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Abstract

The cathedral of Burgos, founded in 1221, was one of the first Gothic cathedrals to be constructed in the kingdom of Castile. Built by French masons and craftsmen, it stands as a monument to the introduction of the opus francigenum into Spain, and the convergence of French architectural models with Spanish ecclesiastical culture. As the thirteenth century progressed, this foreign style was adopted in a number of new cathedrals, including those of Toledo and León. Yet, although the architectural history of Burgos has been discussed in detail, far less is known about the cathedral’s founder and patron, Maurice, bishop of Burgos between 1213 and 1238. This article seeks to shed new light on Maurice’s foundation of the cathedral, assessing his connections with France in the run up to 1221 and his concerns and priorities once the building work was underway. Furthermore, analysis of Maurice’s own writings, the Concordia Mauriciana, written in 1230, indicates that this new architectural style had a symbolic significance to its patron, bringing Burgos in line with French ecclesiastical and theological developments.