The Cloister: memory of paradise.

At the «beginning» of the current gothic factory of the Cathedral, is the cloister, which begun in 1300 and concluded in 1441. It has replaced the Romanesque style of the Twelfth Century. It is a jewel of Spanish Gothic art. In the Eighteenth Century, a top floor of baroque design was added, with its author being Francisco de la Riva Ladrón from Guevara who managed to give harmony and balance to diverse styles.

The story of salvation that begins with the creation of heaven and of earth and that must be concluded with the arrival of Jesus Christ in the glory at the end of time, has likewise, a «beginning», that is Paradise: place of grateful memory and of communion.

The cloister tries to make reference to that paradise where, firstly, in the very centre, usually, there is a garden and a fountain that rejoices the place and that is made up of four pipes that pour the water, in memory of the four rivers that watered the Garden of Eden.

The rooms that make up the cloister are the Chapter House and the Archives. The Chapter House is a place of meeting, where the idea of having «one mind» to reach the «same way», which is the evangelical idea of charity, is spoken of.

The remains of the old gothic stall of the Cathedral are kept in this room.

The cloister of the Cathedral opens its doors to the Archive Room, which is the place where the «memory» of the Church is kept. This begins with the first datum of faith: the creation, it continues through the redemption and concludes in the restoration, at the end of time, of the Kingdom of God, for he who lives for the Church and that is what gives meaning to everything that is written and stored.

The baroque door to this room is the work of José Bernardo de la Meana and upon its shelves and racks; important manuscripts are preserved, with the Will of King Alfonso II the Strong and the Liber Testamentorum being among the most important.

It has access to the outside through means of the so-called «Gate of Alms». In it, periodically, the council give charity to the poor people of the city.

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