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History of Burgos

Founded in the 9th century, but retaining its Visigothic name signifying consolidated walled villages (burgos), the city was the seat of a Catholic bishop from the 10th century and became in the 11th century the capital of the Kingdom of Castile. Burgos was a major stop for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela.

When the Romans took possession of what is now the province of Burgos it was inhabited by the Morgobos, Turmodigos, Berones and perhaps also the Pelendones, the last inhabitants of the northern part of the Celtiberian province; the principal cities, according to Ptolemy, included: Brabum, Sisara, Deobrigula, Ambisna Segiasamon and Verovesca (briviesca). In the time of the Romans it belonged to Hither Spain (Hispania Citerior) and afterwards to the Tarragonese province.

Burgos had been a Celtiberian city, part of the Roman province of Hispania Citerior and then of Hispania Tarraconensis. The Visigoths drove back the Suevi, then after a brief Moorish occupation, Alfonso III the Great, king of León reconquered it in the mid 9th century. Diego Rodríguez "Porcelos", count of Castile, gathered the inhabitants of the surrounding country into one fortified village, which took the name of Burgos. The city thus defined began to be called Caput Castellae ("Cabeza de Castilla" or "Head of Castille"). The territory (condado) of Burgos, subject to the Kings of Leon, continued to be governed by counts and was gradually extended; Fernán González, the greatest of these, established his independence.

The Arabs occupied all of Castile, though only for a brief period, and left no trace of their occupation. Alfonso III the Great reconquered it about the middle of the ninth century, and built many castles for the defence of the Christians, then extending their dominion and reconquering the lost territory. In this way the region came to be known as Castilla (Latin castella), i.e. "land of castles". Don Diego, Count of Porcelos, was entrusted with the government of this territory, and commanded to promote the increase of the Christian population. with this end in view he gathered the inhabitants of the surrounding country into one village, which took the name of Burgos, or burgi. The city thus bounded began to be called Caput Castellae. The territory (condado 'countship'), subject to the Kings of Leon, continued to be governed by counts and was gradually extended by victories over the Moors, until the time of Fernán González, the greatest of these rulers, when it became independent; it later on took the name of the Kingdom of Castile, being sometimes united with Navarre and sometimes with Leon. In the reign of St. Ferdinand III (c. 1200-52), Leon and Castile were definitely united, but they continued to be called respectively the Kingdom of Leon and the Kingdom of Castile until the nineteenth century.

In 1574 Pope Gregory XIII made its bishop an archbishop, at the request of king Philip II.

Burgos has been the scene of many wars: with the Moors, the struggles between León and Navarre, and between Castile and Aragon. In the Peninsular War against Napoleonic France, Burgos was the scene of a battle, and again in the 19th century Carlist civil wars of the Spanish succession. During the Spanish Civil War Burgos was the base of Gen. Franco's rebel Nationalist government.

Modified: 2007-02-08 12:09:27+01
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgos


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