A quick guide to Burgos

by Lorraine Williamson
Burgos

Burgos is the capital of Castile y León. It is an ancient city filled with history and medieval architecture. Furthermore, some of the features include the;

  • Gothic Cathedral of St Mary
  • Puente de San Pablo
  • Arch of Santa María

Once Burgos was the capital of the Kingdom of Castilla y León but that honour is now in the hands of Valladolid. The city with its cathedral together with the Monasterio de las Huelgas (monastery) makes Burgos an important place on the Camino de Santiago. A bridge over the river Arlanzón was built especially for pilgrims in the Middle Ages. 

The cathedral of Burgos 

The Cathedral is after the ones in Sevilla and Toledo the third biggest in Spain. Furthermore, it has 3 main entrances which are flanked by ornamental bell towers. Due to many renovations over the years, you will see an eclectic combination of French Gothic architecture on the outside with Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance styles inside. 

Moreover, inside is the Chapel of Condestable, which is decorated with figures of saints. Furthermore, it is also the location of the tomb of the famous El Cid. Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar was the real name of El Cid Campeador, a Spanish knight who became a national hero in Spain in the 11th century. 

Furthermore, the site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984. 

However, to visit the Cathedral, you must pass through the arch of Santa Maria, into the Plaza de San Fernando. Furthermore, this is where the Cathedral can be found.  

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The 13th century Bridge (Puente) of San Pablo is opposite where the medieval gates used to be. Furthermore, the bridge is lined with statues of noblemen, including El Cid.  However, this is the one for the pilgrims.

Paseo del Espolon 

Between the Bridge of San Pablo and the Cathedral, you can enjoy a walk along the Paseo del Espolon. This is a beautiful, tree-lined boulevard that runs parallel to the River Arlanzo. Moreover, there are many cafes and bars along the way. The shady area along the river is the place for a stroll in Burgos and is very lively in the evening. 

Burgos has a good reputation when it comes to food. In the historical centre are plenty of pintxos bars. Two “must try” popular local foods include Queso de Burgos (cheese) and Morcilla de Burgos (black pudding with pigs’ blood, onions and rice).  

Monasterio de las Huelgas 

This royal abbey ‘Monasterio de las Huelgas’ was founded in 1187 by King Alfonso VIII of Castile and his wife Eleanor of England. In the past, the monastery had many privileges of ecclesiastical, civil and criminal powers. You can visit the monastery located on the outskirts of Burgos. 

Atlanta Territory  

47 kilometres south of Burgos in Quintanilla del Agua is Territoria Artlanza. Artist Félix Yáñez has recreated here a complete traditional village with recycled materials. The complex of 15,000 square metres includes an ethnographic museum, a tavern, a craft workshop and two squares where cultural activities are organised. 

Related post: Remains of a face, possibly the first European found in Burgos

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