Way of St. James

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Way of St. James.

The itinerary through Palencia begins on the famous Puentefitero Bridge. This bridge is one of the most beautiful and long bridges on the Way of St. James. From the town of Itero de Castilla in Burgos, we cross to the Palentian town of Itero de la Vega following the Way until Carrión de los Condes. We can choose to walk along the old pilgrim trail or, if we are travelling by car, you can travel to Leon via the N-120 road. If we wish to follow the branch that goes to Villada, we would have to take the intersection on the local road 972 to Cervato de la Cueva.

Pilgrims and tourists will coincide on many stretches of the trails and paths, some of which run parallel to the roads.

Pilgrims need not walk on blacktop during the 70 kilometres of the Way of St. James.

There are abundant rest areas, with good eateries, along the Way. You will be able to enjoy vegetable stew at Frómitas, roasted young lamb at Villasirga, beans and "albada" soups at Carrión, as well as delicious sweets such as macaroons and "amarguillo", whose main ingredient is almond. The pilgrim, tourist or traveller will eat like a king and rest like a monk, staying at one of many rural country houses, monasteries, hostels and hotels that exist in our province along the Way of St. James, and, having completed the Way will undoubtedly return!

Cuisine

The Bridge of Puentefietro, which crosses over the River Pisuerga, is the boundary between the provinces of Burgos and Palencia. After crossing its eleven arches, we arrive at the first Palentian town, Itero de la Vega, where we can contemplate a "Rollo de Justicia" (Site of Cultural Interest), visit St. Peters parish church (16th century), and, above all, explore the hermitage of Piedad, an early Gothic masterpiece, with a beautiful sash window in the apse and 13th-century capitals.

The church and the 15th-century, Gothic "Rollos de Justicia" (Site of Cultural Interest) located alongside it are well worth visiting at Boadilla del Camino. Close by is the Church of the Assumption (Site of Cultural Interest). The church is divided into three nave with a sanctuary dominated by a magnificent Renaissance altarpiece built in 1548. The font is a Romanesque transition piece.

We will now leave the Way, taking a historical trail used by the pilgrims when the waters of the River Pisuerga rose in excess to visit the small village of Támara de Campos and its massive, cathedral-like Church of San Hipolito el Real (Site of Cultural Interest). At only 5 km lies Santoyo, whose temple to St. John the Baptist (Site of Cultural Interest) has a huge apse with a majestic Renaissance altarpiece.

From Santoyo or Boadilla, we will continue to Frómista, the "Miracle City". The visits to the monuments starts at the Canal de Castilla locks. From there, we will explore the hermitage of Our Lady of Otero, the temple of Santa Mª del Castillo (Site of Cultural Interest) and St. Peters parish church, with a small museum housing the 29 famous boards of the 15th-century altarpiece of Santa Mª del Castillo.

Santa María del Castillo

However, San Martin (Site of Cultural Interest) is the most important church, one of the most emblematic Romanesque buildings on the Way of St. James. The building, constructed in the 11th-century, is divided into three naves with barrel domes, semi-circular apses, and a transept with an octagonal lantern. It has three façade, with two cylindrical towers at its west.

From Fromista, we will travel to Población de Campos where the Baroque Church of Magdalene towers over the village. Worth noting are the hermitage of Our Lady of Socorro (13th century), a late Romanesque building that is semi-buried between the streets, and the hermitage of Saint Michael (13th century), a Romanesque building with proto-Gothic elements.

We can choose between two routes that are equally well-travelled; one through Villovieco and Arconada to Villasirga, and the other from Revenga and Villarmentero to Villasirga. In Revenga, we can visit several emblazoned houses, the monolith to General Amor, a hero of the War of Independence, and the Church of Saint Lawrence.

In Villarmentero de Campos, the parish church of San Martin of Tours brings to our memories the old legends about a pilgrimages on donkey, the saddlebags loaded with Saint's relics. The temple with a coffered ceiling and an altarpiece are well worth visiting.

The Church of Santa María la Blanca (Site of Cultural Interest) dominates the landscape of Villácazar de Sirga. Built in the 13th-century, it houses the image of the Virgin Mary mentioned in Cantigas of King Alphonse X, the Wise, and to whom King Sancho IV, the Brave, was devoted. However, the most spectacular elements are the sculptures on the façade and in the interior, the tombs of Infante Felipe, son of Ferdinand III, the Saintly, and his second wife. The funeral cortège depicted on the polychromed Gothic tombs allows us to visualise the Medieval way of life. The magnificent, 15th-century altarpiece comprised of 27 painted boards, dominated by a impressive Gothic Calvary from 1300, is also of particular interest.

Villalcázar de Sirga.
Servicio de Turismo - Diputación de Palencia. Calle Mayor, 31 34001. Palencia. Telf: 979 70 65 23