de Santiago / French Way : 10. Sto Domingo de la Calzada - Belorado
Santo Domingo de la Calzada by following
the way markers, metal arrows embedded in the road,
passing the cathedral and turning left onto the
Calle Mayor and then right onto the main road, Calle
de los Palmajeros which soon becomes Avenida de
la Rioja. The road leads you across the 148 metre
long Puente del Santo (Saint's Bridge), the bridge
Santo Domingo built with its 16 arches. Unfortunately
the original bridge is largely hidden because of
various embellishments over the centuries. Cross
the bridge over the Río Oja, following mainly farm
tracks you will shortly come across a T junction
giving you a choice of 2 routes, one is slightly
longer, approximately 3 kilometres, but it does
avoid the main road or you could take the slightly
shorter route of approximately 2 kilometres.
route you choose you will come to the town of Grañon.
Dating back to the 9th century the town boasted
a castle built by King Alfonso III to defend against
Muslim invasion. The castle soon fell into ruins
but the town prospered because of the Camino and
at one time had two monasteries, a pilgrim hospice
as well as fortifications. Unfortunately no traces
of the walls remain and the only remaining building
of note is the restored 16th century Iglesia
de San Juan Bautista, built over the site of
one of the old monasteries. Inside you will find
a fine example of a Baroque alter piece or Retablo.
your way from Santo Domingo to Grañón you
most likely passed a simple cross called la Cruz
de los Valientes. In the 14th century the towns
of Grañón and Santo Domingo were in dispute over
a piece of land situated between the two towns.
There didn’t appear to be any solution to the issue
of who owned the land and the situation very nearly
ended in all out war. Rather than letting the situation
deteriorate even further, the elders of the two
towns met to discuss the problem and the solution
they came up with was a rather unusual one – a bare
knuckle fight. The towns had to choose two men,
one from each side who would fight for their respective
towns. The man who won the fight would win the land
for his town. Grañon chose a common labourer called
Martín García as their champion, but Santo Domingo
cheated a little and chose a professional fighter.
They put their prize fighter on a “power” diet and
on the day of the fight covered him in olive oil
so that his opponent couldn’t get a grip on him.
Despite all their shenanigans and following a long
and bitter fight, it was Martín García, not the
professional fighter, who came out victorious.
to the Camino, in Grañón there is an albergue
called Hospital de Peregrinos which can be found
next to the Iglesia de San Juan Bautista.
of the village following the markings, don’t worry
if you feel like you are going back on yourself,
the route will eventually turn left past a modern
barn and onto a minor road. Follow this road and
after about 200 m you will come to a barn with a
yellow arrow painted on it. Take this route over
a bridge across the Rio Relachigo, taking a left
where you come upon a huge sign indicating the border
between La Rioja and Castilla y Leon. Continue
down a farm road and after approximately 3 kilometres
you reach the village of Redecilla del Camino.
Redecillo del Camino is a small, one street village
that has owed its existence to the Camino since
the 11th century. The village has a long history
of caring for pilgrims and once had 3 pilgrim hospitals
and as many as 11 hermitages. Here you will find
the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Calle, which
contains a beautiful 12th century Romanesque baptismal
font which is well worth stopping to see. The
albergue, Hospital de San Lázar, is built on the
site of one of the original medieval pilgrim hospitals
and is situated opposite the church.
del Camino past the church and public garden along
the Calle Mayor, cross the main road (N120) and
then take the gravel track until you arrive at Castildelgado.
once had a monastery and pilgrims hospital,
but nothing really remains of either of these buildings.
There is a sorry looking church, Iglesia de San
Pedro, but little else other than a bar/restaurant,
bakery and a hostal.
the village take the track that runs parallel with
the main road and after about 1 kilometre take a
left turn onto a smaller road which leads to Viloria
de Rioja, the birthplace of Santo Domingo. Unfortunately,
the house in which he was born has recently been
demolished but the font in which he was baptised
can be seen in the Iglesia Viloria de la Rioja.
The Camino de Santiago did not originally pass this
way but was redirected in the 11th Century by Sancho
III to pass through Belorado. For those wishing
to stay the night there is a small albergue which
sleeps about 12 people.
out of the village along a quiet country road and
then down a track which runs alongside the main
road. After approximately 4 kilometres you come
to a small village with delusions of grandeur. Villamayor
del Rio, or roughly translated, large town of
the river, is in fact a small village by a little
stream. There is not much to Villamayor del Río,
but there is an albergue for those wishing to stay.
There is also a restaurant on the main
road, but be warned, despite being on the Camino
they discourage backpacks and walking sticks. So
if you choose to go in you will be asked to leave
your backpacks and sticks outside.
through the village on the track that runs parallel
to the main road and you will soon come across a
picnic area, cross the road and follow the track
Lying in the valley of the
Río Tirón in the shadow of the mountain, this town
can trace its origins to Roman times. It once had
a castle, which now lies in ruins but from which
you get fabulous views of the valley. By the 13th
century the town was home to 8 churches, none of
which have survived. However, there are two churches,
the 16th century Iglesia de Santa María and
the 18th Century Iglesia de San Pedro. The
Iglesia de San Pedro contains some impressive altars
some of which depict Santiago Matamoros and the
pilgrim or peregrino.
Monasterio de Santa María de la Bretonera which
was re-established in the 14th century can be found
on the outskirts of the town, as can the Convento
Camino, once deviated from its original route, played
a part in the town’s development. In medieval times
the town had a thriving Jewish community, like so
many other towns. The area now known as Barrio Nuevo
was once the Jewish ghetto. The Jews were expelled
by the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabela
in the 14th century, which caused the ruin of the
local economy. Unfortunately, the area hasn’t fared
so well in modern times either with the gradual
demise of the leather industry.
its favour Belorado does have an unusually high
concentration of bars and cafés and two albergues
close by. The tourism office is currently holding
an exhibition on the Camino in the Centro de Promoción
Jacobeo which may be worth a visit. Check before
you go as 2010 was a holy year and the exhibition
may have only been running during that time.
à CF description
at wanadoo.fr - 07/01/2014