A day trip from Soria took us to Burgo de Osma, past Berlanga de Duero and Almazan and back to Soria. It was an interesting and very enjoyable day.
A brief history
The town dates back to a Celtiberian settlement at Uxama1, a site which was came under Roman jurisdiction, although it might not have been destroyed like the settlement at Numancia. After the Romans the Visigoths controlled the area which became a bishopric in the 6th century.2 Under Moorish domination the area which was abandoned until Burgo de Osma was repopulated next to the original site in the 11th century when San Pedro de Osma chose a monastery next to the Ucero River as his seat.
The walls date from the 15th century and as usual there were many gates, but only one remains today, the Gate of San Miguel.
The Cathedral of the Assumption
San Pedro de Osma commissioned the original Romanesque Church, but this was demolished to build the Mediaeval Cathedral which stands today and which also acts as the Cathedral of Soria. The Cathedral is apparently the best example of 13th century Gothic architecture in Spain, and it remains a bishopric. It is an astounding, monumental building. But somehow it did not feel ‘spiritual’ – somehow the building didn’t communicate itself to me – my fault no doubt.
Inside the cathedral
San Pedro of Osma was French by birth as he came from Bourges c.1040. Although trained as a soldier, he entered the Monastery of Cluny and dedicated his life to God.
Alfonso VI of Leon and Castile wanted to reform the religious life in Spain and asked the Abbot of Cluny to send him some monks to guide the reforms. Bernardo de Sauvetat led a groups of monks and established the Monastery of Sahagun as a ‘Cluny in Spain’. A second group of monks in 1085 included Pedro of Bourges. Bernardo de Sauvetat, now the Bishop of Toledo, recognised his leadership qualities and appointed him as his Archdeacon. When Osma was recaptured from the Moors the King wanted to re-establish the church and Pedro of Bourges was given the job.3 He was buried in the Cathedral.
The Cloisters date from the site 16th century. They are high, enclosed and silently austere.
Burgo de Osma was a new town, separate from the original Osma/Uxama. In the Renaissance there was even a University in the town.
Castle and river
The 10th century castle is on a hill outside the town and we didn’t visit.
The Ucero River flows just outside the town walls and there is a pretty, informal park along its length.
We enjoyed the stop in Burgo de Osma and it was time to move on to Berlanga de Duero.
- Celtiberian settlement: https://celtiberiasoria.es/es/ciudades-celtibericas/uxama-argaela-osma ↩︎
- Visigoths in Spain: https://www.spainthenandnow.com/spanish-history/visigoths-in-spain ↩︎
- San Pedro of Osma: https://osma-soria.org/diocesis-santos-1.php ↩︎