Burgos is the capital of the province of Burgos and has a population of around 178,000 with another 15,000 or so in it’s suburbs. It sits at 884 metres above sea level, and it does get quite cold in the winter months.
As you come into the city via the Puente de Santa María you’ll come to the Arco de Santa María, an impressive gateway carved with statues of different local dignitaries.
Pass through the gateway into the Plaza Del Rey San Fernando, home of Spain’s finest Gothic Cathedral which completely dominates the centre of the old town.
Work begun on the cathedral in 1221, and construction took only 22 years, but it was added to over the following couple of centuries. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. The west front is flanked by towers terminating in octagonal spires covered with open stonework traceries. The middle section, which serves for an entrance, has three alabaster pilasters, the intercolumnar spaces bearing panel-pictures representing the martyrdom of saints.
Inside there is a huge amount of sculptures and art work. The Capilla de Santa Tecla is home to Burgos’ famous 15th century clock, the Papamoscas.
The main bridge into the city is the Puente de San Pablo, where you’ll find a statue which commemorates the city’s hero, El Cid.
Other sites worth a visit are the Monasterio de Las Huelgas on the outskirts of the city, which was founded in 1180 by King Alfonso VIII, and was begun in a pre-Gothic style, although almost every style has been introduced over the years.
To the East of the city you’ll find the Cartuja de Miraflores, a Carthusian monastery founded in the 15th century. The church includes the mausoleum of Juan II and of his wife Isabel de Portugal. The multicoloured altarpiece is by Gil de Siloé, and is supposedly gilded with the first ever gold brought back from the New World.
There’s also the Iglesia de San Lorenzo, with it’s impressive Baroque ceiling, the Iglesia de San Esteban with it’s museum of altarpieces and the Iglesia de Santa Áqueda where El Cid made Algonso VI swear that he had nothing to do with the murder of his brother Sancho II.
The Museo de Burgos is found across the river in the Casa
Founded in 884, Burgos has played a significant political and military role in the history of Spain. It was the capital of Castilla y León from 1073 until it lost the honour to Valladolid in 1492.
Until well into the 17th century Burgos’ wealth came from it’s wool exports. It used this wealth to finance most of the architecture seen in the city today.
Franco made Burgos his headquarters during the civil war and the industrial development he helped bring about in the 1950s and 1960s brought wealth to the city.
The center of the old town of Burgos is dominated by the Gothic cathedral and sits between the Río Arlanzón and the hill behind where you can still see what remains of the towns old castle.
Across the Puente de Santa María into the new town along Calle Madrid you’ll find the bus station on the right and take a left along the Calle de la Merced then left onto Avenida Conde de Guadalhorce to the train station.
You’ll find some budget accommodation on this side of the bridge.
If it’s a hot day and you fancy an ice cream I recommend the ice cream shop on the left-hand side of Calle de La Paloma which runs from Plaza del Rey Fernando down the side of the Cathedral.
Getting There & Back
Albergue Municipal Casa del Cubo, Calle Fernán Gonzalez 28. Tel: (0034) 947 46 09 22
Beds: 76. Open all year. Has cooking & laundry facilities as well as internet access.
Albergue Divina Pastora, Calle Laín Calvo 10. Tel: (0034) 947 20 79 52
Beds: 18. Open all year round.
Albergue Juvenil Gil de Siloé, Avenida de Cantabria. Tel: (0034) 947 22 02 77
Beds: 110. Open all year.
Hotel El Jacabeo **, Calle San Juan. Tel: (0034) 947 26 01 02
Hotel Norte y Londres **, Plaza Alonso Martinez 10. Tel: (0034) 947 26 41 25
Hotel Mesón Del Cid, Calle Fernán González 29. Tel: (0034) 947 20 87 15
Camping Fuentes Blancas, Carretera Burgos – Cartuja de Miraflores 3km. Tel: (0034) 947 48 60 16
Where to Eat
The most famous food of Burgos is without doubt it’s fresh cheese with slight goat-milk-flavor, called Queso de Burgos. It is extremely popular not only here but in most other regions of Spain.
Burgos’ cuisine has a high reputation for a variety of other recipes such as roasted lamb, chopped pork, blood pudding, red beans (called Ibeas) and hotpot.
There are excellent fish-dishes as well, river crab salad and codfish á la Burgalesa are amongst the specialities of this region.
Local meal times are generally 14:00 – 15:00 for lunch and 21:00 – 22.30 for dinner.
Tourist Information/ Oficina de Turismo
Tourist Information, Plaza Alonso Martínez 7. Tel: (0034) 947 20 31 25
Opening: Mon – Fri 10:00 – 14:00 & 17:00 – 19:00
Sat 10:00am – 14:00
Also on the Calle de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora 3
Open every day from 10:30 – 14:00 & 16:00 – 20:00
Sun 10:30am – 14:00
Post Office / Oficina de Correos
Main Post Office, Plaza del Conde de Castro. Tel: (0034) 947 26 27 50
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 08:00am – 20:30
Sat 09:30am – 14:00
Medical & Emergency Services
Emergency Number for all services: 112
Municipal Police: 092
General Hoapital Yague: 947 28 18 00 – Avenida del Cid Campeador
Medical Emergency: 061
National Police: 091 – Avenida de Castilla y León, 3
Guardia Civil (Civil Guard): 062 or 948 296 850 – Avenida Galicia, 2
Traffic Guardia Civil: 948 234 700
Citizens’ Enquiries: 010
Operator: (0180) 2001033
National Directory Enquiries: 11822
National Directory Enquiries (in English): 1004
International Directory Enquiries: 11822
Enjoyed this article?