What is a Cathedral?

A Cathedral is the church where the Bishop has his cathedra, which means chair in Latin. 

There is a Bishop (or Archbishop) in each Diocese (or Archdiocese).  

A Diocese is an ecclesiastical district, the Dioceses are often the same territory as the political provinces, but not always.

Usually the Cathedral of each Diocese/Province is located in the biggest city of the province. 

The Cathedral is not always the biggest or ‘fanciest’ church in a city. For example in Barcelona Sagrada Familia is not the Cathedral. 

There can not be two Cathedrals in one city, as there can’t be two bishops.

To make things a little bit more complicated there are concathedrals, this happens when a bishop has more than two seats, or cathedras, in different towns of the same diocese. This is not common, and when it happens is for an ‘historical mess’ between territories.

Spanish Cathedrals

There are 70 Catholic dioceses in Spain, with its cathedrals. I have prepare for you a ‘small’ sample of photos of some of them.

👉 You can also see some impressive Medieval Castles in Spain

Avila: Cathedral of the Saviour

Interior of the cathedral in Avila
Gothic ceiling at the oldest Gothic building in Spain

👉 More things to see in Ávila

Segovia: Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption and Saint Frutos

Gothic ceiling of the cathedral in Segovia

👉 More things to see in Segovia

Valencia: Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady of Valencia

Baroque entrance of the cathedral in Valencia
Baroque facade at the Hierros Gate

👉 Reed more about the Valencia’s Cathedral

Alcala de Henares: Cathedral of the Child Saints Justus and Pastor

stained glass window at the Alcala Cathedral
Stained glass window that the represent the two martyr children of Alcala

👉 Read more: things to see in Alcalá de Henares

Madrid: Cathedral of Our Lady of Almudena

ceiling and organ at the cathedral in Madrid
Interior of the Cathedral, modern construction imitating the Gothic

👉 Read more: things to do in Madrid

Oviedo: Cathedral of the of the Holy Saviour

Night illumination of the Cathedral in Oviedo
Main facade of the Cathedral from the square

Córdoba: Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba or Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption

Mihrab of the former mosque of cordoba
Mihrab of the former Mosque of Cordoba. Today part of the Cathedral

Sevilla: Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See

views of Sevilla from the cathedral belltower
Views from the Giralda tower

Cuenca: Cathedral of Saint Mary and Saint Julian of Cuenca

main facade of cuenca cathedral
Main facade seen from the Plaza Mayor square

Salamanca: The New Cathedral

ceiling and dome of the cathedral
The New Cathedral of Salamanca is joined to the Old Cathedral

Toledo: Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo

View of Toledo's Cathedral from a viewpoint
Toledo’s Cathedral from a view point

👉 Read more: 7 things to do in Toledo


cathedral seen from the square

Astorga: Cathedral of Saint Mary

Facade of the Cathedral in Astorga
Late Gothic an Renaissance Facade