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Facade of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas Monastery
Cloister arcade at Las Huelgas

The monastery of Santa Maria la Real de Huelgas lies approximately 1.5 km west of the city of Burgos in Spain. Historically, it has been the site of many weddings of royal families, both foreign and Spanish, including that of Edward I of England to Eleanor of Castile in 1254, for example.

The monastery was founded around the year 1180 by Alfonso VIII of Castile. For some time up until the 14th century, it enjoyed many royal privileges granted to it by the king, including exemption from taxes, the lordship of many villages and territories (governed by the monastery's abbess), and the possession of many of the royal families' valued personal items, most of them religious.

In 1199, the monastery was incorporated with the Cistercian Order and became the burial place of the royal family. In 1212 Alfonso VIII, who was himself to be buried at Las Huelgas, created the King's Hospital, with all its dependencies, subject to the Abbess.

Visits to the site are administered by the Spanish heritage organisation Patrimonio Nacional, but there is still a religious community at Las Huelgas.

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Coordinates: 42°20′09.96″N 3°43′12.72″W / 42.3361°N 3.7202°W / 42.3361; -3.7202



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