Roncesvalles [Orreaga]

CAMINO FRANCES

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The popular dining spot is at the Posada, and you can buy a ticket for dinner at the albergue. The dining room sees pilgrims from all over the world sit down at random to fill the tables. Half of them are about to begin their walk, which starts here, while the other half have just descended from the mountain. The difference is in the length of their stride. Dinner is also available at the hotel.

It doesn't take much to see the whole village, and almost every building is a treasure of some kind.

Near the albergue is the Iglesia de Santa Maria, where a mass for pilgrims and a blessing take place every day at 8 p.m. (6 p.m. at weekends). The Real Colegiata de Santa María de Roncesvalles is also a must-see, but the relics and other remarkable objects are part of the Museum (small price).

The small Capilla de Santiago o de los Peregrinos and the Silo de Carlomagno (also known as the Capilla de Sancti Spiritus) lie side by side along the road.

Fiesta:

The day of the Virgin of Roncesvalles is celebrated every year on September 8. Romerías (a local pilgrimage) take place on Sundays in May and June, and on the Wednesday before September 8.

History:

Roncesvalles is the scene of the epic battle between Roland and Charlemagne's rearguard. The Basques ambushed and destroyed the guard, Roland perished, and a legend was born. Centuries later, the church would capitalize on the name, and the abbey here would control an important territory up and down the valley, all the way to Pamplona.

The Road:

The camino starts on a path to the west of the main road (your right-hand side), heading into the forest before returning to the road as you approach Burguete.

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