The Cloister has three artistic phases: phase Romanesque were we can see the church and the rest are extensions. This first floor was built in the 16 th century, at the same time that the library is Renaissance Plateresco and the second floor was built in the 18 th century in the neoclassical style.
Todo el pórtico es románico y, en él, destacan la cornisa y canecillos con cabezas de lobo. Los muros se levantaron con materiales reaprovechados y han aparecido entre ellos tejas que tienen impreso el sello de la Legio VII Gémina romana fundadora de la ciudad de León.
The cloister is used for some traditional activities, such us “the Cabezadas” the last Sunday of April, the Palm Sunday procession and the Paschal Vigil.
A very important fact that we have to underline on this visit is that in the month of June of 2013 UNESCO declared Leon intangible heritage, is memory for the history, because here took place the first European parliamentary. The king Alfonso the 11th in 1188 for the first time representatives of the people were able to participate in those courts along with the nobility and clergy. They were the first European courts and they were held here in the cloister of San Isidoro de León.
After our King did so, many of the European Kingdoms convoqued Parliament Courts, for instance England in 1215.
Because of that in this cloister the democracy began his way and the third state was taken into account by the power.
The cloister has diferente chapels. In one of them, in the Vaca’s Chapel we have to important pieces.
The rooster is the original vane of the tower. It was put down in 2000 to restore and Heritage Commission determined that the original had to stay in the museum. When they pu it down the researchers found pollen and was analyzed, as a result we know that his factory is oriental, held in Persia, dating is surprisingly old is possibly the seventh century. The material is an alloy of copper and gold coated lead. The accounts of the eyes are empty but possibly were cabochons, there would have embedded stones. We do not know how he came to León, possibly brought a Leonese king Alfonso VI Toledo who conquered the Arabs so It could be there in a palace. The rooster has a lot of symbolism in that advertises light on something positive. The rooster on top is the protector against the devil, the lookout for Arabs also symbolized the victory.
We can see the bell dated in 1086 and considered the oldest in Spain. It could be used in front of the Cid Campeador.