Burgos (Burgos)

  • The Arlanzon River as it passes through the city of Burgos / ALC.
  • Cathedral of Burgos / PAB.
  • Gate of Santa María, in Burgos / ALC.
  • Statue of el Cid in the Gate of Santa María, Burgos. ALC
  • A view of the cathedral of Burgos from the gate of Santa María  / ALC.
  • Escalera Dorada (Golden Stairway) in the gothic cathedral of  Burgos / ALC.
  • The dome of the gothic cathedral of Burgos / ALC.
  • Tomb of el Cid and his wife Ximena, in the inside of  the Cathedral of Burgos / ALC.
  • Artistic treasures inside the Burgos cathedral / Blas Carrión.
  • Starry vault in the Condestables chapel, Cathedral of Burgos / ALC
  • Tomb of the High Constables of Castile, in the Cathedral of Burgos / ALC.
  • Chest of el Cid, mentioned in 'The Song of el Cid', in the cathedral of Burgos / ALC.
  • Vela Zanetti´s mural paintings portraying el Cid in the inside of the Palace of the Burgos Provincial Council / ALC.
  • Equestrian statue of el Cid, in Burgos / ALC.
  • The sculpture of Avengalbón, the moorish lord of Molina de Aragón, one of the most important characters in The Song of el Cid, in San Pablo's bridge over the Arlanzón river, in Burgos / ALC.
  • Sword called Tizona, one of the mythical swords of El Cid. Museum of Burgos. ALC
  • Medieval Islamic ivory casket in the Museum of Burgos / LAC
  • Arch of San Gil, one of the ancient entrances to the city of Burgos / ALC
  • Arch of San Juan, one of the main entrances to the old town of Burgos / ALC
  • Monastery of Santa María de las Huelgas, en Burgos / ALC
  • Museum of the Human Being Evolution (MEH), Burgos / ALC
  • Solar del Cid, traditionally considered the place where the house of el Cid was located in the city of Burgos / ALC.
  • Burgos castle / ALC.
  • Every year Burgos celebrates a festival called Fin de Semana Cidiano during the first weekend of october / ALC.
  • The old town of Burgos / Manuel Muñoz García.
  • Gothic rosette, facade of Santa María, cathedral of Burgos / ALC.
  • Cathedral of Burgos by night / ALC
  • Facade of Santa María, Cathedral of Burgos by night / ALC
  • Babieca, el Cid's horse. Equestrian statue of el Cid in Burgos, by night / ALC.
  • Cid's milestone in the Arlanzón river bank, in Burgos / ALC
  • Arlanzón River, at dawn, as it flows through the center of the city of Burgos / ALC
  • Monument to Santo Domingo de Guzmán, founder of the Order of the Dominicans and patron of the province of Burgos. Burgos / ALC
  • Puente de San Pablo, en Burgos. Detalle / ALC.
  • Cathedral of Burgos at sunrise from Fernán González street / ALC
  • San Juan square, Burgos / ALC
  • Romanesque gateway of Cerezo de Río Tirón. Monastery of San Juan, Burgos / ALC.
  • Romanesque gateway of Cerezo de Río Tirón. Monastery of San Juan, Burgos.

The city of Burgos is "emotionally" linked to el Cid although Rodrigo was most likely born in Vivar spending much of his army life in the islamic territories of Zaragoza and Valencia; even in the Song of Mío Cid its inhabitants, fearing the wrath of King Alfonso VI, denied aid to el Cid. Nevertheless Burgos is the city of el Cid par excellence. In the days of Rodrigo and Alfonso VI Burgos had approximately 2,000 inhabitants. It had also ceased to be a military outpost to become an emerging commercial village thanks to the Way of Saint James (declared World Heritage Site), progressively acquiring political and religious importance since the late 10th century.

There is a route that runs through the places that appear in the Song of el Cid : after crossing the Arch of San Martín, at the bottom of the castle, Solar del Cid rises, with a simple monument to his memory. The tradition frames in the church of Santa Águeda the legendary Jura de Santa Gadea, in which el Cid forced King Alfonso VI to swear that he had not participated in the murder of his brother, King Sancho. According to the Cantar, el Cid abandoned the city by the Gate or Arch of Santa María, crossing the Arlanzón river and camping outside the walls, in the glera, since King Alfonso had prohibited to help el Cid or give him shelter on pain of losing his property "and the eyes of the face ". Before, the Cid knelt in the church of Santa María, where the Gothic cathedral stands today. The remains of Rodrigo and Doña Jimena are currently in the Cathedral.

In the Arch of Santa María, in addition to the remains of Mudejar plasterwork, there is a Cidian room where you can see from a facsimile reproduction of the Cantar until... the radio bone of the Castilian knight's left arm! Following the Espolón, a popular tree-lined promenade of the city, we arrive at the Palace of the Provincial Council of Burgos, in whose dome the impressive murals of painter Vela Zanetti can be seen: they reflect a different Cid from the traditional legendary aesthetic. Next to the Provincial Palace stands the famous equestrian statue of Cid, by Juan Cristóbal, indicating with his sword the way to Valencia. Next to the statue stands the bridge of San Pablo, work of the sculptor Lucarini, with eight statues representing friends and family members of the historic and legendary Rodrigo. The city of Burgos has published a tourist brochure that includes the most significant places and landmarks related to Rodrigo. You can download it by clicking here or in the download area that you will find on the right of your screen.


What you can see and do in Burgos

Burgos is a city of monuments. The River Arlanzón flows through the city and the medieval city was on its right bank, protected behind walls. It is one of the best preserved urban rivers with healthy natural life on its banks; we therefore recommend visiting Burgos with the Arlanzón as your guide and companion.

One of the most ‘noble’ ways to enter the old town is by crossing the river over the Bridge of Santa María and going through the arch of the same name straight to the cathedral. The well-deserved fame of Burgos Cathedral, World Heritage, should not eclipse visits to other outstanding monuments in the proximity, such as the Church of St Nicholas of Bari, whose 16th century altarpiece, attributed to Francisco of Cologne will surprise unprepared visitors. The Churches of St Gil and St Stephen, the latter very close to the Mudejar gate of the same name, will also surprise visitors with the astonishing wealth of their interiors. Also in the centre, but outside the city walls, next to the Arch of San Juan, are the Gothic church of St Lesmes and the Monastery of St John, with a lovely Romanesque doorway of cherry wood from River Tirón.

Burgos old town is very attractive and easy to visit, and includes the most popular area of restaurants and bars. The people of Burgos love going out at the weekend and a stimulating gastronomic ‘tapas’ culture has developed in recent years. In addition to the abundant religious heritage, mostly Gothic, it is worth visiting the CAB, a ‘charming’ contemporary art gallery, also in the historic centre. The old Burgos Castle is nearby, from where you can see a panoramic view of the city.

You will inevitably spot a large modern building: three large glass boxes that form the Evolution Complex, above all the Museum of Human Evolution, which exhibits some of the most important palaeontological finds in the Sierra de Atapuerca, a World Heritage site and a point of reference to understand the origin and development of our species. Burgos Museum is very nearby; it is less well known but of great interest for people interested in history and especially the Middle Ages, as it displays some interesting artefacts of the period and also the Tizona, the sword that has traditionally been associated with El Cid.

Always following the River Arlanzón, downstream and outside the historical centre, you can walk along the pleasant promenade of the Isla to the Royal Monastery of Las Huelgas, which we reach shortly after going over the Bridge of Malatos, which is on the Way of St James.

If you choose to follow the Way of El Cid on bike or by car, you will follow the Arlanzón upstream through a leafy park called Fuentes Blancas, a place of recreation for many inhabitants of Burgos, with the Cartuja de Miraflores, undoubtedly one of the jewels of the Late Gothic and which is a must for lovers of art in general and of sculpture in particular.


You also should not miss

  • One of the best ways to get to know Burgos is by bicycle. The main bike path follows the left bank of the River Arlanzón and allows cycling tourists to rapidly move along the 10km from Fuentes Blancas and the La Quinta Park to Parral Park with Las Huelgas and the University as places of interest. It is a relaxing ride that guarantees good views of the city.
  • The Royal Monastery of Las Huelgas. Although it is outside the historic centre, you are warmly recommended to visit it. This monastery was a centre of power and vacations of the kings of Castile in the Late Middle Ages. Its interior contains numerous surprises, not only artistic ones. If you can, go there by bike or on foot (it is 2km from the cathedral). It is a lovely walk if the weather is fine, especially if you go along the Isla Promenade next to the river. This is a park nearly a kilometre long laid out in the 19th century with a huge variety of plant species: from Spanish fir to Himalayan cedar and including some magnificent examples of black pine and sequoia.
  • The El Cid Weekend is held in Burgos every year, during the first weekend in October. It is a popular festival in memory of El Cid with medieval representations and re-enactments, markets, camps and tournaments.

Rev.: JGG 16.09.21

Useful information

Rev. ALC: 03.07.18