Burgos

Burgos

Miles to Santiago: 493km \ 306mi

 

History

Burgos is the historic capital of Castile. It is situated on the confluence of the Arlanzón river tributaries, at the edge of the Iberian central plateau. Remember that Spain is like an upside down soup bowl with a high plateau in the middle and series of valleys around it.

Folks likely occupied sites around Burgos as early as 800,000 years ago. When the Romans took possession of what is now Burgos, the site had been a Celtic city.

The Burgos Laws or Leyes de Burgos which first governed the behaviour of Spaniards towards the natives of the Americas were promulgated here in 1512.

Burgos has been the scene of many wars: with the Moors, the struggles between León and Navarre, and between Castile and Aragon. In the Peninsular War against Napoleonic France, the siege of Burgos (between 19 September to 21 October) was a scene of a withdrawal for Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. Again in the 19th-century Carlist civil wars of the Spanish succession Burgos was the scene of a battle. During the Spanish Civil War, Burgos was the base of General Franco's rebel Nationalist government.

Nowadays, it has about 180,000 inhabitants in the actual city and another 20,000 in the metropolitan area.

Of Interest

The Cathedral of Burgos was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984 and is the seat of the Metropolitan Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Burgos. A large number of churches, palaces and other buildings from the medieval age remain. The city is surrounded by the Fuentes Blancas and the Paseo de la Isla parks.

Even by the standards of the old towns we've seen so far, Burgos is old...

Castilian nobleman, military leader and diplomat El Cid Campeador is a significant historical figure in the city, as he was born a couple of miles north of Burgos and was raised and educated here.