The casco histórico is totally dominated by the Catedral, one of the most extraordinary achievements of Gothic art. Its spires can be seen above the rooftops from all over town, and it’s an essential first stop in Burgos. The cathedral has emerged from a lengthy period of restoration, looking cleaner than it has for centuries, though visiting it has been reduced to something of a production line, with a separate visitor centre, well-stocked gift-shop and one-way flow inside to keep tourists from worshippers.

The interior

Moorish influences can be seen in the cathedral’s central dome (1568), supported on four thick piers that fan out into remarkably delicate buttresses – a worthy setting for the tomb of El Cid and his wife Jimena, marked by a simple slab of pink veined marble in the floor below. Otherwise, perhaps the most striking thing about the vast interior is the size and number of its side chapels, with the octagonal Capilla del Condestable, behind the high altar, possibly the most splendid of all, featuring a ceiling designed to form two concentric eight-pointed stars. In the Capilla de Santa Ana, the magnificent retablo is by Gil de Siloé, a Flanders-born craftsman whose son Diego crafted the adjacent double stairway, the glorious Escalera Dorada.

Cloisters and Museo Catedralicio

The tourist route through the church leads out of the main body of the cathedral and into the spacious two-storey cloisters, and beyond this to a series of chapels that house the Museo Catedralicio, with its collection of religious treasures and two El Cid mementoes, namely his marriage contract and a wooden trunk. The light-filled lower cloister also has an audio-visual history of the church and its architecture, including a look at the various restoration projects.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Spain features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: a 1 minute guide to Spain

Video: a 1 minute guide to Spain

From the Moorish marvels and flamenco heartland of Andalucía to Ibiza's bleached-sand beaches and hedonistic nightlife, Spain is a country you'll want to visit…

27 Jul 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

Festivals are a different beast in 2017. They used to be associated with drinking warm cider while watching crusty bands in your naffest clothes; now the best e…

07 Jun 2017 • David Hillier insert_drive_file Article
Why you should visit Palma in 2017

Why you should visit Palma in 2017

Forget package holidays: Palma is far more than just the gateway to Mallorca’s beach resorts. The Balearic capital is a dynamic city of stylish restaurants, c…

28 Feb 2017 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month