de Santiago / French Way : 24. Astorga - Rabanal del Camino
next section of the Camino de Santiago goes all
the way through to Ponferrada, passing through the
as la Margateria and then enters the Bierzo region,
with its mines, bordering Galicia. This area has
very few villages so we would recommend that you
always have enough food and water with you for emergencies.
As you will be walking through some pretty high
mountains make sure you take some warm clothing
with you, you will need it, even in the height of
the Camino markers through Astorga past the
cathedral, taking a left onto the Calle Portería
and out through the Puerta Obispo. Take a right
into Calle Sancti Spiritu and down Calle San Pedro
passing a church. At a crossroads cross over to
the Calle de los Mártires towards Valdeviejas.
You will know if you are going the right way as
the Ermita del Ecce Homo will be on your
path runs parallel with the road and after about
5 kilometres out of Astorga you will reach Murias
de Rechivaldo. Accommodation here can be found
at one of the 2 Albergues or at a couple of casa
rurales. There are 2 bars/restaurants if you want
something to eat or drink.
de Rechivaldo is a lovely village with most of the
stone buildings constructed in the traditional Maragato
style. Many of the buildings date from the late
19th century due to a flood destroying most of the
village in September 1846. The new village was built
on higher ground to avoid it being flooded again.
The 18th century Iglesia de San Esteban has a carving
of the Virgen del Pilar above the door. The Virgen
is another of Spain’s patron saints and el dia del
Pilar (Virgin’s day) is celebrated throughout Spain
on the 12th October. The church also has an external
staircase which leads to the bell tower which is
a common feature in these parts. As is also quite
common in many areas, more often than not you will
find a stork’s nest on the top of the bell tower.
past the albergue and the pilgrim fountain onto
a track leading to a country road which runs parallel
to the main road. After about 5 kilometres you enter
Santa Catalina de Somoza where accommodation
can be found either in one of the 2 private Albergues
or at the municipal hostel.
down the Calle Real and rejoin the main road at
the large cross situated near some seats. In a little
while the path starts to climb again. Keep along
this track for 4 kilometres until you reach El
Ganso which is about 1,020 metres above sea
Ganso is typical of the villages in this region
and some of the buildings still have the traditional
thatched roofs, unfortunately many of these are
being replaced with much easier to maintain roof
tiles. Back in the 12th century the village had
a monastery and pilgrims hospital which administered
to the pilgrims passing through but there are no
sign of any remains.
Camino continues through El Ganso down a
track running parallel to the road. Here it passes
an old oak tree where many a pilgrim have rested
in the shade of its canopy. It is known as el Roble
del Peregrino. As you walk along the path towards
Rabanal del Camino you will pass the remains
of the Roman gold mines of La Fucarona, one
of many such mines in this region.
about 7 kilometres you reach the small village of
Rabanal del Camino. Just as you enter the
village you pass the 18th century Ermita del
Bendito Cristo de la Vera Cruz.
is indelibly linked with the Camino de Santiago
due in part to its location on the pass through
the mountains. In the Middle Ages this was an important
stop for pilgrims before they walked through the
mountains and the village was much bigger as can
be seen by the number of churches here. There is
a new order of Benedictine monks living in the Monasterio
de San Salvador del Monte Irago. The monastery was
started in 2001 by monks who came from Santo Domingo
de Silos near Burgos but now the monastery is affiliated
with the abbey at St Otilien in Germany. They, like
their 12th century predecessors administer to the
spiritual needs of the pilgrims.
its size Rabanal del Camino can offer the pilgrim
accommodation in 3 Albergues and 3 hostals. Take
the opportunity to rest here before you tackle the
mountains of Monte Irago and Montes de León.
à CF description
at wanadoo.fr - 07/01/2014