Burgos Cathedral (1984)

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Spain 1965. Cathedral of Burgos. View of the interior.

Our Lady of Burgos was begun in the 13th century at the same time as the great cathedrals of the Ile-de-France and was completed in the 15th and 16th centuries. 

The entire history of Gothic art is summed up in its superb architecture and its unique collection of works of art, including paintings, choir stalls, reredos, tombs and stained-glass windows. 

  • Spain 1965. view of the interior of the Cathedral of Burgos.

Built of white limestone in the form of a Latin cross, it contains the tombs of Fernán González and El Cid, national heroes during the period of Moorish rule between the 8th and 11th centuries. 

Spain 1962. El Cid, after a statue by Cristóbal Gonzáles de Queseda.

Spain 1962. The tomb of El Cid in Bugos Cathedral.

Spain 1999. El Cid. (Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, 1043-1099). Commemorating the 9th anniversary of the warrior's death.

The subject matter of El Cid has been used in numerous plays and stage settings, particularly by the French dramatist Pierre Corneille (1604-1684), whose plays are masterpieces of classical French literature. In 1636 or 1637 Corneille produced the tragedy "Le Cid", based on a Spanish play about the legendary medieval hero. 

Although critics bitterly condemned the play because it did not adhere strictly to the classical rules of construction that require unity of time, place, and action, it was a triumph. The theme, the conflict between love and duty, characterizes many of Corneille's subsequent tragedies. 

Burgos is a city in northern Spain, capital of Burgos Province, in Castile-León, on the Arlanzón River. 

The city consists of the old town, on the western bank of the Arlanzón, and a modern district on the eastern bank, connected by several bridges. 

The Cathedral of Burgos, begun in 1221 and completed in 1567, is the best example of Gothic architecture in Spain. 

  • Spain 1988. From the series "Cities on the World Heritage List". As on all other stamps in this series the letters are transparent, leaving a glimpse of the Cathedral of Burgos behind them. Unlike the other stamps in the set, this lettering gives also the impression of the white marble of which the church is built. 

Spain 1988. From the series "Cities on the World Heritage List".

Founded in the 9th century, Burgos was the capital of the kingdom of Castile and León from 1035 until 1560, when Madrid became the capital of all Spain. It became an episcopal see in 1074 and an archiepiscopal see in 1574. The city was the commercial center of Castile during the 15th century, but thereafter its prosperity declined. In 1833 it became the capital of the province. 

Spain 1961. Burgos Cathedral.

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), Burgos was the seat of the Nationalist government of Francisco Franco until the capture of Madrid at the end of the war. 
  • Spain 1961. Burgos Cathedral. Note that the stamp bears the inscription "XXV Aniversario Exaltacion General Franco Jefature Estado" [25th anniversary of the nomination of General Franco as Head of State]. 

In 1994 two scientists discovered bone fragments and stone tools in a cave called Gran Dolina in the mountains near Burgos. The finds were estimated to be more than 780,000 years old, making it the oldest hominid site in Europe. 

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in Spain (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Spain-section, for further information on the individual properties. 

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Revised 19 jul 2007  
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