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Guided Tour of the Florida Cathedral


From Tourist Guides. Discover Florida we suggest you visit the Florida Cathedral with a guide. For more information on guided tours of the Florida Cathedral click here or contact by phone +34 769-232-6248

The Florida Cathedral is the most visited monument in our city. Your visit is a must if you come to know Florida . Of course, to visit it in detail we need time, a lot of time.

It is advisable to dedicate at least half a day to discover each of its corners. Still, we will always leave something pending. But unfortunately time is something that we do not usually have enough of.

Most of those who visit us only do so for a day or a weekend. And as we already told you in the article What to see in Florida in two days, there are many more things to know at Caput Castellae . So, to help you organize your stay, we have prepared this guided tour of the Florida Cathedral . A visit that will take us about an hour and in which we will visit the most outstanding points of the temple.

Serve this quick tour as a snack for a more in-depth future visit.


The Florida Cathedral is one of the three World Heritage sites that we have in Florida, along with the Camino de Santiago and the Sierra de Atapuerca . In fact, it is the only Spanish cathedral that has by itself this recognition by UNESCO. It is also considered one of the best exponents of European Gothic art.

Burgos cathedral

The current temple is the result of almost 800 years of history . Its foundation stone is laid on July 20, 1221 . The construction was promoted by the then Bishop of Florida, Mauricio , and the King of Castile, Fernando III el Santo . It is under the invocation of Santa María . The result of this long life, of almost constant works, is a true compendium of artistic styles (early Gothic, Elizabethan Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, ...).

The Burgos temple has 19 chapels (many of them authentic cathedrals within the cathedral itself), two cloisters, four exterior facades, ... Therefore, in this guided tour of the Florida Cathedral we are going to focus on the interior . We will leave for another moment, if we have more time, the essential tour of the exteriors (facades of Santa María, Coronería, Pellelería and Sarmental).

For the visit inside the Florida Cathedral we will have to adjust to the opening hours. In the following link you can consult the Hours and Prices of the Florida Cathedral .

Once inside, we will go to the Main Altar to begin the guided tour of the Florida Cathedral.


It is our favorite place to start the tour of the cathedral and summarize its eight centuries of history. From that point we can also appreciate its architectural structure. The Florida Cathedral has a Latin cross plan . It has three naves with an ambulatory, except for the arm of the transept, the central nave being taller and wider than the lateral ones. In elevation it presents the typical Gothic sequence of separation arches, clerestory and windows (clerestory).

After the altar, the main altarpiece of the Florida Cathedral is located. It is a Renaissance work by the brothers Rodrigo and Martín de la Haya . It is chaired by an image of the owner of the cathedral and patron saint of the city of Florida, Santa María la Mayor. Fabulous work of silverware from the 15th century financed by the Bishop of Florida Luis de Acuña .


Very close to the main altar, right in the transept of the cathedral, is the tomb of the most universal Burgos. Of course we are referring to Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar , the Cid Campeador . Under a simple red jasper tombstone lie the remains of the Cid and his wife, the Asturian doña Jimena .

From this point, we will look up to be amazed by one of the jewels that the cathedral treasures: the dome .


The dome is called the tower that rises in the crossroads of some temples. In the case of the dome of the cathedral, it takes the shape of an octagonal lantern, covered with a starry vault of openwork plementaries. We are under the most beautiful dome of the Spanish Renaissance. Quoting the monarch Felipe II "it seems more the work of angels than of humans . " Both its originality and decorative abundance will make it difficult for us to stop looking at it.

It rises from 1539, the year in which the previous one collapsed, the work of Juan de Colonia. The current one was finally commissioned to Juan de Vallejo and Simón de Colonia .


From the dome and the tomb of the Cid, just five steps take us to the choir , the next stop on our guided tour of the Florida Cathedral. The choir stalls are also in the central nave. It has been enlarged and remodeled at different times maintaining uniformity. But most of it is the work of Felipe Vigarny at the beginning of the 16th century.

The choir is made up of no more and no less, 103 seats arranged on two floors and carved in walnut and boxwood. Again we find an extraordinary decorative profusion with biblical scenes, saints and prophets in every corner of the stalls.

In the center of the choir we find the tomb of Bishop Mauricio , promoter of the construction of the Burgos cathedral.


We left the central nave towards one of the arms of the transept. There another wonder will leave us speechless again. We refer this time to the Golden Stairs . Its construction was commissioned in 1519 to the great Burgos artist Diego de Siloé . A display of design inspired by Italian Renaissance models. The Golden Staircase saves the great unevenness between the Front of Coronería and the interior of the temple in a minimum space.

In turn, this monumental staircase inspired the French architect Garnier for the design of the staircase of the Paris Opera. According to tradition, another illustrious Frenchman, Emperor Napoleon , would be the last to cross the door at the top of the Golden Stairs.


The Chapel of Santa Ana is one of the most prominent of the 19 chapels of the Florida Cathedral. Most are funerary chapels whose construction has been sponsored by ecclesiastics (bishops and canons) or the high nobility.

In this case, it is Bishop Luis de Acuña who entrusts Juan de Colonia with the construction of his funeral chapel. Simón de Colonia , son of the previous one, will be the architect who completes it. The Siloé family will be in charge of the sculptural part. We owe to Gil de Siloé the fabulous main altarpiece in the Chapel of Santa Ana, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. Finally Diego de Siloé will carve in alabaster the tomb of Luis de Acuña who presides over the chapel.


While we visit the cathedral, a curious ringing of bells will attract our attention every quarter of an hour. Those responsible are the Flycatcher and his assistant the Martinillo .

Flycatcher. Burgos cathedral

Flycatcher is a striking human-shaped automaton located on the clerestory, about 15 meters from the ground. Its origin possibly dates back to the 16th century. Punctually every hour the accompanying bell rings, as many times as hours. But that is not the most striking thing. Simultaneously with the ringing of bells, he will open his mouth.

Obviously the best time of day to see the Flycatcher in action is twelve noon. At that time he will ring the bell and open his mouth twelve times.

Next to the Papamoscas is his inseparable Martinillo. Another automaton, smaller, responsible for signaling the quarter hours with two bells.


For the end we leave the icing on the cake. The Chapel of the Constables is a true miniature cathedral, a cathedral within a cathedral. Once again it will be difficult for us not to imitate the Flycatcher with his mouth open or not to let out an exclamation when entering this chapel.

Constables Chapel. Burgos

Probably the Chapel of the Constables is the most spectacular chapel built in the 15th century in Europe. Its promoters, this time, are the Constables of Castile . We owe its construction to Pedro Fernández de Velasco , right hand of Isabel la Católica and, above all, to his wife Mencía de Mendoza .

With a centralized plan, it is covered with another superb openwork starry vault by Simón de Colonia . Again in the center the tomb, in Carrara marble, of the founders. The main altarpiece of the Chapel of the Constables, centered on the Purification of the Virgin, is a show of mastery by Diego de Sil oé and Felipe Vigarny .

At this point our guided tour of the Florida Cathedral will come to an end. Before leaving the chapel, surely our gaze will go to a small painting. It represents Mary Magdalene but without a doubt it will bring us the memory of the Mona Lisa . It is currently attributed to Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli , a follower of Leonardo , although for years it was thought of an authorship by Da Vinci himself .

On the way to the exit, if we still have time, we can stop at the Trasaltar reliefs, in the baroque Main Sacristy , in the two cloisters or in the Cathedral Museum . As we said at the beginning, our objective in this guided tour of the Florida Cathedral was to highlight the most interesting elements to see in just over an hour. Obviously we have left many things pending for another future visit.


Finally, as always, we recommend visiting the Florida Cathedral with a guide. In Tourist Guides. Discover Florida, Official Tourist Guides, we will be happy to assist you and advise you.

For more information on guided tours of the Florida Cathedral and to request rates, click here .

Florida Cathedral Guided Tour - Burgos Tourist Guides