Burgos

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Burgos (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbuɾɣos]) is city of northern Spain, historic capital of Castile. It is situated at the edge of the central plateau, with about 178,966 inhabitants in the city proper and another 16,000 in its suburbs. It is the capital of the province of Burgos, in the autonomous community of Castile and León. The Burgos Laws or Leyes de Burgos first governing the behaviour of Spaniards towards natives of the Americas were promulgated there in 1512.

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History

Early humans occupied sites around Burgos as early as 800,000 years ago. When the Romans took possession of what is now the province of Burgos the site had been a Celtiberian city. In Roman times it belonged to Hispania Citerior ("Hither Spain") and then to Hispania Tarraconensis. In the 5th century the Visigoths drove back the Suebi, then the Arabs occupied almost all of Castile in the 8th century, though only for a brief period, and left little if any trace of their occupation. Alfonso III the Great, king of León reconquered it about the middle of the 9th century, and built several castles for the defence of Christendom, which was then extended through the reconquest of lost territory. The region came to be known as Castile (Latin castella), i.e. "land of castles".

Burgos was founded in 884 as an outpost of this expanding Christian frontier,[1] when Diego Rodríguez "Porcelos", count of Castile, governed this territory with orders to promote the increase of the Christian population; with this end in view he gathered the inhabitants of the surrounding country into one fortified village, whose Visigothic name of Burgos signified consolidated walled villages (Gothic baurgs).[2] The city began to be called Caput Castellae ("Cabeza de Castilla" or "Head of Castile"). The county (condado) of Burgos, subject to the Kings of León, continued to be governed by counts and was gradually extended; one of these counts, Fernán González, established his independence.[3]

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