The Aragonese Camino to Santiago de Compostela
The history, legends, development and infrastructure of the stations along the Spanish Aragonese Camino de Santiago via Jaca, San Juan de la Peña and Sangüesa through Aragón to the shrine of Saint James at Compostela
Initially the most popular route into Spain for pilgrims to Compostela, it has been traditionally considered that the passage over the Somport Pass was later restricted to those using the so-called Via Tolosana, from Arles. However its more central position along the Pyrenean chain suggests that the Aragonese Way drew travellers from a wider area.
The town of Jaca was a major way station of the Compostelan pilgrimage. The topography of its location proved beneficial in several ways.
In Navarre, only a stone’s throw from the pilgrim’s road, stands the isolated chapel of Santa María de Eunate. Its octagonal shape and exterior stone cloister arcade grant it a quite exceptional appearance.
By arranging the construction of a seven arched bridge across the Aragon river by Rocaforte, it was clearly the intention of Alfonso el Batallador to drive pilgrimage traffic south towards Puente la Reina. The new town which grew up by the new bridge was Sangüesa and it became a substantial pilgrimage station.
The Rio Aragon turns westwards as it leaves Jaca, the pilgrimage road following along its left bank. Just off the road up a shallow valley lies the monastic buildings of Santa Cruz de la Serós
Situated at the mouth of a cave beneath a massive red sandstone cliff, the abbey of San Juan de la Peña benefits from one of the most dramatic locations of any medieval edifice.