La Bureba region
If there is well-defined region in the Burgos lands, that is La Bureba. An extensive region situated to the north-east of the Province, rich in landscape, art and history, irrigated by multiple streams and small rivers. A "miniature Castile", where it is easy to find "the heart of the lands of Burgos", as Azorín said, and of all the natural regions of Spain one of the most attractive. It is one of the first regions that acquire a definite personality within the Castilian county. The line of rock castles of Frias, Poza de la Sal, Pancorbo and Monastery of Rodillo gave refuge and facilitated Christian repopulation, during the reconquest towards the Duero.
La Bureba forms a large plain surrounded by high mountainous elevations. A kind of trough closed to the North by the Mesa de Oña; by the bleak uplands Altotero, over Poza de la Sal, to the West; to the East by the Obarenes Mounts where the Pancorbo gorge, the gateway to Castile opens up, and to the South, by the Mounts of Oca and Sierra of La Demanda, and the Alto de la Brujula.
If there is a corner that is specially loved by the people from La Bureba, that is the sanctuary of St. Casilda, situated in a beautiful spot very near to Briviesca. Tradition says that this beautiful Moorish princess born in Toledo, saddened by the bad treatment that the Christian prisoners received in her kingdom, went to help them by giving them food. One day, when her father surprised her taking bread to the prisoners, the princess declared that what she had hidden in her silk tunic were flowers, and the bread miraculously changed into roses. Greatly saddened the princess went to take refuge next to the lakes of St. Vicente where she withdrew in praise of saintliness until her death. Her festivity, in the middle of May, known as the festivity of "la tabera" due to the traditional game of "taba" (jacks), compulsory on that day in the capital of La Bureba- is one of the most traditional and most attended of the province.
Among the rich heritage of monuments offered by La Bureba there is a series of particularly important Romanesque churches. Very close to Burgos is the Monastery of Rodilla, near to which is the hermitage of Nuestra Señora del Valle, a beautiful Romanesque temple. It was built in the 12th century and is the prototype of a Romanesque church in Burgos. The hermitage of St. Facundo is also very original. This is to be found in Barrios de Bureba, and was built in the 12th century. Currently only the apse and the belfry remain standing, raised on the original triumphal arch.
Also in the area, we must mention the churches
of Valdazo, Soto de Bureba, Hermosilla, with extremely beautiful
decoration on the archivolts of their doors; Abajas, Navas de
Bureba, Aguilar de Bureba, Pino de Bureba and Oña, in whose
monastery of St. Salvador there are interesting Romanesque remains.