La Cartuja De Miraflores, An Essential Stop On The Camino Del Santiago

La Cartuja de Miraflores, an essential stop on the Camino del Santiago 

The Cartuja de Miraflores, in the Castilian-Leon city of Burgos, is one of the best examples of monastic architecture in the Gothic style in Spain. In this way, the city of Burgos is a must-see destination for anyone who wants to know religious Gothic art, since a short distance away you can visit the Cathedral of Santa María de Burgos and, just 3 kilometers from the center, the Cartuja de Miraflores .

La Cartuja de Miraflores, a 15th century work

The Cartuja de Miraflores began to be built in 1442, however a few years later what had been built was practically destroyed by a devastating fire. That is why it was decided that the master Juan de Bolonia, who at that time was working on the magnificent cathedral of Burgos, would take charge of the new construction.

Charterhouse of Miraflores
Cartuja de Miraflores – The Instants Collector / Flickr.com

Although given the dimensions of the project, and as it lasted over time, other architects ended the project and it was not until the year 1482, under the reign of Isabel la Católica, when the works were finally completed.

Pilgrims in the Cartuja de Miraflores

Given those dates of construction, it follows that the Charterhouse was not born as a stopping point for the Jacobean pilgrims, since the route to Compostela had been carried out for years by believers from all over Europe. However, at present it is one of the most outstanding stops for all those who make the Camino de Santiago and pass through Burgos.

Church of the Cartuja de Miraflores
Church of the Cartuja de Miraflores – The Instants Collector / Flickr.com

Of all the Carthusian complex, the most monumental without a doubt is the church. A very simple temple, since it has a single nave, although quite long and wide.

In addition, this nave ends in a polygonal plan where the typical rib vaults of the Gothic style can be seen. Some very ornate vaults with different ribs and terceletes as usual in late Gothic to which the church can be assigned.

The Cartuja de Miraflores, much loved by Isabel la Católica

Also very typical of the Elizabethan Gothic style of the late 15th century is the invoice of the western portal of the church. As with the stained glass of the temple. Originally Isabel la Católica herself had the stained glass windows brought from Flanders to place them in these windows.

In fact, this queen was very much involved in sponsoring the works of the temple, since it had been her father John II who promoted its construction decades before. That is why she herself sponsored the construction of the tombs of that monarch, his second wife (Isabel de Portugal) and the Infante Alfonso.

Tomb of John II
Tomb of John II – Lindalawen / Flickr.com

The realization of such a tomb was entrusted to one of the most outstanding sculptors of his time: Gil de Siloé, who also modeled the main altarpiece of the Cartuja church.

The visit to the Cartuja

To get to the Cartuja de Miraflores, you have to go from the city center to the east of the Burgos nucleus, specifically to the Fuentes Blancas park. There this historical and artistic ensemble rises, of which today, both pilgrims and tourists in general can only visit a part. Specifically, its church and the cloister, since the rest of the monastic dependencies are still in use by a Carthusian community.

Charterhouse of Miraflores
Cartuja de Miraflores – Xavier E Traité / Flickr.com

Perhaps because of the spirituality that is still breathed here, it is one of the essential visits for those who do the Camino de Santiago.

However, in addition to fervent reasons, a visit to the Cartuja de Miraflores is essential for all art and history lovers who travel to Burgos, since an interesting exhibition with works is shown in the side chapels of the church. of personalities from different centuries such as Pedro Berruguete or Joaquín Sorolla.

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