Km 0. SARRIA
It is close to the last 100 kilometers, minimum distance that must be traveled on foot to win the Compostela.
Villa del Camino Francés as it passes through the province of Lugo. Founded by King Alfonso IX of León at the end of the 12th century, protective monarch of the road that would die in Sarria in 1230 when he was on a pilgrimage to Compostela, to thank the Apostle for the military advances against Muslims in Extremadura.
Ascending along the Rúa Mayor, you reach the Plaza de la Constitución, with a statue of King Alfonso IX.
Next, we find the capilla de San Salvador (Saint Saviour’s Chapelle), roman with gothic façade, stands out the pantocrator of the north side door. In front, we spot the courthouse, rehabilitated
construction that have been the headquarters of the Hospital de San Antón (San Antone’s hospital), established in 1592. It cared for all the pilgrims from their way back from Santiago and
showed the compostela. It remained open until 1821.
SANTA MAGDALENA CONVENT
Created in the thirteenth century, at the same time as Sarria. There is a legend that says that two Italians, returning from their pilgrimage to Santiago, decided to found a monastery and hospital to attend the pilgrims, in a place where there was already a chapel dedicated to San Blas. The first writing where this monastery is documented dates from 1219.
The first occupants are thought to have been hermit followers of the rule of St. Augustine. In a document of 1251 it is left in writing that the monastery would pass to the Church of Lugo, if the hermits abandoned it.
In 1332 a bull of Pope John XXIII granted indulgences and would become autonomous and known as «muffins».
During the 18th century important construction works were carried out. Later it became a prison, losing much of the real estate and the archive. In 1895 it was managed so that the mercedaries occupied the house, being these those that occupy it at present.
So we find a mixture of styles: Gothic cloister, baroque tower and plateresque facade.
PONTE DA ÁSPERA
It conserves three arches of medieval times and is located from the Celeiro River, it was built with pieces of slate, except the arches that are of granite masonry.
Km 2,9. AS PAREDES
Sculpture in memory of Don Germán Arias.
CHURCH OF BARBADELO
Original church from the second half of the 12th century built on an old monastery. Declared a National Monument in 1976, it is one of the best known and most admired on the Camino.
Numerous works have transformed part of its original profile. The tower is the most emblematic element of the building. On each of the three walls of the ship opens a cover, the south, blinded, is just a vestige.
It is worth contemplating its covers and the different capitals for the originality presented by its iconography. There are strange animals, such as lions, birds and snakes linked to medieval bestiaries, and complex human representations are concentrated in the eardrum and on the capitals of the cover, in the windows and in a side door. In the outer capital located to the right of the cover, very eroded, an infrequent representation of the scourging of Christ appears.
Km 4,5 BARBADELO
Km 5,3 RENTE
Km 6. MERCADO DA SERRA
The nucleus of O Mercado da Serra (625 m), one km from the place of Barbadelo, was the commercial center of the area, where Jewish and Christian merchants went to contact the pilgrims.
Km 12. MORGADE
Small chapel very damaged and little respected by the pilgrims.
Km 13,6 MIRALLOS
CHURCH OF SANTA MARÍA DE FERREIROS
Roman church of Santa María (Saint Mary) de Ferreiros located in Mirallos, it was transferred in 1790 because the Camino passed far away from it and it wanted to become an hospital for
pilgrims. It was built in Mirallos in the 12 th century and later a baroque belfry was added.
Humble temple but with an interesting roman portal, that rests on two spandrels decorated with a lion head.
Km 22,4 PORTOMARÍN
“Pons Minee” that has been interpreted as “Puente del Miño”. This bridge, along with that of Lugo and Ourense, was the only way to cross the Miño without using a boat, which is why the pilgrims’ route had to pass through here. On the other hand, “marín” is also related to the existence since the High Middle Ages of a sanctuary dedicated to Santa María, on which the church of San Nicolás or San Juan would later be built.
It is located on the right bank of the Miño River.
The population is accessed by a stairway seated on the arches of the old medieval bridge, where the CHAPEL OF THE VIRGIN OF THE SNOWS was placed.
The ancient city, formed by two neighborhoods, San Nicolás and San Pedro, is submerged in the Belesar reservoir. The town had to be rebuilt in 1960.
Portomarín was an important place of passage in the Middle Ages with a large bridge and hospital, but everything remained under the waters of the Miño.
The CHURCH-STRENGTH OF SAN NICOLÁS, erected by the monks-knights of the order of St. John of Jerusalem in the twelfth century, was dismantled stone by stone to be rebuilt in the square of the new settlement. It is one of the most interesting examples of Romanesque Lucense. It consists of a ship with five sections covered with ribbed vault and pointed barrel. The towers have a crenellated finish.
This unique Romanesque temple was built by disciples of Master Mateo, and the influence of the Portico de la Gloria is visible in the sculptures of the church, but without reaching the perfection of it.
It looks strong as it was the Military Order of the Knights of Santiago who ordered it to be built. Surprising its great height and beauty of its light, coming from its raised windows and the large rose window that is proportionally the largest in Galicia.
Highlight the facade that covers a large arc of discharge that generates two small highlights that become crenellated towers . On the eardrum of the cover a Christ of a different style is represented in a mandorla than the decoration of the rest of the cover, indicating a sculptor different from the rest.
CHURCH OF SAN PEDRO, Romanesque, which also moved.This church is before that of St. Nicholas. Built in the twelfth century, it has a baroque facade with Romanesque doorway from the tenth century, although it was not consecrated until the twelfth.
In the seventeenth century it underwent modifications, adding the belfry of the bell tower.
Pazo del Conde da Maza, 16th century
The pazo of General Paredes or house of the Count of the Maza, formerly called house large, it was owned by the Count of Taboada also with the last name of the descendant Mace an ancient and extensive dynasty of the military.
It dates from the 16th century. The building is currently located in the arcaded square of the new Portomarín next to the town hall.
Km 8. GONZAR
SANTA MARÍA DE GONZAR
Church of Santa María de Gonzar. It is a Baroque-style temple located in an environment of great beauty, next to the old rectory house and one of the most unique cruises of the O Pino Town Hall.
Inside the temple, near the main altar, is the tomb of Josefa de la Torre, also known as ‘A espiritada’ or ‘La enferma de Gonzar’, a mysterious woman who was, it was said, more than 30 years without eating nor drink, so he began to acquire Santa’s fame.
KM 9,3. CASTROMAIOR
CHURCH OF SANTA MARÍA
Entirely preserved rural Romanesque church. Temple of a ship, gable roof with tile roof over wooden armor.
Cover in a semicircular arch with an archivolt, in an edge with simple molding on the outside, lintelled eardrum, projections and mochetas with geometric drawings and jambs on the edge. On this one, window saetera and bulrush of a single vain.
Curious marks carved on the apse stones.
Km 13,3. VENTAS DE NARÓN
CHAPEL OF SANTA MAGDALENA DE VENTAS DE NARÓN
Chapel with a carved door with the symbols of the chalice, the cross and the pilgrim’s shell.Possibly its origin is in an old pilgrim hospital. Temple well preserved as it was restored in 2004. It usually remains closed.
Km.15,5 OS LAMEIROS
CRUCERO DE OS LAMEIROS
Built in 1670 by Ares Conde and Ulloa. It represents the image of Christ and the Virgin of Sorrows on the one hand and on the other the crucified Christ. At the base elements of the Passion of Christ are represented, presided over by a skull surrounded by hammer, nails, thorns, etc. It is considered one of the most beautiful on the Camino.
CAPILLA ROMÁNICA DE SAN LÁZARO
Possibly it was a pilgrim hospital that would also provide shelter and treatment to contagious patients.
Km 17,4 AIREXE
CHURCH OF SANTIAGO DE AIREXE
Completely renovated in neoclassical style, which replaced the initial Romanesque which retains a triumphal arch.
Km. 25. PALAS DE REI
Enter the Rúa do Cruceiro, SAN TIRSO CHURCH, go down the steps to the center of the Concello.
STAGE: PALAS DE REI- ARZúA
Besides being the longest stretch in Galicia, it is one of the hardest part, commonly known as the «rompepiernas» (break legs).
Km 0. PALAS DE REI (provincia de Lugo)
PALAS DE REI
Palas de Rei, in the region of Ulloa, is a town in Lucense with around 3,500 inhabitants. The history of this quiet town is closely linked to the Camino de Santiago Francés. From this point the final stage begins until the tomb of the Apostle: 68 kilometers.
It was an important place in the Middle Ages, where pilgrims used to rest. In addition, there was the tradition here that pilgrims would meet to continue in a group until Compostela. They did it at the exit of the villa, in the place known as Campo dos Romeiros, parish of O Carballal.
Thanks to the influence of the Camino de Santiago, the Romanesque style penetrated the religious architecture of Palas de Rei leaving a mark on its buildings. It is a must visit in Palas: the church of Vilar de Donas, declared a historical artistic monument and its mural paintings, of the best of Galicia.
We cross the road next to the Casa del Concello de Palas de Rei and go down the Pilgrim’s crossing to cross the road again and continue down the cobbled rúa do Apostolo. For the third time we continue straight on the Rio Roxán rua, where there is a sculpture of some pilgrims dancing signed by J. Novo.
Town Hall at Palas de Rei
Jesús Antonio Novo’s sculpture
The Romanesque cover of the old church of San Tirso (second half of the 12th century), which was integrated into the modern temple, dated in 1955, is remarkable. As a testimony of the passage of the Way, the facade of a Romanesque house is also decorated With scallop shells.
Images of San Tirso Church.MONUMENTS TO HIGHLIGHT IN PALAS, EVEN OUTSIDE THE ROAD OF SANTIAGO:
Pambre’s castle. In each of its four corners stands a tower. Inside is the tribute tower, larger and taller than the rest. Inside the walls is also the chapel of San Roque, which was used until not much as a parish church. Inside is the tribute tower, larger and taller than the rest.
To access you have to leave the core of Palas on the C-547 towards Santiago and take a cross to the left, following the LU-40-08 about 4 km.
The other monument to highlight of the City Council is the Church of Vilar de Donas. Although the Way of Santiago does not reach the monastic church of Vilar de Donas, its evolution is totally linked to the route In 1931 it was recognized as a national monument. In his day it worked as one of the main operations centers of the Knights of the Order of Santiago, who at their Death were buried in the place.
Images of Church of San Salvador de Vilar de Donas
We leave the avenue of Compostela, coinciding with the N-547, and after 500 meters (past kilometer 35 of the national road) we turn right to cross the Roxán river. Cairn 64 announces the arrival to the parish of San Sebastián de Carballal. Under a frond we go up to a couple of villages in this parish and go down to cross the N-547 (Km 2,1)
Cairn 63.5 introduces us to a path surrounded by eucalyptus and oaks, very prone to embark, which reaches the place of Lacua (Mojon 63). A good row of stone slabs prevents getting in the water raft. We continue to San Xulián do Camiño, announced by the landmark 62.5. On the side of the road is the Romanesque Church of the late twelfth, which first exhibits the apse.
Km 3,4. SAN XIAO (San Julián) DO CAMIñO (Albergue-bar)
The history of this small village dates back to Roman times and it seems to witness its temple dedicated to San Julián or San Xiao as it is said in Galician. Many of these chapels, with the same dedication to San Julián, coincide with many of the places where epigraphic remains that belonged to the Road Lares have been found, temples that were built at the crossroads of Roman roads as protectors of the roads and that , in the province of Lugo, especially they have become chapels, being a magnificent example of the Christianization of these remains of Roman culture. Even the river that irrigates the place seems to add to the devotion for this saint by taking his name: Ruxian River, or what is the same, Julian River.
Special attention deserves its Romanesque parish church, under the invocation of San Julián (San Xiao) original from the end of the 12th century (splinters, an apse and a large window), with important reforms throughout the 18th century: the facade, the bulrush, and almost all the walls. Around it the typical cemetery atrium of the culture and customs of the place.
Image of San Xiao
On the paved road we pass the place of Pallota (marker 62) and go down a beautiful “corridor” to the Pambre river to reach Ponte Campaña, belonging to the parish of San Xoán de Mato.
Km 4,5- Ponte Campaña (albergue Casa Domingo)
Images of Ponte Campaña (Lugo)
Albergue Santo Domingo.
Then a spectacular stretch ensues. We discover an immense, almost primitive forest.
Km 5,7. Casanova (albergues)
Embraced by rock and twisted branches, we arrive to the village of Casanova, also of the parish of San Xoán de Mato.
Image of Casanova
Image Mato Casanova Hostel.
We leave the public shelter aside and later the detour to the A Bolboreta hostel. The hostel is located in the village of Vilar de Remonde, one kilometer and a half from the Camino. You have to take a detour on the left in Casanova itself.
Image of the hostel
We continue along the paved track and leave it on the left to take a path. We descend until we cross the river Do Vilar, in Porto de Bois (Km 7.2).
Porto de Bois (Puerto de Bueyes)
Then, on a slope, we advance to Campanilla, a small village in the parish of San Xoán de Mato and the last town of Lucense on the Camino (Km 8). On a secondary road we say goodbye to the 96.7 kilometers traveled in the province of Lugo to introduce ourselves in O Coto.
Km 8,5.O Coto (bar. Tienda)- (A Coruña)
O Coto, the first Coruña village belonging to the parish of Leboreiro, already in the Melide Town Council. At the exit of O Coto we leave the asphalt on the left to go down to Leboreiro.
Km 9,2. Leboreiro –(A Coruña)
Leboreiro, defined in ancient times as Campus Leporarius or field of hares. Here we will see a cabazo: a gigantic basket that, like the granaries, was used to conserve corn. Behind is the Church of Santa María, Romanesque transition.
Leboreiro- Entering Leboreiro is entering a medieval village in which the paving of its main street, flanked by stone houses, brings the visitor closer to a beautiful crossing, preamble of the Romanesque-Gothic church of the thirteenth century, of Santa María in the one that catches the attention of the eardrum of its cover that has a beautiful image of the Virgin sculpted. Inside the church, we find beautiful 16th-century wall paintings. Opposite, there are the old remains of the old pilgrim hospital (according to documents from the 12th century), known as the infirmary, and, on its walls, the blazons (shields) of the Ulloa, which in the 15th century rehabilitated the hospital.
Traces of past times, are the remains of the Roman road still in use by pilgrims who arrive from O Coto to Leboreiro and head towards Furelos, passing through Desicabo.
Images of Santa María de Leboreiro
Tympanum with the image of the virginChurch of Santa María de Leboreiro.It has a rectangular nave and circular apse, noted for its main cover, with arch and ogival archivolts. Inside is an image of the Virgin of the fourteenth century. A panel of mural paintings made in the second third of the 16th century is also preserved, with representations of the Flagellation of Jesus, the Visitation of Saint Elizabeth to the Virgin and the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian.
Image of a cabazo.
In the immediate vicinity we find a beautiful bridge built in the 14th century over the Dry River. This bridge of medieval features is likely to replace a Roman one built earlier.
Image of the Puente con un solo arco (Bridge with a single arch) over the Dry River.
We leave Leboreiro and cross the Seco river through a medieval bridge (Km 9.5). Cairn 56 gives way to Desicabo and then comes a tedious stretch along the N-547 and the Melide Business Park,also called de la Magdalena (Km 11). A kilometer later the landscape changes and we descend to the Furelos river bank for a more dignified environment.
We cross this tributary of the Ulla through the medieval bridge and access the parish of San Xoán de Furelos. It is the prelude to Melide, the capital of the Concello.
Km 13. San Xoán de Furelos (bar) – (A Coruña)
The village of Furelos is located on the French Way to Santiago. It is 55 km from Santiago.
It is the entrance to the municipality of Melide and the province of A Coruña through the Jacobean route. It is located after passing a medieval bridge, one of the jewels of the civil architecture of the Camino knwon as A ponte vella (old bridge)
The bridge of Furelos was until the 19th century the only means of communication for cars and gentlemen during seven hundred years of pilgrimage, through the Camino Real. It measures 50 meters long and has a width of 3.7 meters. It is formed by four semicircular arches, uneven, with straight walls from the arches to the prets.
Furelos, was part during the Middle Ages of the parcel of Portomarín, a territorial unit under the power of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, which performed tasks of assistance to pilgrims. At that time, access to this area was difficult, and it was necessary to cross inhospitable places that justified the presence of a hospital center. The monks owned a hospital, located near a bridge that saves the river Furelos
is a group of buildings built around the church of San Xoán de Furelos, of Romanesque origin and that preserves a wall that protects the temple's atrium. It was renovated in the 19th century. The paving of the streets, the houses and stone walls and the noise that the pilgrims make when walking form an idyllic atmosphere.
Iglesia de San XoánIn the surroundings of the village – on the other side of the national road – is the river beach of the Furelos River, a perfect place to spend the afternoon on sunny days, which has a large swimming area (with pools included) and a picnic area in the wooded area.
From this point you can also make a hiking trail of about 15 km (mostly parallel to the river) and ending in the parish of Santa María de Melide, in the capital.
We arrive at Lugo Avenue, we pass by the San Roque chapel and its 14th century cruise. Towards the public shelter and to stop, we can continue along the San Pedro Rua but the itinerary is also signposted by the Convento Rúa to the Convento Square.
Otra imagen del Ponte Furelos.
Km 14.8 Melide (todos los servicios) A Coruña
Melide is the capital of the Terra de Melide region. It has about 8000 inhabitants and is located practically in the geographic center of Galicia. About 43 kilometers separate this town from Santiago de Compostela. The Way of Saint James crosses it, being habitual to contemplate groups of pilgrims to happen next to the church on the way to their destination: Santiago.
Here the old pilgrim hospital, which today houses the Museo da Terra de Melide; the Convent of the Sancti Spiritus and its Church; the building of the City Hall of the eighteenth century and the chapel of San Antonio, next to which we leave the square to take the San Antonio Rua. After skirting the public shelter, we left Melide along the Main Rúa.
Cruceiro, the oldest of Galicia in Melide (siglo XIV)On the obverse shows a Christ Majesty, seated, showing the sores of the hand, Coronado, with a cloth that covers his legs. On the reverse, the representation of Calvary with Jesus Christ, on which another ancestral and pecular symbol appears: the lily or the fleur de lis. The image is flanked by Saint John, the Virgin and a kneeling figure, which could be of Mary Magdalene.
Chuch of the Sancti Spiritus
Church of San Roque
. The cover is from the 13th century.Possibly, the element that most attracts attention, is the figure of the dragon or snake that can be seen in the base of the
capital located to the left of the cover, whose design must be familiar, since it is located in other places of the Galician geography. Museum of Terra de Melide
Convent Square and Church of San Pedro in Melide (former Franciscan Convent of the Holy Spirit, seen above).
18th century town hall of Melide and San Antonio Chapel.
With views of the valley, we go down to the N-547, which we cross to take the CP-4603 in the direction of San Martiño. At the height of a restaurant, we turn right to visit the Church of Santa María de Melide, parish of the same name (Km 15.6).
Images of Santa María de Melide.
Romanesque altar – Gate – Detail of the fence
The only Romanesque fence that is recorded in Galicia. He had to separate the head, as a sacred place of the ship, destined for the faithful. At present it can be seen in the sacristy attached to the north side of the temple, after its baptismal font.
After passing the houses of Carballal we are surrounded by eucalyptus, deciduous species and meadows until the cobbled passage of the Catasol River, tributary of the Furelos (Km 17.2). Postcard landscape provided by the Camino.
For a beautiful environment we go to Raido, at the foot of the N-547- We leave your company quickly to continue to Parabispo, and the Arzúa City Council (Km 18.7). Under a forest of eucalyptus we save the Arroyo de Valverde, pass Peroxa – where is the 45.5 milestone – and enter the parish of Boente, split in two by the N-547.
Km 20,5 Boentes (albergues-bar) (A Coruña)
Fountain in the center of the town, from the 19th century, of which the tradition that has healing waters says.
Boente is a small town – not more than 100 inhabitants – belonging to the municipality of Arzúa, and crossed by the Camino de Santiago. Divided into two neighborhoods, here starts a series of constant ups and downs that the walker will find to Arzúa.
Parish Igrexa of Santiago de Boente
Of medieval origin, the temple was founded in the year 992. The current building is from the 19th century, although it retains a series of elements from the 12th century.Culminated by a simple granite belfry, inside, rectangular, a wooden roof is contemplated and a structure supported by arcaded paths. The altarpiece is of a classicist air and among the images stands out that of a pilgrim Santiago of the early nineteenth century, a Virgin of Carmen and a San Roque of the eighteenth century.
After the Church of Santiago we turn right and go down a track to the Boente River and the place of Punta Brea, saving the N-547 through a tunnel. After surrounding some meadows we face a hard slope that rises at the foot of the N-547, and next to it we reach several places in the parishes of Figueiroa and Castañeda.
Km 22,7 Castañeda (albergues-bar)
In Castañeda, lime kilns were found where, according to tradition, pilgrims deposited the stone they brought from Triacastela (Lugo) in order to contribute to the material needs that were used in the construction of the Cathedral of Santiago.
In Castañeda the following stand out: the Church of Santa María (18th century, main altarpiece of the Baroque) and the Pazo de Sedor. (17th century- the Baroque-cut fireplace, the staircase made between walls, the kitchen or the lareira.), today a place of lodging for tourists.
We go down the paved road to the Ribeiral stream, located between Pedrido and Río (Km 23.3). Now we have to go back and continue straight ahead, leaving the turnoff to Doroña on the left. Then, almost always by neighborhood tracks, we descend for two kilometers to the Iso River, which gives access to Ribadiso de Baixo, village of the parish of Rendal.
Km 25,8 Ribadiso da Baixo (albergues-bar)
Ribadiso da Baixo
It belongs to the municipality of Arzúa. The place has been welcoming pilgrims for centuries. It conserves a bridge of the medieval time, of the s. XIII, and a set of buildings that indicate the existence of a Hospital where pilgrims were treated, as recorded in a document dated 1523.
The small village shows a set of typical slate houses. To save the Iso River, on whose shore the small town develops, the 13th-century bridge, with a late Gothic invoice, is the oldest in the Arzúa council.
Across the medieval bridge is the Pilgrim Hospital of San Antón de Ponte de Ribadiso (15th century), currently restored as a public shelter.
The exclusive public hostel for pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago with credentials, Located at the foot of the Camino, next to the river Iso, It is located in an old rehabilitated pilgrims hospital. Camping is allowed next to the lodge.
Going around, in our opinion absurd, we went up to the N-547 to arrive, through the endless avenue of Lugo, to the first houses of Arzúa.
Km 28,8 Arzúa (All the services)
At the same entrance there are several private hostels located one after another. After another stretch we leave the avenue to take the Cima do Lugar Rua, where the public hostel is located.
DIFFICULTIES OF THIS STAGE:
– Stop “rompepiernas”
– The 29 kilometers of this stage would be equivalent to a flat section of about 40 kilometers. Continuous drifts and descents make it very difficult to keep up.
– In Melide connects the pilgrims of the Primitive Way and in Arzúa those of the Northern Way, so the influx of pilgrims increases considerably in these last stages.
STOP: ARZÚA- PEDROUZO
Between Arzúa and the Cathedral of Santiago, they measure almost 40 kilometers and the most logical thing is to divide the section into two days making a stop and stop at Santa Irene or O Pedrouzo. The City Council of Arzúa gives the witness to that of O Pino in a comfortable route, with easier slopes and tracks always close to the N-547.
Km 0. Arzúa (all the services)
Arzúa is located in the southeast of the province of A Coruña, on the edge of Pontevedra, on the Camino de Santiago. It is called "land of cheese", in reference to the cheese made here with cow’s milk, with the Designation of Origin Arzúa-Ulloa.
Although Arzúa was important in medieval times, archaeological remains from prehistoric and Roman times have been found. In the nineteenth century it was the scene of the Carlist wars. In 1833, with the Law of Burgos and its division into provinces and municipalities, it was establishedthat the capital of the municipality would become Arzúa. It is currently a modern villa with an important cultural, sports and economic activity.
Arzúa has few buildings that recall history. One of them is the chapel of the Magdalena of the fourteenth century; the only thing left of a convent of Augustinian monks there was. Where the French Way and the Northern Way meet, you can see a stately 18th-century building. It also highlights the Pazo de Sedor of the 17th century.
Church of the Magdalena.
In the Plaza de Galicia, the monument to the cheese makers is from 1984. Arzúa has a modern parish church dedicated to Santiago, built in the mid-twentieth century. In this land famous for its cheese and honey, you cannot miss the Queixo e do Mel Outreach Center, where you can learn more about these products. But Arzúa also offers visitors dream places immersed in its nearby natural environment such as the Portodemouros reservoir, which bathes the province of A Coruña in the north and Pontevedra in the south. In the nearby village of Hortas, you can enjoy the fervenza das Hortas, a waterfall over 30 meters high and with two waterfalls.
A tradition of yesteryear and that has been recovered years ago, is the party in homage to the pilgrim. Coinciding with the magical night of San Juan, the locals randomly choose a pilgrim and dedicate a star-shaped plaque that the pilgrim will place on the Muro das Estrelas, in addition thispilgrim is the one that ignites the traditional bonfire.
Parish Church of Santiago
Monument to the cheesemakers
Monument to the cows
Image of the City of Arzúa.
Imagenes of the Magdalena’s Church
Images of Fervenza das Hortas.
From the Cima do Lugar Rúa, where the public hostel is located, we head straight towards the cobbled Rúa do Carmen. Its arcades and wooden clad facades dismiss our passage through Arzúa.
Hostel of the Xunta de Galicia. It is located in the center of the town center, a few meters from the main road Santiago – Lugo (N-547), and very close to the Town Hall.
For a more rural environment we descend to the Fuente os Franceses, cross the Vello River and arrive at As Barrosas and its San Lázaro chapel (Mojón 36 and Km 0.9).
Km 2,2 Pregontoño
We descend to the Brandeso River, tributary of the Iso (Km 1.8), and go up to Pregontoño, village of the parish of Burres with its hermitage of San Paio from the 18th century.
In Pregontoño you can see the hermitage of San Paio from the 18th century, which has a small porch supported by two columns and is surrounded by a beautiful forest.
At the exit we avoid the N-547 through a tunnel and face a slope, between meadows, corn crops and overlooking Arzúa, to the place of A Peroxa, also of the parish of Burres (Km 3,3). There is the hermitage of Rocamador. This devotion to Santa María de Rocamador came, thanks to the pilgrims of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries from the French area of the Midi, and who were promoting it throughout the Camino.
At this stage we will alternate the landscape of forests and meadows (carballos, eucalyptus, fruit trees and farmland) with sections along the asphalt of the National Highway 547.
Pay special attention to vehicles, as we will have to cross several times along the road.
Hermitage of San PaioWe crossed the Raido River and then several villages: Cortobe, As Pereiriñas, A Taberna, some with Jacobean resonance such as A Calzada, A Rúa, Ferreiros (again the reference to the old trade of those who, among other functions, fixed the horseshoes of the horses) or A Salceda.
We cross: forests populated with oaks, eucalyptus and pine trees (typical of the Galician landscape); meadows (necessary for the survival of livestock and the rural world); and gifts.
Km 5,2 Taberna Vella (Albergue-Bar-Tienda)
We travel along litter-lined tracks and go down to the Ladrón stream (Km 3,9) to later reach Vella Tavern.
Km 5,8 Calzada (Bar)
Six hundred meters later we entered A Calzada, from the parish of Burres and the last inhabited nucleus of the Arzúa City Council.
We leave the town crossing a link road and continue to enter the Concello de O Pino, the last before Santiago. Before entering A Calle, village of San Breixo de Ferreiros, the hostel A Ponte de Ferreiros is located 200 meters from the Camino.
Landscape en Ferreiros
Km 7,8 A Calle (Bares, albergue)
First location of the new town that we cross that of O Pino; In ancient times it had a pilgrim hospital.
We leave the nucleus after crossing the Langüello stream and continue along a network of tracks and roads towards Boavista (Km 9.3) and Salceda, at the foot of the N-547.
Arroyo Langüello in A Calle
Km 11,1 Salceda (Albergues. Bar. Farmacia a 600 metros)
We uncheck a few meters from the national on the right, passing by the memory of the pilgrim Guillermo Watt, who died on the Camino.
We return further up the foot of the road and cross it next to an agricultural machinery dealership to reach Oxén, place of the parish of San Miguel de Cerceda (Km 12.5). The road to the left of the National, now lead to the immediate As Ras, of the same parish, where we saved the N-547 below (Km 13,1). At this point you can also link the pilgrims from the Northern Way who have taken the O Pino variant. On the other side is A Brea.
Km 13,6 A Brea (Hostel)
In Brea we can find the parish church of San Miguel de Cerceda in a neoclassical style, it is a small rural church.
In a few hundred meters A Rabiña passes through and in parallel to the National one we easily overcome the climb to O Empalme, of the parish of San Lourenzo de Pastor. In the middle of the journey there is a picnic area with a fountain and a windmill reminiscent of American farms. In the high we cross the road, a lot of caution !, to enter the population.
Km 15,3 O Junction (Bars)
Then we take a track that descends under the eucalyptus. Further down, through a tunnel under the N-547, we have the option to visit the hermitage of Santa Irene and its baroque fountain or go to the private hostel. Next to this hostel is the detour to the rural Astrar hostel. If we continue straight ahead, we arrive at the hostel of the Xunta (public).
Hermitage of Santa Irene. The chapel was built thanks to the contribution of two nobles.
Hermitage of Santa Irene
Santa Irene is a town on the French Way, Corunna municipality of O Pino. 23 km from Santiago. Here comes a branch of the Northern Way from the municipality of Sobrado and advances in the direction of Compostela following the route of the French route.
One of its main attractions is the chapel of Santa Irene. Pilgrims usually stop to rest attracted by the quiet oak that surrounds it and the simple image of the saint inside. At the foot of the sanctuary is a fountain from which, according to legend, water emanated with the power to end agricultural pests. In addition, it is recommended for skin conditions and the healing of pilgrims’ blisters.
Public hostel in Santa Irene
Thanks to a dense eucalyptus frond we isolate ourselves from the noise of the road, pass by Mojón 20, and avoid the road again through a tunnel. A couple of houses and a sawmill and more eucalyptus lead to A Rúa from the parish of Arca.
Km 17,9 A Rúa (Bars. Pensions. Rural Houses)
This medieval village was known by the name of Dos Casas, perhaps referring to its structure around the main street. From its noble history you can admire a stone shield in one of its houses, where the Pazo de Dos Casas was located. A beautiful old fountain of a pipe, quenches the thirst of the visitor.
The main tourist office of the O Pino town hall is located in A Rúa.
On the paved road we reach the edge of the N-547 and climb along it to O Pedrouzo.
Km 19,2 O Pedrouzo (todos los servicios)
Procedure stage: This day can be considered a procedure to await the arrival at Santiago. We follow the N-547.
For those who want to get to Santiago from a circulation they should know that, from Arzúa there are almost 40 kilometers. It is a little recommended alternative and it is more logical to divide the section in two, although there are travelers who move about 35 kilometers to Monte do Gozo and leave for the last day a triumphal walk of only 5 kilometers. Those who choose to spend the night in Santa Irene should know that there are hardly any services. In the hostels of Santa Irene they have the Taxi telephones, a service widely used to go to dinner at O Pedrouzo, O Empalme or A Rúa.
CONCELLO O PINO
Penultimate Galician municipality of the French Way composed of 13 parishes and about 180 places. The itinerary visits, both at this stage and the last, population centers belonging to the parishes of Arca, Cerceda, Ferreiros, Pastor and Pereira. The most unique place is Santa Irene, with its hermitage dedicated to the Portuguese holy martyr and baroque source of healing waters.
ETAPA O PEDROUZO- SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
Walking becomes serene. On the slopes of litter, among the last spots of eucalyptus and oaks, the last villages of O Pino arrive. The municipality of Santiago awaits at a stop, next to the airport, and leads the pilgrim through the parish of Sabugueira. From the watchtower of Monte do Gozo you get the first panoramic view of Santiago de Compostela and an urban tour begins that concludes at the foot of the baroque facade of the cathedral. The Obradoiro is the end and the beginning.
Km 0. O Pedrouzo (All the services)
Taking the public shelter as a reference, we will cross the town on the side of the national park and turn right along the Concello road, where the Town Hall is located. We move forward for half a kilometer and when we arrive next to the school and the sports courts we turn 90 degrees to the left.
On a dirt track covered with leaf litter we enter a forest of eucalyptus, which we leave to enter San Antón, village of the parish of Arca. The place takes the name of a chapel ravaged by a fire (Km 1,3), at the end of the 19th century.
Another forest awaits us at the exit of San Antón. Native horses and reforested eucalyptus, now accompany us to the core of O Amenal, of the parish of San Miguel de Pereira. Here we can see a castro and the Roman road XIX, today converted into a hiking trail.
We access the paved road and crossing the Brandelos river we cross the N-547 through a low pass (Km 3.7), which is followed by a steep slope that goes up to Cimadevila, the last core of the O Pino Town Council.
Albergue O Pedrouzo
The Jacobean Route does not cross this town, capital of the municipality of O Pino. It passes at a distance of about 300 m and to reach its first houses it is necessary to follow a dangerous stretch of road. However, it has become one of the points of the Camino with the highest concentration of pilgrims, as many decide to stop and spend the night in this town to board the last kilometers of the route, rested and in fullness to enter Santiago .
A determining factor in the success of O Pedrouzo, as the starting point for the last stage of the Camino a Compostela, was the opening in the Holy Year of 1993 of one of the largest public hostels in the Galician network, with 120 seats. Currently, this center, where long lines are frequent, has been reinforced with private hostel and hospitality facilities that have contributed to the development of the town.
O PedrouzoRoad by O Pedrouzo
Church of Santa Eulalia
Neoclassical and very ornate in its interior, with beautiful images and valuable pulpits, it is known above all for its striking scallop-shaped altar. The story tells that at the beginning of the s. XIX its atrium served as shelter for the Napoleonic troops on their way to Santiago.
The climb continues for more than a kilometer and a half but it becomes much more assequible.
Reached the level, we go to the foot of the A-54 and the N-634. We are no longer surprised to see the separation fence full of small crosses. It is part of the idiosyncrasy of the pilgrimage.
Crossings on a fence in Lavacolla
A monolith sculpted with the refrain, pumpkin and scallop announces the entry into the municipality of Santiago (Km 6.3). We circle the perimeter of the airport, leaving several rows of beacons on the left (Km 6.7), and after crossing a secondary road we enter San Paio, village of the Sabugueira parish.
Sculptured monolith with the refrain pumpkin and scallop
Km 7,7 San Paio (Bar)
We surround Casa Quian, we face a short slope along the paved road and take the track on the right, which descends. After saving the variant below we continue descending through several cores of the parish of Sabugueira: A Esquipa and Lavacolla.
Km 9,5 Lavacolla (Hostel. Bar. Shop. Pharmacy)
After a sharp curve we pass by the parish of San Pelayo, which appears inscribed the year of its construction: 1840. Then we cross the N-634 (Lavacolla hostel) and take the detour to Vilamaior. In just one hundred meters we crossed the Sionlla river, covered with ovas and known as the Lavacolla stream, where pilgrims stripped themselves of their dirty clothes and washed in view of their next arrival in Santiago (Km 10)
San Paio Da Sabugueira (San Pelayo)
Details of the Church of San Pelayo de Sabugueira
Built in the 19th century, with a skylight above the main door, it is preceded by a staircase. Granite Cruise.
On the paved road we begin a comfortable climb that will end at the expected Monte do Gozo.
We cross Vilamaior first (Km 11), we pass by the center of the TVG (Km 12.7) and turn 90 degrees to the left to do the same next to the territorial center of RTVE (Km 13.5). We turn ninety degrees to the right and continue to the San Marcos urbanization, prelude to the Monto do Gozo.
Km 14,8 San Marcos (Bar. Store)
5 km from Santiago. It is the last non-urban population center – although its growth in recent years has made it “semi-urban” – before entering the Compostela city. The new area of San Marcos is spread mostly parallel to the road that leads to the city. However, the French Way continues to cross, as in the Middle Ages, through the original core of San Marcos, a small and rectilinear set of old traditional and lonely houses that have long since claimed another look.
The passage between the original village of San Marcos concludes before the chapel of the same name, where the emblematic Monte do Gozo begins, the first place from which the towers of the Compostela cathedral are sighted. That is why it was an ancient custom for some pilgrims traveling as a group to start here – or even before, in A Lavacolla – an excited and intense race up to that mountain to see who managed to discover these towers first.
Chapel San Marcos
. First place from which the towers of Compostela (a 2,5 Km)Now, as before, Monte do Gozo is reached after crossing the immediate village of San Marcos, with a linear layout of its houses that speaks clearly of a road connection. The small and simple chapel of San Marcos marks the access to the mountain, which underwent modifications since the Middle Ages, so it is difficult to specify the exact place from which the cathedral towers were visible for the first time. Currently that point is the viewpoint of the mountain, identifiable by two sculptures
of historical pilgrims placed there in the Holy Year of 1993, made by the Galician sculptor Acuña.
Km 15,2 Monte do Gozo (Albergue. Bar. Tienda. Cajero)
Instead of continuing straight ahead, we turn left to the left to climb the monument erected in the Jacobean year of 1993, the same year that the nearby pilgrim hostel was inaugurated, the largest in the entire Camino that is capable of accommodating up to 300 people a normal year and up to 800 a Xacobeo. From this point we get the first panoramic view of Santiago and its Cathedral.
Sculptures on the Monte do Gozo
Monte do Gozo pilgrim hostel
Panoramic view of the auditorium, the lake and the facilities of Mount O Gozo.
We resume the Camino, leaving access to the cafeteria and dining rooms aside, and down to a flight of stairs.
Then we will save the highway and the roads by a bridge and proceed straight ahead along the prolonged San Lázaro Rua (Km 16.7), where the Palace of Congresses and Exhibitions of Galicia and the San Lázaro pilgrim hostel are located, which allows sleeping more than one night We link with the Valiño Rua (Km 17.7) and continue straight on along the Fontiñas Rúa and Rúa dos Concheiros, where we cross Lugo Avenue. Then the San Pedro Rua (Km 19), which ends at the crossing with traffic lights of the Aller Ulloa Rua.
Through the place where the Porta do Camiño was located, we entered the historic center by the Casas Reais rúa, which goes up to the Cervantes meadow. The Ribe da Acibecería takes us to the Praza da Inmaculada, where the monastery of San Martín Pinario is located. Finally we enter under the Arch of the Palace through a passageway, where street musicians meet to play, to access the Plaza del Obradoiro, where the adventure ends.
While we take off our backpack, we discover every detail of the western facade and head towards the center of the square. It’s hard not to get excited. Getting to Santiago de Compostela as a pilgrim is an unparalleled experience.
Km 20 Santiago de Compostela (All the services)
From the great complex that Monte do Gozo has become, you can finally see Santiago de Compostela and the baroque towers of its cathedral. Santiago, the goal of all Jacobean routes, is a large city of 95,000 inhabitants that combines spaces of modernity with the mysterious, religious, romantic and cosmopolitan halo of the Plaza del Obradoiro. The happy walker discovers a city of stones obscured by the passage of time and persistent rain. Old rivers with the smell of Ribeiro and
octopus spread throughout the Old Town. The cathedral represents the climax of the Camino and in it lies the Apostle, which causes hundreds of thousands of people to undertake a journey full of fatigue and experiences year after year that will become memories for a lifetime.
Aerial view of the Cathedral of Santiago and the Praza do Obradoiro
Porta do Camiño
Praza de Cervantes
In the S. IX, Bishop Teodomiro de Iria Flavia identifies a Roman temple as the tomb of the Apostle Santiago. Following this discovery, King Alfonso II el Casto orders to build a modest temple around this pagan construction. The increase in pilgrimages and a certain stability after the Arab attacks lead to a new construction that begins in the year 1075, during the reign of Alfonso VI and under the archbishopric direction of Diego de Peláez. Thus begins the construction of the Romanesque
cathedral that continues during the archbishopric of Diego Gelmírez and that will no longer stop until it becomes the great temple that we can contemplate today.
The cathedral is built in granite stalls with slab roofs in the same material. Romanesque construction of a Latin cross plan, longitudinal arm and transept of three naves, ambulatory at the head and tribune that runs along the entire perimeter; Side chapels that are arranged neatly throughout the temple and have a space with their own individuality, from the Romanesque period only some of the ambulatory are preserved.
Side ships covered with edge vault, central nave with cantilevered barrel vault and fastened by slab arches and triforium with barrel room.
Porta SantaFachada das Praterías
Fachada da Acibechería
The facade of Acibechería is neoclassical (Ventura Rodríguez and Lois Monteagudo). The facade of Praterías is Romanesque and a paradigm of medieval iconography. The Holy Door, baroque (1611), only opens the holy years. The facade of the Obradorio (Fernando Casas and Novoa, 1738-1750) is a combination of stone and glass, highlighting the large window of the central body, of the largest prior to the Industrial Revolution. Declared Historic-Artistic Monument in 1986.
Porch da Gloria
In addition, in the different pillars of the set the prophets and apostles are represented and in the mullion, the Jesse tree and a seated statue of Santiago Apostle.
What are the most important symbols of the Camino de Santiago?
1. The Calixtino Codex
2. The Road Credential
3. The Compostela
4. The Botafumeiro
5. The Holy or Jubilee Year
6. The Bordón
7. The Pumpkin
8. The Mojones
9. The Shell or Scallop
10. The Yellow Arrow
This manuscript is considered the first guide of the Camino de Santiago in history. Although its authorship has not been confirmed, many claim that its last annex was made by the monk Aimery Picaud.
In addition to a series of tips, main points of interest, taverns and hospices, these scrolls describe, among others, liturgical texts, deeds of historical figures, a polyphonic corpus …
For years, it remained forgotten under the walls of the Cathedral, acquiring special importance from the nineteenth century.
After being transferred to a safe, in 2011 this medieval jewel disappears, discovering a year later that it had been extracted from the Cathedral by the person in charge of maintaining the temple.
Currently, the Calixtino Codex remains under strong security measures in the cathedral museum.
This Pilgrim’s Credential is considered as your ID or passport.Therefore, it is a cardboard sheet where the personal data of each person is written and, right next to it, we will find some empty boxes where to stamp the seal of each official establishment or adhered to the Path through which we pass, thus stating that we have made a certain Jacobean layout.
We have to pay special attention to marking the dates under each wedge, so that when let’s get to the Pilgrim’s Office so we can show that we’ve traveled the 100 kilometers on foot or 200 by bicycle and receive the Compostela..
The Compostela, erroneously known as «compostelana», is the certificate accredited to you at the Pilgrim’s Office in Santiago when you reach the Galician capital after traveling through one of the Jacobean paths.
Its origin dates back to the 9th and 10th centuries, when the rise of pilgrimages promoted the need to create some type of nominative document that would identify pilgrims, granting them certain privileges when staying in the city to reward their feat.
Currently, if you want to obtain this diploma you must travel at least the last 100 kilometers on foot or 200 by bicycle of one of the official roads.
It is the heart of the Cathedral of Santiago, one of its main attractions along with the Portico de la Gloria and the majestic Plaza del Obradoiro.
Its origins are not entirely clear, and the tradition of introducing this enormous magnum turibulum into the masses of the Compostela temple can be traced back to the 12th century. Many claim, probably wrongly, that Botafumeiro was used to mask the bad smells that the pilgrims gave off after long days of walking, but it really had a liturgical function.
The ones in charge of moving the more than 50 kilos of this censer are the tiraboleiros, specifically eight people in charge in addition to transporting it from the cathedral museum and mooring it to their chains, which will balance it throughout the central hall of the temple.
This magnificent event can only be admired on certain selected dates, such as Easter Sunday or Santiago, July 25.
Holy or Jubilee Year
This concept is born in the Old Testament, where it is narrated how every fifty years this holy year was celebrated, in which the Jews could be forgiven of their sins, the slaves were freed and the expropriated lands returned to the hands of their former owners.
Currently, the Holy Year has little to do with this Jewish-Christian tradition, giving it a more spiritual than material meaning.
In addition to the Ordinary Holy years, which are celebrated in those years in which the day of Santiago (July 25) coincides on Sunday, there are also Extraordinaries. These are summoned by the Pope, to commemorate some special event or in convulsive times, to proclaim and claim the importance of the Catholic faith.
Seeing a pilgrim without the traditional wooden staff or cane is something quite unusual, since it is an indispensable point of support, especially in the most rugged terrain.
In its origins, it also served to hang tools such as the typical pilgrim shell or pumpkin to transport water, as well as to defend against wild animals.
Currently, many are replacing this wooden bead with modern trekking poles, thus losing part of the charm of entering the forest and getting their own, preferably a chestnut or hazelnut.
This is another of the traditional elements that were indispensable for medieval pilgrims. The custom of hanging these little pumpkins from the curb or a belt has already been waning, since its main function was to transport liquids and keep them cold.
Pumpkin with refrain or cane
The stone milestones that mark the distance between that particular point and Santiago de Compostela are known by the name of cairns. One among other signs of the Way.
In addition to the officers, there are other types of cairns that indicate complementary paths or detours to visit certain monuments or nearby points of interest. Depending on the area, they vary in size and color, following a more or less continuous pattern, especially in the Galician Community. Recently the decision has been made to replace all the granite landmarks of Galicia with more current ones, generating much controversy in this regard.
Shell or scallop
Venera, shell or simply scallop, refers to the hardest part of this mollusk, keeping a very close relationship with the Jacobean layout since time immemorial.
It is already reflected in the Codex Calixtino, as the symbol delivered by the clergy to the pilgrims when they reached the city of Compostela, as a sign of their stay in the Galician capital.
In addition to its symbolic meaning, representing the different Roads that lead to Santiago, it also had a clear practical sense, serving to drink or simply as a utensil to collect food.
Many also claim that it could be related to the symbol of Venus, representing the resurrection or rebirth of pilgrims by getting rid of bad habits and thoughts.
This signaling method is the most widespread throughout all Jacobean paths.
Its predecessor was Father Elias Valiña, who in the 70s began to paint this type of arrows along the French Way to help pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela.