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A Masterpiece in Gothic Architecture: The Cathedral of Burgos

I am fortunate enough to have a job which enables me to travel around Europe a lot. In respect to architecture and different architectural styles it is an immensely rich and interesting continent. There are two historic architectural styles in particular which are very distinct and closely linked to European history: The styles of Baroque and Gothic. While the baroque style is very opulent, colourful, and somewhat playful, being the style of the French Sun King in the 17th century and the glorious Catholic church of its time, Gothic on the other hand is very different. It is a somewhat dark style, with a lot of goblins and not much color. Everything reaches high as to touch God himself. The light is filtered and restricted through beautiful stained glass as the only source of energy being the Almighty. One of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture must be the grandiose Cathedral of Burgos, Spain, consecrated in 1260 and still as impressive as it must have been to the people living almost 800 years ago. A masterpiece.

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Travelling Castile

Most of the visitors arriving in Spain visit the coasts and Madrid. Not as many people travel around the region of Castile. Being the historic heartland of the Spanish kingdom though the regions of Castile and Leon have a lot to offer. The town of Salamanca for example has the oldest university of Spain and is one of the oldest in the world (picture 1, 3). Burgos was one of the first capitals of the kingdom and is still a pretty impressive town with a grandiose cathedral (picture 2, 4). The city of Avila is pretty interesting because of its completely intact medieval city wall (last picture). All of these towns have beautiful churches and exquisite cuisine. Also the region is pretty compact, you do not travel more than two or three ours to the next larger city.

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The Architecture of Castile

During the middle ages and especially in the early modern period, when Spain conquered large parts of the world, Castile as heartland of the Iberian peninsula used to be one of the richest places on earth. Evidence to this period can still be seen in the immense architectural wealth of the region. Many town have grandiose gothic cathedrals like for example Burgos (pictures 3 and 5) or even smaller beautiful churches like the Convento de Santa Teresa de Jesús in Avila (pictures 2 and 4). Particularly impressive is the “Arco de Santa María” city gate in Burgos, built by Charles V. in the 16th century (pictures 1 and 6).

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