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Las Huelgas

Steven Light

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (May - July 2018)
Meseta (October 2019)
Norte (Summer 2020)
Can anyone point me in the right direction for getting information about visiting the Las Huelgas Monastery outside of Burgos? When we were there last year there was a huge festival, which was fun, but I'd really like to be able to go inside and, if possible, view a music manuscript (Las Huelgas Codex) from the 14th century housed there. We play music from the manuscript and it would be so cool to actually see it live! Because of the festival last June we couldn't get anywhere near. We'll be there again this coming October (walking the part of the CF we biked - from Burgos to Leon) and I'd love to try to arrange to see it. Thanks!
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
First one in 1977 by train. Many since then by foot. Next one ASAP.
One of my favorite Camino places! I absolutely NEVER miss it! Going to Burgos and skipping Las Huelgas would be like going to London and skipping Westminster Abbey! ... I'm walking the Meseta again this September/October -- from Logrono to Leon, or perhaps Astorga. And Las Huelgas is on my agenda again.... In fact, my plan (I'm a planner!) is to visit it on Sept 22nd -- the feast of the Bl. Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War.


The tours are still only given in Castilian, I believe, but since I speak a fair Castilian that's never been a problem for me. Don't let that scare you off! ... And the tours are not free. ... I don't know that there's a peregrino discount, but it's an honor to be able to contribute a few Euros towards the preservation of Las Huelgas... And it's a tad misleading to say that it's "outside" Burgos. It's actually a short, easy walk from city center! So go for it!

It's still an extremely influential functioning convent, btw! I once read that, if the Pope were ever to take a wife, it could only be the Abbess of las Huelgas!
 
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scruffy1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Plaza Compás, s/n , Just off-Camino to the left as you leave town, sign posted so should not be a problem to find. Guided tour only but as Rappahannock wrote no real problem. The only tricky bit is to arrive in time for the tour and not just sit around until the next one. See here for the map.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I'm not sure if the manuscript you are hoping to see is regularly on display in the monastery you are hoping to visit. In my experience, if you want to see a medieval manuscript in a library that you are visiting where it is not already on display, it is good to get a letter of introduction from an academic. If there is a university near where you live, you might want to visit and talk with a medieval studies or music history professor. Explain that you are planning a trip to Europe and hoping to visit this library - what manuscript you want to see and why you want to see it. Ask them to write you a letter for the librarians. That will probably increase your chances of seeing the Codex - if it isn't on regular display.
 

Steven Light

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (May - July 2018)
Meseta (October 2019)
Norte (Summer 2020)
Thanks David. I am a music history professor and have done this for libraries in the US. I’m wondering if there is a way to find out whom to contact at the monastery before we arrive to expedite the arrangements. Any ideas?
Thanks again,
Steven
 
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scruffy1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Thanks David. I am a music history professor and have done this for libraries in the US. I’m wondering if there is a way to find out whom to contact at the monastery before we arrive to expedite the arrangements. Any ideas?
Thanks again,
Steven
Stephen, your best chance is through a Spanish academic intermediary - there is a university in Burgos sadly more of a polytechnic so not much help. Try maybe through the university in Leon.There are many good facsimiles I know Stanford has a copy knowing you want the real thing I think you will need a Spaniard to get you in. You people are always busy in conferences, seminars, symposiums, concerts, etc maybe you had a Spanish colleague who can assist?
 

Lucyk

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Primitivo 2015
Can anyone point me in the right direction for getting information about visiting the Las Huelgas Monastery outside of Burgos? When we were there last year there was a huge festival, which was fun, but I'd really like to be able to go inside and, if possible, view a music manuscript (Las Huelgas Codex) from the 14th century housed there. We play music from the manuscript and it would be so cool to actually see it live! Because of the festival last June we couldn't get anywhere near. We'll be there again this coming October (walking the part of the CF we biked - from Burgos to Leon) and I'd love to try to arrange to see it. Thanks!

Are you sure the manuscript is still actually located at Las Huelgas, and wasn't just produced there? A lot of manuscripts were moved to Madrid in the nineteenth century. If you can post the name and/or shelfmark of the manuscript you'd like to look at, I can maybe help. The monastery doesn't seem to have a library, and its archive seems to be located in Madrid. This link has an email contact:

https://www.patrimonionacional.es/i...istema-archivos/archivo-del-monasterio-de-las

If the manuscript is at Las Huelgas, you don't need a professor in Spain to help you get in. It is always best to contact them ahead of time though, and it can be helpful to have a letter of introduction from someone at your university. Typically, if there is an archive or library on the premises that I just can't find, it would be open something like 10am-1pm.
 

Steven Light

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (May - July 2018)
Meseta (October 2019)
Norte (Summer 2020)
Hi Lucyk,
Thanks for your reply. From all I can ascertain the codex is still housed on site. I tried contacting them at the link you posted last year but never received a reply. It is the national site, not the local Las Huelgas one. I can't seem to find any contact info for the monastery.
I guess we'll just take our chances when we arrive.
Thanks again.
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
see signature
Hi Lucyk,
Thanks for your reply. From all I can ascertain the codex is still housed on site. I tried contacting them at the link you posted last year but never received a reply. It is the national site, not the local Las Huelgas one. I can't seem to find any contact info for the monastery.
I guess we'll just take our chances when we arrive.
Thanks again.
have you tried the phone number that pops up if you type 'monasterio las huelgas burgos' in google?

Naslov: Plaza Compás, s/n, 09001 Burgos, Španija
Datum odprtja: 1181
Arhitekturni slog: Cistercian architecture
Pokrajina: Burgos
Funkcija: Samostan
Telefon: +34 947 20 16 30
 

woofer

Member
Can anyone point me in the right direction for getting information about visiting the Las Huelgas Monastery outside of Burgos? When we were there last year there was a huge festival, which was fun, but I'd really like to be able to go inside and, if possible, view a music manuscript (Las Huelgas Codex) from the 14th century housed there. We play music from the manuscript and it would be so cool to actually see it live! Because of the festival last June we couldn't get anywhere near. We'll be there again this coming October (walking the part of the CF we biked - from Burgos to Leon) and I'd love to try to arrange to see it. Thanks!
Hi Steven. Likewise, have an interest in church music and a couple of cds of the Codex Las Huelgas so I did the guided tour (no other option available) 3 years ago. Tour is in Spanish only. Saw the Codex in a glass display cabinet. No photos allowed and I cant remember any chant being played so you may find this an anticlimax ! It was a Royal convent so from my almost non-existant Spanish the history of the Convent took precedence over the musical manuscript. It's probably a good idea to write directly to the convent or the tourist office in Burgos and tell them directly what you'd like to see. Good luck.
 
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harmsdg

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2018)
Thanks David. I am a music history professor and have done this for libraries in the US. I’m wondering if there is a way to find out whom to contact at the monastery before we arrive to expedite the arrangements. Any ideas?
Thanks again,
Steven
The practice in Spain a few years ago was for researchers from the US to go through the US embassy to gain access to archives and libraries. An email to the cultural attache might be a place to start. Here is the link to the embassy's contact page: https://es.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/emergency-contact/
 
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