de Santiago / French Way : 15. Castrojeriz - Frómista
leave Castrojeriz walk down the main street
past the Iglesia de San Juan, crossing the road
at the fountain and following the way markers taking
you towards a gravel track. The path from here,
clearly seen up ahead, winds it way up to the top
of a hill called the Alto de Mostelares. About 1
kilometre out of Castrojeriz the track joins a restored
section of roman road originally built to provide
a solid route across the boggy Odrilla valley. Soon
you will come across a wooden footbridge across
the Rio Odrilla and then the steep climb up to the
Alto de Mostelares. If you look to your right
before you start your climb you will see the remains
of some old Roman mines where they used to mine
for Mica, as you climb you can actually see the
seams of Mica. When you get to the top you will
see a monument that has supposedly been built by
pilgrims. Take some time to rest at the rest area
at the top and to take in the view looking back
towards Castrojeriz, it’s spectacular. Looking ahead,
you can see your Camino route stretched out before
you towards Puente de Itero, Itero de la Vega and
Boadilla del Camino.
the top follow the iron crosses with yellow plastic
on them, these are the way markers. After about
500 metres you will have panoramic views of the
valley below. The path begins to descend through
some fields for about 3 kilometres at which point,
after a slight uphill climb, you will come to the
Fuente del Piojo a fountain and picnic area.
a right along a road and the village of Itero de
la Vega can be seen up ahead. The road doesn’t actually
take you through the village but there is an albergue
there if you want to take the slight 700 metre detour
off the main road. There are also the remains of
the castle that once stood there.
the crossroads take a left down the road and soon
you will come across the Ermita San Nicolás de
Bari. This was once a pilgrim hospital that
has been converted by the Confraternita dei San
Jacopo (the Italian Confraternity of St James) into
a refugio. The building doesn’t have electricity
so if you choose to stay dinner will be served by
short walk along the road from the Ermita San Nicolás
you will come to the beautiful 11 arched Puente
de Itero over the Río Piscuerga. A stone marker
at the opposite side of the bridge marks the border
between Burgos and Palencia, it also marks the historic
border with the kingdom of León. The original bridge
was built by Alfonso VI to unify the kingdoms of
Castile and León and is mentioned in the Codex Calixtinus.
you have crossed the bridge take a right down a
minor road for about 1.5 kilometres, passing the
Ermita de Nuestra Señora de la Piedad and enter
the village of Itero de la Vega.
a couple of shops and supermarket, a bar as well
as 2 albergues and a hostel that provide pilgrim
out of the village, follow the white arrows that
will take you down a track flanked by water channels
on either side. After about 1 kilometre you come
across the hamlet of Bodegas, keep walking straight
on and cross the bridge over the Canal del Pisuerga.
From here the path starts to climb to the top of
a hill, you will see them in the distance as 3 humps.
At the top of the ridge is the village of Boadilla
del Camino. Once you reach the top of the hill the
views are fantastic. An unusual sight along this
part of the Camino is the number of ornate palomares
or dovecotes of all shapes and sizes which dot the
landscape. Doves and pigeons are kept mainly for
their droppings, which provide good fertilizer,
and sometimes provide someone with their dinner.
Boadilla del Camino you can visit the 16th
century Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Asuncion which
contains an impressive 14th century stone font.
If the church is locked you can get the key from
the albergue. This is the only remaining church
in the village. It did at one time have 3 churches
and 2 pilgrim hospitals. Just outside the church
is a 15th century stone cross called the Rollo
de Justicia which is the symbol of the jurisdictional
autonomy bestowed on the town by King Enrique IV.
It is ornately decorated in scallop shells and other
Camino related symbols. The Rollo also marks the
spot where criminals were tied in chains and subjected
to cruel and unusual forms of public humiliation
before they were tried. There are three albergues
in the town if you wish to stay here.
the village past the bar and turn left past the football
ground and towards the Canal de Castilla.
A feat of 18th century engineering the canal was
built mainly to transport goods, such as wheat and
barley, but with the coming of the railways, like
in so many other countries, the canal went into
decline and is now used for irrigation for the many
wheat fields and provides electricity for the factories.
The canal itself is 207 kilometres long starting
in the north of Palencia going down to Valladolid.
Following the canal towpath for about 3 kilometres
you will reach the Frómista Canal lock gates. This
lock once had four separate gates allowing boats
to descend and ascend the 14.2 metre elevation between
the top and the bottom. Cross over the canal here
and walk under the railway line into Frómista.
town of Frómista is perfectly situated in
the middle of a rich agricultural region and during
Roman times was considered to be the bread basket
of the Roman Empire. The Roman’s named it Frumentum
which is the Latin for cereal.
a small town with a population in the region of
1,400 it is home to two national monuments, the
first is the 11th century Iglesia de San Martin
de Tours. The church had been built originally
as part of a Benedictine monastery though no remnants
of the monastery exist. Inside the church are more
than 300 human and animal faces carved in stone
under its eaves. Unfortunately the church is no
longer used as a religious building but only as
a tourist attraction due to it having been deconsecrated.
other national monument is that of the Iglesia Santa
Maria del Castillo which contains an altarpiece
with 29 paintings.
for a town that is nowhere near the sea, it contains
a statue to the patron saint of sea farers, St.
Erasmus of Formiae, better known to most English
speakers as Saint Elmo. Local legend claims
that the Saint was born in Fromista some time in
the 3rd century, whether this is true we don’t know,
but we doubt it.
church worth visiting is the 15th century Iglesia
de San Pedro and its museum of religious
art. This is the main parish church of the town.
those wishing to stay the night there is an albergue
and various hotels or hostels to choose from.
à CF description
at wanadoo.fr - 07/01/2014