Vivar del Cid (Burgos)

  • Milestones pointing the beginning of the Camino del Cid, in Vivar del Cid, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Verses of the Song of el Cid at the Zero Legua. Vivar del Cid, Burgos / ALC
  • Molinar Channel in the Zero League. Vivar del Cid, Burgos / ALC
  • Convent of Nuestra Señora del Espino. Vivar del Cid, Burgos
  • Chest of el Cid, where the original poem was preserved over centuries, in Vivar del Cid, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Streets of  Vivar del Cid, Burgos
  • Sculpture set dedicated to El Cid in Vivar del Cid, Burgos / ALC
  • El Cid, exiled, leaves Vivar with a handful of knights ordered by the king to leave Castile in nine days. Statue of el Cid in Vivar del Cid, province of Burgos / ALC.
  • Partila view of the sculptural landmark dedicated to El Cid in Vivar del Cid, Burgos / ALC
  • Banner (1921) of el Cid in Vivar del Cid, Burgos / ALC
  • Grafiti in Vivar del Cid, Burgos. Created by Sergare / ALC
  • Castle of Sotopalacios, next to Vivar del Cid, province of Burgos. ALC
  • Cidian Festival in the village of Vivar del Cid, province of Burgos.
  • Before Sunrise / Diego de la Iglesia.

Here begins our trip. According to the  Poem of el Cid, Rodrigo left Vivar to the exile "with tears in his eyes" and the royal order to leave Castile in nine days. It is precisely at the beginning of the journey when a carrion crow crosses by the way of the warriors. The flight of the crow, depending on its direction, was taken as an omen: in this case el Cid understood it as a symbol of good omen on their journey. For this reason the carrion crow is the image of the Safe-conduct Letter, a symbol of good luck while walking. If you travel along the Way of el Cid you will watch  many crows crossing by!

Vivar is located in the valley of the Ubierna, a small but decisive river for the life of its medieval settlers. At the beginning of the 11th century these lands were under the protection of Diego Laínez, father of Rodrigo, since the border with the kingdom of Navarre was very close, next to Urbel del Castillo, less than 30 kilometers from Vivar. The valley was suitable for agriculture and was probably very populated. Its inhabitants scattered in numerous cores or small villages, most of them disappeared. Along the Ubierna's riverside were built some flour mills that are believed to belong to the family of Rodrigo.


What you can see and do in 

Vivar is town devoted to the figure of El Cid, from the street names to several sculptures, everything evokes his legendary figure. Perhaps the most significant landmarks are the stone of the League Zero, next to an old flour mill and the symbolic start of the route, and the statue of El Cid. This is in the square and reflects a more human Cid, contrasting with heroic clichés. Opposite this sculpture, there is stone with the palaeographic version of the first verses of the poem Cantar de Mio Cid. It’s a good place to take a souvenir photo, like the League Zero stone.

The Church of St Michael Archangel is next to the square. Although the modern building is from the 16th century, archaeological excavations have discovered a cemetery dated from the 11th to the 13th centuries. The church has a Romanesque font from an unknown location.

In the Convent of El Espino you can also see a coffer where according to tradition the only extant manuscript of the Cantar, now in the National Library, was kept. It’s a good excuse to buy some home-made cakes and sweets, some of them with such El Cid names as ‘tears of Doña Jimena’.

Commemorating El Cid’s death in Valencia on July 10th 1099, Vivar del Cid holds each year a meeting about the hero.

The final recommendation is not in Vivar but in a neighbouring village, Sotopalacios, 2km away.  There you will find a 15th century castle which some scholars, including Menéndez Pidal, say was built over the family home of El Cid.

Rev.: JGG 16.09.21

Useful information

  • Safe conduct Letter: at the beginning of the Camino del Cid, you can request your safe-conduct letter free of charge in any of the country houses lodges.

Rev. ALC: 23.07.1