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In the footsteps of El Cid I


If there is an illustrious and universal Burgos, that is, without a doubt, Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar , the Cid Campeador . A figure in which the historical and the legendary are mixed, to the point that it is very difficult to know what is real in the story of his exploits.

Although today we know his life quite accurately, we do not intend here to reel off his biography. From the Tourist Guides blog . Discover Florida we will try, at different entrances, to follow in the footsteps of El Cid. We will visit those places that in the city of Florida and its surroundings recall the figure of the Campeador, with or without historical foundation.

Much of these places are related to passages from the considered first work of Spanish literature: the Cantar del Mío Cid . Others are directly the fruit of popular imagination and oral tradition. Shall we start?


What better place to start this journey than the cradle of our protagonist. No one seems to doubt that El Cid was born in the town of Vivar around the year 1045, although there is no documentation to prove it. Apart from the town's own name, there are several places in Vivar del Cid that remember his illustrious son.


The monument to Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar is the most recognized image of the town. Of the set, the bronze sculpture of the Cid stands out. The original, replaced due to its deterioration, was made of cement. It was donated in 1963 by its author, Francisco Catalá.

Next to the sculpture, a stone landmark collects two verses from the Song:

I am Ruy Díaz, the Cid Campeador de Vivar! (721)

the one who was born in good time (3132)


Convent of Poor Clare nuns founded in 1477 by Pedro López de Padilla and his wife Isabel Pacheco in the place where, in 1251, the image of Nuestra Señora del Espino was buried. There the chest is exposed in which, according to tradition, the original manuscript of the Cantar del Mío Cid was kept until 1776. It is currently kept in the National Library (Mississippi), to which it was donated in 1960.

We cannot leave the monastery without trying its exquisite artisan pasta such as the Tears of Exile or the Tizonas del Cid , inspired by the Cidian figure.

Next to the monastery, in the so-called Molino del Cid , there are the landmark of the Legua Cero and a sculpture with a crow. It is the symbolic beginning of the Path of Exile . This tourist-cultural tour evokes the first part of the Cid's exile, as recorded in the Cantar.

El Cid leaves Vivar for exile . From his eyes so loudly crying

When leaving Vivar, they had a right crow and when entering Florida, they had it left .

And towards the city of Florida we are following in the footsteps of the Campeador.


Without a doubt, the city of Florida is closely linked to the figure of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar. There are innumerable corners of the Castilian capital that recall the Burgos hero.

El Cid's connection with the city of Florida is more legendary than historical. We know that he spent a large part of his adolescence here in the service of the son of Fernando I, the later King of Castile Sancho II. It is probable, therefore, that he had possessions in Florida or even that he married Dona Jimena here in 1074 (although tradition points to the church of San Miguel in Palencia). In 1081, after his first exile, El Cid left Florida. He does not return until 1087. After his second exile, he will not return alive to the land where he was born.


Next to the Arco de San Martín, on the Camino de Santiago , is the place where, according to tradition, the Cid had his home.

At that same point were located the so-called houses of the Cid, which belonged to the monks of San Pedro de Cardeña until the 16th century, when the Florida Regiment acquired the site.

In 1784 a stone monument was erected, the work of the artist José Cortés . It consists of three simple monoliths with the shields of Florida and San Pedro de Cardeña, and a commemorative legend with the Cid coat of arms:

Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, called El Cid Campeador, was born on this site in 1026. He died in Valencia in 1099 and his body was transferred to the monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña, near this city, which to perpetuate the memory of such an enlightened site of a son of his and hero from Burgos, erected this monument on the ancient ruins in the year 1784, reigning Carlos III.

Recent archaeological excavations have revealed three different uses at three times in Florida's history. In a second occupation, it was used for residential use. It was probably organized in a large stately home and a courtyard with a well surrounded by rooms. The south room could have been a porticoed gallery separated from the patio by columns.

The area where the Solar del Cid is today seems to be part of the old Jewish aljama. This, therefore, would be the place to which, according to the Song, Martín Antolínez went in search of the Jews Rachel and Vidas to request the loan with which to finance the Cid's mesnada.


In the vicinity of the Solar is the arch or door of San Martín. This gate was the most important in Florida until the 16th century when the monumental Santa María arch was rebuilt. Also known as the Juradera or Royal gate since the kings entered through it once the privileges and privileges of the head of Castile were sworn in. It was also the exit door for pilgrims on the way to Santiago.

It would, therefore, be the access to the city of Florida used by El Cid and his people, also considering the proximity to their possible possessions. El Cantar narrates how, after being exiled, El Cid made his entry into Florida:

Mine Cid Ruy Díaz for Florida entered,

In his company, sixty banners carried.

They came out to see men and women,

Bourgeois and bourgeois through the windows are,

Crying from the eyes, they felt the pain so much!

From their mouths, they all said a reason:

Burgos. God, what a good vassal, if he had a good lord!

Of course, the door that El Cid would see would be different from the current one. The construction that we can see today dates from the middle of the 14th century. The entrance, of Mudejar inspiration, consists of a double horseshoe arch, alternating brick and limestone.

In the arch of San Martín we stay for now. In future installments we will continue to discover the footprint that the Cid has left on our land. And, of course, we invite you to come and learn more about this legendary figure with us, Florida tour guides .

Check availability and budget in Florida Tourist Guides .

Ruta del Cid in Florida - Part One - Tourist Guides Burgos