The Cathedral of Santa Maria in Ciudad Rodrigo is a wonderful building, filled with beautiful details but also having a spiritual atmosphere. We were fortunate to have the space to ourselves when we visited.
A brief history
The Cathedral of Santa Maria in Ciudad Rodrigo dates from the 12th to 14th centuries. King Fernando II of Leon commissioned the building as part of the drive to re-establish the Christian religion after the control by the Moors.
The south facade was part of the early development of the cathedral, like the north facade. Five carved figures surmount the wonderful carved doorway – Christ and the four Apostles. Above that is a frieze with towelled carved figures from the Old Testament. And at the top of the tower the rose window is asymmetrically placed to the doorway.
The north facade is known as “Enlosado’s or Amayuelas’ door.1 On the right is the wall of the cloisters.
The Portico del Perdon is very similar to the Royal Portal in the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria in Toro. And both doors are inside the church which has protected the details on the carvings. We were planning to spend the day in Toro during our time in Zamora but it seemed too risky – what a pity.
The tower was built for defensive purposes but demolished in the 16th century. Today’s tower dates from the 18th century and it is pockmarked by cannonballs from the Wellington campaign.
Inside the Cathedral of Santa Maria
‘The choir was created between 1498 and 1504 by Rodrigo Alemán and his collaborators, and contains 72 misericords decorated with profane subjects, including animals playing musical instruments, scenes of daily life and fantastic animals.’2
There are two organs which date from the 18th century and one was being tuned when we visited – quite fun!
You enter the cloisters from inside the church and they too are quite wonderful, with intricate and interesting carvings.
The Cathedral of Santa Maria in Ciudad Rodrigo is a magical place. It is beautiful but also calm and peaceful; it is a church which would give comfort. It is a church to which I would love to return.
- Cathedral of Santa Maria in Ciudad Rodrigo: https://catedralciudadrodrigo.com/en/history-of-the-cathedral/ ↩︎
- The Choir: https://catedralciudadrodrigo.com/en/history-of-the-cathedral/ ↩︎