de Santiago / French Way : 30. Triacastela - Sarria via San Xil (18.6 km)
/ or Triacastela - Sarria via Samos (21,5 km)
you leave Triacastela at a T-junction you are given
a choice of 2 routes towards Sarria. The
left hand route takes you to the impressive monastery
at Samos which is our preferred route. It
is about 11 kilometres but the monastery there is
one of the most impressive buildings I have seen
and well worth a visit. The right hand route takes
you through a more rural route towards San Xil.
Both routes meet a few kilometres before Sarria
and are clearly marked, though only the San
Xil route has those marker stones we mentioned before.
route by Samos :
the T-junction take the left turn and cross the
Río Oríbio and walk down the main road for 3 kilometres
to the village of San Cristobo do Real. Go
through the village passing the church and again
crossing the Río Oríbio by the lavadero.
the cemetery and take the lane and keep on walking
down it until you get to a junction where 4 tracks
meet. Keep walking straight on and then cross the
Río Oríbio once again. Here you start walking uphill
and pass a church and its adjoining cemetery into
the village of Renche (café/bar).
the minor tarmacked road and over the Río Oaga,
crossing another bridge and walk along a track until
you enter the village of Tredezín.
through the village and walk down a path running
parallel to the river. As before, the path begins
to climb and at a T-junction take a left, cross
the bridge over the Río Oríbio once more and walk
into the village of San Martíno.
through the village and up a hill where you cross
a minor road and down a path which links up with
the main road to Sarria. Here take a left and then
down a lane sign posted Friexo 4 and before the
bridge turn right down a lane into Samos.
Samos you will find the impressive Benedictine
Monasterio de San Julián de Samos. It was
founded in the 6th century by San Martin Dumiense
and renovated by San Fructuoso in the 7th century.
Unfortunately soon after the monastery was renovated
it was abandoned because of the Moorish invasion
and it wasn't until the Asturian King Fruela I reconquered
the area did the monks return. Some years later
King Fruela was assassinated and the monks gave
refuge to the King's wife and son, who was later
to become Alfonso II of Asturias. Because of this
the monastery was granted royal protection.
its history the monastery has changed hands many
times. Early in the 10th century the monks were
expelled by the Bishop of Lugo, Don Ero, because
he wanted control of the monastery himself. Later
that same century it was reoccupied by the Benedictines
under the direction of King Ordoño II de León and
in the 12th century the monastery was taken over
by the Cluny order. Unfortunately in 1558 there
was a massive fire which destroyed much of the monastery.
It was rebuilt but the monks were again expelled
in 1835, however the Benedictine monks returned
in 1880. In the 19th century, during the wars with
Napoleon it was used as a military hospital. In
1951 the monastery yet again caught fire which destroyed
its famous library and causing it to be reconstructed
monastery's church was built between 1734 and 1748
and contains a library measuring 31 metres in length
and contains more than 25,000 books. The monastery
has 2 cloisters. The larger one called unsurprisingly
Claustro Grande was built in the 17th century and
at 3,000 m2 it is considered to be the largest in
Spain. It contains a statue to Padre Feijóo (Benito
Jerónimo Feijóo y Montenegro) a Spanish friar and
scholar who did much to demystify myths and superstitions.
other smaller cloister, Claustro Pequeño built in
the 16th century is also known as the Claustro de
las Nereidas because of the strange serpentine fountain
in the middle. The figures have serpentine bodies
but the head and chest of a woman. There's a strange
tale that surrounds this 18th century fountain.
It is said that the ecclesiastical authority at
the monastery didn't think it was an appropriate
location for this type of fountain and they ordered
it to be dismantled and transported to a more discreet
location. The day came for the fountain to be moved
and everything was ready but as the men tried to
lift the fountain it appeared to increase in weight
dramatically, so much so that no matter what they
tried they just could not move it. There was no
option but to leave the fountain where it was and
rebuilt it in its original location. Miraculously
they were able to move the stones once more because
they had gone back to their normal weight. Clearly
the fountain had no intention of moving from that
you wish to look around the monastery they do offer
guided tours but you will need to check the times
when these occur at the Porteria. The monastery
also has an albergue for the weary pilgrim.
Samos village itself there are 2 other albergues
and a number of restaurants offer a pilgrim menu.
There are other shops including bakeries and banks.
leave Samos continue along the main road towards
Sarria for about 2 kilometres and through the small
hamlet of Teiguín. If you want a quieter
route take the minor road marked Pascais, this leads
you to the hamlet of Hospital where the other road
through San Xil meets this one. Alternatively you
can just stay on the main road until you reach Sarria.
the marked route down country lanes passing the
12th century church of Santa Eulalia de Pascais
and another small chapel before crossing over a
couple of bridges and a bit of an up and down track
until you enter the village of Hospital,
where centuries ago there used to be a pilgrim hospital.
here follow the track through the villages of San
Mamede del Camino where there is an albergue,
San Pedro, Carballal and Vigo de
Sarria before reaching the town of Sarria
after approximately 4.5 kilometres.
route through San Xil :
mentioned at the T-junction in Triacastela there
was an alternative route to Sarria that went through
San Xil. If you choose this route take a right at
the T-junction in Triacastela taking the minor road
sign posted to San Xil. After about 1.5 kilometres
take a green lane towards the hamlet of A Balsa
and then cross the river, pass the ermita and walk
through the woods. You will pass by an unusual scallop
shaped fountain and picnic area before you reach
another T-junction where you take a left into San
back on the Camino after about 2 kilometres you
come to Alto de Riocabo. The path then goes
down the side of the valley and through the hamlets
of O Real, Montán, Fontearcuda
and the slightly odd sounding Zoo Mondarega.
after Zoo Mondarega take a left down a track towards
Furela where there is a small chapel la Capilla
San Roque, and then follow the lane through to the
hamlet of Pintín where there is a hostal.
kilometres out from Triacastela you eventually arrive
at the village of Calvor. There is a small
albergue here plus just before reaching the village
you will have passed a bar that does good food such
as Caldo Gallego, a hearty meal of various meats,
vegetables, potatoes and cabbage, lovely on a cold
through the village you go down a road sign posted
Aguiada where there is a private hostel and
a café that does food and then through to the hamlet
here follow the route as described earlier through
has been inhabited for many thousands of years
both by the Celts and the Romans but the town was
founded at the end of the 12th century by Alfonso
IX, the last king of León and he named the village
Vilanova de Sarria. He unfortunately died here in
1230 from a serious illness that he contracted as
he was undertaking the pilgrimage to Santiago. A
statue of the king can be seen near the police station.
first inspection Sarria doesn't appear to have much
to offer for the tourist, unless you like antiques
that is. It looks pretty much like many other Spanish
towns, heavily built up along a very busy main street
but you just need to look beyond that and head towards
the river. Most of the buildings linked to the Camino
can be found behind the main street on the hill
where the old town used to be.
on the Camino itself the Monasterio de la Magdalena
is said to have been founded by a couple of Italian
friars who passed this way on their pilgrimage to
Santiago. They asked the Bishop of Lugo if he would
grant them permission to look after the pilgrims
and this he did and they administered this help
from the Ermita de San Blas de Vilanova.
Italian friars belonged to an order called Frailes
de la Penitencia de los Venerables Mártires de Cristo
or roughly translated Friars of the Penance of the
Venerable Martyrs of Christ who maintained control
over the monastery until 1568 when they disappeared.
An Augustinian order took over the maintenance of
the Hospital de San Roque, but the monastery was
eventually abandoned altogether in the late 18th
century when the Desamortización occurred, the Spanish
version of the dissolution of the monasteries. Over
the next century it was used as a prison, a firewood
warehouse, a headquarters and eventually left to
rack and ruin. However in 1896 Bishop Murúa gives
the building to the Orden de la Merced or Order
of Mercy who begin to restore and extend the monastery.
The monastery is now dedicated to the education
of the monks that reside there. They still provide
spiritual guidance to the pilgrims that pass through
before reaching the Monasterio de la Magdalena
you will have passed a green and white building
that between 1930 and 1950 was the prison or Prisión
Preventativa where criminals will have been held
whilst awaiting trial. It is now used as a museum
by the local building college.
so many of the town and villages along the Camino
Sarria too had its fair share of pilgrim hospitals
boasting at least 7 at one point. The Juzgado or
courthouse now occupies the building that once housed
the pilgrim Hospital of San Antón Abade. It
was built in 1592 under the orders of Don Dionís
de Castro y Portugal who was cleric to the noble
family of Condal de Lemos, who provided money for
its upkeep. The hospital would welcome the pilgrims
who were returning from Santiago complete with their
Compestelana and would offer them a bed, heat and
for some peculiar reason, the services of a surgeon.
The hospital was still in operation up until 1821.
to the courthouse and underneath the Torre de la
Fortaleza is the mainly 13th century Iglesia
San Salvador, the belfry is a later 19th century
addition. Due to its proximity to the former Hospital
of Santo Antón it may well have been the church
for the hospital.
guard over the town is the Torre de la Fortaleza
the only remains of a once impressive castle. It
is believed to have been built in the 13th century
but was destroyed during the Irmandiño uprising
in the 15th century. The castle was rebuilt and
was lived in by the Merinos and then the senior
judges of the Marquis until 1730. In 1860 the town
council along with Don Manuel Pérez Batallón purchased
the castle and many of the stones and the other
towers were sold off to the townspeople. Originally
the castle had four towers, dungeons, pits and buttresses
but the only part that remains now is the south
east tower with its open stairway and two shields
with the coats of arms of Castro, Enríquez and Osorio.
Unfortunately you can't visit the tower but the
council are in the process of renovating it as a
museum so you may be able to some time in the future.
19th century Iglesia de Santa Mariña is located
on the Rúa Maior next to the ancient Praza do Mercado
where markets were held every Sunday up until the
1950's, now known as the Praza de D. Juan Mª López.
The current church was built over the ruins of a
13th century church and inside is a drawing of the
original church's door and capital. The church has
a distinctive pyramid style tower that contains
a clock. Depending on which way you approach the
church you will see a mural on a side wall depicting
pilgrims making their way to the church.
your way out of Sarria you will pass the 18th century
Capilla de San Lazaro the only remaining part of
Sarria's principal pilgrim hospital, el Hospital
de San Lazaro. This hospital was known for taking
in lepers who were making their way to Santiago
with the hope of a cure, along with those pilgrims
with other contagious diseases.
Rúa Maior, the main street through the town
also has some grand houses intermingled with the
modern apartment blocks.
is also along this street that you will find a number
of the albergues and most of the cafés, restaurants
and shops. There are 7 albergues in total plus 4
hostals. These can get very busy as Sarria is considered
the starting point for those pilgrims who are doing
the short 100 kilometre Camino to Santiago.
à CF description
at wanadoo.fr - 07/01/2014