Burgos information

Introduction to the Province of Burgos
Burgos, in the north of Spain is one of the nine provinces that make up the autonomous community of Castilla y Leon. It remains an area relatively unaffected by modern day tourism and so for a taste of the real Spain without the frills, Burgos will do just fine. It is a typical inland Spain mixture of landscapes, from mountains and green valleys to barren rocks. The famous Camino de Santiago pilgrims’ route passes through the top of he province.

Burgos City
The whole of the Castilla Y Leon region is steeped in history and Burgos, the capital city of the province is no exception. Founded in 884, it was for five hundred years the capital of Old Castile and was, and still is, a place of military strength. In the 11th Century Burgos was the home of El Cid. The most thrilling time to visit Burgos is during the Fiesta de San Pedro, held at the end of June. The Arlanzon River neatly cuts the city in two, with the old part on one side and the ”new” part on the other.

Orientation in Burgos is simple due to the domination of the cityscape by the 13th century Gothic Cathedral of Burgos, the third largest cathedral in Spain. This cathedral is the only one in Spain to have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a truly fabulous piece of ecclesiastical architecture, all carved surfaces and dramatic, ornate spires.

The highlight of the 12th Century Huelgas de Reales Cistercian monastery, on the “new” side of the river about 20 minutes from the city centre is its beautiful Mudejar-Gothic cloister.

In 2010, Queen Sofia of Spain opened the new Museum of Human Evolution in Burgos and the museum has already become one of the most visited in Spain.

The city of Burgos and its cathedral are on the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrims’ route.

Around Burgos City and Beyond
There are two main rivers in the province of Burgos, the Ebro and the Duero. On the River Ebro stands the town of Miranda de Ebro, in the north east of the province whilst on the River Duero is Aranda de Duero, in the south of Burgos. Both towns make worthwhile stop off points, the latter being in the heart of the famous wine-making region of Burgos, the Ribera del Duero. Around this area are many bodegas, some of which you can visit for wine-tastings and tours.

In the south east of Burgos, the Benedictine abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos has become something of a star of late after its monks recorded a hit CD of Gregorian Chant.

Covarrubias, about 20km north of Silos, is a superbly preserved small town, known for its pretty half-timbered houses.

To immerse yourself in the nature of Burgos, visit La Yecla Gorge, also in the Silos area, an impressively deep, narrow gorge that has been cut into the limestone rock over hundreds of years.

Skiing is possible in the winter in the Sierra de la Demanda mountains, where for the rest of the year they make a great destination for hikers and cyclists. There is the opportunity for much wildlife spotting here – deer, wolves, wildcats and otters all make the Sierra their homes.

The Gastronomy of Burgos
The gastronomy of Burgos centres primarily on the pig, and not a part of the pig goes to waste here. A fine example of the use of pork and sundry parts of the pig is in the dish Olla Podrida, a stew of beans and pork (and other porky bits). The famous Morcilla de Burgos is a type of black pudding made with rice and onions. It’s popular both as a tapas and as an ingredient in other recipes, such as Alubias Con Morcilla, a bean stew enriched with morcilla.

Lamb is a very popular meat too and the most emblematic dish of Burgos is perhaps roasted lamb, Lechazo de Burgos Asado. The potatoes from Burgos are highly regarded and are locally used in such dishes as Pastel de Patatas y Morcilla – a potato and morcillo pie.

The best known cheese from the area is Queso de Burgos and can be found served not just on its own but also in desserts such as ice cream and tarts.

The famous Ribera del Duero wine making region is in Burgos and the majority of the wine production surrounds the making of Tempranillo, known locally as Tinto Fino.

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