A province of Spain, in the north and centre of Old Castile; area, 5,650 sq. m.; pop. in 1867, 357,840. It is traversed by ranges of the Pyrenees and the Iberian mountains, the principal chain being the sierra de Oca. The Ebro in the north, the Arlanzon in the centre, and the Douro in the south are the principal rivers. The climate is cool and variable, the short springs being often succeeded by scorching heat. Minerals abound, but are neglected. Timber is abundant, and there are valuable fisheries. Linen, woollen, and cotton goods and other articles are manufactured. The trade is chiefly inland. Education is making progress, and crime is rare. Among the towns are Aranda, Lerma, and Miranda. II. A city, capital of the province, 130 m. N. of Madrid; pop. in 1867, including the suburbs, about 27,000. It is situated in a fertile plain nearly 2,900 feet above the sea, and built in the form of an amphitheatre around a hill, on the right bank of the Arlanzon, an affluent of the Pisuer-ga; the river partly divides the city from the suburbs La Vega, Las Huelgas, and San Pedro. The principal promenade is the Espolon, adorned by many statues of kings; the Cubos and Isla promenades are on the banks of the river.
On the summit of the hill, occupying the site of the old castle, is the citadel, with new fortifications. In the calle Alta is an arch erected in honor of Fernando Gonzales. The site of the house in which the Cid lived is marked by a pillar and two obelisks, though the house itself was removed in 1771. The bones of the Oid were transferred in 1842 from the neighboring convent of San Pedro de Cardina to the town hall of Burgos. The Gothic cathedral of Burgos is among the most renowned in Europe for its architecture and works of art. Its 14 chapels contain many fine sepulchral monuments and paintings. Behind the cathedral is the church of Santa Aguida or Gardea, where the Oid compelled Alfonso VI. to swear that he had no part in the assassination of his brother Sancho. The finest church after the cathedral is San Esteban. The church of San Ildefonso is now used as a depot of artillery, San Juan Bautista as a prison, San Pablo as barracks, and other old churches have been appropriated to other purposes, or pulled down. There are many convents, hospitals, charitable institutions, colleges, schools, and a royal gymnasium; but the once famous university has long ceased to exist.
The situation of Burgos on the high road from Madrid to Paris favors trade, which is especially active in wool and woollen fabrics; an annual fair is held in June. The manufactures include woollens, linens, hats, and leather. The surrounding region is fertile in cereals, flax, hemp, vegetables, and fruits. Burgos is the seat of a cardinal archbishop, of a captain general, and of several courts of justice and a chamber of commerce. Near the city is the Carthusian convent of Miraflores, a famous Gothic building, containing the tombs of John II. and his queen Isabella, and the nunnery of Santa Maria del Real, popularly called Las Huelgas, on account of its being situated on pleasure grounds (huelgas) which belonged to Alfonso VIII. - Burgos was founded late in the 9th century by Diego de Porcelos, who built a castle as a protection against the Moors. It afterward rose to great importance, with a population variously estimated at 40,000, 50,000, and even 80,000, and became the capital of Castile. It declined after the beginning of the 16th century, when Charles V. made Madrid the metropolis of Spain. Soult nearly annihilated the Spanish army at Burgos, Nov. 10, 1808; and in 1813 the fortress was captured by Wellington, after having withstood four assaults in 1812.
Entrance to Burgos.