Although it breaks the spatial unity of the temple, the trascoro is a brilliant work of the Spanish Renaissance. Construction began in 1577, under the direction of Juan López, based on plans drawn up by Juan de Badajoz el Mozo a third of a century earlier. Baltasar Gutiérrez continued the work and completed the structure, in whose decoration the Burgundian hand of Juan de Juni can be seen.

Everything is conceived as a monumental triumphal arch with a body of two panels on each side, framed by small columns of tercia, having as pedestal a large plinth. In the reliefs are represented the scenes of: the Nativity of the Virgin, the Annunciation, the Birth of Christ and the Adoration of the Kings. The four images that stand on it, depict St. Peter and St. Paul, St. Marcellus and St. Isidore. In the attic, at the front, is the Assumption of Mary, and, facing the altar, St. Froilán.

These images, as well as the alabaster panels, were contracted by the chapter with Juan de Juni and Esteban Jordán on February 16, 1577, when they were living in Valladolid, although they had already been linked to León. The work was carried out by Esteban Jordán alone, according to the documents preserved in the Cathedral’s archives, since Juni had died. The crucifix that tops the set is being considered as by Bautista Vázquez, after having been presented in competition with another by the previous artist.

Other small representations of sibyls, virtues and medallions are distributed on the entablature.


If the sculpture of the transcoro is impressive, of no lesser quality are the decorative works that cover its fields: mythological themes abound, Atlanteans, figures facing each other, grotesques, bucráneos, fantastic architectures, intertwining biblical themes with other allegorical ones. Among them, the tree of Jesse stands out, with good trephine work, which ascends the jambs of the arch.