Construction was begun by Charles the Noble in 1397 on a 12th-century Romanesque building, and was completed in 1501. The high altar is crowned by a figure of the Virgin of Santa María la Real, in front of whom the kings of Navarre used to swear their oaths.
The current building was raised on the ruins of the previous Romanesque church, which was destroyed in the 14th century. The cathedral is divided into three Gothic-style naves. The chapels are in several different styles. The Central nave is the site of the mausoleum of Charles III the Noble and his wife Doña Leonor. The cathedral has a neoclassical façade, while the interior and the 14th-century cloister are Gothic.