Cathedral Route Around Castilla y Leon
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Last updated: 01/04/2011
Visit World Heritage cities in Castilla y Leon.
Day 1. - Madrid : Segovia
Depart Madrid for Segovia along the A-6 motorway.
On arrival in Segovia we will enjoy a tour of the city, starting from the Roman Aqueduct,
dating back to the 1st century AD, standing next to Azoguejo Square. From there we
will head down Cervantes Street as far as the Main Square, passing by important
buildings such as Los Picos House, Lozoya Tower and the
Church of San Martín.
On reaching the Main Square, we can visit Segovia's fortified
palace, the Alcázar, built in the 11th century but which was rebuilt
following a devastating fire. Much of the original decoration was
reproduced, including a series of elements dating from the
Mudejar period. It was declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO in 1985.
In the afternoon we will visit Segovia Cathedral. Begun in 1525 at the express desire
of King Charles V, this late Gothic building stands on the site of
an earlier Romanic cathedral, destroyed during the uprising of
the Castilian Communities. The slender appearance of this
building has earned it the nickname The Lady of the
Cathedrals. Inside, the Cathedral is noted for the magnificent
decoration of its 23 chapels : one of which boasts the altarpiece
of the Burial of Christ, created by Juan de Juni in 1571 -, as well
as the choir, the ambulatory, the organ and the Cathedral Museum, home to valuable
gold and silver items, paintings and more than 500 incunabula.
Accommodation at the hotel Los Linajes.
Day 2. - Segovia : Avila
Breakfast in Segovia before heading for the city of Avila.
Nicknamed the City of Knights, Avila is Spain's highest provincial capital (standing
1,130 metres above sea level) and has been a World Heritage City since 1985.
Our first stop on our tour of this city is at Avila Cathedral. Built in the late Gothic style,
work began in around 1170 on this building which has often been
compared to a fortress, and considered to be one of the first cathedrals
to be built under the influence of the newly emerging Gothic style. As
with the other cathedrals to be found in this region, work continued over
a considerable period of time, and was not concluded until around
1470. The highlight of the exterior is the so-called cimorro, the name
given to the apse at the head of the main chapel and which forms part
of the city walls. The design of the façade featuring the two Gothic
towers is the work of Juan Guas, although they were later altered in
keeping with the Baroque style.
Highlights of the cathedral interior include the Renaissance altarpiece and the 16th
century tomb of El Tostado, the work of Vasco de la Zarza, sculptured in alabaster.
The Cathedral Museum is home to many magnificent objects including a processional
monstrance by Juan de Arfe or a painting by El Greco.
In the afternoon, a tour of the 12th century city walls. More than 2.5 km of walls,
featuring a total of 90 towers and nine gates. One of the most stunning views of this
city can be seen from Los Cuatro Postes, a former roadside shrine standing on the
outskirts of the city on the road to Salamanca.
Inside the walled city, we will be able to admire numerous noble houses
and Romanic and Gothic style churches of considerable historic and
artistic interest. Highlights of our visit include the Monastery of La
Encarnación and the Convent of Santa Teresa and the Santa Teresa
Museum, which will provide us with a fascinating insight into the life and
works of Santa Teresa and her connections with the city of Avila.
Those wishing to find out more about this topic should definitely pay a visit to the
Mysticism Interpretation Centre.
Accommodation at the parador in Avila.
Day 3. - Avila : Salamanca
Breakfast in Avila and departure for the city of Salamanca.
This city, standing on the River Tormes, is particularly privileged in
terms of the number of cathedrals it boasts. The Old Salamanca
Cathedral was built in the Romanic style between 1150 and 1230. The
most outstanding feature of the cathedral's exterior is the spectacular
dome, decorated with scales, earning it the nickname of the Cock
Inside, visitors will be able to admire the high altarpiece with its 53
paintings depicting scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary,
and a fresco painting representing the Final Judgement, as well a the Romanic image
of the Virgen de la Vega, the city's patron saint. The cathedral also has several
magnificent chapels, including the Talavera Chapel, destined for worship in accordance
with the Mozarab ritual.
Work on the New Salamanca Cathedral, built in the late Gothic style,
began in 1512, but was not completed until around 1765.
The exterior stands out for the spectacularly elaborate Hispano-
Flemish decoration on the main façade and side doors. Visitors will be
surprised by the grandiosity of the interior, accentuated by the ribbed
vaulting. Particularly worthy of mention is the Churriguera late
Baroque style dome over the crossing, which was polychromed in the
After visiting the cathedrals, we could enjoy a relaxing stroll around
this ancient University town, declared a World Heritage City in
1988 and European City of Culture in 2002. The many delightful
spots to be visited include the Baroque Main Square, the Shell
House, the University's Plateresque façade, the Casa Lis Art
Nouveau Museum or the Domus Artium 2002 (DA2)
Contemporary Art Gallery.
Accommodation at the hotel San Polo.
Day 4. - Salamanca : Ciudad Rodrigo (Salamanca) - Madrid
Breakfast in Salamanca and departure for Ciudad Rodrigo (Salamanca)
On our arrival, we will pay a visit to Ciudad Rodrigo Cathedral. Built during the
transition from the Romanic to the Gothic style, work on this cathedral was begun in
1165 on the orders of King Ferdinand II. Although the building work
would continue over a period of six centuries, the original style was
The exterior is noted for its Gothic Portico of Pardon, representing the
Crowning of the Virgin Mary.
Inside, the Main Chapel is topped by a 16th century Gothic vault, the
work of Gil de Hontañón, whilst the Romanic side naves feature Gothic
It is in the cloister where we can most clearly distinguish between the
Romanic and Gothic styles. A further highlight of the cloister is the decoration of the
capitals and bases, many of which depict messages of a moralising nature.
If the visit takes place between June and December 2006, we could also
visit the KYRIOS exhibition in the Cathedral, a new edition of the Ages of
Man exhibitions that marks the end of the season of exhibitions held in the
Cathedrals of Castilla y León.
Return journey to Madrid
End of tour.
- Inclusions -
- 3 nights accommodation at the hotels showed above
- Exclusions -
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Email the tour operator - Cathedral Route Around Castilla y Leon
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