Burgos, Arco de Santa Maria

This gate is a truly commanding prospect. Like the gate in Nancy, it appears to have served a defensive role in the past, but was lavishly ornamented, probably some time after its initial construction. The walls of which the gate was a part were demolished some time later. Notice, though, that buildings replaced the wall and continue to provide a clear demarcation between the areas inside and outside the city.

Surely the carvings tell a story that is important to the citizens; perhaps of their religion, possibly of a religious conquest (this is Spain, where the memory of the reconquest of Spain from the Moors is not so distant despite the passage of many centuries), and perhaps of some important event in the city's history. In days gone by, practically every resident would have known the story depicted and could have explained the meaning of the carvings to an interested visitor. How many still know this story today?

Again in this case, anyone approaching this gate could not fail to anticipate a large change when passing through the gate.

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Text ©2001-2002 J.Crawford