Statue of "El Cid"
Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar "El Cid", is the hero of the city, he was born in Vivar a small village close to Burgos city. El Cid was a brave knight who battled against Moors.
"El ciego sol, la sed y la fatiga.
Por la terrible estepa castellana,
al destierro con doce de los suyos
-polvo, sudor y hierro-, el Cid cabalga"
PLAZA DE SAN JUAN
In this square you can see some interesting buildings. San Lesmes church (pay atention to the entrance gate), San Juan’s monastery, Bernarda’s convent and the interesting façade of the Culture House wich used to be in the old times an hospital. From this square you can start the Santiago’s path wich goes acrosss Burgos. From here you see also another old entrance to the old city, San Juan’s arch.
Magnificent Cathedral, Historic Hero and Early Man
Burgos, a city I had long wanted to visit. I had been told how spectacular the gothic cathedral was and I was not disappointed. You may notice the number of travelogues of photos I have below just dedicated to the cathedral, the stonecarving is incredible and considering its age in a remarkable state of preservation.
Burgos is also famed as the birthplace of a historical Spanish hero, El Cid Campeador (yes, the guy played by Charton Heston in the Hollywood movie). The crusading knight who fought many battles against the moors, at that period occupying much of the south and central Spain. After his death in 1099 at Valencia, his body was brought back to Burgos for burial and his grave can be seen in the cathedral.
The city straddles the River Arlanzón, with its old medieval center on the western bank. This is the interesting area with the cathedral, hilltop castle and other historic landmarks. The city was founded in the 9th century by the Moors, but was reconquered by the Christians from the north in 1035 when it became the capital of the Kingdom of Castile and Leon, a title it held until 1560, when the capital was moved to Madrid. Construction of its cathedral began in 1221 and continued until completion in 1567.
In 1994 two scientists discovered bone fragments at Gran Dolina cave near Atapuerca, in the mountains outside Burgos. They were estimated to be 780,000 years old, making it the earliest homanid site so far known in Europe. I have not visited the site yet, but hope to do so in the near future.