Friday, March 23, 2012


If there is but one reason to visit Burgos it is to see its cathedral. It is one of the most beautiful examples of Spanish Gothic art and is the only Spanish cathedral to be a World Heritage site. 
Burgos Cathedral is special. It soars high above the city - its elaborately crafted spires are especially eye-catching The best view of the cathedral's exterior is by approaching the westerly Puerta Real entrance that faces the Plaza de Santa María but every façade has been exquisitely sculpted in painstaking detail. No wonder it took more than 500 years to build the complete article as it stands today. 

Burgos Cathedral puerta de la Coroneria
Burgos Cathedral choir
The cathedral, which, incidentally, is the third largest in Spain became a UNESCO heritage site in 1984 and is certainly spectacular enough to put Burgos on the map on its own. However, the city does have other sights worth seeing.

Across the Plaza del Rey Ferdinand from the Puerta del Sarmental entrance of the cathedral is the Arco de Santa María. Best viewed from the Santa María bridge that crosses the Río Arlanzon, the monument is one of the most beautiful of all the city's gateways. It looks like a castle with its multi-turreted exterior. Statues of Castilian heroes and kings stand guard above the archway. It leads onto the Paseo del Espolón, a tree-lined promenade that runs alongside the riverbank. 

Arco de Santa María
Paseo de Epsolón
statue of El Cid
photo fron 
At the end of the paseo is an impressive statue situated in the Plaza del Mío Cid. It is the Monumento del Cid, a sculpture of El Cid Campeador. He was a legendary figure who fought alongside the Moors who then occupied most of Spain. Later, he switched camps and conquered Valencia on behalf of the Christians and became a governor of the city until his death.

The city of Burgos is crammed with many fascinating buildings and time is well spent just meandering the streets of the old town between the Casa del Cordón and the Cathedral.

Casa del Cordón

Other blogs by Robert Bovington:

"Photographs of Spain"
"postcards from Spain"
"you couldn't make it up!"
"a grumpy old man in Spain"
"bits and bobs"
"Spanish Expressions"
"Spanish Art"
"Books About Spain"

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