With a population of more than 180,000, the prosperous city of Burgos is located the north-central part of Spain. Built on the confluence of several tributaries of the River Arlanzón, it is about 240 kilometres from Madrid. The high-speed AVE rail links due to be introduced in the course of 2015 will take 84 minutes to reach Madrid and 70 minutes for Bilbao.
The city has a rich cultural history, with three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Gothic cathedral, the Santiago Pilgrims´ Way and the caves of the Sierra de Atapuerca, which provide a fossil record of the earliest human beings in Europe nearly one million years ago. The city also hopes to have UNESCO recognition for a fourth site in the medieval centre near the cathedral itself. More modern architecture is to be found at the Human Evolution Complex, which is formed by the Museum of Human Evolution, the CENIEH research centre for human evolution and a convention centre. Burgos was Spain’s Capital of Gastronomy in 2013 and Science and Innovation City in 2012.
Burgos is a transport hub, both in terms of rail and road. Within the city itself, along with buses and trams, Burgos has one of Spain’s most developed cycling programmes—combining bike hire and cycle routes through the city. Though surrounded by vast wheat fields, much of the city’s economic life is concentrated in two industrial estates, which are home to some 1,500 companies. Tourism and the public sector are the other major employers. The province’s unemployment rate of 18% is well below the national average of 24%.