On The Camino de Santiago In Sahagún, Spain

April 3, 2012 — 4 Comments

Sahagún was the largest town I had been in for days, but when I arrived at three o’clock, it was in the midst of siesta. This town took its siesta very seriously. Since it was Sunday, almost everything was closed. I saw few people or cars and couldn’t believe how quiet the streets were… From Page 118, Camino De Santiago In 20 Days

I never understood the significance of Sahagún and the meaning of Mudéjar, until well after I had returned home and began writing my book. Mudéjar refers to Muslims who stayed in Christian territory after the reconquest but didn’t convert to Christianity. Their architectural influence in this area of Spain was very important. According to the Wikipedia page, the Mudéjar style of architecture was a result of the symbiosis of Christian and Muslim cultures. I know that the Mudéjar architectural is more pronounced, or extravagant, in regions such as Aragon in the northeast of Spain, or Andalusia in the south. However, while walking the Camino de Santiago, I definitely noticed the change in the style of architecture, and now have a better understanding and appreciation, although there’s still much to learn.

Now, I’ll continue with my journey on the Camino de Santiago in Sahagún, Castilla y León. I left my last post, The Camino In Spain, Calzadilla de la Cueza To Sahagún, next to a patch of poppies on the edge of town, just as a brief glimpse of sun brought out the brilliant colors. It had been a frustrating morning, walking the entire time into a strong, cold wind. Entering Sahagún was a little drab, on a dark day.

Photo of clouds, adobe bricks, town, Mudéjar, Sahagún, Spain


According to Gitlitz & Davidson on page 228 of The Pilgrimage Road To Santiago, Sahagún derives its name from San Facundo. I used their book for some of the dates and references to this post. If you’re walking the Camino, I’d recommend reading their book before or after your journey. It’s a little heavy to carry on the Camino but would be great in ebook format.

Photo of railway track, bridge, mustard flowers, buildings, Sahagún, Spain


The Iglesia de la Trinidad was my first stop as blue skies appeared. I was excited to look inside, but was disappointed that it had been turned into an albergue. I went upstairs to look around but it had little resemblance to a church, and I was restricted where I could go. The hospitalera kept asking me if I was staying the night and I repeated over and over that I wasn’t. The church had a huge crack on the lower exterior that looked in need of attention.

photo of adobe bricks, church, clouds, Mudéjar, Sahagún, Spain


The Iglesia de San Juan was right across the street, the front façade had recently been repainted.

Photo of church, painted, blue sky, clouds, Mudéjar, Sahagún, Spain


Photo of church, painted, blue sky, clouds, Mudéjar, Sahagún, Spain


The quiet streets.

Photo of clouds, street, buildings, Mudéjar, Sahagún, Spain


 After eating delicious pastries in a bakery near the town center, I continued walking. These scallop shells showed the way. Photo of

 Photo of metal post, scallop shell, cobbled street, buildings, Sahagún, Spain


The magnificent Arch of San Benito or Arco San Benito was awaiting at the bottom of the hill. The arch was once the front façade of the Monasterio de San Facundo’s church. This façade dates to the 17th century while the monastery was actually founded in the 9th century. The monastery was huge, with four separate cloisters. Most of the construction was completed between 1099 and the early 13th centuries. During the 19th century, much of the monastery was destroyed by wars and unrest.

Photo of blue sky, Stone, clouds, arco, carvings, ruins, Sahagún, Spain


Facing the arch, to the right, was the Convento de las Madres Benedictinas. There was a museum but it was closed either for the afternoon or possibly because it was a Sunday.

Photo of , clouds, convent, Mudéjar, Sahagún, Spain


The early 12th century Iglesia de San Tirso was also in this historic area, just on the other side of the convent. Photo of church, adobe bricks, clouds, Mudéjar, Sahagún, Spain


I was impressed with the tower, and its columns and arches. It was rebuilt in 1945 after collapsing. Photo of bell tower, adobe bricks, clouds, Mudéjar, Sahagún, Spain


A closer look at the Arch of San Benito’s upper façade, with the rampant lions and the coat of arms. I haven’t posted this yet and now is a good time. I have trouble memorizing all the lion attitudes and found this excellent Wikipedia page for reference.

Photo of coat of arms, lions, carvings, cross, Arco, Sahagún, Spain


To the right of the arch were part of the ruins of the Monasterio de San Facundo. The tower was rebuilt in 1835.

Photo of Bell tower, clouds, adobe bricks, Mudéjar, convent, Sahagún, Spain


 I walked through the gate and looked back. Now I was looking at what were once the interior walls.Photo of Stone, clouds, arco, carvings, ruins, Sahagún, Spain


More views of the clock tower.

Photo of Bell tower, clouds, adobe bricks, Mudéjar, convent, Sahagún, Spain


Photo of Bell tower, clouds, adobe bricks, Mudéjar, convent, Sahagún, Spain


The ruins of the Monasterio de San Facundo.Photo of ruins, stone, monastery, clouds, blue sky, Mudéjar, Sahagún, Spain


Photo of ruins, stone, monastery, clouds, blue sky, Mudéjar, Sahagún, Spain


I only saw a few cars and didn’t see another person on the streets. I had this garden all to myself.

Photo of garden, grass, flowers, trees, sidewalk, clouds, Sahagún, Spain


As I walked away, one last photo of the Arch of San Benito.

Photo of blue sky, street, Arco, ruins, Mudéjar, Sahagún, Spain


I usually post this map of the French Way or Camino Francés (map from Wikipedia Commons) near the beginning of my posts, but this time, I’ll place it here. Sahagún is approximately halfway along the French Way—Centro del Camino.

Photo of plaque Sahagún, Spain, arch of San Benito, Sahagún, Spain

I stopped for a moment to think about how far I had walked—about 400 kilometers or 250 miles. It’s quite amazing, and despite my minor hardships and frustrations, the sun was out, and I was having the journey of my life. Sahagún is another place I would want to visit again, hopefully on a day when the museum and churches were open. I’m sure the surrounding area also has some amazing landmarks.

Please join me on my next post, On The Camino de Santiago In Spain, Sahagún To El Burgo Ranero, as I leave Sahagún in the late afternoon, still walking into the wind. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the morning, and I had a pleasant evening walk. However, I had to scramble a little to find a bed for the night.

If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle. My Goodreads page has reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.

About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.


4 responses to On The Camino de Santiago In Sahagún, Spain

  1. Darlene Foster April 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Fabulous architecture! Would love to visit Sahagún one day.

    • Thanks for your comment. Yes, Sahagún was interesting and like no other town along the Camino. Plus it had a wonderful bakery that probably saved me from hunger.

  2. i just read you post on Sahagun, i would love to visit this town, as you can see my last name is Sahagun, my grand parents on the my dads side told me about this town, when i was a kid, the grew up in mexico, and told me that our last name came from here, i very interested in visiting here and know more about my backround. thank you for your post

    • Very interesting! Thanks for your comment. You’d love the town of Sahagún. Rich in history and important to the Camino. I hope you can visit very soon 🙂

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