ARCHITECT, Spanish
(active 1150-1200 in León)

Exterior view

1150-1200
Photo
Old Cathedral, Salamanca

In the south of the kingdom of León, the cathedrals of Zamora and Salamanca and the collegiate church of Toro were built around the middle of the twelfth century. All three have a number of features in common, indicating regionalism. The churches have most ostensibly in common that their crossings are each surmounted by a peculiar circular or domed tower known as "Cimborio."

The construction of the old cathedral in Salamanca was started before mid-twelfth century, but the major part of the construction work was carried out in the second half of the century and the building was completed in the thirteenth century. In the early sixteenth century a new building of monumental proportions had been constructed next to the original one, and although the north wall of the old building was destroyed to make way for it, the rest of it remained undamaged. The two buildings are distinguished the "Catedral Nueva" (New Cathedral) and "Catedral Vieja" (Old Cathedral).

The Old Cathedral has a considerably longer nave and more bays than the churches in Zamora and Toro. The transept is relatively more prominent. In the interior the similarities are obvious. the cathedral of Salamanca has been constructed throughout with groin vaults; it also boasts the mighty, pointed transverse arches in the nave. They form a particularly prominent sculptural feature in the interior because of an extra respond. Powerful, cruciform-based clustered piers rise from round bases and project so far into the nave that they almost seem to obstruct it.

The photo shows the chancel and the "Torre del Gallo" seen from the south-east.

View the ground plan of the Cathedral of Salamanca.




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