Burgos is the capital and main city Kingdom of Castile. The city forms the principal crossroad of northern Spain along the Camino de Santiago, which runs parallel to the River Arlanzón. Burgos is also major centre of trade between the Bay of Biscay and the south, which attracts an unusually large foreign merchant population, who became part of the city oligarchy and excluded other foreigners.
Burgos besides being the seat of the King and his court it is also the meeting place of the Cortes of Castile. The city of Burgos has representation to the Cortes.
Castilian nobleman, military leader and diplomat El Cid Campeador is a significant historical figure in the city, as he was born a couple of kilometres north of Burgos and was raised and educated here.