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El Burgo de Osma (Municipality, Castilla y León, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-01-17 by ivan sache
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Flag of El Burgo de Osma - Image by Ivan Sache, 19 January 2014

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Presentation of El Burgo de Osma

The municipality of El Burgo de Osma (aka Ciudad de Osma; 5,228 inhabitants in 2012, therefore the 3rd most populous municipality in the province; 29,009 ha; municipal website) is located in central western Soria Province, 60 km southwest of Soria. The municipality is made of the town of El Burgo de Osma (3,713 inh. in 2010) and of the villages of Alcubilla del Marqués (44 inh.), Barcebal (12 inh.), Barcebalejo (42 inh.), Berzosa (92 inh.), Lodares de Osma (21 inh.), Navapalos (1 inh.), La Olmeda (19 inh.), Osma (1,135 inh.), La Rasa (58 inh.), Santiuste (13 inh.), Torralba de Burgo (17 inh.), Valdegrulla (deserted), Valdelubiel (38 inh.), Valdenarros (17 inh.) and Vildé (65 inh.).

El Burgo de Osma originates in the Celtiberian town of Uxama. The castle of Osma, re-using stones from Uxama, was built on a spur dominating the left bank of river Ucero. Already mentioned in the 8th century, the castle was captured from the Moors by King of Asturias Alfonso I (736-757). In the early 11th century, the place was known under the Arabic name of Waksima. Reconquerred in 1011, the castle, ran by Count of Castile Sancho García (995-1017), became a strategic stronghold on the border, here the median valley of Duero.
Following the Christian reconquest, Bishop Pedro of Burgos (St. Pedro de Osma) established in 1100 the seat of his diocese in a monastery located on the left bank of river Ucero, around which the new town of El Burgo de Osmo developed. The Romanesque cathedral built by the bishop was short-lived, being replaced by a Gothic church whose building started in 1232. The monumental church tower erected in Baroque style by Josˇ de la Calle and Juan de Sagarbinaga is the most emblematic element of the town's skyline.

The town was ruled from 1342 to the end of the feudal system by the bishop of Osma, who lived in a palace erected close to the cathedral. Bishop Pedro de Montoya enclosed in the 15th century the downtown into a thick wall protected by several gates, of which only the St. Michael's gate has been preserved. Bishop Pedro Alvarez d'Acosta founded in the middle of the 16th century the St. Catherine University (Universidad de Santa Catalina), built in the northern outskirts of the town.
Bishop Sebastián de Arévalo y Torres sponsored in 1694-1701 the building of the St. Augustine's Hospital (Hospital de San Agustín). The hospital became in the 18th century the center of the modern town, symbolized by the Plaza Mayor designed by the architect Angel Ubón.
El Burgo de Osma was registered as an Historical and Artistic Monument by Decree No. 147, adopted on the 24 June 1993 of the Government of Castilla y León.

Ivan Sache, 19 January 2014

Symbols of El Burgo de Osma

The flag of El Burgo de Osma (photo) is blue with the municipal coat of arms in the middle.

The coat of arms of El Burgo de Osma (municipal website) is red with a castle surrounded by the writing "LA VILLA DEL BURGO DE OSMA". It is modelled on the "traditional" coat of arms carved in gilded polychrome wood dating back to the 18th century. Here the castle is surmounted by the writing "LA BILLA DE BURGOS". The shield is surrounded by Baroque ornaments. A new version of the coat of arms of the town was made in 1754; the gilder Félix Bueno was rewarded with 140 reales for his contribution to the work.

Ivan Sache, 19 January 2014