Besides its historical and artistic value, this Cathedral has a theological meaning as a reference for the pastoral life of the diocese priests and loyal laypersons. Cathedrals have been a place where our occidental and European culture has been forged and where the beginnings of our universities were created. They furthered social reform and were art workshops. Today, cathedrals are a witness of that culture and a message of significance and values for everyone.
The Holy Church Cathedral is dedicated to Virgin Mary in her Ascension to the heavens. Its construction began in 1227 under order of the Archbishop Don Rodrigo Jiménez mandate. The site was situated over the foundations of the Visigoth Cathedral in the sixth century, which had been used as a Mosque. Constructed in a Gothic style with a French influence, it measures 120 m long by 60 m wide and contains 5 naves supported by 88 pillars and 72 vaults. The side naves are extended behind the Main Chapel surrounding the presbytery and this creates an apse aisle with a double semicircular corridor. Its first architect was the French origin Master Martín, who made the outlines and began construction at the front of the temple.
The side naves could not be finished until the fourteenth century, in the time of Archbishop Don Pedro Tenorio. Also in this century on the north side, the low cloister was built with its compartments, the most remarkable of which is Chapel of Saint Blaise which was used as his burial.
In the fifteenth century, Chapel of Saint Peter was erected close to the entrance of the cloister and subsequently, Chapel of Saint James. A private vault was built in front of it for the Luna family and at the end of this century, in 1493, Don Pedro González de Mendoza the Archbishop and adviser of Isabella the Catholic, sealed the final vault. From this moment on it can be said that this great construction was finished.
In the sixteenth century, the altarpiece and the upper part of the choir and grilles were built. In the first half of the century, all the stained glass windows were closed and some alterations were planned: the Capitulary Room, the Mozarabic Chapel with Cisneros and the Chapel of the New Monarchs (los Reyes Nuevos) with Fonseca.
The Cathedral is the Mother Church of diocese because it holds the chair or See of the Bishop, is the place where the Eucharist and the rest of the liturgical celebrations are held. Therefore, this Cathedral is like an evident symbol from the particular Church, a part of the Church of Jesus Christ; One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.