Monument to José Zorrilla, opposite the Collegiate Church of San Pedro in Lerma (Burgos, Castilla y León)



Lerma stands on a hill overlooking the valley of the river Arlanza. Dating back to pre-Roman times, the town reached its height under the Duke of Lerma, a favourite of Felipe III, between 1598 and 1618.

The stately appearance of the historic centre is reflected in the majestic Ducal Palace, now a Parador de Turismo. It was built between 1601 and 1617 by Francisco de Mora upon the ruins of the old castle. It has sober, elegant lines and is flanked by four angular towers. In front of the palace is the enormous Ducal square, which was originally entirely lined with arcades.The most prominent religious building is the Collegiate Church of San Pedro, dating from the early 17th century, which is connected to the Ducal Palace by an elevated passageway and offers beautiful views of the River Arlanza. Although its exterior appears sober, inside it contains a valuable praying statue of the archbishop Cristóbal de Rojas y Sandoval, uncle of the Duke, made by Juan de Arfe. The organ, from 1616, is one of the oldest in Spain.Also worth seeing are the Hermitage of La Piedad; the monasteries of San Blas, La Madre de Dios and La Ascensión de Nuestra Señora, all three dating from the 17th century; and the arch of La Cárcel, a gate in the old medieval wall, which was reformed by the Duke of Lerma and converted into a prison.


In images