The 13th Century Gothic Sites of Burgos in Northern Spain
A physician serving patients in Oklahoma City, OK, William D. Jones, MD, focuses on preventive and occupational medical treatment. An avid traveler, William D. Jones, MD, has visited locales beyond OK such as India and Nepal, and is currently planning to walk the historic Camino De Santiago.
One of the vital centers on the traditional Catholic pilgrimage route, which extends 500 miles across northern Spain, is the Gothic city of Burgos. The historic Plaza Mayor, which is anchored by the City Hall, dates back to the 13th century and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Narrow streets crisscross neighborhoods surrounding the square and host authentic tapas bars that repay the intrepid traveler.
Also constructed in the 13th century, the Burgos Cathedral is known as one of the world’s finest examples of French Gothic architecture still standing. Commissioned by King Ferdinand III, the cathedral has undergone numerous restorations over the centuries and took on its present appearance in the late 18th century. With the great cathedrals in Reims and Paris providing inspiration for its design, the facade of Saint Mary is the cathedral’s most impressive. It features statues representing the first eight kings of Castile and is crowned with twin towers that extend upward in spires.
Other highlights of Burgos include the San Lesmes Abad Church, which features a striking Gothic and Baroque interior. A sobering historic site is the Chancellery Palace, where Francisco Franco was named head of the Spanish Army in the 1930s, during the Civil War that ultimately enabled him to gain control of the country as dictator.