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King Alfonso X the Wise ordered the construction of the wall in 1276. Although it has not been preserved in its entirety, we can admire large stretches of it and six of its twelve gates: San Esteban, San Gil, San Juan, Santa María, La Judería and San Martín.

During your stay in Burgos, we recommend a guided visit to the Arch of Santa María, the main gate in the city walls.

Arch of Santa Maria

The 13th century gate or Arch of Santa María was completely refurbished in the 16th century.  The masters Juan de Vallejo and Francisco de Colonia were in charge of the remodelling work.

The arch of Santa María is conceived as a great triumphal arch, with the organisation of an altarpiece carved in stone and with a crenelated top in the form of a small castle. All of this gives the ensemble a great singularity.

The six main niches, arranged in two sections and three lanes, contain statues of important figures from the history of the city and Castile.

In the lower central part is Diego Porcelos, founder of the city in 884, and on either side are the Judges of Castile Nuño Rasura and Laín Calvo. In the central part we find the statues of Count Fernán González, King Carlos I of Spain and the Cid Campeador.

Above them, with smaller sculptures, are two municipal mace-bearers at the ends of a balustraded balcony, displaying the coat of arms of Burgos. From this balcony the laws were made public and the proclamation of the kings was made known to the people. The last proclamation to be made was that of Isabel II.

The guardian angel of Burgos is also depicted at the top, holding a reproduction of the city, and presiding over everything is the Virgin Mary.

All the statues are the work of the sculptor Ochoa de Arteaga.

The arch is covered with a vault, which is accessed through a semi-circular arch, where there are remains of allegorical paintings from the 17th century.

The arch was occupied by the Consistory of Burgos until the construction of the new Town Hall in the 18th century. Between 1878 and 1955 it housed the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Burgos and in 1943 it was declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument.

On the guided tour of the Arch of Santa María we will also discover the richness of its interior.

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