St. James Way
St. James Way
Burgos is one of the most important landmarks to understand St James Way and its route though the iberian peninsula. Being crossed by this pilgrimage route had a crucial impact on the history and the urban development of the city during centuries. Every religious institution, including the Cathedral, were focused on assisting the pilgrims. Besides, its 35 hospitals made Burgos the most hospitable city in Europe.
Without having to go directly to Santiago, Burgos has one of the most interesting urban stretches of all the Camino.
1-PLAZA DE SAN JUAN
The best place to start is Plaza San Juan, a large urban space where can be founded the Monastery of San Juan, San Juan Hospital, that now is the main public library, and the beautiful church of San Lesmes, the patron saint of Burgos, that represents a notable example of the late XV century local gothic architecture.
2- GATE OF SAN JUAN
After crossing the medieval bridge above river Vena, the gate of San Juan allows heading for the long street that has the same name of the Saint. Following the right steps that the shells of the camino mark we will pass very close to the Church of San Lorenzo, that gives this popular gastronomical street his name. Very close to this street there’s the military captaincy headquarters, that today hosts the historical military museum.
3- CHURCH OF SAN GIL AND LA FLORA:
Following Avellanos street, where the traditional white painted, wood glazen galeries dominate the scenery, we will reach San Gil street, which on the right side leads to San Gil Church. On that same street, on the left, there is Huerto del Rey square, commonly known as La Flora,due to the presence of an statue of this pagan goddess that dominate from the top of its fountain this extended urban space. Its particularly interesting the unique perspectives of the Cathedral that can be enjoyed from this place.
4- FERNÁN GONZÁLEZ STREET
Leaving behind the Cathedral and the church of San Nicolas, St James Way passes near to the arch of Fernán González, the monument to “El Empecinado” a famous guerilla fighter during the Spanish independence war and the Site of El Cid, to reach later the mudejar arch of San Martin, from where the visitor can leave the old town and the fortified precinct.
5-PUENTE MALATOS Y HOSPITAL DEL REY
Though the streets “Emperador” and “Villalón” the visitor can descend until the bridge of Malatos, that traverses the Arlanzón river. In the leafy park of El Parral it’s easy to find the Chapel of San Amaro and the Hospital del Rey, with his characteristic renaissance facades, that hosts many departments of the University of Burgos.
Where we are / information :
What to see :
CHURCH OF SAN LESMES
This Jacobean church is dedicated to the patron saint of Burgos, San Lesmes. It was rebuilt during the 15th century and has an ogival façade by Simon de Colonia. It has 3 naves with a transept and plateresque choir. It preserves variousBaroque altarpieces, the 14th century Holy Cross altarpiece and fine Renaissance sepulchres.
In the middle of the church the tomb of San Lesmescan be found, with a reclining statue.
CHURCH OF SAN GIL:
Despite being surrounded by the wall and theunderstated appearance of its facades, this church possesses an exquisite artistic refinement. A series of funerary chapels funded by rich merchants are connected to the main 3 naves and transept. But the main treasure of this temple is the chapel of la Natividadbuilt in the middle of the 16thcentury by Juan de Matienzo and, as well as being covered by a spectacular octagonal star-shaped dome, itboasts a beautiful altarpiece by Felipe de Vigarny.