On the outskirts of Burgos, in northern Spain, you will find this stunning monastic centre that dates from the Middle Ages, and which came to be the pantheon of the Castile monarchs. It is still inhabited by a religious community, and inside you will find highly valuable works of art.

Come to the Huelgas Reales Monastery, also known as Santa María la Real, and get a close look at this monument building in the Castile and León region.

The first thing that will strike you is its fortress-like exterior aspect, and the silence that reigns all around it. This Cistercian monastery was built in the 12th and 13th centuries, and was the most important in Castile. It had several dependent convents, villages and other places. That splendorous past can be seen clearly today in the monastery's interior.

The place gives off a sense of recollection and solemnity, and history too. Here you will find the sepulchres of the monastery's founding monarchs, king Alfonso VIII and his wife Leonor, as well as his immediate successors and royalty linked to the Crown of Castile.

Besides the Royal Pantheon, you will also find: the Gothic San Fernando Cloister; the Cistercian style church; the Chapter House, home to the Standard of the Battle of Navas de Tolosa, a tapestry woven in gold, silver and silk, taken from the Moors in the 13th century; altarpieces and Renaissance, Mudejar and Gothic items to be seen in various different chapels; the Rich Medieval Fabric Museum, which has fabrics and objects from the period; altars, tapestries, paintings, patios... A historic site that is, to this day, a place for recollection and prayer, still inhabited by a religious community.

Make the most of your trip to get to know Burgos and its province, where you will find UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Cathedral, one of Spain's greatest examples of Gothic art, and the Atapuerca archaeological site, one of Europe's most important, with excavations that are still underway.

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