It is located in the northeast of the province of Burgos, in a valley between the mountains of San José and Los Pinos and irrigated by the river Oca opens to the extensive plain of La Bureba. The autrigones settled in the place around the 1st century BC. Briviesca was already an important population centre in Roman times. It is mentioned for the first time in documents of Pliny the Elder, in the first century of our era, in them the quotation with the name of Virovesca. Whether it was Muslim or not is known for sure, what we do know is that Briviesca had another, more defensive, site on the slopes of the nearby mountains and that its current location and urban layout, the "well laid out", is due to Doña Blanca de Portugal, granddaughter of Alfonso X the Wise, when he bought the town in the early fourteenth century.
The 16th century brought to the village the first jurisdiction that Briviesca had and the fact that it was part of the possessions of the Velasco family. In this century the main religious monuments were built in Briviesca, and in the 17th century it was the civil constructions that took over and the best palaces and ancestral houses were built that are still preserved. Briviesca, although already being recognized as a city by the Visigoths, received from the hands of the Queen Regent Maria Cristina, in 1894 and as a reward for the increase of its population and its agricultural and commercial development, the title of City.
Briviesca's Historical Quarter continues to show its orderly medieval layout whose streets cross the city's true nerve centre, the Plaza Mayor, with arcades on three sides and guarded by the palace of the Soto Guzmán, built in the 17th century, the current seat of the town hall, and the church of San Martín, which at the beginning of the 14th century already appeared as one of the three parishes of Briviesca although its façade is from the 16th century, and in the centre, uniting the whole, the Templete stands out, built in 1909. In the visit to the Monumental Complex of Santa Clara made up of the church, monastery, ancestral house and hospital, all built in the sixteenth century and declared National Monument in 1931, we can admire the church, which houses the jewel of Briviesca, a beautiful altarpiece that is called the "El Escorial de los retablos" for its profusion of decoration, originality, carvings ...
The ex-collegiate church of Santa Maria, one of the oldest in Spain, was built by Doña Blanca de Portugal in the 14th century. In Medina street is the palace house of the Torre built in the second half of the seventeenth century. Also in this street you can admire the palace house of the Martínez España - Ordoño Rosales built in 1718 where the balcony that shows its façade is supported by angels in the corners and a mythological figure in the rococo taste on the entrance door. From the Plaza de Santa María you can see the magnificent lantern that gives light to the stairs of the house of the Salamanca family, whose original building only remains, making a corner, a stone cube that shows intact the coat of arms of the family. But to visit Briviesca is also to taste its traditional gastronomy, its caramelized almonds, its black puddings... Parks and walks surround the city allowing the visitor to enjoy the landscape of the fields of La Bureba. The walker can also follow one of the stages of the Way of Saint James - Via de Bayona that passes through Briviesca.
Briviesca celebrates its patron saint fiestas in honour of Nuestra Señora and San Roque on 15 and 16 August. It also celebrates Santa Casilda on 9 May. The Feria de los ajos (Garlic Fair) in Santiago is on 25 July, and garlic is an unavoidable protagonist. On the Thursday before the carnival in Briviesca the choricillo or Jueves de todos is celebrated, in which they gather to eat pork sausage. And on the 18th of December, feast day of the Virgen de la Esperanza (Virgin of Hope), the festival is for the children, on the day of the O, they go out in procession with candles and singing coplas.
La rogativa de la Tabera, a festival of regional tourist interest, is held on the Tuesday before Ascension Thursday. Having its origin in the prayers for the prosperity of the city and the fertility of the fields, at present the festival takes place from the morning in the Sanctuary of Santa Casilda until where people have gone on pilgrimage and where, after enjoying a picnic, a gift from the town council, the game that gives the name to the festival begins. It consists of throwing a taba, here participate those who play and those who bet on the position in which the taba is going to fall. Back in Briviesca, the establishments and clubs of the city have placed tables where you can continue playing until well into the night.
In the Courts held in Briviesca in November of 1.387 and by decision of King Juan I of Castile it was decided to grant the title of Prince of Asturias to the heir of the Crown of Castile. Title that continues to carry implicitly the heir to the Spanish Crown.
The Sanctuary of Santa Casilda, patron saint of Briviesca, is located on a rocky mountain in the middle of a beautiful landscape. The sanctuary itself, the chapel, the cave of San Vicente, as well as the fields of the sanctuary and the black and white wells, the wells of San Vicente, which are said to have curative properties because according to legend, the Moorish princess Casilda travelled here and, living in Toledo, secretly dedicated herself to helping and bringing food to the Christian prisoners of her father. He was suspicious of his beloved daughter's chores and one day he asked her what she was wearing on her apron. Casilda replied that she was wearing flowers and, opening it, she showed him the apron with such a flowery content that the king was satisfied. One day the princess fell ill and not even the best doctors could heal her. To the ears of the king came the existence in Christian lands of some wells whose waters were healing and after much weighing and seeing that the illness of his beloved daughter did not remit agreed to travel to bathe in its waters. Casilda bathed and her health recovered and then she knew that it was in this place where she wanted to live and together with other nuns she founded the primitive hermitage. The wells are still attributed healing and fertility properties.
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Briviesca can be reached via the N-1 that connects it with Burgos and Miranda de Ebro. Briviesca is also reached by other local roads that connect it with Belorado, Poza de la Sal and Oña among others.
Briviesca has two bus stops, the main one located on Avenida Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente and the other located on Avenida Alberto Alcocer. They are served by regular bus services that communicate daily with Irún, San Sebastián, Vitoria or Madrid, with Burgos and Logroño as well as with the towns of Oña, Poza de la Sal and Frías. There is also an on-demand transport service for smaller towns.
Briviesca has a railway station where trains stop and daily connect it with Miranda de Ebro, Zaragoza and Vitoria, Valladolid, Burgos and Madrid, with Hendaya and with La Coruña, or Vitoria, San Sebastián and Irún.
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3:10 h.9.2 km.
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