Picture courtesy of the Government of Navarre
AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITY: Chartered Community of Navarre
DISTANCE TO SANTIAGO: 768 km
LINKS OF INTEREST
FESTIVALS & OTHER EVENTS
Dance of the “Bolantes”: “bolantes” is the local name for “dantzaris” (folk dancers) in this town.
Valcarlos is named after a very important historical event that took place in 778: the battle of Roncesvalles, in which the rearguard of Charlemagne's army was defeated by the Vascones.
Located in the “muga” (“border” in Basque) with the Lower Navarre, some 64 km from Pamplona, it is a narrow and steep valley, surrounded by forests and grooved by numerous fast streams. We invite you to delve into nature and discover this town best known for its “dantzaris”.
- Landscape: the valley where Valcarlos is located is one of the few Spanish territories located on the northern escarpment of the Pyrenees. Although on a steep incline, the surroundings of the town are dotted with small green meadows with white sheep grazing and white farmhouses, creating a picturesque landscape that seems taken from a “costumbrista” painting.
- Church of Santiago: dedicated to the saint as it stands in the middle of the Jacobean route and it is, at least, the third successive temple built on this same lot. It seems the first one was a medieval church that was destroyed during the War of the Convention (or “War of the Pyrenees”) in 1794. The second one was a church designed in a neoclassical style. The current one was designed by one of the most important Navarre-born architects: Florencio Ansoleaga, also the man behind the convent of the Salesians, the façades of the churches of San Lorenzo and of San Agustín – all of them in Pamplona. The altarpiece with the image of Saint James on his horse is also of good artistic quality, made at the workshop of the sculptor Florentino Istúriz
Track Saint Jean Pied-De-Port - Roncesvalles
|On foot||High Difficulty|
|PRM (pilgrim with reduced mobility)||Not Suitable|
|Alternative||Road N-135. No hard shoulder. Guardrails.|
NEARBY POINTS OF INTEREST
- Roncesvalles/Orreaga: the medieval complex of the collegiate church of Santa María of Roncesvalles appears soon after crossing the Pyrenees and descending from the Ibañeta Pass. The remains of King Sancho VII the Strong, who participated in the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, rest in this ancient monastery. The complex includes a medieval hostel, called Itzandegia, and a 17th-century mill. Next to the collegiate church we find a beech and oak forest, known as “Basajaunberro”, named after the “Basajaun” – a mythological creature that is lord and protector of the forest.
- Ibañeta Pass: this natural gateway of the Pyrenees has been a passage used since time immemorial by shepherds, travellers, merchants, armies and pilgrims. Archaeological excavations tell us of a Roman “mansio” or hostel for travellers, called “Summo Pyreneo”. Later on, in Christian times a first pilgrim hospital was built with the purpose of welcoming the pilgrims passing through Ibañeta. Due to the extreme weather in winter, this accommodation was moved to its current location in Roncesvalles. The impressive panoramic views over the Lower Navarre have not changed over the centuries though.