Leon Cathedral

The Leon Cathedral

The Cathedral of León is notable for its pure Gothic style, related to Rheims and Chartres. Its Gothic fabric has remained untouched and free of later additions and modifications. Its construction must have cost a tremendous effort, since León was not a wealthy diocese, particularly after it ceased to be the seat of the royal court. Only the determination of the prelate, Don Maretin Fernández, appointed in 1254, carried the project forward. The highest parts of the structure were not added until the fifteenth century. The richly carved west front contains three great doors, beneath a gable wall with rose windows, niches, and arcades. Designed as a Latin cross with very short arms, the interior of the cathedral, with its long chancel and chevet of five six-sided chapels, reflects the same purity of style as its exterior. The many stained-glass windows and the height of the narrow nave contribute much to the general impression of airiness and light.