Miranda de Ebro: a charming village with a lot of stories that go back to almost any time you can think of. And that is why it is the second most important town in Burgos, after the capital itself.
The area even has Roman and pre-Roman sites and was also an inspiring place for several early Middle Ages hermits. But if we are strict, the first mention of Miranda dates from the eighth century.
The fact is that as the villa was in a strategic location and, above all, it had a grand bridge to cross the river, that medieval town was growing and becoming significant for trade. The thing is, all the goods that crossed into La Rioja, Burgos and the Basque lands had to pass through its bridge and pay its toll.
But destiny was about to intervene, and it turned out that a flood took away in the eighteenth century that bridge that meant so much to Miranda. Luckily, Carlos III ordered to build a new one, the one you can see today, which has deservedly become one of the emblems of the town.
But as we were telling you, the city had prospered a lot thanks to its trade, so they had no choice but to surround it with walls, and from the fourteenth century, it even had its own castle. In those times if things were going well for you, troubles would come alone. Between wars and landslides, there is not much left from that fortress, but it remained in operation for hundreds of years and was only abandoned in the nineteenth century, after the Napoleonic and Carlist huge mess.
Naturally, Miranda has its churches with their history: the Holy Spirit one rises over the remains of a temple in which, it is said, the very Cid Campeador stopped to pray. And the Santa María Church, which houses the mummified body of Pedro Pascual Martínez, better known as Chantre de Calahorra, a medieval character, much loved for his generosity towards the poorest and who, according to legend, died hit by a sandbag that his brother, envious of Pascual’s kindness and good fame, threw at him from a roof.
There are also Renaissance palaces in the town, such as the Casa de los Urbina and the Casa de las Cadenas, where both the insatiable Napoleon and the big-nose Fernando VII stayed.
But the real revolution would come to Miranda with the railroad. Gone were the days of transport by carriages over the bridge and the town knew how to adapt to the new times.
Its train station, with a Victorian flavour, was inaugurated in 1862, and the importance of the location in the railway lines brought a new population growth that would end up boosting its industrial takeoff until today. Well-known companies such as Fundiciones Perea, which exported bells and clocks to South America, or the Cristaleria Mirandesa, which glazed half of the north of Spain, as well as other businesses born around the needs of the train, gave more life and dynamism to this town so full of exciting things.
We finish mentioning and giving an ovation to its famous festival of San Juan del Monte, declared of National Tourist Interest and whose origin goes back to the Middle Ages. Fifty days after Easter Sunday, the Cuadrillas, the pilgrimage to the hermitage of San Juan, the songs and the ochotes, all washed down with a good Rioja, are the main protagonists of this celebrations.