Information about stage 18: Stage from El Burgo Ranero to Leon
- Km 0. El Burgo Ranero (Shelters. Bars. Shop. Pharmacy)
At the exit of El Burgo we find the Laguna de la Manzana . They are relatively abundant in these confines of Tierra de Campos and were used until recently as a watering hole for animals. Today they constitute the habitat of certain species of amphibians, birds of prey and ducks. We return to the tree-lined track of the Real Camino Frances through a landscape similar to that of yesterday: impressive cultivated plains, with few undulations and almost deforested. Two and a half kilometers from El Burgo Ranero we pass a rest area located on the banks of the Valle de la Granja stream (Km 2.5) and two kilometers further on, in a slight trough, another stream flows: Valdasneros ( km 4.5) . In half an hour of monotony we leave a track and ultralight school on the left (Km 7 ) and a kilometer later the detour to Villamarco (Km 8) . The law of the straight line offers us a breather when the track draws a curve and saves below the train tracks (Km 10.6) . In the subsequent valley we pass the Valdearcos stream and after overcoming a slight slope we drop down to the town of Reliegos, crouched until the last moment. At the same entrance there are some traditional brick and adobe cellars, used to preserve wine but mainly as a meeting place. We cross Reliegos from end to end, sniffing the tree-lined track along Calle Real, where a meteorite struck in 1947.
- Km 13. Reliegos (Shelters. Bars)
We leave the pediment to one side to immerse ourselves next to the false plane trees in the cereal plains, decorated by giant sprinkler irrigation structures. The saying “from Reliegos to Mansilla, the well-measured league” establishes the distance of one league (between 5,573 and 5,914 meters) between both towns. Almost four kilometers after Reliegos, after passing under the power line towers, there is a rest area at the edge of the tree-lined track (Km 16.7) . We say goodbye to the artificial track, we cross the N-601 (Adanero – León road) by a viaduct and we circumvent an irrigation canal to enter Mansilla de las Mulas . We discover the old walled city when we cross the door of the Castle, in lime and boulder. On Santa María street, the tower of the church appears.
- Km 19. Mansilla de las Mulas (All Services)
The Camino crosses Mansilla and leads to the bridge over the Esla , the Latin Astura . As soon as you cross the bridge, you have to take a path that starts on the left and runs parallel to the N-601, next to ditches, cornfields and the occasional acacia. Thus, we arrived in Villamoros de Mansilla in an hour .
- km 23.5. Villamoros de Mansilla (Store)
At the entrance we leave the protection of the road to take the hard shoulder of the N-601. We pass Villamoros along the road and again along the parallel path we arrive at Puente Villarente , where we cross the Porma river next to the bridge of medieval origin. We cross Puente Villarente following the route of the N-601, which bisects this town with a multitude of services.
- km 25.3. Villarente Bridge (All Services)
If we walk along the sidewalk on the left, when we arrive at a Caja España office, we cross the pedestrian crossing and continue on the right sidewalk. At the height of the Avellaneda Restaurant we distance ourselves a little from the N-601 to take a track that starts on our right (Km 26.3) . Through it we cross the Arriola channel, further on we cross the road that goes to Sanfelismo and continue straight ahead. After a steep slope, at the beginning of which they have enabled a covered rest area, we reach Arcahueja .
- km 29.5. Arcahueja (Hostel. Bar)
After this town, the section intensifies with several slides. We leave the deviation to Valdelafuente (Km 30.9) aside , we crown a small tack and continue towards a polygon located at the foot of the N-601. Through a pedestrian walkway, enabled at the beginning of 2010, we cross the road junction of the N-601 and head towards Puente Castro , a León neighborhood separated from the city by the Torío river . We enter Puente Castro through Avenida de Madrid street, through which the Camino de Santiago converges, at number 83 De la Lastra avenue exits where the Santo Tomás de Canterbury hostel is located, but if our intention is to continue to León At the crossroads, we continue straight on Avenida de Madrid to reach a footbridge and cross theTorio river . To the right of this is the 18th century stone bridge . Overcome the channel – already in León – We take Calle del Alcalde Miguel Castaño straight ahead and continue along it until Plaza de Santa Ana where we will take Calla Barahona obliquely to the right, we continue along said street that later becomes Calle Puerta Moneda, we turn right at Escurial street to reach the wonderful Plaza del Grano and we pass in front of the Carbajalas hostel continuing along Juan de Arfey street to San Martin square, we find ourselves in the wet neighborhood, known for the number of bars and restaurants and for the quality and quantity of its tapas. Here we turn to the right onto Calle Plegarias through which we arrive at the Plaza Mayor, from there we only have to take Calle Mariano Domínguez Berrueta to stand in front of the Cathedral of León.
- km 37.1. Leon (All Services)
- Excessive distance: The most common is to divide the journey into two comfortable stages: from El Burgo Ranero to Mansilla de las Mulas (19 km) and from Mansilla de las Mulas to León (18.1 km). On the French Way, the options are endless, since Puente Villarente and Arcahueja also have hostels.
- In Mansilla de las Mulas there is a self-service laundry for pilgrims and with offers for them. The rate is between 5 and 6 euros for a washing machine and 3 euros for a dryer. It is in the Plaza del Arrabal, 17.
- In February 2010, the pedestrian footbridge that crosses the road junction of the N-601 was opened. Before there was an alternative route that went up to some repeaters and descended abruptly along a path to the entrance of Puente Castro (the stage profile includes this detour).
- In January 2011, the Pilgrim Interpretation and Reception Center was inaugurated in Puente Castro . It is in the old church of San Pedro, Calle Simón Arias 2, and it contains information about the city of León, accommodation, etc. It has a small reading room with books on the Camino and the capital and has a permanent exhibition.
- In León there is a wide range of hostels, hostels and hotels.
What to see, what to do
- RELIEGOS: The origin of Reliegos de las Matas, belonging to the Santas Martas City Council, could be the Roman settlement of Pallantia , where several Roman roads or roads converged. Reliegos is also known for the L5 type meteorite weighing almost 9 kilos, which impacted on Calle Real on December 28, 1947 and is now on display at the National Science Museum. The caves at the entrance were old cellars, which no one used but which have been recovered in recent decades, preserving their function of storing wine but above all serving as a meeting place. This playful sense of space has succeeded in creating examples of charming wineries, in which hybrid wine of fair quality is no longer tasted, but rather the most modern variety oftight weevil The parish church is jointly dedicated to Pope Saint Cornelius and Saint Cyprian the Bishop of Carthage, both renowned figures of the Christian church from the 3rd century who were martyred in the years 253 and 258. A hostel, a restaurant-bar with menus for pilgrims and a store also offers what is necessary to constitute a stage finish, especially for pilgrims who have left Sahagún.
- MANSILLA DE LAS MULAS: Walled city (12th century) on the Esla river. It belonged to the county of Benavente until 1594. Of its seven churches, two convents and three hospitals when it was an important commercial and livestock center (hence the name of the Mules), only two churches remain in use: the parish church of Santa María , The only temple in Mansilla until 1220 but rebuilt in the 18th century, and the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Gracia.
- The Gate of the Castle , through which pilgrims from the Royal French Way enter, was the main gate of the wall and is built of lime and pebble. The walkers who left Calzadilla de los Hermanillos along the Vía Trajana enter through the Santa María Arch , the only one of the wall that is preserved complete. At the exit from Mansilla, the Esla River , known in ancient times by the Latin name of Astura , is crossed . The Esla is 286 kilometers long and is the largest tributary of the Duero River.
More than a dozen kilometers from Mansilla there are two jewels of Leonese art: the Mozarabic monastery -built by Cordovan monks- of San Miguel de Escalada (10th century) and that of Santa María de Gradefes , built by Cistercian nuns, at the end of the of the twelfth century.
- VILLARENTE BRIDGE: Villarente de Villaturiel Bridge, crossed from side to side by the N-601, offers almost all services. The bridge over the river Porma is of medieval origin (it is already mentioned in the 12th century Codex Calixtinus ) and has undergone repairs and reconstructions over the centuries. The central arches are the ones that best preserve the original structure.
- LEÓN: It had its origin in the final settlement of the Roman legion VII Gemina around the year 74 of our era. It was an important Roman city that was conquered by the Arabs in 712 and remained under Muslim rule until 853, the year in which Ordoño I recovered it, repopulated it and incorporated it into the Kingdom of Asturias. Under the reign of Ordoño II, León was proclaimed the capital of his own kingdom and over the years it came to unite what is now Galicia, part of Portugal, Asturias, Cantabria and a large part of Castilla y León.
- Its architectural jewels are innumerable: the Cathedral of Saint Mary (12th-13th century), also known by the Latin nickname of Pulchra Leonina , is Gothic in style and construction began around 1205. It is inspired by the French cathedral of Reims and its interior is grandiose, full of Gothic harmony and its stained glass windows cover an area of 1,800 square meters. The main façade, the one that faces west, presents the visitor with a triple portal, a rose window and two towers: the one with the Bells and the one with the Clock . More information on the official website http://www.catedraldeleon.org/
- Also noteworthy are the Royal Basilica of San Isidoro, one of the great treasures of Spanish Romanesque that is made up of the church itself, the Royal Pantheon and a museum. The Pantheon was built in 1063 and the church, which replaced the previous Mozarabic one, was consecrated in 1149. http://www.sanisidorodeleon.com// . The Hostal de San Marcos is a beautiful plateresque building. Its origin as a hospital for pilgrims dates back to the 12th century, but the current building was built between the 16th and 18th centuries. With a Plateresque façade (a very ornamental style typical of the Spanish Renaissance), the San Marcos hostel is today a Parador de Turismo and houses the León Museum.
- From much later times we find Gaudí ‘s Casa Botines . Next to the modernist building there is a sculpture of the Catalan architect contemplating his work. Contemporary art lovers will find their place in the MUSAC , at Avenida de los Reyes Leoneses, 24. It currently houses more than 1,650 works by nearly 400 Spanish and Leonese, national and international artists.
- Leaving the capital without visiting and tasting the broths and tapas of the Barrio Húmedo is unforgivable. It is included between the streets Ancha (which connects the center with the cathedral), de la Rúa , Badillo and Las Cercas , with enclaves as picturesque as the Plaza de San Martín . Lined with bars and taverns, each of them specializing in one or more tapas that are served free with each drink.