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Romanesque and Visigothic churches

Cathryn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances March (2016)
My first Camino will start from Roncesvalles on Easter Sunday, 4 weeks from today!! I am mucho excited. . .and unfortunately that is about the extent of my Spanish at this point!

Previous threads on Romanesque churches have been very useful but I'm hoping the forum members can help me with specific information about how one can get to some of the churches and monasteries that lie off the Camino. If there is an albergue near the churches, I would probably walk (if not too far). But if not, then I'm wondering if there are taxis (formal or informal) or buses from the closest Camino point. Also, any comments on the churches etc would be most appreciated. The particular churches/monasteries I'm hoping to visit are: 1. San Millan de la Corolla; 2. Santo Domingo de Silos; 3. San Juan de Banos; 4. San Miguel de Escalada; and 5. Santiago de Penalba.

Also, I'm planning to go to stop in Jaca on the way to Roncesvalles and am still a bit confused (after trying to read all the previous comments) on how best to visit San Juan de la Pena. Are there buses? How much is a taxi? Is the TI in Jaca helpful?

I REALLY appreciate this forum and all the wonderful experience and helpfulness of those who spring forward to answer questions! Hope I get to meet some of you on the Camino!

Muchas gracias!
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
For most of the places you wish to visit Google the terms 'caminodesantiago.me'
'place name' and the earlier Forum thread(s) will pop up filled with several readers' posts/info.

Happy research and Buen camino!
 
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C

Castilian

Guest
I'm wondering if there are taxis (formal or informal) or buses from the closest Camino point. Also, any comments on the churches etc would be most appreciated. The particular churches/monasteries I'm hoping to visit are: 1. San Millan de la Corolla; 2. Santo Domingo de Silos; 3. San Juan de Banos; 4. San Miguel de Escalada; and 5. Santiago de Penalba.

San Millán de la Cogolla: bus from/to Nájera with www.autobusesjimenez.com

Santo Domingo de Silos: bus from/to Burgos (on working days). Probably, you would need to stay overnight in Santo Domingo de Silos.

San Juan de Baños: train from Frómista to Venta de Baños plus a walk to the church in nearby Baños de Cerrato.

San Miguel de Escalada: it's something like 15 kms from Mansilla de las Mulas so you could walk it. Alsa has a bus but its schedule won't suit you.

Peñalba de Santiago: To walk there would be the best because the scenery is really nice. Look for tracks online. You could make a variant from the camino going from El Acebo to Ponferrada through Peñalba de Santiago (2 days minimum) or you could walk it as a detour from Ponferrada (2 days minimum too). If you don't want to walk it (what would be a pity), look how much it's a taxi from Ponferrada because bus service from Ponferrada to Peñalba de Santiago is on demand. For info about on demand transport in Castile and Leon take a look at: www.carreterasytransportes.jcyl.es and click on Transporte a la demanda. For more info you can call at the phone number provided to book a seat. The service is aimed and designed to give access some days (e.g.: once or twice a week) to services in the nearest town to locals living in rural villages so check what are the rules for tourists and be aware schedules are unlikely to suit you and be aware too that, as the service is aimed for locals, the person on the phone may speak English but may also not speak it.

I am mucho excited. . .and unfortunately that is about the extent of my Spanish at this point!

You are muy excited.;)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
My first Camino will start from Roncesvalles on Easter Sunday, 4 weeks from today!! I am mucho excited. . .and unfortunately that is about the extent of my Spanish at this point!

Previous threads on Romanesque churches have been very useful but I'm hoping the forum members can help me with specific information about how one can get to some of the churches and monasteries that lie off the Camino. If there is an albergue near the churches, I would probably walk (if not too far). But if not, then I'm wondering if there are taxis (formal or informal) or buses from the closest Camino point. Also, any comments on the churches etc would be most appreciated. The particular churches/monasteries I'm hoping to visit are: 1. San Millan de la Corolla; 2. Santo Domingo de Silos; 3. San Juan de Banos; 4. San Miguel de Escalada; and 5. Santiago de Penalba.

Also, I'm planning to go to stop in Jaca on the way to Roncesvalles and am still a bit confused (after trying to read all the previous comments) on how best to visit San Juan de la Pena. Are there buses? How much is a taxi? Is the TI in Jaca helpful?

I REALLY appreciate this forum and all the wonderful experience and helpfulness of those who spring forward to answer questions! Hope I get to meet some of you on the Camino!

Muchas gracias!

Hi, Cathryn,
Castilian has given you a lot of great information, and here is a bit more. A lot of this will depend on how much time you have because these detours, though wonderful, can be a bit time consuming.

San Millan -- The last time I walked the Frances, we met a man who walked every day from his home in Santo Domingo about 10 km each way. He offered to take us to visit the site -- even came and picked us up in the albergue in Belorado and then drove us to the monastery, which we very much enjoyed. If you're lucky, he's still walking the Camino, but I suppose the odds are very low that you will meet him. But you never know, there are lots of camino angels out there. Of the five you mention, this was my least favorite, maybe because of the commercialization and the crowds going to the adjacent Yuso monastery. But I recognize that it has a lot of historical significance and think it's worth a visit.

Santo Domingo de Silos -- Actually, this is on the Ruta de la Lana coming up from the south (it intersects with the Frances in Burgos) and there is a well marked route from there to Burgos. It would be a two or three day walk depending on whether you wanted to take the "direct route" through Mercerreyes or the little detour (on another Camino, the Camino San Olav) to visit what looks like a pretty amazing visigothic church at Quintanilla de las Vinas (more info on the route here: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...thic-jewel-south-of-burgos.36974/#post-371350). If you do take a bus from Burgos out and plan to take a bus back, it is my understanding that you will in fact need to spend a night there if part of the reason for your trip is to attend one of the services with Gregorian chants. If you walk back from Santo Domingo, you get the added bonus of passing through Covarrubias with its pretty Romanesque church.

San Juan de Banos -- the Camino Olvidado (from Bilbao to Ponferrada) passes through the town where this church is. It was a great rest stop and visit, extremely interesting. It was day 6 on this route: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...dado-viejo-camino-camino-de-la-montaña.28456/

San Miguel de la Escalada -- very much worth a visit. This happens to be on the Camino Vadiniense coming down to Mansilla from the north, so again it will be very well marked, but there is really no place for you to stay near San Miguel de la Escalada, at least not to my knowledge. There is an albergue in Gradefes (where there's another Romanesque monastery) on the Vadiniense, and the next day to Mansilla would be a do-able stage with a stop in San Miguel, but its opening time is quite late, if I'm remembering right, like around 11. That may make it a late walking day. Getting out to Gradefes, the easiest way, I think, is a bus from Leon. So if I were you, I'd either just take a cab out and back from Mansilla, or take the bus from Leon, stay in the albergue in Gradefes, walk to Mansilla the next day, and then if you've already walked into Leon, just hop on a bus back to Leon.

And oh, you've saved the best for last. Penalba de Santiago is just amazing. Not only is the church a gem, the whole town is pretty gorgeous. It's a wonderful detour from either El Acebo or Ponferrada, and I think this is probaby the prettiest three day walk I've ever done in Spain. More information here: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...n-splendor-from-ponferrada-or-el-acebo.27697/

Hope you're able to visit some of these spots. As you can see, a lot of them are actually on other caminos, so maybe you should just start planning to walk some of these less popular routes (they all have many other great Romanesque and/or Visigothic sites as well)! Buen camino, Laurie

Oh, I forgot to give you some info on San Juan de la Pena -- another absolutely impossible to miss church/cloister. I walked there on the Camino Catalan, which passes through San Juan and then joins the Camino Aragones in Santa Cilia de Jaca (about 15 km from Jaca). I know AnnieSantiago has some posts about a bus you can take out and back for a day visit from Jaca,, so that may be your best option. The descent from San Juan is probably the most vicious rocky descent I have ever found on a camino, so I don't think it'd be a great pre-Camino stroll!

Since you say you are going from Jaca to Roncesvalles, if you are making that trip by car, you should definitely plan to stop in the Monastery and church of Leyre. Amazing is all I can say.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
If you don't mind a two-day excursion, you could continue from San Miguel de Escalada, walking NNE to Gradefes about 9.6km away to the 12c Cistercian monastery, which has quite a whiff of the romanesque about it. There is a well-kept municipal albergue there, as well as a hostal just over the bridge by the N-625. If you're a serious junkie for this stuff, yoiu likely would like to have a gander at: http://www.utppublishing.com/Romane...loring-Frontiers-and-Defining-Identities.html by Janice Mann. Here's a shot of Gradefes, and two of San Miguel de Escalada
.IMG_1989.JPG IMG_2042.JPG IMG_2054.JPG
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
2. Santo Domingo de Silos
There is one bus per day except Sunday from Burgos around 1730 (it may vary a bit from season to season) and returning about 0810 (again, a bit variable). It arrives just in time to run to vespers. Check into a hotel afterward; most are fairly inexpensive and there is no albergue.

BURGOS - SANTO DOMINGO de SILOS
LUNES A JUEVES : 17,30
VIERNES :
18,30
SÁBADO Y DOMINGO: no hay servicio
Días festivos consultar horarios

EMPRESA:
ARCEREDILLO
INFORMACIÓN:
Tlfno: 947 48 52 66
Taquilla: 16

https://silosnews.wordpress.com/horarios/
 

Cathryn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances March (2016)
Thanks one and all for the great information! I may never make it to SdC with all these detours! And Castilian, thanks for correcting my Spanish; you've reinforced my point that I don't speak the language! I'd better get back to those Spanish tapes!

Muchas gracias!
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Falcon got it right for Santo Domingo de Silos the bus arrives from Burgos in time for Vespers but should you want to see the cloisters and YES you should, they open the next morning after the return bus has left. Two nights there but watch the weekend, no buses on Sunday!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Check into a hotel afterward; most are fairly inexpensive and there is no albergue.

Though this little tidbit may not be of importance to people who bus out and back from Burgos to Santo Domingo, there is in fact an in Santo Domingo available to walkers. Alan Sykes walked the Lana recently and stayed there.

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...ngo-de-silos-in-early-june.37363/#post-360532

Hoping to stay there myself this summer towards the end of my Ebro/Lana. Buen camino, Laurie
 
C

Castilian

Guest
San Juan de Banos -- the Camino Olvidado (from Bilbao to Ponferrada) passes through the town where this church is. It was a great rest stop and visit, extremely interesting. It was day 6 on this route: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...dado-viejo-camino-camino-de-la-montaña.28456/


You are talking about a different church. Most likely, you are talking about the great Romanesque Colegiata de San Pedro in Cervatos. OTOH, Cathryn asked for info about San Juan de Baños, a great Visigothic church located on the town of Baños de Cerrato (next to Venta de Baños) out of any Camino de Santiago route (other than self-made/designed caminos); a church that is considered (by some people) to be the oldest church in Spain that isn't in ruins. Venta de Baños and Baños de Cerrato are something like 12 kms South of the city of Palencia.
 

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