Svatojakubská cestaJakobswegWay of St. James

The Camino Francés

kresba cesty

This is the so–called “French way,” leading from the Pyrenees across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela and the most well–known and well–travelled of the pilgrim roads to Santiago. Three of the main routes through France (from Paris, Vézelay and Le Puy–en–Velay) feed into it on the French side of the Pyrenees while the fourth, from Arles, joins it 3–4 days later (for walkers) in Puente la Reina. In 1987 this Camino de Santiago was made the first European Cultural Itinerary.

The Route, some 790 km long, is starting either in Saint–Jean–Pied–de–Port (“St. John at the Foot of the Pass”) on the French side of both the mountains and the border or 27 km later in Roncesvalles (Roncevaux in French, the “Valley of Thorns”) in Spain. Formerly a quiet, solitary route the Camino francés has become extremely popular in recent years and in 2003 over 65,000 pilgrims of all ages, backgrounds, motiviations, abilities and nationalities walked, cycled or rode all or part of this route. As a result accommodation is in very short supply during the busy periods. In a few places along the route churches/religious orders have pilgrim services/vespers. It passes through Pamplona, Puente la Reina, Estella, Logroño, Burgos, León, Astorga, Ponferrada and Sarria before it reaches the “City of the Apostle” in the western reaches of Galicia. The route takes, on average, 4–5 weeks to walk.

Waymarking

The route is extremely well–waymarked throughout (but only in one direction) with yellow arrows painted on rocks, trees. buildings etc., as well as with plaques and signposts bearing stylised shell symbols and the council of Europe Milky Way logos.

Terrain

Varied, beginning with the ascent and/or descent of the Pyrenees then passing through the undulating meseta (tableland) of the central part of the route between Burgos and León. After that the camino enters the Montes de León with some of its abandoned villages gradually coming back to life before entering Galicia, green, wooded and criss–crossed with old walled lanes.

What to see

Important cathedrals and abbeys in Pamplona, Burgos, León, Astorga and Santiago itself, plus many interesting smaller cathedrals, churches and other historic monuments. Many pilgrim, St. James, St. Roch and other related references, art and architecture along the way.

Accommodation

Plentiful, at very frequent walking distances along the way, and of all types: refugios (pilgrim–only accommodation). hostales, pensiones, casas rurales etc., plus some campsites (summer only). For a description of all the refuges on the Camino Francés.

Cyclists

Many sections of the walkers’ route can be taken by those on mountain bikes (touring cyclists can ride the route using minor roads). Cycling pilgrims should allow 2 weeks plus.

Kancelář Přátel Svatojakubské cesty - Saint Jean Pied de Port

1st stage from Saint –Jean–Pied–de–Port to Roncesvalles

The Way of Saint James leaves St Jean Pied de Port along the Route de St Michel and goes south on the D428, a winding tarmac lane which climbs steadily to around 900m. A couple of kilometres before the top of the hill, at Honto, there are affordable rooms. Above Honto, the path takes a shortcut, winding up a steep grassy before rejoining the lane. Near where the path meets the tarmac there is a tap by the roadside, which provides a welcome chance to fill up with water (though it would be wise to treat the water before drinking it). From here continue along the road all the way to the Pic Urdanarre (1240m), where you finally leave the lane for a footpath.

Little is known about the Battle of Roncesvalles, fought in 778, in which the rearguard of Charlemagne’s army was attacked and decimated by the Basques as it crossed the Ibańeta Pass. Nonetheless, the battle is one of the most famous of the early Middle Ages, owing to the work of the poet who immortalized it in the Chanson de Roland. The poem’s central character is Roland, commander of the rearguard, who too late sounds his horn to summon help from the main body of the army, a tragic delay that leads to the massacre of the elite of Charlemagne’s knights. For his part in the tale roland has passed into the Pyrenees folklore, In the centrel Pyrenees, the Breche de Roland is said to have been formed when the hero, after a struggle with the Moors, found himself in a tight corner, and slashed a hole through the mountains with his sword, Durandal. Nearly ten kilometres down the valley is a rock said to bear the hoof prints of his horse, as it leapt down from the newly–made hole in the ridge. At the battle of Roncesvalles, legend has it, Roland, overcome by the enemy, flung his sword in the air. The spot where it landed is still proudly marked.


2nd stage: from Roncesvalles to Zubiri (Navarra)

Roncesvalles

Roncesvalles is one of the most emblematic places along the Way of St James; apart from marking the start of the Navarre section of the route, it is also steeped in history. This beautiful village is the setting for the Royal Collegiate Church, constructed in 1219 by order of Sancho the Strong, the victor of the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. The king’s tomb is to be found in the Chapter House of this abbey. A few metres further along the route, walkers will come to a 14th Century pilgrim cross. An additional point to note is that it has become a tradition amongst pilgrims, believers and non–believers alike, to attend the pilgrims’ mass on the eve before the start of their adventures along the Way of St James.

kaple sv. Jakuba - Roncesvalles

Once on the route, the first town to appear is Burguete, renowned for its sturdy Pyrenean style farmhouses, then Espinal, a typical Pyrenean village founded by the Navarre king Teobaldo II in 1269.

Along the route, and before reaching the next town, pilgrims will pass through the Alto de Menkiritz mountain pass where a stone tablet reads “Here you can pray a Salve Regina to Our Lady of Roncesvalles”. The path then goes on to Viscarret which formerly had a pilgrim hospice. Some kilometres further on, the route branches off for a short distance and passes through beautiful town of Erro. However, after leaving Viscarret, if you continue along the road without taking the fork, you will come to Lintzoain – the setting for a beautiful Romanesque church dedicated to St Saturnino – and then up the Erro mountain pass, famous for its incomparable scenery and impressive panoramic views from its highest point. Going up the Erro mountain pass, pilgrims will discover “Los Pasos de Roldán” or steps of Roldán – a great stone which, according to legend, marks the size of Rodán’s footstep. Going down the mountain pass, pilgrims will come to the Venta de Caminante inn.

This first stage along the Way of St James ends at Zubiri, a town reached by crossing the gothic bridge of La Rabia which, according to tradition, can cure an animal suffering from rabies, if the animal goes round the centre pillar of its arcade three times.


most v Zubiri

3rd stage: from Zubiri to Pamplona

Having taken a rest in Zubiri after an exhausting journey, the pilgrim will begin the third stage of the Route, which passes through Iiárraz and Esquízoz, before arriving in Larrasoaña. Here, he will find the "Sociedad de Amigos del Camino" (Society of Friends of the Route), where he will be provided with any information he might need.

Then the Route continues to Aquerreta, with its Church of the Transfiguration, and arrives in Zuriáin, where the Temple of San Millán arises. Then it crosses the Arga River, in Iroz, alongside a beautiful Romanesque bridge and reaches the village of Zabaldica, where pilgrims can visit the image of Santiago, kept in the Church of San Esteban.

The Route continues to Arleta, where you can tour the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria, which contains a modern image of Santiago.

The next village on the Route is Trinidad de Arre, where once there was a hospital (14th century), dependent on the Roncesvalles hospital.

The Route continues to Villava and Burlada before arriving in Pamplona, the final stop of the second stage of the journey.


kostel San Nikolas - Pamplona

4th stage: from Pamplona to Puente la Reina

Before leaving Pamplona for the fourth stage of the Route, you might want to visit this beautiful and important city in the Middle Ages. Its magnificent Gothic Cathedral (14th century) includes one of the most beautiful Ogival Cloisters in Europe, and was famous in the Middle Ages for the meals that were served every day to the pilgrims.

The Monastery of Santo Domingo (16th century) houses historic images and embrossings. You will also find the fortress churches of San Cernin (14th century) and of San Nicolás (13th century), both built in Gothic style.

The third stage of the Route begins in Pamplona and passes through Cizur Menor, where you can explore the ruins of a hospital for pilgrims, the Church of the Encomienda de San Juan de Jerusalén (12th century) and the Romanesque Temples of San Emeterio and San Celedonio.

The journey continues to the town of Zariegui, where remains a cobbled section of the Route on its way to Alto del Perdón. Then it passes through the villages of Uterga, Muruzábal and Obanos, where the paths to Somport and Rocesvalles intersect, beside the small Chapel of San Salvador.

The Route finally reaches the town of Puente de la Reina, final stop of the third stage. This place was named after a bridge built by doña Mayor de Navarra, in the 11th century, for pilgrims.


Puente la Reina

5th stage: from Puente la Reina to Estella

In Puente la Reina, final stop of the fourth stage, you can visit the Church of the Crucifijo (12th, 14th centuries), which was built by the members of the Order of the Temple.

You can also tour the Church of Santiago (12th century), located on the Mayor Street, which contains one of the finest multicolored sculptures representing the Apostle Santiago that can be found along the Santiago Route.

The fifth stage of the Santiago Route leaves behind this charming town through the Bridge of the Peregrinos, a medieval jewel dating back to the 11th century, and is headed for Mañeru, where walkers will find a famous Renaissance transept.

They will be able to visit the18th–century parish church of San Pedro and pray inside. The journey continues to Cirauqui, a typical medieval town which contains a beautiful Roman road and the Church of San Román (16th century), filled with keepsakes from former pilgrimages. Another ancient monument is the Temple of Santa Catalina, built in the 13th century.

The Santiago Route progresses to Lorca, where visitors will find a marvelous group of emblazoned houses and the Romanesque Church of El Salvador, built in the 12th century. Leaving behind this village, walkers arrive in Villatuerta, with its Romanesque parish church of the 12th century, the small Chapel of San Miguel (11th century) and its Romanesque bridge. The journey finally takes exhausted travellers to a resting place where they will spend their fourth night on the Santiago Route, Estella.

This noble village, founded in 1909 by the king of Navarra Sancho Ramírez, is the home to numerous precious gems.


most - Estella

6th stage: from Estella to Los Arcos

Estella, commonly known as "the small Toledo", offers numerous Medieval precious gems: the Church of San Pedro de la Rúa, from the 12th century, which includes a beautiful Cloister where stands the capital made of twisted columns; the 12th–century Church of San Miguel, with its marvelous Late–Romanesque Façade; the Church of the Santo Sepulcro, built in the 12th century, which also contains a magnificent Romanesque Façade; the 12th century Church of San Juan Baustista; the Gothic–style Church of San Pedro de Lizarra; and the Palace of the Reyes, dating back to the 12th century.

After visiting this Medieval village, walkers begin their fifth day of the journey, which will take them, first to the municipality of Ayegui, where stands the Monastery of Irache. Its origins get lost into the Visigothic Age. Once, the architecture was the most ancient hospital for pilgrims who arrived in Navarra on their way to Santiago, and a University in the 17th and 18th century. In its interior there are Romanesque apses, ogival naves and a marvelous Renaissance Cloister.

Visitors to this beautiful sanctuary will be delighted to discover a fountain from where wine flows. But the Monastery is not the only monument worth viewing in this historic village. Pilgrims can also stop at the Parish Church of San Martín, from the 12th century, and taste the local wines at the Museum of Wine.

The Route progresses to Azqueta, where stands a Medieval fountain,, and to Villamayor de Monjardín with its 12th–century Church in memory to San Andrés. The wine cellars Castillo de Monjardín can be found here. Finally the journey passes through Urbiola before reaching Los Arcos, a village which extends along both sides of the Route. This is the final stop of the sixth day of the Santiago Route.

7th stage: from Los Arcos to Logroño

Before starting the sixth stage of the Route, which will be headed to Logroño, pilgrims can stroll along the Mayor Street in the noble village of Los Arcos, stop in front of the façades of its stately homes and view the blazons which decorate them. Then, travellers can go in the Parish Church of Santa María (16th century) and admire the different artistic styles there represented.

the beautiful Gothic Cloister; the Gothic sculpture representing the Virgin (14th century); the choir stalls dating back to 1561; the central and lateral Baroque Altarpieces; the Renaissance Bell Tower and the Plateresque Façade.

After leaving Los Arcos, the sixth day of the journey will take walkers to Sansol, a municipality where stands the 18th–century Church of San Zoilo. Then the Route arrives in the village of Torres del Río, where arises a fascinating Romanesque funerary Church that shows Mudéjar influences. It was built by the Order of the Santo Sepulcro in the 12th century. This church is commonly known as the "Linterna de los muertos" (Lantern of th dead) because legend states that, when a pilgrim died in the hospital or nearby, the custom was to light a fire on top of the lantern. This hospital can still be seen today.

The Route progresses to Viana, once a Princedom established in the 15th century by Carlos III the Noble, title held by the heir to the Crown of Navarra. In this princely town, travellers can view the marvelous Renaissance façade of the Santa María’s Church, built between the 14th and 16th century. Its magnificence is characteristic of cathedrals; it has five naves, eleven chapels and a wide apse aisle. Its interior is adorned with a lateral altarpiece in memory to Apostle Santiago. Pilgrims can also view the ruins of San Pedro’s Church and the beauty of the emblazoned façades that decorate this town.

Upon leaving the beautiful Viana, the Route passes Navarra and enters La Rioja. After crossing an old stone bridge of pilgrim origins, it reaches Logroño, the final stop of the seventh day of the journey.


katedrála Santa María de la Redonda - Logrono

8th stage: from Logroño to Nájera

In Logroño pilgrims have the opportunity to visit a city whose old quarter still has the atmosphere of a Medieval borough. The Rúa Vieja, the oldest street of the city, and the Mayor Street are the paths used by pilgrims in order to pass through Logroño. On their way, they can visit the Church of Santiago el Real, which contains a 17th–century image representing the Apostle’s apparition in Clavijo.

Santa María del Palacio’s Church, that houses an altarpiece from the 16th century; San Bartolomé’s Church, built in Gothic style; and the Cathedral of Santa María la Redonda, a beautiful Gothic Temple, crowned by two Baroque bell towers.

Travellers leave the city through the door of the Camino and continue their journey, to Navarrete. On the outskirtsof Navarrete they will discover the remains of the San Juan de Acre’s Hospital, built in the Middle Ages by María Ramírez. The Route crosses the town alongside the Medieval Mayor Street, which is still as it originally was. The Asunción’s Church, on Mayor Street, dates back to the 16th century. The Route then passes a cemetery that still has the old door of the Hospital mentioned above and Pilgrimage Capitals.

The journey moves forward to the famous Nájera, birthplace of Kings and court of the Pamplona–Nájera Kingdom during the reign of King Don García. This royal town became a stop of the Santiago Pilgrimag in 1030, when Sancho el Grande decided to deviate the pilgrim’s route. Some years later, his son, García IV built the Monastery of Santa María la Real and a refuge. Therefore he determined the character of the city as a pilgrimage place. The Monastery, a magnificent Gothic Temple built on the ruins of a 15th century temple, includes a Cloister and the Tombs of Doña Blanca and of Diego López de Haro, the Mausoleum of the Reyes and el Coro, masterpieces in its own time.

9th stage : from Nájera to Santo Domingo de la Calzada

On the nineth day of their journey pilgrims say goodbye to Nájera, but before, they can travel to Azofra, not included on the Santiago Route, and visit the San Millán de la Cogolla sanctuaries, which were of great importance in Medieval Christian Spain. In San Millán you can find the Cañas Monastery, as well as two of the most relevant and well–known sanctuaries in Spain: the Suso Monastery (6th to 11th centuries) probably the most ancient in the Iberian Peninsula, and the Yuso Monastery (11th century).

Both are the birthplaces of the Castilian Language, here were written the first words of one of the most important languages in the world. Retaken the Santiago Route, travellers will arrive in Azofra, village that once had a hospital and a church used as a tomb for pilgrims. Later, they will enter the municipalities of Cirueña and Hervias.

Finally the Route reaches Santo Domingo de la Calzada, one of the most important stages of the journey. The Route passes along the city center. This beautiful city was named after a monk, later a saint, who dedicated most of his life to improve the conditions of the path. He built all by himself the Oja bridge and the road between his city and Redecilla. He has been attributed many miracles, the most popular being the one commonly known as the Legend of the Cock and the Hen. It took place some 300 years after the monk’s death.For centuries, these fantastic events attracted pilgrims , who arrived in the city anxious to witness a miracle. Santo Domingo de la Calzada became a city in 1134 through a concession made by Alfonso XI.

In Santo Domingo travellers should visit the Cathedral, a magnificent building whose construction began in the middle of the 12th century and was complete in the Gothic period. It contains many works of art, such as the Saint’s Mausoleum, a Renaissance central Altarpiece and a 18th–century Bell Tower. You can also find a hostelry founded by Santo Domingo, rebuilt in the 14th century , that today houses a state hotel.


Santo Domingo de la Calzada

10th stage: from Santo Domingo to Belorado

The tenth stage of the Route leaves La Rioja Province and enters Burgos Province. Leaving Santo Domingo de la Calzada behind, it continues to Grañón. On its ouskirts pilgrims will see the Cruz de los Valientes (the Brave’s Cross) in memory to the scene of the Juicio de Dios (God’s Judge), which was held between the representatives of Grañón and Santo Domingo over the ownership of a pasture.

The dispute was solved favorably for Martín García, from Grañón, who is still remembered as a local hero. Walkers will find a typical example of a pilgrimage city , with a long main street. They can also view San Juan Bautista’s Parish Church, which is home to a marvelous Renaissance central Altarpiece.

Later on the path leaves La Rioja Province and enters Burgos Province through Redecilla del Camino, a municipality that extends along both sides of the Route. During the Middle Ages there were 3 assistance centers for travellers. Pilgrims will be able to pray in the Virgen de la Calle’s Church, built in the 14th century and rebuilt between the 17th and 18th centuries. It contains a magnificent Romanesque font from the 12th century. Another ancient monument is San Lázaro’s Hospital for pilgrims.

After passing through Redecilla, the Route heads for Castidelgado, where a long time ago, stood a monastery and a hospital, both dedicated to Santiago Apostle. Today, visitors can view the Count of Berberana’s Stately Home, as well as San Pedro’s Church (16th century) and Santa María’s Chapel, with a front from the 18th century.

The next village on the Route is Viloria, where Santo Domingo de la Calzada was born in 1019. The font in which he was baptized can still be seen in the Parish Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción. Then the Route passes through Villamayor del Río and finally reaches Belorado, the final stop of the tenth day of the journey.

11th stage: from Belorado to San Juan de Ortega

In Belorado pilgrims can drink water, like its predecessors used to, from a Medieval Fountain, and pray in the Chapel of Nuestra Señora de Belén, once a hospital. Another monument is Santa María’s Parish Church that was rebuilt in the 16th century on the ruins of the ancient Church of Virgen de la Capilla. It contains fascinating sepulchres, a chapel and a beautiful Renaissance Altarpiece. Walkers can also visit San Pedro’s Church (17th century) and Virgen Bretonera’s Abbey.

The eleventh day of the Route takes travellers to Tosantos, after crossing the Cato Bridge, attibuted to Alfonso VI. The rupestrian Chapel of Virgen de la Peña, sorrounded by ancient caves, dominates the town.

Then the path continues to Villambista, where the Parish Church contains an altarpiece from the 16th century. San Roque’s Chapel also contains an altarpiece that originally belonged to the Abbey of San Francisco de Belorado.

Then, the Route heads for Espinosa del Camino, which extends along both sides of the path. Here can be found the ruins of San Felices’ Abbey, founded in the 9th century by that saint. In its interior are the tombs of San Félix and the Count Diego Parcelos, the famous man that carried out the repopulation of Burgos. Later on pilgrims arrive in Villafranca Montes de Oca, a town full of history where stand the ruins of San Antonio Abad’s Hospital, founded in 1830 by Queen Juana. At one time there was a Cathedral that was destroyed by the Muslims, on its ruins was built Santiago’s Church (18th century).

After leaving this town, the Route passes through Valdefuentes, on its way to San Juan de Ortega, the final stop of the tenth day of the journey. San Nicolas’Church (12th century) contains the sepulchre of San Juan, who founded this town, as well as a flamboyant Gothic Baldachin from the 15th century that represents miraculous scenes of San Juan’life.

12th stage: from San Juan de Ortega to Burgos

The twelfth stage of the Route leaves San Juan de Ortega and heads for Agés and , on its way, passes the Chapel of Nuestra Señora del Rebollar (18th century). In Agés, where there used to be iron mines, travellers can pray inside the Parish Church (16th century). Then, the Route leaves the village through a Romanesque Bridge of a single span and arrives in Atapuerca, known worldwide for its prehistoric remains. Here walkers can visit San Martin’s Parish Church (16th century).

After leaving behind this ancestral village, the path continues to Cardenuela, where stands a Parish Church with a beautiful Reinassance façade, passes through Orbaneja and Villafría and reaches Gamonal, which was an episcopal seat before it was moved to Burgos.

An important monument is the Church of Nuestra Señora La Real y antigua (14th century), that contains a delicate transept from the 16th century.

Finally, the Route arrives in Burgos, a city that has always been connected with Santiago’s Pilgrimage. Throughout history there have been a total of 35 hospitals and refuges. Its magnificent Cathedral, one of the most important in Spain, offers many attractions to visitors such as chapels (Condestable, Santiago, Cristo de Burgos), the Choir and some of the façades.

But the Cathedral is not the only monument in Burgos, since the town is full of them: San Nicolas Church, the 14th–century Mudejar Door, the Monastery of Huelgas Reales, which contains many royal mausoleums and a Fabric Museum, the 12th–century El Rey Hospital , the most ancient in town and the San Lesmes Parish Church (15th–16th centuries).


katedrála v Burgosu

13th stage: from Burgos to Hontanas

The route leaves Burgos and passes through Villalvia first and then Tarjados, an ancient pre–Christian village that at one time had a hospital near the Church of San Juan. Travellers can visit the Parish Church of La Asuncion, from the 13–18C, that contains a beautiful transept from the 18C, and the Convent of the Paules, which includes the remains of a doorway from the Santo Domingo Palace (16C).

The route continues towards Rabé de las Calzadas, where pilgrims can see the Parish Church of Santa Marina, with a splendid doorway from the 13C.

Then they arrive at Hornillos del Campo, with its road–path, typical along the Route to Santiago. A disproportionate ogival church with three naves and a magnificent transept dominates the town, where also stand the remains of a Benedictine Monastery and San Lazaro’s Hospital, vestiges of its Medieval glory, when it had three hospitals. There are also two Medieval bridges.

Finally, the route reaches Hontanas, the last halt of this stage. Here stands the Parish Church of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, near the ruins of San Antón Convent –with a Gothic church from the 14 C– founded by Alfonso VII in 1146. Popular legends state that the Antonian monks cured pilgrims who suffered from the "fire of San Antón" –a disease similar to leprosy– by cutting off the infected members of the patients.

14th Stage: from Hontanas to Frómista

Having taken a good rest, pilgrims begin the 13th day of the journey along the Route to Santiago, which takes him first to San Antón, where are the ruins of the Antonianos’Convent, 14 C. Then the route continues towards Castrojeriz, an old Celtic town, which was repopulated by Sigericón at the end of the 7 C. In this historic town –at one time it contained seven hospitals– pilgrims can pray inside the Church of Santa María del Manzano and enjoy an polychrome wood image of the Virgin.

They can also visit the Parish Church of Santo Domingo, which houses a museum; San Juan’s Gothic Church; the remains of a Castle from the 14 C, and the plinthed walls from the Roman period.

After coming out of this village, the Route enters Palencia province, going through Itero de la Vega, whose inhabitants, in the High Middle Ages had the power to elect their own lord. San Pedro’s Church was built in the 16 C over the remains of a former one from the 12 C. Piedad’s Chapel, which dates back to the 13 C, contains a carving of the Apostle Santiago. The municipality also treasures several funerary sculptures and monuments. There is such a variety of sights that the City Hall has opened a refuge for pilgrims that want to spend the night here. (Tel.: 988 151 826)

Later on, the Route arrives at Boadilla del Camino, where the Bishop Antonio de Rojas founded his first hospital in the 16 C, when the Church of Asunción was also built. In its interior there is a Renaissance retable with paintings by Juan de Villoldo and a Romanesque font.

Pilgrims finally reach Frómista, which contains a number of monuments that reflect the importance of this halt along the Route. Of all the hospitals the town had, only the Palmeros Hospital still remains, which today is used as hostel. The Romanesque San Martín’s Church, which was part of the Benedictine Monastery founded by Doña Mayor, houses interesting sculptures. The Renaissance San Pedro’s Church (15 C ) and the Church of Santa María del Castillo (16 C) are also worth a visit.


kostel San Martín - Frómista

15th Stage: from Frómista to Carrión de los Condes

After leaving Frómista, the Route begins its 14th stage at Población de Campos, where pilgrims can visit the small chapels of San Miguel and Socorro, both from the 12 C, and the Gothic Parish Church of Magdalena. Then, the Route crosses the villages of Villovieco; Revenga de Campos, where stands the church of San Lorenzo that contains a carving of the Saint from the 18 C; and Villarmentero de Campos, where pilgrims can tour round the church of San Martín, and admire its Mudéjar coffering, a plateresque retable and a beautiful Calvary.

Further on, the itinerary continues through the province of Palencia and reaches Villalcázar de Sirga, a town that once had two hospitals for pilgrims. Here stands the church of Santa María la Blanca, from the 13 C, which has three naves and a chapel dedicated to the Apostle Santiago. It also contains an image of the Virgin "Cantigas", to whom the King Alfonso X "The Wise" dedicated some of his writings. Worthy of note are also the Chevet, the Altarpiece and the Chapel with sepulchres from the 12 C. A 17C palace has been converted into a refuge for pilgrims.

Finally, the Route takes walkers to the town where they will rest after today’s journey, Carrión de los Condes. This important Medieval town was the Court of many kings and queens, site of councils and the birthplace of renowned figures such as the Marquis of Santillana. The Abbey of Santa Clara, from the 13 C, contains a Pietà created by Gregorio Fernández. The Romanesque church of Santa María del Camino treasures an image of Christ from the 15 C. The Monastery of Zoilo, from the 16 C is a masterpiece of the Renaissance. Worthy of note is also the beautiful Romanesque façade of the temple of Santiago, destroyed by the French troops during the Independence War.


Carrion de los Condes

16th Stage: from Carrión de los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza

At the 16th stage of the Route, pilgrims can deviate from the traditional itinerary and stop by Calzada de los Molinos. The Romanesque church of Santiago contains a High Altarpiece representing the Apostle Santiago.

The ruins of the monastery of Benevivere, from the 12 C are also worth a visit. Further on, the itinerary crosses Calzadilla and arrives at Cervatos de la Cueza, where stand the churches of Santa Columba and San Miguel.

Back on the Route to Santiago, pilgrims continue to Quintanilla de la Cueza, where are the remains of a late Roman town from the 3 and 4 C, including remarkable mosaics. The brick Parish Church of Asunción contains important cofferings, a High Altarpiece from the 16 C, describing scenes from the life of Christ, and sculptures of San Antón and Santa Catalina, both from the 16 C. The portico and the chevet show Mudejar cofferings.

The Route advances towards Calzadilla de la Cueza, a town through which passed a Roman road. A solitary tower presides over the town, lighthouse for pilgrims in the Middle Ages. The Parish Church of San Martín treasures a Renaissance retable from the 16 C, a work from the Juan de Juni School. It originally belonged to the monastery of Santa María de las Tiendas. In this area there are not many monuments. Instead, there are many constructions typical of the area, such as dovecotes, which present different shapes, from square to octagonal.

17th Stage: from Calzadilla de la Cueza to Sahagún

The 17th stage takes pilgrims to León, an important Community along the Route to Santiago, full of history and art. But before entering this region, the Route passes through some villages in the Palencia region; including Santa María de las Tiendas, where stands a country house built over the ruins of a 11–12 C hospital; Lédigos, donated to the Church of Compostela by Doña Urraca; Terradillos de los Templarios, a town that, as indicates its name, belonged to this religious–military order; Moratinos; and San Nicolás del Real Camino, a municipality that contains a brick church with a 18 C retable.

The Route leaves Palencia and enters León through Sahagún, today’s staging post. This historical town became relevant thanks to the Route to Santiago. It grew into an important Borough, with fairs and markets where different products could be bought. Likewise, the town developed Romanesque Art extensively. Pilgrims can visit the ruins of one of the most important monasteries in the North of the Peninsula, with large extensions of land.

At one time, coin was minted in the monastery. It also was a prestige cultural centre, where distinguished figures received education, including Fray Bernardino de Sahagún. There are other monuments, including the Romanesque churches of San Tirso and San Lorenzo, from the 12 and 13 C; the small chapel of the Virgin of Puente; the monastery of San Facundo; San Juan, the Trinidad and Peregrina.

The Benedictine brick Monastery is the most remarkable of its kind. Built in the 12 C, the monastery has an outstanding façade with precious Romanesque capitals. In its interior presides a Christ by Gregorio Fernández. Today, the construction houses a museum displaying important works of art from Sahagún and the sorrounding areas. The collection includes a processional monstrance by Enrique de Arfe; many Renaissance and Baroque paintings; Romanesque and Flemish sculptures; processional monstrances from different periods; and a Churrigueresque retable. The monastery also houses the sarcophagi with the remains of the King Alfonso VI and his wives.


kostel San Lorenzo - Sahagún

18th Stage: from Sahagún to Reliegos

The route starts this day, after having left Sahagún, in Calzada del Coto. At the entrance of this village, the Jacobean Street, the route forks in two, uniting again in Mansilla de las Mulas: the Royal French Route, which goes through El Burgo Renero; and the Hermanillos road, which goes along the antique Roman Calzada Trajana.

Following the French Route, the pilgrim will first arrive at Bercianos del Real Camino, where the El Salvador Church stands, with a carving of Saint Joan the Baptist and a painting of the Stations of the Cross inside, both from the sixteenth century.

Afterwards the route reaches the village of El Burgo Ranero, cut in two by a long straight Royal Street, an inheritance of the Camino de Santiago.

Finally, at the end of this quiet day’s stage, the pilgrim reaches Reliegos, a village that was called Pallantia by the Romans and where three military roads meet. The village is famous for its underground wine cellars.

19th Stage: from Reliegos to León

A day full of history for the pilgrim, during which he’ll see some of Spain’s most important Roman monuments. The eighteenth stage starts crossing Mansilla de las Mulas, a village with city walls and towers that was resettled by Fernando II in 1181. The village was of strategic importance during the Dark Ages, from which it inherited monuments like the Saint Martin Church (thirteenth century), restored in 1989 and today home to the Casa de Cultura of the town council; the Saint Mary Church, built in the eighteenth century on top of an earlier temple; the Saint Augustine Monastery (sixteenth century) and the hermitage of the Virgin de Gracia, various times restored.

After leaving this historical village over a stone bridge which crosses the Esla River, the walker takes up the Camino again, direction Villamoros. However, first he can leave the road to visit the San Miguel de la Escalade Monastery, a national monument in Mozarabic style, 16 km from Mansilla de las Mulas.

After Villamoros appears the Puente Villarente, a village you can access through the Twenty Eyes Bridge. Here you can see the sixteenth century Pilgrim Hospital. The journey continuous to Arcahueja and after that, the pilgrim reaches Valdelafuente, passing a modern cruise leaving the village. Then, descending the Portillo Top, the Camino arrives in Léon.

Léon amasses some of Spain’s most important historic–artistic monuments, like its Cathedral, a Gothic gem and a masterpiece of architecture. The building was erected between the thirteenth and fourteenth century and restored last century. Next to the Cathedral, there is the Roman Saint Isidoro Basilica (eleventh and twelfth century), where the Saint Isidoro of Seville tomb is kept; and the Saint Marcus Monastery, with its fantastic front in plateresque style

Other important buildings are the Saint Ana Church, built by Doña Urraca in the twelfth century, the Guzman Palace (sixteenth century), the Roman Saint Mary del Mercado Church (twelfth century), the Concepción Monastery (sixteenth century) and the Casa Botines, designed by Gaudi at the end of the nineteenth century. Léon also preserves antique Roman city walls which protected the city premises.


katedrála v Leónu

20th Stage: from León to Villadangos del Páramo

Pilgrims leave the town of León and continue their journey along the Route towards Trobajo del Camino, with a small chapel dedicated to the Apostle Martyr. Then pilgrims arrive at La Virgen del Camino, where legend states that the Virgin appeared in front of a shepherd in 1506, and asked him to build a shrine.

Today stands one, built in 1961. Further on, the itinerary reaches Valverde de la Virgen, where there are no vestiges of the old Medieval Route. The next village the Route crosses is San Miguel del Camino , where, in the 12 C, there was a hospital for pilgrims.

The Archeological Museum of León treasures an image of the Saint Apostle from the 15 C that belonged to this institution.Leaving behind this municipality, the Route takes pilgrims to the next staging post, Villadangos del Páramo, where they can stay at the Municipal Hostelry.

This town of Roman origin, was the site of a battle that took place between the Queen Doña Urraca of León and her husband, Alfonso I of Aragón, in the year 1111. In the Middle Ages there was a hospital. Pilgrims can take a quiet walk round the streets and pray at the Parish Church, which contains an image of the Apostle Santiago from the 18 C.

21th Stage: from Villadongos del Páramo to Astorga

At this stage the Route first takes pilgrims to San Martín del Camino, where is the site of an old hospital. Then the itinerary continues towards Hospital de Órbigo. In this town were held in 1434 the famous jousts organised by Suero de Quiñónez, during which he challenged many European knights.

Pilgrims will find the church of San Juan, built by the Knights Hospitaller. After leaving this epic village the Route crosses Santibáñez de Valdeiglesias and leads pilgrims to San Justo de la Vega, where stands a Parish Church that contains a carving of San Justo from the 16 C, and a retable from the 17 C.

Finally pilgrims arrive at the end of the 20th stage along the Route, by reaching the episcopal town of Astorga. This historical and religious city, called Astúrica by the Romans, once had 25 hospitals. On it converge the French and the Plata Routes to Santiago. The extraordinary Gothic Cathedral, from the 15 C presides over the town. It has a Baroque façade and some Renaissance elements. The portada is typical of the Route. In its interior is a retable by Becerra from the 16 C.

The Episcopal Palace or Gaudi Palace houses the Museo de los Caminos, which displays pieces from all churches related to the Route to Santiago. Pilgrims can also visit the Roman and Medieval ramparts, the Roman jailhouse and confinements for slaves.


katedrála Santa María - Astorga

22th Stage: from Astorga to Rabanal del Camino

The Route goes out of Astorga and it takes pilgrims, first, to Valdeviejas. But before arriving at this small village, travellers will pass by the small chapel of Ecce Homo. Once in the municipality –that had a hospital for pilgrims– they will view the church of San Verísimo, whose 14 C retable is in the Museo de los Caminos, in Astorga.

The Route then passes through Murias de Richivaldo and arrives at Castrillo de los Polvazares, a town that has an outstanding architectural heritage, where the genuine atmosphere of the region of Maragatería still remains. The remains of a Roman encampment are worthy of note. Later on, the itinerary leads towards Santa Catalina de Somoza, a typical example of a staging post along the Route, with houses on both sides of the way.

It once contained a Hospital, called Big by its inhabitants. Near the village rises Teleno mountain, dedicated to Mars by the Romans. After leaving behind this small village, the Route enters El Ganso via the Real Street, where in 1142 there was a Hospital and a Monastery. Its Santiago church houses the Chapel dedicated to the Christ of Pilgrims. A couple of kilometers further along the Route stand the ruins of La Fucarona, a Roman goldmine.

Finally the Route reaches Rabanal del Camino ,our final halt for today. Upon arriving, pilgrims will see a big house that was the Hospital for Pilgrims in Medieval times. There is also a house, called the Four Corners, that is said to have given shelter to Felipe II. Travellers can pray in the small chapel of San José or in the Parish Church containing remains from the 12 C.

23th Stage: from Rabanal del Camino to Molinaseca

After leaving Rabanal del Camino the route continues across the region of León. The first village that appears is Foncebadón, the onetime important center in the Middle Ages that has been abandoned. Here took place a Council in the 10 C, and a century later, the hermit Guacelmo founded a hostelry for pilgrims. Some kilometers off the municipality, surmounting a peak that the Romans dedicated to Mercury can be seen the Ferro Cross, on top of a stick fixed to a big heap of stones .

Traditionally travellers bring a stone from their places of origin and deposit it on the heap.The itinerary continues towards Manjarín, an abandoned village that once had a hospital. The Route crosses El Acebo, at whose entrance is the Fountain of the Trout. The houses have exterior staircases and slate roofs.

Its Parish Church treasures a Romanesque carving of Santiago pilgrim. Next to this municipality is Compludo, where San Fructuoso founded his first monastery in the 7 C. A Medieval forge, run by water, can still be found. The itinerary continues and arrives at Riego de Ambrós, where stand the Chapels of San Fabián and San Sebastián, and the church of Asunción.

Finally, pilgrims reach the end of today’s journey located in Molinaseca. Upon reaching this beautiful town –crossing a Romanesque bridge– travellers will view the ruins of the Sanctuary of Angustias. In the interior of the village the emblazoned houses with towers can be admired. One of this houses was inhabited by Doña Urraca. Also the Balboa house, the Hospital and the chapel of Saint Christ at the end of the village, are worthy of note.


templářský hrad - Ponferrada

24th Stage: from Molinaseca to Villafranca del Bierzo

The Route leaves Molinaseca and passes across the small village of Campo, where stands the chapel of Santo Cristo. Further on, the Route crosses the popular town of Ponferrada. This town, with Prehistoric and Roman antecedents, had two accesses in the Middle Ages. One was via the Roman bridge spanning the Boeza river, sunk in the 18 C; the other was via the path of the Gallegos and then, crossing the river by the Medieval bridge of Mascarón.

At the end of the 11 C, the Bishop of Astorga, Osmundo, commissioned the building of a new bridge, "la Pons Ferrata", a pass with iron banisters which gave name to the city. Later on, between the 11 and 14 C, the Castle of the Knights Templar was built. At the end of the 15 C, the Catholic Monarchs commissioned the construction of the Hospital de la Reina, next to the fortress.

In this monumental town also stand the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de la Encina, from the 16 C –built to commemorate the apparition of the Virgin in a grove of holm oaks– and the Baroque church of San Andrés, from the 17 C, which is home to an outstanding retable from the 13 C, "The Christ of the Wonders".

After visiting this town, pilgrims continue towards Columbrianos, that contains a Roman road; then pass through Fuentesnuevas, with the chapel of the Campo; and reach Camponayara, an important halt along the Route. In the Middle Ages it had two hospitals.

The Route follows its course towards Cacabelos, where the first thing that appears into sight is the Chapel of San Roque; then the church of Santa María, from the 13–16 C, containing a carving of the Virgin from the 13 C. The Neoclassical Sanctuary of the Quinta Angustia, from the 18 C, is also worthy of note, as well as its Hospital for Pilgrims.

Today’s journey finishes at Villafranca del Bierzo, a town founded in the 11 C, where the Cluny Order had an important representation. Pilgrims can enjoy the Collegiate Church of Santa María, built between the 13 and 16 C; the churches of Santiago (12 C) and San Nicolás, as well as the Agua Street, full of palaces and emblazoned houses. The Castle–Palace of the Marquisate is worthy of being visited.

25th Stage: from Villafranca del Bierzo to Cebreiro

At the end of today’s journey, pilgrims will reach the region of Galicia. The Route leaves Villafranca del Bierzo and passes through Pereje, a municipality that retains its Medieval atmosphere, and then Trabadelo. This village belonged to the Compostela Church after being donated by Alfonso III, and where stood the Castle of Aucatares.

The Route then runs through Vega de Valcárcel, in the Ancares area. This village developed in the shade of the Castles of Sarracín, of which some ruins can be seen, and Veiga. Both castles are connected to Celtic legends. It is said that in 1520, the King Carlos V stayed here.

Upon approaching Lugo, the Route passes through Ruitelán, with its Chapel of San Froilán, who, according to popular legends, lived as a hermit here. Further on, travellers arrive at Herrerías (forges), called after the many forges it once had. Later, the Route enters La Faba, from where can be viewed Cebreiro up in the distance. The last village in the region of Leon is Laguna de Castillo.

Pilgrims enter Galicia by Lugo, not far from Santiago. The first village in the region of Lugo along the Route is Cebreiro, with an altitude of 1,300 meters. A group of "pallozas" can be seen –Preromanesque circular houses with straw roofs– and a beautiful Preromanesque temple, from the 9–10 C, containing a Chalice, the Paten of "Santo Milagro" and a precious Romanesque carving of Santa María la Real. The Ethnographic Museum, located in a "palloza" can be visited.

26th Stage: from Cebreiro to Triascatela

The first day of journey in Galice starts in Liñares and continues in the Condesa Hospital. This village also has a church and a hospital for pilgrims with a style and structure similar to those of the hostelries of Santa María la Real and the neighbouring Cebreiro. The nickname "the Countess" that goes with the name of the village is a tribute to the founder of the hospital, at the end of the 9 C.

Travellers then pass through the hamlets of Padorneio, with its 15 C church; and Fonfría do Camiño, which contains the old hospital for pilgrims, Santa Catalina, and the Parish Church that houses a golden silver chalice from the 18 C.

The Route leads to Biduedo, where the smallest church along the Route can be found, San Pedro. In As Pasantes pilgrims can pray in the chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Remedios.

Finally, the Route reaches the end of its 25th stage, Triacastela. Traditionally pilgrims used to take a limestone which they carried along to Castañeda, so that it would become lime that could be used to build the Santiago Cathedral. In the 13 C, Alfonso XI tried unsuccessfully to convert this precious village into a big town. Triacastela once had a hospital and a prison, an unusual circumstance along the Route. Travellers can visit the Parish Church of Santiago, containing a façade from the 18 C and a Romanesque apse. In its interior there is a processional cross from the 12 C.

27th Stage: from Triacastela to Sarria

On the 27th day of the journey, pilgrims can visit Samos, located off the traditional French Itinerary, but whose Benedictine Monastery of San Xulián de Samos, from the 6–18 C, is worthy to be visited. This important monastery is situated on the valley by the Ouribio river, sorrounded by a scenery that enhances its beauty and provides a mysterious atmosphere.

Its impressive Neoclassical façade is worthy of note, as well as the huge cloisters. The cloister of Nereidas, from the 16 C contains a beautiful fountain. The Ciprés chapel, from the 10 C, is one of the oldest elements in the monastery.Back on the Route, pilgrims head towards Balsa, with the small chapel of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves. Then, the Route passes through a picturesque scene full of oaks and chestnut trees located in San Xil.

This village has a Romanesque church with a chalice in it dating back to the 15 C. The Route continues to Montán, where stands a church with a Romanesque nave and where pilgrims can drink water from the Fountain of Chafarico. Further on, pilgrims go through Furela, where stands a chapel dedicated to San Roque; then Pintín; Calvor, with many prehistorical sites; Aguiada; San Mamed del Camino; and San Pedro del Camino.

After leaving this village, the Route leads to Sarria, the staging post for today. In this town –where Alfonso IX died in 1230, while making the pilgrimage–, the old quarter retains a strong Medieval character. Travellers can also visit the church of Salvador, with a Romanesque ground plan and Gothic façade; the small chapel of San Lázaro; the hospital of San Antonio, which today houses a Court; and the remains of its old fortress, from the 14 C.

28th Stage: from Sarria to Portomarín

The Route leaves Sarria and crosses first Viley and then Barbadelo. In the latter, pilgrims should stop by the church of Santiago, declared National Historical Heritage. Built in the 12 C, the temple is one of the best examples of the Romanesque in Galicia.

The key elements in the church are the tympanum, the frontispiece, the northern side and its sculptures. The next municipality to appear is Rente, followed by Mercado da Serra, a humble hamlet where the jewish people from Portomarín used to trade and supply pilgrims.

The Route continues towards Xisto del Camino; Leimán; Pana; Peruscallo; Cortiñas; Lavandeira; Casal; Brea, which means way, place on travellers’ way in general, and pilgrims in particular; Morgade, which consists only of one house; Ferreiros; Mirallos, containing an interesting 12 C church with an extraordinary transept; Pena; Couto; Rozas; Moimentos; Cotareio; Mercadoiro, where there are vestiges of an old road; Moutras; Parrocha and Vilachá, inhabited by many peasants of means. In this village stand the ruins of the Monastery of Loio, cradle of the Knights of the Order of Santiago. The small chapel of Santa María de Loio, with its Visigothic walls, is worthy of note.

After going through many hamlets, the Route arrives at a famous town, Potomarín. The town, which dates back to the Roman Age, was an important halt along the Route in the Middle Ages. The old Portomarín lies beneath the waters of the dam built in 1962. But before flooding the town, many monuments were moved, stone by stone, somewhere else. Such was the case of the church–fortress of the Knights of San Juan of Jerusalem, who once run the old hospital that lies beneath the waters of the Miño river, along with the old Medieval and Roman bridges. The municipality also has the church of San Nicolás, from the 13 C; the portal of the church of San Pedro, from 1182; the Count’s House, from the 16 C, and the Palace of Berbetoros, from the 17 C.


kostel San Nicolas - Portomarín

29th Stage: from Portomarín to Palas de Rey

After leaving Portomarín, pilgrims go back to the Route, which will pass through many hamlets that fill not only Lugo, but also Galicia. At this stage the Route will cross Toxibó; Gonzar, which has an hostelry; Castromayor; Hospital da Cruz, also with an hostelry; Ventas de Narón, an important Medieval town. On its lands took place a bloody battle between Christians and Arabs in the year 820. Further on the Route are Prebisa; Lameiros, where pilgrims can visit the Chapel of San Marcos and admire its beautiful transept.

The Route advances towards Ligonde, where Carlos V and Felipe II halted along their pilgrimage to Santiago. It definitely had a hospital, which is recalled by a plain stone cross on the site where it stood. The Santiago church can also be visited, with its old graveyard for pilgrims.

The itinerary continues to Portos, where pilgrims can deviate from the Route for a moment and visit Vilar de Donas. The fine Romanesque temple that stands majestically is remarkable for its Gothic paintings from the 16 C, and the busts of the "donas" or ladies that founded the house and its central apse in the 14 C. The temple also treasures several sarcophagi of Knights of the Order of Santiago along with a stone retable that depicts the eucharistic miracle of O Cebreiro.

After taking the original course of the Route, pilgrims cross Lastedo and Valos, before arriving at Palas de Rei, the last stop on the 28th day of journey. Once an important town in the Middle Ages –it had a Royal Hospital– the church of San Tirso stands on its lands, with a Romanesque portal. Upon leaving the town, pilgrims will see the Campo dos Romeiros, where pilgrims traditionally met to start a new stage of their journey.

30th Stage: from Palas de Rey to Arzúa

The Route leaves Palas de Rei and continues towards La Coruña province. Not far away, Santiago de Compostela awaits pilgrims. The Route first crosses San Julián del Camino, a small village where stands a Romanesque church with an interesting transept, then it continues to Outeiro da Ponte, where is the Castle of Pambre, one of the best preserved fortresses in Galicia.

Further on, pilgrims pass though Pontecampaña, Casanova Mato, Porto de Bois and Campanilla. On leaving this last village, the Route enters the province of La Coruña.

The first village to be crossed by the Route in La Coruña is Camino es Coto, then Leboreiro, where is an old Roman road that used to be followed by Medieval pilgrims.Visitors can view a Romanesque church from the 13 C and the emblazoned house of the Ulloa family, that once housed a hospital.

Shortly after, pilgrims encounter Disicabo; then Furelos, with its Parish Church from the 19 C; and a Medieval bridge from the 14 C that takes them to Melide. This town is crucial to the Route, because it is the place where the French and the Oviedo Routes converge. At the entrance to the town there is a crossroads from the 14 C, one of the oldest in Galicia.

The present Parish Church was the former church of the Monastery of Sancti Spiritus. It contains stately sepulchres. Worthy of note are also the small chapel of San Roque, with its transept from the 14 C, and the Romanesque church of Santa María. The Route passes through Carballal, Ponte das Peñas, Raído, Bonete and Castañeda, where used to be the lime ovens used during the construction of Santiago Cathedral.

As a penance, pilgrims used to carry in their packs a limestone from the mountains of Triacastela. A Medieval bridge leads pilgrims to Ribadiso, before arriving at Arzúa, the next halt on their journey. Surrounded by a beautiful scenery stands the Gothic Chapel of Magdalena, the only part of the old Augustinian monastery that has come down to us.

31st stage: de Arzúa a Rúa

Pilgrims will start today’s journey full of joy, conscious that tomorrow they will be entering Santiago de Compostela, where many wonders await them, including the sepulchre of the Saint Apostle. The next stage, apart from being exciting for its sentimental and spiritual load, will be wearisome. For that reason, today’s journey will be quiet and short; pilgrims would better reserve their energies.

The Route advances towards Las Barrosas, where are the small chapel of San Lázaro and the Mill of the French. Further on the Route crosses Calzada, Calle and Salceda, where pilgrims can stop by a small monument in memory of a Belgian pilgrim who died here on 23 August, 1989. Then the itinerary passes through Brea and Santa Irene, and finally arrives at Rúa.

Before retiring to the Hotel, pilgrims can take a quiet walk around this village. The emotion is reflected in the pilgrims’ face, the tiredness accumulated during the pilgrimage does not become apparent. Many things are on the pilgrims’minds: the list of all the sights to see in Santiago, the visit to the Apostle, the intention to pick up the document that certifies that the Route to Santiago has been made.

In Compostela await them the Cathedral, the Obradoiro Square, the old Royal Hospital of the Catholic Monarchs, the Rúa of San Pedro... They will also have time to enjoy the delicious gastronomy of Galicia.

32rd Stage: from Rúa to Santiago de Compostela

The final day has come. Pilgrims begin their last day of journey along the Route to Santiago. Along it, pilgrims have travelled by part of the Spanish territory, and have enjoyed many of the countless wonders the country treasures, as a result of centuries of history, where the Route of Santiago has played an important role.

The itinerary leads to Burgo, followed by Arca, San Antón, Amenal and San Paio. Further on, the Route arrives at Lavacolla, where pilgrims used to wash and make themselves presentable before entering the town of Compostela.

 

Founded to house the remains of the Apostle Santiago as he deserved, the town retains its Medieval atmosphere, except for the ramparts. Unfortunately, they were destroyed at the end of the last century. Overjoyed pilgrims will walk along its ancient streets: Rúa do Franco, Rúa do Vilar, Rúa Nova and Rúa of San Pedro. They will admire the beautiful squares, including the famous Obradoiro, at the foot of the Cathedral, as well as the Quintana, Inmaculada, San Martín, Ánimas...

Pilgrims will soon arrive at the Cathedral, the destination they have been yearning to reach for a long time. This architectural masterpiece is the most important Romanesque monument. Access to the Doorway of Glory is via the Obradoiro façade. Once in its interior, pilgrims will be carried away by the emotions produced by the sight of so many extraordinary valuable works of art. Tradition invites pilgrims to perform some rites. The most important and meaningful one is the hug to the Saint. Later on, comes the pagan rite of the bumps. It consists in reaching for a branch on the mullion, below the figure of the Sitting Apostle and, later making three wishes. On the other side of the column, there is another statue believed to impart wisdom and talents to whoever bumps his head against it.

Outside the Cathedral, at the Obradoiro Square, visitors will be amazed at the magnificent sorrounding buildings that reflect the thousand years of history and architecture in the town: the School of San Jerónimo, founded in 1501; the Neoclassical Pazo Raxoi, built in 1766, and the Old Royal Hospital for pilgrims, favoured by the Catholic Monarchs and built at the beginning of the 16 C. These are some of the wonders pilgrims can enjoy in this historical town.

Towns and villages along the way

Roncesvalleswww.roncesvalles.es
Pamplonawww.pamplona.net
Puente la Reinapuentelareina–gares.net
Estellawww.estella-lizarra.com
Los Arcoswww.losarcos.es
Logroñowww.logro-o.org
Najérawww.najera.es
Santo Domingo de la Calzadawww.santodomingodelacalzada.org
Beloradowww.belorado.org
Burgoswww.aytoburgos.es
Carrión de los Condeswww.carriondeloscondes.es
Sahagúnwww.sahagun.org
Leónwww.aytoleon.es
Astorgawww.ayuntamientodeastorga.com
Ponferradawww.ponferrada.org
Sarriawww.sarria.net
Santiago de Compostelawww.santiagoturismo.com

Photogallery

Průčelí katedrály na Plaza del Obradoiro
Pohled na katedrálu z Plaza de la Azabachería
V kryptě se nacházejí apoštolovy tělesné pozůstatky
Vyobrazení apoštola na skříňce hlavního oltáře
Hlavní oltář odráží celý lesk baroka
Stříbrná urna s apoštolovými relikviemi
Svatá brána - otevírá se pouze ve Svatý rok
Torre del Reloj (Věž hodin) a Torre Berenguela na Plaza de la Quintana