Camino

The Camino Francès to Santiago de Compostela

The history, legends, development and infrastructure of the stations along the Spanish Camino de Santiago through Navarre, Castile, León and Galicia to the shrine of Saint James at Compostela

Sancho el Mayor and the Camino

Sancho el Mayor and the Camino

The Historia Silense and the Cronica Najerense, two twelfth century monastic chronicles of Spanish history, both record that it was Sancho el Mayor who around the year 1030 was the first Hispanic ruler to actively take a hand in the pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela.

Of the walls of Pamplona that fell themselves

Of the walls of Pamplona that fell themselves

The legends of Charlemagne and Pamplona resonated in medieval epic poetry. Pamplona was such a vital location, as well as being one of the first cities to be reconquered by the Christians from the Moors, that it was inevitable it should become the locus of legendary...

Four Roads to Puente la Reina

Four Roads to Puente la Reina

The large Romanesque bridge which gives its name to the Navarrese town of Puente la Reina is eloquent testimony to the important flow of pilgrims that were travelling from France to Compostela by the first half of the eleventh century.

Villamayor de Monjardín

Villamayor de Monjardín

The legend of Charlemagne and Monjardin and the martyred Frankish warriors was an important episode in the mythology of the emperor’s Spanish campaign.

Sahagún and the relics of Saint Facundus and Saint Primitivus

Sahagún and the relics of Saint Facundus and Saint Primitivus

Sahagún lies on the banks of the Cea river on the Castilian meseta between Fromistá and León. The rather empty and desolate place today belies its medieval status as one of the most important monastic centres in twelfth century Spain. The town took its name from the abbey of San Facundo e Primitivo.

Estella

Estella

In 1090 Sancho Ramirez ruler of the joint kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon established the new town of Estella on the banks of the Ega river, thereby moving the pilgrimage road three kilometres south of the Roman road which had  been its previous course.

Río Salado

Río Salado

The Compostelan pilgrim encountered poisonous waters and the treacherous Navarrese at the Río Salado. Chapter six of the Pilgrim’s Guide is devoted to the many rivers pilgrims would encounter on their journey and which had water that was potable and which were poisonous.

León

León

The city of León was situated at the confluence of two major Iberian Roman transport arteries; the north south road from Baetica to Asturias met the road from Pamplona heading west towards Galicia.  At this important intersection the Roman seventh legion had been stationed, protecting the plains from the Cantabrian tribes.

Santo Domingo de Silos

Santo Domingo de Silos

A short distance south of Burgos in Castille, the Benedictine monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos has a double storied cloister which contains on its north eastern pier one of the most sublime images of the pilgrimage roads.

Roncevaux

Roncevaux

Roncevaux and the pilgrimage road were bound to each other in an essential way. In order to enter Spain, pilgrims had to cross the Pyrenees.

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