Burgos Cathedral is a catholic church located in the city of Burgos in northern Spain and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its outstanding elegance and remarkable architecture.
Also known as the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Burgos or by its official name Santa Iglesia Catedral Basilica Metropolitana de Santa Maria de Burgos. Visitors are welcome to enter every day of the week on a guided or self-guided tour.
The easiest way to purchase your ticket to Burgos cathedral is to buy it from the ticket office on arrival.
From March 19th to October 31:
- Open from 9.30 am to 7:30 pm (last entry at 6:30 pm)
From November 1st to March 18th:
- Open from 10 am to 7 pm (last entry at 6 pm)
Note that opening times can vary throughout the year due to pre-scheduled events and it’s always best to check online before visiting.
History & more information
Burgos Cathedral is the third-largest cathedral in Spain after Seville and Toledo and combines Gothic styles inspired by French, German, and Spanish architecture. It was the first of its kind to be built in Spain and its construction began somewhere between 1221 and 1293.
The construction work was carried out over two phases across 300 years with the second phase of building work beginning later in the 15th century. It was here that the cathedral’s large octagonal Capilla del Condestable was built behind the altar and the pinnacles were added to the two towers found either side of the main entrance.
Many additions to the cathedral have been made over the years since its consecration and in the 19th century new windows were fitted and plasterwork was carried out to ensure the building’s ongoing upkeep.
In 1984, the cathedral was officially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site meaning it shall be protected as a unique building for many years to come. Whatsmore, the Burgos Cathedral is the only Spanish cathedral that withholds the UNESCO title independently without being accounted for with the city itself!
Because of its status, the cathedral underwent restoration again in 1994 and over 30 million euros were invested in its upkeep which makes it one of the most invested-into monuments in all of Europe.
Today visitors can explore all aspects of the cathedral from the ground floor to the exterior facade which boasts a number of decorative elements all gothic in style. While the majority of the cathedral is heavily gothic, you will notice some renaissance and baroque influences seeping through, particularly in the interior decorative elements.
Points of Interest
16th century Golden Staircase
This show-stopping staircase is made of marble and features black and gold railings! The staircase was built by Diego de Siloe in the early 1520s and was modeled on the staircase of the Cortile Belvedere in the Vatican.
Inside you’ll find numerous works of art on display including the Transept Crossing which hangs 54 meters above the ground!
From the choir, you can enjoy a clear view right down the nave all the way to the altar.
The Main Facade
The cathedral’s main facade is designed in an absolute Gothic-French style that resembles churches and cathedrals found in northern France.
The Papamoscas is an articulated statue that opens its mouth to chime on the hour, every hour!
The inner courtyard
The massive cathedral in Burgos also features a spectacular and grand inner courtyard, where you get to see some fine examples of gothic architecture.
How to get to Burgos Cathedral
The city of Burgos sits in northern Spain between Madrid and Bilbao and makes for a great stopover when traveling between the two by car. Once in Burgos, you’ll find the cathedral just a short walk (7-minutes) from the bus station.
If you’ve arrived into Burgos via train you’ll find yourself at the Burgos-Rosa de Lima train station, from here it’s a 20-minute taxi ride to the cathedral
Make the most of your time in Burgos by visiting the city’s other attractions which include royal palaces, culture museums, and a medieval castle! Make sure the below points of interest are on your to-do list:
- Monasterio de las Huelgas
- Arco de Santa Maria
- Cartuja de Miraflores
- Museum of Human Evolution
- Castillo de Burgos
- Camino del Cid
- Paseo del Espolon
- Museo de Burgos
- Mirador del Castillo
- San Esteban
- Monastery of San Pedro de Cardena
Best time to visit
Entry to the cathedral is free on Tuesday afternoons between 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm in the summer (and 4:30 pm to 6 pm in the winter) so you might find the cathedral a little busier than usual during these times.
If you’d prefer to avoid crowds, try visiting first thing in the morning during weekdays.
Facts about Burgos Cathedral
- The construction of Burgos Cathedral was arranged by King Ferdinand III, along with the then Bishop of Burgos, Don Mauricio who was born in England.
- Although an altar had been built by 1260 (when it was consecrated) Burgos Cathedral wasn’t completed until 1567. The long construction period was due to a two century-long break.
- After a hiatus of nearly 200 years, work resumed on the Burgos Cathedral towards the middle of the 15th century and continued for more than 100 years. The work done during this time consisted of embellishments of great splendor, assuring the Cathedral’s continued world-renown status.
- Numerous artwork, including sculptures, such as a Virgin Mary statue, and paintings, are featured in Burgos Cathedral, with notable works by Juan de Anchieta and Gil de Siloé.
- The plan of the Cathedral is based on a Latin Cross of harmonious proportions of 84 by 59 meters.
- The cathedral is bordered by towers and the spires are wrapped with stonework traceries. The front part features three stories and three entrances with high arches.
- In 1919, it became the burial place of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (“El Cid”) and his wife Doña Jimena.
- Burgos Cathedral was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, and it is dedicated to and named after Mary, the mother of Jesus.
- Many of the altars, chapels, and monuments within the cathedral are of artistic and historical interest. The magnificent octagonal Chapel of the Condestable is of the flamboyant Gothic style, filled with traceries, knights and angels and heraldry.
- The statue of the Papamoscas is one of the cathedral’s major attractions and the statue opens its mouth when the bells are ringed for each hour.
FAQ’s (Things to know before you go)
Is there an entrance fee?
Yes, the standard entrance fee is €7 per person. However, if you arrive after 4:30 pm on Tuesdays, the entrance is free.
Where is the best place in Burgos for views of the cathedral?
The best view of the Burgos Cathedral can be seen from the castle hill.
How long should I spend at the Burgos cathedral?
If you’re interested in art, architecture, and religious history you could easily spend several hours in the Burgos cathedral! Most visitors stay between 30 minutes and 2 hours.
Is the Burgos cathedral wheelchair accessible?
Most parts of the cathedral are accessible for people with disabilities and wheelchair, but there are some areas with limitations.
What does the entry price include?
The general entry ticket allows you to explore the cathedral at leisure and includes an audio guide (available in multiple different languages). The audio guide can be used to learn more about the construction of the building and to brush up on the details of specific features and rooms.
Do you have more questions before visiting Burgos Cathedral? Leave a comment below!