To walk through the streets of Burgos is to do so for its history reflected in every corner we visit. A history that goes back thousands of years as witnessed by the different archaeological settlements that lie around the hill of the castle. Corners that speak to us of the noble people who passed or lived here, of the importance of the history of this noble city and that today we can remember thanks to its rich artistic and historical heritage. Regal buildings that make up the beautiful monumental complex of Burgos and that invite us to immerse ourselves in a journey through time and history.
A stroll through the history of Burgos shows us what to see in Burgos, leading us through the different eras that this city has known and that have left their indelible mark in the form of monumental buildings that still preserve the splendour of yesteryear. Its palaces, its streets, its monuments of incalculable value or its illustrious characters, are undoubtedly places and essential references in any guide to visit Burgos. A city of marked and deep-rooted character that has experienced the passage of royal characters, that has been the visible head of powerful kingdoms and that was and is an obligatory passage for pilgrims who, making the Way of Saint James, go, following the French Way, towards the tomb of the Apostle. In short, a rich and important history that has been faithfully reflected in its monuments and corners, places that today we can see in Burgos and that allow us to enjoy them while giving us silent testimony of their memories.
To ask yourself what to see in Burgos is to get a good number of essential places to visit, making it difficult to decide which to start with. In this case we will take the Way of Saint James as our starting point just before it enters the historic centre of Burgos crossing the Arch of San Juan. Here awaits us a monumental set of great beauty that includes, in addition to the aforementioned arch, the Monastery of San Juan of the sixteenth century, today Museum Marceliano Santa Maria, and which today only retains the cloister, the chapterhouse and just a few ruins of what was once his church. We should also be surprised by the Parish Church of San Lesmes Abad which, next to the monastery, gives shape to this first stop on our route through Burgos. Its location practically in the center of the city makes this place a good starting point from where to visit Burgos. Once enjoyed this monumental set of San Juan we can approach to know the symbolic statues of the Gigantillos that wait for us on one of the bridges that cross the River Vena, next to the parish.
We continue our route through Burgos, leaving on our left the street that would take us to the Museum of Human Evolution, to cross the Arch of San Juan into the historic center of the city of Burgos following the steps of the Way of St. James, at least for an instant. As soon as we do so, we bid farewell to the route that follows the French Way to follow on our left the street of La Puebla, which will take us without further detours to the Plaza de la Libertad, where another of the essential stops awaits us. The Casa del Cordón, built there in the 15th century, as well as being a royal residence, has been the perfect setting for remarkable historical events. This building owes its name to the Franciscan cordon that marks out the main facade. This building presides over the square we arrive at, a square that since the Middle Ages was the main market of the city. A city in which we are gradually entering, although before doing so definitively we have to approach the nearby river Arlanzón to know another of the corners of Burgos.
The worked façade of the House of the Cordón leads us directly to the street by which we must follow. Leaving the building and one of the slender towers that rise to its ends behind us, we almost without realizing it, come across the next stop on our route. The Statue of the Cid Campeador welcomes us next to the Bridge of Saint Paul as if it were waiting for our visit before leaving for exile. The person of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar is not only part of the history of Burgos, but also of many other places through which this illustrious character passed, today crossed by an interesting and beautiful route known as The Way of Cid and comes to recall part of the life of the Cid Campeador. The river Arlanzón is undoubtedly another of the undisputed protagonists of the life and history of Burgos, its banks are now a pleasant walk that runs along the city, a walk that later we will have the opportunity to enjoy.
Finished already our visit to this illustrious character we take again our route returning a few meters on our steps until we meet the street that gives access to the following corner of Burgos that we are going to discover. Before our eyes the beautiful Main Square of Burgos extends majestically. Once known as the Square of the Smaller Market, among many other names it has displayed, we are before what was once a bustling market fed by merchants through the Door of Carretas accessed it to sell their products. Subsequently and after several reforms became the administrative center of the city, displaying today the different architectural styles that characterize this Main Square of Burgos. The Town Hall, located on the old site of the Door of Carretas, next to the different buildings that make up the square invite you to enjoy it calmly remembering its past and living its present.
We continue our visit leaving the square on Cardenal Segura Street, which quickly brings us closer to the Huerto del Rey Square, which we will cross from one end to the other. Already on the other side of the square, and after following a few metres along the street on our left, we find ourselves again for an instant with the route of the Way of Saint James. French Way that at the moment goes into the famous Street of Fernán González while we undertake the long ascent towards our next destination, not before making a visit to the Church of San Gil Abad, Gothic style, and then pass under the Arch of San Gil, one of those still preserved. As soon as we pass under the arch, we will return to the hard ascent with our eyes set to our left on the first defensive framework that the Castle of Burgos had. The Arch of San Esteban gives way to a well-preserved section of wall, of Mudejar origin, which we can go up to approach the castle, or follow the street that ascends to the magnificent Viewpoint of the Castle, from where we will enjoy a privileged panoramic view of Burgos. The first signs of the Castle of Burgos date back to the 9th century but it was around the 15th and 16th centuries that it reached its greatest development until it was destroyed by Napoleonic troops.
We return to the route descending from the Castle of Burgos through one of the walks that allow us to approach the church of San Esteban, today the Museum of the Altarpiece, and from there continue descending to the meeting of the Calle Fernán González, where the church of San Nicolás de Bari awaits us, which well deserves a stop on the way. In front of San Nicolás de Bari stands the imposing figure of the main facade of the Cathedral of Santa María La Mayor of Burgos whose needles rise to the sky of the city. Its Gothic style, of marked French influence, its curious clock known as the Papamoscas and the majesty of its forms, make this cathedral one of the most visited by tourists and faithful. The Saint Mary's Square allows us to calmly enjoy the different details of the cathedral's façade, before going down to the King Ferdinand Square, another of the corners from where we can calmly contemplate this magnificent architectural work, which dates from the early thirteenth century.
But if there is something that in the King San Fernando Square in addition to the cathedral also attracts the attention of those who walk through it, it is the arch that is located at one end and that communicates the square with the river Arlanzón. It is one of the twelve access gates that are still preserved from Burgos in the Middle Ages. Converted into an arch in honour of Charles I, today it is one of the most visited monuments in Burgos and after crossing it we find a carefully carved altarpiece in stone decorated like a castle in which we find various illustrious characters. The building dates back to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, including the city council and even a museum. The Arch forms next to the Bridge of Santa María a beautiful architectural ensemble highlighted even more by the whiteness of its stone, an unmistakable characteristic of the limestone with which it was remodelled in the 16th century. And to all this comes the pleasant Walk of the Espolón that crosses the bank of the river increasing the beauty of this zone of Burgos.
Once arrived at this point of the route we will have to choose to arrive at our next stop between doing it doing a pleasant walk of just 2 km or taking a means of transport that brings us closer to him. In any case, on the opposite bank of the river, the street we must follow awaits us. We will go up the course of the river until we come across the detour that will bring us to the Monastery of Saint Mary the Royal of Las Huelgas, where countless characters of the Castilian nobility rest. Founded in the twelfth century has seen how over the years has grown in dependencies and importance. It offers many charms to those who visit it, thanks in part to its rich artistic and historical heritage, its cloisters, the chapterhouse, the sepulchres or its church joins the different treasures that it houses inside, such as the Codex of Strikes, a cultural and historical jewel. Without a doubt, it is one of the many jewels Burgos has to offer that allows us to immerse ourselves in it through the different historical events that took place here.
Once this visit is over, it is advisable to take a means of transport that will take us to our next stop, as it is outside the town centre and although it is possible to walk the distance from the monastery where we are is considerable. To do this we can return on our steps to the heart of the city and once there in the Mio Cid Square, previously visited, we will find the relevant indications that will allow us to reach the Carthusian of Santa Maria de Miraflores with our vehicle. This jewel of Gothic art dates back to the fifteenth century although the first building was pasture of the flames forcing the construction of the current building. In it we can contemplate diverse architectural and cultural jewels like its cover, the main altarpiece, its ornate choirs or the sepulchres of the kings Juan II and Isabel of Portugal, among other wonders. Without a doubt an unbeatable final brooch for this Walk through the history of Burgos in which we have been able to know part of how much this city treasures.
Map of the route
This map is a sketch made as an example of the route, in no case represents the best or the only itinerary to follow. Its development has not taken into account the current rules of circulation or the state of the places through which it passes and that could affect its layout.
Es un auténtico placer pasear por el casco histórico de Burgos, la catedral, el arco de Santa María, son algunos de mis sitios preferidos.
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In addition to the world-famous Way of Saint James, Burgos is also an obligatory stop for other important routes such as the Way of Exile or the Way of Cid, the Way of Wool, the Route of Charles V or the route of the Footprints of Santa Teresa, further reinforcing the importance of the history of this Castilian city.
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The archaeological site of Atapuerca, you will find the visitor reception centre in Ibeas de Juarros, not far from Burgos, following the national road that leads to Logroño. The different and exceptional archaeological and paleontological findings make it one of the main sites in the world.
Distance of the route
14,2 Km This figure may vary depending on the route we follow.
Duration of the tour
4h 10min It is the approximate time that it will take us to cross the total distance, it can vary in function of the itinerary that we follow. To this time must be added that of the visits to each place.
Time of year
All year round
Historical, cultural. This route gives us to know great part of the history and the culture of the city of Burgos.
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Route information updated on 29-07-2021. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.
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