Burgos Cathedral
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See the Glory of Burgos!
Hands down, my favorite Cathedral in all of Spain, the Burgos Cathedral is yet another UNESCO World Heritage site and with valid reason. Everywhere you look, there is hard work and dedication to the art of decoration. From the intricately carved statues to the simple homage of the tombs, to the whimsical addition of a cuckoo clock this is certainly a one of a kind atmosphere. The beautiful kaleidoscope style stained glass windows adds a filter of fun and otherworldly atmosphere into this unique cathedral. Be prepared to have a neck ache after you leave as the ceilings offer some of the best murals and ceiling details one can find anywhere outside of The Vatican! Photo by Patrick Dobeson/Flickr.
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The Cathedral of Burgos
On a trip to Spain, we wanted to visit Burgos, the city of "El Cid Campeador" who is Spain's national hero. The city of Burgos, founded in 884, is located in northern Spain and is the historic capital of the Spanish region of Castile. The historic center of this ancient city is beautifully laid out. There are parks, monuments, and little streets to wander through. There are monuments of "El Cid". Don't neglect a walk along the Paseo of Espolon with its unique plane trees on either side of the walkway. Try a sidewalk cafe for lunch and take advantage of a people watching opportunity. One of the popular attractions in the city of Burgos is the grand Gothic Roman Catholic Burgos Cathedral. Construction began in 1221 by order of King Ferdinand III and carried on through the 13th century until the 15th century. The cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (1984). The cathedral is huge with an ornate facade. There are turrets, pointed towers and statues. The interior is vast and splendid with many extraordinary works of famous sculptors and architects. There are 19 chapels with ornate altars. There is much gold leaf, granite, marble, valuable paintings, and the famous double golden staircase. "El Cid"s coffer is found in a chapel and his bones rest there under the dome of the cathedral. We enjoyed wandering through this church. We took about 3 hours, but could not take in all of the splendor. I would definitely would go back. For info: www.cathedraldeburgos.es
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El Cid Campeador
Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar (1043-1099) is best known as El Cid Campeador. Rodrigo was a Castilian nobleman who became a great military leader and was called "El Cid" which means "Lord". The name was given to him by the Moors. The Christians called him "El Campeador" meaning "The Champion". El Cid is the national hero of Spain. He headed military campaigns against the Muslims in Andalucia that were huge successes. He was well-known for his military prowess. After a falling out with the king, he was exiled and fought for the Moors to protect them from Aragon. In his final years, the king recalled him and he battled the Berbers. According to legend, he was killed in a battle in Valencia in 1099. His body was propped up on his huge white horse as though he were still alive and the battle went on with the enemy believing he lived. His remains lie under the dome in Burgos Cathedral and his coffer is located high on a wall in the Corpus Christie Chapel there. I kept waiting for Charlton Heston to ride up on his huge steed with his men as he did in the old movie "El Cid". The story of THE CID came alive and I could picture the hero standing there while the locals admired him. We also visited Vivar where Rodrigo was born in 1043. There were remains of the wall that surrounded the family property. Vivar is located about 6 miles from the city of Burgos. Stop in Burgos if you get a chance. This great historic city is very beautiful.
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El Colacho - The Baby Jumping Festival
In what might win as the weirdest festival in all of Spain - or Europe, for that matter - the Baby Jumping festival is held annually in Castrilla de Murcia in Burgos, where all the babies under 1 year old are laid on a series of mattresses along a main street of the city. That's not even the weird part, yet. Next, several men dressed as yellow devils make running jumps over the babies in order to purify their souls. Yes, they literally jump the devil out of the babies in this long held tradition. Easily one of the strangest things I have ever laid my eyes on, and yet I couldn’t turn away for the very fear that one man might misstep… Photo by CelesteBombin/Wikipedia.
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