What to see in Covarrubias: the cradle of Castilla


Views from the bridge over the Arlanza River

The town of Covarrubias is one of those little pearls of Spain that remind you that, many times, we don't have to travel far to find magical places. In fact, has joined the association of most beautiful villages in Spain.

The medieval air of Covarrubias, municipality of the province of Burgos, will make you walk through its streets the feeling of having gotten into a time machine.

Is known as the cradle of Castillabecause in the 10th century the count of Castilla Fernán González and his son, Garcí Fernández, made Covarrubias the capital of the Covarrubias Infantazgo and head of one of the most important monastic manors.

We arrived in Covarrubias one afternoon in May, with the sun trying to break through some clouds that failed to discharge their fury throughout the weekend. This was my experience in this villa located 40 km south of Burgos.

What to see in Covarrubias

Covarrubias was declared a National Historic-Artistic Site in 1965. To taste its beauty well, it is best to discover it little by little, walking quietly through the tangle of alleys that make up its urban center, once protected by a thick defensive wall from which you will still find some rest.

Doing so you will find the best examples of the old Castilian architecture.

Some of the most important places to see in Covarrubias are:

Torreón de Fernán González

The Tower of Fernán González

When I saw this defensive tower of the 10th century, It seemed impossible to me that I could be contemplating a work of more than 1100 years old.

The tower appears as the bulwark of a walled enclosure that came to house the Palace of the Abbot of Covarrubias. It has a rectangular plan and its structure is truncated pyramid. The rooms of the lower floors, however, were smaller than that of the upper floors, since the thickness of the walls in the base area (about 4 meters) was much greater than at the cusp, in order to maintain So the weight of the tower.

Mozarabic origin, its original arrows are still preserved, but the battlements were covered with red tile by order of Isabel La Católica when a rebellion in the area and defeated the defenders of the tower. It was a virtually impregnable fortress. The tower has four floors that are accessed from the upper floor. At the bottom, you enter from the first floor through a wooden trapdoor, indicating that it might be used as a prison or as a warehouse.

Legend has it that the infant Mrs. Urraca was captured here by her own father, Fernán González, as punishment for falling in love with a pastor. It seems that the maneuver went well for the father, because the daughter ended up marrying always with whom he appointed.

At present, within the enclosure where the tower is located there is one of the best exhibitions of medieval weapons in Spain.

Church of Santo Tomás

Santo Tomás de Covarrubias Church