This is the most pleasant part of the Way, the one that leads you to stop in the stillness of a forest, in a medieval village crowned by a monastery, or anywhere else where a new way of looking at life can be triggered.
Perhaps, after so many vineyards, it is time to stop and taste the wines and the gastronomy of El Bierzo, to chat with the pleasant company, or to take a deep breath and spend the night in the Way of El Bierzo.
The mountain pass of Foncebadón indicates us that we are entering El Bierzo. It is the highest point of the French Way (1,500 meters). The Iron Cross (Cruz de Ferro) is on a mound of stones that the pilgrims have been throwing to obtain a wish. A must stop. Hermitage of Santiago.
Beautiful medieval village with typical houses that enjoyed a certain importance in the past. It had a hospital and a shelter in the 15th century, a school and even a dungeon. You can see the entire hoya berciana (basin of El Bierzo) from it.
Antiguas escuelas. Calle Real
San Miguel Arcángel. Ermita del cementerio
RIEGO DE AMBRÓS
A stop before the descent
Small town where the traditional stone architecture and the hermitage of San Sebastián stand out. A good place to rest before starting the abrupt descent to the beautiful Molinaseca.
Calle Real. Fuente Santa María Magdalena
Iglesia Santa María Magdalena, Ermita de San Sebastian
Natural crossing between the Meseta (plateau) and El Bierzo. The Bridge of the Pilgrims on the Meruelo River leads us to the street Calle Real, a beautiful path with large emblazoned buildings and monuments, a place worthy of being walked through and photographed.
Puente de los Peregrinos. Puentes de Malpaso. Calle Real. Mansión de los Balboa
Nuestra Señora de las Angustias. San Nicolas de Bari
Campo is located on the banks of the Boeza River, about 30 kilometres from the Aquilianos Mountains. It has several constructions of the 17th century and the church of Santa María, one of the best preserved in El Bierzo. Having its origin in the late Roman period, a fountain of Roman technology can still be visited nowadays in the upper part of the village.
This town also owes its origin - or development - to the Way of Saint James. The bridge built by Bishop Osmundo in the 11th century over the Sil River to facilitate the passage to pilgrims, the "Pons-Ferrata", gives the town its name. Land of Templars who here built a dream castle, that miraculously still stands today. Walking through the old town gives us a good idea of what the cities used to be like in the medieval times.
Castillo Templario. Calle del Reloj. Museo de la radio. Plaza del Ayuntamiento. Consejo Comarcal del Bierzo
Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Encina
Municipio Vinicola. Enoteca Benito Otero
Oficina de Turismo
Restaurante del plaza. La Taberna del Sil. Catering Caty&Rest
Enoteca Benito Otero
Hotel Ponferrada Plaza. Hotel AC Ponferrada. Hotel Celuisma Ponferrada
Church and hermitage
Village with manor houses, where the church of San Esteban of the 16th century and the hermitage of San Roque of the 17th century stand out.
In the Middle Ages it had two hospitals for pilgrims and it was a renowned place among the towns of the Way of Saint James. Large vineyards on the left and right, old vines of Mencía and Godello, wineries.
Torre del reloj. Centro de Interpretación de la Vid y el Vino
Located in the heart of the hoya berciana (basin of El Bierzo). In this town, at the foot of the Way, we can find the headquarters of the Regulatory Board of the Wines of El Bierzo. This area is still deeply defined by viticulture and wines.
In the Archaeological Museum of Cacabelos it is possible to make a journey through time from prehistory to the 20th century.
Museo Arqueológico. Consejo Regulador de los Vinos del Bierzo
Santuario Nuestra Señora de las Angustias. Ermita de San Roque
Municipio Vinícola. Bodegas Cuatro Pasos, Bodegas Godelia. Losada Vinos de Finca. Bodegas Luna Beberide
Oficina de Turismo
Restaurante la Gallega. Restaurante el Apostol. Restaurante La Moncloa
La Moncloa de San Lázaro. . Hotel Villa de Cacabelos. Casa Rural el Lagar. Hostal La Gallega
The birth of the region of El Bierzo and its name lies here, in Castro de la Ventosa. This pre-Roman village is where the viticulture started in El Bierzo. Just by looking at the surroundings from the top of this plateau, we can see the immense beauty of El Bierzo vineyards.
Crowded with monuments, old wine cellars, emblazoned palaces and a castle. Its famous Door to Forgiveness (Puerta del Perdón) allows according to the tradition to obtain the same indulgences that in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela for those pilgrims that, due to a disease, cannot arrive there.
Calle del Agua
Iglesia de Santiago. Colegiata de Santa María. Puerta del Perdón. Convento de San Nicolás el Real
Municipio Vinícola. Bodega Alberto Ledo. Bodegas Adriá. Bodegas Pérez Caramés
Oficina de Turismo
Restaurante Capricho. Restaurante Méndez
Apartamentos del Camino. Posada Plaza Mayor. Las Doñas del Portazgo. Hostal Casa Méndez
La Laguna de Castilla. This is the last town belonging to El Bierzo. Have a nice trip!
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