Spain/Castilla La Mancha: Cuenca Cathedral
Cuenca Cathedral was built in 1182-96 and was the first Gothic cathedral in Spain (king Alphonso VIII’s wife was Eleanor, daughter of the English King Henry II, and as such wanted a cathedral on Anglo-Norman gothic style, same as Norte Dame de Paris in France – what wouldn’t you do to impress your wife?). The facade and the entrance door are spectacular. Inside, it’s a circular maze of chapels with various artifacts and tombs. A hall with two old organs is the center. The interior is dimly illuminated by a few stained-glass windows. Massive columns support the richly decorated dome and you feel dwarfed underneath it all.