Codex Guide : chapters I to VI  





  Beginning of Book IV of the Apostle Saint Jacques.


  Argument of Blessed Pope Calixtus.

  If the truth is sought in our literature by the educated reader, he will meet in the content of this book safely and without a shadow of a doubt. Because there is documented many things that can be verified by living people.


  Chapter I. Roads to Santiago

  Chapter II. The Stages of the Camino

  Chapter III. The Towns

  Chapter IV. The Three Hostels of the World

  Chapter V. People who repaired the road

  Chapter VI. The Good and Bad Rivers

  Chapter VII. The lands

  Chapter VIII. Saints' Tombs to be visited

  Chapter IX. The City and Basilica of St.James

  Chapter X. Canons of St James

  Chapter XI. How to treat Pilgrims



  Chapter I. Roads to Santiago.


  " Quatuor viae sunt quae ad sanctum Jacobum tendentes, in unum, ad Pontem Reginae , in oris Hispaniae coadunantur."


  Four roads meet at Puente la Reina in Spain and become one route to Santiago.

  One road goes through Saint-Gilles du Gard, Montpellier, Toulouse and the Somport Pass.

  The next is through St Mary of Le Puy, Saint Foy of Conques and St Peter of Moissac.

  The third road is via St Mary Magdeline of Vezalay, St Leonard of Limousin and the town of Perigueux.

  The last is by St Martin of Tours, St Hilary of Poitiers, St John of Angely, St Eutropius of Saintes and the city of Bordeaux.

  These roads through St Foy, St Leonard and St Martin meet at Ostabat and cross the Pass of Cize.

  At Puente la Reina they come together with the road over the Somport Pass, and continue as a single Camino de Santiago.



  Chapter II. The Stages of the Camino.


  The Somport Pass to Puente la Reina has three short stages.

  The first is from Borce, a village at the foot of the Somport Pass on the Gascon side, to Jaca.

  The second is Jaca to Monreal, the third from Monreal to Puente la Reina.


  From the Pass of Cize to Santiago there are thirteen stages.

  The first short stage is from the village of St Michel at the foot of the Pass of Cize, on the Gascon side, to Viscarret.

  The second is also short, from Viscarret to Pamplona.

  The third is from the city of Pamplona to Estella.

  The fourth is Estella to Najera, of course by horse.

  The fifth, also on horseback, is Najara to the city called Burgos.

  The sixth is Burgos to Frómista.

  The seventh is Frómista to Sahagún.

  The eighth is Sahagún to the city of León.  

  The ninth is León to Rabanal.

  The tenth is from Rabanal over the pass at Foncebadon to Villafranca del Bierzo, at the mouth of the Valcarce.

  The eleventh is Villafranca to Triacastela, over the pass of Monte Cebrero.

  The twelfth is Triacastela to Palas de Rey.

  The thirteenth is a short stage from Palas to Santiago.



  Chapter III. The Towns.


  The towns on the Camino de Santiago from the Somport Pass to Puente la Reina are, Borce (at the foot of the mountains on the Gascon side), then after going over the summit of the mountain, the hostel at Santa Christina; then Canfranc, then Jaca, then Astorito, then Tiermas, with royal baths of hot water, then Monreal, then Puente la Reina.


  The most important places on the Camino de Santiago from the Pass of Cize to the basilica in Galacia are, first, the village of Saint-Michel, on the Gascon side at the foot of the Pass of Cize, then, after crossing the summit of the mountain, one gets to know the Hospice of Roland, then the village of Roncesvalles.

  Next one becomes familiar with Viscarret, then Larrosoana, then the city of Pamplona, then Puente la Reina, then Estella, full of good bread and the best wine and meat and fish, and plenty of all good things.

  From there is Los Arcos, Logrono, Villarroya, Najera city, St Domingo, Redecilla, Belorado, Vilafranca, Oca forest, Atapuerca, Burgos city, Tardajos, Hornillos del Camino, Castrojeriz, Puente de Itero and Fromista, then Carrion, fortunate with bread and wine and meat and all fertility.


  Next is Sahagun, flowing with delights, with the meadow where the gleaming spears of the victorious fighters, thrust in to praise God, once bloomed with leaves. Then is Mansilla and León, city of the king and court, surrounded by good fortune. Next, is Orbigo, then the city of Astorga, then Rabanel, which is known as 'The Prisoner', then the pass of Foncebadon, then Molinaseca, Ponferrada, Cacabelos and Villafranca del Bierzo, at the cheek of the valley of Valcarce, then the Saracen Castle, then Villaus, the Pass of Monte Cebrero, with its hospice at the summit of the mountain, then Linareas de Rey and Triacastela, at the foot of the Galician mountain, where pilgrims take a stone and carry it with them to Castaneda to make lime for the building of the Apostle's church.


  Then is the village of St Michael, Barbadelo, Puertomarin, Sala Regine, Palas de Rey, Leboreiro, Santiago de Boente, Castaneda, Villanova, Ferreiros, and finally Compostella, the most excellent city of the Apostle, complete with all delights, having in its care the valuable body of St James, on account of which it is recognised as the luckiest and noblest city in all Spain.


  I have described these towns and stages so that pilgrims setting out for Santiago, hearing this, can work out the expenses necessary for their journey.



  Chapter IV. The Three Hostels of the World.


  God has set up three supports for the world's poor: the hostels of Jerusalem, of Mont-Joux and of Santa Christa on the Somport Pass, all placed where they are most needed. They are holy places, houses of God where holy pilgrims can refresh, the destitute can relax, the sick can receive comfort, the dead can be prayed for, and the living given help.



   Chapter V. People who repaired the road.


  Here are the names of certain travellers who, in the time of Archbishop Diego of Santiago, and Emperor Alfonso of Spain and Galicia, and of Pope Calixtus, restored the road to Santiago from Rabanel to Portomarin, out of faithful love of God and the Apostle, since the year of Our Lord 1120, in the reign of Alfonso, King of Aragon, and Louis the Fat, King of the French: Andréas, Rotgerius, Alvitus, Fortus, Arnaldus, Stephanus, and Petrus, who rebuilt the bridge over the Mino destroyed by Queen Urraca.

  May the souls of these men and their assistants rest in peace.



  Chapter VI. The Good and Bad Rivers.


  These are the rivers on the Camino de Santiago from Puerta de Ciza and from the Somport pass: From Somport flows the healthy water of the River Aragon, which irrigates Spain. From Puerto de Ciza to Pamplona pours pure water known as the river Runa. Both the Runa and the river Arga run down to Puente la Reina.


  At a place called Lorca, to the east, flows the river known as the Salt Stream.

  Be careful not to drink it or water your horse there, because the river is lethal. On its banks, as we were going to Santiago, we found two Navarrese sitting there, sharpening their knives, waiting to skin the horses of pilgrims which die after drinking the water.

  When we asked, they lied and said the water was safe to drink. So we watered our horses, and two died at once, which the men then skinned.


  At Estella runs the Ega, with sweet, safe and excellent water. Through the town of Los Arcos flows deadly water. Outside the town near the first hostel, after leaving the village but before coming to the hostel, is a river fatal to both horses and men who drink it.

  At the town of Torres del Rio in Navarre flows a river deadly to horses and men, and at the village of Cuevas is a similar death-bringing stream. At Logrono there is a huge river called the Ebro which is healthy and which abounds in fish.

  All the rivers between Estella and Logrono are lethal to men and horses, but their fish is approved to eat.


  In Spain and Galicia, don't eat the fish called a 'barbus', or the one the Poitevins call an 'alosa' and the Italians 'clipia', or any eel, or tench, because without doubt you will immediately die or fall very sick. If by luck anyone eats and doesn't get sick, they're healthier than most or have stayed longer in the country. For all fish, beef and pork in Spain and Galicia make foreigners ill.


  The rivers which are sweet and safe to drink are locally named as the following: the Pisuerga, which flows at Puente de Itero; the Carrion; the Cea at Sahagun; the Esla at Mansilla de las Mulas; the Porma, at the big bridge between Mansilla and Leon; the Torio, which flows near Leon below the Jewish quarter; the Bernesga, which flows by the same city, but on the other side, towards Astorga; the Sil at Ponferrada in the Green Valley; the Cua that flows by Cacabelos; the Burbia at the bridge at Villafranca; the Valcarce that flows in the Valcarce valley; and the Mino, which flows by Portomarin.


  There is a river in a wooded place two miles from Santiago called Lavacolla, in which French pilgrims, out of respect for the Apostle, wash not only their private parts but, stripping off their clothes, clean all the dirt from their bodies.


  The river Sar, between Monte de Gozo and Santiago, is healthy, and the river Sarela, which flows from the other side of the city, to the west, is said to be safe.


  I have described these rivers thus, so that pilgrims setting out for Santiago can learn to avoid the dangerous ones and choose those healthy for themselves and their animals.



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