Burgo de Osma Cathedral


May 23, 2022

The Cathedral of the Assumption of El Burgo de Osma (Soria, Spain) is a Gothic-style building that replaced a previous Romanesque one. Its construction began in 1232, it also shows other stylistic contributions, concluding with the neoclassical (1784). Like many other Spanish cathedrals of the 13th century, it was dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin. It is the main monument of the town of El Burgo de Osma. The Cathedral Museum, organized in its interior rooms, houses many important art objects belonging to or linked to the diocese of Osma-Soria. It shares the cathedral headquarters with the Co-Cathedral of San Pedro de Soria.



Once the diocese of Oaxaca was restored, Pedro de Bourges (San Pedro de Osma) was appointed bishop, occupying the seat between 1101 and 1109. The construction of the original Romanesque cathedral is attributed to him, which occupied part of the site where the old Benedictine monastery of San Miguel. These remains were found in the hamlet established on the plain of the other bank, the left, of the Ucero River, in front of where the city of Osma developed in parallel. From this moment on, a rapid urban transformation took place in the small episcopal nucleus that was to the detriment of the Osma realenga; managing to be a legal entity independent of it by becoming the town of El Burgo de Osma by privilege of Alfonso VIII. An episcopal town, whose subsequent development was closely linked to its cathedral and the influences, activities and power of its different bishops.

The Romanesque Cathedral

The construction of the Romanesque cathedral, begun by Pedro de Bourges in 1101, was continued by his successors: Raimundo (1109–1126) —later Archbishop of Toledo—, Beltrán (1128–1140), Esteban (1141–1147) and John (1148–1174). The cathedral must have been almost finished in the middle of the 12th century, thanks to the alms provided by the numerous pilgrims who, on their way to Santiago de Compostela, came to venerate the remains of the restorer bishop of the Oxomen see, San Pedro de Osma. The primitive Romanesque cathedral, like others of the time, must have had three naves —the central one being taller, longer and wider—, apsidal chapels and a transept. In addition, it had a cloister and different adjoining rooms. Few but remarkable remains of it remain in the cloister and the chapter house.

The Gothic Cathedral

The Romanesque cathedral had little life, as the growth and growing importance of El Burgo de Osma required larger spaces. Fully imbued by the spiritual currents of the time, Bishop Juan Díaz de Medina —traditionally known as Juan Domínguez— (1231–1240), ordered the demolition of the Romanesque cathedral, to immediately rebuild it (1232) in the Gothic style. The works continued with his successor, Pedro Peñafiel (1240–1246). The main work of the cathedral belongs to this period. In 1235 the canonization of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, born in the vicinity of Osma, and who was a canon of this cathedral, was celebrated in the cathedral. Various bishops continued to carry out works throughout the Middle Ages, attesting to them with their respective coats of arms. Among them, Pedro García de Montoya (1454-1474), Alonso de Fonseca Quijada (1493-1505) or Pedro González de Mendoza, bishop-elect of Osma, in 1482. Personalities linked to its elaborationMiguel del Castillo, master silversmith who elaborated a set of scepters and some silver lecterns that were placed on the main altar.


Bell tower

The first stone of the high tower that we see, replaced another medieval sunken in 1734, was placed on June 26, 1739 drawn by José de la Calle; The day before, in the afternoon, the Cabildo finalized the preparations for the Ceremonial, which consisted of a processional exit from the church.