Toledo, Valladolid and Burgos were at different times in the history of Spain
Three cities on our network of routes – Toledo, Valladolid and Burgos – can boast of having been the capital of Spain at some point in history. More or less briefly, it is true, but at the end of the day, they were.
The first city in our network of routes to be so was Toledo. And it was so at two important moments. The first, until 567, when King Athanagild wanted to transfer Visigothic power from Barcelona to Toledo. This was decisive in Toledo becoming the capital of Visigothic Hispania.
For the second moment, we must go back to the time of Emperor Charles V. Between 1519 and 1561, the Emperor decided that Toledo should be the capital of his Spanish dominions – the Empress Isabella died here in May 1539 – until 1561, when his son decided to transfer the status of capital to nearby Madrid, where the Court was moved.
The second of our cities to become the capital of Spain was Valladolid, in what is considered to be the first great urban development boom in our history. In 1601, the Duke of Lerma, Philip III’s favourite, decided to move the Court from Madrid to this Castilian city. The transfer of the Court led to the decline of Madrid and, similarly, an increase in the prices of the new capital, much of whose real estate had previously been purchased by the Duke.
Around 1606, after doing the same in Madrid – very cheap housing because it was no longer the capital – he recommended that Philip II’s son move to Madrid. In the last years of his life, the Duke of Lerma had himself ordained a cardinal to avoid ending up in prison, or perhaps worse.
This was a turning point in all respects since, inevitably, from 1601 to 1606, Valladolid became the capital of the Empire.
Lastly, Burgos became the capital of the Spanish uprising, and in general between 1 April and 18 October 1939. After the latter date, the status of capital of Spain returned to Madrid.