, 194, 201.

Andino, Cristobal, 51.

Angelo, Michael, 153, 251.

Angers, Bishop of, 20.

Angevine School, 40.

Anna, Sta., 41, 48.

Antonio, St., 222.

Apostles, 144, 229.

Aquitaine, 7, 10, 15.

Aragon, King of, 48, 127.

Aragon, Province of, 19, 122, 143, 207, 256.

Arge, Juan de, 107.

Arnao de Flanders, 229.

Astorga, 20.

Asterio, Bishop of, 61.

Asturias, 34, 69, 70, 94, 95.

Augustus, Emperor, 94.

Avila, Cathedral of, 65-87.

Aymar, 70.

Ayuntamiento, Toledo, 129.

Azeu, Bernard of, 91.

Bacon, Lord, 265.

Badajoz, Juan, 22, 97.

Bagdad, 127.

Bætica, Provincia, 193.

Bætis, 193, 215.

Baldwin, Maestro, 107.

Banderas, Seville, Patio de las, 201.

Bandinelli, Baccio, 153.

Barcelona, 228.

Bartolomé of Jaen, 261.

Basle, Council of, 49, 62.

Baudelaire, 214.

Bautizo, Seville, door of, 208.

Beatrice of Suabia, 53, 223.

Beauvais, Cathedral of, 93.

Belgium, 162.

Bellini, Giovanni, 162.

Bellver, Riccardo, 208.

Benavente, Cathedral of, 142.

Benedict, St., 5.

Benedictines, 37, 220.

Benilo, 70.

Berenzuela, Queen, 92.

Bermudez, Cean, 44, 45, 69, 134, 199.

Bernard, Archbishop of Toledo, 7, 130, 154, 156.

Berroqueña, 138, 141.

Berruguete, Alfonso, 79, 134, 151, 153, 250.

Berruguete, Pedro, 79.

Blanche of France, 47.

Blas, Gil, 169, 252.

Blasquez Dean Blasco, 74.

Blois, 256.

Boabdil, 243, 262.

Boldan, 227.

Bologna, University of, 6.

Bordeaux, 93.

Borgoña, 224.

Borgoña, Juan de, 79, 134.

Borgoña, Philip, 151, 152, 177, 262.

Boston, 18.

Bourges, Cathedral of, 94, 134.

Brizuela, Pedro, 187.

Bruges, Carlos de, 229.

Brunelleschi, 176.

Brussels, 247.

Bugia, 260.

Burgos, Cathedral of, 30-63, 80, 81, 86, 93, 97, 101, 105, 106, 111,
131, 132, 134, 141, 177, 183, 199, 207, 224, 258.

Burgos, Bishopric of, 122.

Burgundy, School of, 10, 13.

Burne-Jones, 50.

Cadiz, 194.

Cæsar, Julius, 193.

Calderon, 6.

Caliphs, 4.

Calix, 157.

Calatrava, Order of, 128.

Calixtus III, Pope, 8.

Campaña, Pedro, 195.

Campero, Juan, 22.

Campo, Juan del, 259.

Canary Isles, 260.

Cano, Alfonso, 195, 227, 248, 258, 259.

Cantabria, 70.

Capulet, 138.

Capitan, Calle del Gran, 201.

Carlos de Bruges, 229.

Carmona, 82.

Carpentania, 124.

Casanova, 208.

Castanela, Juan de, 44, 45.

Castile, Province of, 6, 19, 30, 33, 34, 68, 72, 74, 92, 95, 122, 127,
135, 136, 143, 159, 171, 172, 178, 207, 215, 219, 243, 244, 256, 264.

Catalina, Toledo, Puerta de Sta., 145.

Catarina, Burgos, Chapel of, 41, 60.

Catharine Plantagenet, Queen, 159.
Catholic Kings, 20, 128, 143, 172, 217, 242, 256.

Caveda, 199, 200.

Cebrian, Pedro, 97.

Celandra, Enrique Bernardino de, 229.

Cellini, 152.

Cervantes, 196.

Cespedes, Domingo de, 134, 150.

Ceuta, 192.

Chambord, 210.

Champagne, 99.

Charles V, Emperor, 45, 46, 71, 137, 153, 171, 172, 173, 225, 251, 254,

Charles, Prince of England, 169, 245.

Chartres, Cathedral of, 40, 93, 94, 102, 109, 141, 201.

Chartudi, Martin Ruiz de, 179.

Chico, Patio, 18, 24, 25.

Christopher, St., 162.

Chronicles, 192.

Churriguera, 28.

Cid, Campeador, 33, 123, 127, 134, 200.

Cisneros, Cardinal, 80.

Cistercians, 40.

Citeaux, 130.

Clamores, 167.

Clara, Sta., 172, 173, 177, 185.

Clement, St., 102.

Cluny, 5, 7, 10, 130, 131, 220.

Cologne, 138, 211.

Colonia, Diego de, 49.

Colonia, Francisco de, 57, 60.

Colonia, Juan de, 49, 60, 62, 101.

Colonia, Simon de, 49.

Columbina Library, 209, 215.

Columbus, 197, 204, 215, 216, 227, 244, 265.

Compero, Juan de, 178.

Compostella, St. James of, 157.

Compostella, Cathedral of, 96.

Comuneros, 71.

Comunidades, 127, 173, 182.

Constable, Burgos, Chapel of, 41, 49, 57, 58.

Constance, Queen, 130, 154, 156, 220.

Constantine, 235.

Constantinople, 219.

Copin, 134.

Cordova, Caliphate of, 5, 194, 195, 203, 204, 230, 231, 242, 243, 247.

Cornelis, 83.

Coroneria, Burgos, Puerta de la, 47, 56.

Corpus Christi, Burgos, Chapel of, 41.

Corpus Domini, Feast of, 219.

Cortes, 36, 125.

Cortez, 197.

Council of the Indies, 197.

Councils, 126, 157.

Covarrubias, Alfonso, 22, 134, 177.

Cristela, St., 86.

Cristobal, Seville, Gate of St., 209.

Cruz, Granada, Hospital of Sta., 247.

Cruz, Valladolid, Colegio de, 247.

Cruz, Santos, 79.

Cubillas, Garcia de, 174, 177, 179.

Cuevas, Monastery of Las, 227.

Dado, Chapel of Nuestra Señora del, 114.

Damascus, 2.

Dancart, 218.

Daniel, 112.

Darro, 240, 255.

David, 3, 48, 112, 158, 254.

Davila, Bishop Blasquez, 74.

Davila, Juan Arias, 171, 177, 184.

Davila, Sancho, 82.

Denis, Abbey of St., 40.

Dominican, 128, 218.

Dominic, St., 6.

Donatello, 152.

Doncelles, Seville, Capilla de los, 229.

Dueñas, Convent of Las, 30.

Duke, Iron, 245.

Durham, 123.

Dumas, Alexandre, 241.

Eden, Garden of, 241.

Edward I, 33.

Egas, Annequin de, 135.

Egas, Anton de, 21, 22, 134.

Egas, Enrique de, 135, 177, 207, 224, 247, 248, 249, 260.

Egypt, 209.

Eleanor of Castile, 33.

Eleanor Plantagenet, 37.

Ellis, Havelock, 214.

Ely, Cathedral of, 148.

England, 33, 124, 149.

Enrique, Architect, 54, 60, 97.

Enrique II, 70.

Enriquez, Beatrix, 215.

Erasma, 167.

Eslava, 214.

Esteban, Burgos, Church of San, 34.

Esteban, Salamanca, Church of San, 30, 44.

Estrella, 72.

Eugenio IV, 74.

Eugenio, St., 141.

Europe, 162, 194, 215.

Eve, 227, 259.

Exodus, 153.

Ezekiel, 192.

Fancelli, Dominico, 263.

Fanez, Alvar, 123.

Ferdinand I, 34, 95.
Ferdinand III, St., 37, 48, 53, 61, 70, 92, 131, 193, 195, 203, 209,
219, 224, 225, 231, 232, 249.

Ferdinand of Aragon, 20, 49, 82, 127, 128, 136, 137, 152, 244, 251, 256,
259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265.

Ferdinand, Infante, 47.

Ferguson, 206.

Fernandez, Alejo, 195.

Fernandez, Marco Jorge, 218.

Fernandez, Martin, 60.

Flanders, 183.

Florence, 70, 196, 223, 230.

Fonfria, 167.

Fonseca, Bishop Don Juan Rodriguez de, 56, 136.

France, 28, 44, 47, 69, 72, 92, 94, 109, 123, 132, 133, 149, 153, 162,
183, 200, 207.

Francesco de Salamanca, 218.

Francis, St., 137.

Franciscan Monastery, 263.

Frederic of Germany, 92.

Friola, St., 114, 167.

Front of Périgueux, St., 15.

Frumonio, Bishop, 95.

Frutos, St., 174.

Gallichan's Story of Seville, 197, 199.

Gallo, Torre del, 15.

Ganza, Martin, 225.

Garcia, Alvar, 72.

Garcia, Pedro, 207.

Gautier, Théophile, 46, 122, 151, 199.

Gayangos, 231.

Generaliffe, 241.

Germany, 93, 162, 183.

Gever, 231.

Ghiberti, 48, 152.

Gibbon, Grinling, 27.

Gil de Hontañon, Juan, 22, 23, 28, 174, 175, 176, 177, 179, 207.

Gil de Hontañon, Rodrigo, 23, 179, 184.

Giralda, 201, 209, 229, 230, 232, 234, 235.

Giraldo, Luis, 83.

Goethe, 239.

Goliath, 3.

Gomez, Alvar, 136, 141.

Gonzales, Bishop, 97.

Gonzales, Ferdinand, 33, 34.

Gonzalo, Don, 53.

Gorda, 142.

Goya, 162, 201, 226, 227.

Granada, Cathedral of, 182, 216, 224, 237-265.

Granada, Province of, 122, 138, 152, 194, 195, 230.

Granados, José, 248.

Gray, Thomas, 167.

Greco, El, 162, 227.

Gredos, Sierra, 67, 121.

Greece, 153, 197, 223.

Gregory the Great, 126.

Gregory VII, 91, 220.

Guadalquivir, 197, 235.

Guadarrama, Sierra de, 34, 67.

Guarda, Angel de la, 222, 223.

Guas, Juan, 135.

Guzman, 226.

Hagenbach, Peter, 221.

Hannibal, 5, 243.

Hapsburg, 217.

Hare, 264.

Havana, 227.

Hell, Toledo, Gate of, 143.

Henry of Aragon, 159.

Henry II, 53, 155, 160, 178.

Henry III, 155.

Henry IV, 172.

Henry VII, 244.

Henry VIII, 61, 164.

Hercules, 192, 193.

Hermanidad, Dependencias de la, 210.

Hernando, 244.

Herrera, 195, 227.

Hispalis, 194.

Hispania, Citerior, 68.

Hispaniola, 227.

Holanda, Teodor de, 259.

Holando, Alberto, 80.

Holy Office, 196, 243.

Houssaye, La, 151.

Howell, James, 245.

Hoz, Juan de, 207.

Huelva, 194.

Iago, Burgos, Chapel of St., 60.

Iberian Peninsula, 136.

Ildefonso, St., 108, 127, 143, 147, 157, 158.

Ildefonso, Toledo, Chapel of St., 157.

Indies, 128, 260.

Innocent III, 20, 92, 93.

Inquisition, 128, 243, 244.

Irving, Washington, 160, 244.

Isaac, 153.

Isabella, 20, 62, 82, 127, 128, 131, 136, 137, 138, 152, 154, 195, 224,
244, 256, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264.

Isabella, Granada, Monastery of Sta., 263.

Isabella of Portugal, 160.

Isaiah, 48, 106, 192.

Isidore, 126, 220, 221.

Islam, 202, 227, 247.

Isle-de-France, 99, 102.

Italy, 72, 93, 153, 196, 200, 223, 254.

Ixbella, 194.

Jacob, 153.

Jaen, 194, 195, 208, 260.

Jain Temples, 205.

James I, 136.

James, St., 54.

James, Professor, 87.

Janera, Cathedral of, 153.

Jeremiah, 112.

Jeronimo, Granada, Puerta de, 254.

Jerusalem, 29, 214, 229, 256.

Jesse, Tree of, 162.

John, St., 55, 57, 208, 219, 256, 262.

John the Baptist, Toledo, Hospital of St., 153.

John I, 155.

John II, 159.

Jonah, 192.

Joshua, 112.

Juan, Don, 134.

Juan, Bishop of Sabina, 171.

Juan, Toledo, chapel of St., 161.

Juan, Seville, door of St., 208.

Juana, Queen, 21, 225, 263.

Judgment, Last, 126.

Junta, Santa, 71.

Justa, Sta., 226, 232.

Jusquin, Maestro, 101, 110.

Karnattah, 242.

Kempeneer, 222.

Koran, 234.

Lagarto, Seville, door of, 209.

Lamperez y Romea, Señor D., 9, 40, 76, 108.

Lara, Bishop Manrique, 96.

Latin, 126, 187, 193, 232.

Lazarus, 229.

Leander, 220.

Leocadia, Sta., 157, 158.

Leon, Cathedral of, 26, 36, 39, 43, 80, 81, 82, 86, 90, 117, 132, 134,
142, 177, 198, 199, 212, 256.

Leon, Kingdom of, 5, 6, 19, 30, 34, 69, 127, 215.

Lerida, Cathedral of, 133.

Lerma, Bishop Gonzalvo da, 52.

Lions, Toledo, gate of, 144, 161.

Llana, Toledo, gate of, 145.

Lockhart, 245.

Loevgild, 94, 126.

Loja, 241.

Lombardy, 201, 206, 243, 251.

London, 204, 244.

Lonja, Seville, gate of, 209.

Lopez, Pedro, 207.

Lorenzana, 136.

Louis, St., 47, 92.

Lucas of Holland, 152.

Luis, Fray, 6.

Luna, Count Alvaro de, 159.

Luther, 86.

Lusitania, 5.

Madrid, 96, 128, 173, 206.

Madrigal, Tostada de, 79.

Maeda, Juan de, 248, 253, 254.

Magi, adoration of the, 104.

Malaga, 248.

Mancha, La, 93.

Manrico de Lara, Francisco, 23.

Mans, Cathedral of Le, 148.

Mantanzas, D. Juan Ruiz, 156.

Maria, Burgos, gate of Sta., 60.

Maria, de la Encarnacion, Sta., Granada, 246.

Maria, Burgos, Sta. Maria la Mayor, 34, 57, 60.

Maria, Leon, Sta., 92, 96, 98, 116.

Maria del Fiore, Sta., 17, 176, 201.

Maria, de la O., Sta., 246.

Maria de la Sede, Seville, Sta., 203, 207, 213, 214, 219, 228, 230.

Mary, Virgin, 104, 130, 157, 158, 167, 171, 173, 174, 179, 195, 217,
219, 220, 227, 258, 262.

Mary Magdalen, 229.

Marin, Juan, 223.

Marin, Lope, 209.
Marks, St., 12, 15, 230.

Marmont, 30.

Martial, 193.

Martin, 214.

Maurice, Bishop, 37, 46, 49, 54, 61.

Maxwell, Sir W. Stirling, 262.

Medina, Pedro de, 97.

Mediterranean, 122, 193.

Meister Wilhelm, 239.

Mellan, Pedro, 207, 208.

Menardo, Vicente, 229.

Mendoza, Doña Mencia de, 50.

Mendoza, 136, 138, 143, 155, 226, 262.

Merida, 68.

Mesquita, 231.

Mexico, 197.

Micer, 228.

Michael, St., 86.

Miguel, Florentino, 196, 207, 223.

Miguel, San, 172, 173, 185.

Miguel, Seville, Door of St., 208.

Milan, Cathedral of, 138, 204, 206.

Milo, Venus of, 212.

Miserere, 214.

Mohamed, 244.

Molina, Juan Sanchez de, 60.

Montagues, 138.

Montañez, 217, 227, 249, 258.

Moses, 54, 112, 254.

Mogaguren, Juan de, 179, 186.

Munoz, Sancho, 217.

Murillo, 196, 222, 227, 258.

Nacimiento, Seville, doors of, 207.

Nacimiento, Salamanca, door of, 25.

Nantes, 93.

Naples, 191, 260.

Napoleon, 135.

Naranjos, Seville, door of the, 209.

Narbonne, 93, 157.

Nasrides, 243.

Navarre, 72, 92, 256.

Navas de Tolosa, Las, 70, 93, 154.

Netherlands, 196.

Nevada, Sierra, 241, 242.

Ney, 30.

Nicholas, Church of, Burgos, 34.

Nicholas Florentino, 14.

Nile, 209.

Norman, Juan de, 207.

Odysseus, 192.

Oliquelas, 139.

Ontoria, 42.

Orazco, Juan de, 22.

Ordoñez, Bartolomé, 263.

Ordoño, King, 95, 113, 114.

Ouen of Rouen, Cathedral of St., 28.

Oviedo, 34, 196, 198.

Oxford, University of, 6.

Padella, 127, 225.

Palazzo del Goberno Civil, Salamanca, 28.

Pardon, Burgos, Door of, 61.

Pardon, Granada, Door of, 254.

Pardon, Segovia, Door of, 185.

Pardon, Seville, Door of, 209.

Pardon, Toledo, Door of, 126, 143.

Paris, 219.

Paris, University of, 6.

Paris, Cathedral of, 25, 101, 105, 148, 163, 199.

Parthenon, 212.

Pater, Walter, 125.

Paul, St., 30, 54, 62, 85, 142, 209, 164.

Paul's, London, St., 204, 244.

Pedro, Avila, Church of St., 71.

Pedro, Bishop of Avila, Don, 72.

Pedro de Aguilar, 155.

Pedro el Cruel, 127, 225.

Pedro of Castile, Don, 70.

Pedro, Infante, Don, 178.

Pellejeria, Burgos, Door of, 56, 58.

Peninsular War, 246.

Perez, 135.

Perez, Juan, 60.

Perez de Vargas, Garcia, 193.

Périgueux, 7.

Peru, 197.

Pesquera, Diego de, 223.

Peter, St., 30, 54, 62, 85, 142, 209, 164.

Peter's, Rome, St., 205, 224, 251.

Philip, 48.

Philip I (of Austria), 263.

Philip II, 23, 45, 128, 196, 197, 206.

Philip III, 245.

Philip of Burgundy, Sculptor, 44, 45, 48.

Philip, St., 54.

Phœnicia, 197.

Phœnicians, 193.

Piazzetta, Venice, 201.

Pilayo, Bishop of Oviedo, Don, 69.

Pituenga, Florin de, 69.

Pius II, 160.

Pius III, 23.

Pistoja, 230.

Pizarro, 197.

Plaza del Colegio Viejo, Salamanca, 5.

Pliny, 128.

Plutarch, 125.

Poe, 214.

Poitou, 137.

Porcello, Diego, 60.

Poniente, 28.

Portugal, 127.

Prado, 221.

Presentacion, Burgos, Chapel of, 41, 52.

Presentacion, Toledo, Puerta de la, 145.

Psalms, 192.

Ptolemy, 215.

Pulgar, Capilla del, 255.

Pulgar, Herman Perez del, 255.

Pyrenees, 93, 176, 206.

Puy, Notre Dame de, 144.

Quadrado, 178.

Quixote, 134.

Ramos, Alfonso, 101.

Ramos, door of, 25, 29.

Raphael, Angel, 155.

Raymond, Count of Burgundy, 7, 8, 69, 70, 72, 170.

Real, Seville, Capilla, 205, 224.

Reccared, 126.

Reloi, Toledo, gate of, 145.

Rembrandt, 214.

Rios, D. Demetrio de los, 96.

Reposo, Virgin del, 223.

Reye Nuevos, Toledo, chapel of, 161.

Res, Juan, 83.

Rheims, Cathedral of, 25, 39, 43, 93, 94, 148.

Ribera, 162, 221, 258.

Richard, papal legate, 156.

Richelieu, 136.

Ridriguez, Canon Juan, 174.

Rodan, Guillen de, 97.

Roderick, King, 126.

Rodrigo, architect of Toledo, 135.

Rodrigo, Archbishop, 93.

Rodrigo de Ferrara, 107.

Rodriguez, Archbishop of Seville, 205.

Rodriguez, Bishop, 136.

Rodriguez of Alava, Count Diego, 34.

Rodriguez, Maestro of Seville, 22, 207.

Rodriguez, Sculptor, 151.

Roelas, 227.

Rojas, Gonzalo de, 205, 207.

Romano, Casandro, 69.

Rome, 5, 93, 116, 130, 135, 142, 143, 191, 193, 197, 224.

Roundheads, 61.

Rovera, D. Diego de, 174.

Royal Chapel, Granada, 247, 249, 251, 255, 256, 257, 259.

Rubens, 162.

Rufina, Sta., 226, 232.

Ruiz, Alfonso, 207.

Ruiz, Bishop Francisco, 80.

Ruiz, Francisco, 234.

Sabina, St., 86.

Sacchetti, 26.

Salamanca, city of, 69.

Salamanca, council of, 45.

Salamanca, Cathedral of, 3-30, 44, 163, 170, 174, 175, 176, 177, 179,
184, 198, 213, 248.

Salmantica, 5.

Salisbury, Cathedral of, 131.

Salto, Maria del, 178, 179.

Salvador, Avila, Cathedral of San, 67, 71.

Sancha, Countess, 114.

Sanches de Castro, Juan, 201.

Sanchez, Martin, 135.

Sanchez, Nufro, 216.

Sanchez, Bishop Pedro, 69.

Sanchez, Architect Pedro, 53, 60.

Sancho the Brave, 155.

Sancho the Deserted, 155.

Santander, Diego de, 53.

Santiago, bishopric of, 122.

Santiago, Burgos, chapel of, 41.

Santiago, Leon, chapel of, 99, 107, 115.

Santiago, order of, 128, 135, 159.

Santiago, Toledo, chapel of, 147, 157, 159.

Santo, Andrea del, 153.

Sarabia, Rodrigo de, 22.

Sarmental, Puerta del, 54.

Sarmentos, family of, 54.

Scriveners, Toledo, gate of, 143.

Segovia, city of, 67, 69.

Segovia, Cathedral of, 165-187, 213.

Segundo, St., 86.

Segundo, Avila, church of San, 71.

Sens, Cathedral of, 40.

Seville, Cathedral of, 24, 44, 96, 97, 138, 158, 182, 183, 189-236, 242,
248, 258, 260.

Seville, bishopric of, 122.

Sicily, kingdom of, 19, 143, 256, 260.

Siena, 70.

Sierra Alhama, 241.

Sierra Gredos, 67, 122.

Sierra de Guadarrama, 34, 67.

Sierra Moreña, 198, 235.

Sierra Nevada, 241, 242.

Siloé, Diego de, 49, 248, 249, 252, 254.

Silva, Diego da, 195.

Simon, architect, 97.

Sistine Madonna, 212.

Sofia, St., 12.

Stevenson, R. L., 145.

Suabia, 53, 225.

Tagus, 93, 122.

Talavera, 246, 259.

Tarragon, bishopric of, 122.

Tarragona, Cathedral of, 133.

Tarshish, 192.

Tavera, 136, 141.

Tecla, Sta., 41.

Tendilla, 259.

Tenorio, 136, 141, 163.

Teresa, Sta., 86, 87.

Theotocopuli, Jorge Manuel, 140.

Thiebaut, 30.

Thomas, convent of St., 71.

Tierra de Maria Santissima, 198.

Titian, 162.

Toledo, Cathedral of, 36, 39, 42, 93, 96, 106, 108, 121-164, 170, 177,
182, 192, 198, 204, 207, 212, 216, 218, 223, 247, 260.

Toledo, council of, 8, 126.

Toledo, province of, 23, 169.

Tomé, Narciso, 155.

Tornero, Juan, 22.

Torquemada, 171.

Trajan, 167.

Triana, 232.

Trinity, Boston, church of, 18.

Triolan, San, 104.

Tripoli, 260.

Triumfo, Seville, Plaza del, 201.

Tudela, Cathedral of, 133.

Urraca, Doña, 69.

Vaccæi, 68.

Vadajos, Bishop of, 20.

Vergara, Arnao de, 229.

Vargas, Luis de, 195.

Valdes, 227.

Vallejo, Juan de, 44, 45, 60.

Valencia, See of, 7, 93, 122.

Valencia, Alonzo, 97.

Valladolid, City of, 21, 23, 160, 227, 248, 249.

Valladolid, Cathedral of, 36, 122.

Vega, 240, 245.

Velasco, Don Pedro Fernandez, Count of Haro, 49, 50.

Velasco, Bishop Antonia de, 52.

Velasquez, 196, 258.

Venice, 191.

Vergara, 134.

Viadero, 184.

Vicente, Avila, Church of, 71.

Vico, Ambrosio de, 248.

Vigarny, Philip (Borgoña), 151, 153, 251, 262.

Vignola, 252.

Villalon, Cathedral of, 143.

Villalpando, 134, 154.

Villanueva, 82.

Villegas, Fernando de, 52.

Vincente, St., 86.

Viscaya, 69.

Visitacion, Burgos, Capilla de, 52.

Visquio, Jeronimo, 7, 8, 10.

Vitruvius, 224.

Vittoria, 208.

Voltaire, 245.

Wamba, 126.

Wear, 123.

Wells, Cathedral of, 99.

Westminster Abbey, 149, 198.

Wharton, Mrs., 103.

Williams, Leonard, 183.

Wolsey, 136, 262.

Xenil, 240.

Ximenez, 136, 154, 156, 221, 261, 265.

Ximon, 207.

Yorobo, Diego de, 218.

Zamora, cathedral of, 133.

Zamora, See of, 7.

Zaragoza, bishopric, 122, 248.

Zeres, gate of, 193.

Zimena Doña, 33.

Zurbaran, 195, 227.


[1] The precedence of Oxford was established by the decree of Constance
of 1414.

[2] Ego comes Raimundus una pariter cum uxore mea Orraca filia Adefonsi
regis, placuit nobis ut propter amorem Dei et restaurationem ecclesie S.
Marie Salamantine sedis et propter animas nostras vel de parentum
nostrorum vobis domino Jeronimo pontefici et magistro nostro quatinus
saceremus vobis sicut et facimus cartulam donationis vel ut ita decam

[3] Though to the city itself, in which he had been married, he dealt
the death-blow when he moved his Court from Toledo to Valladolid and
established a bishopric at Valladolid (in 1593), which had previously
been subject to Salamanca.

[4] According to Doctor Döllinger, "a faithless and cruel freebooter."
As a daring and successful "condottiere," he was dear to his
liberty-loving contemporaries, who protested against any encroachments
from Rome or curtailment of their civil rights by native rulers.

[5] Married to Alfonso III of Castile.

[6] Cean Bermudez, _Noticias de los Arquitectos y Arquitectura de
España_, vol. i, p. 208.

[7] Avila santos y cantos.

[8] Spain is divided into nine archbishoprics. In Castile are those of
Santiago, Burgos, Valladolid, and Toledo; in Aragon, Zaragoza; on the
Mediterranean, Taragon and Valencia; and in Andalusia, Seville and


    Ye men so noble and so bright,
    Who from your elevated height
    Do rule Toledo's avarice,
    And govern fear and cowardice.
    Of costly bed, the Lord of Hosts
    Hath made ye to the corner posts.
    Leave private interests behind,
    Show truth and justice to mankind,
    To common good yourselves do bind.

[10] Poitou, _Spain and its People_.

[11] The work of Jorge Manuel Theotocopuli, son of the great painter.


    Bell of Toledo,
    Church of Leon,
    Clock of Benavente,
    Columns of Villalon.

[13] He is also the sculptor of the marvelous tomb of Cardinal Janera in
the hospital of St. John the Baptist at Toledo.

[14] The cost of this reja was 250,000 reales.

[15] "Transparente," really meaning transparent, allowing the passage of
light. The composition took its name from the little closed glass or
crystal window placed directly back of the altar, and which thus pierced
a portion of the decorated wall surface behind the altar.

[16] From William Gallichan's _Story of Seville_.


    He who has not seen Seville,
    Has not seen a marvel.

[18] The great astronomical work, performed by that wonder of learning,
Alfonso X of Castile, in concert with Arab and Jewish men of science.

[19] _Impressions de Voyage_, Alexandre Dumas.

[20] Washington Irving's _Granada_.

[21] Lockhart's _Spanish Ballads_.

[22] Hare's _Queen of Queens_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Notes of the transcriber of this etext:

[a] Probably "A Castilla y a León mundo nuevo dió Colon" (note of ebook

[b] Probably Canon Juan Rodriguez.

[c] Should be Puerta del Reloj.

[d] Probably means Españas.

Changes made:

colonnettes => colonettes

Narciso Tome => Narciso Tomé {1}

Vaccaei => Vaccæi {1 index}

Perigueux =>Périgueux {1 index}

Baetica => Bætica {1 index}

Baetis => Bætis {1 index}

Dean Blasco Blasques => Dean Blasco Blasquez {1 page 74}

Guadalquiver => Guadalquivir {2 page 197 & 235}

Juan Gil de Houtañon => Juan Gil de Hontañon {1}

Bartolomé of Iaen => Bartolomé of Jaen {1 page 261}

Pellegeria => Pellejeria {1 plan of Burgos Cathedral}

Pintuenga => Pituenga {1 page 69}

Reyos Nuevos => Reyes Nuevos {1 index}

Reyos Catolicos => Reyes Catolicos {1 page 217}

Demetrio de los Reos => Demetrio de los Rios

Repiso, Virgin del => Reposo, Virgin del {1 index}

Diego de Silhoé => Diego de Siloé {page 48 & index

Philip Vigarni => Philip Vigarny {page 151, 153, 251, 262 index}

Villalpondo => Villalpando {page 134 & 154}

Ximenes => Ximenez {2 page 265 & index}

Juan de Maedo => Juan de Maeda {1 page 248}

Gayangoz => Gayangos {1 index}

Guaz => Guas {1 page 135}

Maria, de la Incarnacion => Maria, de la Encarnacion {1 index}

Mugaguren, Juan de => Mogaguren, Juan de {1 index}

Rez, Juan => Res, Juan {1 index}

Rojas, Gonsalo de => Rojas, Gonzalo de {1 index}

Sachetti => Sacchetti {1 index}

Salamantica => Salmantica {1 index}

Vaga, Luis de => Vargas, Luis de {page 195 & index}

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Cathedrals of Spain" ***

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