Information about stage 14: Stage from Hontanas to Boadilla del Camino
- Km 0. Hontanas (Shelters. Hostel. Rural Houses. Bar. Shop in season)
Calle Real de Hontanas ends at the BU-P-4013 road, which we leave immediately to take a path that starts off to the right. Passing by the ruins of a tower (Km 2.1) , we end at the foot of the road (Km 4) . The road has no hard shoulder and in its place stands a row of portentous ash trees whose shade makes traffic much more bearable. Soon, in the background, we can already make out the ruins of the San Antón convent , whose arches rise above the road ( shelter and bar in season ). It was founded in 1146 by Alfonso VII and, in it, the Antonian monks treated patients with an infectious gangrene commonly known as ‘fire of San Antón’ . The cause of this disease, now well known, was a fungus that altered the rye grain (Km 5.6) . After passing through the triumphal arch that resembles the skeleton of the convent, we tackle the straight line of more than two kilometers that takes us to Castrojeriz , the last town in Burgos on the Camino de Santiago. It spreads out in the shape of a half moon on the slopes of a hill that dominates a primitive castle. The first thing that comes our way is the former Gothic collegiate church of the Virgen del Manzano . Further on, turn to take Calle Real de Oriente and discover a quarter of emblazoned houses and traditional architecture. Soon we pass, on the right, the church of Santo Domingo , Gothic and with an elegant Plateresque façade from the 16th century. As a curiosity, on the side facing the street there are a couple of sculpted skulls. The slope culminates in thePlaza Mayor , equipped with arcades where you can take a breath.
- km 9.2. Castrojeriz (All Services)
The artistic visit to Castrojeriz is rounded off by what was the church of San Esteban , converted into a cultural center and pilgrims’ hostel, and the church of San Juan , designed by the architect Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón in the German Gothic style. Along the same street, now called Real de Poniente, we leave Castrojeriz to face the ascent to the Teso de Mostelares , a geographical landmark and indelible memory of the pilgrimage to Compostela. The accused slope begins meters after crossing the Odrilla riverby a wooden bridge. In one kilometer and three hundred meters we overcome a drop of 140 meters, from 777 we climb to 917 meters, which entails an 11% average slope. At the top we are greeted by a geometric humilladero (Km 12.8) . Still breathing hard, we cross the Mostelares plain to gradually discover the vast landscape of Tierra de Campos , also known by the nickname of Spain’s granary. A region of dovecotes, rich in game and overflowing with art or as Aymeric Picaud recounted -land full of treasures, gold, silver, rich in cloth and vigorous horses, abundant in bread, wine, meat, fish, milk and honey but lacking in wooded-. For four kilometres, the path, a dazzling white line in the sun, leads us through favorable terrain to the picnic area located next to the source of the louse (Km 16.9) . Then we take the road for nine hundred meters that goes to Itero del Castillo, with a hostel, and leave it to the left to reach the old parish of San Nicolás – today a seasonal pilgrims’ hostel run by volunteers from the Italian Confraternity of San Giacomo – and immediately afterwards to the Fitero or de la Mula bridge over the Pisuerga river . Here Burgos ends and Palencia begins . The original work was built during the reign of Alfonso VI the Brave (1072 – 1109), but nothing remains of this factory and what we see today are additions and reconstructions of the bridge built in the 16th century.
- km 18.5. Fitero Bridge (Hostel)
A rural road on the banks of the Pisuerga brings us to Itero de la Vega , the first Palencia town on the Camino (Km 20.3). The hermitage of Nuestra Señora de la Piedad , from the 13th century, is the first monument to come out into the open. Already in the town are the church of San Pedro and a jurisdictional roll .
- km 20.3. Itero de la Vega (Hostels. Hostel. Bar. Shop)
We cross Itero through Santa Ana street and, after crossing a road, we continue for a couple of kilometers along the track until we reach the Pisuerga irrigation canal (22.5 km) . Almost two kilometers further on, after crossing a undulation in the terrain, Boadilla del Camino (Km 24.3) appears in the background . A brutal esplanade of green, gold and ocher still separates us from our destination, which we managed to reach after a final run of four kilometres. Despite being a small town, Boadilla has several hostels where you can spend the night. Next to the Church of the Assumption stands out a large ornate Gothic jurisdictional roll . It is a must see.
- km 28.5. Boadilla del Camino (Hostels. Bar)
- Absence of trees:
As in previous days, the pilgrim is at the mercy of the rigors of time. In summer it is highly recommended to get up early and avoid walking in the central hours. The region of Tierra de Campos, specifically in Palencia, is dry and hot in summer, but winters are more humid than it might seem.
- Ascent to Mostelares:
Ascent to 11% average slope. Landmark of the Jacobean route, perhaps not so much for its hardness but for the spectacular panorama to which it gives way. Up on the top, a roof was enabled as a refuge for the pilgrim to rest and to be able to take shelter from the sun.
- Frómista , five kilometers beyond Boadilla del Camino, is another good end of the stage. It also has three hostels and all the services that the pilgrim may need. The distance from Hontanas to the center of Frómista is 34.2 kilometers.
- Castrojeriz has all the services and deserves a careful visit. Already in Palencia, both in Itero de la Vega and in Boadilla del Camino, there is a bar, shop and hostel for pilgrims.
- Just before crossing the bridge over the Pisuerga river, a bridge that borders Burgos and Palencia, is the hermitage of San Nicolas de Puente Fitero where the Confraternita di San Jacopo de Perugia (Italy) rehabilitated the hermitage to shelter pilgrims. As a singular note, the hospitaleros carry out the ancestral rite of washing the feet of the pilgrims.
- 4 kilometers before Castrojeriz is the convent of San Antón, an iconic place along the way. This is the ruins of the old monastery, the highway and the path pass under its arches. Below these to the right you can see a place where the ancient monks left food for pilgrims who did not stay there. Nowadays it has a hostel for pilgrims.
What to see, what to do
- CASTROJERIZ : Of Roman origin (they say it was founded by Julius Caesar) or Visigoth, Castrojeriz is an old fortress located along a hill that played an important role in the history of Castile. After the Arab conquest it was repopulated by Captain Nuro Núñez in the year 882 and in 974 the first of the Castilian charters was granted . The old town is surrounded by one of the most striking pedestrian streets on the Camino (one kilometer long) around which churches, hospitals, inns and shops were built. Several churches, such as the Collegiate Church of Santa María del Manzano , the church of Santo Domingo and the church of San Juanand up to four hostels place Castrojeriz as one of the most gifted towns on the Camino de Santiago in Castilla. At the entrance, the dimensions of the Collegiate Church of Santa María del Manzano are surprising, a temple that began to be built in 1214 in transition from Romanesque to Gothic. Inside is the polychrome carving of the Virgen del Manzano . There is no shortage of shops, inns and bakeries, and the scallops of Castrojeriz are typical: shell-shaped anise cakes. In the arcades of the Plaza Mayor, Amancio Yagüez runs the Pilgrim’s Bazaar.
- ITERO DEL CASTILLO : Itero del Castillo is the last town in Burgos before crossing the Fitero Bridge over the Pisuerga River and entering Palencia. Despite having a municipal hostel, the Camino does not pass through this town, which is on the right. Itero del Castillo is a small town that was formerly fortified to defend the border of Castilla County . It has a 14th century castle. The hermitage of San Nicolás , next to the Camino, is the vestige of a 13th century parish that the Confraternitá di San Giacomo di Peruggia has recovered as a hostel.
- ITERO DE LA VEGA : The old County of Castilla is abandoned, we cross the Pisuerga and enter the first core of Tierra de Campos. This town, Itero de la Vega, is the first in Palencia on the Camino de Santiago. Shortly before entering, stands the hermitage of La Piedad (13th century) which preserves a beautiful carving of Santiago Peregrino . Next to the municipal hostel is the parish church of San Pedro , from the 16th and 17th centuries. There are also dovecotes built in stone, adobe and tile.
- BOADILLA DEL CAMINO : This village of lime-washed adobe houses and steeply sloping Arab roofs has only 113 inhabitants (INE 2012). Next to the church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (16th-17th centuries), with a Romanesque baptismal font and a Renaissance altarpiece , stands one of the best rolls of justice in Castile , a column carved in the 15th century in the late Gothic style. The scroll symbolized legal power in the region and it seems that the criminals were chained before being judged by the corregidor.