The Camino descended gradually past vineyards and farmland. I saw the first red poppy, and soon, there were splashes of red along the path. We arrived at Puente la Reina and were greeted by a large metal statue depicting St. James. Puente la Reina has catered to pilgrims for centuries and is best known for its magnificent Romanesque bridge. The town, whose name means “Bridge of the Queen,” refers to the queen in the eleventh century who commissioned the bridge to span the Río Arga… From Page 50, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days. We’ll get to the bridge soon, but first, we have a good morning walk ahead.
Now, I’ll continue with my journey on the Camino de Santiago, in the chapter, Day 3: Canadian Boy. Even if you don’t have my book, you can still enjoy this post, and learn more about walking the French Way or Camino Francés (map from Wikipedia Commons). On my last post, On the Camino de Santiago in Spain, Pamplona to Uterga, I had a scenic afternoon and evening walk to Utegra, and had just beat a big storm by minutes. It rained all night and it was obvious that the weather had changed from the previous two days.
Typical rolling terrain of farmland, just outside Uterga.
At this point, 747 km to Santiago De Compostela seemed like a very long way.
The church in the village of Muruzábal was rather simple, but according to Gitlitz & Davidson on page 83 of their book, The Pilgrimage Road To Santiago, it has the circa 1500, Retablo de los Santos Juanes, which they declare to be a masterpiece. The retablo is the often ornate structure situated behind the altar. The church doors were locked and I continued.
The first vineyards, just outside Muruzábal.
I was impressed with the stained-glass of the church in the village of Obanos.
The Camino exited the plaza in front of the church through this portal.
The rolling terrain outside Obanos. Even on a dull day, the contrasting colors were striking.
The poppies in full bloom would become an important feature of the Camino for the next couple of days.
This recent metal statue of St. James adorned the entrance to Puente la Reina.
The Iglesia del Crucifijo at the entrance of Puente la Reina was a different style of architecture than the churches earlier in Spain.
Storks on top of the octagon bell tower stood on guard.
Calle Mayor, the narrow road that the Camino has followed for centuries.
The main square or plaza in Puente la Reina.
Getting a good view of the Iglesia de Santiago proved difficult, due to the narrow main road.
The tympanum at one of the entrances to the Iglesia de Santiago.
Ancient lock on a gate of the Iglesia de Santiago.
Looking back at the Calle Mayor and the Iglesia de Santiago.
As I wrote on page 50, “The price of the wine surprised me. One bottle was €1.65, and many were in the two to four euro range. It was too bad I couldn’t carry any.”
And so I found myself at the magnificent bridge, Puente la Reina.
I took my time while crossing these bridges. I felt very lucky to have the opportunity.
A look back at the river shore, from across the bridge.
The bridge at Puente la Reina is among the best on the Camino Francés, although I would find out later, sometimes, even the simplest of these ancient bridges had their own special charm.
I hope you enjoyed this post as I’ll stop while marvelling at the grand bridge. On my next post, On The Camino de Santiago in Spain, Puente la Reina to Estella, I walked along one of the most memorable sections of the Camino Francés, the Roman Road between Cirauqui and Lorca. Please join me.
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