We are in Plaza del Altozano.
This place is conformed by a beautiful group of buildings, among which the Palace of the Bishop Amador Merino Malaguilla stands out in its north part. To the west there are the City Hall and the Church, known today as “Iglesia de las Monjas” or “The Nuns' Church”.
Both of them were part of the old Convent of the Conceptionists of the 16th century, that was ordered to build by Alonso Fernández de Segura.
He arranged in his will that a convent of nuns of the Immaculate Conception should be founded in Burguillos, and expressly forbid that the monastery was ever managed by friars, even asking for its demolition in that case. He also gave the nuns a meadow for the economic maintenance of the convent.
Alonso Fernández de Segura was native of Burguillos and a canon of the Cathedral of Salamanca. His desire was to be buried here, but he would not fulfill it.
The convent was the first construction of the plaza, getting to occupy all the block.
The head of the church is made of carved granite and includes a coat of arms.
Plaza del Altozano.
Detalle de portada de la iglesia.
Given the fact that it was a closure convent, the nuns did not communicate with the temple through this entrance, but through a door located in the sacristy.
The convent's chapel has a single nave with a barrel vault, and its baroque style reredo placed in the high altar is remarkable.
After the confiscation of Mendizábal in the 19th century, the temple remained the property of the Church, while the rest of the dependencies passed into private hands, giving to it different uses over the years.
The current town hall was remodeled at the beginning of the 21st century. In it we can see the lower and upper cloisters, which currently house the administrative dependencies. In the upper cloister is exhibited the original machinery of the clock tower of the parish, from the 19th century.
Still today we can observe the configuration of the cells of the nuns. During the restoration works, it was found the crypt where the last nuns who lived in the convent were buried.
We can also see where the lathes were located, which were the link between the closure and the external world.
In the north side of the plaza there is the Palace of the Bishop Amador Merino Malaguilla, from the 18th century. On the facade of the palace we can see an area with another tonality where it was placed the episcopal coat of arms.
Amador Merino Malaguilla, bishop of Badajoz, spent holiday periods in Burguillos del Cerro. He had a special predilection for the convent.
SIt is believed that one of the reasons for his house to be built in this place was that two of his relatives entered the Convent of Conceptionists.
He gave special spiritual and material attention to it: he celebrated the Eucharist, spiritual exercises and days of retirement for the nuns.
Among the improvements he brought to the population, he promoted the construction of La Albuera, a water dam that supplied the mills of the friars, and donated it to the Convent of the Conceptionists, as well as the House Palace that was built for himself.
He was also a promoter in the construction of the new Parroquia de Santa María de la Encina y San Juan Bautista, beginning in his government the idea of the new temple, and collecting from the House of Béjar materials for its execution.
Casa Palacio del obispo Amador Merino Malaguilla.
Monumento a los mineros.
In the center of the plaza there is the monument to the miners.
It was inaugurated in August of 2017. With it, the intention was to pay tribute to all the miners of the locality, since the Burguillan mines were an important part in the local economy.
In the municipality we find vestiges of the existence of mining deposits since antiquity.
The mines of Burguillos and the mountains of El Cordel have been declared Sites of Scientific Interest since 2017, given their richness and uniqueness, being possible to find here minerals that are unique in the Iberian Peninsula.
Later, you can visit a permanent exhibition of different minerals in Casa del Corregidor, as well as documentation that helps us to better understand how our mines worked.