Points of interest of stage 5: Stage from Puente la Reina/Gares to Estella/Lizarra
- Km 0. Puente la Reina (All Services)
The vast majority will have spent the night in the hostels located at the entrance to Puente la Reina, so we woke up from sleep along Calle del Crucifijo, passing under the arch that joins the church with the San Juan convent, and crossed the national road to enter the street Elderly. To the right stands the church of Santiago with its rich doorway from the early 13th century. At the end of the street, the monumental Romanesque bridge over the Arga that gives its name to this town. It is certain that it was built for the passage of pilgrims, although it is not so certain that it was ordered to be erected by Queen Doña Mayor. We feed History crossing it and turn left to pass the national road and say goodbye to Puente la Reina through Zubiurrutia, the neighborhood of the nuns where there is a convent of the Commanders of the Holy Spirit . We follow the course of the Arga river for a couple of kilometers on its right bank and we move away from its channel to temporarily turn towards the northwest. The change of direction entails facing a tough slope under a patch of repopulated pine forest that ends next to the A-12, the Camino highway . We enter the region of Val de Mañeru and arrive at the town that gives its name to the valley.
- km 5.2. Mañeru (Shelters. Rural House. Bar. Shop. Office. Pharmacy)
A town of wine, Mañeru is crossed through its southernmost part (Calle de la Esperanza and Plaza de los Fueros) and is abandoned by Calle Forzosa. At the exit we see one of the postcards of the Camino appear on the horizon. It has it all: a path surrounded by cereals and vineyards, traveled by pilgrims, which advances towards a medieval town located on a hill. The town in question is Cirauqui and to get to the center you have to sweat a lot because of its network of steep streets. Through one of the gates in the old wall , you can access Santa Catalina and Portal streets and the Town Hall. On one side of the route, after some stairs on the right, is San Román, a church with a characteristic Romanesque façade and Arab reminiscences.
- km 7.8. Cirauqui (Shelter. Bar. Shop. Doctor’s office. Pharmacy. ATM)
We enter the Town Hall through one of its arches, where they usually leave a stamp to mark the credential, and we descend to the outskirts of the town to step on a piece of the past. It is a stretch of Roman road and a bridge from the same period, transformed in the 18th century, which crosses the waters of the Iguste regatta . After a picnic area comes another bridge devoid of historical comments that allows safe passage over the A-12 motorway. The day continues along the track or over intermittent remains of the road and a single-arch bridge over the Dorrondoa stream (Km 9.4) . Two kilometers later we turn onto a local road, pass under the Alloz canal viaduct , built in 1939, and end up on the banks of the Salado river . The Codex Calixtinus from the 12th century is dispatched viciously: “through the place called Lorca, in the eastern zone, runs the river called Salado: be careful not to drink from it, neither you nor your horse, it is a deadly river!” (Km 12.1) . The waters, rich in salts but not lethal, are saved by the medieval bridge with pointed arches and we leave the river and poetry to face a demanding kilometer to Lorca , a town in the Yerri valley .
- km 13.3. Lorca (Hostel. Bar. Shop)
At the entrance we are greeted by the prominent apse of the church of San Salvador . The main street guides us from end to end and on the outskirts our itinerary coincides for a stretch with that of a local path that leads to the Maurien cross . Always following concentration tracks, we reach an underpass under the highway and we end up in Villatuerta . It is the newly built housing estates that outline the direction to follow until the Romanesque bridge over the Iranzu River , which divides this newer part with the more historic nucleus.
- km 17.8. Villatuerta (Shelter. Bars. Shops. Doctor’s office. Pharmacy. ATM)
Along Rúa Nueva, next to the town hall, we go up to the square where the Gothic church of the Annunciation is located , with the appearance of a cathedral. In the entrance courtyard there is an image of San Veremundo , patron saint of Villatuerta and a great benefactor of the Camino de Santiago like his contemporaries Santo Domingo de la Calzada and San Juan de Ortega. Along Camino de Estella street we continue walking towards the silhouette of the hermitage of San Miguel . Leave this on the left and descend to a picnic area at the foot of the NA-132. Tragically, Canadian pilgrim Mary Catherine passed away here . A stone milestone crowned by a virgin and a plaque will always remember her. She rest in peace. We cross the road through an underpass and go down a path to a modern and curved bridge over the Ega (Km 19.5) . The course of this river will take us to the gates and the origin of Estella , the rúa Curtidores , where the Ordoiz pilgrim guidance service is located , which hands over the baton to the Rúa , where the pilgrims’ hospital is located.
- Km 22. Estella (All Services)
- Slides: The route has numerous slides but it does not have a pronounced unevenness, since it oscillates between 340 meters on the banks of the Arga and 495 at the exit of Lorca. As important slopes we can highlight those that access Mañeru, Cirauqui and Lorca.
- At the exit of Puente la Reina we will cross the medieval bridge that gives its name to the town.
- All the towns through which the path crosses at this stage have all the services, including a pilgrims’ hostel.
- There is a variant called “Montejurra variant”, marked with milestones that goes from the town of Villatuerta to a few kilometers before Los Arcos, bypasses Estella, shortens the route by almost two kilometers and is somewhat harder. To consult the track follow this link https://es.wikiloc.com/rutas-a-pie/villatuerta-los-arcos-29923402
- Leaving the town of Cirauqui, the pilgrim will have the privilege of crossing what remains of a Roman bridge and a not very large piece of an original Roman road, and thus tread exactly where millions of pilgrims stepped before us.
- In Villatuerta , in Plaza Rebote 3, just after the hostel and next to the town hall and the pediment, is Casa Rural 643 km . Single room with shared bathroom 20 euros, double room with shared bathroom 40 euros, double room with private bathroom 45 euros. Breakfast 5 euros and dinner 15 euros optional. The accommodation has a laundry and iron, a small kitchen, two separate bathrooms for men/women, a 30 m2 living room, a dining room, a 21 m2 terrace and a garage for bikes. Telephone: 615 003 690 . Check availability at http://www.casarural643km.com/
- Ordoiz Pilgrim Orientation Service: The Mejorando cada día foundation , in collaboration with the Ordoiz Center , launched a Pilgrim Orientation Service in April 2016, which serves as support for the Estella Official Orientation Point. The Ordoiz Center is a psychosocial rehabilitation center that cares for people with mental health problems. The users of the center, in order to develop their job skills, as well as to raise awareness in society about their capabilities and resources, provide information and advice on shelters and other resources of interest to pilgrims. The center is located at Calle Curtidores, 33 . open from April to September (closes in August) from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday .
What to see, what to do
- Parish Church of San Pedro: Neoclassical temple from the end of the 18th century. Its slender tower has two different parts: the lower one is from the 16th century and the upper one, where the bells are housed, is Baroque from the 18th century.
- Church of San Román: It is Gothic but still preserves its most characteristic element: the Romanesque portal from the 13th century. It is polylobulated and with the absence of an eardrum.
- Parish Church of the Annunciation: At the exit of the town, this Gothic construction stands out, which houses the carving of San Veremundo, patron saint of Villatuerta that is taken out in procession every March.
- ESTELLA: In the year 1090, a political decision by King Sancho Ramírez (1076-1094) made Estella a city on the Camino de Santiago. Despite the fact that the Jacobean route did not stop on the banks of the Ega, Sancho Ramírez managed to make it so by granting the new Estella (a town previously known as Lizarra) the fuero, advantageous legal norms especially for the Frankish settlers, the main engines of economic growth in cities. The Franks, free and generally dedicated to commerce and crafts, gradually expanded throughout Estella, forming new boroughs or neighborhoods, such as San Miguel. In the 12th century, the rise of the Camino and the European artistic influences that descended on it led to a good period of construction, with examples such as: Notice!: San Pedro de la Rúa is closed for restoration works . They are expected to finish in Easter 2012. More information in the monuments section of the stage.
- San Pedro de la Rúa: A modern staircase, between Rúa and San Nicolás streets, leads to this 12th century Romanesque church. Its main doorway, the northern one, has ten lobed arches of Arab influence and rich ornamentation. The cloister still has two wings built around 1170. Unfortunately, the other two collapsed with the demolition of the Zalatambor castle, ordered by Felipe II in 1572.
- Palace of the Kings of Navarra: Located in front of the church of San Pedro. The pilgrim passes by this palace, which has a façade made up of a gallery of semicircular arches and four small arched windows. In one of the columns is the famous capital of the fight between Roldán and the giant Ferragut. From being the residence of the crown of Navarra, it has come to house the Gustavo de Maeztu Museum, which brings together the work of this painter and organizes temporary exhibitions.
At the entrance to the Camino through Estella, in Calle de Curtidores, you can see the Church of the Holy Sepulchre , late Romanesque and Gothic, and a parish church until 1881.