Camino Day 19

I woke up this morning saying that we had too many days in Burgos. It was a natural error given Jennifer’s overnight meeting and the fact we added on an extra day with Bob and Ana. But as it turned out the extra day was good because we got to see the Monasterio de las Huelvas.

Burgos river walk

The Monasterio de las Huelvas is a couple of kilometers from our apartment. It was good to go on a longer walk and stretch our legs even though the gray, blustery weather made things a bit cold. The walk beside the river in Burgos is under an attractive arch of trees. When we got to the Monastery we discovered the only way to see it is on a guided tour – which being solely in Spanish would give me both a headache and a good chance to practice listening.

Sadly for you, dear reader, we weren’t allowed to take photos inside the Monastery so you’ll have to take my word that, even for a couple who are getting a bit jaded about old architecture and gold altarpieces, it was fabulous. Highlights include a beautiful cloister, an intricate ceiling made without nails, the oldest stained glass windows in Europe, and the burial place of a slew of ancient kings and queens.

It was the burial places that gave rise to the other amazing thing. In 1942 they opened the tombs and found perfectly preserved clothing from 800 years ago. History does not relate how they disrobed the monarchs or in what state of undress they were left but the clothes are now on display. These are not fragments and are hardly even faded – they are full sets of rich clothes monarchs were buried in. Utterly amazing. There’s also a tapestry that was captured in a famous battle over 800 years ago; and, again, it is perfectly preserved.

Burgos is a very beautiful town and its Cathedral, churches and parks are as good as anything we’ve seen, but the Monasterio de las Huelvas is an absolute gem.

Tomorrow we walk again.

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