Burgos has a way of breeding conquerors. El Cid Campeador, the Spanish hero immortalized in the epic “El Cantar de Mío Cid,” was born near here and his remains have a king-like prominence in the grand cathedral. Franco made the conservative city his Nationalist army headquarters in the Spanish Civil War. As a result, Burgos remains more intact than most medieval Spanish cities, and it lives up to its roots as the “cradle of Castilla.” Employing a distinctive lisp (their hero is “El Theed”), Burgos residents speak textbook Castellano. Of course, they wrote the textbooks. Burgos is a provincial capital on the desert meseta (plateau). Ferociously hot in summer, it comes alive at night as students flock to the cafes and dance clubs.