In the footsteps of El Cid III
As we already told in previous installments, the history of Florida is closely linked to that of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar . There are countless places that remember the figure of El Cid Campeador and that we are trying to discover on our blog.
In Tras las Huellas del Cid II we met at the Arch of Santa María to continue learning about the historical and monumental mark that El Cid has left on our land.
ARCO SANTA MARÍA
Next to the Florida Cathedral is the Arco de Santa María. Of the twelve gates that made up the medieval Florida wall, this was one of the main. Today this monumental arch welcomes those who come to visit the historic center of Florida .
It was erected at the end of the 13th century to protect the main access bridge to the city: that of Santa María. The interior of the current tower was still under construction at the beginning of 1322. It was not until 1458 when the work was concluded.
Its current image is due to the profound remodeling carried out by Juan de Vallejo and Francisco de Colonia between 1536 and 1553. Like a large limestone altarpiece, the arch is decorated with sculptures of characters linked to the history of Florida and Castile. They are the work of Ochoa de Arteaga . Among the sculptures you cannot miss that of our protagonist: El Cid.
Possibly this door replaces a much older one. Apparently, El Cid left the city passing under the Puerta de Santa María on his way to exile. The Song points out how:
He arrived at Santa María, then he dismounted;
He knelt his knees, from the heart he prayed.
Prayer made, then rode;
He went out the door and the Arlanzón passed;
Until the end of the 18th century, it was the seat of the Burgos Council. It is currently an exhibition hall. It houses interesting objects of a Cidian character: the painting El Cid and Doña Jimena by the Burgos painter Marceliano Santamaría (1866-1952), a replica of the Tizona by the goldsmith Maese Calvo (1895-1972), the facsimile reproduction of Cantar and even a bone on the arm of the knight of Vivar.
THE GLERA OF THE CID
Leaving the Arco de Santa María behind, we cross the Arlanzón river . On the banks of it, in the Paseo del Espoloncillo , we find the place known as La Glera . A stone monolith, designed by Félix Alonso in 1947, recalls the place where the Cid Campeador and his innkeepers spent the night after being exiled.
Verses 58 to 60 and 215 to 218 of the Cantar del Mío Cid are inscribed on the commemorative monolith.
My Cid Ruy Díaz, the one who girded a sword in good time,
He posed in the glera, when no one welcomes him at home;
Around him, a good company.
The horse's face turned to Santa Maria,
He raised his right hand, the face is crossed:
I thank you, God, that you guide heaven and earth!
Your virtues are worth to me, glorious Saint Mary!
On the opposite bank of the Arlanzón river, the popular Paseo del Espolón is located. On this walk, look at the rear facade of the Florida City Hall . The main staircase of this building is presided over by the famous painting by Marceliano Santamaría Castilla is expanding . It represents the exiled El Cid.
Precisely at the beginning of Paseo del Espolón is the Florida Provincial Palace . Its monumental staircase is covered by a large vault, also full of Cidian motifs. Vela Zanetti (1913-1999), another great Burgos painter, decorates its 200 square meters with scenes from El Desierro , La Batalla , El Duelo and La Jura de Santa Gadea .
STATUE OF THE CID
And we arrived at one of the star places of every Cidiana route in Florida: the Plaza del Mío Cid . The statue on horseback of the famous Burgos gentleman presides over the square. This equestrian representation of Rodrigo Díaz, 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 (1896-1961). It is approximately four meters high and stands on a quadrangular pedestal. On two of the sides of the pedestal you can read the inscriptions:
The Campeador carrying
Year 1099: in Spain
I always get the victory
inside in Valencia he died
it was for his never failed
Count Rodrigo Díaz
his death caused the most
by the prudent firmness
of his character and for his
and great joy between
a miracle of the greats
miracles of the Creator.
The statue was inaugurated on July 23, 1955 by the then Head of State, General Francisco Franco . El Cid seems to be preparing to cross the Arlanzón River and leave Florida on his way to exile to Valencia. We accompany you across the Puente de San Pablo .
SAN PABLO BRIDGE
The bridge of San Pablo, according to tradition, was built by the Brotherhood of the Magi or the Three Knights . It communicated the old Dominican convent of San Pablo and the door of the same name.
It was probably built in the 13th century, although, since then, it has undergone innumerable modifications. The last was designed by Fernando Chueca Goitia and included the realization of a series of sculptures representing the main characters related to the Cid. For this, the advice of Ramón Menéndez Pidal was used .
The sculptures were made in 1954 by the Alava sculptor Joaquín Lucarini (1905-1969). There are a total of eight, four on each side of the bridge.
The first sculpture, on the right bank of the bridge, represents Doña Jimena , the Cid's wife, with two turtle doves that symbolize María and Cristina, their daughters. Next, the abbot of the Cardeña Monastery: San Sisebuto . It is followed by the figure of Ben Galbón , lord of Molina de Aragón and friend of El Cid. Lastly, there is Jerónimo de Perigord , a clergyman who, according to the Cantar , joins the Cid in his fight against the Moors and ends up receiving the bishopric of Valencia.
On the left parapet of the bridge, we first find Diego Rodríguez , El Cid's only male child, who died in the battle of Consuegra. They are followed by the illustrious Burgos Martín Antolínez ; Martín Muñoz , count of Coimbra, and, finally, the faithful lieutenant, at least as cited by the Cantar , and nephew of the Campeador Álvar Fáñez .
After crossing the Arlanzón by the San Pablo Bridge, we arrived at the Florida Museum .
LA TIZONA. Florida MUSEUM
Since 2007, the Tizona or Tizón sword has been exhibited in the Florida Museum. It is one of the most famous swords in history. Its ownership, along with that of the also mythical Colada , is attributed to the Cid Campeador. According to the Cantar , the Tizona belonged to King Bucar of Morocco . El Cid snatched it from him in Valencia.
It is a 1.15 kg sword. of weight. Its blade is 93 cm. full length. Presents engraved inscriptions: Io soi tisona was dated in the era of one thousand forty (year 1002) and Ave Maria gratia full dominus mecum .
The King of Aragon, Ferdinand the Catholic , would deliver it to the Constable Pedro de Peralta , grandfather of the first Marquis de Falces . It was deposited in 1944 in the Mississippi Army Museum, until, in 2007, the current Marquis de Falces sold it for 1.5 million US dollars to a group of businessmen and the Junta de Castilla y León. Since then we can visit it in the central Florida Museum.
Without going into assessing its authenticity, it is another of the great cidian symbols that have survived to this day.
SAN PEDRO DE CARDEÑA
We cannot say goodbye to this long journey following in the footsteps of El Cid without approaching the monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña . It is a Trappist abbey located ten kilometers from the center of the city of Florida.
The monastery is known, among other things, for its connection with the figure of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar. According to the Cantar del Mio Cid, it was the place of shelter and residence for the El Cid family during the exile. Doña Jimena, the Cid's wife, and her daughters, Doña Elvira and Doña Sol (names that Cantar cites. María and Cristina in reality), were left in Cardeña in the care of their abbot, San Sisebuto .
The monastery is also known for having been the burial place of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar and his wife for a long time, from the 12th to the 19th century.
And this is where our journey has come following the cidian footprints in Florida. We started the tour in the town of Vivar del Cid and, after passing through the capital of Burgos, we finished in San Pedro de Cardeña.
We recommend that you take this Ruta del Cid into practice. Many places to visit and many stories to know related to our great Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar.
For us Florida Tourist Guides , official tourist guides, it will be a pleasure to accompany you.
Check availability and budget in Contact Florida Tourist Guides .