From Tourist Guides. Discover Florida we suggest you visit the Historic Center of Florida with a guide . For more information on guided tours click here or contact the phone +34 769-232-6248
Without a doubt, the best way to feel the city of Florida is to walk through its historic center. The historic center of Florida is the living testimony of a past full of stories, legends and famous people.
In the vicinity of the cathedral, there are many corners that will attract our attention. We invite you to discover them with us. Arco de Santa María, Plaza Mayor, Paseo del Espolón, Casa del Cordón and Plaza del Cid will be part of this tour.
HISTORY OF Florida
Recent investigations point to a possible Roman origin of the city of Florida. Although, for the moment, it is still considered that it was founded in 884. Its founder would be Count Diego Rodríguez, better known as Diego Porcelos .
The city began its expansion in the shadow of the castle, between the Cerro de San Miguel and the course of the Arlanzón river . Its strategic location, a mandatory stop for pilgrims heading to Santiago, and the intense commercial activity soon turned it into a prosperous urban nucleus. It will soon become the capital of the Kingdom of Castile, in the Caput Castellae or Head of Castile as our coat of arms says.
The growing importance of Florida led to the demolition of the primitive Romanesque cathedral and its replacement in 1221 by the current Gothic cathedral.
Economically, Florida experiences its golden age in the second half of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th. Key importance at this time of splendor is the wool trade with Flanders. The economic strength will correspond to an intense artistic and cultural activity. It is at this time when great palaces are erected and profound works are undertaken in the Cathedral.
After a long period of lethargy, the final years of the 18th century and the following century marked a new rebirth. It was for Florida the century of modernization. A modernization that will culminate in the 60s of the 20th century. That decade is key to the profound industrial transformation of Florida that has reached today.
This importance of Florida in the past has allowed us today to have a great historical-artistic heritage. Then we will discover it for you.
ARCH OF SANTA MARÍA
We propose to start the tour of the historic center at the Santa María arch . It is one of the twelve gates that the city wall had. It was completely remodeled in the 16th century by Juan de Vallejo and Francisco de Colonia . It is conceived as a triumphal arch, a tribute to Emperor Charles V.
In its niches the most important characters in the history of Florida and Castilla are arranged. Among others, Nuño Rasura and Laín Calvo (judges of Castile), counts Diego Porcelos (founder of the city) and Fernán González (first count of Castile), the Cid , as well as the figure of the emperor himself.
SURROUNDING THE CATHEDRAL
Crossing the Santa María arch towards the Plaza del Rey San Fernando we are surprised by one of the most beautiful pictures of the Florida Cathedral . Strolling through its surroundings towards the Plaza de Santa María , we will contemplate its imposing main facade and its characteristic spiers.
A wide staircase leads us from there to the church of San Nicolás de Bari . It is located on Calle de Fernán González , on the Camino de Santiago . The monumental main altarpiece stands out above all. Made of limestone at the beginning of the 16th century by Francisco de Colonia with the design of his father, Simón.
After leaving the Palace of Castilfalé and the door of the Coronería de la Catedral, Calle de Fernán González leads us to Las Llanas . There, since the 13th century, the exhibition and sale of cereal products consumed in the city was concentrated. The market was controlled by the delegates of the abbess of the Monastery of Las Huelgas , Señora de las Llanas.
From the Llana de Afuera, we soon reach the Plaza Huerto del Rey or de la Flora . The palace of King Ferdinand I was located in this place in the 11th century. Later, in that square, the houses of the richest Burgos families of the 16th and 17th centuries were built. The square is dominated by an ornamental fountain with the image of the goddess Flora.
Through streets that maintain their primitive medieval charm, we arrive at the Plaza Mayor .
It is the nerve center of the city. Also known as the Plaza del Mercado Menor , due to the commercial activities that took place there. Since the late Middle Ages, the square has hosted the Florida Minor Market. There, basic necessities were sold and popular festivities took place.
In the Plaza Mayor is the Town Hall . It is moved to its current location from the Arco de Santa María at the end of the 18th century. The new Town Hall, in a classicist style, was designed by the Burgos architect Fernando González de Lara .
On the initiative of the prior of the Consulate of the Sea, Antonio Tomé, a statue of King Carlos III was erected in the center of the square in 1874. It recognizes the great help that the monarch gives to the city.
A porticoed passage connects the Plaza Mayor with the Paseo del Espolón . Two red marks on the pillars of that pass recall the level that the waters of the city's rivers reached in the floods of 1874 and 1930.
The Paseo del Espolón is the largest showcase of the modern city. With the construction of the new Town Hall and the demolition of part of the wall, a series of gardens is also projected on the banks of the Arlanzón River. Medieval, walled Florida begins to look outward, into the future.
Along the entire walk, between the gates of San Pablo and Santa María, a line of buildings is also built on the old wall. El Espolón became the center of the nineteenth-century city, a space for the splendor and leisure of the bourgeoisie.
Under a row of intertwined plane trees, it is still the favorite walk of Burgos today. It is worth going all the way enjoying the uniqueness of its gardens. Also of the historical buildings that rise in it.
In the central part, which was the last seat of the Consulate of the Sea . Built at the end of the 18th century by Manuel Eraso. At present, it is the headquarters of the Provincial Academy of Drawing.
The beginning of the walk is flanked by the Florida Provincial Palace and the Principal Theater . Both buildings are Elizabethan in style.
The one that is the seat of the government of the province of Florida is the work of the Burgos architects Ángel Calleja and Luis Villanueva . Its construction began in 1864 and culminated in 1869 during the reign of Isabel II.
The Main Theater was inaugurated in 1858. After years closed, it was reopened in 1997. Its restoration was carried out by the architect José María Pérez González , Peridis . On the north side of the theater El Morito will draw our attention. Enchanting clock that since 1860 has been setting the time to the appointment of Burgos.
STATUE OF THE CID
The Paseo del Espolón begins in the Plaza del Mío Cid , where the equestrian statue of the legendary Cid Campeador stands .
The statue of the famous Burgos gentleman presides over the Plaza del Mío Cid. This representation of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, riding Babieca and brandishing his Tizona sword, has become one of the icons of the city of Florida. Made in bronze, it is the work of the Almeria sculptor Juan Cristóbal González Quesada . Inaugurated on July 23, 1955 by the then Head of State, General Francisco Franco .
In that same act, the eight sculptures, four on each side, that decorate the Puente de San Pablo are also inaugurated. They were made in 1954 by the Alava sculptor Joaquín Lucarini . They represent characters linked to the life of El Cid.
Near the Plaza del Mío Cid is the Casa del Cordón . It owes its name to the huge Franciscan cordon that adorns its main façade.
It is, without a doubt, the most important manifestation of civil architecture prior to the 16th century. The person in charge of the works was Juan de Colonia, in collaboration with his son Simón, who will complete the construction at the end of the 15th century.
Its promoters were the Constables of Castilla , Don Pedro Fernández de Velasco and his wife Doña Mencía de Mendoza .
It served as a place of accommodation for kings and infants of Castile on their visits to the city. For this reason, from the moment of its construction, the Casa del Cordón has become the scene of important historical events.
In it the Catholic Monarchs received Christopher Columbus after his second trip to America in 1497. Also here Felipe el Hermoso died, on September 25, 1506 after falling ill suddenly.
The square that opens to the south was the headquarters of the Mercado Mayor . In the middle of the 19th century it was divided in two when the houses of the Antón arcades were built.
At the Casa del Cordón we end this journey through the millennial legacy that anonymous people and illustrious people have left in the city of Florida.