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Title: The Cathedrals of Northern Spain
Author: Rudy, Charles
Language: English
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[Illustration: Bookcover]

[Illustration: inside cover]

_The Cathedral Series_

_The following, each 1 vol., library
12mo, cloth, gilt top, profusely illustrated.

_The Cathedrals of Northern

_The Cathedrals of Southern

_The Cathedrals of England BY MARY J. TABER_

The following, each 1 vol., library
12mo, cloth, gilt top, profusely illustrated.
Net, $2.00

_The Cathedrals and Churches

_The Cathedrals of Northern

New England Building, Boston, Mass._

[Illustration: LEON CATHEDRAL

(_See page 154_)]

The Cathedrals of
Northern Spain






_Copyright, 1905_

_All rights reserved_

Published October, 1905

Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co.
Boston, U. S. A._



It is _à la mode_ to write prefaces. Some of us write good ones, others
bad, and most of us write neither good nor bad ones.

The chapter entitled "General Remarks" is the real introduction to the
book, so in these lines I shall pen a few words of self-introduction to
such readers as belong to the class to whom I have dedicated this

My love for Spain is unbounded. As great as is my love for the people,
so great also is my depreciation for those who have wronged her, being
her sons. Who are they? They know that best themselves.

Spain's architecture is both agreeable and disagreeable, but it is all
of it peculiarly Spanish. A foreigner, dropping as by accident across
the Pyrenees from France, can do nothing better than criticize all
architectural monuments he meets with in a five days' journey across
Spain with a Cook's ticket in his pocketbook. It is natural he should do
so. Everything is so totally different from the pure (_sic_) styles he
has learned to admire in France!

But we who have lived years in Spain grow to like and admire just such
complex compositions as the cathedrals of Toledo, of Santiago, and La
Seo in Saragosse; we lose our narrow-mindedness, and fail to see why a
pure Gothic or an Italian Renaissance should be better than an Iberian
cathedral. As long as harmony exists between the different parts, all is
well. The moment this harmony does not exist, our sense of the
artistically beautiful is shocked--and the building is a bad one.

Personality is consequently ever uppermost in all art criticism or
admiration. But it should not be influenced by the words pure, flawless,
etc. Were such to be the case, there would be but one good cathedral in
Spain, namely, that of Leon, a French temple built by foreigners on
Spanish soil. Yet nothing is less Spanish than the cathedral of Leon.

Under the circumstances, it is necessary, upon visiting Spain, to
discard foreignisms and turn a Spaniard, if but for a few days.
Otherwise the tourist will not understand the country's art monuments,
and will be inclined to leave the peninsula as he entered it, not a
whit the wiser for having come.

To help the traveller to understand the whys and wherefores of Spanish
architecture, I have written the "Introductory Studies." I hope they
will enable him to become a Spaniard, or, at least, to join the
enthusiastic army of _Hispanófilos_.


MADRID, _July, 1905_


CHAPTER                               PAGE


I. General Remarks                      11

II. Historical Arabesques               18

III. Architectural Arabesques           35

IV. Conclusion                          66


I. Santiago de Campostela               75

II. Corunna                             89

III. Mondoñedo                          95

IV. Lugo                               102

V. Orense                              110

VI. Tuy                                120

VII. Bayona and Vigo                   131


I. Oviedo                              137

II. Covadonga                          145

III. Leon                              150

IV. Astorga                            167

V. Burgos                              174

VI. Santander                          188

VII. Vitoria                           192

VIII. Upper Rioja                      196

IX. Soria                              209


I. Palencia                            219

II. Zamora                             230

III. Toro                              244

IV. Salamanca                          251

V. Ciudad Rodrigo                      269

VI. Coria                              278

VII. Plasencia                         284


I. Valladolid                          293

II. Avila                              302

III. Segovia                           312

IV. Madrid-Alcalá                      321

V. Sigüenza                            335

VI. Cuenca                             342

VII. Toledo                            349

Appendix                               369

Index                                  387

[Note of Transcriber of the ebook]



Leon Cathedral (_See page 154_)        _Frontispiece_

Cloister Stalls in a Monastic Church at Leon      48

Typical Retablo (Palencia)                        50

Mudejar Architecture (Sahagun)                    64

Santiago and Its Cathedral                        82

Church of Santiago, Corunna                       92

General View of Mondoñedo                         96

Mondoñedo Cathedral                               98

Northern Portal of Orense Cathedral              116

Tuy Cathedral                                    128

Oviedo Cathedral                                 140

Cloister of Oviedo Cathedral                     144

Apse of San Isidoro, Leon                        164

Burgos Cathedral                                 180

Crypt of Santander Cathedral                     190

Cloister of Nájera Cathedral                     202

Santa Maria la Redonda, Logroño                  204

Western Front of Calahorra Cathedral             207

Cloister of Soria Cathedral                      212

Palencia Cathedral                               226

Zamora Cathedral                                 238

Toro Cathedral                                   248

Old Salamanca Cathedral                          260

New Salamanca Cathedral                          266

Cuidad Rodrigo Cathedral                         272

Façade of Plasencia Cathedral                    288

Western Front of Valladolid Cathedral            300

Tower of Avila Cathedral                         310

Segovia Cathedral                                316

San Isidro, Madrid                               326

Alcalá de Henares Cathedral                      332

Toledo Cathedral                                 360


_Introductory Studies_

_The Cathedrals of Northern Spain_



History and architecture go hand in hand; the former is not complete if
it does not mention the latter, and the latter is incomprehensible if
the former is entirely ignored.

The following chapters are therefore historical and architectural; they
are based on evolutionary principles and seek to demonstrate the motives
of certain artistic phenomena.

Many of the ideas superficially mentioned in the following essays will
be severely discussed, for they are original; others are based on two
excellent modern historical works, namely, "The History of the Spanish
People," by Major Martin Hume, and "Historia de España," by Señor Rafael
Altamira. These two works can be regarded as the _dernier mot_
concerning the evolution of Spanish history.

Unluckily, however, the author has been unable to consult any work on
architecture which might have given him a concise idea of the story of
its gradual evolution and development, and of the different art-waves
which flowed across the peninsula during the stormy period of the middle
ages, which, properly speaking, begins with the Arab invasion of the
eighth century and ends with the fall of Granada, in the fifteenth.

Several works on Spanish architecture have been written (the reader will
find them mentioned elsewhere), but none treats the matter from an
evolutionary standpoint. On the contrary, most of them are limited to
the study of a period, of a style or of a locality; hence they cannot
claim to be a _dernier mot_. Such a work has still to be written.

Be it understood, nevertheless, that the author does not pretend--_Dios
me libre!_--to have supplied the lack in the following pages. In a
couple of thousand words it would be utterly impossible to do so. No; a
complete, evolutionary study of Spanish architecture would imply years
of labour, of travel, and of study. For so much on the peninsula is
hybrid and exotic, and yet again, so much is peculiar to Spain alone.
Thus it is often most difficult to determine which art phenomena are
natural--that is, which are the logical results of a well-defined art
movement--and which are artificial or the casual product of elements
utterly foreign to Spanish soil.

Willingly the author leaves to other and wiser heads the solving of the
above riddle. He hopes, nevertheless, that they (those who care to
undertake the mentioned task) will find some remarks or some
observations in the following chapters to help them discover the real
truth concerning the Spaniard's love, or his insensibility for
architectural monuments, as well as his share in the erection of
cathedrals, palaces, and castles.

Spanish architecture--better still, architecture in Spain--is peculiarly
strange and foreign to us Northerners. We admire many edifices in
Iberia, but are unable to say wherefore; we are overawed at the
magnificence displayed in the interior of cathedral churches and at a
loss to explain the reason.

As regards the former, it can be attributed to the Oriental spirit still
throbbing in the country; not in vain did the Moor inhabit Iberia for
nearly eight hundred years!

The powerful influence of the Church on the inhabitants, an influence
that has lasted from the middle ages to the present day, explains the
other phenomenon. Even to-day, in Spain, the Pope is supreme and the
princes of the Church are the rulers.

Does the country gain thereby? Not at all. Andalusia is in a miserable
state of poverty, so are Extremadura, La Mancha, and Castile. Not a
penny do the rich, or even royalty, give to better the country people's
piteous lot; neither does the Church.

It is nevertheless necessary to be just. In studying the evolutionary
history of architecture in Spain, we must praise the tyranny of the
Church which spent the millions of dollars of the poor in erecting such
marvels as the cathedral of Toledo, etc., and we must ignore the
sweating farmer, the terror-stricken Jew, the accused heretic, the
disgraced courtier, the seafaring conquistador, who gave up their all to
buy a few months' life, the respite of an hour.

And the author has striven to be impartial in the following pages. Once
in awhile his bitterness has escaped the pen, but be it plainly
understood that not one of his remarks is aimed against Spain, a country
and a people to be admired,--above all to be pitied, for they, the
people, are slaves to an arrogant Church, to a self-amusing royalty, and
to a grasping horde of second-rate politicians.



The history of Spain is, perhaps, more than that of any other nation,
one long series of thrilling, contradictory, and frequently
incomprehensible events.

This is not only due to the country's past importance as a powerful
factor in the evolution of our modern civilization, but to the
unforeseen doings of fate. Fate enchained and enslaved its people,
moulded its greatness and wrought its ruin. Of no other country can it
so truthfully be said that it was the unwitting tool of some higher
destiny. Most of the phenomena of its history took place in spite of the
people's wishes or votes; neither did the different art questions,
styles, periods, or movements emanate from the people. This must be
borne in mind.

The Romans were the first to come to Spain with a view to conquering the
land, and to organizing the half-savage clans or tribes who roamed
through the thickets and across the plains. But nowhere did the great
rulers of the world encounter such fierce resistance. The clans were
extremely warlike and, besides, intensely individual. They did not only
oppose the foreigner's conquest of the land, but also his system of
organization, which consisted in the submission of the individual to the

The clans or tribes recognized no other law than their own sweet will;
they acted independently of each other, and only on rare occasions did
they fight in groups. They were local patriots who recognized no
fatherland beyond their natal vale or village.

This primary characteristic of the Spanish people is the clue to many of
the subsequent events of the country's history. Against it the Romans
fought, but fought in vain, for they were not able to overcome it.

Christianity dawned in the East and was introduced into Spain, some say
by St. James in the north, others by St. Peter or St. Paul in the south.

The result was astonishing: what Roman swords, laws, and highroads had
been unable to accomplish (as regards the organization of the savage
tribes) Christianity brought about in a comparatively short lapse of

The reason is twofold. In the first place, the new form of religion
taught that all men were equal; consequently it was more to the taste of
the individualistic Spaniard than the state doctrines of the Roman

Secondly, it permitted him to worship his deity in as many forms
(saints) as there were days in the year; consequently each village or
town could boast of its own saint, prophet, or martyr, who, in the minds
of the citizens, was greater than all other saints, and really the god
of their fervent adoration.

Hence Christianity was able to introduce into the Roman province of
Hispania a social organization which was to exert a lasting influence on
the country and to acquire an unheard-of degree of wealth and power.

When the temporal domination of Rome in Spain had dwindled away to
nothing, other foreigners, the Visigoths, usurped the fictitious rule.
Their state was civil in name, military in organization, and
ecclesiastical in reality.

They formed no nation, however, though they preserved the broken
fragments of the West Roman Empire. The same spirit of individualism
characterized the tribes or people, and they swore allegiance to their
local saint (God) and to the priest who was his representative on earth
(Church)--but to no one else.

Consequently it can be assumed that the Spanish nation had not as yet
been born; the controlling power had passed from the hands of one
foreigner to those of another: only one institution--the Church--could
claim to possess a national character; around it, or upon its
foundations, the nation was to be built up, stone by stone, and turret
by turret.

       *       *       *       *       *

The third foreigner appeared on the scene. He was doubtless the most
important factor in the formation of the Spanish nation.

It is probable that the Church called him over the Straits of Gibraltar
as an aid against Rodrigo, the last Visigothic king, who lost his throne
and his life because too deeply in love with his beautiful Tolesian

Legends explain the Moor's landing differently. Sohail, as powerfully
narrated by Mr. Cunninghame-Graham, is one of these legends, beautifully
fatalistic and exceptionally interesting. According to it, the destiny
of the Moors is ruled by a star named Sohail. Whither it goes they must
follow it.

In the eighth century it happened that Sohail, in her irregular course
across the heavens, was to be seen, a brilliant star, from Gibraltar.
Obeying the stellar call, Tarik landed in Spain and moved northwards at
the head of his irresistible, fanatic hordes. The star continued its
northerly movement, visible one fine night from the Arab tents pitched
on the plains between Poitiers and Tours. The next night, however, it
was no longer visible, and Charles Martel drove the invading Moors back
to the south.

Centuries went by and Sohail appeared ever lower down on the southern
horizon. One night it was only visible from Granada, and then Spain saw
it no more. That same day--'twas in the fifteenth century--Boabdil el
Chico surrendered the keys of Granada, and the Arabs fled, obeying the
retreating star's call.

To-day they are waiting in the north of Africa for Sohail to move once
again to the north: when she does so, they will rise again as a single
man, and regain their passionately loved Alhambra, their beautiful
kingdom of Andalusia.

Tradition is fond of showing us a nucleus of fervent Christian patriots
obliged by the invading Arab hordes to retire to the north-western
corner of the Iberian peninsula. Here they made a stand, a last glorious
stand, and, gradually increasing in strength, they were at last able to
drive back the invader inch by inch until he fled across the straits to
trouble Iberia no more.

Nothing is, however, less true. The noblemen and monarchs of Galicia,
Leon, and Oviedo--later of Castile, Navarra, and Aragon--were so many
petty lords who, fighting continually among themselves, ruled over
fragments of the defeated Visigothic kingdom. At times they called in
the Arab enemy--to whom in the early centuries they paid a yearly
tribute--to help them against the encroachments of their brother
Christians. Consequently they lacked that spirit of patriotism and of
national ambition which might have justified their claims to be called
monarchs or rulers of Spain.

The Church was no better. Its bishops were independent princes who ruled
in their dioceses like sovereigns in their palaces; they recognized no
supreme master, not even the Pope, whose advice was ignored, and whose
orders were disobeyed.

It was not until the twelfth or thirteenth century that the Christian
incursions into Moorish territory took the form of patriotic crusades,
in which fervent Christians burnt with the holy desire of weeding out of
the peninsula the Saracen infidel.

This holy crusade was due to the coming from France and Italy of the
Cluny monks. Foreigners,--like the Romans, the Church, the Visigoths,
and the Moors,--they created a situation which facilitated the union of
the different monarchs, prelates, and noblemen, by showing them a common
cause to fight for. Besides, anxious to establish the supreme power of
the Pope in a land where his authority was a dead letter, they crossed
the Pyrenees and broke the absolute power of the arrogant prelates.

The result was obvious: the Church became uniform throughout the
country, and its influence waxed to the detriment of that of the
noblemen. Once again the kings learnt to rely upon the former, thus
putting an end to the power of the latter. Once more the Church grew to
be an ecclesiastical organization in which the role of the prelates
became more important as time went on.

In short, if the coming of the Moors retarded for nearly six hundred
years the birth of the Spanish nation, this birth was directly brought
about by the political ability of the Cluny monks; the Moors, on the
other hand, exerted a direct and lasting influence on the shaping and
moulding of the future nation.

Christian Spain, at the time of the death of the pious warrior-king San
Fernando, was roughly divided into an eastern and a western half, into
the kingdom of Castile (and Leon) and that of Aragon. The fusion of
these two halves by the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabel, two hundred
years later, marks the date of the birth of Spain as a nation.

It is true, nevertheless, that the people had little or no voice in the
arrangement of matters. They were indifferent to what their crowned
rulers were doing, and ignorant of the growing power, wealth, and
learning of the prelates. All they asked for was individual liberty and
permission to pray to the God of their choice. Neither had as yet the
spirit of patriotism burned in their breasts, and they were utterly
insensible to any and all politics which concerned the peninsula as a

But the Church-state had successfully evolutionized, and Catholic kings
sat on the only available throne. The last Moor had been driven from the
peninsula, the Jews had been expelled from the Catholic kingdom, and the
Inquisition--now that the Church could no longer direct its energy
against the infidel--strengthened the Pope's hold on the land and
increased the importance and magnificence of the prelates themselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

A word as to heresy (the Reformation) and the Inquisition. The latter
was not directed against the former, for it would have been impossible
for the people to accept the reformed faith in the fifteenth century.
For the Spaniard the charm of the Christian religion was that it placed
him on an equal footing with all men; hence, it flattered his love of
personal liberty and his self-consciousness or pride. The charm of
Catholicism was that it enabled him to adore a local deity in the shape
of a martyred saint; thus, it flattered his vanity as a clansman, and
his spirit of individualism.

It was not so much the God of Christianity he worshipped as Our Lady of
the Pillar, Our Lady of Sorrows, of the Camino, etc., and he obeyed less
readily the archbishop than the custodian priest of his particular
saint, of whom he declared "that he could humiliate all other saints."

Consequently Protestantism, which tended to kill this local worship by
upholding that of a collective deity, could never have taken a serious
hold of the country, and it is doubtful if it ever will.

On the other hand--as previously remarked--the Spanish Inquisition
helped to centralize the Church's power and obliged the people to accept
its decisions as final. The effect of Torquemada's policy is still to be
felt in Spain--could it be otherwise?

       *       *       *       *       *

Had successive events in this stage of Spain's history followed a normal
course, and had the education of the people been fostered by the state
instead of being cursed by the Church, it is more than probable that the
map of Europe would have been different to-day from what it is. For the
Spanish people would have learnt to think as patriots, as a nation; they
would have developed their country's rich soil and thickly populated
the vast _vegas_; they would have taken the offensive against foreign
nations, and would have chased and battled the Moor beyond the Straits
of Gibraltar.

It was not to be, however. An abnormal event was to take place--and did
take place--which repeated in fair Iberia the retrograde movement
initiated by the Arab invasion 750 years earlier.

A foreigner was again the cause of this new phenomenon, a harebrained
Genoese navigator whom the world calls a genius because he was
successful, but who was an evil genius for the new-born Spanish nation,
one who was to load his adopted country with unparalleled fame and glory
before causing her rapid and clashing downfall.

Christopher Columbus came to Spain from the east; he sailed westwards
from Spain and discovered--for Spain!--two vast continents.

The importance of this event for Spain is apt to be overlooked by those
who are blinded by the unexpected realization of Columbus's daring
dreams. It was as though a volcanic eruption had taken place in a virgin
soil, tossing earth and grass, layers and strata of stone, hither and
thither in utter confusion, impeding the further growth of young
plantlets and forbidding the building up of a solid national edifice.

Instead of devoting their energies to the interior organization of the
country, Spaniards turned their eyes to the New World. In exchange for
the gold and precious stones which poured into the land, they gave that
which left the country poor and weak indeed: their blood and their
lives. The bravest and most intrepid leaders crossed the seas with their
followers, and behind them sailed thousands upon thousands of hardy
adventurers and soldiers.

But the Spaniards could not colonize. They lacked those qualities of
collectivity which characterized Rome and England. The individualistic
spirit of the people caused them to go and to come as they chose without
possessing any ambition of establishing in the newly acquired
territories a home and a family; neither did the women folk
emigrate--and hence the failure of Spain as a colonizing power.

On the other hand, those who had sailed the seas to the Spanish main,
and had hoarded up a significant treasure, invariably returned, not to
Spain exactly, but to their native town or village. Upon arriving home,
their first act was to bequeath a considerable sum to the Church, so as
to ease their conscience and to assure themselves homage, respect, and
unrestrained liberty.

The effects produced by this phenomenon of individualism were manifold.
They exist even to-day, so lasting were they.

A new nobility was created--wealthy, powerful, and generally arrogant
and unscrupulous, which replaced the feudal aristocracy of the middle

Secondly, oligarchy--or better still, _caciquismo_, an individualistic
form of oligarchy--sprung up into existence, and rapidly became the bane
of modern Spain; that is, ever since the Bourbon dynasty ruled the
country's fate. As can easily be understood, this _caciquismo_ can only
flourish there where individualism is the leading characteristic of the

Thirdly, all hopes of the country's possessing a well-to-do middle
class--stamina of a wealthy nation, and without which no people can
attain a national standard of wealth--vanished completely away.

Lastly the Church, which had become wealthy beyond the dreams of the
Cluny monks, retained its iron grip on the country, and retarded the
liberal education of the masses. To repay the fidelity of servile
Catholics, it canonized legions of local prophets and martyrs, and
organized hundreds of gay annual _fiestas_ to honour their memory. The
ignorant people, flattered at the tribute of admiration paid to their
deities, looked no further ahead into the growing chaos of misery and
poverty, and were happy.

The crash came--could it be otherwise? Beyond the seas an immense
territory, hundreds of times larger than the natal _solar_, or mother
country, stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific; at home, a
stillborn nation lay in an arid meadow beside a solemn church, a
frivolous, selfish throne, and a mute and gloomy brick-built convent.

The Spanish Armada sailed to England never to return, and Philip II.
built the Escorial, a melancholy pantheon for the kings of the Iberian

One by one the colonies dropped off, fragments of an illusory empire,
and at last the mother country stood once more stark naked as in the
days before Columbus left Palos harbour. But the mother's face was no
longer young and fresh like an infant's: wrinkles of age and of
suffering creased the brow and the chin, for not in vain was she, during
centuries, the toy of unmerciful fate.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such is, in gigantic strides, the history of Spain.

The volcanic eruption in the fifteenth century has left, it is true,
indelible traces in the country's soil. Nevertheless, on the very day
when the treaty of Paris was signed and the last of the Spanish colonies
_de ultramar_ were lost for ever, that day a Spanish nation was born
again on the disturbed foundations of the old.

There is no denying it: when Ferdinand and Isabel united their kingdoms
a nation was born; it fell to pieces (though apparently not until a
later date) when Columbus landed in America.

Anarchy, misrule, and oppression, ignorance and poverty, now frivolity
and now austerity at court, fill the succeeding centuries until the
coronation of Alfonso XII. During all those years, but once did
Spain--no longer a nation--shine forth in history with an even greater
brilliancy than when she claimed to be mistress of the world. But, on
this occasion, when she opposed, in brave but disbanded groups, the
invasion of the French legions, she gave another proof of the
individualistic instincts of the race, as opposed to all social and
compact organization of the masses.

The Carlist wars need but a passing remark. They were not national; they
were caused by the ambitions of rulers and noblemen, and fought out by
the inhabitants of Navarra and the Basque Provinces who upheld their
_fueros_, by paid soldiery, and by _aldeanos_ whose houses and families
were threatened.

       *       *       *       *       *

New Spain was born a few years ago, but so far she has given no proof of
vitality. As it is, she is cumbered by traditions and harassed by
memories. She must fight a sharp battle with existing evil institutions
handed down to her as a questionable legacy from the past.

If she emerge victorious from the struggle, universal history will hear
her name again, for the country is not _gastado_ or degenerate, as many
would have us believe.

If she fail to throw overboard the worthless and superfluous ballast, it
is possible that the ship of state will founder--and then, who knows?

In the meantime, let us not misjudge the Spaniard nor throw stones at
his broken glass mansion. To help us in this, let us remember that
unexpected vicissitudes, entirely foreign to his country, were the cause
of his illusory grandeur in the sixteenth century. Besides, no more
ardent a lover of individual (not social) freedom than the Spaniard
breathes in this wide world of ours--excepting it be the Moor.

Under the circumstances he is to be admired--even pitied.




The different periods mentioned in the preceding chapter are
characterized by a corresponding art-movement.

The germs of these movements came invariably from abroad. In Spain they
lingered, were localized and grew up, a species of hybrid plants in
which the foreign element was still visible, though it had undergone a
series of changes, due either to the addition of other elements, to the
inventive genius of the artist-architect, or else peculiar to the
locality in which the building was erected.

Other conclusive remarks arrived at in the foregoing study help to
explain the evolution of church architecture. Five were the conclusions:
(1) The power and wealth of the Church, (2) the influence exerted by
foreigners on the country's fate, (3) the individualistic spirit of the
clanspeople, (4) the short duration of a Spanish nation, nipped in the
bud before it could bloom, and (5) the formation of an oligarchy
(_caciquismo_) which hindered the establishment of an educated

The first of the above conclusive observations needs no further remarks,
considering that we are studying church architecture. It suffices to
indicate the great number of cathedrals, churches, hermitages,
monasteries, convents, cloisters, and episcopal palaces to be convinced
of the Church's influence on the country and on the purses of the

The Spaniard, psychologically speaking, is no artist; it is doubtful if
illiterate and uneducated people are, and the average inhabitant of
Spain forms no exception to this rule. His artistic talents are
exclusively limited to music, for which he has an excessively fine ear.
But beauty in the plastic arts and architecture leave him cold and
indifferent; he is influenced by mass, weight, and quantity rather than
by elegance or lightness, and consequently it is the same to him whether
a cathedral be Gothic or Romanesque, as long as it be dedicated to the
deity of his choice.

The difference between Italian and Iberian is therefore very marked.
Even the landscapes in each country prove it beyond a doubt. In Italy
they are composed of soft rolling lines; the colours are varied,--green,
red, and blue; the soil is damp and fruitful. In Spain, on the contrary,
everything is dry, arid, and savage; blue is the sky, red the brick
houses, and grayish golden the soil; the inhabitants are as savage as
the country, and the proverbial "_ma é piu bello_" of the Italian does
not bother the former in the slightest.

All of which goes to explain the Spaniard's insensibility to the plastic
arts, as well as (for instance) the universal use of huge _retablos_ or
altar-pieces, in which size and bright colours are all that is required
and the greater the size, the more clashing the colours, the better.

Neither is it surprising that the Spaniard created no architectural
school of his own. All he possesses is borrowed from abroad. His love of
Byzantine grotesqueness and of Moorish geometrical arabesques is
inherited, the one from the Visigoths, and the other directly from the
Moors. The remaining styles are northern and Italian, and were
introduced into the country by such foreigners--monks and artists--as
crowded to Spain in search of Spanish gold.

These artists (it is true that some, and perhaps the best of them, were
Spaniards) did not work for the people, for there was no _bourgeoisie_.
They worked for the wealthy prelates, for the aristocracy, and for the
_caciques_. These latter had sumptuous chapels decorated, dedicated an
altar to such and such a deity, and erected a magnificent sepulchre or
series of sepulchres for themselves and their families.

This peculiar phenomenon explains the wealth of Spanish churches in
lateral chapels. Not a cathedral but has about twenty of them; not a
church but possesses its half a dozen. Moreover, some of the very finest
examples of sepulchral art are not to be found in cathedrals, but in
out-of-the-way village churches, where some _cacique_ or other laid his
bones to rest and had his effigy carved on a gorgeous marble tomb.

These chapels are built in all possible styles and in all degrees of
splendour and magnificence, according to the generosity of the donor.
Here they bulge out, deforming the regular plan of the church, or else
they take up an important part of the interior of the building. There
they are Renaissance jewels in a Gothic temple, or else ogival marvels
in a Romanesque building. They are, as it were, small churches--or
important annexes like that of the Condestable in Burgos, possessing a
dome of its own--absolutely independent of the cathedral itself, rich in
decorative details, luxurious in the use of polished stone and metal, of
agate and golden accessories, of gilded friezes, low reliefs, and
painted _retablos_. They constitute one of the most characteristic
features of Spanish religious architecture and art in general, and it is
above all due to them that Iberia's cathedrals are museums rather than
solemn places of worship.

But the Spanish people did not erect them; they were commanded by vain
and death-fearing _caciques_, and erected by artists--generally
foreigners, though often natives. The people did not care nor take any
interest in the matter; so long as the village saint was not insulted,
nor their individual liberty (_fuero_) infringed upon, the world, its
artists and _caciques_, could do as it liked.

This insensibility helped to hinder the formation of a national style.
Besides, as the duration of the Spanish nation was so exceedingly short,
there was no time at hand to develop a national art school. In certain
localities, as in Galicia, a prevailing type or style was in common use,
and was slowly evolving into something strictly local and excellent.
These types, together with Moorish art, and above all _Mudejar_ work,
might have evolved still further and produced a national style. But the
nation fell to pieces like a dried-up barrel whose hoops are broken, and
the nation's style was never formed.

Besides, contemporary with the birth of the nation was the advent of the
Renaissance movement. This was the _coup de grâce_, the final blow to
any germs of a Spanish style, of a style composed of Christian and Islam
principles and ideals:

    "Es wär zu schön gewesen,
     Es hätt' nicht sollen sein!"

Under the circumstances, the art student in Spain, however enthusiastic
or one-sided he may be, cannot claim to discover a national school. He
must necessarily limit his studies to the analysis of the foreign art
waves which inundated the land; he must observe how they became
localized and were modified, how they were united both wisely and
ridiculously, and he must point out the reasons or causes of these
medleys and transformations. There his task ends.

One peculiarity will strike him: the peninsula possesses no pure Gothic,
Romanesque, or Renaissance building. The same might almost be stated as
regards Moorish art. The capitals of the pillars in the mezquita of
Cordoba are Latin-Romanesque, torn from a previous building by the
invading Arab to adorn his own temple. The Alhambra, likewise, shows
animal arabesques which are Byzantine and not Moorish. Nevertheless,
Arab art is, on the whole, purer in style than Christian art.

This transformation of foreign styles proves: (1) That though the
Spanish artist lacked creative genius, he was no base imitator, but
sought to combine; he sought to give the temple he had to construct that
heavy, massive, strong, and sombre aspect so well in harmony with the
religious and warlike spirit of the different clanspeople; and (2) that
the same artist failed completely to understand the ideal of soaring
ogival, of simple Renaissance, or of pure Romanesque (this latter he
understood better than either of the others). For him, they--as well as
Islam art--were but elements to be made use of. Apart from their
constructive use, they were superfluous, and the artist-architect was
blind to their ethical object or æsthetical value. With their aid he
built architectural wonders, but hybrid marvels, complex, grand,
luxurious, and magnificent.

Be it plainly understood, nevertheless, that in the above paragraphs no
contempt for Spanish cathedrals is either felt or implied. Facts are
stated, but no personal opinion is emitted as to which is better, a pure
Gothic or a complicated Spanish Gothic. In art there is really no
better; besides, comparisons are odious and here they are utterly

_Cathedral Churches_

Before accompanying the art student in his task of determining the
different foreign styles, we will do well to examine certain general
characteristics common to all Spanish cathedrals. We will then be able
to understand with greater ease the causes of the changes introduced
into pure styles.

The exterior aspect of all cathedrals is severe and massive, even naked
and solemn. Neither windows nor flying buttresses are used in such
profusion as in French cathedrals, and the height of the aisles is
greater. The object is doubtless to impart an idea of strength to the
exterior walls by raising them in a compact mass. An even greater effect
is obtained by square, heavy towers instead of elegant spires. (Compare,
however, chapters on Leon, Oviedo, Burgos, etc.) The use of domes
(_cimborios_, lanterns, and cupolas) is also frequent, most of them
being decidedly Oriental in appearance. The apse is prominent and
generally five-sided, warlike in its severe outline. Stone is invariably
used as the principal constructive element,--granite, _berroqueña_ (a
soft white stone turning deep gray with age and exposure), and _sillar_
or _silleria_ (a red sandstone cut into similar slabs of the size and
aspect of brick). Where red sandstone is used, the weaker parts of the
buildings are very often constructed in brick, and it is these
last-named cathedrals that are most Oriental in appearance, especially
when the brick surface is carved into _Mudejar_ reliefs.

Taken all in all, the whole building often resembles a castle or
fortress rather than a temple, in harmony with the austere, arid
landscape, and the fierce, passionate, and idolatrous character of the
clanspeople or inhabitants of the different regions.

The principal entrance is usually small in comparison to the height and
great mass of the building. The pointed arch--or series of arches--which
crowns the portal, is timid in its structure, or, in other words, is but
slightly pointed or not at all.

The interior aspect of the church is totally different. As bare and
naked as was the outside, so luxurious and magnificent is the inside.
Involuntarily mediæval Spanish palaces come to our mind: their gloomy
appearance from the outside, and the gay _patio_ or courtyard behind the
heavy, uninviting panels of the doors. The Moors even to this day employ
this system of architecture; its origin, even in the case of Christian
churches, is Oriental.

Leaving aside all architectural considerations, which will be referred
to in the chapters dedicated to the description of the various
cathedrals, let us examine the general disposition of some of the most
interesting parts of the Spanish church.

The aisles are, as a rule, high and dark, buried in perpetual shadow.
The lightest and airiest part of the building is beneath the _croisée_
(intersection of nave and transept), which is often crowned by a
handsome _cimborio_.

The nave is the most important member of the church, and the most
impressive view is obtained by the visitor standing beneath the

To the east of him, the nave terminates in a semicircular chapel, the
farther end of which boasts of an immense _retablo_; to the west, the
choir, with its stalls and organs, interrupts likewise the continuity of
the nave. Both choir and altar are rich in decorative details.

Behind the high altar runs the ambulatory, joining the aisles and
separating the former from the apse and its chapels. The rear wall of
the high altar (in the ambulatory) is called the _trasaltar_, where a
small altar is generally situated in a recess and dedicated to the
patron saint, that is, if the cathedral itself be dedicated to the
Virgin, as generally happens.

Sometimes an oval window pierces the wall of the _trasaltar_ and lets
the light from the apsidal windows enter the high altar; this
arrangement is called a _transparente_.

The choir, as wide as the nave and often as high, is rectangular; an
altar-table generally stands in the western extremity, which is closed
off by a wall. The rear of this wall (facing the western entrance to the
temple) is called the _trascoro_, and contains the altar or a chapel;
the lateral walls are also pierced by low rooms or niches which serve
either as chapels or as altar-frames.

The placing of the choir in the very centre of the church, its width and
height, and its enclosure on the western end by a wall, render
impossible a view of the whole building such as occurs in Northern
cathedrals, and upon which the impression of architectural grandeur and
majesty largely depends. It was as though Spanish architects were
utterly foreign to the latter impression, or wilfully murdered it by
substituting another more to their taste, namely, that of magnificence
and sumptuousness. Nowhere--to the author's knowledge--is this
impression more acutely felt than in a Spanish cathedral, viewed from
beneath the _croisée_.

Glittering brilliancy, dazzling gold, silver, or gilt, polished marble,
agate, and jasper, and a luxuriance of vivid colours meet the visitor's
eyes when standing there. The effect is theatrical, doubtless, but it
impresses the humble true believer as Oriental splendour; and what, in
other countries, might be considered as grotesque and unhealthy art,
must in Spain be regarded as the very essence of the country's worship,
the very _raison d'être_ of the cathedral. Neither can it be considered
as unhealthy: with us in the North, our _religious awe_ is produced by
the solemn majesty of rising shafts and long, high, and narrow aisles;
this fails to impress the Iberian of to-day; and yet, the same sentiment
of _religious awe_, of the terrible unknown, be it saint, Saviour,
Virgin, or God, is imparted to him by this brilliant display of
incalculable wealth.

To produce this magnificence in choir and high altar, decorative and
industrial art were given a free hand, and together wrought those
wonders of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries which
placed Spain in a prominent position in the history of art. Goldsmiths
and silversmiths, masters of ironcraft, sculptors in stone and wood,
painters and _estofadores_, together with a legion of other artists and
artisans of all classes and nationalities, worked together in unison to
create both choir and high altar.

Therefore, from an artistic point of view, the Spanish cathedral is for
the foreigner a museum, a collection of art objects, pertaining, most of
them, to the country's industrial arts, for which Iberia was first among
all nations.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHOIR STALLS.--Space cannot allow us to classify this most important
accessory of Spanish cathedrals. Carved in walnut or oak, now simple and
severe, now rich and florid, this branch of graphic art in low relief
constitutes one of Spain's most legitimate glories. It is strange that
no illustrated work dedicated exclusively to choir stalls should have
been published in any language. The tourist's attention must
nevertheless be drawn to this part of religious buildings; it must
not escape his observation when visiting cathedral and parish churches,
and above all, monastical churches.


       *       *       *       *       *

RETABLO.--The above remarks hold good here as well, when speaking about
the huge and imposing altar-pieces so universally characteristic of

The eastern wall of the holy chapel in a cathedral is entirely hidden
from top to bottom by the _retablo_, a painted wooden structure
resembling a huge honeycomb. It consists of niches flanked by gilded
columns. According to the construction of these columns, now Gothic
shafts, now Greek or composite, now simple and severe, the period to
which the _retablo_ belongs is determined.

Generally pyramidically superimposed, these niches, of the height,
breadth, and depth of an average man, contain life-size statues of
apostle or saint, painted and decorated by the _estofadores_ in
brilliant colours (of course, as they are intended to be seen from a
distance!), in which red and blue are predominant, and which produce a
gorgeous effect _rehaussé_ by the gilt columns of the niches. (Compare
with the Oriental taste of _Mudejar_ work in ceilings or

The whole _retablo_, in the low reliefs which form the base, and in the
statues or groups in the niches, represents graphically the life of the
Saviour or the Virgin, of the patron saint or an apostle; some of them
are of exquisite execution and of great variety and movement; in others,
greater attention has been paid to the decoration of the columns or
shafts by original floral garlands, etc. Foment, Juni, and Berruguete
are among the most noted _retablo_ sculptors, but space will not permit
of a more prolific classification or analysis.

       *       *       *       *       *

GOLD AND SILVERSMITHS.--The vessels used on the altar-table, effigies of
saints, processional crosses, etc., in beaten gold and silver, are well
worth examination. So is also the cathedral treasure, in some cases of
an immense value, both artistic and intrinsic. Cloths, woven in coloured
silks, gold, and precious stones, are beautiful enough to make any art
lover envious.

The central niche of the _retablo_, immediately above the altar-table,
is generally occupied by a massive beaten silver effigy, the artistic
value of which is unluckily partially concealed beneath a heap of
valuable cloths and jewels.


But where the silversmith's art is purest and most lavishly pronounced
is in the _sagrarios_. These are solid silver carved pyramids about two
or three feet high: they represent miniature temples or thrones with
shafts or columns supporting arches, windows, pinnacles, and cupolas. In
the interior, an effigy of the saint, or the Virgin, etc., to whom the
cathedral is dedicated, is to be seen seated on a throne.

In all cases the workmanship of these miniature temples is exquisite,
and has brought just fame to Spain's fifteenth and sixteenth century

       *       *       *       *       *

IRONCRAFT.--Last to be mentioned, but not least in importance, are the
artisans who worked in iron. They brought their trade up to the height
of a fine art of universal fame; their artistic window _rejas_, in the
houses and palaces of the rich, are the wonder of all art lovers, and so
also are the immense _rejas_ or grilles which close off the high altar
and the choir from the transept, or the entrance to chapels from the
aisles. Though this art has completely degenerated to-day, nevertheless,
a just remark was made in the author's hearing by an Englishman, who

"Even to-day, Spaniards are unable to make a bad _reja_."

       *       *       *       *       *

The reader's and tourist's attention has been called to the salient
artistic points of a Spanish cathedral. They must be examined one by
one, and they will be admired; the view of the ensemble will puzzle and
amaze him, yet it will be wise for him not to criticize harshly the lack
of _unity of style_. Frequently the choir stalls are ogival, the
_retablo_ Renaissance, the _rejas_ plateresque, and the general
decoration of columns, etc., of the most lavish grotesque.

This in itself is no sin, neither artistic nor ethical, as long as the
_religious awe_ comes home to the Spaniard, for whom these cathedrals
are intended. Besides, it is an open question whether the monotony of a
pure style be nobler than a luxurious moulding together of all styles.
The whole question is, do the different parts harmonize, or do they
produce a _criard_ impression.

The answer in all cases is purely personal. Yet, even if unfavourable,
the utility of the art demonstration must be borne in mind and
considered as well. And as regards the Spaniard, the utility does exist
beyond a doubt.

_Architectural Styles_

Let us now follow the art student in his task. He will determine the
different styles, and, to make the matter clearer, he will employ a
rhetorical figure:

There is an island in the sea. Huge breakers roar on the beach and dash
against the rocky cliffs. Second, third, and fourth breakers of varying
strength and energy race with the first, and are in their turn pushed
relentlessly on from behind until they ripple in dying surf on the
golden sands and boil in white spray in hidden clifts and caves. With
the years that roll along the island is shaped according to the will of
the waves.

Spain, figuratively speaking, is that island, or a peninsula off the
southwestern coast of the Old World, barred from France by the
impassable Pyrenees, and forming the link between Africa and Europe:
the first stepping-stone for the former in its northern march, the last
extremity or the rear-guard of the latter.

The breakers represent the different art movements which, born in
countries where _compact_ nations were fighting energetically for an
existence and for an ideal, flooded with terrible force the civilized
lands of the middle ages, and sought to outdo and conquer their rivals.

These breakers were: from the east, early Christian (both Latin-Lombard
and Byzantine); from the north, Gothic; from the south, Arab, or, to be
more accurate, Moorish. The first two were advocates of one
civilization, the Christian or Occidental; the latter was the
propagandist of another, the Neo-Oriental or Mohammedan.

The Renaissance was but a second or third breaker coming from the east,
which breathed new life into antiquated constructive and decorative
elements by adapting them to a new religion or faith.

Later architectural forms were but the periodical revival or combination
of one or another of the already existing elements.

Spain, thanks to her unique position, was the point where all these
contradictory waves met in a final endeavour to crush their opponents.
In Spain, Byzantine pillars fought against Lombard shafts, and Gothic
pinnacles rose haughtily beside the horseshoe arch and the _arc brisé_.
In Spain Christianity grappled with the Islam faith and sent it bleeding
back to the wilds of Africa; in Spain the polygon, circle, and square
struggled for supremacy and lost their personality in the complex
blending of the one with the other, and minarets, cupolas, and spires
combined in bizarre fantasy and richness of decoration to serve the
ambitions of mighty prelates, fanatic kings, and death-fearing noblemen.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such is, rhetorically speaking, the history of architecture of Spain.
Cathedrals had a _cachet_ of their own, either national (in certain
characteristics) or else local. But the elements of which they were
composed were foreign. That is, excepting in the case of Spanish-Moorish

Moorish art! In the second volume (Southern Spain), the author of these
lines will dedicate several paragraphs to the art of the Moors in Spain.
Suffice to assert in the present chapter the following statements.

(1) Moorish art in Spain is peculiar to the Arabs who inhabited the
peninsula during seven hundred years. Consequently this art, born on
Iberian soil, cannot be regarded as foreign.

(2) Much of what is called Moorish art owes its existence to the
Christians, to the Muzarabs and Jews who inhabited cities which were
dependent upon or belonged to the Moors. In the same way, much of the
Oriental taste of the Spanish Christians was inherited from the Moors
and received in Spain the generic name of _Mudejar_.

(3) The art of the Moors, though largely used in Spain, especially in
the south, rarely entered into cathedral structures, though often
noticeable in churches, cloisters, and in decorative motives.

(4) The Moors learnt more art motives in Spain than they introduced into
the country.

These and many other points of interest will have to be neglected in the
present chapter. For the cathedrals of the north are (as regards the
ideal which brought about their erection) radically opposed to Moorish

Prehistoric Roman and Visigothic (?) art are equally unimportant in this
study, as neither the one nor the other constructed any Christian temple
standing to-day. That is to say, cathedral; for Visigothic or early
Latin and Byzantine Romanesque churches do exist in Asturias, and a
notable specimen in Venta de Baños. They are peculiarly strange
edifices, and it is to be regretted that they are not cathedrals, for
their study would be most interesting, not only as regards Iberian art,
but above all as regards the history of art in the middle ages. So far,
they have been completely neglected, and, unfortunately, are but little
known abroad.

       *       *       *       *       *

ROMANESQUE.--The origin of Romanesque is greatly discussed. Some
attribute it to Italy, others to France; others again are of the
conviction that all Christian (religious) art previous to the birth of
Gothic is Romanesque, etc., etc. The most plausible theory is that the
style in question evolved out of the early Latin-Christian (basilique)
style, at the same time borrowing many decorative details from the
Byzantine-Christian style.

In Spain, pre-Romanesque Christian architecture (or Visigothic) shows
decided Byzantine influence, more so, probably, than in any other
European country. This peculiarity influences also Romanesque, both
early and late. It is not strange, either, considering that an important
colony of _Bizantinos_ (Christians) settled in Eastern Andalusia during
the Visigothic period.

In the tenth century churches, and in the eleventh cathedrals, commenced
to be erected in Northern Spain. Byzantine influence was very marked in
the earlier monuments.

Was Romanesque a foreign style? Was it introduced from Italy or France,
or was it a natural outcome or evolutionary product of decadent early
Christian architecture? In the latter case there is no saying where it
evolved, possibly to the north or to the south of the Pyrenees, possibly
to the east or to the west of the Alps. What is more, the Pyrenees in
those days did not serve as a strict frontier line like to-day; on the
contrary, both Navarra and Aragon extended beyond the mountainous wall,
and the dukes of Southern France occasionally possessed immense
territories and cities to the south of the Pyrenees.

Be that as it may, Romanesque, as a style, first dawned in Spain in the
tenth and eleventh centuries. Its birth coincided with that of the
popular religious crusade against the Moor who had inhabited the
peninsula during four centuries; it coincided also with the great
church-erecting period of Northern Spanish history, when the Alfonsos of
Castile created bishoprics (to aid them in their political ambitions) as
easily as they broke inconvenient treaties and savagely murdered
friends, relatives, and foes alike. Consequently, many were the
Romanesque cathedrals erected, and though the greater part were
destroyed later and replaced by Gothic structures, several fine
specimens of the former style are still to be seen.

Needless to say, Romanesque became localized; in other words, it
acquired certain characteristics restricted to determined regions.
Galician Romanesque and that of Western Castile, for instance, are
almost totally different in aspect: the former is exceedingly poetical
and possesses carved wall decorations both rich and excellent; the
latter is intensely strong and warlike, and the decorations, if
employed at all, are Byzantine, or at least Oriental in taste.

       *       *       *       *       *

TRANSITION.--Many of the cathedrals of Galicia belong, according to
several authors, to this period in which Romanesque strength evolved
into primitive Gothic or ogival airiness. In another chapter a personal
opinion has been emitted denying the accuracy of the above remark.

There is no typical example of Transition in Spain. Ogival changes
introduced at a later date into Romanesque churches, a very common
occurrence, cannot justify the classification of the buildings as
Transition monuments.

Nor is it surprising that such buildings should be lacking in Spain. For
Gothic did not evolve from Romanesque in the peninsula, but was
introduced from France. A short time after its first appearance it swept
all before it, thanks to the Cluny monks, and was exclusively used in
church-building. In a strict sense it stands, moreover, to reason that
the former (Transition) can only exist there where a new style emerges
from an old without being introduced from abroad.

       *       *       *       *       *

OGIVAL ART.--The thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries are,
properly speaking, those of the great northern art wave which spread
rapidly through the peninsula, bending all before its irresistible will.
Romanesque churches were destroyed or modified (the introduction of an
ambulatory in almost all Romanesque buildings), and new cathedrals
sprung up, called into existence by the needs and requirements of a new
people, a conquering, Christian people, driving the infidel out of the
land, and raising the Holy Cross on the sacred monuments of the Islam

The changements introduced into the new style tended to give it a more
severe and defiant exterior appearance than in northern churches,--a
scarcity of windows and flying buttresses, timidly pointed arches, and
solid towers. Besides, round-headed arches (vaultings and horizontal
lines) were indiscriminately used to break the vertical tendency of pure
ogival; so also were Byzantine cupolas and domes.

The solemn, cold, and naked cathedral church of Alcalá de Henares is a
fine example of the above. Few people would consider it to belong to the
same class as the eloquent cathedral of Leon and the no less imposing
see of Burgos. Nevertheless, it is, every inch of it, as pure Gothic as
the last named, only, it is essentially Spanish, the other two being
French; it bears the sombre _cachet_ of the age of Spanish Inquisition,
of the fanatic intolerant age of the Catholic kings.

       *       *       *       *       *

LATER STYLES.--Toward the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the
sixteenth centuries, Italian Renaissance entered the country and drove
Gothic architecture out of the minds of artists and patronizing

But Italian Renaissance failed to impress the Spaniard, whose character
was opposed to that of his Mediterranean cousin; so also was the general
aspect of his country different from that of Italy. Consequently, it is
not surprising that we should find very few pure Renaissance monuments
on the peninsula. On the other hand, Spanish Renaissance--a florid form
of the Italian--is frequently to be met with; in its severest form it is
called _plateresco_.

In the times of Philip II., Juan Herrero created his style (Escorial),
of which symmetry, grandeur in size, and poverty in decoration were the
leading characteristics. The reaction came, however, quickly, and
Churriguera introduced the most astounding and theatrical grotesque

The later history of Spanish architecture is similar to that of the rest
of Europe. As it is, the period which above all interests us here is
that reaching from the eleventh to the sixteenth centuries, embracing
Romanesque, ogival, and plateresque styles. Of the cathedrals treated of
in this volume, all belong to either of the two first named
architectural schools, excepting those of Valladolid, Madrid, and, to a
certain extent, the new cathedral of Salamanca and that of Segovia.

       *       *       *       *       *

MUDEJAR ART.--Previous to the advent of Italian Renaissance in Spain, a
new art had been created which was purely national, having been born on
the peninsula as the complex product of Christian and Islam elements.
This art, known by the generic name of _Mudejar_, received a mortal blow
at the hands of the new Italian art movement. Consequently, the only
school which might have been regarded as Spanish, degenerated sadly,
sharing the fate of the new-born nation.

Rather than a constructive style, the _Mudejar_ or Spanish style is
decorative. With admirable variety and profusion it ornamented brick
surfaces by covering them with reliefs, either geometrical (Moorish) or
Gothic, either sunk into the wall or else the latter cut around the

The aspect of these _Mudejar_ buildings is peculiar. In a ruddy plain
beneath a dazzling blue sky, these red brick churches gleam thirstily
from afar. Shadows play among the reliefs, lending them strength and
vigour; the _alminar_ tower stands forth prominently against the sky and
contrasts delightfully with the cupola raised on the apse or on the

Among the finest examples of _Mudejar_ art, must be counted the
brilliantly coloured ceilings, such as are to be seen in Alcalá, Toledo,
and elsewhere. These _artesonados_, without being Moorish, are,
nevertheless, of a pronounced Oriental taste. A geometrical pattern is
carved on the wood of the ceiling and brilliantly painted. Prominent
surfaces are preferably golden in hue, and such as are sunk beneath the
level are red or blue. The effect is dazzling.


Unluckily, but little attention has been paid out of Spain to
_Mudejar_ art, and it is but little known. Even Spanish critics do not
agree as to the national significance of this art, and it is a great
pity, as unfortunately the country can point to no other art phenomena
and claim them to be Spanish. How can it, when the nation had not as yet
been born, and, once born, was to die almost simultaneously, like a moth
that flies blindly and headlong into an intense flame?



Spain geographically can be roughly divided into two parts, a northern
and southern, separated by a mountain chain, composed of the Sierras de
Guaderrama, Gredos, and Gata to the north of Madrid.

Such a division does not, however, explain the historical development of
the Christian kingdoms from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries, nor
is it advisable to adopt it for an architectural study.

During the great period of church-building, the nine kingdoms of Spain
formed four distinct groups: Galicia, Asturias, Leon, and Castile;
Navarra and Aragon; Barcelona and Valencia; Andalusia.

The first group gradually evolved until Castile absorbed the remaining
three kingdoms, and later Andalusia as well; the second and third groups
succumbed to the royal house of Aragon.

From an architectural point of view, there are three groups, or even
four: Castile, Aragon, the Mediterranean coast-line, and Andalusia. In
the last three the Oriental influence is far more pronounced than in the
first named.

Further, Spain is divided into nine archbishoprics: four corresponding
to Castile (Santiago, Burgos, Valladolid, and Toledo); one to Aragon
(Zaragoza); two to the Mediterranean coast (Tarragon and Valencia); and
two to Andalusia (Sevilla and Granada).

It was the author's object to preserve as far as possible in the
following chapters and in the general subdivision of his work, not only
the geographical, but the historical, architectural, and ecclesiastical
divisions as well. Better still, he sacrificed the first when
incompatible with the latter three.

But--and here the difficulty arose--what title should be chosen for each
of the two volumes which were to be dedicated to Spain? Because two
volumes were necessary, considering the eighty odd cathedrals to be

"Cathedrals of Northern Spain" as opposed to "Cathedrals of Southern
Spain"--was one of the titles. "Gothic cathedrals of Spain"--as opposed
to "Moorish Cathedrals of Spain"--was another; the latter had to be
discarded, as only one Moorish mezquita converted into a Christian
temple exists to-day, namely, that of Cordoba.

There remained, therefore, the first title.

The first volume, discarding Navarra and Aragon (in the north), is
dedicated to Castile, as well as its four archbishoprics.

The narrow belt of land, running from east to west, from Cuenca to
Coria, to the south of the Sierra de Guaderrama, and constituting the
archbishopric of Toledo, has been added to the region lying to the north
and to the northwest of Madrid.

Moreover, to aid the reader, the present volume has been divided into
parts, namely: Galicia, the North, and Castile; the latter has been
subdivided into western and eastern, making in all four divisions.

(1) _Galicia._ Santiago de Campostela is, from an ecclesiastical point
of view, all Galicia. Thanks to this spirit, the entire region shows a
decided uniformity in the style of its churches, for that of Santiago
(Romanesque) served as a pattern or model to be adopted in the remaining
sees. The character of the people is no less uniform, and the Celtic
inheritance of poetry has drifted into the monuments of the Christian

The episcopal see of Oviedo falls under the jurisdiction of Santiago;
the Gothic cathedral shows no Romanesque motives excepting the Camara
Sagrada, and has therefore been included in--

(2) _The North._ With the exception of Oviedo, all the bishoprics in
this group fall under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Burgos. The
two finest Gothic temples in Northern Spain pertain to this group:
Burgos and Leon.

There is, however, but little uniformity in this northern region, for
Santander and Vitoria have but little in common with the remaining sees.

(3) _Western Castile._ A certain degree of uniformity is seen to exist
among the sees of Western Castile, namely, the warlike appearance of the
Byzantine Romanesque edifices. Besides, the use of sandstone and brick
is here universal, and the immense plain of Old Castile to the north of
the Sierra de Gata, and of Northern Extremadura to the south of the same
range, have a peculiar ruddy aspect, dry and Oriental (African?), that
is perfectly delightful.

The sees to the north of the mentioned mountain chain belong to
Valladolid; those of the south to Toledo.

(4) _Eastern Castile_ extends from Valladolid in the north
(archbishopric) to Toledo in the south (archbishopric), from Avila in
the west to Sigüenza in the east, and to Cuenca in the extreme southeast
of New Castile.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the middle ages the Christian kings of Asturias (Galicia?) grew more
and more powerful, and their territory stretched out to the south and to
the east.

On the Miño River, Tuy and Orense were frontier towns, to populate
which, bishoprics were erected. To the south of Oviedo, and almost on a
line with the two Galician towns, Astorga, Leon and Burgos were strongly
fortified, and formed an imaginary line to the north of which ruled
Christian monarchs, and to the south Arab emirs.

Burgos at the same time served as fortress-town against the rival kings
of Navarra to the north and east; the latter, on the other hand,
fortified the Rioja against Castile until at last it fell into the
hands of the latter. Then Burgos, no longer a frontier town, grew to be
capital of the new-formed kingdom of Castile.

Slowly, but surely, the Arabs moved southwards, followed by the
implacable line of Christian fortresses. At one time Valladolid,
Palencia, Toro, and Zamora formed this line. When Toledo was conquered
it was substituted by Coria, Plasencia, Sigüenza, and, slightly to the
north, by Madrid, Avila, Segovia, and Salamanca. At the same time
Sigüenza, Segovia, Soria, and Logroño formed another strategic line of
fortifications against Aragon, whilst in the west Plasencia, Coria, Toro
and Zamora, Tuy, Orense, and Astorga kept the Portuguese from Castilian
soil. In the extreme southwest Cuenca, impregnable and highly
strategical, looked eastwards and southwards against the Moor, and
northwards against the Aragonese.

In all these links of the immense strategical chain which protected
Castile from her enemies, the monarchs were cunning enough to erect sees
and appoint warrior-bishops. They even donated the new fortress-cities
with special privileges or _fueros_, in virtue of which settlers came
from all parts of the country to inhabit and constitute the new

Such--in gigantic strides--is the story of most of Castile's world-famed
cities. In each chapter, dates, anecdotes, and more details are given,
with a view to enable the reader to become acquainted not only with the
ecclesiastical history of cities like Burgos and Valladolid, but also
with the causes which produced the growing importance of each see, as
well as its decadence within the last few centuries.





When the Christian religion was still young, St. James the Apostle--he
whom Christ called his brother--landed in Galicia and roamed across the
northern half of the Iberian peninsula dressed in a pilgrim's modest
garb and leaning upon a pilgrim's humble staff. After years of wandering
from place to place, he returned to Galicia and was beheaded by the
Romans, his enemies.

This legend--or truth--has been poetically interwoven with other legends
of Celtic origin, until the whole story forms what Brunetière would call
a _cycle chevaleresque_ with St. James--or Santiago--as the central

According to one of these legends, it would appear that the apostle was
persecuted by his great enemy Lupa, a woman of singular beauty whom the
ascetic pilgrim had mortally offended. Thanks to certain accessory
details, it is possible to assume that Lupa is the symbol of the "God
without a name" of Celtic mythology, and it is she who finally venges
herself by decapitating the pilgrim saint.

The disciples of St. James laid his corpse in a cart, together with the
executioner's axe and the pilgrim's staff. Two wild bulls were then
harnessed to the vehicle, and away went cart and saint. As night fell
and the moon rose over the vales of Galicia, the weary animals stopped
on the summit of a wooded hill in an unknown vale, surrounded by other
hillocks likewise covered with foliage and verdure.

The disciples buried the saint, together with axe and staff, and there
they left him with the secret of his burial-ground.

This must have happened in the first or second century of the Christian
era. Six hundred years later, and one hundred years after the Moors had
landed in Andalusia, one Theodosio, Bishop of Iria (Galicia), took a
walk one day in his wide domains accompanied by a monk. Together they
lost their way and roamed about till night-fall, when they found
themselves far from home.

Stars twinkled in the heavens as they do to this day. Being tired, the
bishop and his companion dreamt as they walked along--at least it
appears so from what followed--and the stars were so many miraculous
lights which led the wanderers on and on. At last the stars remained
motionless above a wooded hill standing isolated in a beautiful vale.
The prelate stopped also, and it occurred to him to dig, for he
attributed his dreams to a supernatural miracle. Digging, a coffin was
revealed to him, and therein the saintly remains of St. James or

Giving thanks to Him who guides all steps, Theodosio returned to Iria,
and, by his orders, a primitive basilica was erected some years later on
the very spot where the saint had been buried, and in such a manner as
to place the high altar just above the coffin. A crypt was then dug out
and lined with mosaic, and the coffin, either repaired or renewed, was
laid therein,--some say it was visible to the hordes of pilgrims in the
tenth and eleventh centuries.

The shrine was then called Santiago de Campostela.--Santiago, which
means St. James, and Campostela, field of stars, in memory of the
miraculous lights the Bishop of Iria and his companion had perceived
whilst sweetly dreaming.

The news of the discovery spread abroad with wonderful rapidity.
Monasteries, churches, and inns soon surrounded the basilica, and within
a few years a village and then a city (the bishop's see was created
previous to 842 A. D.) filled the vale, which barely fifty years earlier
had been an undiscovered and savage region.

Throughout the middle ages, from the eleventh to the fifteenth
centuries, Santiago de Campostela was the scene of pilgrimages--not to
say crusades--to the tomb of St. James. From France, Italy, Germany, and
England hundreds and thousands of men, women, and children wandered to
the Galician valley, then one of the foci of ecclesiastical significance
and industrial activity. The city, despite its local character, wore an
international garb, much to the benefit of Galician, even Spanish, arts
and literature. It is a pity that so little research has been made
concerning these pilgrimages and the influences they brought to bear on
the history of the country. A book treating of this subject would be a
highly interesting account of one of the most important movements of the
middle ages.

The Moors under Almanzor pillaged the city of Santiago in 999; then they
retreated southwards, as was their wont. The Norman vikings also visited
the sacred vale, attracted thither by the reports of its wealth; but
they also retreated, like the waves of the sea when the tide goes out.

After the last Arab invasion, an extemporaneous edifice was erected in
place of the shrine which had been demolished. It did not stand long,
however, for the Christian kings of Spain, whose dominions were limited
to Asturias, Leon, and Galicia, ordered the construction of a building
worthy of St. James, who was looked upon as the god of battles, much
like St. George in England.

So in 1078 the new cathedral, the present building, was commenced, and,
as the story runs, it was built around the then existing basilica, which
was left standing until after the vault of the new edifice had been

The history of Spain at this moment helped to increase the religious
importance of Santiago. The kingdom of Asturias (Oviedo) had stretched
out beyond its limits and died; the Christian nuclei were Galicia, Leon,
and Navarra. In these three the power of the noblemen, and consequently
of the bishops and archbishops, was greater than it had ever been
before. Each was lord or sovereign in his own domains, and fought
against his enemies with or without the aid of the infidel Arab armies,
which he had no compunction in inviting to help him against his
Christian brothers. Now and again a king managed to subdue these
aristocratic lords and ecclesiastical prelates, but only for a short
time. Besides, nowhere was the independent spirit of the noblemen more
accentuated than in Galicia; nowhere were the prelates so rebellious as
in Santiago, the Sacred City, and none attained a greater height of
personal power and wealth than Diego Galmirez, the first archbishop of
Santiago, and one of the most striking and interesting personalities of
Spanish history in the twelfth century, to whom Santiago owes much of
her glory, and Spain not little of her future history.

The twelfth and thirteenth centuries were thus the period of Santiago's
greatest fame and renown. Little by little the central power of the
monarchs went southwards to Castile and Andalusia, and little by little
Santiago declined and dwindled in importance, until to-day it is one
city more of those that have been and are no longer.

For the city's history is that of its cathedral, of its shrine. With the
birth of Protestantism and the death of feudal power, both city and
cathedral lost their previous importance: they had sprung into life
together, and the existence of the one was intricately interwoven with
that of the other.

       *       *       *       *       *

The stranger who visits Santiago to-day does not approach it fervently
by the Mount of Joys as did the footsore pilgrims in the middle ages. On
the contrary, he steps out of the train and hurries to the cathedral
church, which sadly seems to repeat the thoughts of the city itself, or
the words of Señor Muguira:

"To-day, what am I? An echo of the joys and pains of hundreds of
generations; a distant rumour both confused and undefinable, a last
sunbeam fading at evening and dying on the glassy surface of sleeping
waters. Never will man learn my secrets, never will he be able to open
my granite lips and oblige them to reveal the mysterious past."

As is generally known, the cathedral is a Romanesque building of the
eleventh and twelfth centuries mutilated by posterior additions and
recent ameliorations (_sic_). It was begun in 1078, and, though finished
about 150 years later, no ogival elements drifted into the construction
until long after its completion. As will be seen later on, it served as
the model for most of Galicia's cathedrals. On the other hand, it is
generally believed to be an imitation--as regards the general
disposition--of St. Saturnin in Toulouse: a combatable theory, however,
as the churches were contemporaneous.

Seen from the outside, the Cathedral of Santiago lacks harmony; few
remains of the primitive structure are to be discovered among the many
later-date additions and reforms. The base of the towers and some fine
blinded windows, with naïve low reliefs in the semicircular tympanum,
will have to be excepted.

The Holy Door--a peculiarly placed apsidal portal on the eastern
front--is built up of decorative elements saved from the northern and
western façades when they were torn down.


The best portal is the Puerta de la Plateria, opening into the southern
arm of the transept. It is, unluckily, depressed and thrown into the
background by the cloister walls on the left, and by the Trinity Tower
on the right. Nevertheless, both handsome and sober, it can be counted
among the finest examples of its kind--pure Romanesque--in Spain, and is
rendered even more attractive by the peculiar Galician poetry which
inspired its sculptors.

Immediately above the panels of the door, which are covered with
twelfth-century metal reliefs, there is a stone plaque or low relief,
representing the Passion scene; to the left of it is to be seen a
kneeling woman holding a skull in her hand. Evidently it is a weeping,
penitent Magdalene. The popular tongue has invented a legend--perhaps a
true one--concerning this woman, who is believed to symbolize the
adulteress. It appears that a certain hidalgo, discovering his wife's
sins, killed her lover by cutting off his head; he then obliged her to
kiss and adore the skull twice daily throughout her life,--a rather
cruel punishment and a slow torture, quite in accordance with the
mystic spirit of the Celts.

The apse of the church, circular in the interior, is squared off on the
outside by the addition of chapels. As regards the plateresque northern
and western façades, they are out of place, though the former might have
passed off elsewhere as a fairly good example of the severe
sixteenth-century style.

The general plan of the building is Roman cruciform; the principal nave
is high, and contains both choir and high altar; the two aisles are much
lower and darker, and terminate behind the high altar in an ambulatory
walk. The width of the transept is enormous, and is composed of a nave
and two aisles similar in size to those of the body of the church. The
_croisée_ is surmounted by a dome, which, though not Romanesque, is
certainly an advantageous addition.

Excepting the high altar with its _retablo_, the choir with its none too
beautiful stalls, and the various chapels of little interest and less
taste, the general view of the interior is impressively beautiful. The
height of the central nave, rendered more elegant by the addition of a
handsome Romanesque triforium of round-headed arches, contrasts
harmoniously with the sombre aisles, whereas the bareness of the
walls--for all mural paintings were washed away by a bigoted prelate
somewhere in the fifteenth century--helps to show off to better
advantage the rich sculptural decorations, leaf and floral designs on
capitals and friezes.

The real wonder of the cathedral is the far-famed Portico de la Gloria,
the vestibule or narthex behind the western entrance of the church, and
as renowned as its sculptural value is meritorious.

So much has already been written concerning this work of art that really
little need be mentioned here. Street, who persuaded the British
Government to send a body of artists to take a plaster copy of this
strange work, could not help declaring that: "I pronounce this effort of
Master Mathews at Santiago to be one of the greatest glories of
Christian art."

And so it is. Executed in the true Romanesque period, each column and
square inch of surface covered with exquisite decorative designs,
elaborated with care and not hastily, as was the habit of later-day
artists, the three-vaulted rectangular vestibule between the body of the
church and the western extremity where the light streams in through the
rose window, is an immense allegory of the Christian religion, of human
life, and above all of the mystic, melancholy poetry of Celtic Galicia.
Buried in half-lights, this song of stone with the statue of the Trinity
and St. James, with the angels blowing their trumpets from the walls,
and the virtues and vices of this world symbolized by groups and by
persons, is of a sincere poetry that leaves a lasting impression upon
the spectator. Life, Faith, and Death, Judgment and Purgatory, Hell and
Paradise or Glory, are the motives carved out in stone in this unique
narthex, so masterful in the execution, and so vivid in the tale it
tells, that we can compare its author to Dante, and call the Portico de
la Gloria the "Divina Commedia" of architecture.

At one end there is the figure of a kneeling man, the head almost
touching the ground in the body's fervent prostration in front of the
group representing Glory, Trinity, and St. James. Is it a
twelfth-century pilgrim whom the artist in a moment of realistic
enthusiasm has portrayed here, in the act of praying to his Creator and
invoking his mercy? Or is it the portrait of the artist, who, even after
death, wished to live in the midst of the wonders of his creation? It is
not positively known, though it is generally supposed to be Maestro
Mateo himself, kneeling in front of his Glory, admiring it as do all
visitors, and watching over it as would a mother over her son.

If the chapels which surround the building have been omitted on account
of their artistic worthlessness, not the same fate awaits the cloister.

Of a much later date than the cathedral itself, having been constructed
in the sixteenth century, it is a late Gothic monument betraying
Renaissance additions and mixtures; consequently it is entirely out of
place and time here, and does not harmonize with the cathedral. Examined
as a detached edifice, it impresses favourably as regards the height and
length of the galleries, which show it to be one of the largest
cloisters in Spain.

The cathedral's crypt is one of its most peculiar features, and
certainly well worth examining better than has been heretofore done. It
is reached by a small door behind the high altar (evidently used when
the saint's coffin was placed on grand occasions on the altar-table) or
by a subterranean gallery leading down from the Portico de la Gloria, a
gallery as rich in sculptural decorations as the vestibule itself.

The popular belief in Galicia is that in this crypt the cathedral
reflects itself, towers and all, as it would in the limpid surface of a
lake. Hardly; and yet the crypt is a nude copy of the ground floor
above, with the corresponding naves and aisles and apsidal chapels. The
height of the crypt is surprising, the architectural construction is
pure Romanesque,--more so than that of the building itself,--and just
beneath the high altar the shrine of St. James is situated where it was
found in the ninth century.



Corunna, seated on her beautiful bay, the waters of which are ever
warmed by the Gulf Stream, gazes out westwards across the turbulent
waves of the ocean as she has done for nearly two thousand years.

Brigandtia was her first known name, a centre of the Celtic druid
religion. The inhabitants of the town, it is to-day believed,
communicated by sea with their brethren in Ireland long before the
coming of the Phœnicians and Greeks who established a trading post
and a tin factory, and built the Tower of Hercules.

The Roman conquest saved Brigandtium from being great before her time.
For the Latin people were miserable sailors, and gazed with awe into the
waves of the Atlantic. For them Brigandtia was the last spot in the
world, a dangerous spot, to be shunned. So they left her seated on her
beautiful bay beside the Torre de Hercules, and made Lugo their capital.

In the shuffling of bishops and sees in the fifth and sixth centuries,
Corunna was forgotten. Unimportant, known only for its castle and its
tower, it passed a useless existence, patiently waiting for a change in
its favour.

This change came in the fifteenth century as a result of the discovery
of America. Since then, and with varying success, the city has grown in
importance, until to-day it is the most wealthy and active of Galicia's
towns, and one of the largest seaports on Spain's Atlantic coast.

Its history since the sixteenth century is well known, especially to
Englishmen, who, whenever their country had a rupture with Spain, were
quick in entering Corunna's bay. From here part of the Invincible Armada
sailed one day to fight the Saxons and to be destroyed by a tempest; ten
years later England returned the challenge with better luck, and her
fleets entered the historical bay and burned the town. During the war
with Napoleon, General Moore fought the French in the vicinity and lost
his life, whereas a few years earlier an English fleet defeated, just
outside the bay, a united French and Spanish squadron.

To-day, the old city on the hill looks down upon the new one below; the
former is poetic and artistic, the latter is straight-lined, industrial,
and modern. Nevertheless, the aspect of the city denies its age, for it
is more modern than many cities that are younger. What is more,
tradition does not weigh heavily on its brow, and depress its
inhabitants, as is the case in Lugo and Tuy and Santiago. The movement
on the wharves, the continual coming and going of vessels of all sizes,
commerce, industry, and other delights of modern civilization do not
give the citizens leisure to ponder over the city's two thousand years,
nor to preoccupy themselves about art problems. Moreover, the tourist
who has come to Spain to visit Toledo and Sevilla hurries off inland,
gladly leaving Corunna's streets to sailors and to merchants.

There are, nevertheless, two churches well worth a visit; one is the
Colegiata (supposed to have been a bishopric for a short time in the
thirteenth century) or suffragan church, and the other the Church of
Santiago. The latter has a fine Romanesque portal of the twelfth
century, reminding one in certain decorative details of the Portico de
la Gloria in Santiago. The interior of the building consists of one nave
or aisle spanned by a daring vault, executed in the early ogival style;
doubtless it was originally Romanesque, as is evidently shown by the
capitals of the pillars, and was most likely rebuilt after the terrible
fire which broke out early in the sixteenth century.

Santa Maria del Campo is the name of the suffragan church dedicated to
the Virgin. The church itself was erected to a suffragan of Santiago in
1441. The date of its erection is doubtful, some authors placing it in
the twelfth and others in the thirteenth century. Street, whom we can
take as an intelligent guide in these matters, calls it a
twelfth-century church, contemporaneous with and perhaps even built by
the same architect who built that of Santiago de Campostela. Moreover,
the mentioned critic affirms this in spite of a doubtful inscription
placed in the vault above the choir, which accuses the building of
having been completed in 1307.


The primitive plan of the church was doubtless Romanesque, of one nave
and two aisles. As in Mondoñedo and Lugo, the former is surmounted by
an ogival vault, and the aisles, lower in height, are somewhat depressed
by the use of Romanesque _plein-cintré_ vaultings. The form of the
building is that of a Roman cross with rather short arms; the apse
consists of but one chapel, the lady-chapel. As regards the light, it is
horrible, for the window in the west is insignificant and, what is more,
has recently been blinded, though only Heaven knows why. The towers
emerging from the western front are unmeaning, and not similar, which
detracts from the harmony of the whole. As regards the different
façades, the western has been spoilt quite recently; the northern and
southern are, however, Romanesque, though not pure, as ogival arches are
used in the decoration of the tympanum.

In other words, the Church of Santiago at Corunna is more important,
from an archæological point of view, than the Colegiata. The fishing
folk do not think so, however; they care but little for such secondary
details, and their veneration is entirely centred in the suffragan
church--"one of the three Virgins," as they call her to whom it is
dedicated. To them this particular Mary is the _estrella del mar_ (sea
star), and she is the principal object of their devotion. It is
strange--be it said in parenthesis--how frequently in Galicia mention is
made of stars: they form a most important feature of the country's
superstitions. Blood will out--and Celtic mythology peeps through the
Christian surface in spite of centuries of true belief.



A Village grown to be a city, and yet a village. A city without history
or tradition, and a cathedral that has been spoilt by the hand of time,
and above all by the hands of luckless artists called upon to rebuild
deteriorated parts.

To the north of Lugo, at a respectable distance from the railway which
runs from the latter to Corunna, and reached either by means of a stage
or on horseback, Mondoñedo passes a sleeping existence in a picturesque
vale surrounded by the greenest of hills. Rarely bothered by the tourist
who prefers the train to the stage, it procures for the art lover many
moments of delight--that is, if he will but take the trouble to visit
the cathedral, the two towers of which loom up in the vale, and though
rather too stumpy to be able to lend elegance to the ensemble, add a
poetic charm to the valley and to the village itself.

How on earth did it ever occur to any one to raise the church at
Mondoñedo to a bishopric? Surely the sees in Galicia were badly
shuffled; and yet, where can a quieter spot be found in this wide world
of ours for the contemplation of a cathedral--and a Romanesque one, to

It is to the Norman vikings that is due the establishment of a see in
this lonely valley. Until the sixth century it had been situated in
Mindunietum of the Romans, when it was removed to Ribadeo, remaining
there until late in the twelfth century. Both these towns were seaports,
and both suffered from the cruel incursions and piratical expeditions of
the vikings, and so after the total pillage of the church in Ribadeo,
the see was removed inland out of harm's way, to a village known by the
name of Villamayor or Mondoñedo. There it has remained till the present
day, ignored by the tourist who "has no time," and who follows the
beaten track established by Messrs. Cook and Company, in London.


As will have been seen, Mondoñedo is a city without history, and without
a past; doubtless it will for ever remain a village without a future.
Its doings, its _raison d'être_, are summed up in the cathedral that
stands in its centre, just as in Santiago, though from different

It is, perhaps, the most picturesque spot in Galicia, a gently sloping
landscape buried in a violet haze, reminding one of Swiss valleys in the
quiet Jura. Besides, the streets are silent and often deserted, the
village inn or _fonda_ is neither excellent nor very bad, and as for the
villagers, they are happy, simple, and hospitable dawdlers along the
paths of this life.

According to a popular belief, the life of one man, a bishop named Don
Martin (1219-48), is wrapped up in Mondoñedo's cathedral, so much so, in
fact, that both their lives are one and the same. He began building his
see; he saw it finished and consecrated it--_construxit, consumavit et
consacravit_; then he died, but the church and his name lived on.

Modern art critics disagree with the above belief; the older or
primitive part of the church dates from the twelfth and not from the
thirteenth century. Originally, as can easily be seen upon examining the
older part of the building, it was a pure Romanesque basilica, the nave
and the two aisles running up to the transept, where they were cut off,
and immediately to the east of the latter came the apse with three
chapels, the lady-chapel being slightly larger than the lateral ones.

In the primitive construction of the building--and excepting all
later-date additions, of which there are more than enough--early Gothic
and Romanesque elements are so closely intermingled that one is perforce
obliged to consider the monument as belonging to the period of
Transition, as being, perhaps, a unique example of this period to be met
with in Galicia or even in Spain. Of course, as in the case of the other
Galician cathedrals, the original character of the interior, which if it
had remained unaltered would be both majestic and imposing, has been
greatly deformed by the addition of posterior reforms. The form of the
apse has been completely changed by the introduction of an ambulatory or
circular apsidal aisle dating at least from the fifteenth century, as
shown by the presence of the late Gothic and Renaissance elements.


The general plan is rectangular, 120 feet long by seventy-one wide, and
seen from the outside is solid rather than elegant, a fortress rather
than a temple. The height of the nave, crowned by a Gothic vaulting, is
about forty-five feet; a triforium (ogival) runs around the top. The
lateral aisles are slightly more than half as high and covered by a
Romanesque vaulting reposing on capitals and shafts of the finest
twelfth century execution.

The original basilica form of the church has, unluckily, been altered by
the additional length given to the arms of the transept, and, as
mentioned already, by the ambulatory walk characteristic of Spanish
cathedrals; the workmanship of the latter, though lamentably out of tune
in this old cathedral, is, taken by itself, better than many similar
additions in other churches.

The western façade, which is the only one worthy of contemplation, is as
good an example of Romanesque, spoilt by the addition at a recent date
of grotesque and bizarre figures and monsters, as can be seen anywhere.

The buttresses are more developed than in either Lugo or Santiago, and
though these bodies, from a decorative point of view, were evidently
intended to give a certain seal of elegance to the ensemble, the
stunted towers and the few windows in the body of the church only help
to heighten its fortress-like aspect.

In a previous paragraph it has been stated that this cathedral is
perhaps a unique example of the period of Transition (Romanesque and
early Gothic). It is an opinion shared by many art critics, but
personally the author of these lines is inclined to consider it as an
example of the Galician conservative spirit, and of the fight that was
made in cathedral chapters _against_ the introduction of early Gothic.
For the temple at Santiago was Romanesque; therefore, according to the
narrow reasoning peculiar to Galicia, that style was the _best_ and
consequently _good enough_ for any other church. As a result, we have in
this region of Spain a series of cathedrals which are practically
Romanesque, but into the structure of which ogival elements have
filtered. Further, as there is no existing example of a finished Gothic
church in Galicia, it is rather difficult to speak of a period of
Transition, by which is meant the period of passing from one style to
another. In Galicia, there was no passing: the conservative spirit of
the country, the poetry of the Celtic inhabitants, and above all of
their artists, found greater pleasure in Romanesque than in Gothic, and
consequently the cathedrals are Romanesque, with slight Gothic
additions, when these could combine or submit in arrangement to the
heavier Romanesque principles of architecture.

Later, in other centuries, the spirit of architecture had completely
died out in Spain, and the additions made in these days are so many
lamentable signs of decadence. Not so the ogival introduction in
Romanesque churches, which in many cases improved the Romanesque



What Santiago was as regards ecclesiastical politics, Lugo, one of the
three cities on the Miño River, was as regards civil power. It was the
nominal capital of Galicia, and at one time, in the reign of Alfonso the
Chaste, it was intended to make it the capital of the nascent Spanish
kingdom, but for some reason or other Oviedo was chosen instead as being
more suitable. Since then the city of Lugo has completely fallen into
ruins and insignificance.

It first appears in history when the Romans conquered it from the Celts.
It was their capital and their Holy City; in its centre was Lupa's
Bower, where the Romans built a magnificent temple to Diana. Some
mosaics of this edifice have been discovered recently, and the peculiar
designs prove beyond a doubt that the mythological attributions of the
Celts were made use of and intermingled with those of the Latin
race--not at all a strange occurrence, as Lupa and Diana seem to have
enjoyed many common qualities.

Under the Roman rule, the city walls, remains of which are still
standing in many places, were erected, and Locus Augusti became the
capital of the northern provinces.

All through the middle ages, when really Oviedo had usurped its civil,
and Santiago its religious significance, Lugo was still considered as
being the capital of Galicia, a stronghold against Arab incursions, and
a hotbed of unruly noblemen who lost no opportunity in striking a blow
for liberty against the encroaching power of the neighbouring kingdom of
Asturias, and later on of Leon. When at last the central power of the
Christian kings was firmly established in Leon and Castile, in Lugo the
famous message of adhesion to the dynasty of the Alfonsos was voted, and
the kingdom of Galicia, like that of Asturias, faded away, the shadow of
a name without even the right to have its coat of arms placed on the
national escutcheon.

The ecclesiastical history of the city of Lugo is neither interesting
nor does it differ from that of other Galician towns. Erected to a see
in the fifth century, its cathedral was a primitive basilica destroyed
by the Moors in one of their powerful northern raids in the eighth
century. The legendary bishop Odoario lost no time in building a second
basilica, which met the same fate about two hundred years later, in the
tenth century. Alfonso the Chaste, one of the few kings of Asturias to
take a lively interest in Galician politics, ordered either the
reconstruction of the old basilica or the erection of a new temple.

Those were stormy times for the city: between the rise and stand of
ambitious noblemen, who, pretending to fight for Galicia's freedom,
fought for their own interests, and the continual encroachments of the
proud prelates on the rights and privileges of the people, barely a year
passed without Lugo being the scene of street fights or sieges. As in
Santiago, one prince of the Church lost his life, murdered by the
faithful (_sic_) flocks, and many, upon coming to take possession of
their see, found the city gates locked in their faces, and were obliged
to conquer the cathedral before entering their palace.

The new basilica suffered in consequence, and had to be entirely rebuilt
in the twelfth century. The new edifice is the one standing to-day, but
how changed from the primitive building! Thanks to graceless additions
in all possible styles and combinations of styles, the Romanesque origin
is hardly recognizable. Consequently, the cathedral church of Lugo,
which otherwise might have been an architectural jewel, does not inspire
the visitor with any of those sentiments that ought to be the very
essence of time-worn religious edifices of all kinds.

The general disposition of the church is Roman cruciform; the arms of
the cross are exceedingly short, however, in comparison to their height;
the _croisée_ is surmounted by a semicircular vaulting (Spanish

The nave shows decided affinity to early Gothic, as shown by the ogival
arches and vaulting. The presence of the ogival arches (as well as those
of the handsome triforium, perhaps the most elegant in Galicia) shows
this church to be the first in Galicia to have submitted to the
infiltration of Gothic elements. This peculiarity is explained by the
fact that, in 1129, the erection of the cathedral was entrusted to one
Maestro Raimundo, who stipulated that, in the case of his death before
the completion of the church, his son should be commissioned to carry on
the work. He died, and his son, a generation younger and imbued with the
newer architectural theories, even went so far as to alter his father's
plans; he built the nave higher than was customary in Romanesque
churches, and gave elegance to the whole structure by employing the
pointed arch even in the triforium, otherwise a copy of that of

The most curious and impressive part of the building is that constructed
by Maestro Raimundo, father, namely the aisles, especially that part of
them to the right and left of the choir; they are, with the _croisée_,
the best interior remains of the primitive Romanesque plans: short, even
stumpy, rather dark it is true, for the light that comes in by the
narrow windows is but poor at its best, they are, nevertheless, rich in
decorative designs. The wealth of sculptural ornaments of pure
Romanesque in these aisles is perhaps the cathedral's best claim to the
tourist's admiration, and puts it in a prominent place among the
Romanesque cathedrals of Spain.

Not the same favourable opinion can be emitted when it is a question of
the exterior. The towers are comparatively new; the apse--with the
peculiar and salient addition of an octagonal body revealing Renaissance
influence--is picturesque, it is true, but at the same time it has
spoilt the architectural value of the cathedral as a Romanesque edifice.

The northern façade, preceded by an ogival porch so common in Galicia,
contains a portal of greater beauty than the Puerta de la Plateria in
Santiago, and stands forth in greater prominence than the other named
example of twelfth-century art, by not being lost among or depressed by
flanking bodies of greater height and mass. As regards the sculptural
ornamentation of the door itself, it is felt and not only portrayed: the
Christ standing between the immense valves of the _vesica piscis_ which
crowns the portal is an example of twelfth-century sculpture. The
iron-studded panels of the doors have already been praised by Street,
who placed their execution likewise in the twelfth century.

Excepting this portal--a marvel in its class with its rounded tympanum
richly ornamented--the portion of the building doubtless more strongly
imbued than any other with the general spirit of the edifice is that
part of the apse independent of the octagonal addition previously
mentioned, and which is dedicated to "_La Virgen de los Ojos
Grandes_"--the Virgin of the Large Eyes. (She must have been
Andalusian!) Of the true apse, the lower part has ogival arched windows
of singular elegance; the upper body, also semicircular in form, but
slightly smaller, has round-headed windows. Both the ogival windows of
the first and the Romanesque windows of the second harmonize
wonderfully, thanks to the lesser height and width of the upper row. The
buttresses, simple, and yet alive with a gently curving line, are well
worth noticing. It is strange, nevertheless, that they should not reach
the ground, but only support the upper body, and unite it with the
lower, forming thus a sort of crown for the latter's benefit.

Personally--and the author must be excused if he emit his opinion--he
considers the old apse of the cathedral in Lugo to be one of the finest
pieces of architecture to be met with in Galicia. It belongs to what has
been called the period of Transition (compare previous remarks in
another chapter concerning this style), and yet it has a character of
its own not to be found elsewhere, and the harmony of ogival and
Romanesque has been so artfully revealed that it cannot fail to appeal
to the tourist who contemplates it carefully.



Coming by rail from Lugo or Monforte toward Tuy and Vigo, the train
suddenly escapes from the savage cañon where the picturesque Miño rushes
and boils beside the road, and emerges into a broad and fertile valley
where figs, grapes, and olives grow in profusion. This valley is broad,
its soil is of golden hue, and the sky above it is as brilliantly blue
as a sapphire. In its centre Orense, heavy Orense, which claims as its
founder a Greek hero fresh from the pages of the Iliad, basks in the sun
beside the beautiful Miño; the while its cathedral looms up above the
roofs of the surrounding houses.

The history of the town is as agitated as any in Galicia and shows the
same general happenings. The Romans appreciated it for its sulphur baths
and called it Auria (golden) from the colour of the soil, of the water,
and perhaps also on account of certain grains of gold discovered in the
sands of the Miño.

The Suevos, who dominated Galicia and proved so beneficial to Tuy, did
not ignore the importance of Orense: one of the first bishoprics, if not
_the_ first historical one in Galicia, was that of Orense, dating from
before the fourth century, at least such is the opinion of to-day.

More than any other Galician city, excepting Tuy, it suffered from the
Arab invasions. Entirely destroyed, razed to the ground upon two
occasions, it was ever being rebuilt by the returning inhabitants who
had fled. Previous to these Arab incursions the cathedral had been
dedicated to St. Martin de Tours (France), and yearly pilgrimages took
place to the Galician shrine, where some relics belonging to the saint
were revered. But with the infidels these relics, or whatever they were,
were dispersed, and the next century (the eleventh) saw the new
cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mother (?). Besides, the inhabitants
seemed to have forgotten the patronage of St. Martin, he who protects
the vine-grower's _métier_--and this in spite of the fact that the
valley of Orense is and was famous above all Galician regions for the
cultivation of vines. Even Froissart, the French historian, could not
speak of the town without mentioning its wine. He passed a season in the
valley, accompanying, I believe, the Duke of Lancaster and his English
soldiers. The wine was so good and strong, wrote the historian, that the
soldiers clamoured for it; after they had drunk a little they toppled
over like ninepins.

The Arabs defeated and thrown out of the peninsula, the vikings' last
business trip to Galicia over, and the Portuguese arms driven to the
valley of Braga beyond the Miño, Orense settled down to a peaceful life,
the monotony of which was broken now and again--as it usually was in
this part of the country--by squabbles between noblemen, prelates, and
the _bons bourgeois_. If no prince of the Church was killed here, as
happened in Lugo, one at least died mysteriously in the hands of his
enemies. Not that it seemed to have mattered much, for said bishop
appears to have been a peculiar sort of spiritual shepherd, full of
vice, and devoid of virtue, some of whose doings have been
caricatured--according to the popular belief--in the cornices and
friezes of the convent of San Francisco.

Otherwise, peace reigned in the land, and Orense passed a quiet
existence, a circumstance that did not in the slightest add to its
importance, either as an art, commercial, or industrial centre. To-day,
full of strangers in summer, who visit the sulphurous baths as did the
Romans, and empty in winter, it exists without living, as does so many a
Spanish town.

Nevertheless, with Vigo and Corunna, it is one of the cities with a
future still before it. At least, its situation is bound to call
attention as soon as ever the country is opened up to progress and

The cathedral of Orense, like those of Tuy, Santiago, and Lugo, was
erected in a _castro_. These _castros_ were circular dips in the ground,
surrounded by a low wall, which served the druids as their place of
worship. The erection of Christian churches in these sacred spots proves
beyond a doubt that the new religion became amalgamated with the old,
and even laid its foundations on the latter's most hallowed _castros_.

Perhaps the question presents itself as to why a cathedral was erected
in Orense previous to any other city. From a legend it would appear
that the king of the Suevos, Carrarick, had a son who was dying; thanks
to the advice of a Christian monk, a disciple of St. Martin, and, one is
inclined to think, fresh from Tours, the king dipped his son in the
baths of Orense, invoking at the same time the help of St. Martin. Upon
pulling his offspring out of the water, he discovered that he had been
miraculously cured. The grateful monarch immediately became a stout
Christian, and erected a basilica--destroyed and rebuilt many a time
during the dark ages of feudalism and Arab invasion--in honour of his
son's saviour. What is more wonderful still is that, soon afterward, the
relics of the French saint were cherished in Orense without its being
positively known whence they came!

The present cathedral, the date of the erection of which is a point of
discussion to-day, is generally believed to have been built on the spot
occupied by the primitive basilica. It is dedicated to Santa Maria la
Madre according to the official (doubtful?) statement, and to St. Martin
of Tours, Apostle of Gaul, according to the popular version.

The general appearance of the cathedral proclaims it to have been begun,
or at least planned, in the twelfth century, and not, as Baedeker
states, in 1220. As a twelfth-century church we are not obliged to
consider it for more reasons than one, and especially because, as we
have seen, the twelfth century was the great period of Galician
church-building. It was in this century that the northwest shone forth
in the history of Spain as it had not done before, nor has done since.

The church is another Romanesque specimen, but less pure in its style
than any of the others mentioned so far: the ogival arch is prevalent,
but rather as a decorative than as an essentially constructive element.
As it is, it was commenced at least fifty years after the cathedral of
Lugo, and though both are twelfth-century churches, the one is an early
and the other presumably a late one; the employment of the ogival arch
to a greater degree in Orense than in Lugo is thus easily explained.

In short, the cathedral of Orense is another example of the peculiar
Romanesque of Galicia, which, withstanding the invasion of Gothic,
created a school of its own, pretty in details, bold in harmony, though
it be a hybrid school after all.

The influence of the cathedral of Santiago is self-evident in the
cathedral of Orense. How could it be otherwise, when the bishop Don
Diego, who sat on the chair, was a great friend and a continual visitor
of that other Don Diego in Santiago who erected the primate cathedral of

This influence is above all to be seen in the Portico del Paraiso, an
interior narthex leading from the western front to the body of the
church. It is a handsome area of Romanesque sculpture covered by an
ogival vaulting, and would be an important monument if its rival and
prototype in Santiago were not greater, both as regards its perfection
of design, and the grand idea which inspired it.

Of the three doors which lead into the cathedral, the western is crowned
by three rounded arches reposing on simple columns. The tympanum as a
decorative element is lacking, as is also the low relief, which is
usually superimposed above the upper arches. The latter are, however,
carved in the most elaborate manner. As regards the other two portals,
the northern and southern, their composition, as far as generalities are
concerned, is the same as the western, excepting that they are
surrounded by a depressed semicircular arch in relief, the whole of a
primitive design.


The towers of the cathedral are not old. The general impression of the
building from the outside--unluckily it cannot be contemplated from any
distance, as the surrounding houses impede it--is agreeable. To be
especially observed are some fine fourteenth-century (?) windows which
show ogival pattern, but either of timid execution or else of a bold
endeavour on the artist's part to subdue solemn Gothic to the Romanesque
traditions of the country.

The interior has been restored and changed many a time. In its original
plan it consisted of two aisles and a nave with a one-aisled transept,
and, just as in Lugo, an apse formed by three semicircles, of which the
central was the largest, and contained the high altar. To-day, though
the general appearance or disposition of the church (Roman cruciform
with exceedingly short lateral arms) is the same, an ambulatory walk
surrounds the high altar, which has been moved nearer the transept in
the principal nave. The vaulting is ogival, reposing on solid and
severe shafts; the aisles are slightly lower than the central nave, and
the _croisée_ is surmounted, as in Santiago, by a handsome cupola
similar in construction to that of Valencia, though more reduced in
size, and of a less elegant pattern.

The lack of triforium is to be noted, and its want is felt.

The northern aisle has no chapels let into its exterior wall, but a long
row of sepulchres and sepulchral reliefs to replace them. Some of them
are severe and beautiful. The choir has finely carved stalls, and the
Gothic _retablo_ is the only one of its kind in Galicia, and one of the
best in Spain.

Many more details could be given concerning the worthy cathedral of
Orense, second only in richness of certain elements to that of Santiago.
The additions, both in Romanesque and ogival styles, are better than in
most other cathedrals in Galicia, though, as far as Renaissance is
concerned, Galicia showed but little love for Italia's art. This was due
to the regional Celtic taste of the inhabitants, or else to the marked
signs of art decadence in this part of Spain, when the Renaissance was
introduced into the country.

As regards the cloister,--small and rather compact in its
composition,--it is held by many to be a jewel of the fifteenth century
in the ogival style, handsome in its general outlines, and beautiful in
its wealth of sculptural decoration.



The last Spanish city on the Miño, the Rhine of Galicia, as beautiful as
its German rival, and as rich in architectural remains, both military
and ecclesiastical, is Tuy, the Castellum Tude of the Romans, lying
half-way on the main road from Braga (Portugal) to Lugo and Astorga in

The approach to the city by rail from Orense is simply superb. The
valley of the Miño is broad and luxuriant, with ruins of castles to the
right and to the left, ahead and behind; in the distance, time-old Tuy,
the city of a hundred misfortunes, is seated on an isolated hill, the
summit of which is crowned by a fortress-cathedral of the twelfth

Tuy sits on her hill, and gazes across the river at Valença do Minho,
the rival fortress opposite, and the first town in Portugal. A handsome
bridge unites the enemies--friends to-day. Nevertheless, the cannons'
mouths of the glaring strongholds are for ever pointed toward each
other, as though wishing to recall those days of the middle ages when
Tuy was the goal of Portuguese ambitions and the last Spanish town in

Before the Romans conquered Iberia, Tuy, which is evidently a Celtic
name, was a most important town. This is easily explained by its
position, a sort of inland Gibraltar, backed by the Sierra to the rear,
and crowning the river which brought ships from the ocean to its
wharves. The city's future was brilliant.

Matters changed soon, however. The Romans drew away much of its power to
cities further inland, as was their wont. The castle remained standing,
as did the walls, which reached on the northern shores of the river down
to Guardia, situated in the delta about thirty miles away. Remains of
the cyclopean walls which crown the mountain chain on the Spanish side
of the Miño are still to be seen to-day, yet they give but a feeble idea
of the city's former strength.

After the Romans had been defeated by the invasion of savage tribes from
the north, Tuy became the capital of the Suevos, a tribe opposed to the
Visigoths, who settled in the rest of Spain, and for centuries waged a
cruel war against the kings whose subjects had settled principally in
Galicia and in the north of Portugal.

The power of the Suevos, who were seated firmly in Tuy, was at last
completely broken, and the capital, its inhabitants fighting
energetically to the end, was at length conquered. It was the last
stronghold to fall into the hands of the conquerors. A century later
Witiza, the sovereign of the Visigoths, made Tuy his capital for some
length of time, and the district round about is full of the traditions
of the doings of this monarch. Most of these legends denigrate his
character, and make him appear cruel, wilful, and false. One of them,
concerning Duke Favila and Doña Luz, is perhaps the most popular.
According to it, Witiza fell in love with the former's wife, Doña Luz,
and, to remove the husband, he heartlessly had his eyes put out, on the
charge of being ambitious, and of having conspired against the throne.
The fate that awaited Doña Luz, who defended her honour, was no better,
according to this legend.

After the return of Witiza to Toledo, the city slowly lost its
importance, and since then she has never recovered her ancient fame.

Like the remaining seaports of Galicia,--or such cities as were situated
near the ocean,--Tuy was sacked and pillaged by Arabs and vikings alike.
The times were extremely warlike, and Galicia, from her position, and on
account of the independent spirit of the noblemen, was called upon to
suffer more than any other region, and Tuy, near the ocean, and a
frontier town to boot, underwent greater hardships than any other
Galician city. Of an admirable natural position, it would have been able
to resist the attacks of Gudroed and Olaf, of the Portuguese noblemen
and of Arab armies, had it been but decently fortified. The lack of such
fortifications, however, and the neglect and indifference with which it
was, as a rule, regarded by the kings of Asturias, easily account for
its having fallen into the hands of enemies, of having been razed more
than once to the ground, of having been the seat of ambitious and
conspiring noblemen who were only bent on thrashing their neighbours,
Christians and infidels alike.

In the sixth century Tuy had already been raised to the dignity of a
city, but until after the eleventh century the prelates of the church,
tyrants when the times were propitious, but cowardly when danger was at
hand, were continually removing their see to the neighbouring villages
and mountains to the rear. They left their church with surprising
alacrity and ease to the mercy of warriors and enemies, to such an
extent, in fact, that neither are documents at hand to tell us what
happened exactly in the darker ages of mediæval history, nor are the
existing monuments in themselves sufficient to convince us of the
vicissitudes which befell the city, its see, and the latter's flocks.

Since the last Arab and Norseman raid, matters seemed to have gone
better with fair Tuy, for, excepting the continual strife between
Portuguese and Galician noblemen, who were for ever gaining and losing
the city on the Miño, neither infidels nor pirates visited its wharves.
It was then that the foundations of the present cathedral were laid, but
not without disputes between the prelates (one of whom was taken
prisoner, and had to give a handsome ransom to be released) and the
noblemen who called themselves seigneurs of the city. Between the
claims and struggles of these two factions, those who suffered most were
the citizens themselves, who had nothing to gain and everything to lose.
Between the bishops who pretended to possess the whole city, and the
noblemen who endeavoured to leave the prelates without a groat, the
ignored inhabitants of the poorer quarters of the town passed a
miserable life.

Since the middle ages, or better still, since the time when the Miño
became definitely the frontier line between Spain and Portugal, the city
of Tuy has been heard of but little. Few art students visit it to-day,
and yet it is one of the most picturesquely situated cities in Galicia,
or even in Spain. Its cathedral, as well as the Pre-Roman, Roman,
Gothic, and middle age remains,--most of them covered over with heaps of
dust and earth,--are well worth a visit, being highly interesting both
to artists and to archæological students.

In short, Tuy on her hill beside the Miño, glaring across an iron bridge
at Portugal, is a city rich in traditions and legends of faded hopes and
past glories. Unluckily for her, cities of less historical fame are
better known and more admired.

As has already been mentioned, the cathedral crowns the hill, upon the
slopes of which the city descends to the river; moreover, the edifice
occupies the summit only,--a _castro_, as explained in a previous
chapter. Therefore, for proofs are lacking both ways, it is probable
that the present building was erected on the same spot where the many
basilicas which we know existed and were destroyed in one or another of
the many sieges, stood in bygone days.

The present cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary, like that in Orense,
was most likely begun in the first half of the twelfth century;
successive earthquakes suffered by the city, especially that felt in
Lisbon in 1755, obliged the edifice to be repaired more than once, which
accounts for many of the base additions which spoil the ensemble.

From the general disposition of the building, which is similar in many
details to the cathedral at Lugo, it has been thought probable that
Maestro Raimundo (father?) was the builder of the church; definite
proofs are, however, lacking.

The ground-plan is rectangular, with a square apse; the interior is
Roman cruciform, consisting of a nave and two aisles; the transept, like
that of Santiago, is also composed of a nave and two aisles; the four
arms of the cross are all of them very short, and almost all are of the
same length. Were it not for the height of the nave, crowned by a
Romanesque triforium of blinded arches, the interior would be decidedly
ugly. However, the height attained gives a noble aspect to the whole,
and what is more, renders the ensemble curious rather than beautiful.

The large and ungainly choir spoils the general view of the nave,
whereas the continuation of the aisles, broad and light to the very
apse, where, facing each aisle, there is a handsome rose window which
throws a flood of coloured light into the building, cannot be too highly

The walls are devoid of all decoration, and if it were not for the
chapels, some of which in default of pure workmanship are richly
ornamented, this see of Tuy would have to pass as a very poor one

The roof of the building has been added lately, doubtless after one of
the many earthquakes. It is of a simple execution, neither good nor bad,
composed of a series of slightly rounded arches with pronounced ribs.

It is outside, however, that the tourist will pass the greater part of
his time. Unluckily, the houses which closely surround the building
forbid a general view from being obtained of any but the western front,
yet this is perhaps a blessing, for none of the other sides are worthy
of special notice.

As mentioned, the appearance of the church is that of a fortress rather
than of a temple, or better still, is that of a feudal castle. The
crenelated square tower on the western front is heavy, and no higher
than the peaked and simple crowning of the handsome Romanesque window
above the narthex; the general impression is that of resistance rather
than of faith, and the lack of all decoration has caused the temple to
be called sombre.

The handsome narthex, the summit of which is crenelated like the tower,
is the simplest and noblest to be found in Galicia, and is really
beautiful in its original severity. Though dating from a time when
florid ogival had taken possession of Spain, the artist who erected it
(it is posterior to the rest of the building--early fifteenth
century) had the good taste to complete it simply, without
decoration, so as to render it homogeneous with the rest of the
building. It is also possible that there were no funds at hand for him
to erect it otherwise!

[Illustration: TUY CATHEDRAL]

The doors stand immediately behind this narthex. The portal is carved or
decorated in an elaborate late Romanesque style, one of the most richly
ornamented porticos belonging to this school in Spain, and a handsome
page in the history of Galician art in the twelfth century. The low
reliefs above the door and in the tympanum of the richly carved arcade,
are _felt_ and are admirably executed.

The northern entrance to the building is another fine example of
twelfth-century Spanish, or Galician Romanesque. Though simpler in
execution than the western front, it nevertheless is by some critics
considered purer in style (earlier?) than the first mentioned.

The tower which stands to the left of the northern entrance is one of
the few in the Romanesque style to be seen in northern Spain; it is
severe in its structure and pierced by a series of round-headed windows.

The cloister dating from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries is
another of Galicia's monuments well worth a visit, which proves the
local mixture of Romanesque and ogival, and is, perhaps, the last
example on record, as toward the fifteenth century Renaissance elements
had completely captured all art monuments.

Such is the cathedral of Tuy, a unique example of Galician Romanesque in
certain details, an edifice that really ought to be better known than it



The prettiest bay in Galicia is that of Vigo, which reaches inland to
Redondela--a village seated, as it were, on a Swiss lake, with two
immense viaducts passing over its head where the train speeds to Tuy and
Santiago. There is no lovelier spot in all Spain.

The city of Vigo, with its suffragan church on the hillside, is a modern
town dedicated to commerce; its wharves are important, and the water in
the bay is deep enough to permit the largest vessels afloat to enter and
anchor. The art student will not linger here, however, but will go by
boat to Bayona outside the bay and to the south near the Portuguese

Here, until quite recently, stood for an unknown length of time the
suffragan church which has now been removed to Vigo. But Bayona, once
upon a time the most important seaport in Galicia, is a ruin to-day, a
delightful ruin, and one of the prettiest in its ensemble, thanks to the
beautiful and weird surroundings.

Its history extends from the times of the Phœnicians, Greeks, and
Romans,--even earlier, as remains of lake-dwellers have been found. This
statement is not an exaggeration, though it may appear to be one, for
the bay is as quiet as a lake.

After the defeat of the Armada, Bayona was left a prey to Drake and his
worthy companions. They dealt the city a death-blow from which it has
never recovered, and Vigo, the new, the commercial, has usurped its
importance, as it did its church, which once upon a time, as is
generally believed, was a bishopric.

The present ruinous edifice of Bayona is peculiarly Galician and shows
the same characteristics as the remaining cathedrals we have spoken
about so far. It was ordained in 1482 by the Bishop of Tuy. The windows
of the nave (clerestory) are decidedly pointed or ogival; those of the
aisles are pure Romanesque. The peculiar feature is the use of animal
designs in the decorative elements of the capitals,--a unique example
in Galicia, where only floral or leaf motives were used in the best
period of Romanesque. The design to be noticed here on one of the
capitals is a bird devouring a toad, and it is so crudely and rustically
carved that one is almost inclined to believe that a native of the
country conceived and executed it.


_The North_



"Oviedo was born of a religious inspiration; its first building was a
temple (monastery?), and monks were its first inhabitants."

In the valley adjoining Cangas, in the eighth century, the most
important village in Asturias, a religious sect erected a monastery.
Froila or Froela, one of the early noblemen (now called a king, though
he was no king in those days) who fought against the Moors, erected in
the same century a church in the vicinity of Cangas (in Oviedo?),
dedicating it to the Saviour; he also built a palace near the same spot.
His son, Alfonso the Chaste, born in this palace, was brought up in a
convent near Lugo in Galicia. Upon becoming king he hesitated whether to
establish his court in Lugo, or in the new village which had been his
birthplace, namely Oviedo. At length, remembering perhaps his father's
love for the country near Cangas, he established it in the latter place
in the ninth century, and formed the kingdom of Asturias as opposed to
that of Galicia; the capital of the new kingdom was Oviedo.

"The king gave the city to the Saviour and to the venerable church built
by his father, and which, like a sun surrounded by its planets, he
placed within a circle of other temples.

"He convocated an ecclesiastical council with a view to establish a
primate see in Oviedo; he maintained an assembly of prelates who lent
lustre to the church, and he gave each a particular residence; the
spiritual splendour of Oviedo eclipsed even the brilliancy of the

This was in 812, and the first bishop consecrated was one Adulfo.

The subsequent reign of Alfonso was signalized by the discovery in
Galicia of the corpse of St. James the Apostle. The sovereign, it
appears, showed great interest in the discovery, established a church on
the sacred spot, and generously donated the nascent town. Not without
reason did posterity celebrate his many Christian virtues by calling
him the Chaste, _el Casto_.

Two hundred years only did Oviedo play an important part in the history
of Spain as capital of the Christian Kingdom. In 1020 its civil
dignities were removed by Alfonso V. to Leon in the south. From then on
the city remained important only as the alleged cradle of the new
dynasty, and its church--that of the Salvador--was used as the pantheon
of the kings.

In the twelfth century the basilica was in a ruinous state, and almost
completely destroyed. The fate of the Romanesque edifice which was then
built was as short as the city's glory had been ephemeral, for in 1380
it was destroyed by flames, and in its place the first stone of the
present building was laid by one Bishop Gutierre. One hundred and
seventy years later the then reigning prelate placed his coat of arms on
the spire, and the Gothic monument which is to-day admired by all who
visit it was completed.

The history of the city--an ecclesiastical and civil metropolis--is
devoid of interest since the tenth century. It was as though the streets
were too crowded with the legends of the fictitious kingdom of Asturias,
to be enabled to shake off the depression which little by little spread
over the whole town.

Apart from its cathedral, Oviedo and the surrounding country possesses
many of the earliest religious monuments in Spain, dating from the
eighth century. These, on account of their primary Romanesque and
basilica style, form a chapter apart in the history of ecclesiastical
architecture, and ought to be thoroughly studied. This is not the place,
however, to speak about them, in spite of their extreme age and the
great interest they awaken.

Nothing could be more graceful than the famous tower of the cathedral of
Oviedo, which is a superb Gothic _flèche_ of well-proportioned elements,
and literally covered over and encrusted with tiny pinnacles. Slender
and tapering, it rises to a height of about 280 feet. It is composed of
five distinct bodies, of which the penultimate betrays certain
Renaissance influences in the triangular cornices of the windows, etc.;
this passes, however, entirely unperceived from a certain distance. The
angles formed by the sides of the tower are flanked by a pair of slender
shafts in high relief, which tend to give it an even more majestic
impression than would be the case without them.

[Illustration: OVIEDO CATHEDRAL]

The cathedral itself is a late ogival building belonging to the
fifteenth century; though it cannot compare in fairy-like beauty with
that of Leon, nor in majesty with that of Burgos, it is nevertheless one
of the richest Gothic structures in Spain, especially as regards the
decoration of the interior.

The western front is entirely taken up by the triple portal, surmounted
by arches that prove a certain reluctance on the builder's part to make
them pointed; the northern extremity of the front is devoid of a tower,
though the base be standing. It was originally intended to erect a
second _flèche_ similar to the one described, but for some reason or
other--without a doubt purely financial--it was never built.

Of the three portals, that which corresponds to the central nave is the
larger; it is flanked by the only two statuettes in the whole front,
namely, by those of Alfonso the Chaste and Froela, and is surmounted by
a bold low relief. The arches of the three doors are richly carved with
ogival arabesques, and the panels, though more modern, have been wrought
by the hand of a master.

Taken all in all, this western front can be counted among the most
sombre and naked in Spain, so naked, in fact, that it appears rather as
though money had been lacking to give it a richer aspect than that the
artist's genius should have been so completely devoid of decorative
taste or imagination.

The interior of the Roman cruciform building, though by no means one of
the largest, is, as regards its architectural disposition, one of the
most imposing Gothic interiors in Spain. High, long, and narrow, the
central nave is rendered lighter and more elegant by the bold triforium
and the lancet windows of the upper clerestory wall. The wider aisles,
on the other hand, are dark in comparison to the nave, and tend to give
the latter greater importance.

This was doubtless the intention of the primitive master who terminated
the aisles at the transept by constructing chapels to the right and to
the left of the high altar and on a line with it. The sixteenth-century
builders thought differently, however, and so the aisles were prolonged
into an apsidal ambulatory behind the high altar. This part of the
building is far less pure in style than the primitive structure, and the
chapels which open to the right and to the left are of a more recent
date, and consequently even more out of harmony than the plateresque
ambulatory. The three rose windows in the semicircular apse are richly
decorated with ogival nervures, and correspond, one to the nave and one
to each of the aisles; they belong to the primitive structure, having
illuminated the afore-mentioned chapels.

Standing beneath the _croisée_, under a simple ogival vaulting, the ribs
of which are supported by richly carved capitals and elegant shafts, the
tourist is almost as favourably impressed by the view of the high altar
to the east and of the choir to the west, as is the case in Toledo. For
in Oviedo begins that series of Gothic churches in which the æsthetic
impression is not restricted to architectural or sculptural details
alone, but is also produced by the blinding display of metal, wood, and
other decorative accessories.

The _retablo_--a fine Gothic specimen--stands boldly forth against the
light coming from the apse in the rear, while on the opposite side of
the transept handsome, deep brown choir stalls peep out from behind a
magnificent iron _reja_. So beautiful is the view of the choir's
ensemble that the spectator almost forgives it for breaking in upon the
grandeur of the nave.

The chapels buried in the walls of the north aisle have most of them
been built in too extravagant a manner; the south aisle, on the other
hand, is devoid of such characteristic rooms, but contains some highly
interesting tomb slabs.

The cloister to the south of the church is a rich and florid example of
late ogival; it is, above all, conspicuous for the marvellous variety of
its decorative motives, both as regards the sculptural scenes of the
capitals (which portray scenes in the lives of saints and Asturian
kings, and are almost grotesque, though by no means carved without fire
and spirit) and the fretwork of the arches which look out upon the

The Camara Santa, or treasure-room, is an annex to the north of the
cathedral, and dates from the ninth or tenth century; it is small, and
was formerly used as a chapel in the old Romanesque building torn down
in 1380. Beside it, in the eleventh century, was constructed another and
larger room in the same style, with the characteristic Romanesque
vaulting, the rounded windows, and the decorative motives of the massive
pillars and capitals.




To the battle of Covadonga modern Spain owes her existence, that is, if
we are to believe the legends which have been handed down to us, and
which rightfully or wrongfully belong to history. Under the
circumstances, it is not surprising that the gratitude of later monarchs
should have erected a church on the site of the famous battle, and
should have raised it to a collegiate church.

Covadonga lies in the vicinity of Oviedo, in a ravine lost in the heart
of the Picos de Europa; it is at once the Morgarten and Sempach of
Spanish history, and though no art monuments, excepting the above named
monastic church and two Byzantine-Romanesque tombs, are to be seen,
there is hardly a visitor who, having come as far north as Oviedo, does
not pay a visit to the cradle of Spanish history.

Nor is the time lost. For the tourist who leaves the capital of
Asturias with the intention of going, as would a pilgrim, to Covadonga
(by stage and not by rail!) will be delightfully surprised by the weird
and savage wildness of the country through which he is driven.

Following the bed of a river, he enters a ravine; up and up climbs the
road bordered by steep declivities until at last it reaches a wall--a
_cul-de-sac_ the French would call it--rising perpendicularly ahead of
him. Half-way up, and on a platform, stands a solitary church; near by a
small cave, with an authentic (?) image of the Virgin of Battles and two
old sepulchres, is at first hidden from sight behind a protruding mass
of rock.

The guide or cicerone then explains to the tourist the origin of Spanish
history in the middle ages, buried in the legends, of which the
following is a short extract.

Pelayo, the son of Doña Luz and Duke Favila, who, as we have seen, was
killed by Witiza in Tuy, fled from Toledo to the north of Spain, living
among the savage inhabitants of Asturias.

A few years later, when Rodrigo, who was king at the time, and by some
strange coincidence Pelayo's cousin as well, lost the battle of
Guadalete and his life to boot, the Arabs conquered the whole peninsula
and placed in Gijon, a seaport town of Asturias, a garrison under the
command of one Munuza. The latter fell desperately in love with Pelayo's
sister Hermesinda, whom he had met in the village of Cangas. Wishing to
get the brother out of the way, he sent him on an errand to Cordoba,
expecting him to be assassinated on the road. But Pelayo escaped and
returned in time to save his sister; mad with wrath and swearing eternal
revenge, he retreated to the mountainous vales of Asturias, bearing
Hermesinda away with him. He was joined by many refugee Christians
dissatisfied with the Arab yoke, and aided by them, made many a bold
incursion into the plains below, and grew so daring that at length
Munuza mustered an army two hundred thousand (!) strong and set out to
punish the rebel.

Up a narrow pass between two high ridges went the pagan army, paying
little heed to the growing asperity and savageness of the path it was

Suddenly ahead of the two hundred thousand a high sheet of rock rose
perpendicularly skywards; on a platform Pelayo and his three hundred
warriors, who somehow or other had managed to emerge from a miraculous
cave where they had found an effigy of the Virgin of Battles, made a
last stand for their lives and liberties.

Immediately a shower of stones, beams, trunks, and what not was hurled
down into the midst of the heathen army by the three hundred warriors.
Confusion arose, and, like frightened deer, the Arabs turned and fled
down the path to the vale, pushing each other, in their fear, into the
precipice below.

Then the Virgin of Battles arose, and wishing to make the defeat still
more glorious, she caused the whole mountain to slide; an avalanche of
stones and earth dragged the remnants of Munuza's army into the ravine
beneath. So great was the slaughter and the loss of lives caused by this
defeat, that "for centuries afterward bones and weapons were to be seen
in the bed of the river when autumn's heat left the sands bare."

This Pelayo was the first king of Asturias, the first king of Spain,
from whom all later-date monarchs descended, though neither in a direct
nor a legitimate line, be it remarked in parenthesis. The tourist will
be told that it is Pelayo's tomb, and that of his sister, that are still
to be seen in the cave at Covadonga. Perhaps, though no documents or
other signs exist to bear out the statement. At any rate, the sepulchres
are old, which is their chief merit. The monastical church which stands
hard by cannot claim this latter quality; neither is it important as an
art monument.



The civil power enjoyed by Oviedo previous to the eleventh century moved
southwards in the wake of Asturias's conquering army. For about a
century it stopped on its way to Toledo in a fortress-town situated in a
wind-swept plain, at the juncture of two important rivers.

Leon was the name of this fortress, one of the strategical points, not
only of the early Romans, but of the Arabs who conquered the country,
and later of the nascent Christian kingdom of Asturias. In the tenth
century, or, better still, toward the beginning of the eleventh, and
after the final retreat of the Moors and their terrible general
Almanzor, Leon became the recognized capital of Asturias.

When the Christian wave first spread over the Iberian peninsula in the
time of the Romans, the fortress Legio Septima, established by
Trajanus's soldiers, had already grown in importance, and was considered
one of the promising North Spanish towns.

The inhabitants were among the most fearless adherents of the new faith,
and it is said that the first persecution of the martyrs took place in
Leon; consequently, it is not to be wondered at that, as soon as
Christianity was established in Iberia, a see should be erected on the
blood-soaked soil of the Roman fortress. (First known bishop, Basilides,
252 A. D.)

Marcelo seems to have been the most stoically brave of the many Leonese
martyrs. A soldier or subaltern in the Roman legion, he was daring
enough to throw his sword at the feet of his commander, who stood in
front of the regiment, saying:

"I obey the eternal King and scorn your silent gods of stone and wood.
If to obey Cæsar is to revere him as an idol, I refuse to obey him."

Stoic, with a grain of sad grandeur about them, were his last words when
Agricolanus condemned him to death.

"May God bless you, Agricolano."

And his head was severed from his body.

The next religious war to be waged in and around Leon took place
between Christians and the invading Visigoths, who professed a doctrine
called Arrianism. Persecutions were, of course, ripe again, and the
story is told of how the prior of San Vicente, after having been
beheaded, appeared in a dream to his cloister brethren trembling behind
their monastic walls, and advised them to flee, as otherwise they would
all be killed,--an advice the timid monks thought was an explicit order
to be immediately obeyed.

The conversion of Recaredo to Christianity--for political reasons
only!--stopped all further persecution; during the following centuries
Leon's inhabitants strove to keep away the Arab hordes who swept
northwards; now the Christians were overcome and Allah was worshipped in
the basilica; now the Asturian kings captured the town from Moorish
hands, and the holy cross crowned the altar. Finally the dreaded infidel
Almanzor burnt the city to the ground, and retreated to Cordoba. Ordoño
I., following in his wake, rebuilt the walls and the basilica, and from
thenceforward Leon was never again to see an Arab army within its gates.

Prosperity then smiled on the city soon to become the capital of the
kingdom of Asturias. The cathedral church was built on the spot where
Ordoño had erected a palace; the first stone was laid in 1199.

The traditions, legends, and historical events which took place in the
kingdom's capital until late in the thirteenth century belong to Spanish
history, or what is known as such. Ordoño II. was mysteriously put to
death, by the Counts of Castile, some say; Alfonso IV.--a monk rather
than a king--renounced his right to the throne, and retired to a convent
to pray for his soul. After awhile he tired of mumbling prayers and,
coming out from his retreat, endeavoured to wrest the sceptre from the
hands of his brother Ramiro. But alas, had he never left the cloister
cell! He was taken prisoner by his humane brother, had his eyes burnt
out for the pains he had taken, and died a few years later.

Not long after, Alfonso VII. was crowned Emperor of Spain in the church
of San Isidoro, an event which marks the climax of Leon's fame and
wealth. Gradually the kings moved southwards in pursuit of the
retreating Moors, and with them went their court and their patronage,
until finally the political centre of Castile and Leon was established
in Burgos, and the fate that had befallen Oviedo and Lugo visited also
the one-time powerful fortress of the Roman Legio Septima.

To-day? A dormant city on a baking plain and an immense cathedral
pointing back to centuries of desperate wars between Christians and
Moors; a collegiate church, far older still, which served as cathedral
when Alfonso VII. was crowned Emperor of Spain.

_Pulchra Leonina_ is the epithet applied to the beautiful cathedral of
Leon, dedicated to the Ascension of Our Lady and to Nuestra Señora de la

The first stone was laid in 1199, presumably on the spot where Ordoño I.
had erected his palace; the construction of the edifice did not really
take place, however, until toward 1250, so that it can be considered as
belonging to the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries.

"Two hundred years only did the temple enjoy a quiet life. In the
sixteenth century, restorations and additions were begun; in 1631 the
simple vault of the _croisée_ fell in and was replaced by an absurd
dome; in 1694 Manuel Conde destroyed and rebuilt the southern front
according to the style then in vogue, and in 1743 a great number of the
arches of the aisles fell in. Different parts of the building were
continually tumbling down, having become too weak to support the heavier
materials used in the construction of additions and renovations."

The cathedral was closed to the public by the government in 1850 and
handed over to a body of architects, who were to restore it in
accordance with the thirteenth-century design; in 1901 the interior of
the building had been definitely finished, and was opened once more to
the religious cult.

The general plan of the building is Roman cruciform, with a semicircular
apse composed of five chapels and an ambulatory behind the high altar.

As peculiarities, the following may be mentioned: the two towers of the
western front do not head the aisles, but flank them; the transept is
exceptionally wide (in Spanish cathedrals the distance between the high
altar and the choir must be regarded as the transept, properly speaking)
and is composed of a broad nave and two aisles to the east and one to
the west; the width also of the church at the transept is greater by
two aisles than that of the body itself,--a modification which produces
a double Roman cross and lends exceptional beauty to the ensemble, as it
permits of an unobstructed view from the western porch to the very apse.

Attention must also be drawn to the row of two chapels and a vestibule
which separate the church from the cloister (one of the most celebrated
in Spain as a Gothic structure, though mixed with Renaissance motives
and spoilt by fresco paintings). Thanks to this arrangement, the
cathedral possesses a northern portal similar to the southern one. As
regards the exterior of the building, it is a pity that the two towers
which flank the aisles are heavy in comparison to the general
construction of the church; had light and slender towers like those of
Burgos or that of Oviedo been placed here, how grand would have been the
effect! Besides, they are not similar, but date from different periods,
which is another circumstance to be regretted.

The second bodies of the western and southern façades also clash on
account of the Renaissance elements, with their simple horizontal lines
opposed to the vertical tendency of pure Gothic. But then, they also
were erected at a later date.

Excepting these remarks, however, nothing is more airily beautiful and
elegant than the superb expression of the _razonadas locuras_ (logical
nonsense) of the ogival style in all its phases, both early and late, or
even decadent. For examples of each period are to be found here,
corresponding to the century in which they were erected.

The ensemble is an astonishing profusion of high and narrow windows, of
which there are three rows: the clerestory, the triforium, and the
aisles. Each window is divided into two by a column so fragile that it
resembles a spider's thread. These windows peep forth from a forest of
flying buttresses, and nowhere does the mixture of pinnacles and painted
panes attain a more perfect eloquence than in the eastern extremity of
the polygonal apse.

The western and southern façades--the northern being replaced by the
cloister--are alike in their general design, and are composed of three
portals surmounted by a decidedly pointed arch which, in the case of the
central portals, adorns a richly sculptured tympanum. The artistic
merit of the statuary in the niches of both central portals is devoid of
exceptional praise, that of the southern façade being perhaps of a
better taste. As regards the stone pillar which divides the central door
into two wings, that on the south represents Our Lady of the Blanca, and
that on the west San Froilan, one of the early martyr bishops of Leon.

Excepting the Renaissance impurities already referred to, each portal is
surmounted by a row of five lancet windows, which give birth, as it
were, to one immense window of delicate design.

Penetrating into the interior of the building, preferably by the lateral
doors of the western front, the tourist is overcome by a feeling of awe
and amazement at the bold construction of aisles and nave, as slender as
is the frost pattern on a spotless pane. The full value of the windows,
which are gorgeous from the outside, is only obtained from the interior
of the temple; those of the clerestory reach from the sharp ogival
vaulting to the height of the triforium, which in its turn is backed by
another row of painted windows; in the aisles, another series of panes
rose in the sixteenth century from the very ground (!), though in
recent times the bases have unluckily been blinded to about the height
of a man.

The pillars and columns are of the simplest and most sober construction,
so simple that they do not draw the spectator's attention, but leave him
to be impressed by the great height of nave and aisles as compared with
their insignificant width, and above all by the profuse perforation of
the walls by hundreds upon hundreds of windows.

Unluckily, the original pattern of the painted glass does not exist but
in an insignificant quantity: the northern window, the windows of the
high altar, and those of the Chapel of St. James are about the only ones
dating from the fifteenth century that are left standing to-day; they
are easily recognizable by the rich, mellow tints unattained in modern
stained glass.

As accessories, foremost to be mentioned are the choir stalls, which are
of an elegant and severe workmanship totally different from the florid
carving of those in Toledo. The high altar, on the other hand, is devoid
of interest excepting for the fine ogival sepulchre of King Ordoño II;
the remaining chapels, some of which contain art objects of value, need
not claim the tourist's special attention.

By way of conclusion: the cathedral of Leon, restored to-day after years
of ruin and neglect, stands forth as one of the master examples of
Gothic workmanship, unrivalled in fairy-like beauty and, from an
architectural point of view, the very best example of French ogival to
be met with in Spain.

Moreover, those who wrought it, felt the real principles of all Gothic
architecture. Many are the cathedrals in Spain pertaining to this great
school, but not one of them can compare with that of Leon in the way the
essential principle was _felt_ and _expressed_. They are all beautiful
in their complex and hybrid style, but none of them can claim to be
Gothic in the way they are built. For wealth, power, and luxury in
details is generally the lesson Spanish cathedrals teach, but they do
not give their lancets and shafts, their vertical lines and pointed
arches, the chance to impress the visitor or true believer with those
sentiments so peculiar to the great ogival style.

The cathedral of Leon is, in Spain, the unique exception to this rule.
Save only those constructive errors or dissonances previously referred
to, and which tend to counteract the soaring characteristic, it could be
considered as being pure in style. Nevertheless, it is not only the
truest Gothic cathedral on the peninsula, but one of the finest in the

At the same time, it is no less true that it is not so Spanish as either
the Gothic of Burgos or of Toledo.

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1063 the King of Leon, Fernando I., signed a treaty with the Arab
governor of Sevilla, obliging the latter to hand over to the Catholic
monarch, in exchange for some other privileges, the corpse of San
Isidoro. It was conveyed to Leon, where a church was built to contain
the remains of the saint; the same building was to serve as a royal

About a century later Alfonso VII. was battling against the pagans in
Andalusia when, in the field of Baeza, the "warlike apparition of San
Isidoro appeared in the heavens and encouraged the Christian soldiers."

Thanks to this divine aid, the Moors were beaten, and Alfonso VII.,
returning to Leon, enriched the saint's shrine, enlarged it, and raised
it to a suffragan church, destined later to serve as the temporary see
while the building of the real cathedral was going on.

In 1135 Alfonso VII. was crowned Emperor of the West Roman Empire with
extraordinary pomp and splendour in the Church of San Isidoro. The
apogee of Leon's importance and power coincides with this memorable

The emperor's sister, Sancha, a pious infanta, bequeathed her vast
fortune as well as her palace to San Isidoro, her favourite saint; the
church in Leon became, consequently, one of the richest in Spain, a
privilege it was, however, unable to retain for any length of time.

In 1029, shortly after the erection of the primitive building, its front
was sullied, according to the tradition, by the blood of one Count
Garcia of Castile. The following is the story:

The King of Asturias at the time was Bermudo II., married to Urraca, the
daughter of Count Sancho of Castile. Political motives had produced this
union, for the Condes de Castile had grown to be the most important and
powerful feudal lords of the kingdom.

To assure the count's assistance and friendship, the king went even
further: he promised his sister Sancha to the count's son Garcia, who
lost no time in visiting Leon so as to become acquainted with his future

Three sons of the defeated Count of Vela, a Basque nobleman whom the
Counts of Castile had put to death, were in the city at the time.
Pretending to be very friendly with the young _fiancé_, they conspired
against his life, and, knowing that he paid matinal visits to San
Isidoro, they hid in the portal one day, and slew the youth as he

The promised bride arrived in haste and fell weeping on the body of the
murdered man; she wept bitterly and prayed to be allowed to be buried
with her sweetheart. Her prayer was, of course, not granted: so she
swore she would never marry. She was not long in breaking this oath,
however, for a few months later she wedded a prince of the house of

The present state of the building of San Isidoro is ruinous, thanks to a
stroke of lightning in 1811, and to the harsh treatment bestowed upon
the building by Napoleon's soldiers during the War for Independence

Seen from the outside, the edifice is as uninteresting as possible; the
lower part is constructed in the early Latin Romanesque style; the
upper, of a posterior construction, shows a decided tendency to early

The apse was originally three-lobed, composed of three identical chapels
corresponding to the nave and aisles; in the sixteenth century the
central lobe was prolonged and squared off; the same century saw the
erection of the statue of San Isidoro in the southern front, which
spoiled the otherwise excellently simple Romanesque portal.

In the interior of the ruin--for such it is to-day--the only peculiarity
to be noted is the use of the horseshoe arches in the arcades which
separate the aisles from the nave, as well as the Arab dentated arches
of the transept. It is the first case on record where, in a Christian
temple of the importance of San Isidoro, Arab or pagan architectural
elements were made use of in the decoration; that is to say, after the
invasion, for previous examples were known, having most likely
penetrated into the country by means of Byzantine workmen in the fifth
and sixth centuries. (In San Juan de Baños.)


Instead of being lined with chapels the aisles are covered with mural
paintings. These frescoes are of great archæological value on account of
their great age and the evident Byzantine influence which characterizes
them; artistically they are unimportant.

The chief attraction of the building is the pantheon, a low, square
chapel of six arches, supported in the centre by two gigantic pillars
which are crowned by huge cylindrical capitals. Nothing more depressing
or gloomy can be seen in the peninsula excepting the pantheon in the
Escorial; it is doubtful which of the two is more melancholy. The pure
Oriental origin (almost Indian!) of this pantheon is unmistakable and
highly interesting.

The fresco paintings which cover the ceiling and the massive ribs of the
vaulting are equally morbid, representing hell-scenes from the
Apocalypse, the massacre of the babes, etc.

Only one or two of the Romanesque marble tombs which lined the walls
are remaining to-day; the others were used by the French soldiers as
drinking-troughs for their cavalry horses!



The Asturica Augusta of the Romans was the capital of the northern
provinces of Asturias and the central point of four military roads which
led to Braga, Aquitania, Saragosse, and Tarragon.

During the Visigothic domination, and especially under the reign of
Witiza, Astorga as well as Leon, Toledo, and Tuy were the only four
cities allowed to retain their walls.

According to some accounts, Astorga was the seat of the earliest
bishopric in the peninsula, having been consecrated in the first century
by Santiago or his immediate followers; historically, however, the first
known bishop was Dominiciano, who lived about 347 A. D.

In the fourth and fifth centuries several heresies or false doctrines
were ripe in Spain. Of one of these, _Libelatism_, Astorga was the
centre; the other, _Priscilianism_, originally Galician, found many
adherents in the fortress-town, more so than elsewhere, excepting only
Tuy, Orense, and Palencia.

_Libelatism._--Its great defender was Basilides, Bishop of Astorga.
Strictly speaking, this faith was no heresy, but a sham or fraud which
spread out beyond the Pyrenees to France. It consisted in denying the
new faith; those who proclaimed it, or, in other words, the Christians,
who were severely persecuted in those days, pretended to worship the
Latin gods so as to save their skins. With this object in view, and to
be able to prove their sincerity, they were obliged to obtain a
certificate, _libelum_ (libel?), from the Roman governor, stating their
belief in Jupiter, Venus, etc. Doubtless they had to pay a tax for this
certificate, and thus the Roman state showed its practical wisdom: it
was paid by cowards for being tyrannical. But then, not all Christians
are born martyrs.

_Priscilianism._--Of quite a different character was the other heresy
previously mentioned. It was a doctrine opposed to the Christian
religion, proud of many adherents, and at one time threatening danger to
the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Considering that it is but little known
to-day (for after a lingering life of about three or four centuries in
Galicia it was quite ignored by philosophers and Christians alike), it
may be of some use to transcribe the salient points of this doctrine, in
case some one be inclined to baptize him or herself as prophet of the
new religion. It was preached by one Prisciliano in the fourth century,
and was a mixture of Celtic mythology and Christian faith.

"Prisciliano did not believe in the mystery of the Holy Trinity; he
believed that the world had been created by the devil (perhaps he was
not wrong!) and that the devil held it beneath his sway; further, that
the soul is part of the Divine Essence and the body dependent upon the
stars; that this life is a punishment, as only sinful souls descend on
earth to be incarnated in organic bodies. He denied the resurrection of
the flesh and the authenticity of the Old Testament. He defended the
transmigration of souls, the invocation of the dead, and other ideas,
doubtless taken from native Galician mythology. To conclude, he
celebrated the Holy Communion with grape and milk instead of with wine,
and admitted that all true believers (his true believers, I suppose,
for we are all of us true believers of some sort) could celebrate
religious ceremonies without being ordained curates."

Sinfosio, Bishop of Astorga in 400, was converted to the new religion.
But, upon intimation that he might be deprived of his see, he hurriedly
turned Christian again, putting thus a full stop to the spread of
heresy, by his brave and unselfish act.

Toribio in 447 was, however, the bishop who wrought the greatest harm to
Priscilianism. He seems to have been the divine instrument called upon
to prove by marvellous happenings the true religion: he converted the
King of the Suevos in Orense by miraculously curing his son; when
surrounded by flames he emerged unharmed; when he left his diocese, and
until his return, the crops were all lost; upon his return the
church-bells rang without human help, etc., etc. All of which doings
proved the authenticity of the true religion beyond a doubt, and that
Toribio was a saint; the Pope canonized him.

During the Arab invasion, Astorga, being a frontier town, suffered more
than most cities farther north; it was continually being taken and
lost, built up and torn down by the Christians and Moors.

Terrible Almanzor conquered it in his raid in the tenth century, and
utterly destroyed it. It was rebuilt by Veremundo or Bermudo III., but
never regained its lost importance, which reverted to Leon.

When the Christian armies had conquered the peninsula as far south as
Toledo, Astorga was no longer a frontier town, and rapidly fell asleep,
and has slept ever since. It remained a see, however, but only one of
secondary importance.

It would be difficult to state how many cathedral churches the city
possessed previous to the eleventh century. In 1069 the first on record
was built; in 1120 another; a third in the thirteenth century, and
finally the fourth and present building in 1471.

It was the evident intention of the architect to imitate the _Pulchra
Leonina_, but other tastes and other styles had swept across the
peninsula and the result of the unknown master's plans resembles rather
a heavy, awkward caricature than anything else, and a bastard mixture of
Gothic, plateresque, and grotesque styles.

The northern front is by far the best of the two, boasting of a rather
good relief in the tympanum of the ogival arch; some of the painted
windows are also of good workmanship, though the greater part are modern
glass, and unluckily unstained.

Its peculiarities can be signalized; the windows of the southern aisle
are situated above the lateral chapels, while those of the northern are
lower and situated in the chapels. The height and width of the aisles
are also remarkable--a circumstance that does not lend either beauty or
effect to the building. There is no ambulatory behind the high altar,
which stands in the lady-chapel; the apse is rounded. This peculiarity
reminds one dimly of what the primitive plan of the Oviedo cathedral
must have resembled.

By far the most meritorious piece of work in the cathedral is the
sixteenth-century _retablo_ of the high altar, which alone is worth a
visit to Astorga. It is one of Becerra's masterpieces in the late
plateresque style, as well as being one of the master's last known works

It is composed of five vertical and three horizontal bodies; the niches
in the lower are flanked by Doric, those of the second by Corinthian,
and those of the upper by composite columns and capitals. The polychrome
statues which fill the niches are life-size and among the best in Spain;
together they are intended to give a graphic description of the life of
the Virgin and of her Son.

In some of the decorative details, however, this _retablo_ shows evident
signs of plateresque decadence, and the birth of the florid grotesque
style, which is but the natural reaction against the severity of early
sixteenth-century art.



Burgos is the old capital of Castile.

Castile--or properly Castilla--owed its name to the great number of
castles which stood on solitary hills in the midst of the plains lying
to the north of the Sierra de Guaderrama; one of these castles was
called Burgos.

Unlike Leon and Astorga, Burgos was not known to the Romans, but was
founded by feudal noblemen in the middle ages, most likely by the Count
of Castilla prior to 884 A. D., when its name first appears in history.

Situated almost in the same line and to the west of Astorga and Leon, it
entered the chain of fortresses which formed the frontier between the
Christian kingdoms and the Moorish dominion. At the same time it looked
westwards toward the kingdom of Navarra, and managed to keep the
ambitious sovereigns of Pamplona from Castilian soil.

During the first centuries which followed upon the foundation of the
village of Burgos at the foot of a prominent castle, both belonged to
the feudal lords of Castile, the celebrated counts of the same name.
This family of intrepid noblemen grew to be the most important in
Northern Spain; vassals of the kings of Asturias, they broke out in
frequent rebellion, and their doings alone fill nine of every ten pages
of mediæval history.

Orduño III.--he who lost the battle of Valdejunquera against the Moors
because the noblemen he had ordered to assist refrained from doing
so--enticed the Count of Castile, together with other conspirators, to
his palace, and had them foully murdered. So, at least, saith history.

The successor to the title was no fool. On the contrary, he was one of
the greatest characters in Spanish history, hero of a hundred legends
and traditions. Fernan Gonzalez was his name, and he freed Castile from
owing vassalage to Asturias, for he threw off the yoke which bound him
to Leon, and lived as an independent sovereign in his castle of Burgos.
This is the date of Castile's first appearance in history as one of the
nuclei of Christian resistance (in the tenth century).

Nevertheless, against the military genius of Almanzor (the victorious),
Fernan Gonzalez could do no more than the kings of Leon. The fate that
befell Santiago, Leon, and Astorga awaited Burgos, which was utterly
destroyed with the exception of the impregnable castle. After the Arab's
death, hailed by the Christians with shouts of joy, and from the pulpits
with the grim remark: _"Almanzor mortuus est et sepultus et in
inferno_," the strength of Castile grew year by year, until one Conde
Garcia de Castilla married one of his daughters to the King of Navarra
and the other to Bermudo III. of Leon. His son, as has already been seen
in a previous chapter, was killed in Leon when he went to marry
Bermudo's sister Sancha. But his grandson, the recognized heir to the
throne of Navarra, Fernando by name, inherited his grandfather's title
and estates, even his murdered uncle's promised bride, the sister of
Bermudo. At the latter's death some years later, without an heir, he
inherited--or conquered--Leon and Asturias, and for the first time in
history, all the Christian kingdoms of the peninsula were united
beneath one sceptre.

Castile was now the most powerful state in the peninsula, and its
capital, Burgos, the most important city north of Toledo.

Two hundred years later the centralization of power in Burgos was an
accomplished fact, as well as the death in all but name of the ancient
kingdom of Leon, Asturias, and Galicia. Castile was Spain, and Burgos
its splendid capital (1230, in the reign of San Fernando).

The above events are closely connected with the ecclesiastical history,
which depends entirely upon the civil importance of the city.

A few years after Fernando I. had inaugurated the title of King of
Castile, he raised the parish church of Burgos to a bishopric (1075) by
removing to his new capital the see that from time immemorial had
existed in Oca. He also laid the first stone of the cathedral church in
the same spot where Fernan Gonzalez had erected a summer palace,
previous to the Arab raid under Almanzor. Ten years later the same king
had the bishopric raised to an archiepiscopal see.

San Fernando, being unable to do more than had already been done by his
forefather Fernando I., had the ruined church pulled down, and in its
place he erected the cathedral still standing to-day. This was in 1221.

So rapidly was the main edifice constructed, that as early as 1230 the
first holy mass was celebrated in the altar-chapel. The erection of the
remaining parts took longer, however, for the building was not completed
until about three hundred years later.

Burgos did not remain the sole capital of Northern Spain for any great
length of time. Before the close of the thirteenth century, Valladolid
had destroyed the former's monopoly, and from then on, and during the
next three hundred years, these two and Toledo were obliged to take
turns in the honour of being considered capital, an honour that depended
entirely upon the caprices of the rulers of the land, until it was
definitely conferred upon Madrid in the seventeenth century.

As regards legends and traditions of feudal romance and tragedy, hardly
a city excepting Toledo and Salamanca can compete with Burgos.
Historical events, produced by throne usurpers and defenders, by
continual strife, by the obstinacy of the noblemen and the perfidy of
the monarchs,--all interwoven with beautiful dames and cruel
warriors--are sufficiently numerous to enable every house in and around
Burgos to possess some secret or other, generally gruesome and
licentious, which means chivalrous. The reign of Peter the Cruel and of
his predecessor Alfonso, the father of four or five bastards, and the
lover of Doña Leonor; the heroic deeds of Fernan Gonzalez and of the Cid
Campeador (Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar); the splendour of the court of Isabel
I., and the peculiar constitution of the land with its Cortes, its
convents, and monasteries,--all tend to make Burgos the centre of a
chivalrous literature still recited by the people and firmly believed in
by them. Unluckily their recital cannot find a place here, and we pass
on to examine the grand cathedral, object of the present chapter.

       *       *       *       *       *

The train, coming from the north, approaches the city of Burgos. A low
horizon line and undulating plains stretch as far as the eye can reach;
in the distance ahead are two church spires and a castle looming up
against a blue sky.

The train reaches the station; a mass of houses and, overtopping the
roofs of all buildings, the same spires as seen before, lost as it were
in a forest of pinnacles, emerging from two octagonal lanterns or
cimborios. In the background, on a sandy hill, are the ruins of the
castle which once upon a time was the stronghold of the Counts of

Burgos! Passing beneath a four-hundred-year-old gateway--Arco de Santa
Maria--raised by trembling bourgeois to appease a monarch's wrath, the
visitor arrives after many a turn in a square situated in front of the

A poor architectural element is this western front of the cathedral as
regards the first body or the portals. Devoid of all ornamentation, and
consequently naked, three doors or portals, surmounted by a peculiar
egg-shaped ogival arch, open into the nave and aisles. Originally they
were richly decorated by means of sculptural reliefs and statuary, but
in the plateresque period of the sixteenth century they were demolished.
The two lateral doors leading into the aisles are situated beneath the
275 feet high towers of excellent workmanship.

[Illustration: BURGOS CATHEDRAL]

The central door is surmounted by a plateresque-Renaissance pediment
imbedded in an ogival arch (of all things!); the side doors are crowned
by a simple window.

Vastly superior in all respects to the lower body are the upper stories,
of which the first is begun by a pinnacled balustrade running from tower
to tower; in the centre, between the two towers, there is an immense
rosace of a magnificent design and embellished by means of an ogival
arch in delicate relief; the windows of the tower, as well as in the
superior bodies, are pure ogival.

The next story can be considered as the basement of the towers, properly
speaking. The central part begins with a prominent balustrade of statues
thrown against a background formed by twin ogival windows of exceptional
size. The third story is composed, as regards the towers, of the last of
the square bodies upon which the flèche reposes; these square bases are
united by a light frieze or perforated balustrade which crowns the
central part of the façade and is decorated with ogival designs.

Last to be mentioned, but not least in importance, are the _flèches_.
Though short in comparison to the bold structure at Oviedo, they are,
nevertheless, of surprising dignity and elegance, and richly ornamented,
being covered over with an innumerable amount of tiny pinnacles
encrusted, as it were, on the stone network of a perforated pyramid.

The northern façade is richer in sculptural details than the western,
though the portal possesses but one row of statues. The rosace is
substituted by a three-lobed window, the central pane of which is larger
than the lateral two.

As this northern façade is almost fifteen feet higher than the
ground-plan of the temple,--on account of the street being much
higher,--a flight of steps leads down into the transept. As a
Renaissance work, this golden staircase is one of Spain's marvels, but
it looks rather out of place in an essentially Gothic cathedral.

To avoid the danger of falling down these stairs and with a view to
their preservation, the transept was pierced by another door in the
sixteenth century, on a level with the floor of the building, and
leading into a street lower than the previous one; it is situated on the
east of the prolonged transept, or better still, of the prolonged
northern transept arm.

On the south side a cloister door corresponds to this last-named portal.
Though the latter is plateresque, cold and severe, the former is the
richest of all the portals as regards sculptural details; the carving of
the panels is also of the finest workmanship. Beside it, the southern
front of the cathedral coincides perfectly with the northern; like the
Puerta de la Plateria in Santiago, it is rendered somewhat insignificant
by the cloister to the right and by the archbishop's palace to the left,
between which it is reached by a paved series of terraces, for on this
side the street is lower than the floor of the cathedral. The impression
produced by this alley is grand and imposing, unique in Spain.

Neither is the situation of the temple exactly east and west, a rare
circumstance in such a highly Catholic country like Spain. It is Roman
cruciform in shape; the central nave contains both choir and high altar;
the aisles are prolonged behind the latter in an ambulatory.

The lateral walls of the church, enlarged here and there to make room
for chapels of different dimensions, give an irregular outline to the
building which has been partly remedied by the free use of buttresses,
flying buttresses, and pinnacles.

The first impression produced on the visitor standing in either of the
aisles is that of size rather than beauty; a close examination, however,
of the wealth of statues and tombs, and of the sculptural excellence of
stone decoration, will draw from the tourist many an exclamation of
wonder and delight. Further, the distribution of light is such as to
render the interior of the temple gay rather than sombre; it is a pity,
nevertheless, that the stained glasses of the sixteenth century see were
all destroyed by a powder explosion in 1813, when the French soldiers
demolished the castle.

The unusual height of the choir mars the ensemble of the interior; the
stalls are lavishly carved, but do not inspire the same feeling of
wonderful beauty as do those of Leon and Toledo, for instance; the
_reja_ or grille which separates the choir from the transept is one of
the finest pieces of work in the cathedral, and, though massive, it is
simple and elegant.

The _retablo_ of the high altar, richly gilt, is of the Renaissance
period; the statues and groups which fill the niches are marvellously
drawn and full of life. In the ambulatory, imbedded in the wall of the
_trascoro_, there are six plaques in low relief; as sculptural work in
stone they are unrivalled in the cathedral, and were carved, beyond a
doubt, by the hand of a master. The _croisée_ and the Chapel of the
Condestable are the two chief attractions of the cathedral church.

The last named chapel is an octagonal addition to the apse. Its walls
from the exterior are seen to be richly sculptured and surmounted by a
lantern, or windowed dome, surrounded by high pinnacles and spires
placed on the angles of the polygon base. The _croisée_ is similar in
structure, but, due to its greater height, appears even more slender and
aerial. The towers with their _flèches_, together with these original
octagonal lanterns with their pinnacles, lend an undescribable grace,
elegance, and majesty to what would otherwise have been a rather
unwieldy edifice.

The Chapel of the Condestable is separated from the ambulatory (in the
interior of the temple) by a good grille of the sixteenth century, and
by a profusely sculptured door. The windows above the altar are the only
ones that retain painted panes of the sixteenth century. Among the other
objects contained in this chapel--which is really a connoisseur's
collection of art objects of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries--can
be mentioned the two marvellously carved tombs of the Condestable and of
his wife.

The _croisée_, on the other hand, has been called the "cathedral's
cathedral." Gazing skyward from the centre of the transept into the high
_cimborio_, and admiring the harmony of its details, the wealth of
decorative elements, and the no less original structure of the dome,
whose vault is formed by an immense star, one can understand the epithet
applied to this majestic piece of work, a marvel of its kind.

Strange to say, the primitive cupola which crowned the _croisée_ fell
down in the sixteenth century, the date also of Burgos's growing
insignificance in political questions. Consequently, it was believed by
many that the same fate produced both accidents, and that the downfall
of the one necessarily involved the decadence of the other.

To conclude: The Gothic cathedral of Burgos is, with that of Leon and
perhaps that of Sevilla, the one which expresses in a greater measure
than any other on the peninsula the true ideal of ogival architecture.
Less airy, light, and graceful than that of Leon, it is, nevertheless,
more Spanish, or in other words, more majestic, heavier, and more
imposing as regards size and weight. From a sculptural point of
view--stone sculpture--it is the first of all Spanish Gothic cathedrals,
and ranks among the most elaborate and perfect in Europe.



The foundation of Santander is attributed to the Romans who baptized it
Harbour of Victory. Its decadence after the Roman dominion seems to have
been complete, and its name does not appear in the annals of Spanish
history until in 1187, when Alfonso, eighth of that name and King of
Castile, induced the repopulation of the deserted hamlet by giving it a
special _fuero_ or privilege. At that time a monastery surrounded by a
few miserable huts seems to have been all that was left of the Roman
seaport; this monastery was dedicated to the martyr saints Emeterio and
Celedonio, for it was, and still is, believed that they perished here,
and not in Calahorra, as will be seen later on.

The name of the nascent city in the times of Alfonso VIII. was Sancti
Emetrii, from that of the monastery or of the old town, but within a
few years the new town eclipsed the former in importance and, being
dedicated to St. Andrew, gave its name to the present city
(San-t-Andres, Santander).

As a maritime town, Santander became connected with all the naval events
undertaken by young Castile, and later by Philip II., against England.
Kings, princes, princess-consorts, and ambassadors from foreign lands
came by sea to Santander, and went from thence to Burgos and Valladolid;
from Santander and the immediate seaports the fleet sailed which was to
travel up the Guadalquivir and conquer Sevilla; in 1574 the Invincible
Armada left the Bay of Biscay never to return, and from thence on until
now, Santander has ever remained the most important Spanish seaport on
the Cantabric Sea.

Its ecclesiastical history is uninteresting--or, rather, the city
possesses no ecclesiastical past; perhaps that is one of the causes of
its flourishing state to-day. In the thirteenth century the monastical
Church of San Emeterio was raised to a collegiate and in 1775 to a

The same unimportance, from an art point of view, attaches itself to the
cathedral church. No one visits the city for the sake of the heavy,
clumsy, and exceedingly irregularly built temple which stands on the
highest part of the town. On the contrary, the great attraction is the
fine beach of the Sardinero which lies to the west of the industrial
town, and is, in summer, the Brighton of Spain. The coast-line, deeply
dentated and backed by the Cantabric Mountains, is far more delightful
and attractive than the Gothic cathedral structure of the thirteenth

Consequently, little need be said about it. In the interior, the height
of the nave and aisles, rendered more pronounced by the pointed ogival
arches, gives the building a somewhat aerial appearance that is belied
by the view from without.


The square tower on the western end is undermined by a gallery or tunnel
through which the Calle de Puente passes. To the right of the same, and
reached by a flight of steps, stands the entrance to the crypt, which is
used to-day as a most unhealthy parish church. This crypt of the late
twelfth century or early thirteenth shows a decided Romanesque tendency
in its general appearance: it is low, massive, strong, and crowned by
a semicircular vaulting reposing on gigantic pillars whose capitals are
roughly sculptured. The windows which let in the little light that
enters are ogival, proving the Transition period to which the crypt
belongs; it was originally intended as the pantheon for the abbots of
the monastery. But unlike the Galician Romanesque, it lacks an
individual _cachet_; if it resembles anything it is the pantheon of the
kings in San Isidoro in Leon, though in point of view of beauty, the two
cannot be compared.

The form of the crypt is that of a perfect Romanesque basilica, a nave
and two aisles terminating a three-lobed apse.

In the cathedral, properly speaking, there is a baptismal font of
marble, bearing an Arabic inscription by way of upper frieze; it is
square, and of Moorish workmanship, and doubtless was brought from
Cordoba after the reconquest. Its primitive use had been practical, for
in Andalusia it stood at the entrance to some mezquita, and in its
limpid waters the disciples of Mahomet performed their hygienic and
religious ablutions.



If the foreigner enter Spain by Irun, the first cathedral town on his
way south is Vitoria.

Gazteiz seems to have been its Basque name prior to 1181, when it was
enlarged by Don Sancho of Navarra and was given a _fuero_ or privilege,
together with its new name, chosen to commemorate a victory obtained by
the king over his rival, Alfonso of Castile.

Fortune did not smile for any length of time on Don Sancho, for
seventeen years later Alfonso VIII. incorporated the city in his kingdom
of Castile, and it was lost for ever to Navarra.

As regards the celebrated _fueros_ given by the last named monarch to
the inhabitants of the city, a curious custom was in vogue in the city
until a few years ago, when the Basque Provinces finally lost the
privileges they had fought for during centuries.

When Alfonso VIII. granted these privileges, he told the citizens they
were to conserve them "as long as the waters of the Zadorria flowed into
the Ebro."

The Zadorria is the river upon which Vitoria is situated; about two
miles up the river there is a historical village, Arriago, and a no less
historical bridge. Hither, then, every year on St. John's Day, the
inhabitants of Vitoria came in procession, headed by the municipal
authorities, the bishop and clergy, the clerk of the town hall, and the
sheriff. The latter on his steed waded into the waters of the Zadorria,
and threw a letter into the stream; it flowed with the current toward
the Ebro River. An act was then drawn up by the clerk, signed by the
mayor and the sheriff, testifying that the "waters of the Zadorria
flowed into the Ebro."

To-day the waters still flow into the Ebro, but the procession does not
take place, and the city's _fueros_ are no more.

In the reign of Isabel the Catholic, the Church of St. Mary was raised
to a Colegiata, and it is only quite recently, according to the latest
treaty between Spain and Rome, that an episcopal see has been
established in the city of Vitoria.

Documents that have been discovered state that in 1281--a hundred years
after the city had been newly baptized--the principal temple was a
church and castle combined; in the fourteenth century this was
completely torn down to make room for the new building, a modest ogival
church of little or no merit.

The tower is of a later date than the body of the cathedral, as is
easily seen by the triangular pediments which crown the square windows:
it is composed of three bodies, as is generally the case in Spain, the
first of which is square in its cross-section, possessing four turrets
which crown the angles; the second body is octagonal and the third is in
the form of a pyramid terminating in a spire.

The portal is cut into the base of the tower. It is the handsomest front
of the building, though in a rather dilapidated state; the sculptural
decorations of the three arches, as well as the aerial reliefs of the
tympanum, are true to the period in which they were conceived.

The sacristy encloses a primitive wooden effigy of the Virgin; it is of
greater historic than artistic value. There is also a famous picture
attributed now to Van Dyck, now to Murillo; it represents Christ in the
arms of his mother, and Mary Magdalene weeping on her knees beside the
principal group. The picture is known by the name of Piety or La Piedad.

The high altar, instead of being placed to the east of the transept, as
is generally the case, is set beneath the _croisée_, in the circular
area formed by the intersection of nave and transept. The view of the
interior is therefore completely obstructed, no matter where the
spectator stands.



To the south of Navarra and about a hundred miles to the west of Burgos,
the Ebro River flows through a fertile vale called the Rioja, famous for
its claret. It is little frequented by strangers or tourists, and yet it
is well worth a visit. The train runs down the Ebro valley from Miranda
to Saragosse. A hilly country to the north and south, well wooded and
gently sloping like the Jura; nearer, and along the banks of the stream,
_huertas_ or orchards, gardens, and vineyards offer a pleasant contrast
to the distant landscape, and produce a favourable impression,
especially when a village or town with its square, massive church-tower
peeps forth from out of the foliage of fruit-trees and elms.

Such is Upper Rioja--one of the prettiest spots in Spain, the Touraine,
one might almost say, of Iberia, a circular region of about twenty-five
miles in radius, containing four cities, Logroño, Santo Domingo de la
Calzada, Nájera, and Calahorra.

The Roman military road from Tarragon to Astorga passed through the
Rioja, and Calahorra, a Celtiberian stronghold slightly to the south,
was conquered by the invaders after as sturdy a resistance as that of
Numantia itself. It was not totally destroyed by the conquering Romans
as happened in the last named town; on the contrary, it grew to be the
most important fortress between Leon and Saragosse.

When the Christian religion dawned in the West, two youths, inseparable
brothers, and soldiers in the seventh legion stationed in Leon, embraced
the true religion and migrated to Calahorra. They were beheaded after
being submitted to a series of the most frightful tortures, and their
tunics, leaving the bodies from which life had escaped, soared skywards
with the saintly souls, to the great astonishment of the Roman
spectators. The names of these two martyr saints were Emeterio and
Celedonio, who, as we have seen, are worshipped in Santander; besides,
they are also the patron saints of Calahorra.

The first Bishop of Calahorra took possession of his see toward the
middle of the fifth century; his name was Silvano. Unluckily, he was the
only one whose name is known to-day, and yet it has been proven that
when the Moors invaded the country two or three hundred years later, the
see was removed to Oviedo, later to Alava (near Vitoria, where no
remains of a cathedral church are to be seen to-day), and in the tenth
century to Nájera. One hundred years later, when the King of Navarra,
Don Garcia, conquered the Arab fortress at Calahorra, the wandering see
was once more firmly chained down to the original spot of its creation
(1030; the first bishop _de modernis_ being Don Sancho).

Near by, and in a vale leading to the south from the Ebro, the Moors
built a fortress and called it Nájera. Conquered by the early kings of
Navarra, it was raised to the dignity of one of the cathedral towns of
the country; from 950 (first bishop, Theodomio) to 1030 ten bishops held
their court here, that is, until the see was removed to Calahorra. Since
then, and especially after the conquest of Rioja by Alfonso VI. of
Castile, the city's significance died out completely, and to-day it is
but a shadow of what it previously had been, or better still, it is an
ignored village among ruins.

Still further west, and likewise situated in a vale to the south of the
Ebro, Santo Domingo de la Calzada ranks as the third city. Originally
its parish was but a suffragan church of Calahorra, but in 1227 it was
raised to an episcopal see. Quite recently, in the beginning of the
nineteenth century, when church funds were no longer what they had been,
only one bishop was appointed to both sees, with an alternative
residence in either of the two, that is to say, one prelate resided in
Calahorra, his successor in Santo Domingo, and so forth and so on. Since
1850, however, both villages--for they are cities in name only--have
lost all right to a bishop, the see having been definitely removed to
Logroño, or it will be removed there as soon as the present bishop dies.
But he has a long life, the present bishop!

The origin of Santo Domingo is purely religious. In the eleventh and
twelfth centuries a pious individual lived in the neighbourhood whose
life-work and ambition it was to facilitate the travelling pilgrims to
Santiago in Galicia. He served as guide, kept a road open in winter and
summer, and even built bridges across the streams, one of which is still
existing to-day, and leads into the town which bears his name.

He had even gone so far as to establish a rustic sort of an inn where
the pilgrims could pass the night and eat (without paying?). He also
constructed a church beside his inn. Upon dying, he was canonized Santo
Domingo de la Calzada (Domingo was his name, and _calzada_ is old
Spanish for highroad). The Alfonsos of Castile were grateful to the
humble saint for having saved them the expense and trouble of looking
after their roads, and ordained that a handsome church should be erected
on the spot where previously the humble inn and chapel had stood. Houses
grew up around it rapidly and the dignity of the new temple was raised
in consequence.

Of the four cities of Upper Rioja, the only one worthy of the name of
city is Logroño, with its historical bridge across the Ebro, a bridge
that was held, according to the tradition, by the hero, Ruy Diaz Gaona,
and three valiant companions against a whole army of invading Navarrese.

The name Lucronio or Logroño is first mentioned in a document toward
the middle of the eleventh century. The date of its foundation is
absolutely unknown, and all that can be said is that, once it had fallen
into the hands of the monarchs of Castile (1076), it grew rapidly in
importance, out-shining the other three Rioja cities. It is seated on
the southern banks of the Ebro in the most fertile part of the whole
region, and enjoys a delightful climate. Since 1850 it has been raised
to the dignity of an episcopal see.

As regards the architectural remains of the four cities in the Upper
Rioja valley, they are similar to those of Navarra, properly speaking,
though not so pure in their general lines. In other words, they belong
to the decadent period of Gothic art. Moreover, they have one and all
been spoiled by ingenious, though dreadful mixtures of plateresque,
Renaissance, and grotesque decorative details, and consequently the real
remains of the old twelfth and thirteenth century Gothic and Romanesque
constructions are difficult to trace.

_Nájera._--Absolutely nothing remains of the old Romanesque church built
by the king Don Garcia. A new edifice of decadent Gothic, mixed with
Renaissance details, and dating from the fifteenth century, stands
to-day; it contains a magnificent series of choir stalls of excellent
workmanship, and similar to those of Burgos. The cloister, in spite of
the Arab-looking geometrical tracery of the ogival arches, is both light
and elegant.

This cathedral was at one time used as the pantheon of the kings of
Navarra. About ten elaborate marble tombs still lie at the foot of the

_Santo Domingo de la Calzada._--The primitive ground-plan of the
cathedral has been preserved, a nave and two aisles showing Romanesque
strength in the lower and ogival lightness in the upper tiers. But
otherwise nothing reminds one of a twelfth or thirteenth century church.

The cloister, of the sixteenth century, is a handsome
plateresque-Renaissance edifice, rather small, severe, and cold. The
great merit of this church lies in the sepulchral tombs in the different
chapels, all of which were executed toward the end of the fifteenth and
during the first years of the seventeenth centuries, and any one wishing
to form for himself an idea of this particular branch of Spanish
monumental art must not fail to examine such sepulchres as those of
Carranza, Fernando Alfonso, etc.


The effigy of the patron saint (Santo Domingo) is of painted wood
clothed in rich silver robes, which form a striking antithesis to the
saint's humble and modest life. The chapel where the latter lies is
closed by a gilded iron _reja_ of plateresque workmanship. The saint's
body lies in a simple marble sepulchre, said to have been carved by
Santo Domingo himself, who was both an architect and a sculptor. The
truth of this version is, however, doubtful.

Of the square tower and the principal entrance no remarks need be made,
for both are insignificant. The _retablo_ of the high altar has been
attributed to Foment, who constructed those of Saragosse and Huesca. The
attribution is, however, most doubtful, as shown by the completely
different styles employed by the artist of each. Not that the _retablo_
in the Church of Santo Domingo is inferior to Foment's masterworks in
Aragon, but the decorative motives of the flanking columns and low
reliefs would prove--in case they had been executed by the Aragonese
Foment--a departure from the latter's classic style.

In one of the niches of the cloister, in a simple urn, lies the heart of
Don Enrique, second King of Castile of that name, the half-brother (one
of the bastards mentioned in a previous chapter and from whom all later
Spanish monarchs are descended) of Peter the Cruel. The latter was
murdered by his fond relative, who usurped the throne.

_Logroño._--In 1435 Santa Maria la Redonda was raised to a suffragan
church of Santo Domingo de la Calzada; about this date the old building
must have been almost entirely torn down, as the ogival arches of the
nave are of the fifteenth century; so also are the lower windows which,
on the west, flank the southern door.

Excepting these few remains, nothing can bring to the tourist's mind the
fifteenth-century edifice, and not a single stone can recall the
twelfth-century church. For the remaining parts of the building are of
the sixteenth, seventeenth, and successive centuries, and to-day the
interior is being enlarged so as to make room for the see which is to be
removed here from Santo Domingo and Calahorra.


The interior is Roman cruciform with a high and airy central nave, in
which stands the choir, and on each hand a rather dark aisle of much
smaller dimensions.

The _trascoro_ is the only peculiarity possessed by this church. It is
large and circular, closed by an immense vaulting which turns it into a
chapel separated from the rest of the church (compare with the Church of
the Pillar of Saragosse).

True to the grotesque style to which it belongs, the whole surface of
walls and vault is covered with paintings, the former apparently in oil,
the latter frescoes. Vixés painted them in the theatrical style of the
eighteenth century.

From the outside, the regular features of the church please the eye in
spite of the evident signs of artistic decadence. The two towers, high
and slender, are among the best produced by the period of decadence in
Spain which followed upon Herrero's severe style, if only the uppermost
body lacked the circular linterna which makes the spire top-heavy.

Between the two towers, which, when seen from a distance, gain in beauty
and lend to the city a noble and picturesque aspect, the façade,
properly speaking, reaches to their second body. It is a hollow, crowned
by half a dome in the shape of a shell which in its turn is surmounted
by a plateresque cornice in the shape of a long and narrow scroll.

The hollow is a peculiar and daring medley of architectural elegance and
sculptural bizarrerie and vice versa. From Madrazo it drew the
exclamation that, since he had seen it, he was convinced that not all
monuments belonging to the grotesque style were devoid of beauty.

The date of the erection of the western front is doubtless the same as
that of the _trascoro_; both are contemporaneous--the author is inclined
to believe--with the erection of the Pillar in Saragosse; at least, they
resemble each other in certain unmistakable details.

_Calahorra._--The fourth of the cathedral churches of Upper Rioja is
that of Calahorra. After the repopulation of the town by Alfonso VI. of
Castile in the eleventh century, the bodies of the two martyr saints
Emeterio and Celedonio were pulled up out of a well (to be seen to-day
in the cloister) where they had been hidden by the Christians, when
the Moors conquered the fortress, and a church was built near the same
spot. Of this eleventh-century church nothing remains to-day.


In the twelfth century, a new building was begun, but the process of
construction continued slowly, and it was not until two hundred years
later that the apse was finally finished. The body of the church, from
the western front (this latter hideously modern and uninteresting) to
the transept, is the oldest part,--simple Gothic of the thirteenth

The numerous chapels which form a ring around the church have all been
decorated in the grotesque style of the eighteenth century, and with
their lively colours, their polychrome statues, and overdone
ornamentation, they offer but little interest to the visitor. The
_retablo_ of the high altar is one of the largest to be seen anywhere;
but the Renaissance elegance of the lower body is completely drowned by
the grotesque decoration of the upper half, which was constructed at a
later date.

The choir stalls are fine specimens of that style in which the artist
preferred an intricate composition to simple beauty. Biblical scenes,
surrounded and separated by allegorical personages and symbolical lines
in great profusion, show the carver's talent rather than his artistic



The Duero River, upon leaving its source at the foot of the Pico de
Urbión (near Vinuesa), flows eastward for about fifty miles, then
southward for another fifty miles, when it turns abruptly westward on
its lengthy journey across the Iberian peninsula.

The circular region, limited on three sides by the river's course, is
the historical field of Soria--part of the province of the same name,
Numantia, Rome's great enemy and almost the cause of her ruin, lay
somewhere in this part of the country, though where is not exactly
known, as the great Scipio took care to destroy it so thoroughly that
not even a stone remains to-day to indicate where the heroic fortress

In the present day, two cities and two cathedrals are seated on the
banks of the Duero within this circle; the one is Soria, the other Osma.
The latter was a Roman town, an early episcopal see, and later an Arab
fortress; the former was founded by one of the Alfonsos toward the end
of the eleventh century, as a frontier fortress against Aragon to the
east, the Moors to the south, and Navarra to the north.

The town grew apace, thanks to the remarkable _fueros_ granted to the
citizens, who lived as in a republic of their own making--an almost
unique case of self-government to be recorded in the middle ages.

The principal parish church was raised to a suffragan of Osma in the
twelfth century. Since then, there has been a continual spirit of
rivalry between the two cities, for the former, more important as a town
and as the capital of a province, could not bend its head to the
ecclesiastical authority of a village like Osma. Throughout the middle
ages the jealousy between the two was food for incessant strife. Pope
Clement IV., at Alfonso VIII.'s instigation, raised the Collegiate at
Soria to an episcopal see independent of Osma, but the hard-headed
chapter of the last named city refused to acknowledge the Pope's order,
and no bishop was elected or appointed.

This bitter hatred between the two rivals was the origin of many an
amusing incident. Upon one occasion the Bishop of Osma, visiting his
suffragan church in Soria, had the house in which he was stopping for
the night burnt about his ears. He moved off to another house, and on
the second night this was also mysteriously set on fire. His lordship
did not await the third night, afraid of what might happen, but bolted
back to his episcopal palace at Osma.

In 1520 the chapter of the Collegiate in Soria sent a petition to the
country's sovereign asking him to order the erection of a new church in
place of the old twelfth-century building, and in another part of the
town. The request was not granted, however, so what did the wily chapter
do? It ordered an architect to construct a chapel in the very centre of
the church, and when it was completed, admired the work with great
enthusiasm, excepting only the pillar in front of it which obstructed
the uninterrupted view. This pillar was the real support of the church,
and though the chapter was told as much (as though it did not know it!)
the architect was ordered to pull it down. After hesitating to do so,
the latter acceded: the pillar was pulled down, and with it the whole
church tumbled down as well! But the chapter's game was discovered, and
it was obliged to rebuild the cathedral on the same spot and with the
same materials.

Consequently, the church at Soria is a sixteenth-century building of
little or no merit, excepting the western front, which is the only part
of the old building that did not fall down, and is a fine specimen of
Castilian Romanesque, as well as the cloister, one of the handsomest,
besides being one of the few twelfth-century cloisters in Spain, with a
double row of slender columns supporting the round-headed arches. This
modification of the conventional type lends an aspect of peculiar
lightness to the otherwise heavy Romanesque.

As regards the settlement of the strife between Soria and Osma, the see
is to-day a double one, like that of Madrid and Alcalá. Upon the death
of the present bishop, however, it will be transported definitely to
Soria, and consequently the inhabitants of the last named city will at
last be able to give thanks for the great mercies Allah or the True God
has bestowed upon them.


_Osma._--From an historical and architectural point of view, Osma,
the rival city on the Duero River, is much more important than Soria.

According to the tradition, St. James preached the Holy Gospel, and
after him St. Peter (or St. Paul?), who left his disciple St. Astorgio
behind as bishop (91 A. D.). Twenty-two bishops succeeded him, the
twenty-third on the list being John I., really the first of whose
existence we have any positive proof, for he signed the third council in
Toledo in the sixth century. In the eighth century, the Saracens drove
the shepherd of the Christian flock northward to Asturias, and it was
not until 1100 that the first bishop _de modernis_ was appointed by
Archbishop Bernardo of Toledo. The latter's choice fell on Peter, a
virtuous French monastic monk, who was canonized by the Pope after his
death, and figures in the calendar as St. Peter of Osma.

When the first bishop took possession of his see, he started to build
his cathedral. Instead of choosing Osma itself as the seat, however, he
selected the site of a convent on the opposite banks of the Duero (to
the north), where the Virgin had appeared to a shepherd. Houses soon
grew up around the temple and, to distinguish it from Osma, the new
city was called Burgo de Osma, a name it still retains.

In 1232, not a hundred years after the erection of the cathedral, it was
totally destroyed, excepting one or two chapels still to be seen in the
cloister, by Juan Dominguez, who was bishop at the time, and who wished
to possess a see more important in appearance than that left to him by
his predecessor, St. Peter.

The building as it stands to-day is small, but highly interesting. The
original plan was that of a Romanesque basilica with a three-lobed apse,
but in 1781 the ambulatory walk behind the altar joined the two lateral

Two of the best pieces of sculptural work in the cathedral are the
_retablo_ of the high altar, and the relief imbedded in the wall of the
_trascoro_--both of them carved in wood by Juan de Juni, one of the best
Castilian sculptors of the sixteenth century. The plastic beauty of the
figures and their lifelike postures harmonize well with the simple
Renaissance columns ornamented here and there with finely wrought
flowers and garlands.

The chapel where St. Peter of Osma's body lies is an original rather
than a beautiful annex of the church. For, given the small dimensions of
the cathedral, it was difficult to find sufficient room for the chapels,
sacristy, vestuary, etc. In the case of the above chapel, therefore, it
was necessary to build it above the vestuary; it is reached by a flight
of stairs, beneath which two three-lobed arches lead to the sombre room
below. The result is highly original.

The same remarks as regard lack of space can be made when speaking about
the principal entrance. Previously the portal had been situated in the
western front; the erection of the tower on one side, and of a chapel on
the other, had rendered this entrance insignificant and half blinded by
the prominent tower. So a new one had to be erected, considered by many
art critics to be a beautiful addition to the cathedral properly
speaking, but which strikes the author as excessively ugly, especially
the upper half, with its balcony, and a hollow arch above it, in the
shadows of which the rose window loses both its artistic and its useful
object. So, being round, it is placed within a semicircular sort of
_avant-porche_ or recess, the strong _contours_ of which deform the
immense circle of the window.

To conclude: in the cathedral of Osma, bad architecture is only too
evident. The tower is perhaps the most elegant part, and yet the second
body, which was to give it a gradually sloping elegance, was omitted,
and the third placed directly upon the first. This is no improvement.

Perhaps the real reason for these architectural mishaps is not so much
the fault of the architects and artists as that of the chapter, and of
the flock which could not help satisfactorily toward the erection of a
worthy cathedral. Luckily, however, there are other cathedrals in Spain,
where, in spite of reduced funds, a decent and homogeneous building was

The cloister, bare on the inner side, is nevertheless a modest Gothic
structure with acceptable lobulated ogival windows.


_Western Castile_



The history of Palencia can be divided into two distinct parts,
separated from each other by a lapse of about five hundred years, during
which the city was entirely blotted out from the map of Spain.

The first period reaches from before the Roman Conquest to the
Visigothic domination.

Originally inhabited by the Vacceos, a Celtiberian tribe, it was one of
the last fortresses to succumb to Roman arms, having joined Numantia in
the terrible war waged by Spaniards and which has become both legendary
and universal.

Under Roman rule the broad belt of land, of which Palencia, a military
town on the road from Astorga to Tarragon, was the capital, flourished
as it had never done before. Consequently it is but natural that one of
the first sees should have been established there as soon as
Christianity invaded the peninsula. No records are, however, at hand as
regards the names of the first bishops and of the martyr saints, as
thick here as elsewhere and as numerous in Spain as in Rome itself. At
any rate, contemporary documents mention a Bishop Toribio, not the first
to occupy the see nor the same prelate who worked miracles in Orense and
Astorga. The Palencian Toribio fought also against the Priscilian
heresy, and was one of the impediments which stopped its spread further
southward. Of this man it is said that, disgusted with the heresy
practised at large in his Pallantia, he mounted on a hill, and,
stretching his arms heavenwards, caused the waters of the river to leave
their bed and inundate the city, a most efficacious means of bringing
loitering sheep to the fold.

Nowhere did the Visigoths wreak greater vengeance or harm on the
Iberians who had hindered their entry into the peninsula than in
Palencia. It was entirely wrecked and ruined, not one stone remaining to
tell the tale of the city that had been. Slowly it emerged from the
wreck, a village rather than a town; once in awhile its bishops are
mentioned, living rather in Toledo than in their humble see.

The Arab invasion devastated a second time the growing town; perhaps it
was Alfonso I. himself who completely wrecked it, for the Moorish
frontier was to the north of the city, and it was the sovereign's
tactics to raze to the ground all cities he could not keep, when he made
a risky incursion into hostile country.

So Palencia was forgotten until the eleventh century, when Sancho el
Mayor, King of Navarra, who had conquered this part of Castile,
reëstablished the long-ignored see. He was hunting among the weeds that
covered the ruins of what had once been a Roman fortress, when a boar
sprang out of cover in front of him and escaped. Being light of foot,
the king followed the animal until it disappeared in a cave, or what
appeared to be such, though it really was a subterranean chapel
dedicated to the martyrs, or to the patron saint of old Pallantia,
namely, San Antolin.

The hunted beast cowered down in front of the altar; the king lifted his
arm to spear it, when lo, his arm was detained in mid-air by an
invisible hand! Immediately the monarch prostrated himself before the
miraculous effigy of the saint; he acknowledged his sacrilegious sin,
and prayed for forgiveness; the boar escaped, the monarch's arm fell to
his side, and a few days later the see was reëstablished, a church was
erected above the subterranean chapel, and Bernardo was appointed the
first bishop (1035). After Sancho's death, his son Ferdinand, who, as we
have seen, managed to unite for the first time all Northern Spain
beneath his sceptre, made it a point of honour to favour the see his
father had erected a few months before his death, an example followed by
all later monarchs until the times of Isabel the Catholic.

A surprising number of houses were soon built around the cathedral, and
the city's future was most promising. Its bishops were among the
noble-blooded of the land, and enjoyed such exceptional privileges as
gave them power and wealth rarely equalled in the history of the middle
ages. But then, the city had been built for the church and not the
church for the city, and it is not to be marvelled at that the prelates
bore the title of "_hecho un rey y un papa_"--king and pope. The greater
part of these princes, it is true, lived at court rather than in their
episcopal see, which is, perhaps, one of the reasons why Palencia failed
to emulate with Burgos and Valladolid, though at one time it was the
residence of some of the kings of Castile.

Moreover, being only second in importance to the two last named cities,
Palencia was continually the seat of dissident noblemen and thwarted
heirs to the throne; because these latter, being unable to conquer the
capital, or Valladolid, invariably sought to establish themselves in
Palencia, sometimes successfully, at others being obliged to retreat
from the city walls. The story of the town is consequently one of the
most adventurous and varied to be read in Spanish history, and it is due
to the side it took in the rebellion against Charles-Quint, in the time
of the Comuneros, that it was finally obliged to cede its place
definitely to Valladolid, and lost its importance as one of the three
cities of Castilla la Vieja.

It remains to be mentioned that Palencia was the seat of the first
Spanish university (Christian, not Moorish), previous to either that of
Salamanca or Alcalá. In 1208 this educational institution was founded by
Alfonso VIII.; professors were procured from Italy and France, and a
building was erected beside the cathedral and under its protecting wing.
It did not survive the monarch's death, however, for the reign of the
latter's son left but little spare time for science and letters, and in
1248 it was closed, though twenty years later Pope Urbano IV. futilely
endeavoured to reëstablish it. According to a popular tradition, it owed
its definite death to the inhabitants of the town, who, bent upon
venging an outrage committed by one of the students upon a daughter of
the city, fell upon them one night at a given signal and killed them to
the last man.

In the fourteenth century, the cathedral, which had suffered enormously
from sieges and from the hands of enemies, was entirely pulled down and
a new one built on the same spot (June, 1321). The subterranean chapel,
which had been the cause of the city's resurrection, was still the
central attraction and relic of the cathedral, and, according to another
legend, no less marvellous than that of Toribio, its genuineness has
been placed definitely (?) without the pale of skeptic doubts. It
appears that one Pedro, Bishop of Osma (St. Peter of Osma?), was praying
before the effigy of San Antolin when the lights went out. The pious
yet doubting prelate prayed to God to give him a proof of the relic's
authenticity by lighting the candles. To his surprise (?) and glee, the
candles lit by themselves!

       *       *       *       *       *

Let us approach the city by rail. The train leaves Venta de Baños, a
junction station with a village about two miles away possessing a
seventh-century Visigothic church which offers the great peculiarity of
horseshoe arches in its structure, dating from before the Arab invasion.

Immediately upon emerging from the station, the train enters an immense
rolling plain of a ruddy, sandy appearance, with here and there an
isolated sand-hill crowned by the forgotten ruins of a mediæval castle.

The capital of this region is Palencia.

The erection of the cathedral church of the town was begun in 1321; it
was dedicated to the Mother and Child, and to San Antolin, whose chapel,
devoid of all artistic merit, is still to be seen beneath the choir.

This edifice was finished toward 1550. The same division as has been
observed in the history of the city can be applied to the temple: at
first it was intended to construct a modest Gothic church of red
sandstone; the apse with its five chapels and traditional ambulatory was
erected, as well as the transept and the high altar terminating the
central nave. Then, after about a hundred years had passed away, the
original plan was altered by lengthening the body of the building.
Consequently the chapel of the high altar was too small in comparison
with the enlarged proportions, and it was transformed into a parish
chapel. Opposite it, and to the west of the old transept, another high
altar was constructed in the central nave, and a second transept
separated it from the choir which followed.

In other words, and looking at this curious monument as it stands
to-day, the central nave is surmounted by an ogival vaulting of a series
of ten vaults. The first transept cuts the nave beneath the sixth, and
the second beneath the ninth vault. (Vault No. 1 is at the western end
of the church.) Both transepts protrude literally beyond the general
width of the building. The choir stands beneath the fourth and fifth
vaults, and the high altar between the two transepts, occupying the
seventh and eighth space. Beneath the tenth stands the parish chapel or
ex-high altar, behind which runs the ambulatory, on the off-side of
which are situated the five apsidal chapels. Consequently the second
transept separates the old from the new high altar.


In spite of the low aisles and nave, and the absence of sculptural
motives so pronounced in Burgos, the effect produced on the spectator by
the double cross and the unusual length as compared with the width is
agreeable. The evident lack of unity in the Gothic structure is
recompensed by the original and pleasing plan.

The final judgment that can be emitted concerning this cathedral church,
when seen from the outside, is that it shows the typical Spanish-Gothic
characteristic, namely, heaviness as contrasted to pure ogival
lightness. There is poverty in the decorative details, and solemnity in
the interior; the appearance from the outside is of a fortress rather
than a temple, with slightly pointed Gothic windows, and a heavy and
solid, rather than an elegant and light, general structure. Only the
cathedral church of Palencia outgrew the original model and took the
strange and exotic form it possesses to-day, without losing its
fortress-like aspect.

Though really built in stone (see the columns and pillars in the
interior), brick has been largely used in the exterior; hence also the
impossibility of erecting a pure Gothic building, and this is a remark
that can be applied to most churches in Spain. The buttresses are heavy,
the square tower (unfinished) is Romanesque or _Mudejar_ in form rather
than Gothic, though the windows be ogival. There is no western façade or
portal; the tower is situated on the southern side between the true

Of the four doorways, two to the north and two to the south, which give
access to the transepts, the largest and richest in sculptural
decoration is the Bishop's Door (south). Observe the geometrical designs
in the panels of the otherwise ogival and slightly pointed doorway. The
other portal on the south is far simpler, and the arch which surmounts
it is of a purer Gothic style; not so the geometrically decorated panels
and the almost Arabian frieze which runs above the arches. This frieze
is Moorish or Mudejar-Byzantine, and though really it does not belong in
an ogival building, it harmonizes strangely with it.

In the interior of the cathedral the nakedness of the columns is
partially recompensed by the richness in sculptural design of some
sepulchres, as well as by several sixteenth-century grilles. The huge
_retablo_ of the high altar shows Gothic luxuriousness in its details,
and at the same time (in the capitals of the flanking columns) nascent
plateresque severity.

Perhaps the most interesting corner of the interior is the _trascoro_,
or the exterior side of the wall which closes the choir on the west.
Here the patronizing genius of Bishop Fonseca, a scion of the celebrated
Castilian family, excelled itself. The wall itself is richly sculptured,
and possesses two fine lateral reliefs. In the centre there is a Flemish
canvas of the sixteenth century, of excellent colour, and an elegantly
carved pulpit.

In the chapter-room are to be seen some well-preserved Flemish
tapestries, and in an apsidal chapel is one of Zurbaran's mystic
subjects: a praying nun. (This portrait, I believe, has been sold or
donated by the chapter, for, if I am not mistaken, it is to be seen
to-day in the art collection of the Spanish royal family.)



Whatever may have been the origin of Zamora, erroneously confounded with
that of Numantia, it is not until the ninth century that the city, or
frontier fortress, appears in history as an Arab stronghold, taken from
the Moors and fortified anew by Alfonso I. or by his son Froila, and
necessarily lost and regained by Christians and Moors a hundred times
over in such terrible battles as the celebrated and much sung _día de
Zamora_ in 901. In 939 another famous siege of the town was undertaken
by infidel hordes, but the strength of the citadel and the numerous
moats, six it appears they were in number, separated by high walls
surrounding the town, were invincible, and the Arab warriors had to
retreat. Nevertheless, between 900 and 980 the fortress was lost five
times by the Christians. The last Moor to take it was Almanzor, who
razed it to the ground and then repopulated it with Arabs from

Previously, in 905, the parish church had been raised to an episcopal
see; the first to occupy it being one Atilano, canonized later by Pope
Urbano II.

Ten years after this bishop had taken possession of his spiritual
throne, he was troubled by certain religious scruples, and, putting on a
pilgrim's robe, he distributed his revenues among the parish poor and
left the city. Crossing the bridge,--still standing to-day and leading
from the town to Portugal,--he threw his pastoral ring into the river,
swearing he would only reoccupy the lost see when the ring should have
been given back into his hands; should this happen, it would prove that
the Almighty had pardoned his sins.

For two years he roamed about visiting shrines and succouring the poor;
at last one day he dreamed that his Master ordered him to repair
immediately to his see, where he was sorely needed. Returning to Zamora,
he passed the night in a neighbouring hermitage, and while supping--it
must have been Friday!--in the belly of the fish he was eating he
discovered his pastoral ring.

The following day the church-bells were rung by an invisible hand, and
the pilgrim, entering the city, was hailed as a saint by the
inhabitants; the same invisible hands took off his pilgrim's clothes and
dressed him in rich episcopal garments. He took possession of his see,
dying in the seventh year of his second reign.

Almanzor _el terrible_, on the last powerful raid the Moors were to
make, buried the Christian see beneath the ruins of the cathedral, and
erected a mezquita to glorify Allah; fifteen years later the city fell
into the hands of the Christians again, and saw no more an Arab army
beneath its walls.

It was not, however, until 125 years later that the ruined episcopal see
was reëstablished _de modernis_, the first bishop being Bernardo (1124).

But previous to the above date, an event took place in and around Zamora
that has given national fame to the city, and has made it the centre of
a Spanish Iliad hardly less poetic or dramatic than the Homerian legend,
and therefore well worth narrating as perhaps unique in the peninsula,
not to say in the history of the middle ages.

When Fernando I. of Castile died in 1065, he left his vast territories
to his five children, bequeathing Castile to his eldest son Sancho,
Galicia to Garcia, Leon to Alfonso, Toro to Elvira, and Zamora to
Urraca, who was the eldest daughter, and, with Sancho, the bravest and
most intrepid of the five children.

According to the romance of Zamora, she, Doña Urraca, worried her
father's last moments by trying to wheedle more than Zamora out of him;
but the king was firm, adding only the following curse:

     _"'Quien os la tomara, hija,_
      _¡La mi maldición le caiga!'--_
      _Todos dicen amén, amén,_
      _Sino Don Sancho que calla."_

Which in other words means: "Let my curse fall on whomsoever endeavours
to take Zamora from you.... Those who were present agreed by saying
amen; only the eldest son, Don Sancho, remained silent."

The latter, being ambitious, dethroned his brothers and sent them flying
across the frontier to Andalusia, then Moorish territory. Toro also
submitted to him, but not so Zamora, held by the dauntless Urraca and
the governor of the citadel, Arias Gonzalo. So it was besieged by the
royal troops and asked to surrender, the message being taken by the
great Cid from Don Sancho to his sister. She, of course, refused to give
up the town. Wherefore is not known, but the fact is that the Cid, the
ablest warrior in the hostile army, after having carried the embassy to
the Infanta, left the king's army; the many romances which treat of this
siege accuse him of having fallen in love with Doña Urraca's lovely
eyes,--a love that was perhaps reciprocated,--who knows?

In short, the city was besieged during nine months. Hunger, starvation,
and illness glared at the besieged. On the point of surrendering, they
were beseeched by the Infanta to hold out nine days longer; in the
meantime one Vellido Dolfo, famous in song, emerged by the city's
postern gate and went to King Sancho's camp, saying that he was tired of
serving Doña Urraca, with whom he had had a dispute, and that he would
show the king how to enter the city by a secret path.

According to the romances, it would appear that the king was warned by
the inhabitants themselves against the traitorous intentions of Vellido.
"Take care, King Sancho," they shouted from the walls, "and remember
that we warn you; a traitor has left the city gates who has already
committed treason four times, and is about to commit the fifth."

The king did not hearken, as is generally the case, and went out walking
with the knight who was to show him the secret gate; he never returned,
being killed by a spear-thrust under almost similar circumstances to

The father's curse had thus been fulfilled.

The traitor returned to the city, and, strange to say, was not punished,
or only insufficiently so; consequently, it is to-day believed that the
sister of the murdered monarch had a hand in the crime. Upon Vellido's
return to the besieged town, the governor wished to imprison him--which
in those days meant more than confinement--but the Infanta objected; it
is even stated that the traitor spoke with his heartless mistress,
saying: "It was time the promise should be fulfilled."

In the meanwhile, from the besieging army a solitary knight, Diego
Ordoñez, rode up to the city walls, and accusing the inhabitants of
felony and treason, both men and women, young and old, living and dead,
born and to be born, he challenged them to a duel. It had to be
accepted, and, according to the laws of chivalry, the challenger had to
meet in single combat five champions, one after another, for he had
insulted, not a single man, but a community.

The gray-haired governor of the fortress reserved for himself and his
four sons the duty of accepting the challenge; the Infanta beseeched him
in vain to desist from his enterprise, but he was firm: his mistress's
honour was at stake. At last, persuaded by royal tears, according to the
romance, he agreed to let his sons precede him, and, only in case it
should be necessary, would he take the last turn.

The eldest son left the city gates, blessed by the weeping father; his
helmet and head were cleft in twain by Diego Ordoñez's terrible sword,
and the latter's ironical shout was heard addressing the governor:

"Don Arias, send me hither another of your charming sons, because this
one cannot bear you the message."

A second and third son went forth, meeting the same fate: but the
latter's wounded horse, in throwing its rider, ran blindly into Ordoñez
and knocked him out of the ring; the duel was therefore judged to be a

Several days afterward Alfonso, the dead king's younger brother, hurried
up from Toledo, and after swearing in Burgos that he had had nothing to
do with the felonious murder, was anointed King of Castile, Leon, and
Galicia. His brave sister Urraca lived with him at court, giving him
useful advice, until she retired to a convent, and at her death left her
palace and her fortune to the Collegiate Church at Leon.

The remaining history of Zamora is one interminable list of revolts,
sieges, massacres, and duels. As frontier fortress against Portugal in
the west, its importance as the last garrison town on the Duero was
exceptional, and consequently, though it never became important as a
metropolis, as a stronghold it was one of Castile's most strategical

       *       *       *       *       *

The best view of the city is obtained from the southern shore of the
Duero; on a low hill opposite the spectator, the city walls run east and
west; behind them, to the left, the castle towers loom up, square and
Byzantine in appearance; immediately to the right the cathedral nave
forms a horizontal line to where the _cimborio_ practically terminates
the church. Thus from afar it seems as though the castle tower were part
of the religious edifice, and the general appearance of the whole city
surrounded by massive walls cannot be more warlike. The colour also of
the ruddy sandstone and brick, brilliant beneath a bright blue sky, is
characteristic of this part of Castile, and certainly constitutes one of
its charms. What is more, the landscape is rendered more exotic or
African by the Oriental appearance of the whole town, its castle, and
its cathedral.

The latter was begun and ended in the twelfth century; the first stone
was laid in 1151, and the vaults were closed twenty-three years later,
in 1174; consequently it is one of the unique twelfth-century churches
in Spain completed before the year 1200. It is true that the original
edifice has been deformed by posterior additions and changes dating from
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Excepting these abominable additions, the primitive building is
Romanesque; not Romanesque as are the cathedrals we have seen in
Galicia, but Byzantine, or military Romanesque, showing decided
Oriental influences. Would to Heaven the cathedral of Zamora were to-day
as it stood in the twelfth century!

[Illustration: ZAMORA CATHEDRAL]

The form of the church is that of a basilica. Like the cathedral of
Palencia, it lacks a western front; the apse is semicircular,
strengthened by heavy leaning buttresses; the upper, towerless rim of
this same body is decorated with an ogival festoon set off by means of
the primitive pinnacles of the top of the buttresses. The northern
(Renaissance or plateresque) front is, though beautiful and severe in
itself, a calamity when compared with the Romanesque edifice, as is also
the new and horrid clock-tower.

The view of the southern end of the transept, as seen from the left, is
the most imposing to be obtained of the building. Two flights of steps
lead up to the Romanesque portal, flanked by three simple pillars, which
support three rounded arches deeply dentated(!). Blind windows, similar
in structure to the portal, occupy the second body of the façade, and
are surmounted in their turn by a simple row of inverted crenelated
teeth, showing in their rounded edges the timid use of the horseshoe
arc. The superior body is formed by two concentric and slightly ogival
arches embedded in the wall.

The greatest attraction, and that which above all gives a warlike aspect
to the whole building, is the _cimborio_, or lantern of the _croisée_.
Flanked by four circular turrets, which are pierced by round-topped
windows and surmounted by Oriental domes that add a stunted, solid
appearance to the whole, the principal cupola rises to the same height
as the previously mentioned turrets. The whole is a marvel of simple
architectural resource within the narrow limits of the round-arched
style. What is more, though this cupola and that of Santiago belong to
the same period, what a world of difference between the two! Seen as
indicated above, the _factura_ of the whole is intensely Oriental
(excepting the addition of the triangular cornices emerging from beneath
the cupola), and, it may be said in parenthesis, exceptionally fine.
Besides, the high walls of the aisles, as compared with the stunted
growth of the _cimborio_, and with the compact and slightly angular form
of the entire building, lend an unrivalled aspect of solidity, strength,
and resistance to the twelfth-century cathedral church, so
intrinsically different from that of Santiago.

The interior is no less peculiar, and particularly so beneath the
lantern of the _croisée_. The latter is composed of more than a dozen
windows, slightly ogival in shape, though from the outside the pillars
of the flanking turrets support round-headed arches; these windows are
separated from each other by simple columns or shafts. Again, what a
difference between this solid and simple _cimborio_ and the marvellous
lantern of the cathedral at Burgos! Two ages, two generations, even two
ideals, are represented in both; the earlier, the stronger, in Zamora;
the later, the more aerial and elaborate, in Burgos.

Another Romanesque characteristic is the approximate height of nave and
aisles. This circumstance examined from within or from without is one of
the causes of the solid appearance of the church; the windows of the
aisles--unimportant, it is true, from an artistic point of view--are
slightly ogival; those of the nave are far more primitive and

The transept, originally of the same length as the width of the church,
was prolonged in the fifteenth century. (On the south side also?... It
is extremely doubtful, as the southern façade previously described is
hardly a fifteenth-century construction; on the other hand, that on the
north side is easily classified as posterior to the general construction
of the building.)

Further, the western end, lacking a façade, is terminated by an apse,
that is, each aisle and the central nave run into a chapel. The effect
of this _double apse_ is highly peculiar, especially as seen from
within, with chapels to the east and chapels to the west.

The _retablo_ is of indifferent workmanship; the choir stalls, on the
other hand, are among the most exquisitely wrought--simple, sober, and
natural--to be seen in Spain, especially those of the lower row.

The chapels are as usual in Spanish cathedrals, as different in style as
they are in size; none of those in Zamora can be considered as artistic
jewels. The best is doubtless that which terminates the southern aisles
on the western end of the church, where the principal façade ought to
have been placed. It is Gothic, rich in its decoration, but showing here
and there the decadence of the northern style.

The cloister--well, anywhere else it might have been praised for its
plateresque simplicity and severity, but here!--it is out of date and

To conclude, the general characteristics of the cathedral of Zamora are
such as justify the opinion that the edifice, especially as its
Byzantine-Oriental and severe primitive structure is concerned, is one
of the great churches that can still be admired in Spain, in spite of
the reduced size and of the additions which have been introduced.

     NOTE.--To the traveller interested in church architecture, the
     author wishes to draw attention to the parish church of La Magdalen
     in Zamora. The northern portal of the same is one of the most
     perfect--if not the most perfect--specimen of Byzantine-Romanesque
     decoration to be met with in Spain. It is perhaps unique in the
     world. At the same time, the severe Oriental appearance of the
     church, both from the outside and as seen from within, cannot fail
     to draw the attention of the most casual observer.



To the west of Valladolid, on the river Duero, Toro, the second of the
two great fortress cities, uplifts its Alcázar to the blue sky; like
Zamora, it owed its fame to its strategic position: first, as one of the
Christian outposts to the north of the Duero against the Arab
possessions to the south, and, secondly, as a link between Valladolid
and Zamora, the latter being the bulwark of Christian opposition against
the ever encroaching Portuguese.

Twin cities the fortresses have been called, and no better expression is
at hand to denote at once the similarity of their history, their
necessary origin, and their necessary decadence.

Nevertheless, Toro appears in history somewhat later than Zamora, having
been erected either on virgin soil, or upon the ruins of a destroyed
Arab fortress as late as in the tenth century, by Garcia, son of
Alfonso III. At any rate, it was not until a century later, in 1065,
that the city attained any importance, when Fernando I. bequeathed it to
his daughter Elvira, who, seeing her elder brother's impetuous
ambitions, handed over the town and the citadel to him.

Throughout the middle ages the name of Toro is foremost among the
important fortresses of Castile, and many an event--generally tragic and
bloody--took place behind its walls. Here Alfonso XI. murdered his uncle
in cold blood, and Don Pedro el Cruel, after besieging the town and the
citadel held in opposition to him by his mother, allowed her a free exit
with the gentlemen defenders of the place, but broke his word when they
were on the bridge, and murdered all excepting his widowed mother!

In the days of Isabel the Catholic, Toro was taken by the kings of
Portugal, who upheld the claims of Enrique IV's illegitimate daughter,
Juana la Beltranaja. In the vicinity of the town, the great battle of
Pelea Gonzalo was fought, which gave the western part of Castile to the
rightful sovereigns. This battle is famous for the many prelates and
curates who, armed,--and wearing trousers and not frocks!--fought like
Christians (!) in the ranks.

In Toro, Cortes was assembled in 1505 to open Queen Isabel's testament,
and to promulgate those laws which have gone down in Spanish history as
the Leyes de Toro; this was the last spark of Toro's fame, for since
then its fate has been identical with that of Zamora, forty miles away.

Strictly speaking, it is doubtful if Toro ever was a city; at one time
it seems to have possessed an ephemeral bishop,--at least such is the
popular belief,--who must have reigned in his see but a short time, as
at an early date the city was submitted to the ecclesiastical
jurisdiction of Astorga. Later, when the see was reëstablished in
Zamora, the latter's twin sister, Toro, was definitely included in the
new episcopal diocese.

Be that as it may, the Catholic kings raised the church at Toro to a
collegiate in the sixteenth century (1500?) because they were anxious to
gain the good-will of the inhabitants after the Portuguese invasion.

Built either toward the end of the twelfth or the beginning of the
thirteenth century, Santa Maria la Mayor, popularly called _la
catedral_, closely resembles the cathedral church at Zamora. The style
is the same (Byzantine-Romanesque), and the impression of strength and
solidity produced by the warlike aspect of the building is even more
pronounced than in the case of the sister church.

The general plan is that of a basilica, rectangular in shape, with a
three-lobed apse, the central lobe being by far the largest in size, and
a transept which protrudes slightly beyond the width of the church. This
transept is situated immediately in front of the apse; the _croisée_ is
surmounted by the handsome _cimborio_, larger than that at Zamora,
pierced by twice as many round-topped windows, but lacking a cupola, as
do also the flanking towers, which are flat-topped. Above and between
these latter, the cone-shaped roof of the _cimborio_, properly speaking,
is sloping and triangular in its cross-section.

This body, less Oriental in appearance than the one in Zamora, impresses
one with a feeling of greater awe, thanks to the great diameter as
compared with the foreshortened height. Crowning as it does the apse
(from the proximity of the transept to the head of the church), the
_croisée_, and the two wings of the transept, the cupola in question
produces a weird and incomprehensible effect on the spectator viewing it
from the southeast. The more modern tower, which backs the _cimborio_,
lends, it is true, a certain elegance to the edifice that the early
builders were not willing to impart. The ensemble is, nevertheless,
peculiarly Byzantine, and, with the mother-church in Zamora, which it
resembles without copying, it stands almost unique in the history of

The lateral doors, not situated in the transept, are located near the
foot of the church. The southern portal is the larger, but the most
simple; the arch which crowns it shows a decided ogival tendency, a
circumstance which need not necessarily be attributed to Gothic
influence, as in many churches prior to the introduction of the ogival
arch the pointed top was known, and in isolated cases it was made use
of, though purely by accident, and not as a constructive element.

The northern door is smaller, but a hundred times richer in sculptural
design. It shows Byzantine influence in the decoration, and as a
Byzantine-Romanesque portal can figure among the best in Spain.

[Illustration: TORO CATHEDRAL]

It has been supposed that the western front of the building possessed at
one time a narthex, like the cathedral Tuy, for instance. Nothing
remains of it, however, as the portal which used to be here was done
away with, and in its place a modern chapel with a fine Gothic _retablo_
was consecrated.

Seen from the interior, the almost similar height of the nave and
aisles, leaves, as in Zamora, a somewhat stern and depressing impression
on the visitor; the light which enters is also feeble, excepting beneath
the _linterna_, where "the difficulty of placing a circular body on a
square without the aid of supports (_pechinas_) has been so naturally
and perfectly overcome that we are obliged to doubt of its ever having

Gothic elements, more so than in Zamora, mix with the Romanesque
traditions in the decoration of the nave and aisles; nevertheless, the
elements of construction are purely Romanesque, excepting the central
apsidal chapel which contains the high altar. Restored by the Fonseca
family in the sixteenth century, it is ogival in conception and
execution, and contains some fine tombs of the above named aristocratic
family. But the chapel passes unnoticed in this peculiarly exotic
building, where solidity and not grace was the object sought and



The very position of Salamanca, immediately to the north of the chain of
mountains which served for many a century as a rough frontier wall
between Christians and Moors, was bound to ensure the city's importance
and fame. Its history is consequently unique, grander and more exciting
than that of any other city; the universal name it acquired in the
fourteenth century, thanks to its university, can only be compared with
that of Bologna, Paris, and Oxford.

Consequently its fall from past renown to present insignificance was
tremendous, and to-day, a heap of ruins, boasting of traditions like
Toledo and Burgos, of two cathedrals and twenty-four parish churches, of
twice as many convents and palaces, of a one-time glorious university
and half a hundred colleges,--Salamanca sleeps away a useless existence
from which it will never awaken.

Its history has still to be penned. What an exciting and stirring
account of middle age life in Spain it would be!

The Romans knew Salamantia, and the first notice handed down to us of
the city reads like a fairy story, as though predicting future events.

According to Plutarch, the town was besieged by Hannibal, and had to
surrender. The inhabitants were allowed to leave, unarmed, and taking
away with them only their clothes; the men were searched as they passed
out, but not so the women.

Together men and women left the town. A mile away they halted, and the
women drew forth from beneath their robes concealed weapons. Together
the men and the women returned to their town and stealthily fell upon
their foes, slaughtering them in considerable numbers. Hannibal was so
"enchanted" (!) with the bravery displayed by the women, that he drew
away his army from the town, leaving the patriotic inhabitants to settle
again their beloved Salamanca.

The Western Goths, upon their arrival in Spain, found Salamanca in a
flourishing state, and respected its episcopal see, the origin of which
is ignored. The first bishop we have any record of is Eleuterio, who
signed the third Council of Toledo in 589.

The Arabs treated the city more harshly; it was in turn taken and
destroyed by infidels and Christians; the former sacking frontier towns,
the latter destroying all fortresses they could not hold.

In the eighth century no bishop seems to have existed in Salamanca; in
the tenth, date of a partial reëstablishment of the see, seven prelates
are mentioned; these did not, however, risk their skins by taking
possession of their chair, but lived quietly in the north, either in
Santiago--farther north they could not go!--or else in Leon and Burgos.
The eleventh century is again devoid of any ecclesiastical news
connected with the see of Salamanca; what is more, the very name of the
city is forgotten until Alfonso VI. crossed the Guaderrama and fixed his
court in Toledo. This bold step, taken in a hostile country far from the
centre of the kingdom and from his base of operations, obliged the
monarch to erect with all speed a series of fortresses to the north; as
a result, Salamanca, Segovia, and Avila, beyond the Guaderrama
Mountains, and Madrid to the south, were quickly populated by

This occurred in 1102; the first bishop _de modernis_ was Jeronimo, a
French warrior-monk, who had accompanied his bosom friend el Cid to
Valencia, had fought beside him, and had been appointed bishop of the
conquered see. Not for any length of time, however, for as soon as el
Cid died, the Moors drove the Christians out of the new kingdom, and the
bishop came to Leon with the Cristo de las Batallas,--a miraculous cross
of old Byzantine workmanship, supposed to have aided the Cid in many a
battle,--as the only _souvenir_ of his stay in the Valencian see.

The next four or five bishops fought among themselves. At one time the
city had no fewer than two, a usurper, and another who was not much
better; the Pope deprived one of his dignity, the king another, the
influential Archbishop of Santiago chose a third, who was also
deposed--the good old times!--until at last one Berengario was
appointed, and the ignominious conflict was peacefully settled.

The inhabitants of the city at the beginning were a strong, warlike
medley of Jews (these were doubtless the least warlike!), Arabs,
Aragonese, Castilian, French, and Leonese. Bands of these without a
commander invaded Moorish territory, sacking and pillaging where they
could. On one occasion they were pursued by an Arab army, whose general
asked to speak with the captain of the Salamantinos. The answer was,
"Each of us is his own captain!" words that can be considered typical of
the anarchy which reigned in Spain until the advent of Isabel and
Ferdinand in the fifteenth century.

If the bishops fought among themselves, and if the low class people
lived in a state of utter anarchy, the same spirit spread to--or
emanated from--the nobility, of whom Salamanca had more than its share,
especially as soon as the university was founded. The annals of no other
city are so replete with family traditions and feuds, which were not
only restricted to the original disputers, to their families and
acquaintances, but became generalized among the inhabitants themselves,
who took part in the feud. Thus it often happened that the city was
divided into two camps, separated by an imaginary line, and woe betide
the daring or careless individual who crossed it!

One of the most dramatic of these feuds--a savage species of
vendetta--was the following:

Doña Maria Perez, a Plasencian dame of noble birth, had married one of
the most powerful noblemen in Salamanca, Monroy by name, and upon the
latter's death remained a widowed mother of two sons. One of them asked
and obtained in marriage the hand of a noble lady who had refused a
similar proposition made by one Enriquez, son of a Sevillan aristocrat.
The youth's jealousy and anger was therefore bitterly aroused, and he
and his brother waited for a suitable opportunity in which to avenge
themselves. It soon came: they were playing Spanish ball, _pelota_, one
day with the accepted suitor, when a dispute arose as to who was the
better player; the two brothers fell upon their victim and foully
murdered him. But afraid lest his brother should venge the latter's
death, they lay in wait for him behind a street corner, and as he came
along they rapidly killed him as they had his brother. Then they fled
across the frontier to Portugal.

The two corpses had in the meantime been carried on a bier by the crowds
and laid down in front of Doña Maria's house; the latter stepped out on
the balcony, with dishevelled hair; an angry murmur went from one end of
the crowd to the other, and a universal clamour arose: vengeance was on
every one's lips. But Doña Maria commanded silence.

"Be calm," she said, "and take these bodies to the cathedral. Vengeance?
Fear not, I shall venge myself."

An hour later she left the town with an escort, apparently with a view
to retire to her estates near Plasencia. Once well away from the city,
she divulged her plan to the escort and asked if they were willing to
follow her. Receiving an affirmative reply, she tore off her woman's
clothes and appeared dressed in full armour; placing a helmet on her
head, she took the lead of her troops again, and set out for the
Portuguese frontier.

The strange company arrived on the third day at a Portuguese frontier
town, where they were told that two foreigners had arrived the night
before. By the description of the two Spaniards, Doña Maria felt sure
they were her sons' murderers, and consequently she and her escort
approached the house where the fugitives were passing the night. Placing
the escort beneath the window, she stealthily entered the house and
stole to the brothers' room; then she slew them whilst they were
sleeping, and, rushing to the window, threw it open, and, spearing the
heads of her enemies on her lance, she showed them to her retinue, with
the words:

"I'm venged! Back to Salamanca."

Silently, at the head of her troops, and bearing the two heads on her
lance, Doña Maria returned to Salamanca. Entering the cathedral, she
threw them on the newly raised slabs which covered her sons' remains.

Ever after she was known as Doña Maria _la brava_, and is as celebrated
to-day as she was in the fifteenth century, during the abominable reign
of Henry IV. And so great was the feud which divided the city into two
camps, that it lasted many years, and many were the victims of the
gigantic vendetta.

The city's greatest fame lay in its university, founded toward 1215, by
Alfonso IX. of Leon, who was jealous of his cousin Alfonso VIII. of
Castile, the founder of the luckless university of Palencia.

The fate of the last named university has been duly mentioned elsewhere;
that of Salamanca was far different. In 1255 the Pope called it one of
the four lamps of the world; strangers--students from all corners of
Europe--flocked to the city to study. Perhaps its greatest merit was the
study of Arabic and Arabian letters, and it has been said that the study
of the Orient penetrated into Europe through Salamanca alone.

What a glorious life must have been the university city's during the
apogee of her fame! Students from all European lands, dressed in the
picturesque costume worn by those who attended the university, wended
their way through the streets, singing and playing the guitar or the
mandolin; they mingled with dusky noblemen, richly dressed in satins and
silks, and wearing the rapier hanging by their sides; they flirted with
the beautiful daughters of Spain, and gravely saluted the bishop when he
was carried along in his chair, or rode a quiet palfrey. At one time the
court was established in the university city, lending a still more
brilliant lustre to the every-day life of the inhabitants, and to the
sombre streets lined with palaces, churches, colleges, convents, and

Gone! To-day the city lies beneath an immense weight of ruins of all
kinds, that chain her down to the past which was her glory, and impede
her from looking ahead into her future with ambitions and hopes.

The cathedrals Salamanca can boast of to-day are two, an old one and a
comparatively new one; the latter was built beside the former, a
praiseworthy and exceptional proceeding, for, instead of pulling down
the old to make room for the new, as happens throughout the world, the
cathedral chapter convocated an assembly of architects, and was
intelligent enough--another wonder!--to accept the verdict that the old
building, a Romanesque-Byzantine edifice of exceptional value, should
not be demolished. The new temple was therefore erected beside the
former, and, obeying the art impulses of the centuries which witnessed
its construction, is an ogival church spoilt--or bettered--by
Renaissance, plateresque, and grotesque decorative elements.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Old Cathedral._--The exact date of the erection of the old see is
not known; toward 1152 it was already in construction, and 150 years
later, in 1299, it was not concluded. Consequently, and more than in the
case of Zamora and Toro, the upper part of the building shows decided
ogival tendencies; yet in spite of these evident signs of transition,
the ensemble, the spirit of the building, is, beyond a doubt,
Romanesque-Byzantine, and not Gothic.


The plan of the church is the same as those of Zamora, Toro, and Coria:
a nave and two aisles cut short at the transept, which is slightly
prolonged beyond the width of the body of the church; there is no
ambulatory walk, but to the east of the transept are three chapels in a
three-lobed apse, the central lobe larger than the others and containing
the high altar; the choir was placed (originally) in the centre of the
nave, and a _cimborio_ crowns the _croisée_, this latter being a
peculiarity of the three cathedral churches of Zamora, Toro, and

Unluckily, the erection of the new building as an annex of the old one
required (as in Plasencia, though from different reasons) the demolition
of certain parts of the latter; as, for instance, the two towers of the
western front, the northern portal as well as the northern half of the
apse, and the corresponding part of the transept. Parts of these have
either been surrounded or replaced by the new building.

The narthex and the western end are still preserved. They are of the
same width as the nave, for, beneath the towers, of which one seems to
have been far higher than the other, each of the aisles terminates in a
chapel. Byzantine in appearance, the two western doors are,
nevertheless, crowned by an ogival arch, and flanked by statuettes of
the same style. The façade, repaired and spoilt, is of Renaissance

The interior of the building is more impressive than that of either
Zamora or Toro; this is due to the absence of the choir,--removed to the
new cathedral,--which permits an uninterrupted view of the whole church,
which does not occur in any other temple throughout Spain. Romanesque
strength and gloominess is clearly discernible, whereas the height of
the central nave (sixty feet) is rendered stumpy in appearance by the
almost equal height of the aisles. The strength and solidity of the
pillars and columns, supporting capitals and friezes of a peculiar and
decided Byzantine taste (animals, dragons, etc.), show more keenly than
in Galicia the Oriental influence which helped so thoroughly to shape
Central Spanish Romanesque.

Of the chapels, but one deserves special mention, both as seen from
without and from within, namely, the high altar, or central apsidal
chapel. Seen from without, it is of perfect Romanesque construction,
excepting the upper row of rose windows, which are ogival in their
traceries; inside, it contains a mural painting of an exceedingly
primitive design, and a _retablo_ in low reliefs enchased in ogival
arches; it is of Italian workmanship.

Of the remaining chapels, that of San Bartolomé contains an alabaster
sepulchre of the Bishop Diego de Anaya--one of the many prelates of
those times who was the possessor of illegitimate sons; the bodies of
most of the latter lie within this chapel, which can be regarded not
only as a family pantheon, but as a symbol of ecclesiastical greatness
and human weakness.

The windows which light up the nave are round-headed, and yet they are
delicately decorated, as is rarely to be seen in the Romanesque type.
The aisles, on the contrary, are not lit up by any windows.

Like the churches of Zamora and Toro, the whole cathedral resembles a
fortress rather than a place of worship. The simplicity of the general
structure, the rounded turrets buried in the walls, serving as leaning
buttresses, the narrow slits in the walls instead of windows, lend an
indisputable aspect of strength. The beautiful, the really beautiful
lantern, situated above the _croisée_, with its turrets, its niches, its
thirty odd windows, and its elegant cupola, is an architectural body
that wins the admiration of all who behold it, either from within the
church or from without, and which, strictly Byzantine in conception
(though rendered peculiarly Spanish by the addition of certain elements
which pertain rather to Gothic military art than to church
architecture), is unique--to the author's knowledge--in all Europe. Less
pure in style, and less Oriental in appearance than that of Zamora, it
was nevertheless, created more perfect by the artistic conception of the
architect, and consequently more finished or developed than those of
Toro and Zamora. Without hesitation, it can claim to be one of
Salamanca's chief attractions.

The thickness of the walls (ten feet!), the admirable simpleness of the
vaulting, and the general aspect from the exterior, have won for the
church the name of _fortis Salamantini_.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The New Cathedral._--It was begun in 1513, the old temple having been
judged too small, and above all too narrow for a city of the importance
of Salamanca.

Over two hundred years did the building of the present edifice last; at
times all work was stopped for years, no funds being at hand to pay
either artists or masons.

The primitive plan of the church, as proposed by the congress of
architects, was Gothic of the second period, with an octagonal apse; the
lower part of the church, from the foot to the transept, was the first
to be constructed.

The upper part of the apse was not begun until the year 1588, and the
artist, imbued with the beauty of Herrero's Escorial, squared the apse
with the evident intention of constructing turrets on the exterior
angles, which would have rendered the building symmetrical: two towers
on the western front, a cupola on the _croisée_, and two smaller turrets
on the eastern end.

The building as it stands to-day is a perfect rectangle cut in its
length by a nave (containing the choir and the high altar), and by two
aisles, lower than the nave and continued in an ambulatory walk behind
the high altar.

The same symmetry is visible in the lateral chapels: eight square
_huecos_ on the exterior walls of the aisles, five to the west, and
three to the east of the transept, and three in the extreme eastern wall
of the apse.

Magnificence rather than beauty is the characteristic note of the new
cathedral. The primitive part--pure ogival with but little
mixture--contrasts with the eastern end, which is covered over with the
most glaring grotesque decoration; most of the chapels are spoiled by
the same shocking profusion of super-ornamentation; the otherwise
majestic cupola, the high altar, and the choir--all suffer from the same

The double triforium--one higher than the other--in the clerestory
produces a most favourable impression; this is heightened by the wealth
of light, which, entering by two rows of windows and by the _cimborio_,
falls upon the rich decoration of friezes and capitals. The general view
of the whole building is also freer than in most Spanish cathedrals,
and this harmony existing in the proportions of the different parts
strikes the visitor more favourably, perhaps, than in the severer
cathedral at Burgos.


The exterior of the building reflects more truthfully than the interior
the different art waves which spread over Spain during the centuries of
the temple's erection. In the western front, the rich Gothic portal of
the third period, the richest perhaps in sculptural variety of any on
the peninsula, contrasts with the high mongrel tower, a true example of
the composite towers so frequently met with in certain Spanish regions.
The second body of the same façade (western) is highly interesting, not
on account of its ornamentation, which is simple, but because of the
solid, frank structure, and the curious fortress-like turrets embedded
in the angles.

The flank of the building, seen from the north--for on the south side
stand the ruins of the old cathedral--is none too homogeneous, thanks to
the different styles in which the three piers of windows--of chapels,
aisles, and clerestory--have been constructed. The ensemble is
picturesque, nevertheless: the three rows of windows, surmounted by the
huge cupola and half-lost among the buttresses, certainly contribute
toward the general elegance of the granite structure.



In the times of the Romans, the country to the west of Salamanca seems
to have been thickly populated. Calabria, situated between the Agueda
and Coa Rivers, was an episcopal see; in its vicinity Augustábriga and
Miróbriga were two other important towns.

Of these three Roman fortresses, and perhaps native towns, before the
invasion, not as much as a stone or a legend remains to relate the tale
of their existence and death.

Toward 1150, Fernando II. of Castile, obeying the military requirements
of the Reconquest, and at the same time wishing to erect a
fortress-town, which, together with Zamora to the north, Salamanca to
the west, and Coria to the south, could resist the invasion of Spain by
Portuguese armies, founded Ciudad Rodrigo, and twenty years later raised
the church to an episcopal see, a practical means of attracting
God-fearing settlers. Consequently, the twelfth-century town, inheriting
the ecclesiastical dignity of Calabria, if the latter ever possessed it,
besides being situated in the same region as the three Roman cities
previously mentioned, can claim to have been born a city.

One of the early bishops (the first was a certain Domingo) was the
famous Pedro Diaz, about whom a legend has been handed down to us. This
legend has also been graphically illustrated by an artist of the
sixteenth century; his painting is to be seen to the right of the
northern transept door in the cathedral.

Pedro Diaz seems to have been a worldly priest, "fond of the sins of the
flesh and of good eating," who fell ill in the third year of his reign.
His secretary, a pious servant of the Lord, dreamt he saw his master's
soul devoured by demons, and persuaded him to confess his sins. It was
too late, for a few days later he died; his death was, however, kept a
secret by his menials, who wished to have plenty of time to make a
generous division of his fortune. When all had been settled to their
liking, the funeral procession moved through the streets of the city,
and, to the surprise of all, the dead bishop, resurrected by St.
Francis of Assisi, at the time in Ciudad Rodrigo, opened the coffin and
stood upon the hearse. He accused his servants of their greed, and at
the same time made certain revelations concerning the life hereafter.
His experiences must have been rather pessimistic, to judge by the
bishop's later deeds, for, having been granted a respite of twenty days
upon this earth, he "fasted and made penitence," doubtless eager to
escape a second time the tortures of the other world.

Other traditions concerning the lives and doings of the noblemen who
disputed the feudal right or _señorio_ over the town, are as numerous as
in Plasencia, with which city Ciudad Rodrigo has certain historical
affinities. The story of the Virgen Coronada, who, though poor, did not
hesitate in killing a powerful and wealthy libertine nobleman whom she
was serving; the no less stirring account of Doña Maria Adan's vow that
she would give her fair daughter's hand to whomsoever venged her wrongs
on the five sons of her husband's murderer, are among the most tragic
and thrilling. There are many other traditions beside, which constitute
the past's legacy to the solitary city near the Portuguese frontier.

It was in the nineteenth century that Ciudad Rodrigo earned fame as a
brave city. The Spanish war for independence had broken out against the
French, who overran the country, and passed from Bayonne in the Gascogne
to Lisbon in Portugal. Ciudad Rodrigo lay on the shortest route for the
French army, and had to suffer two sieges, one in 1810 and the second in
1812. In the latter, Wellington was the commander of the English forces
who had come to help the Spanish chase the French out of the peninsula;
the siege of the town and the battle which ensued were long and
terrible, but at last the allied English and Spanish won, with the loss
of two English generals. The Iron Duke was rewarded by Spanish Cortes,
with the title of Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo, together with the honours of
grandee of Spain, which are still retained by Wellington's descendants.


The cathedral church of Ciudad Rodrigo is a twelfth-century building, in
which the Romanesque style, similar to those of Zamora and Toro, fights
with the nascent ogival style. Notwithstanding these remarks,
however, the building does not pertain to the Transition period, but
rather to the second or last period of Spanish Romanesque. This is
easily seen by the basilica form of the church, the three-lobed apse,
the lack of an ambulatory walk, and the apparently similar height of
nave and aisles.

The square tower, surmounted by a cupola, at the foot of the church, as
well as the entire western front, dates from the eighteenth century; it
is cold, anti-artistic, utterly unable to appeal to the poetic instincts
of the spectator.

Behind the western front, and leading directly into the body of the
church, is a delightful Romanesque narthex which doubtlessly served as
the western façade prior to the eighteenth-century additions. It is
separated from the principal nave by a door divided into two by a solid
pediment, upon which is encrusted a statue of the Virgin with Child in
her arms. The semicircular arches which surmount the door are finely
executed, and the columns which support them are decorated with handsome
twelfth-century statuettes. There is a great similarity between this
portal and the principal one (del Obispo) in Toro: it almost seems as
though the same hand had chiselled both, or at least traced the plan of
their decoration.

Of the two doors which lead, one on the south and the other on the
north, into the transept, the former is perhaps the more perfect
specimen of the primitive style. Both are richly decorated; unluckily,
in both portals, the rounded arches have been crowned in more recent
times by an ogival arch, which certainly mars the pureness of the style,
though not the harmony of the ensemble.

To the left of these doors, a niche has been carved into the wall to
contain a full-length statue of the Virgin; this is an unusual
arrangement in Spanish churches.

The exterior of the apse retains its primitive _cachet_; the central
chapel, where the high altar is placed, was, however, rebuilt in the
sixteenth century by Tavera, the Cardinal-Archbishop of Toledo, who had
at one time occupied the see of Ciudad Rodrigo. It is a peculiar mixture
of Gothic and Romanesque, of pointed windows and heavy buttresses; the
flat roof is decorated by means of a low stone railing or balustrade
composed of elegantly carved pinnacles.

To conclude: excepting the western front and the central lobe of the
apse, the tower and the ogival arch surmounting the northern and
southern portals, the cathedral of Ciudad Rodrigo is one of the most
perfectly preserved Romanesque buildings to the south of Zamora and
Toro. It is less grim and warlike than the two last-named edifices, and
yet it is also a fair example of severe and gloomy (though not less
artistic!) Castilian Romanesque. Its _croisée_ is not surmounted by the
heavy cupola as in Salamanca and elsewhere, and it is perhaps just this
suppression or omission which gives the whole building a far less
Oriental appearance than the others mentioned heretofore.

In the inside, the choir occupies its usual place. Its stalls, it is
believed, were carved by Alemán, the same who probably wrought those
superb seats at Plasencia. It is doubtful if the same master carved
both, however, but were it so, the stalls at Ciudad Rodrigo would have
to be classified as older, executed before those we shall examine in a
future chapter.

The nave and two aisles, pierced by ogival windows in the clerestory and
round-headed windows in the aisles, constitute the church; the
_croisée_ is covered by means of a simple ogival vaulting; the arches
separating the nave from the aisles are Romanesque, as is the vaulting
of the former. It was originally the intention of the chapter to
beautify the solemn appearance of the interior by means of a triforium
or running gallery. Unluckily, perhaps because of lack of funds, the
triforium was never begun excepting that here and there are seen
remnants of the primitive tracing.

With the lady-chapel profusely and lavishly ornamented, and quite out of
place in this solemn building, there are five chapels, one at the foot
of each aisle and two in the apse, to the right and left of the
lady-chapel. They all lack art interest, however, as does the actual
_retablo_, which replaces the one destroyed by the French; remnants of
the latter are to be seen patched up on the cloister walls.

This cloister to the north of the church is a historical monument, for
each of the four sides of the square edifice is an architectural page
differing from its companions. Studying first the western, then the
southern, and lastly the two remaining sides, the student can obtain an
idea of how Romanesque principles struggled with Gothic before dying
completely out, and how the latter, having reached its apogee,
deteriorated into the most lamentable superdecoration before fading away
into the naked, straight-lined features of the Renaissance so little
compatible with Christian ideals.



To the west of Toledo and to the south of the Sierra de Gata, which,
with the mountains of Gredo and the Guaderrama, formed in the middle
ages a natural frontier between Christians and Moors, lies, in a
picturesque and fertile vale about twenty miles distant from the nearest
railway station, the little known cathedral town of Coria. It is
situated on the northern shores of the Alagón, a river flowing about ten
miles farther west into the Tago, near where the latter leaves Spanish
territory and enters that of Portugal.

Caurium, or Curia Vetona, was its name when the Romans held Extremadura,
and it was in this town, or in its vicinity, that Viriato, the Spanish
hero, destroyed four Roman armies sent to conquer his wild hordes. He
never lost a single battle or skirmish, and might possibly have dealt a
death-blow to Roman plans of domination in the peninsula, had not the
traitor's knife ended his noble career.

Their enemy dead, the Romans entered the city of Coria, which they
immediately surrounded by a circular wall half a mile in length, and
twenty-six feet thick (!). This Roman wall, considered by many to be the
most perfectly preserved in Europe, is severely simple in structure, and
flanked by square towers; it constitutes the city's one great

The episcopal see was erected in 338. The names of the first bishops
have long been forgotten, the first mentioned being one Laquinto, who
signed the third Toledo Council in 589.

Two centuries later the Moors raised Al-Kárica to one of their capitals;
in 854 Zeth, an ambitious Saracen warrior, freed it from the yoke of
Cordoba, and reigned in the city as an independent sovereign.

Like Zamora and Toro, Coria was continually being lost and won by
Christians and Moors, with this difference, that whereas the first two
can be looked upon as the last Christian outposts to the north of the
Duero, Coria was the last Arab stronghold to the north of the Tago.

Toward the beginning of the thirteenth century, the strong fortress on
the Alagón was definitely torn from the hands of its independent
sovereign by Alfonso VIII., after the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. A
bishop was immediately reinstated in the see, and after five centuries
of Mussulman domination, Coria saw the standard of Castile waving from
its citadel.

As happened with so many other provincial towns in Spain, the
centralization of power to the north of Toledo shoved Coria into the
background; to-day it is a cathedral village forgotten or completely
ignored by the rest of Spain. Really, it might perhaps have been better
for the Arabs to have preserved it, for under their rule it flourished.

It is picturesque, this village on the banks of the Alagón: a heap or
bundle of red bricks surrounded by grim stone walls, over-topped by a
cathedral tower and citadel,--the whole picture emerging from a prairie
and thrown against a background formed by the mountains to the north and
the bright blue sky in the distance.

Arab influence is only too evident in the buildings and houses, in the
Alcázar, and in the streets; unluckily, these remembrances of a happy
past depress the dreamy visitor obliged to recognize the infinite
sadness which accompanied the expulsion of the Moors by intolerant
tyrants from the land they had inhabited, formed, and moulded to their
taste. Nowhere is this so evident as in Coria, a forgotten bit of
mediæval Moor-land. The poet's exclamation is full of bitterness and
resignation when he exclaims:

"Is it possible that this heap of ruins should have been in other times
the splendid court of Zeth and Mondhir!"

       *       *       *       *       *

As an architectural building, the cathedral of Coria is a parish church,
which, removed to any other town, would be devoid of any and all beauty.
In other words, the impressions it produces are entirely dependent upon
its local surroundings; eliminate these, and the temple is worthless
from an artistic or poetical point of view.

It was begun in 1120, most likely by Arab workmen; it was finished
toward the beginning of the sixteenth century. Honestly speaking, it is
a puzzle what the artisans did in all those long years; doubtless they
slept at their task, or else decades passed away without work of any
kind being done, or again, perhaps only one mason was employed at a

The interior is that of a simple Gothic church of one aisle, 150 feet
long by fifty-two wide and eighty-four high; the high altar is situated
in the rounded apse; in the centre of the church the choir stalls of the
fifteenth century obstruct the view of the walls, decorated only by
means of pilasters which pretend to support the Gothic vaulting.

To the right, in the altar chapel, is a fine marble sepulchre of the
sixteenth century, in which the chasuble of the kneeling bishop
portrayed is among the best pieces of imitative sculpture to be seen in

To the right of the high altar, and buried in the cathedral wall, a door
leads out into the _paseo_,--a walk on the broad walls of the city, with
a delightful view southwards across the river to the prairie in the
distance. Where can a prettier and more natural cloister be found?

The western façade is never used, and is surrounded by the old
cemetery,--a rather peculiar place for a cemetery in a cathedral church;
the northern façade is anti-artistic, but the tower to the right has
one great virtue, that of comparative height. Though evidently intended
to be Gothic, the Arab taste, so pronounced throughout this region, got
the better of the architect, and he erected a square steeple crowned by
a cupola.

Yet, and in spite of criticism which can hardly find an element worthy
of praise in the whole cathedral building, the tourist should not
hesitate in visiting the city. Besides, the whole region of Northern
Extremadura, in which Coria and Plasencia lie, is historically most
interesting: Yuste, where Charles-Quint spent the last years of his
life, is not far off; neither is the Convent of Guadalupe, famous for
its pictures by the great Zurbaran.

As for Coria itself, it is a forgotten corner of Moor-land.



The foundation of Plasencia by King Alfonso VIII. in 1178, and the
erection of a new episcopal see twelve years later, can be regarded as
the _coup de grâce_ given to the importance of Coria, the twin sister
forty miles away. Nevertheless, the Royal City, as Plasencia was called,
which ended by burying its older rival in the most shocking oblivion,
was not able to acquire a name in history. Founded by a king, and handed
over to a bishop and to favourite courtiers, who ruled it indifferently
well, not to say badly, it grew up to be an aristocratic town without a
_bourgeoisie_. Its history in the middle ages is consequently one long
series of family feuds, duels, and tragedies, the record of bloody
happenings, and acts of heroic brutality and bravery.

In 1233 a Moorish army conquered it, shortly after the battle of Alarcos
was lost to Alfonso VIII., at that time blindly in love with his
beautiful Jewish mistress, Rachel of Toledo. But the infidels did not
remain master of the situation, far less of the city, for any length of
time, as within the next year or so it fell again into the hands of its
founder, who strengthened the walls still standing to-day, and completed
the citadel.

The population of the city, like that of Toledo, was mixed. Christians,
Jews, and Moors lived together, each in their quarter, and together they
used the fertile _vegas_, which surround the town. The Jews and Moors
were, in the fifteenth century, about ten thousand in number; in 1492
the former were expelled by the Catholic kings, and in 1609 Philip III.
signed a decree expelling the Moors. Since then Plasencia has lost its
municipal wealth and importance, and the see, from being one of the
richest in Spain, rapidly sank until to-day it drags along a weary life,
impoverished and unimportant.

The Jewish cemetery is still to be seen in the outskirts of the town;
Arab remains, both architectural and irrigatory, are everywhere present,
and the quarter inhabited by them, the most picturesque in Plasencia,
is a Moorish village.

The city itself, crowning a hill beside the rushing Ierte, is a small
Toledo; its streets are narrow and winding; its church towers are
numerous, and the red brick houses warmly reflect the brilliancy of the
southern atmosphere. The same death, however, the same inactivity and
lack of movement, which characterize Toledo and other cities, hover in
the alleys and in the public squares, in the fertile _vegas_ and silent
_patios_ of Plasencia.

The history of the feuds between the great Castilian families who lived
here is tragically interesting: Hernan Perez killed by Diego Alvarez,
the son of one of the former's victims; the family of Monroye pitched
against the Zuñigas and other noblemen,--these and many other traditions
are among the most stirring of the events that happened in Spain in the
middle ages.

Even the bishops called upon to occupy the see seem to have been slaves
to the warlike spirit that hovered, as it were, in the very atmosphere
of the town. The first prelate, Don Domingo, won the battle of Navas de
Tolosa for his protector, Alfonso VIII. When the Christian army was
wavering, he rushed to the front (with his naked sword, the cross having
been left at home), at the head of his soldiers, and drove the already
triumphant Moors back until they broke their ranks and fled. The same
bishop carried the Christian sword to the very heart of the Moorish
dominions, to Granada, and conquered neighbouring Loja. The next
prelate, Don Adán, was one of the leaders of the army that conquered
Cordoba in 1236, and, entering the celebrated _mezquita_, sanctified its
use as a Christian church.

The history of the cathedral church is no less interesting. The
primitive see was temporarily placed in a church on a hill near the
fortress; this building was pulled down in the fifteenth century, and
replaced by a Jesuit college.

Toward the beginning of the fourteenth century a cathedral church was
inaugurated. Its life was short, however, for in 1498 it was partially
pulled down to make way for a newer and larger edifice, which is to-day
the unfinished Renaissance cathedral visited by the tourist.

Parts of the old cathedral are, however, still standing. Between the
tower of the new temple and the episcopal palace, but unluckily
weighted down by modern superstructures, stands the old façade, almost
intact. The grossness of the structural work, the timid use of the
ogival arch, the primitive rose window, and the general heaviness of the
structure, show it to belong to the decadent period of the Romanesque
style, when the artists were attempting something new and forgetting the
lessons of the past.

The new cathedral is a complicated Gothic-Renaissance building of a nave
and two aisles, with an ambulatory behind the high altar. Not a square
inch but what has been hollowed out into a niche or covered over with
sculptural designs; the Gothic plan is anything but pure Gothic, and the
Renaissance style has been so overwrought that it is anything but
Italian Renaissance.

The façade of the building is imposing, if not artistic; it is composed
of four bodies, each supported laterally by pillars and columns of
different shapes and orders, and possessing a _hueco_ or hollow in the
centre, the lowest being the door, the highest a stained glass window,
and the two central ones blind windows, which spoil the whole. The
floral and Byzantine (Arab?) decoration of pillars and friezes is of
a great wealth of varied designs; statuettes are missing in the niches,
proving the unfinished state of the church.


Three arches and four pillars, sumptuously decorated, uphold each of the
clerestory walls, which are pierced at the top by a handsome triforium
running completely around the church. The _retablo_ of the high altar is
richly decorated, perhaps too richly; the _reja_, which closes off the
sacred area, is of fine seventeenth-century workmanship.

The choir stalls are of a surprising richness, carved scenes covering
the backs and seats. They are famous throughout the country, and the
genius, above all the imagination, of the artist who executed them (his
name is unluckily not known, though it is believed to be Alemán) must
have been notable. Pious when carving the upper and visible seats, he
seems to have been exceedingly ironical and profane when sculpturing the
inside of the same, where the reverse or the caustic observation
produced in the carver's mind has been artfully drawn, though sometimes
with an undignified grain of indecency and obscenity not quite in
harmony with our Puritanic spirit of to-day.


_Eastern Castile_



The origin of Valladolid is lost in the shadows of the distant past. As
it was the capital of a vast kingdom, it was thought necessary, as in
the case of Madrid, to place its foundation prior to the Roman invasion;
the attempt failed, however, and though Roman ruins have been found in
the vicinity, nothing is positively known about the city's history prior
to the eleventh century.

When Sancho II. fought against his sister locked up in Zamora, he
offered her Vallisoletum in exchange for the powerful fortress she had
inherited from her father. In vain, and the town seated on the Pisuerga
is not mentioned again in historical documents until 1074, when Alfonso
VI. handed it over, with several other villages, to Pedro Ansurez, who
made it his capital, raised the church (Santa Maria la Mayor) to a
suffragan of Palencia, and laid the first foundations of its future
greatness. In 1208 the family of Ansurez died out, and the _villa_
reverted to the crown; from then until the reign of Philip IV.
Valladolid was doubtless one of the most important cities in Castile,
and the capital of all the Spains, from the reign of Ferdinand and
Isabel to that of Philip III.

Consequently, the history of Valladolid from the thirteenth to the
sixteenth century is that of Spain.

In Valladolid, Peter the Cruel, after three days' marriage, forsook his
bride, Doña Blanca de Bourbon, and returned to the arms of his mistress
Maria; several years later he committed most of his terrible crimes
within the limits of the town. Here Maria de Molina upheld her son's
right to the throne during his minority, and in Valladolid also, after
her son's death, the same widow fought for her grandson against the
intrigues of uncles and cousins.

Isabel and Alfonso fought in Valladolid against the proclamation of
their niece, Juana, the illegitimate daughter of Henry IV., as heiress
to the throne; the citizens upheld the Catholic princess's claims, and
it is not surprising that when the princess became queen--the greatest
Spain ever had--she made Valladolid her capital, in gratitude to the
loyalty of its inhabitants.

In Valladolid, Columbus obtained the royal permission to sail westwards
in 1492, and, upon his last return from America, he died in the selfsame
city in 1506; here also Berruguete, the sculptor, created many of his
_chefs-d'œuvres_ and the immortal Cervantes appeared before the law
courts and wrote the second part of his "Quixote."

Unlucky Juana _la Loca_ (Jane the Mad) and her husband Felipe _el
Hermoso_ (Philip the Handsome) reigned here after the death of Isabel
the Catholic, and fifty years later, when Philip II. returned from
England to ascend the Spanish throne, he settled in Valladolid, until
his religious fanaticism or craze obliged him to move to a city nearer
the Escorial. Then he fixed upon Madrid as his court. Being a religious
man, nevertheless, and conscious of a certain love for Valladolid, his
natal town, he had the suffragan church erected to a cathedral in 1595,
appointing Don Bartolomé de la Plaza to be its first bishop. At the same
time, he ordered Juan de Herrero, the severe architect of the Escorial,
to draw the plans and commence the building of the new edifice.

The growing importance of Madrid, and the final establishment in the
last named city of all the honours which belonged to Valladolid, threw
the city seated on the Pisuerga into the shade, and its star of fortune
slowly waned. But not to such a degree as that of Salamanca or Burgos,
for to-day, of all the old cities of Castile, the only one which has a
life of its own, and a commercial and industrial personality, is
Valladolid, the one-time capital of all the Spains, and now the seat of
an archbishopric. It began by usurping the dignity of Burgos; then it
rose to greater heights of fame than its rival, thanks to the discovery
of America, and finally it lost its _prestige_ when Madrid was crowned
the _unica villa_.

The general appearance of the city is peculiarly Spanish, especially as
regards the prolific use of brick in the construction of churches and
edifices in general. It is presumable that the Arabs were possessors of
the town before the Christian conquest, though no documental proofs are
at hand. The etymology of the city's name, Medinat-el-Walid, is purely
Arabic, Walid being the name of a Moorish general.

If the cathedral church was erected as late as the sixteenth century, it
must not be supposed that the town lacked parish churches. On the
contrary, there is barely a city in Spain with more religious edifices
of all kinds, and the greater part of them of far more architectural
merit than the cathedral itself. The astonishing number of convents is
remarkable; many of them date from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries,
and are, consequently, Romanesque with a good deal of Byzantine taste
about them, or else they belong to the period of Transition. Taken all
in all, they are really the only architectural attractions to be
discovered in the city to-day. The traditions which explain the
foundation of some of these are among the most characteristic in
Valladolid, and a thread of Oriental romance is more predominant among
them than elsewhere. A good example of one of these explains the
foundation of the large convent of the Mercedes.

Doña Leonor was the wife of one Acuña, a fearless (?) knight. The King
of Portugal unluckily fell in love with Doña Leonor, and, wishing to
marry her, had her previous marriage annulled and placed her on his
throne. Acuña fled from Portugal and came to Valladolid, where, with
unparalleled sarcasm, he wore a badge on his hat proclaiming his

Both Acuña and the King of Portugal died, and Doña Leonor, whose morals
were none too edifying, fell in love with a certain Zuñiguez; the
daughter of these two was handed over to the care of a knight, Fernan by
name, and Doña Leonor ordered him to found a convent, upon her death,
and lock up her daughter within its walls; the mother was doubtless only
too anxious to have her daughter escape the ills of this life. Unluckily
she counted without the person principally concerned, namely, the
daughter, for the latter fell secretly in love with her keeper's nephew.
She thought he was her cousin, however, for it appears she was passed
off as Fernan's daughter. Upon her mother's death she learnt her real
origin, and wedded her lover. In gratitude for her non-relationship with
her husband, she founded the convent her mother had ordered, but she
herself remained without its walls!

The least that can be said about the cathedral of Valladolid, the
better. Doubtless there are many people who consider the building a
marvel of beauty. As a specimen of Juan de Herrero's severe and majestic
style, it is second to no other building excepting only that great
masterwork, the Escorial, and perhaps parts of the Pillar at Saragosse.
But as an art monument, where beauty and not Greco-Roman effects are
sought, it is a failure.

The original plan of the building was a rectangle, 411 feet long by 204
wide, divided in its length by a nave and two aisles, and in its width
by a broad transept situated exactly half-way between the apse and the
foot of the church. The form was thus that of a Greek cross; each angle
of the building was to be surmounted by a tower, and the _croisée_ by an
immense cupola or dome. (Compare with the new cathedral in Salamanca.)
The lateral walls of the aisles were to contain symmetrical chapels, as
was also the apse.

From the foregoing it will be seen that symmetry and the Greco-Roman
straight horizontal line were to replace the ogival arch and the
generally vertical, soaring effect of Gothic buildings.

The architect died before his monument was completed, and Churriguera,
the most anti-artistic artist that ever breathed,--according to the
author's personal opinion,--was called upon to finish the edifice: his
trade-mark covers almost the entire western front, where the second body
shows the defects into which Herrero's severe style degenerated soon
after his death.

Of the four towers and the cupola which were to render the capitol of
Valladolid "second in grandeur to none excepting St. Peter's at Rome,"
only one tower was erected: it fell down in 1841, and is being reërected
at the present time.

In the interior the same disparity is everywhere visible, as well as in
the unfinished state of the temple. Greek columns are prevalent, and,
contrasting with their simplicity, the high altar, as grotesque a body
as ever was placed in a holy cathedral, attracts the eye of the vulgar
with something of the same feeling as a blood-and-thunder melodrama.
Needless to say, the art connoisseur flees therefrom.


To the rear of the building the remains of the Romanesque Church of
Santa Maria la Mayor are still to be seen; what a difference between
the rigid, anti-artistic conception of Herrero, ridiculized by
Churriguera, and left but half-completed by successive generations of
moneyless believers, and the simple but elegant features of the old
collegiate church, with its tower still standing, a Byzantine _recuerdo_
of the thirteenth century.



To the west of Madrid, in the very heart of the Sierra de Gredos, lies
Avila, another of the interesting cities of Castile, whose time-old
mansions and palaces, built of a gray granite, lend a solemn and almost
repulsively melancholic air to the city.

Perhaps more than any other town, Avila is characteristic of the middle
ages, of the continual strife between the noblemen, the Church, and the
common people. The houses of the aristocrats are castles rather than
palaces, with no artistic decoration to hide their bare nakedness; the
cathedral is really a fortress, and not only apparently so, as in
Salamanca and Toro, for its very apse is embedded in the city walls, of
which it forms a part, a battlemented, turreted, and warlike projection,
sure of having to bear the brunt of an attack in case of a siege.

Like the general aspect of the city is also the character of the
inhabitant, and it is but drawing it mildly to state that Avila's sons
were ever foremost in battle and strife. Kings in their minority were
brought hither by prudent mothers who relied more upon the city's walls
than upon the promises of noblemen in Valladolid and Burgos; this trust
was never misplaced. In the conquest of Extremadura and of Andalusia,
also, the Avilese troops, headed by daring warrior-prelates, played a
most important part, and, as a frontier fortress, together with Segovia,
against Aragon to the east, it managed to keep away from Castilian
territory the ambitions of the monarchs of the rival kingdom.

Avela of the Romans was a garrison town, the walls of which were partly
thrown down by the Western Goths upon their arrival in the peninsula.
Previously, San Segundo, one of the disciples of the Apostles who had
visited Bética (Andalusia), preached the True Word in Avila, and was
created its first bishop--in the first century. During the terrible
persecution of the Christians under the reign of Trajanus, one San
Vicente and his two sisters, Sabina and Cristeta, escaped from Portugal
and came to Avila, hoping to be hospitably received. All in vain; their
heads were smashed between stones, and their bodies left to rot in the
streets. An immense serpent emerged from the city walls and kept guard
over the three saintly corpses. The first to approach was a Jew, drawn
hither by curiosity; he was immediately enveloped by the reptile's body.
On the point of being strangled, he pronounced the word, "Jesus"--and
the serpent released him. So grateful was the Jew at being delivered
from death that he turned Christian and erected a church in honour of
San Vicente, Sabina, and Cristeta, and had them buried within its walls.

This church subsisted throughout the dark ages of the Moorish invasion
until at last Fernando I. removed the saintly remains to Leon in the
eleventh century. The church was then destroyed, and, it is believed,
the present cathedral was built on the same spot.

The Moors, calling the city Abila, used it as one of the fortresses
defending Toledo on the north against the continual Christian raids;
with varying success they held it until the end of the eleventh century,
when it finally fell into the hands of the Christians, and was
repopulated a short time before Salamanca toward the end of the same

During the centuries of Moorish dominion the see had fallen into the
completest oblivion, no mention being made of any bishops of Avila; the
ecclesiastical dignity was reëstablished immediately after the final
conquest of the region to the north of the Sierra of Guaderrama, and
though documents are lacking as to who was the first prelate _de
modernis_, it is generally believed to have been one Jeronimo, toward
the end of the eleventh century.

The city grew rapidly in strength; settlers came from the north--from
Castile and Leon--and from the east, from Aragon; they travelled to
their new home in bullock-carts containing household furniture,
agricultural and war implements, wives, and children.

In the subsequent history of Spain Avila played an important part, and
many a stirring event took place within its walls. It was besieged by
the Aragonese Alfonso el Batallador, whose army advanced to the attack
behind its prisoners, sons of Avila. Brothers, fathers, and relatives
were thus obliged to fire upon their own kin if they wished to save
their city. The same king, it is said, killed his hostages by having
their heads cut off and boiled in oil, as though severed heads were
capable of feeling the delightful sensation of seething oil!

Of all the traditions as numerous here as elsewhere, the prettiest and
most improbable is doubtless that of Nalvillos, a typical chevalier of
romance, who fell desperately in love with a beautiful Moorish princess
and wedded her. She pined, however, for a lover whom in her youth she
had promised to wed, and though her husband erected palaces and bought
slaves for her, she escaped with her sweetheart. Nalvillos followed the
couple to where they lay retired in a castle, and it was surrounded by
him and his trusty followers. The hero himself, disguised as a seller of
curative herbs, entered the apartment where his wife was waiting for her
lover's return, and made himself known. The former's return, however,
cut matters short, and Nalvillos was obliged to hide himself. The
Moorish girl was true to her love, and told her sweetheart where the
Christian was hiding; brought out of his retreat, he was on the point of
being killed when he asked permission to blow a last blast on his
bugle--a wish that was readily conceded by the magnanimous lover. The
result? The princess and her sweetheart were burnt to death by the
flames ignited by Nalvillos's soldiers. The Christian warrior was, of
course, able to escape.

In 1455 the effigy of Henry IV. was dethroned in Avila by the prelates
of Toledo and other cities, and by an assembly of noblemen who felt that
feudalism was dying out, and were anxious to strike a last blow at the
weak king whom they considered was their enemy.

The effigy was placed on a throne; the Archbishop of Toledo harangued
the multitude which, silent and scowling, was kept away from the throne
by a goodly number of obedient mercenary soldiers. Then the prelate tore
off the mock crown, another of the conspirators the sceptre, another the
royal garments, and so on, each accompanying his act by an ignominious
curse. At last the effigy was torn from the throne and trampled under
the feet of the soldiers. Alfonso, a boy of eleven, stepped on the dais
and was proclaimed king. His hand was kissed by the humble (!) prelates
and noblemen, who swore allegiance, an oath they had not the slightest
intention of keeping, and did not keep, either.

Philip III.'s decree expelling Moors from Spain, was, as in the case of
Plasencia, the _coup de grace_ given to the city's importance; half the
population was obliged to leave, and Avila never recovered her lost
importance and influence. To-day, with only about ten thousand
inhabitants, thrown in the background by Madrid, it manages to keep
alive and nothing more.

The date when the erection of the cathedral church of Avila was begun is
utterly unknown. According to a pious legend, it was founded by the
third bishop, Don Pedro, who, being anxious to erect a temple worthy of
his dignity, undertook a long pilgrimage to foreign countries in search
of arms, and returned to his see in 1091. Sixteen years later, according
to the same tradition, the present cathedral was essentially completed,
a bold statement that cannot be accepted because in manifest
contradiction with the build of the church.

According to Señor Quadrado, the oldest part of the building, the apse,
was probably erected toward the end of the twelfth century. It is a
massive, almost windowless, semicircular body, its bare walls
unsupported by buttresses, and every inch of it like the corner-tower of
a castle wall, crenelated and flat-topped.

The same author opines that the transept, a handsome, broad, and airy
ogival nave, dates from the fourteenth century, whereas the western
front of the church is of a much more recent date.

Be that as it may, the fact is that the cathedral of Avila, seen from
the east, west, or north, is a fortress building, a huge, unwieldy and
anti-artistic composition of Romanesque, Gothic, and other elements. The
western front, with its heavy tower to the north, and the lack of such
to the south, appears more gloomy than ever on account of the obscure
colour of the stone; the façade above the portal is of one of the most
peculiar of artistic conceptions ever imagined; above the first body or
the pointed arch which crowns the portal comes the second body, divided
from the former by a straight line, which supports eight columns
flanking seven niches; on the top of this unlucky part comes an ogival
window. The whole façade is narrow--one door--and high. The effect is
disastrous: an unnecessary contortion or misplacement of vertical,
horizontal, slanting, and circular lines.

The tower is flanked at the angles by two rims of stone, the edges of
which are cut into _bolas_ (balls). If this shows certain _Mudejar_
taste, so, also, do the geometrical designs carved in relief against a
background, as seen in the arabesques above the upper windows.

The northern portal, excepting the upper arch, which is but slightly
curved and almost horizontal, and weighs down the ogival arches, is far
better as regards the artist's conception of beauty; the stone carving
is also of a better class.

Returning to the interior of the building, preferably by the transept,
the handsomest part of the church, the spectator perceives a double
ambulatory behind the high altar; the latter, as well as the choir, is
low, and a fine view is obtained of the ensemble. The central nave,
almost twice as high and little broader than the aisles, is crowned by a
double triforium of Gothic elegance.

Seen from the transept, it would appear as though there were four aisles
on the west side instead of two, a peculiar deception produced by the
lateral opening of the last chapels, exactly similar in construction
to the arch which crowns the intersection of the aisles and transept.


In the northern and southern extremity of the transept two handsome
rosaces, above a row of lancet windows, let in the outside light through
stained panes.

The impression produced by the interior of the cathedral is greatly
superior to that received from without. In the latter case curiosity is
about the only sentiment felt by the spectator, whereas within the
temple does not lack a simple beauty and mystery.

As regards sculptural details, the best are doubtless the low reliefs to
be seen to the rear of the choir, as well as several sepulchres, of
which the best--and one of the best Renaissance monuments of its kind in
Spain--is that of the Bishop Alfonso Tostado in the ambulatory. The
_retablo_ of the high altar is also a magnificent piece of work of the
second half of the fifteenth century and the beginning of the



Avila's twin sister, Segovia, retains its old Celtiberian name; it
retains, also, the undeniable proofs of Roman domination in its
far-famed aqueduct and in its amphitheatre.

According to the popular tradition, San Hierateo, the disciple of St.
Paul, was the first bishop in the first century, but probably the see
was not erected until about 527, when it is first mentioned in a
Tolesian document; the name of the first bishop (historical) is Peter,
who was present at the third Council in Toledo (589).

The local saint is one San Fruto, who, upon the approach of the Saracen
hosts, gathered together a handful of fugitives and retired to the
mountains; his brother Valentine and his sister Engracia (of Aragonese
fame?) died martyrs to their belief. San Fruto, on the other hand, lived
the life of a hermit in the mountains and wrought many miracles, such
as splitting open a rock with his jack-knife, etc. The most miraculous
of his deeds was the proof he gave to the Moors of the genuineness of
the Catholic religion: on a tray of oats he placed the host and offered
it to a mule, which, instead of munching oats and host, fell on its
knees, and perhaps even crossed itself!

Disputed by Arabs and Christians, like all Castilian towns, Segovia
lagged along until it fell definitely into the hands of the latter. A
Christian colony seems, nevertheless, to have lived in the town during
the Arab dominion, because the documents of the time speak of a Bishop
Ilderedo in 940.

The exact year of the repopulation of Segovia is not known, but
doubtless it was a decade or so prior to either that of Salamanca or

Neither was the warlike spirit of the inhabitants inferior to that of
their brethren in the last named cities. It was due to their bravery
that Madrid fell into the hands of the Christians toward 1110, for,
arriving late at the besieging camp, the king, who was present, told
them that if they wished to pass the night comfortably, there was but
one place, namely, the city itself. Without a moment's hesitation the
daring warriors dashed at the walls of Madrid, and, scaling them, took a
tower, where they passed the night at their ease, and to their monarch's
great astonishment.

In 1115, the first bishop _de modernis_, Don Pedro, was consecrated, and
the cathedral was begun at about the same time. Several of the
successive prelates were battling warriors rather than spiritual
shepherds, and fought with energy and success against the infidel in
Andalusia. One, Don Gutierre Girón, even found his death in the terrible
defeat of the Christian arms at Alarcon.

The event which brought the greatest fame to Segovia was the erection of
its celebrated Alcázar, or castle, the finest specimen of military
architecture in Spain. Every city had its citadel, it is true, but none
were so strong and invulnerable as that of Segovia, and in the stormy
days of Castilian history the monarchs found a safe retreat from the
attacks of unscrupulous noblemen behind its walls.

Until 1530 the old cathedral stood at the back of the Alcázar, but in a
revolution of the Comuneros against Charles-Quint, the infuriated mob,
anxious to seize the castle, tore down the temple and used its stones,
beams, stalls, and railings as a means to scale the high walls of the
fortress. Their efforts were in vain, for an army came to the relief of
the castle from Valladolid; a general pardon was, nevertheless, granted
to the population by the monarch, who was too far off to care much what
his Spanish subjects did. After the storm was over, the hot-headed
citizens found themselves with a bishop and a chapter, but without a
church or means wherewith to erect a new one.

The struggles between city and fortress were numerous, and were the
cause, in a great measure, of the town's decadence. Upon one occasion,
Isabel the Catholic infringed upon the citizens' rights by making a gift
of some of the feudal villages to a court favourite. The day after the
news of this infringement reached the city, by a common accord the
citizens "dressed in black, did not amuse themselves, nor put on clean
linen; neither did they sweep the house steps, nor light the lamps at
night; neither did they buy nor sell, and what is more, they boxed their
children's ears so that they should for ever remember the day." So great
were the public signs of grief that it has been said that "never did a
republic wear deeper mourning for the loss of its liberties."

The end of the matter was that the queen in her famous testament revoked
her gift and returned the villages to the city.

The old cathedral was torn down in November, 1520, and it was not until
June, 1525, that the bishop, who had made a patriotic appeal to all
Spaniards in behalf of the church funds, laid the first stone of the new
edifice. Thirty years later the building was consecrated.

Nowhere else can a church be found which is a more thorough expression
of a city's fervour and enthusiasm. It was as though the sacrilegious
act of the enraged mob reacted on the penitent minds of the calmed
citizens, for rich and poor alike gave their alms to the cathedral
chapter. Jewels were sold, donations came from abroad, feudal lords gave
whole villages to the church, and the poor men, the workmen, and the
peasants gave their pennies. Daily processions arrived at Santa Clara,
then used as cathedral church, from all parts of the diocese. To-day
they were composed of tradesmen, of _Zünfte_, who gave their offerings
of a few pounds; to-morrow a village would bring in a cartload of
stone, of mortar, of wood, etc. On holidays and Sundays the repentant
citizens, instead of amusing themselves at the dance or bull-fight,
carted materials for their new cathedral's erection, and all this they
did of their own free will.


The act of consecrating the finished building constituted a grand
holiday. The long aqueduct was illuminated from top to bottom, as was
also the cathedral tower, and every house in the city. During a week the
holiday-making lasted with open-air amusements for the poor and banquets
for the rich.

The date of the construction of the new building was contemporaneous
with that of Salamanca, and the architect was, to a certain extent, the
same. It is not strange, therefore, that both should resemble each other
in their general disposition. What is more, the construction in both
churches was begun at the foot (west), and not in the east, as is
generally the case. The oldest part of the building is consequently the
western front, classic in its outline, but showing among its ogival
details both the symmetry and triangular pediment of Renaissance art.
The tower, higher than that of Sevilla, and broader than that of Toledo,
is simple in its structure; it is Byzantine, and does not lack a
certain _cachet_ of elegance; the first body is surmounted by a dome,
upon which rises the second,--smaller, and also crowned by a cupola. The
tower was twice struck by lightning and partly ruined in 1620; it was
rebuilt in 1825, and a lightning conductor replaced the cross of the

Though consecrated, as has been said, in 1558, the new temple was by no
means finished: the transept and the eastern end were still to be built.
The latter was finished prior to 1580, and in 1615 the Renaissance dome
which surmounts the _croisée_ was erected by an artist-architect, who
evidently was incapable of giving it a true Gothic appearance.

The apse, with its three harmonizing _étages_ corresponding to the
chapels, aisles, and nave, and flanked by leaning buttresses ornamented
with delicate pinnacles, is Gothic in its details; the ensemble is,
nevertheless, Renaissance, thanks to a perfect symmetry painfully
pronounced by naked horizontal lines--so contradictory to the spirit of
true ogival. Less regularity and a greater profusion of buttresses, and
above all of flying buttresses, would have been more agreeable, but the
times had changed and new tastes had entered the country.

Neither does the broad transept, its façade,--either southern or
northern,--and the cupola join, as it were, the eastern and the western
half of the building; on the contrary, it distinctly separates them, not
to the building's advantage.

The interior is gay rather than solemn: the general disposition of the
parts is as customary in a Gothic church of the Transition
(Renaissance). The nave and transept are of the same width; the lateral
chapels, running along the exterior walls of the aisles, are
symmetrical, as in Salamanca; the ambulatory separates the high altar
from the apse and its seven chapels.

The pavement of the church is of black and white marble slabs, like that
of Toledo, for instance; as for the stained windows, they are numerous,
and those in the older part of the building of good (Flemish?)
workmanship and of a rich colour, which heightens the happy expression
of the whole building.

The cloister is the oldest part of the building, having pertained to the
previous cathedral. After the latter's destruction, and the successful
erection of the new temple, the cloister was transported stone by stone
from its old emplacement to where it now stands. It is a handsome and
richly decorated Gothic building, containing many tombs, among them
those of the architects of the cathedral and of Maria del Salto. This
Mary was a certain Jewess, who, condemned to death, and thrown over the
Peña Grajera, invoked the aid of the Virgin, and was saved.

Another tomb is that of Prince Don Pedro, son of Enrique II., who fell
out of a window of the Alcázar. His nurse, according to the tradition,
threw herself out of the window after her charge, and together they were
picked up, one locked in the arms of the other.



Though Madrid was proclaimed the capital of Spain in the sixteenth
century, it was not until 1850 that its collegiate church of San Isidro
was raised to an episcopal see.

The appointment met with a storm of disapproval in the neighbouring town
of Alcalá de Henares, the citizens claiming the erection of the
ecclesiastical throne in their own collegiate, instead of in Madrid.
Their reasons were purely historical, as will be seen later on, whereas
the capital lacked both history and ecclesiastical significance.

To pacify the inhabitants of Alcalá, and at the same time to raise
Madrid to the rank of a city, the following arrangement was made: the
newly created see was to be called Madrid-Alcalá; the bishop was to
possess two cathedral churches, and both towns were to be cities.

Such is the state of affairs at present. The recent governmental
closure of the old cathedral in Alcalá has deprived the partisans of the
double see of one of their chief arguments, namely, the possession of a
worthy temple, unique in the world as regards its organization.
Consequently, it is generally stated that the title of Madrid-Alcalá
will die out with the present bishop, and that the next will simply be
the Bishop of Madrid.


The city of Madrid is new and uninteresting; it is an overgrown village,
with no buildings worthy of the capital of a kingdom. From an
architectural point of view, the royal palace, majestic and imposing,
though decidedly poor in style, is about the only edifice that can be

In history, Madrid plays a most unimportant part until the times of
Philip II., the black-browed monarch who, intent upon erecting his
mausoleum in the Escorial, proclaimed Madrid to be the only capital.
That was in 1560; previously Magerit had been an Arab fortress to the
north of Toledo, and the first in the region now called Castilla la
Nueva (New Castile), to distinguish it from Old Castile, which lies to
the north of the mountain chain.

Most likely Magerit had been founded by the Moors, though, as soon as it
had become the capital of Spain, its inhabitants, who were only too
eager to lend their town a history it did not possess, invented a series
of traditions and legends more ridiculous than veracious.

On the slopes of the last hill, descending to the Manzanares, and beside
the present royal palace, the Christian conquerors of the Arab fortress
in the twelfth century discovered an effigy of the Virgin, in an
_almudena_ or storehouse. This was the starting-point for the traditions
of the twelfth-century monks who discovered (?) that this effigy had
been placed where it was found by St. James, according to some, and by
the Virgin herself, according to others; what is more, they even
established a series of bishops in Magerit previous to the Arab

No foundations are of course at hand for such fabulous inventions, and
if the effigy really were found in the _almudena_, it must have been
placed there by the Moors themselves, who most likely had taken it as
their booty when sacking a church or convent to the north.

The patron saint of Madrid is one Isidro, not to be confounded with San
Isidoro of Leon. The former was a farmer or labourer, who, with his
wife, lived a quiet and unpretentious life in the vicinity of Madrid, on
the opposite banks of the Manzanares, where a chapel was erected to his
memory sometime in the seventeenth century. Of the many miracles this
saint is supposed to have wrought, not one differs from the usual deeds
attributed to holy individuals. Being a farmer, his voice called forth
water from the parched land, and angels helped his oxen to plough the

Save the effigy of the Virgin de la Almudena, and the life of San
Isidro, Madrid has no ecclesiastical history,--the Virgin de la Atocha
has been forgotten, but she is only a duplicate of her sister virgin.
Convents and monasteries are of course as numerous as elsewhere in
Spain; brick parish churches of a decided Spanish-Oriental appearance
rear their cupolas skyward in almost every street, the largest among
them being San Francisco el Grande, which, with San Antonio de la
Florida (containing several handsome paintings by Goya), is the only
temple worth visiting.

As regards a cathedral building, there is, in the lower part of the
city, a large stone church dedicated to San Isidro; it serves the stead
of a cathedral church until a new building, begun about 1885, will have
been completed.

This new building, the cathedral properly speaking, is to be a tenth
wonder; it is to be constructed in granite, and its foundations stand
beside the royal palace in the very spot where the Virgin de la Almudena
was found, and where, until 1869, a church enclosed the sacred effigy;
the new building is to be dedicated to the same deity.

Unluckily, the erection of the new cathedral proceeds but slowly; so far
only the basement stones have been laid and the crypt finished. The
funds for its erection are entirely dependent upon alms, but, as the
religious fervour which incited the inhabitants of Segovia in the
sixteenth century is almost dead to-day, it is an open question whether
the cathedral of Madrid will ever be finished.

The temporary cathedral of San Isidro was erected in the seventeenth
century; its two clumsy towers are unfinished, its western front,
between the towers, is severe; four columns support the balcony, behind
which the cupola, which crowns the _croisée_, peeps forth.

Inside there is nothing worthy of interest to be admired except some
pictures, one of them painted by the Divino Morales. The nave is light,
but the chapels are so dark that almost nothing can be seen in their

This church, until the expulsion of the Jesuits, was the temple of their
order, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul; adjoining it a Jesuit school
was erected, which has been incorporated in the government colleges.

_Alcalá de Henares_

About twenty miles to the east of Madrid lies the one-time glorious
university city of Alcalá, famous above all things for having been the
cradle of Cervantes, and the hearth, if not the home, of Cardinal

Its history and its decadence are of the saddest; the latter serves in
many respects as an adequate symbol of Spain's own tremendous downfall.

[Illustration: SAN ISIDRO, MADRID]

The Romans founded Alcalá; it was their Complutum, of which some few
remains have been discovered in the vicinity of the modern city. Yet,
notwithstanding this lack of substantial evidence, the inhabitants of
the region still proudly call themselves Complutenses.

When the West Goths were rulers of the peninsula, the Roman monuments
must have been completely destroyed, for all traces of the strategic
stronghold were effaced from the map of Spain. The invading Arabs,
possessing to a certain degree both Roman military instinct and
foresight, built a fortress on the spot where the State Archives
Building stands to-day. This castle was used by them as one of Toledo's
northern defences against the warlike Christian kings.

In the twelfth century the fortress fell into the hands of the
Christians; in the succeeding centuries it was strongly rebuilt by the
cardinal-archbishops of Toledo, who used it both as their palace and as
their stronghold.

Outside the bastioned and turreted walls of the castle, the new-born
city grew up under its protecting shadows. Known by the Arabic name of
its fortress (Al-Kalá), it was successively baptized Alcalá de San
Justo, Alcalá de Fenares, and since the sixteenth century, Alcalá de
Henares (_heno_, old Spanish _feno_, meaning hay). Protected by such
powerful arms as those of the princes of the Church, it grew up to be a
second Toledo, a city of church spires and convent walls, but of which
only a reduced number stand to-day to point back to the religious
fervour of the middle ages.

The world-spread fame acquired by Alcalá in the fifteenth century was
due to the patronage of Cardinal Cisneros, who built the university, at
one time one of the most celebrated in Europe, and to-day a mere
skeleton of architectural beauty.

The same prelate raised San Justo to a suffragan church; its chapter was
composed only of learned professors of the university, as were also its
canons; Leon X. gave it the enviable title of La Magistral, the Learned,
which points it out as unique in the Christian world. The Polyglot
Bible, published in the sixteenth century, and famous in all Europe, was
worked out by these scholars under Cisneros's direction, and the
favoured city outshone the newly built Madrid twenty miles away, and
rivalled Salamanca in learning, and Toledo in worldly and religious

Madrid grew greater and greater as years went by, and consequently
Alcalá de Henares dwindled away to the shadow of a name. The university,
the just pride of the Complutenses, was removed to the capital; the
cathedral, for lack of proper care, became an untimely ruin; the
episcopal palace was confiscated by the state, which, besides repairing
it, filled its seventy odd halls with rows upon rows of dusty documents
and governmental papers.

To-day the city drags along a weary, inactive existence: soldiers from
the barracks and long-robed priests from the church fill the streets,
and are as numerous as the civil inhabitants, if not more so; convents
and cloisters of nuns, either grass-grown ruins or else sombre grated
and barred edifices, are to be met with at every step.

Strangers visit the place hurriedly in the morning and return to Madrid
in the afternoon; they buy a tin box of sugar almonds (the city's
specialty), carelessly examine the university and the archiepiscopal
palace, gaze unmoved at some Cervantes relics, and at the façade of the
cathedral. Besides, they are told that in such and such a house the
immortal author of Don Quixote was born, which is a base, though
comprehensible, invention, because no such house exists to-day.

That is all; perchance in crossing the city's only square, the traveller
notices that it can boast of no fewer than three names, doubtless with a
view to hide its glaring nakedness. These three names are Plaza de
Cervantes, Plaza Mayor, and Plaza de la Constitución, of which the
latter is spread out boldly across the town hall and seems to invoke the
remembrance of the ephemeral efforts of the republic in 1869.

In the third century after the birth of Christ, two infants, Justo and
Pastor, preached the True Word to the unbelieving Roman rulers of
Complutum. The result was not in the least surprising: the two infants
lost their baby heads for the trouble they had taken in trying to
trouble warriors.

But the Vatican remembered them, and canonized Pastor and Justo.
Hundreds of churches, sown by the blood of martyrs, grew up in all
corners of the peninsula to commemorate pagan cruelty, and to induce all
men to follow the examples set by the two babes.

No one knew, however, where the mortal remains of Justo and Pastor were
lying. In the fourth century their resting-place was miraculously
revealed to one Austurio, Archbishop of Toledo, who had them removed to
his cathedral. They did not stay long in the primate city, for the
invasion of the Moors obliged all True Believers to hide Church relics.
Thus, Justo and Pastor wandered forth again from village to village,
running away from the infidels until they reposed temporarily in the
cathedral of Huesca in the north of Aragon.

In Alcalá their memory was kept alive in the parish church dedicated to
them. But as the city grew, it was deemed preferable to build a solid
temple worthy of the saintly pair, and Carillo, Archbishop of Toledo,
had the old church pulled down and began the erection of a larger
edifice. This took place in the middle of the fifteenth century, when
Ximenez de Cisneros, who ruled the fate of Spain and its church, gave it
the ecclesiastical constitution previously mentioned.

Fifty years later the weary bodies of the two infants were brought back
in triumph to their native town amid the rejoicings and admiration of
the people, and were placed in the cathedral of San Justo, then a
collegiate church of Toledo.

A few years ago the cathedral church of San Justo was denounced by the
state architect and closed. To-day it is a dreary ruin, with tufts of
grass growing among the battlements. The chapter, depriving the hoary
building of its high altar, its precious relics and paintings, its
stalls and other accessories, installed the cathedral in the Jesuit
temple, an insignificant building in the other extremity of the town.
Recently the abandoned ruin has been declared a national monument, which
means that the state is obliged to undertake its restoration.

La Magistral is a brick building of imposing simplicity and severity in
its general outlines. Its decorative elements are ogival, but of true
Spanish nakedness and lack of elegance. Though Renaissance principles
have not entered into the composition, as might have been supposed,
considering the date of the erection, nevertheless, the lack of flying
buttresses, the scarcity of windows, the undecorated angles of the
western front, the barren walls, and flat-topped, though slightly
sloping, roofs prove that the "simple and severe style" is latent in the
minds of artists.


The apse is well developed, and the _croisée_ surmounted by a cupola;
the tower which flanks the western front is massive; it is decorated
with blind arches and ogival arabesques.

The ground plan of the building is Latin Cruciform; the aisles are but
slightly lower than the nave and join in the apse behind the high altar
in an ambulatory walk. The crypt, reached by two Renaissance doors in
the _trasaltar_, is spacious, and contains the bodies of San Justo and
San Pastor.

The general impression produced on the mind of the tourist is sadness.
The severity of the structure is heightened by the absence of any
distracting decorative elements, excepting the fine _Mudejar_ ceiling to
the left upon entering.

In the reigning shadows of this deserted temple, two magnificent tombs
stand in solitude and silence. They are those of Carillo and Cardinal
Cisneros, the latter one of the greatest sons of Spain and one of her
most contradictory geniuses. His sepulchre is a gorgeous marble monument
of Renaissance style, surrounded by a massive bronze grille of excellent
workmanship, a marvel of Spanish metal art of the sixteenth century.
The other sepulchre is simple in its ogival decorations, and the
prostrate effigy of Carillo is among the best to be admired by the
tourist in Iberia.

Carillo's life was that of a restless, ambitious, and worldly man. When
he died, he was buried in the Convent of San Juan de Dios, where his
illegitimate son had been buried before him, "for," said the
archbishop-father, "if in life my robes separated me from my son, in
death we shall be united."

But he reckoned without his host, or rather his successor, the man whose
remains now lie beside his own in the shadows of the great ruin. "For,"
said Cisneros, "the Church must separate man from his sin even in
death." So he ordered the son to be left in the convent, and the father
to be brought to the temple he had begun to erect.



The origin of the fortress admirably situated to the north of
Guadalajara was doubtless Moorish, though in the vicinity is Villavieja,
where the Romans had established a town on the transverse road from
Cadiz to Tarragon, and called by them Seguncia, or Segoncia.

When the Christian religion first appeared in Spain, it is believed that
Sigüenza, or Segoncia, possessed an episcopal see; nothing is positively
known, however, of the early bishops, until Protogenes signed the third
Council of Toledo in 589.

It is believed that in the reign of Alfonso VI., he who conquered Toledo
and the region to the south of Valladolid and as far east as Aragon,
Sigüenza was repopulated, though no mention is made of the place in the
earlier chronicles of the time. All that is known is that a bishop was
immediately appointed by Alfonso VII. to the vacancy which had lasted
for over two hundred years, during which Sigüenza had been one of the
provincial capitals of the Kingdom of Toledo. The first known bishop was
Don Bernardo.

The history of the town was never of the most brilliant. In the times of
Alfonso VII. and his immediate successors it gained certain importance
as a frontier stronghold, as a check to the growing ambitions of the
royal house of Aragon. But after the union of Castile and Aragon, its
importance gradually dwindled; to-day, if it were not for the bishopric,
it would be one historic village more on the map of Spain.

In the reign of Peter the Cruel, its castle--considered with that of
Segovia to be the strongest in Castile--was used for some time as the
prison palace for that most unhappy princess, Doña Blanca, who, married
to his Catholic Majesty, had been deposed on the third day of the
wedding by the heartless and passionate lover of the Padilla. She was at
first shut up in Toledo, but the king did not consider the Alcázar
strong enough. So she was sent off to Sigüenza, where it is popularly
believed, though documents deny it, that she died, or was put to death.

The city belonged to the bishop; it was his feudal property, and passed
down to his successors in the see. Of the doings of these
prelate-warriors, the first, Don Bernardo, was doubtless the most
striking personality, lord of a thousand armed vassals and of three
hundred horse, who fought with the emperor in almost all the great
battles in Andalusia. It is even believed he died wielding the naked
sword, and that his remains were brought back to the town of which he
had been the first and undisputed lord.

The strong castle which crowns the city did not possess, as was
generally the case, an _alcalde_, or governor; it was the episcopal
palace or residence, a circumstance which proves beyond a doubt the
double significance of the bishop: a spiritual leader and military
personage, more influential and wealthy than any prelate in Spain,
excepting the Archbishops of Toledo and Santiago.

During the French invasion in the beginning of the nineteenth century,
Sigüenza had already lost its political significance. The invaders
occupied the castle, and, as was their custom, threw documents and
archives into the fire, to make room for themselves, and to spend the
winter comfortably.

Consequently, the notices we have of the cathedral church are but
scarce. The fourth bishop was Jocelyn, an Englishman who had come over
with Eleanor, Henry II.'s daughter, and married to the King of Castile.
He (the bishop) was not a whit less warlike than his predecessors had
been; he helped the king to win the town of Cuenca, and when he died on
the battle-field, only his right arm was carried back to the see, to the
chapel of St. Thomas of Canterbury, which the dead prelate had founded
in the new cathedral, and it was buried beneath a stone which bears the
following inscription:

    "_Hic est inclusa Jocelini præsulis ulna._"

From the above we can conclude that the cathedral must have been begun
previous to the Englishman's coming to Spain, that is, in the beginning
of the twelfth century. Doubtless the vaulting was not closed until at
least one hundred years later; nevertheless, it is one of the unique and
at the same time one of the handsomest Spanish monuments of the
Transition period.

The city of Sigüenza, situated on the slopes of a hill crowned by the
castle, is a village rather than a town; there are, however, fewer spots
in Spain that are more picturesque in their old age, and there is a
certain uniformity in the architecture that reminds one of German towns;
this is not at all characteristic of Spain, where so many styles mix and
mingle until hardly distinguishable from each other.

The Transition style--between the strong Romanesque and the airy
ogival--is the city's _cachet_, printed with particular care on the
handsome cathedral which stands on the slope of the hill to the north of
the castle.

Two massive square towers, crenelated at the top and pierced by a few
round-headed windows, flank the western front. The three portals are
massive Romanesque without floral or sculptural decoration of any kind;
the central door is larger and surmounted by a large though primitive
rosace. The height of the aisles and nave is indicated by three ogival
arches cut in relief on the façade; here already the mixture of both
styles, of the round-arched Romanesque and the pointed Gothic, is
clearly visible--as it is also in the windows of the aisles, which are
Romanesque, and of the nave, which are ogival--in the buttresses, which
are leaning on the lower body, and flying in the upper story, uniting
the exterior of the clerestory with that of the aisles. (Compare with
apse of the cathedral of Lugo.)

The portal of the southern arm of the transept is an ugly addition, more
modern and completely out of harmony with the rest. The rosace above the
door is one of the handsomest of the Transition period in Spain, and the
stained glass is both rich and mellow.

The interior shows the same harmonious mixture of the stronger and more
solemn old style, and the graceful lightness of the newer. But the
hesitancy in the mind of the architect is also evident, especially in
the vaulting, which is timidly arched.

The original plan of the church was, doubtless, purely Romanesque: Roman
cruciform with a three-lobed apse, the central one much longer so as to
contain the high altar.

In the sixteenth century, however, an ambulatory was constructed behind
the high altar, joining the two aisles, and the high altar was removed
to the east of the transept.

What a pity that the huge choir, placed in the centre of the church,
should so completely obstruct the view of the ensemble of the nave and
aisles, separated by massive Byzantine arches between the solid pillars,
which, in their turn, support the nascent ogival vaulting of the high
nave! Were it, as well as the grotesque _trascoro_--of the unhappiest
artistic taste--anywhere but in the centre of the church, what a
splendid view would be obtained of the long, narrow, and high aisles and
nave in which the old and the new were moulded together in perfect
harmony, instead of fighting each other and clashing together, as
happened in so many Spanish cathedral churches!

One of the most richly decorated parts of the church is the sacristy, a
small room entirely covered with medallions and sculptural designs of
the greatest variety of subjects. Though of Arabian taste (_Mudejar_),
no Moorish elements have entered into the composition, and consequently
it is one of the very finest, if not the very best specimen, of
Christian Arab decoration.



To the east of Toledo, and to the north of the plains of La Mancha,
Cuenca sits on its steep hill surrounded by mountains; a high stone
bridge, spanning a green valley and the rushing river, joined the city
to a mountain plateau; to-day the mediæval bridge has been replaced by
an iron one, which contrasts harshly with the somnolent aspect of the

Never was a city founded in a more picturesque spot. It almost resembles
Göschenen in Switzerland, with the difference that whereas in the last
named village a white-washed church rears its spire skyward, in Cuenca a
large cathedral, rich in decorative accessories, and yet sombre and
severe in its wealth, occupies the most prominent place in the town.

Of the origin of the city nothing is known. In the tenth and the
eleventh centuries Conca was an impregnable Arab fortress. In 1176 the
united armies of Castile and Aragon, commanded by two sovereigns,
Alfonso VIII. of Castile and Alfonso II. of Aragon, laid siege to the
fortress, and after nine months' patience, the Alcázar surrendered.
According to the popular tradition, it was won by treachery: one Martin
Alhaxa, a captive and a shepherd by trade, introduced the Christians
disguised with sheepskins into the city through a postern gate.

As the conquest of Cuenca had cost the King of Castile such trouble (his
Aragonese partner had not waited to see the end of the siege), and as he
was fully conscious of its importance as a strategical outpost against
Aragon to the north and against the Moors to the south and east, he laid
special stress on the city's being strongly fortified; he also gave
special privileges to such Christians as would repopulate, or rather
populate, the nascent town. A few years later Pone Lucio III. raised the
church to an episcopal see, appointing Juan Yañez, a Tolesian Muzarab,
to be its first bishop (1183).

Unlike Sigüenza, a feudal possession of the bishop, Cuenca belonged
exclusively to the monarch of Castile; the castle was consequently held
in the sovereign's name by a governor,--at one time there were even four
who governed simultaneously. Between these governors and the inhabitants
of the city, fights were numerous, especially during the first half of
the fifteenth century, the darkest and most ignoble period of Castilian

The story is told of one Doña Inez de Barrientos, granddaughter of a
bishop on her mother's side, and of a governor on that of her father. It
appears that her husband had been murdered by some of the wealthiest
citizens of the town. Feigning joy at her spouse's death, the widow
invited the murderers to her house to a banquet, when, "_después de
opípara cena_ (after an excellent dinner), they passed from the lethargy
of drunkenness to the sleep of eternity, assassinated by hidden
servants." The following morning their bodies hung from the windows of
the palace, and provoked not anger but silent dread and shivers among
the terror-stricken inhabitants.

With the Inquisition, the siege by the English in 1706, the invasion of
the French in 1808, Cuenca rapidly lost all importance and even
political significance. To-day it is one of the many picturesque ruins
that offer but little interest to the art traveller, for even its old
age is degenerated, and the monuments of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and
fifteenth centuries have one and all been spoilt by the hand of time,
and by the less grasping hand of _restauradores_--or

The Byzantine character, the Arab taste of the primitive inhabitants,
has also been lost. Who would think, upon examining the cathedral, that
it had served once upon a time as the principal Arab mosque? Entirely
rebuilt, as were most of the primitive Arab houses, it has lost all
traces of the early founders, more so than in other cities where the
Arabs remained but a few years.

The patron saint of Cuenca is San Julian, one of the cathedral's first
bishops, who led a saintly life, giving all he had and taking nothing
that was not his, and who retired from his see to live the humble life
of a basket-maker, seated with willow branches beneath the arches of the
high bridge, and preaching saintly words to teamsters and mule-drivers
as they approached the city, until his death in 1207.

In the same century the Arab mosque was torn down and the new cathedral
begun. It is a primitive ogival (Spanish) temple of the thirteenth
century, with smatterings of Romanesque-Byzantine. Unlike the cathedral
of Sigüenza, it is neither elegant, harmonious, nor of great
architectural value; its wealth lies chiefly in the chapels, in the
doors which lead to the cloister, in the sacristy, and in the elegant
high altar.

The cloister door is perhaps one of the finest details of the cathedral
church: decorated in the plateresque style general in Spain in the
sixteenth century, it offers one of the finest examples of said style to
be found anywhere, and though utterly different in ornamentation to the
sacristy of Sigüenza, it nevertheless resembles it in the general

The nave, exceedingly high, is decorated by a blind triforium of ogival
arches; the aisles are sombre and lower than the nave. On the other
hand, the transept, broad and simple, is similar to the nave and as long
as the width of the church, including the lateral chapels. The _croisée_
is surmounted by a _cimborio_, insignificant in comparison to those of
Salamanca, Zamora, and Toro.

The northern and southern extremities of the transept differ from each
other as regard style. The southern has an ogival portal surmounted by a
rosace; the northern, one that is plateresque, the rounded arch,
delicately decorated, reposing on Corinthian columns.

The eastern end of the church has been greatly modified--as is clearly
seen by the mixture of fifteenth-century styles, and not to the
advantage of the ensemble. Byzantine pillars, and even horseshoe arches,
mingle with Gothic elements.

Of the chapels, the greater number are richly decorated, not only with
sepulchres and sepulchral works, but with paintings, some of them by
well-known masters.

Taken all in all, the cathedral of Cuenca does not inspire any of the
sentiments peculiar to religious temples. Not the worst cathedral in
Spain, by any means, neither as regards size nor majesty, it
nevertheless lacks conviction, as though the artist who traced the
primitive plan miscalculated its final appearance. The additions, due to
necessity or to the ruinous state of some of the parts, were luckless,
as are generally all those undertaken at a posterior date.

The decorative wealth of the chapels, which is really astonishing in so
small a town, the luxurious display of grotesque elements, the presence
of a fairly good _transparente_, as well as the rich leaf-decoration of
Byzantine pillars and plateresque arches, give a peculiar _cachet_ to
this church which is not to be found elsewhere.

The same can be said of the city and of the inhabitant. In the words of
an authority, "Cuenca is national, it is Spanish, it is a typical rural
town." Yet, it is so typical, that no other city resembles it.



A forest of spires and _alminar_ towers rising from a roof-covered hill
to pierce the distant azure sky; a ruined cemetery surrounded on three
sides by the rushing Tago as it cuts out a foaming path through
foothills, and stretching away on the fourth toward the snow-capped
Sierra de Gredo in the distance, beyond the fruitful prairies and the
intervening plains of New Castile.

Such is Toledo, the famous, the wonderful, the legend-spun primate city
of all the Spains, the former wealthy capital of the Spanish Empire!

Madrid usurped all her civic honours under the reign of Philip II., he
who lost the Armada and built the Escorial. Since then Toledo, like
Alcalá de Henares, Segovia, and Burgos, has dragged along a forlorn
existence, frozen in winter and scorched in summer, and visited at all
times of the year by gaping tourists of all nationalities.

Even the approach to the city from the mile distant station is
peculiarly characteristic. Seated in an old and shaky omnibus, pulled by
four thrashed mules, and followed along the dusty road by racing
beggars, who whine their would-be French, "_Un p'it sou, mouchieur_,"
with surprising alacrity and a melancholy smile in their big black eyes,
the visitor is driven sharply around a bluff, when suddenly Toledo, the
mysterious, comes into sight, crowning the opposite hill.

At a canter the mules cross the bridge of Alcántara and pass beneath the
gateway of the same name, a ponderous structure still guarding the
time-rusty city as it did centuries ago when Toledo was the Gothic
metropolis. Up the winding road, beneath the solemn and fire-devastated
walls of the Alcázar, the visitor is hurriedly driven along; he
disappears from the burning sunlight into a gloomy labyrinth of
ill-paved streets to emerge a few minutes later in the principal square.

A shoal of yelling, gesticulating interpreters literally grab at the
tourist, and in ten seconds exhaust their vocabulary of foreign words.
At last one walks triumphantly off beside the newcomer, while the
others, with a depreciative shrug of the shoulders and extinguishing
their volcanic outburst of energy, loiter around the square smoking

It does not take the visitor long to notice that he is in a great
archæological museum. The streets are crooked and narrow, so narrow that
the tiny patch of sky above seems more brilliant than ever and farther
away, while on each side are gloomy houses with but few windows, and
monstrous, nail-studded doors. At every turn a church rears its head,
and the cheerless spirit of a palace glares with a sadly vacant stare
from behind wrought-iron _rejas_ and a complicated stone-carved blazon.
Rarely is the door opened; when it is, the passer catches a glimpse of a
sun-bathed courtyard, gorgeously alive with light and many flowers. The
effect produced by the sudden contrast between the joyless street and
the sunny garden, whose existence was never dreamt of, is delightful and
never to be forgotten; from Théophile Gautier, who had been in Northern
Africa, land of Mohammedan harems, it wrung the piquant exclamation:
"The Moors have been here!"

Every stick, stone, mound, house, lantern, and what not has its legend.
In this humble _posada_, Cervantes, whose ancestral castle is on yonder
bluff overlooking the Tago, wrote his "_Ilustre Fregona_." The family
history of yonder fortress-palace inspired Zorilla's romantic pen, and a
thousand and one other objects recall the past,--the past that is
Toledo's present and doubtless will have to be her future.

Gone are the days when Tolaitola was a peerless jewel, for which Moors
and Christians fought, until at last the Believers of the True Faith
drove back the Arabs who fled southward from whence they had emerged.
Long closed are also the famous smithies, where swords--Tolesian blades
they were then called--were hammered so supple that they could bend like
a watchspring, so strong they could cleave an anvil, and so sharp they
could cut an eiderdown pillow in twain without displacing a feather.

Distant, moreover, are the nights of _capa y espada_ and of miracles
wrought by the Virgin; dwindled away to a meagre shadow is the princely
magnificence of the primate prelates of all the Spains, of those
spiritual princes who neither asked the Pope's advice nor received
orders from St. Peter at Rome. Besides, of the two hundred thousand
souls proud to be called sons of Toledo in the days of Charles-Quint,
but seventeen thousand inhabitants remain to-day to guard the nation's
great city-museum, unsullied as yet by progress and modern civilization,
by immense advertisements and those other necessities of daily life in
other climes.

The city's history explains the mixture of architectural styles and the
bizarre modifications introduced in Gothic, Byzantine, or Arab

Legends accuse Toledo of having been mysteriously founded long before
the birth of Rome on her seven hills. To us, however, it first appears
in history as a Roman stronghold, capital of one of Hispania's

St. James, as has been seen, roamed across this peninsula; he came to
Toledo. So delighted was he with the site and the people--saith the
tradition--that he ordained that the city on the Tago should contain the
primate church of all the Spains.

The vanquished Romans withdrew, leaving to posterity but feeble ruins to
the north of the city; the West Goths built the threatening city walls
which still are standing, and, having turned Christians, their King
Recaredo was baptized in the river's waters, and Toledo became the
flourishing capital of the Visigothic kingdom (512 A.D.).

The Moors, in their northward march, conquered both the Church and the
state. Legends hover around the sudden apparition of Berber hordes in
Andalusia, and accuse Rodrigo, the last King of the Goths, of having
outraged Florinda, a beautiful girl whom he saw, from his palace window,
bathing herself in a marble bath near the Tago,--the bath is still shown
to this day,--and with whom he fell in love. The father, Count Julian,
Governor of Ceuta, called in the Moors to aid him in his righteous work
of vengeance, and, as often happens in similar cases, the allies lost no
time in becoming the masters and the conquerors.

Nearly four hundred years did the Arabs remain in their beloved
Tolaitola; the traces of their occupancy are everywhere visible: in the
streets and in the _patios_, in fanciful arabesques, and above all in
Santa Maria la Blanca.

The Spaniards returned and brought Christianity back with them. They
erected an immense cathedral and turned mosques into chapels without
altering the Oriental form.

Jews, Arabs, and Christians lived peacefully together during the four
following centuries. Together they created the _Mudejar_ style tower of
San Tomas and the Puerta de Sol. Pure Gothic was transformed, rendered
even more insubstantial and lighter, thanks to Oriental decorative
motives. In San Juan de los Reyes, the _Mudejar_ style left a unique
specimen of what it might have developed into had it not been murdered
by the Renaissance fresh from Italy, where Aragonese troops had
conquered the kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

With the first Philips--and even earlier--foreign workmen came over to
Toledo in shoals from Germany, France, Flanders, and Italy. They also
had their way, more so than in any other Spanish city, and their tastes
helped to weld together that incongruous mass of architectural styles
which is Toledo's alone of all cities. Granada may have its Alhambra,
and Cordoba its mosque; Leon its cathedral and Segovia its Alcázar, but
none of them is so luxuriously rich in complex grandeur and in the
excellent--and yet frequently grotesque--confusion of all those art
waves which flooded Spain. In this respect Toledo is unique in Spain,
unique in the world. Can we wonder at her being called a museum?

The Alcázar, which overlooks the rushing Tago, is a symbol of Toledo's
past. It was successively burnt and rebuilt; its four façades, here
stern and forbidding, there grotesque and worthless, differ from each
other as much as the centuries in which they were built. The eastern
façade dates from the eleventh, the western from the fifteenth, and the
other two from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

But other arts than those purely architectural are richly represented in
Toledo. For Spain's capital in the days following upon the fall of
Granada was a centre of industrial arts, where both foreign and national
workmen, heathen, Jews, and Christians mixed, wrought such wonders as
have forced their way into museums the world over; besides, Tolesian
sculptors are among Spain's most famous.

As regards painting, one artist's life is wrapped up in that of the
wonderful city on the Tago; many of his masterworks are to be seen in
Toledo's churches and in the provincial museum. I refer to Domenico
Theotocopuli, he who was considered a madman because he was a genius,
and who has been called _el Greco_ when really he ought to have been
called _el Toledano_.

       *       *       *       *       *

If Toledo is the nation's architectural museum, the city's cathedral,
the huge imposing Gothic structure, is, beyond a doubt, an incomparable
art museum. Centuries of sculptors carved marble and _berroqueña_;
armies of artisans wrought marvels in cloths, metals, precious stones,
glass, and wood, and a host of painters, both foreign and national, from
Goya and Ribera to the Greco and Rubens, painted religious compositions
for the sacristy and chapels.

Consequently, and besides the architectural beauty of the primate church
of Spain, what interests perhaps more keenly than the study of the
cathedral's skeleton, is the study of the ensemble, of that wealth of
decorative designs and of priceless art objects for which the temple is
above all renowned.

Previous to the coming of the Moors in the eighth century, a humble
cathedral stood where the magnificent church now lifts its
three-hundred-foot tower in the summer sky. It had been built in the
sixth century and dedicated to the Virgin, who had appeared in the
selfsame spot to San Ildefonso, when the latter, ardent and vehement,
had defended her Immaculate Honour before a body of skeptics.

The Moors tore down or modified the cathedral, and erected their
principal mosque in its stead. When, three hundred years later, they
surrendered their Tolaitola to Alfonso VI. (1085), they stipulated for
the retention of their _mezquita_, a clause the king, who had but little
time to lose squabbling, was only too glad to allow.

The following year, however, King Alfonso went off on a campaign,
leaving his wife Doña Constanza and the Archbishop Don Bernardo to look
after the city in his absence. No sooner was his back turned, when, one
fine morning, Don Bernardo arrived with a motley crowd of goodly
Christians in front of the mosque. He knocked in the principal door,
and, entering, threw out into the street the sacred objects of the Islam
cult. Then the Christians proceeded to set up an altar, a crucifix, and
an image of the Virgin; the archbishop hallowed his work, and in an hour
was the smiling possessor of his see. Strange to say, Don Bernardo was
no Spaniard, but a worthy Frenchman.

The news of this outrage upon his honour brought Alfonso rushing back to
Toledo, vowing to revenge himself upon those who had seemingly made him
break his royal word; on the way he was met by a committee of the Arab
inhabitants, who, clever enough to understand that the sovereign would
reinstate the mosque, but would ever after look upon them as the cause
of his rupture with his wife and his friend the prelate, asked the king
to pardon the evil-doers, stating that they renounced voluntarily their
mosque, knowing as they did that the other conditions of the surrender
would be sacredly adhered to by his Majesty.

Thanks to this noble (cunning) attitude on the part of the outraged
Moors, the latter were able to live at peace within the walls of Toledo
well into the seventeenth century.

Toward the beginning of the thirteenth century Fernando el Santo was
King of Castile, and his capital was the city on the Tago. The growing
nation was strong and full of ambition, while the coming of the Cluny
monks and Flemish and German artisans had brought Northern Gothic
across the frontiers. So it occurred to the sovereign and his people to
erect a primate cathedral of Christian Spain worthy of its name. In 1227
the first stone was laid by the pious warrior-king. The cathedral's
outline was traced: a Roman cruciform Gothic structure of five aisles
and a bold transept; two flanking towers,--of which only the northern
has been constructed, the other having been substituted by a cupola of
decided Byzantine or Oriental taste,--and a noble western façade of
three immense doors surmounted by a circular rosace thirty feet wide.

The size of the building was in itself a guarantee that it would be one
of the largest in the world, being four hundred feet long by two hundred
broad, and one hundred feet high at the intersection of transept and

[Illustration: TOLEDO CATHEDRAL]

It took 250 years for the cathedral to be built, and even then it was
not really completed until toward the middle of the eighteenth century.
In the meantime the nation had risen to its climax of power and wealth,
and showered riches and jewels upon its great cathedral. Columbus
returned from America, and the first gold he brought was handed over to
the archbishop; foreign artisans--especially Flemish and
German--arrived by hundreds, and were employed by Talavera, Cisneros,
and Mendoza, in the decoration of the church. Unluckily, additions were
made: the pointed arches of the façade were surmounted by a rectangular
body which had nothing in common with the principle set down when the
cathedral was to have been purely ogival.

The interior of the church was also enlarged, especially the high altar,
the base of which was doubled in size. The _retablo_ of painted wood was
erected toward the end of the fifteenth century, as well as many of the
chapels, which are built into the walls of the building, and are as
different in style as the saints to whom they are dedicated.

As time went on, and the rich continued sending their jewels and relics
to the cathedral, the Treasury Room, with its pictures by Rubens, Dürer,
Titian, etc., and with its _sagrario_,--a carved image of Our Lady,
crowning an admirably chiselled cone of silver and jewels, and covered
over with the richest cloths woven in gold, silver, silk, and precious
stones,--was gradually filled with hoarded wealth. Even to-day, when
Spain has apparently reached the very low ebb of her glory, the
cathedral of Toledo remains almost intact as the only living
representative of the grandeur of the Church and of the arts it fostered
in the sixteenth century.

Almost up to the beginning of the nineteenth century the building was
continually being enlarged, modified, and repaired. Six hundred years
since the first stone had been laid! What vicissitudes had not the
country seen--and how many art waves had swept over the peninsula!

Gothic is traceable throughout the building: here it is flamboyant,
there rayonnant. Here the gold and red of _Mudejar_ ceilings are
exquisitely represented, as in the chapter-room; there Moorish influence
in _azulejos_ (multicoloured glazed tiles) and in decorative designs is
to be seen, such as in the horseshoe arches of the triforium in the
chapel of the high altar. Renaissance details are not lacking, nor the
severe plateresque taste (in the grilles of the choir and high altar),
and neither did the grotesque style avoid Spain's great cathedral, for
there is the double ambulatory behind the high altar, that is to say,
the _transparente_, a circular chapel of the most gorgeous
ultra-decoration to be found anywhere in Spain.

Signs of decadence are unluckily to be observed in the cathedral to-day.
The same care is no longer taken to repair fallen bits of carved stone;
pigeon-lamps that burn little oil replace the huge bronze lamps of other
days, and no new additions are being made. The cathedral's apogee has
been reached; from now on it will either remain intact for centuries, or
else it will gradually crumble away.

Seen from the exterior, the cathedral does not impress to such an extent
as it might. Houses are built up around it, and the small square to the
south and west is too insignificant to permit a good view of the

Nevertheless, the spectator who is standing near the western façade,
either craning his neck skyward or else examining the seventy odd
statues which compose the huge portal of the principal entrance, is
overawed at the immensity of the edifice in front of him, as well as
amazed at the amount of work necessary for the decorating of the portal.

The Puerta de los Leones, or the southern entrance giving access to the
transept, is perhaps of a more careful workmanship as regards the
sculptural decoration. The door itself, studded on the outside with
nails and covered over with a sheet of bronze of the most exquisite
workmanship in relief, is a _chef-d'œuvre_ of metal-stamping of the
sixteenth century, whilst the wood-carving on the interior is among the
finest in the cathedral.

The effect produced on the spectator within the building is totally
different. The height and length of the aisles, which are buried in
shadows,--for the light which enters illuminates rather the chapels
which are built into the walls between the flying
buttresses,--astonishes; the _factura_ is severe and beautiful in its
grand simplicity.

Not so the chapels, which are decorated in all manner of styles, and
ornamented in all degrees of lavishness. The largest is the Muzarab
chapel beneath the dome which substitutes the missing tower; except the
dome, this chapel, where the old Gothic Rite (as opposed to the
Gregorian Rite) is sung every day in the year, is constructed in pure
Gothic; it contains a beautiful Italian mosaic of the Virgin as well as
frescoes illustrating Cardinal Cisneros's African wars, when the
battling prelate thought it was his duty to bear the crucifix and
Spanish rights into Morocco as his royal masters had carried them into

The remaining chapels, some of them of impressive though generally
complex structure, will have to be omitted here. So also the sacristy
with its wonderful picture by the Greco, and the chapter-room with the
portraits of all the archbishops, the elegant carved door, and the
well-preserved _Mudejar_ ceiling, etc. And we pass on to the central
nave, and stand beneath the _croisée_. To the east the high altar, to
the west the choir, claim the greater part of our attention. For it is
here that the people centred their gifts.

The objects used on the altar-table are of gold, silver, jasper, and
agate; the _monstrance_ in the central niche of the altar-piece is also
of silver, and the garments worn by the effigy are woven in gold, silk,
and precious stones. The two immense grilles which close off the high
altar and the eastern end of the choir are of iron, tin, and copper,
gilded and silvered, having been covered over with black paint in the
nineteenth century so as to escape the greedy eyes--and hands!--of the
French soldiery. The workmanship of these two _rejas_ is of the most
sober Spanish classic or plateresque period, and though the black has
not as yet been taken off, the silver and gold peep forth here and
there, and show what a brilliancy must have radiated from these
elegantly decorated bars and cross-bars in the eighteenth century.

The three tiers of choir stalls, carved in walnut, are among the very
finest in Spain, both as regards the accomplished craftsmanship and the
astonishing variety in the composition. The two organs, opposite each
other and attaining the very height of the nave, are the best in the
peninsula, whilst the designs of the marble pavement, red and white in
the high altar, and black and white in the choir, only add to the
luxurious effect produced by statues, pulpits, and other accessories,
either brilliantly coloured, or else wrought in polished metal or stone.

The altar-piece itself, slightly concave in shape, is the largest, if
not the best, of its kind. It is composed of pyramidically superimposed
niches flanked by gilded columns and occupied by statues of painted and
gilded wood. The effect from a distance is dazzling,--the reds, blues,
and gold mingle together and produce a multicoloured mass reaching to
the height of the nave; on closer examination, the workmanship is seen
to be both coarse and naïve,--primitive as compared to the more finished
_retablos_ of Burgos, Astorga, etc.

To conclude: The visitor who, standing between the choir and the high
altar of the cathedral, looks at both, stands, as it were, in the
presence of an immense riddle. He cannot classify: there is no purity of
one style, but a medley of hundreds of styles, pure in themselves, it is
true, but not in the ensemble. Besides, the personality of each has been
lost or drowned, either by ultra-decoration or by juxtaposition. A
collective value is thus obtained which cannot be pulled to pieces, for
then it would lose all its significance as an art unity--a complex art
unity, in this case peculiar to Spain.

Neither is repose, meditation, or frank admiration to be gleaned from
such a gigantic _potpourri_ of art wonders, but rather a feeling--as far
as we Northerners are concerned--of amazement, of stupor, and of an
utter impossibility to understand such a luxurious display of idolatry
rather than of faith, of scenic effect rather than of discreet prayer.

But then, it may just be this idolatry and love of scenic effect which
produces in the Spaniard what we have called _religious awe_. We feel it
in a long-aisled Gothic temple; the Spaniard feels it when standing
beneath the _croisée_ of his cathedral churches.

The whole matter is a question of race.





_Archbishoprics and Bishoprics of Northern Spain_


_Dimensions and Chronology_


See dedicated to Saviour and San Toribio.

Legendary (?) erection of see, 1st century (oldest in peninsula).

First historical bishop, Dominiciano, 347 A. D.

During Arab invasion see was being continually destroyed and rebuilt.

1069, first cathedral (on record) was erected.

1120, second cathedral was erected.

XIIIth century, third cathedral was erected.

1471, fourth (present) cathedral was begun; terminated XVIth century.

XVth and XVIth century ogival; imitation of that of Leon.

* * *

Chief attractions: Northern front, plateresque retablo.


Dedicated to San Salvador.

First bishop (legendary?), San Segundo, in Ist century.

See destroyed during Arab invasion.

First bishop after Reconquest, Jeronimo in XIth century.

* * *

Date of foundation and erection unknown.

Legendary foundation, 1091; finished in 1105 (?).

Late XIIth century Spanish Gothic fortress church.

Apse XIIth century; transept XIVth century.

Western front XVth century; tower late XIVth century.

* * *

Width of transept and of nave, 30 feet.

Width of aisles, 25 feet.

* * *

Chief attractions: Exterior of apse, nave and transept with rose
windows, tomb of Bishop Tostada.


See dedicated to the Holy Mary and Son.

Bishopric erected, 1075; archbishopric, 1085.

First bishop, Don Simón; first archbishop, Gomez II.

* * *

Present cathedral begun, 1221.

First holy mass celebrated in altar-chapel, 1230.

Building terminated 300 years later (1521).

XIIIth-XIVth century Spanish ogival.

* * *

Length (excluding Chapel of Condestable), 273 feet.

Length of transept, 195 feet; width, 32 feet.

Height of lantern crowning croisée, 162 feet.

Height of western front, 47 feet.

Height of towers, 273 feet; width at base, 19 feet.

Width of nave, 31 feet; of aisles, 19 feet.

* * *

Chief attractions: The ensemble, interior decoration, lantern on
croisée, the Chapel of the Condestable, choir, high altar, etc. (With
that of Toledo, the richest cathedral in Spain.)


See dedicated to San Emeterio and San Celedonio, martyrs.

Bishopric erected Vth century; first bishop, Silvano.

Daring Arab invasion see removed to Oviedo (750).

Removed to Alava in IXth century; in Xth century, to Nájera.

In 1030, moved again to Calahorra; first bishop, Don Sancho.

Since XIXth century, one bishop appointed to double see Calahorra-Santo
Domingo de la Calzada.

This double see to be removed to Logroño.

* * *

Cathedral begun in XIIth century; terminated in XIVth century.

XIIIth century Gothic (body of church only).

Western front of a much later date.

* * *

Chief attraction: Choir-stalls.


See dedicated to the Virgin and Child.

Origin of bishopric in Calabria under Romans (legendary?).

Foundation of city in 1150; erection of see, 1170.

First bishop, Domingo, 1170.

See nominally suppressed in 1870; in reality the suppression has not
taken place as yet.

* * *

Cathedral church begun toward 1160.

XIIth century Romanesque-Gothic edifice.

Tower and western front date from XVIIIth century.

Lady-chapel from XVIth century.

Building suffered considerably from French in 1808.

* * *

Chief attractions: Romanesque narthex, cloister, choir-stalls,
Romanesque doors leading into transept.


See dedicated to Santa Maria.

Date of erection, 338.

First known bishop, Laquinto, in 589.

During Moorish domination the bishopric entirely destroyed.

See reëstablished toward beginning XIIIth century.

* * *

Cathedral church begun in 1120.

Terminated in XVIth century.

* * *

Is an unimportant village church rather than a cathedral.

One aisle, 150 feet long, 52 feet wide, 84 feet high.

* * *

Chief attractions: Paseo, or cloister walk; in lady-chapel, sepulchre of
XVIth century.


See dedicated to the Virgin.

Erected in 1183.

First bishop, Juan Yañez.

* * *

XIIIth century ogival church greatly deteriorated, in a ruinous state.

Tower which stood on western end fell down recently.

* * *

Length of building, 312 feet; width, 140 feet.

* * *

Chief attractions: Cloister door, chapels.


See dedicated to San Froilan and Santa Maria de la Blanca.

Date of erection not known.

First known bishop, Basilides, 252 A.D.

During Arab invasion, see existed on and off.

* * *

First stone of present cathedral laid in 1199.

The building did not begin until 1250; terminated end of XIVth century.

XIIth century French ogival.

Vaulting above croisée fell down in 1631.

Southern front rebuilt in 1694.

Whole cathedral partly ruined in 1743.

Closed to public by government in 1850.

Reopened in 1901.

* * *

Total length, 300 feet; width, 130 feet; height of nave, 100 feet.

Height of northern tower, 211 feet; of southern, 221 feet.

Length of each side of cloister, 97 feet.

* * *

Chief attractions: The ensemble, windows, choir-stalls, cloister.


See dedicated to the Holy Virgin.

Compare Calahorra.

* * *

Santa Maria raised to collegiate church in 1435.

Old building torn down in same year, excepting some few remains.

Present church begun in 1435; not terminated yet.

Enlargements being introduced at the present date.

Belongs to Spanish-Grotesque.

* * *

Chief attractions: Western front, trascoro, towers.


See dedicated to the Mother and Child.

Bishopric erected in Vth century; first bishop, Agrestio, in 433.

* * *

Cathedral began in 1129; completed in 1177.

XIIth century Galician Romanesque spoilt by posterior additions.

Building greatly reformed in XVIth to XVIIIth centuries.

* * *

Chief attractions: The ensemble (interior), western portal, exterior of


See erected in 1850.


Temporary cathedral dedicated to San Isidro.

Seventeenth century building of no art merit.

New cathedral dedicated to the Virgen de la Almudena.

In course of construction; begun in 1885.


Dedicated to Santos Justo and Pastor; called la Magistral.

In a ruinous state; closed, and see temporarily removed to Jesuit

Constructed in XVth century, and raised to suffragan in same century.

Severe and naked (gloomy) Spanish-Gothic.

Interior of building cannot be visited.


See dedicated to the Virgin.

Bishopric removed here from Ribadeo, late XIIth century.

First (or second) bishop, Don Martin, about 1219.

* * *

Foundation of cathedral dates probably from XIIth century.

XIIIth century Galician Romanesque structure.

Greatly spoilt by posterior additions.

Ambulatory dates from XVth or XVIth century.

* * *

Rectangular in form; 120 feet long by 71 wide.

Height of nave, 45 feet; of aisles, 28 feet.


See dedicated to St. Martin of Tours and St. Mary Mother.

Bishopric erected previous to IVth century (?).

* * *

Erection of present building begun late XIIth century.

Probably terminated late XIIIth century.

XIIIth century, Galician Romanesque with pronounced ogival mixture.

* * *

Chief attractions: Portico del Paraiso, western portal, decoration of
the interior.


See dedicated to San Pedro de Osma.

Legendary (?) erection of see in 91 A. D.

First bishop, San Astorgio.

First historical bishop, Juan I, in 589.

Destruction of see during Arab invasion.

See restored, 1100; first bishop, San Pedro de Osma.

* * *

XIIth century cathedral destroyed in XIIIth century, excepting a few

Erection of new cathedral begun in 1232; terminated, beginning XIVth

XIIIth century Romanesque-Gothic (not pure).

Ambulatory introduced in XVIIth century.

* * *

Chief attractions: Retablo, reliefs of trasaltar.


See dedicated to the Mother and Child.

Bishopric erected, 812; first bishop, Adulfo.

* * *

Until XIIth century cathedral was a basilica; destroyed.

Romanesque edifice erected in XIIth century; destroyed 1380.

Present edifice begun 1380; completed 1550.

XVth century ogival (French?).

Decoration of the interior terminated XVIIth century.

Tower and spire, XVIth century.

Camara Santa dates from XIIth century; a remnant of the early Romanesque

* * *

Total length, 218 feet; width, 72 feet.

Height of nave, 65 feet; of aisles, 33 feet.

Height of tower, 267 feet.

* * *

Chief attractions: Flèche, decoration of the interior, rosaces in apse,
Gothic retablo, cloister, Camara Santa.


See dedicated to Mother and Child and San Antolin, martyr.

Date of erection unknown; IId or IIId century.

One of the earliest bishops, San Toribio.

During the Arab invasion city and see completely destroyed.

First bishop after Reconquest, Bernardo, in 1035.

* * *

XVth century florid Gothic building.

Erection begun in 1321.

Eastern end finished prior to 1400.

Century later western end begun on larger scale.

Temple completed in 1550.

* * *

Total length, 405 feet.

Width (at transept), 160 feet.

Height (of nave), 95 feet.

* * *

Chief attractions: The ensemble (interior and exterior), Bishop's Door,
choir-stalls, trascoro.


Dedicated to the Holy Virgin.

Erection of see 12 years after foundation city (1190).

First bishop, Domingo; second, Adam; both were warrior prelates.

* * *

Old cathedral (few remains left) commenced in beginning XIVth century.

Partially destroyed to make room for--

New cathedral, commenced in 1498.

XVIth century Renaissance-Gothic edifice.

Ultra-decorated and ornamented in later centuries.

* * *

Chief attractions: Choir-stalls, western entrance, decorative motives,


Bishopric existed in Vth century. First known bishop, Eleuterio (589).

VIIIth century, devoid of notices concerning see.

Xth century, 7 bishops mentioned--living in Leon or Oviedo.

XIth century, no news, even name of city forgotten.

First bishop _de modernis_, Jeronimo of Valencia (1102).

* * *

Old cathedral still standing; city possesses therefore two cathedrals.


Dedicated to St. Mary (Santa Maria de la Sede).

In 1152 already in construction; not finished in 1299.

XIIth or XIIIth century, Castilian Romanesque with ogival mixture.

Nave, 33 feet wide, 190 feet long, 60 feet high.

Aisles, 20 feet wide, 180 feet long, 40 feet high.

Thickness of walls, 10 feet.

Part of cathedral demolished to make room for new in 1513.

* * *

Chief attractions: Cimborio, central apsidal chapel, and retablo.


Dedicated to the Mother and Saviour.

Begun in 1513; not completed until XVIIIth century.

Originally Late Gothic building. Plateresque, Herrera and grotesque

Compare churches of Valladolid and Segovia.

* * *

Rectangular in shape; 378 feet long, 181 feet wide.

Height of nave, 130 feet; that of aisles, 88 feet.

Width of nave, 50 feet; of aisles, 37 feet.

Length (and width) of chapels, 28 feet; height, 54 feet.

Height of tower, 320 feet.

* * *

Chief attractions: Western façade, decorative wealth, ensemble.


See dedicated to San Emeterio, martyr, and to the Virgin.

Monastical church of San Emeterio raised to collegiate in XIIIth

Bishopric erected in 1775.

* * *

Cathedral church built in XIIIth century.

* * *

Chief attraction: Crypt, fount.


See dedicated to St. James, patron saint of Spain.

Bishopric erected previous to 842; first bishop, Sisnando.

Archbishopric erected XIIth century; first archbishop, Diego Galmirez.

* * *

Cathedral church begun, 1078; terminated, 1211.

XIIth century Romanesque building.

Exterior suffered grotesque and plateresque repairs, XVIIth century.

Cloister dates from 1530.

* * *

Length, 305 feet; width (at transept), 204 feet.

Height of nave, 78 feet; of aisles, 23 feet; of cupola, 107 feet; of
tower (de la Trinidad), 260 feet; of western towers, 227 feet.

Length of each side of cloister, 114 feet; width, 19 feet.

* * *

Chief attractions: The ensemble (interior), Portico de la Gloria, crypt,
cloister, southern portal.


See dedicated to Santo Domingo de la Calzada.

Bishopric dates from 1227.

Compare Calahorra.

* * *

Cathedral church begun toward 1150.

Terminated, 1250.

XIIth-XIIIth century Romanesque-Gothic structure.

* * *

Chief attraction: The retablo, XVth and XVIth sepulchres.


See dedicated to San Fruto and the Virgin.

First bishop (legendary?), San Hierateo, in Ist century.

See known to have existed in 527.

First historical bishop, Peter (589).

During Arab invasion only one bishop mentioned, Ilderedo, 940.

First bishop after the Reconquest, Don Pedro, in 1115.

* * *

First stone of present cathedral laid, 1525.

Cathedral consecrated, 1558; finished in 1580.

Cupola erected in 1615.

Gothic-Renaissance building.

Tower struck by lightning and partly ruined, 1620.

Rebuilt (tower) in 1825.

* * *

Total length, 341 feet; width, 156 feet.

Height of dome, 218 feet.

Width of nave and transept, 44 feet; aisles, 33 feet.

* * *

Chief attractions: Old cloister, apse, tower.


See dedicated to Mother and Child.

First known bishop, Protogenes, in VIth century.

During Arab invasion no mention is made of see.

First bishop after Reconquest, Bernardo (1195).

Fourth bishop an Englishman, Jocelyn.

* * *

Date of erection of the cathedral unknown.

Probably XIIth or XIIIth century Romanesque-Gothic edifice.

Ambulatory added in XVIth century.

* * *

Length of building, 313 feet; width, 112 feet.

Height of nave, 68 feet; of aisles, 63 feet.

Circumference of central pillar, 50 feet.

* * *

Chief attractions: Western front, sacristy, rose window in southern
transept arm.


See to be moved here from Osma.

Church dedicated to St. Mary.

Raised to suffragan of Osma in XIIth century.

* * *

XVIth century, Gothic-plateresque building.

XIIth century, western front; Castilian Romanesque.

XIIth century, Romanesque cloister.

* * *

Chief attractions: Western front, cloister.


See dedicated to the Virgin Mother and her Apparition to San Ildefonso.

Bishopric erected prior to 513 A. D.

One of first bishops is San Ildefonso.

During Arab domination see remains vacant.

First archbishop, Don Bernardo (1085).

Primate cathedral of all the Spains since XVth century.

* * *

First stone of present building laid in 1227.

Church completed in 1493.

Additions, repairs, etc., dating from XVIth-XVIIIth century.

* * *

Length, 404 feet; width, 204 feet; height of tower, 298 feet.

Height of nave, 98 feet.

Height of principal door, 20 feet; width, 7 feet.

Diameter of rose window in western front, 30 feet.

* * *

Chief attractions: The ensemble, decorative and industrial accessories,
chapter-room, sacristy, paintings, bell-tower, etc. (The richest
cathedral in Spain.)


Collegiate Church dedicated to St. Mary.

* * *

Existence of bishopric cannot be proven, though believed to have been
erected during first decade of Reconquest in Xth century.

Is definitely made a suffragan of Zamora in XVIth century.

* * *

Cathedral--or collegiate--erected end of XIIth or beginning of XIIIth

Castilian Romanesque building.

* * *

Chief attractions: Military aspect of building, height of walls, massive


See dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Bishopric erected in VIth century.

* * *

Cathedral erected in first half XIIth century.

Suffered greatly from earthquakes, especially in 1755.

XIIth century Galician Romanesque in spoilt conditions.

Western porch or narthex dates from XVth century.

* * *

Chief attractions: Western front, northern portal, cloister.


Santa Maria la Antigua raised to suffragan of Palencia, 1074.

Church built in XIIth century, Castilian Romanesque.

Ruins still to be seen to rear of--

Santa Maria la Mayor. Seat of archbishopric since 1850.

Bishopric established, 1595; first bishop, Don Bartolomé.

* * *

Cathedral begun in 1585 by Juan de Herrera.

Continued XVIIth century by Churriguera.

Escorial style spoilt by grotesque decoration.

Tower falls down in 1841; new one being erected.

* * *

Rectangular in shape; length, 411 feet; width, 204 feet.

Transept half-way between apse and western front.

Croisée surmounted by cupola.

Only one of four towers was constructed.


See dedicated to Santa Maria.

St. Mary erected to collegiate, XVth century.

Bishopric erected in XIXth century.

* * *

Cathedral church erected in XIVth century.

XIVth century Late Gothic structure of no art interest.

Tower of XVIth and XVIIth centuries.

* * *

Chief attraction: In sacristy a canvas called Piety.


See dedicated to San Atilano and the Holy Mother.

Bishopric established 905; first bishop, San Atilano.

Destroyed by Moors in 998; vacancy not filled until 1124.

First bishop _de modernis_, Bernardo.

* * *

Cathedral commenced 1151; vaulting terminated 1174.

XIIth century Castilian Romanesque.

* * *

Chief attractions: The cimborio, southern entrance.


_A List of the Provinces of Spain and of the Middle Age States or
Kingdoms from which they have evolved._

   _Principal Kingdoms_ _Conquered States_ _Present-day Provinces_

    Castile              Galicia            La Coruña*
                         Asturias*          Oviedo*
                         Leon               Leon*
                         Basque Provinces   Guipuzcua*
                         Rioja              Logroño*
                         Old Castile        Santander*
                         New Castile        Madrid*
                                            Ciudad Real*
                         Extremadura        Caceres*
                         Andalusia          Sevilla
                         Granada            Granada
                         Murcia             Murcia
    Aragon               Aragon             Zaragoza
                         Cataluña           Barcelona
                         Valencia           Valencia
                         Navarra            Navarra (Pamplona)


     The star (*) indicates the provinces treated of in this volume; the
     remainder will be treated of in Volume II.

     Two provinces have not been mentioned: that of the Balearic Isles
     (belonged to the old kingdom of Aragon), and that of the Canary
     Isles (belonged to the old kingdom of Castile).

     Dates have not been indicated. For so complicated was the evolution
     of the different states (regions) throughout the Middle Ages, that
     a series of tables would be necessary, as well as a series of
     geographical maps.

     The above list, however, shows Spain (minus Portugal) at the death
     of Fernando (the husband of Isabel) in 1516, as well as the
     component parts of Castile and Aragon. The division of Spain into
     provinces dates from 1833.

     A bishopric does not necessarily coincide with a province. Thus,
     the Province of Lugo has two sees (Lugo and Mondoñedo); on the
     other hand, three Basque Provinces have but one see (Vitoria).

     Excepting in the case of Navarra, whose capital is Pamplona, the
     different provinces of Spain bear the name of the capital. Thus the
     capital of the Province of Madrid is Madrid, and Jaen is the
     capital of the province of the same name.


España, sus Monumentos y Artes, su Naturaleza é Historia:

  Burgos, by R. Amador de los Rios.

  Santander, by R. Amador de los Rios.

  Navarra y Logroño, Vol. III., by P. de Madrazo.

  Soria, by N. Rabal.

  Galicia, by M. Murguia.

  Alava, etc., by A. Pirala.

  Extremadura, by N. Diaz y Perez.

Recuerdos y Bellezas de España:

  Castilla La Nueva, by J. M. Quadrado.

  Asturias y Leon, by J. M. Quadrado.

  Valladolid, etc., by J. M. Quadrado.

  Salamanca, by J. M. Quadrado.

Espagne et Portugal, by Baedeker.

Historia del Pueblo Español (Spanish translation), by Major M. Hume.

Historia de España, by R. Altamira.

Toledo en la Mano, by S. Parro.

Estudios Historico-Artisticos relativos á Valladolid, by Marti y Monsó.


Acuña, Don, 297, 298.

Adán, Maria, 271;
  Don, Bishop of Plasencia, 287, 376.

Adulfo, Bishop of Oviedo, 138, 375.

African Wars, 364.

Agrestio, Bishop of Lugo, 373.

Agricolanus, 151.

Agueda River, 269.

Alagón River, 278, 280.

Alarcos, Battle of, 284, 314.

Alava, 198, 371.

Alcalá (_See_ Alcalá de Henares).

Alcalá de Fenares (_See_ Alcalá de Henares).

Alcalá de Henares, 61, 64, 212, 223, 321, 322, 326-334, 349;
  Churches of (_See_ under Churches); University of, 328.

Alcalá de San Justo (_See_ Alcalá de Henares).

Alcántara, Bridge of, 350.

Alcázar (Cuenca), 343,   (Segovia) 314, 320, 355, (Toledo) 336, 350, 356.

Alemán, 275, 289.

Alfonso, 307.

Alfonso I., 221, 230.

Alfonso II., 343.

Alfonso III., 245.

Alfonso IV., 153.

Alfonso V., 139, 294.

Alfonso VI., 198, 206, 233, 237, 253, 293, 335, 358, 359.

Alfonso VII., 153, 154, 161, 162, 336.

Alfonso VIII., 188, 192, 193, 210, 223, 258, 280, 284, 286, 338, 343.

Alfonso IX., 258.

Alfonso XI., 179, 245.

Alfonso the Chaste, 102, 104, 137, 138, 139, 141.

Alfonsos, Dynasty of, 103, 200.

Alfonso el Batallador, 305.

Al-Kalá (_See_ Alcalá de Henares).

Alhambra, The, 22, 41, 355.

Alhaxa, Martin, 343.

Al-Kárica (_See_ Coria).

Almanzor, 79, 150, 152, 171, 176, 177, 230, 232.

Alps, The, 58.

Altamira, Rafael, 14.

Alvarez, Diego, 286.

America, 29, 32, 90, 295, 296, 360.

Anaya, Diego de, Tomb of, 263.

Andalusia, 16, 22, 66, 67, 76, 81, 161, 191, 303, 314, 337, 354.

Ansurez, Pedro, 293;
  Family of, 294.

Aquitania, 167.

Arabs and Arab Invasions, 23, 38, 71, 79, 80, 111, 112, 114, 123, 124,
147, 148, 152, 170, 177, 221, 225, 253, 254, 280, 296, 313, 323, 327,
354, 370, 371, 372, 375, 378, 379.

Aragon, 23, 25, 58, 66, 67, 68, 71, 203, 210, 303, 305, 331, 335, 336,
342, 343.

Arco de Santa Marta (Burgos), 180.

Armada, The, 31, 90, 132, 189, 349.

Arriago, 193.

Arrianism, 153.

Astorga, 70, 71, 120, 167-173, 174, 176, 197, 219, 220, 246, 369;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

Asturias, 57, 66, 70, 79, 103, 104, 123, 138, 139, 146, 147, 148, 150,
153, 162, 167, 175, 176, 177, 213.

Asturica Augusta (_See_ Astorga).

Augustábriga, 269.

Auria (_See_ Orense).

Austurio, Archbishop of Toledo, 331.

Avila, 70, 71, 253, 302-311, 312, 313, 370;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishop);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

Baeza, 161.

Baedeker, 115.

Barcelona, 66.

Barrientos, Inez de, 344.

Bartolomé, Bishop of Valladolid, 381.

Basilides, Bishop of Astorga, 168.

Basilides, Bishop of Leon, 151, 372.

Basque Provinces, 33, 192.

Bay of Biscay, 189.

Bayona, 131, 132;
  Church of (_See_ under Churches).

Bayonne in Gascogne, 272.

Becerra, 172.

Berengario, 254.

Bermudo II., 162.

Bermudo III., 171, 176.

Bernardo, Bishop of Palencia, 222, 375.

Bernardo, Bishop of Sigüenza, 336, 337, 379.

Bernardo, Archbishop of Toledo, 213, 358, 359, 379.

Bernardo, Bishop of Zamora, 232.

Berruguete, 50, 295.

Bética (_See_ Andalusia).

Bishops and Archbishops (Basilides), 168;
  Astorga (Dominiciano), 167, 369;
  Avila (Jeronimo), 370, (Pedro) 308, (San Segundo) 370, (Tostada) 370;
  Burgos (Don Simón), 370, (Gomez II.) 370;
  Calahorra (Don Sancho), 198, 371, (Silvano) 371;
  Cuidad Rodrigo (Domingo), 270, 371, (Pedro Diaz) 270;
  Coria (Laquinto), 279, 372;
  Cuenca (Juan Yañez), 343, 372;
  Iria (Theodosio), 76, 77, 78;
  Leon (Basilides), 151, 272;
  Lugo (Agrestio), 373, (Odoario) 104;
  Mondoñedo (Martin), 97, 374;
  Osma, 211, (Juan I.) 214, 375, (Pedro) 224, 375, (San Astorgio) 375;
  Orense (Diego), 116;
  Oviedo (Adulfo), 138, (Gutierre) 139;
  Palencia (Bernardo), 222, 375, (San Toribio) 375;
  Plasencia (Adán), 287, 376, (Domingo) 286, 376;
  Salamanca (Eleuterio), 253, 376, (Jeronimo) 254, 305, 376;
  Santiago, 254, 337, (Diego Galmirez) 80, 116, 377, (Sisnando), 377;
  Segovia (Don Pedro), 312, 314, 378, (Ilderedo) 313, 378, (San Hierateo),
    312, 378;
  Sigüenza (Austurio), 331, (Bernardo) 336, 337, 379, (Jocelyn) 338, 379,
    (Protogenes) 335, 379;
  Toledo, 307, 331, 337, (Bernardo) 213, 358, 359, 379, (Carillo) 331, 334,
    (Ildefonso) 358, 379, (Tavera) 274; Tuy, 132;
  Valladolid (Bartolomé), 381, (Bernardo) 232;
  Zamora (San Atilano), 231, 381.

"Bishop's Door" (Palencia Cathedral), 228, 376.

Blanca de Bourbon, 294, 336.

Boabdil el Chico, 22.

Bologna, 251.

Bourbon, Blanca de, 294, 336.

Bourbon Dynasty, 30.

Braga, 112, 120, 167.

Brigandtia (_See_ Corunna).

Brunetière, 75.

Burgos, 39, 43, 67, 69, 70, 71, 154, 174-180, 186, 189, 196, 223, 237, 251,
   253, 296, 303, 349, 370;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

Burgo de Osma, 214.

Cadiz 335.

Calabria, 269, 270, 371.

Calahorra, 188, 197, 198, 199, 204, 206, 371;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

Calle de Puente, 190.

Camara Sagrada, 69.

Camara Santa (Oviedo), 144, 375.

Cangas, 137, 138, 147.

Cantabric Mountains, 190.

Cantabric Sea, 189.

Carillo, Archbishop of Toledo, 331, 334;
  Tomb of, 333, 334.

Carlist Wars, 33.

Carranza, 203.

Carrarick, King of the Suevos, 114.

Castellum Tude (_See_ Tuy).

Castile, 16, 23, 25, 59, 66-77, 81, 103, 154, 174-177, 189, 192, 198,
200, 201, 206, 221, 233, 245, 280, 294, 296, 302, 305, 336, 343.

Castile, Counts of, 253, 279, 312, 335.

Cathedrals, Astorga, 167-173, 367, 369;
  Avila, 302-311, 370;
  Burgos, 62, 141, 156, 161, 174-187, 202, 227-241, 267, 367-370;
  Calahorra, 206-208, 373, 378;
  Canterbury (St. Thomas), 338;
  Ciudad Rodrigo, 269-277, 371;
  Coria, 261, 278, 283, 372;
  Huesca, 203, 331;
  Leon, 62, 141, 150-166, 171, 372;
  Lugo, 99, 102-109, 113, 115, 117, 340, 373;
  Madrid, San Isidro and Virgen de la Almudena, 321, 326, 373;
  Mondoñedo, 95-101, 374;
  Nájera, 201-202;
  Orense, Santa Maria la Madre, 110-119, 126, 374;
  Osma, 212-216, 374, 375;
  Nuestra Señora de la Blanca (_See_ Leon);
  Oviedo, 137-144, 156, 172, 182, 375;
  Pulchra Leonina (_See_ Leon);
  Palencia, 219-229, 239, 375;
  Plasencia, 275, 284-289, 376;
  Rome (St. Peter's), 300;
  Salamanca, Old and New Cathedrals, 251-268, 275, 299, 317, 346, 376, 377;
  Santiago, Santiago de Campostela, 75-88, 92, 99, 100, 106, 107, 113, 116,
    118, 127, 240, 241, 377;
  Santander, 188-191, 377;
  Segovia, 312-320, 377, 378;
  Sevilla, 187;
  Santo Domingo de la Calzada, 202-204, 378;
  Sigüenza, 335-341, 346, 379;
  Tours, St. Martin, 374;
  Tuy, Santa Maria la Madre, 113, 120-130, 249, 380;
  Valladolid, 293-301, 377, 380;
  Vitoria, 192-195, 381;
  Zamora, 230-243, 247, 248, 249, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 275, 346, 381;
  Toledo, 16, 64, 143, 159, 161, 184, 317, 319, 332, 349-368, 371, 379;
  Toulouse, St. Saturnin, 82;
  Toro, Santa Maria la Mayor, 244-250, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 273,
    275, 346, 380.

Celedonio, 188, 197, 206.

Celts, The, 84, 102.

Cervantes, 295, 326, 352.

Charles-Quinte, 223, 283, 314, 353.

Choir Stalls, 48, 49.

Churches: Alcalá de Henares, La Magistral, 328, 332, 374;
  San Justo, 328, 332;
  Burgos, Chapel of the Condestable, 39, 185, 370, 371;
  Bayona and Vigo, 131-133;
  Corunna (Colegiata), 91, 93, Church of Santiago, 93, 94,
    Santa Maria del Campo, 92;
  Cordoba, The Mosque, 41, 68;
  Cuenca, 342-348, 372;
  Leon, San Isidoro, 153, 163, 191, Chapel of St. James, 159,
    Santa Maria la Blanca, 372, Santa Maria la Redonda, San Froilan, 372;
  Logroño, 204, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, 204;
  Madrid, San Antonio de la Florida, 324, San Francisco el Grande, 324,
    San Isidro, 321, 325, 373;
  Oviedo, Salvador, 139;
  Palencia, San Antolin, 375;
  Rioja, Santa Maria la Redonda, 204-206, San Juan de Baños, 165;
  Santander, San Emeterio, 189, 377;
  Saragosse, Church of the Pillar, 205, 206, 299,
    Santo Domingo de la Calzada, 202-204, 378;
  Soria, 209-212, 379;
  Segovia, Santa Clara, 316;
  Toledo, San Juan de las Reyes, 355, Santa Maria la Blanca, 354,
    San Tomas, 355, Puerta de Sol, 355;
  Valladolid, Santa Maria la Mayor, 293, 300, 381,
    Santa Maria la Antiqua, 380, Venta de Baños, 57;
  Zamora, La Magdalen, 243.

Churriguera, 63, 300, 301, 381.

Cid, The Great, 234, 254.

Cid Campeador (Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar), 179.

Cisneros, Cardinal, 326, 328, 331, 334, 361, 364;
  Tomb of, 333, 334.

Ciudad Rodrigo, 269-277, 371;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

Clement IV., 210.

Cluny Monks, The, 24, 30, 60, 359.

Coa River, 269.

Columbus, Christopher, 28, 31, 32, 295, 360.

Complutum (Alcalá), 327, 330.

Complutenses, 327-329.

Comuneros, The, 314.

Conca (_See_ Cuenca).

Conde, Manuel, 154.

Condestable, Chapel of the (Burgos), 39, 185, 370, 371;
  Tomb of (Burgos), 186.

Constanza, Doña, 358.

Convent of Guadalupe, 283.

Convent of the Mercedes (Valladolid), 297.

Convent of San Juan de Dios, 334.

Cordoba, 147, 152, 191, 279, 286;
  Mosque of, 41, 68, 355.

Coria, 68, 71, 269, 278-283, 284, 372;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals);
  Roman Wall of, 279.

Coronada, 271.

Cortez, 246, 272.

Corunna, 89, 90, 91, 113;

Churches of, 89-94.

Council of Toledo, 253, 279, 312, 335.

Counts of Castile, 153, 162, 163, 174, 175, 180.

Covadonga, 145, 146, 149;
  Battle of, 145.

Cristeta, 303.

"Cristo de las Batallas" (Salamanca), 254.

Cuenca, 68, 70, 71, 342-348, 372;
  Alcázar, 343; Battle of, 338;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Church of (_See_ under Churches).

Cunninghame-Graham, Mr., 21.

Curia Vetona, or Caurium (_See_ Coria).

Del Obispo (Portal in Toro Cathedral), 273.

Del Salto, Maria, Tomb of, 320.

Diana, Temple to, 102, 103.

Diaz, Pedro, Bishop of Ciudad Rodrigo, 270.

Dolfo, Vellido, 234, 235.

Domingo, Bishop of Ciudad Rodrigo, 270, 371.

Domingo, Bishop of Plasencia, 286, 376.

Dominguez, Juan, Bishop of Osma, 214, 375.

Dominiciano, Bishop of Astorga, 167, 369.

Drake, Sir Francis, 132.

Duero River, 209, 213, 237, 244, 279.

Duke of Lancaster, 112.

Dürer, 361.

Eleanor (Daughter of Henry II.), 338.

Early Christian Art, 54.

Eastern Castile, 70.

Ebro River, 193, 196, 198, 199, 200.

Eleuterio, Bishop of Salamanca, 253, 376.

Elvira, 233, 245.

England, 29, 31, 78, 90, 189, 295.

Engracia (of Aragon), 312.

Enrique II., King of Castile, 204, 320.

Enrique IV., 245.

Enriquez, Don, 256.

Escorial (Madrid), 31, 62, 165, 265, 295, 299, 322, 349.

Extremadura, 16, 69, 278, 303.

Favila, Duke, 122, 146.

Felipe el Hermoso (Philip the Handsome), 295.

Ferdinand, 25, 32, 255.

Fernan, Knight, 298.

Fernando I., 161, 176-178, 222, 232, 245, 304.

Fernando II., 269.

Fernando Alfonso, 203.

Fernando el Santo, 359.

Florinda, 354.

Flanders, 355.

Foment, 50, 203, 204.

Fonseca, Bishop, 229;
  Family, 249.

France, 24, 53, 57, 58, 78, 168, 224, 355.

Froila (or Froela), 137, 141, 230.

Froissart, 112.

Galicia, 23, 40, 60, 66, 68, 75, 76, 79, 80, 88, 90, 96, 97, 98, 100,
102, 103, 104, 105, 107, 109, 110, 111, 112, 116, 118, 120, 121, 122,
123, 125, 128, 130, 131, 132, 137, 138, 169, 177, 199, 233, 238.

Galician Romanesque Art, 59.

Galmirez, Diego, Archbishop of Santiago, 80, 377.

Garcia, Count of Castile, 162, 163, 176, 233.

Garcia, Don, King of Navarra, 198, 201.

Garcia, Son of Alfonso III., 245.

Gasteiz (_See_ Vitoria).

Gautier, Théophile, 351.

Germany, 78, 355.

Gibraltar, 22;
  Straits of, 21, 28.

Gijon, 147.

Girón, Don Gutierre, 314.

Gold and Silversmiths, 50-51.

Gomez II., Bishop of Burgos, 370.

Gonzalez, Fernan, 175, 176, 177, 179.

Gonzalo, Arias, 233.

Göschenen in Switzerland, 342.

Goya, 325, 357.

Granada, 22, 67, 287, 355, 356, 365.

Greco, 357, 365.

Gredo Mountains, 278.

Greeks, The, 89, 132.

Guadalajara, 335.

Guadalete, Battle of, 147.

Guadalquivir, 189.

Guaderrama Mountains, 253, 278.

Guardia, 121.

Gudroed, 123.

Gutierre, Bishop of Oviedo, 139.

Hannibal, 252.

Harbour of Victory, 188.

Henry IV., 258, 294, 307.

Hermesinda, 147.

Herrero, 62, 205, 265, 295, 299, 300, 301, 381.

Huesca, Cathedral of, 203, 331.

Hume, Martin, 14.

Ierte River, 286.

Ilderedo, Bishop of Segovia, 313, 378.

Ildefonso, Bishop of Toledo, 379.

Inquisition, The, 26, 27, 344.

Ireland, 89.

Iria, 76, 77.

Ironcraft, 51, 52.

Irun, 192.

Isabella, 25, 32, 255.

Isabel the Catholic, 193, 222, 245, 246, 294, 295, 315.

Italy, 24, 37, 57, 58, 62, 78, 224, 355.

Jeronimo, Bishop of Avila, 370.

Jeronimo, Bishop of Salamanca, 254, 305, 376.

Jesuit School (Madrid), 326.

Jocelyn, Bishop of Sigüenza, 338, 379.

John I., 213.

Juan I., Bishop of Osma, 214, 375.

Juana, 294.

Juana la Beltranaja, 245.

Juana la Loca, 295.

Julian, Count, 354.

Juni, Juan de, 50, 214.

Jura, The, 97, 196.

La Magistral, Church of (Alcalá de Henares), 328, 332, 374.

La Mancha, 16, 342.

Lancaster, Duke of, 112.

Laquinto, Bishop of Coria, 279, 372.

Las Navas de Tolosa, 280.

Leon, 23, 25, 43, 66, 69, 70, 79, 80, 103, 139, 150-166, 167, 171, 174,
175, 176, 177, 197, 233, 253, 254, 304, 305, 355, 372, 376;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals);
  King of, 161.

Leon X., 328.

Leonese, The, 254.

Leonor, Doña, 179, 297, 298.

"Leyes de Toro," 246.

Libelatism, 167, 168.

Lisbon, 126, 272.

Locus Augusti (_See_ Lugo).

Logroño, 71, 197, 199, 200, 204, 371, 373;
  Church of (_See_ under Churches).

Loja, 287.

Lucio III., 343.

Lugo, 90, 91, 93, 95, 102-109, 110, 112, 120, 137, 154, 373;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

Lupa, 75, 76, 102, 103.

Luz, Doña, 122, 146.

Madrazo, 206.

Madrid, 66, 68, 71, 178, 212, 253, 293, 295, 296, 313, 314, 321-326,
328, 329, 349, 373;
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals);
  Churches of (_See_ under Churches).

Maestro Mateo, 87.

Maestro Raimundo, 106, 126.

Magerit, 322, 323.

Munuza, 147, 148.

Manzanares River, 323, 324.

Marcelo, 151.

Martin, Bishop of Mondoñedo, 97, 374.

Martel, Charles, 22.

Medinat-el-Walid, 296.

Mendoza, 361.

Mindunietum, 96.

Miño River, 70, 102, 110, 111, 112, 120, 121, 124, 125.

Miranda, 196.

Miróbriga, 269.

Molina, Maria de, 294.

Mondoñedo, 93, 95-101, 374;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

Monroy Family, 256, 286.

Monforte, 110.

Moore, General, 90.

Moorish Art, 55, 56.

Moors, The, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 34, 38, 55, 56, 59, 71, 76, 79, 104,
137, 153, 154, 161, 171, 175, 198, 207, 210, 230, 232, 251, 254, 279,
281, 285, 287, 304, 305, 308, 313, 323, 331, 343, 352, 354, 357, 358,
359, 381.

Morales, Divino, 326.

Morgarten, 145.

Morocco, 364.

Mosque of Cordoba, 41, 68, 355.

Mount of Joys, 81.

Mudejar Art, 63-65.

Muguira, 81.

Murillo, 195.

Nájera, 197, 198, 201, 202, 371;
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

Nalvillos, 306, 307.

Napoleon, 90, 164.

Navarra, 23, 33, 58, 66, 68, 70, 80, 174, 176, 192, 196, 198, 201, 202, 210.

Navas de Tolosa, Battle of, 286.

Neustra Señora de la Blanca (_See_ Cathedral of Leon).

New World, The (_See_ America).

Norman Vikings, 79, 96, 112, 123, 124.

North, The, 69.

Numantia, 197, 209, 219, 230.

Odoario, Bishop of Lugo, 104.

Ogival Art, 61.

Olaf, 123.

Old Castile, Plain of, 69.

Ordoñez, Diego, 235, 236.

Ordoño I., 152, 153, 154.

Ordoño II., 153, 159.

Orduño III., 175.

Orense, 70, 71, 110-119, 120, 168, 170, 220, 374;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals);
  Portico del Paraiso, 116, 374.

Osma, 209, 210, 212-216, 374-379;
  Bishops of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

Oviedo, 23, 43, 69, 70, 80, 102, 103, 137-144, 145, 150, 154, 198, 371, 375;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals);
  Church (_See_ under Churches).

Oxford, 251.

Padilla, Maria de, 294, 336.

Palencia, 71, 168, 219-229, 258, 293, 375;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  "Bishop's Door," 228, 376;
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals);
  University of, 223-224, 258.

Pallantia, 220, 221.

Palos Harbour, 32.

Pamplona, 174.

Paris, 251;
  Treaty of, 32.

Pedro, Prince Don, 320.

Pedro, Bishop of Avila, 308.

Pedro, Bishop of Osma, 224, 375.

Pedro, Bishop of Segovia, 378.

Pelayo, 146, 147, 148, 149.

Pelea Gonzalo, Battle of, 245.

Peña Grajera, 320.

Perez, Doña Maria, 256, 257, 258.

Perez, Hernan, 286.

Peter, Bishop of Segovia, 312, 314, 378.

Peter the Cruel, 179, 204, 245, 294, 336.

Philip II., 31, 62, 189, 295, 322, 349.

Philip III., 285, 308.

Philip IV., 294.

Philip the Handsome, 295.

Phœnicians, The, 89, 132.

Picos de Europa, 145.

Pico de Urbión, 209.

"Piedad" (Pity), 195.

Pillar at Saragosse, 299.

Pisuerga, 293, 296.

Plasencia, 71, 257, 261, 271, 283, 284-289, 308, 376;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

Plaza, Bartolomé de la (Bishop of Valladolid), 295.

Plaza de Cervantes (Alcalá), 330.

Plaza de la Constitución (Alcalá), 330.

Plaza Mayor (Alcalá), 330.

Plutarch, 252.

Poitiers, 22.

Polyglot Bible, The, 328.

Portico de la Gloria (Santiago), 85-88, 92, 378.

Portico del Paraiso (Orense), 116, 374.

Portugal, 120, 122, 125, 231, 256, 278;
  King of, 297, 298.

Portuguese, The, 112, 123, 124, 244, 246.

Priscilianism, 167, 168, 169, 170, 220.

Prisciliano, 169.

Protogenes, Bishop of Sigüenza, 335, 379.

Puerta de la Plateria (Santiago), 83, 107, 183.

Puerta de la Sol (Toledo), 355.

Puerta de los Leones (Toledo), 363.

Pulchra Leonina (_See_ Cathedral of Leon).

Pyrenees, 53, 58, 59, 168.

Quadrado, Señor, 308.

Quixote, Don, 330.

Rachel of Toledo, 285.

Ramiro, 153.

Recaredo, 152, 354.

Reconquest, The, 269, 370, 375, 379, 380.

Redondela, 131.

Reformation, The, 26.

Renaissance, 54, 62;
  Italian, 63.

Retablo, 49-50.

Rhine, The, 120.

Ribadeo, 96, 374.

Ribera, 357.

Rioja, The Upper, 70, 196, 197, 198, 200, 201, 206.

Rodrigo, 146.

Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar (Cid Campeador), 179.

Rodrigo, King of Visigoths, 21, 354.

Romanesque Art, 57-58, 59.

Romans, The, 18, 19, 24, 75, 89, 96, 102, 112, 113, 120, 121, 132, 150,
174, 188, 252, 293, 303, 326, 335, 353, 371.

Rome, 29, 220, 353.

Rubens, 357, 361.

Ruy Diaz Gaona, 200.

Sabina, 303.

Salamanca, 71, 178, 223, 251, 268, 269, 296, 302, 305, 313, 376;
  Bishop (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral (_See_ under Cathedrals);
  University of, 258, 259.

San Antolin, 221, 224, 225, 375.

San Antonio de la Florida, 324.

San Astorgio, Bishop of Osma, 375.

San Atilano, Bishop of Zamora, 231, 381.

San Bartolomé (Salamanca), Chapel of, 263.

San Celedonio, 371.

Sancha, 162, 163, 176.

Sancho, Bishop of Calahorra, 198, 371.

Sancho, Count of Castile, 162, 233, 234, 293.

Sancho, Don, of Navarra, 192.

Sancho el Mayor, King of Navarra, 221, 222.

Sancti Emetrii, 188.

San Emeterio, 188, 197, 206, 371, 377.

San Emeterio, Church of (Santander), 189.

San Fernando, 25, 177-178.

San Francisco, Convent of, 113.

San Francisco el Grande (Madrid), 324.

San Froilan, 158, 372.

San Fruto, 312, 378.

San Hierateo, 312, 378.

San Ildefonso, Bishop of Toledo, 358, 379.

San Isidro (of Madrid), 324.

San Isidro, Church of (Madrid), 321, 325.

San Isidoro, Church of (Leon), 153, 162, 163, 164, 191, 324.

San Isidoro, 161, 162, 164.

San Juan de Baños, 165.

San Juan de Dios, Convent of, 334.

San Juan de los Reyes (Toledo), 355.

San Julian, 345.

San Justo, 330, 331, 333, 374.

San Justo, Church of (Alcalá de Henares), 328.

San Pastor, 330, 331, 333, 374.

San Salvador, 370.

San Segundo, 303.

Santa Clara (Segovia), 316.

Santa Maria de la Blanca (Leon), 372.

Santa Maria la Blanca (Toledo), 354.

Santa Maria la Madre (Orense), 114.

Santa Maria la Madre (Tuy), 120-130.

Santa Maria la Redonda, 204.

Santander, 69, 188-191, 197, 277;
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

Santiago, 75-88, 91, 92, 97, 102, 103, 104, 116, 131, 167, 176, 199, 377;
  Archbishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

San Tomas (Toledo), 355.

Santo Domingo, 203.

Santo Domingo de la Calzada, 197, 199, 200, 202-204, 371. 378;
  Church of (_See_ under Churches).

San Toribio (Astorga), 369;
  (Palencia), 375.

San Vicente, 152, 303.

Saracens, The, 213, 312.

Saragosse, 67, 167, 196, 197, 203;
  Church (_See_ under Churches).

Sardinero, 190.

Scipio, 209.

Segovia, 71, 253, 303, 312, 313, 325, 349, 378;
  Bishop (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral (_See_ under Cathedrals).

Seguncia (or Segoncia), _See_ Sigüenza.

Sempach, 145.

Sevilla, 67, 91, 161, 189, 317;
  Cathedral of, 187.

Sierra de Guaderrama, 66, 68, 174, 305.

Sierra de Gredos, 66, 302, 349.

Sierra de Gata, 66, 69, 278.

Sigüenza, 70, 71, 335-341, 343, 379;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

Silvano, Bishop of Calahorra, 198, 371.

Simón, Bishop of Burgos, 370.

Sinfosio, 170.

Sisnando, Bishop of Santiago, 377.

Sohail, 21-22.

Soria, 71, 209-212, 213, 379;
  Church of (_See_ under Churches).

State Archives Building (Alcalá), 327.

Street, 87, 107.

St. Astorgio, 213.

St. Francis of Assisi, 271.

St. James, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 88, 138, 213, 323, 353;
  Chapel of (Leon), 159.

St. Martin, 111, 114.

St. Martin of Tours (Cathedral), 374.

St. Paul, 312.

St. Peter, 213, 352.

St. Peter's at Rome, 300.

St. Thomas of Canterbury, Chapel of, 338.

St. Saturnin (Toulouse), 82.

Suevos, 111, 122;
  King of, 114, 170.

Tago River, 278, 280, 349, 352, 353, 354, 356, 359.

Talavera, 361.

Tarik, 22.

Tarragon, 67, 167, 197, 219, 335.

Tavera, Bishop of Toledo, 274.

Theodomio, 198.

Theodosio, Bishop of Iria, 76, 77, 78.

Theotocopuli, Domenico, 357.

Titian, 361.

Tolaitola (_See_ Toledo).

Toledo, 67, 68, 70, 71, 91, 123, 146, 150, 167, 171, 178, 237, 251, 278,
280, 285, 286, 304, 307, 322, 327, 328, 329, 335, 342, 349-368, 379;
  Alcázar, 336, 350, 356;
  Archbishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral (_See_ under Cathedrals);
  Council of, 213, 253, 279, 312, 335.

Tomb, Bishop Tostado, 311, 370;
  Carillo (Alcalá), 333, 334;
  Cisneros (Alcalá), 333, 334;
  Condestable, 186;
  Diego de Anaya (Salamanca), 263;
  Maria del Salto, 320;
  Prince Don Pedro, 320.

Toribio, 170, 220, 224.

Toro, 71, 233, 244-250, 279, 302, 380;
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

Torquemada, 27.

Tostado, Bishop, Tomb of, 311, 370.

Tours, 22, 114.

Tower de la Trinidad (Santiago), 83, 378.

Tower of Hercules, 89, 90.

Trajanus, 151, 303.

Transition Art, 60.

Tuy, 70, 71, 91, 110, 111, 120-130, 131, 146, 167, 168, 380;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

University of Alcalá de Henares, 328.

University of Palencia, 223, 224, 258.

University of Salamanca, 258, 259.

Urbano II., 231.

Urbano IV., 224.

Urraca, Doña, 162, 233, 234, 235, 236.

Vacceos, 219.

Valdejunquera, Battle of, 175.

Valencia, 66, 67, 254.

Valencia Cupola, 118.

Valença do Minho, 120.

Valentine, 312.

Valladolid, 67, 70, 71, 72, 178, 189, 223, 244, 293-301, 303, 314, 335, 380;
  Bishop of (_See_ under Bishops);
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

Vallisoletum, 293.

Van Dyck, 195.

Vela, Count of, 163.

Venta de Baños, 57, 225.

Veremundo, 171.

Vigo, 110, 113, 131-133;
  Church of (_See_ under Churches).

Villamayor, 96.

Villavieja, 335.

Vinuesa, 209.

Virgin de la Atocha, 324.

Virgin de la Almudena, 324, 325, 374.

Viriato, 278.

Visigoths, The, 20, 24, 122, 152, 220, 327, 353.

Vitoria, 69, 192-195, 381;
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

War for Independence, 164.

Wellington, Duke of, 272.

Western Castile, 69; Art of, 59.

Witiza, 122, 123, 146, 167.

Yañez, Juan, Bishop of Cuenca, 343, 372.

Yuste, 283.

Zadorria River, 193.

Zamora, 71, 230-243, 244, 246, 269, 279, 293, 380;
  Cathedral of (_See_ under Cathedrals).

Zaragoza (_See_ Saragosse).

Zeth, 279.

Zorilla, 352.

Zurbaran, 229, 283.

Zuñigas, 286.

Zuñiguez, 298.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Note of Transcriber of the ebook]

Changes made:


Al-Karica => Al-Kárica {1}

Alargón => Alagón

Bartolome => Bartolomé

Guadalquiver => Guadalquivir

Isidore => Isidoro {2 page 163}

Protogones => Protogenes {2}

Theodosia => Theodosio {1 index}

dia de Zamora => día de Zamora {1}

despues de opípera cena => después de opípara cena {1}

Neustra Señora => Nuestra Señora {1 index}

Del Obisco => Del Obispo {1 index}

Maria Del Sarto => Maria Del Salto {2}

Manuza => Munuza {1 index}

Constitutión => Constitución {1 index}

Talaitola => Tolaitola {1 index}

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