The famous ‘Little Vatican’ town located in Burgos


The tiny town located in Burgos known as the ‘Little Vatican’

In the province of Burgos in northern Spain, you will find the municipality of Hornillos del Camino. It is a small town with less than 100 registered inhabitants. The town is known as the ‘Little Vatican’, due to the unusual fact that the majority of its residents are involved in religious activities, either as a priest, or a nun. It has the highest concentration of priests in Spain.

Located in the autonomous community of Castile and Leon, in the Arlanzon region, this tiny municipality gained its name many decades ago. As the town’s mayor, Pedro Mayor, told Cope in an interview, “It is called ‘little Vatican’ because sixty or seventy years ago, of the 300 or 400 people who were in the town, there were about sixty religious. We are the town with the most priests per inhabitant in Spain”, he enthused.

He added that, “With the Camino de Santiago, the people of the time found their spirituality, or perhaps they went to seek studies in times with fewer economic resources, and found their vocation here”. In order to open up its economy, the municipality has recently been expanding businesses.

A visit to this tiny town is a must

A visit to this stunning little town is recommended. The Gothic-style parish church of Santa Maria de Hornillos del Camino was built during the 14th century. There is also an archaeological site with an old Roman settlement.

If you like Spanish festivals, one of the best-known is the Fiesta del Gallo, which takes place at the end of July. This festival is based on an old local legend that tells how some French people came to the town at the time of the War of Independence and stole all the chickens.

Additionally, there is the Fiestas de San Roman in November, celebrating the local saint, plus the Feast of the Pilgrim, which takes place every July 25.

To reach Hornillos del Camino, leave the capital city of Burgos on the A-231, heading west to the nucleus of Villanueva de Argaño. Here you reach the definitive detour towards the BU-406, as reported by


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Chris King

Chris was born in a small village in Wales, where he ran his own successful construction company for many years, before deciding in 1990, to swap the grey skies and rain for the sunshine and lifestyle of the Costa del Sol. Late last year he made the move to Southern Portugal, and is now residing on the Algarve. Having sung and played in a rock band back in Wales, he still likes to go out and entertain in his spare time, singing in restaurants and golf clubs. Interests are of course music, especially from the 60s and 70s, movies, nice restaurants, and he has a passion for graphic design and online marketing.

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