Pamplona – Puente la Reina (24 km)
Pamplona – Km 0
Two dozen kilometers separate Pamplona from Puente la Reina. Going down Calle de Curia to Mercaderes, the one with the famous curve of the running of the bulls in San Fermín, we arrive at the Plaza Consistorial. The façade of the Town Hall, a mixture of Baroque and Neoclassical, was built in 1752. We continue along San Saturnino and walk from end to end of Calle Mayor. After a pedestrian crossing, we proceed to Avenida del Ejército and enter Vuelta del Castillo, a beautiful park grown around the defensive bastion of the Citadel. Further on, the signposting forces you to leave the green zone to access Fuente del Hierro street, which crosses Sancho el Fuerte avenue and goes down to the University of Navarra. The private institution is abandoned by the Acella bridge over the Sadar river (Km 3). Following a path, after two kilometres, you reach Cizur Menor, a town in the Cendea de Cizur. Cendea is a term used in Navarra to designate the group of various towns that make up a single council.
Cizur Menor – Km 5
At the entrance, on the left, is the church of San Miguel and on the right, further away, the parish church of San Emeterio and San Celedonio. We left Cizur between townhouses and single-family homes, the result of the urban collapse of cities and the desire to escape to quieter places. Drastically, the cereal fields and concentration tracks take over the landscape and we begin to calmly gain altitude. We will reach a small pool of water in the place of Guenduláin, an old deserted manor – to the right of the Path – formed by the palace and the church (Km 9). A couple of kilometers further up is Zariquiegui, the last population of the Cendea de Cizur on the Camino de Santiago.
Zariquiegui – Km 11
At the entrance we are greeted by the grandiose and geometric bearing of San Andrés, a temple that still preserves a sober Romanesque doorway. Between some flash of emblazoned houses we undertake the last part of the climb. We leave the tracks and take a more interesting path that makes its way between boxwood and thorns. We will arrive at the Gambellacos spring, commonly known as La Reniega. Legend has it that in this place, the devil offered water to a thirsty pilgrim in exchange for denying God, the Virgin and Santiago. The pilgrim, half dying, despised the drink and prayed until the demon left and the source that quenched him appeared. Satisfied we too, we dedicated the last effort to the top of the Sierra del Perdón, a natural barrier between the Pamplona Basin and Valdizarbe.
Alto del Perdón – Km 13.4
It is a good place to drop your backpack, eat something and take some photos next to the original sheet metal work by the artist Vicente Galbete, which shows a caravan of pilgrims from different eras representing the evolution of the Camino throughout its history. Under the hum of the wind turbines, after a well-deserved rest, the descent begins over uncomfortable loose stones and between kermes oaks and holm oaks. Uterga, the first of Valdizarbe, is the next town on our road book. Moving bar from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. From April 1 to October 31
Uterga – Km 16.8
Two kilometers and seven hundred meters later we arrive at Muruzábal.
Muruzábal – Km 19.5
We cross Esteban Pérez de Tafalla street, where the parish church of San Esteban is located. In Muruzábal you can also admire the baroque palace of the same name, now converted into a winery. From Muruzábal it is possible to take a detour to the Eunate hermitage (see observations). We resume the march towards Obanos, which is conquered after a steep slope.
Obanos – Km 21.3 (Shelter. Bars. Shop. Doctor’s office. Pharmacy. ATM)
The Plaza del Ayuntamiento, next to the church of San Juan Bautista, acts as a union between the pilgrims who come from Somport and those from Roncesvalles. We pass under the pointed arch of the Obanos gate and go down to the road, which we cross to continue along the Robo river plain to the entrance of Puente la Reina. Next to the church of Santiago the two dozen kilometers are completed.
Puente la Reina – Km 24
- Ascent to El Perdón: From the outskirts of Cizur Menor the profile is clearly ascending until reaching the top of El Perdón. It has hard slopes, but in general it is a calm and comfortable climb. on the contrary, it is rather the steep descent with loose stone that makes a dent due to its unexpectedness due to the fame of the climb.
- El Alto del Perdón is an excellent place to look back on what we have done and forward what the following days will bring us. At the top there is a monument that says “Where the path of the wind crosses with that of the stars”.
- In Muruzábal there is the possibility of taking a detour to the Romanesque hermitage of Eunate. To go to it, once in Esteban Pérez de Tafalla street, you have to turn left onto Calle Mayor or Calle Jardín. You pass next to the Muruzábal palace and continue straight ahead along a signposted track. From the hermitage we continue along the itinerary of the Camino Aragonés up to Obanos itself. The detour is perfectly signposted and if your legs allow it, since three kilometers are added to the stage, it is a highly recommended visit due to the high spiritual charge of the place. In the town of Obanos the French and Aragonese roads meet, there is a monument in the shape of a pilgrim before entering Puente la Reina with the following inscription:“And from here all the Caminos to Santiago become one”.
What to see, what to do
Belonging to the Céndea, Cizur is a residential town on the outskirts of Pamplona distinguished by its good grills.
- Church of San Miguel: A beautiful example of a Romanesque building. This church was part of a larger complex of the San Juanista Order. Restored in 1989, it has a single nave and retains its Romanesque façade. It was transferred to the Order of Malta in 1998.
Geographical area bordering the Region of Pamplona and made up of a dozen towns. Both the route that comes from Roncesvalles and that of Somport cross this valley. The itinerary of the French Way enters Valdizarbe through Uterga and continues through Muruzábal and Obanos (where the French Way and the Aragonese Way meet) to end in Puente la Reina.
- Church of the Assumption: Surrounded by olive trees and with a porticoed atrium at the entrance, the church is Gothic and shows scenes from the childhood of Jesus on the capitals of its portal.
- Parish Church of San Esteban: Transitional between Gothic and Baroque, it houses the altarpiece of Santos Juanes, from the late 15th or early 16th centuries.
- Muruzábal Palace: Baroque palace from the early 18th century that was the ancestral home of the Pérez de Rada family. It currently houses the Palacio de Muruzábal winery that bottles its own wines.
In the center of the Plaza de los Fueros de Obanos, next to the church of San Juan Bautista, the pilgrims who come from Roncesvalles meet those from Somport. There has been much speculation about whether Obanos or Puente la Reina is the point where the two pilgrimage routes converged. The official signs go up to Obanos, although there are pilgrims who, instead of accessing this town, turn left when they reach the NA-6064 road and head straight for Puente la Reina. Obanos is characterized by the beauty of its streets and their houses. We can observe a varied civil architecture, with Gothic elements in stonework and brick. Thus, the Muzquiz, Zabalegui, Tximonco and Don Fidel houses stand out.
- Church of San Juan Bautista: Built in 1912 and restored in 2007, this church replaced an old Gothic construction. Of the Gothic temple it maintains, among other elements, the 14th century portals, the tower, the baptismal font and sculptures from the 17th century altarpiece. In the sacristy there is a Romanesque carving of the Virgin of Arnotegui.
Puente La Reina – Gares
Its Romanesque bridge over the Arga River, ordered to be built for the passage of pilgrims by Queen Doña Mayor, gave the town its name.
- Church of the Crucifix: After the shelter of the Reparadores fathers, the Jacobean route passes under the porch that joins this church with the convent. Santa María de los Huertos, as it was originally known, was built at the end of the 12th century. A Gothic one was added to the main Romanesque nave in the 14th century, which houses a German carving of Jesus Christ crucified. The cover is richly decorated with various motifs.
- Church of Santiago: When walking along Calle Mayor it is impossible not to pay attention to its tower, which seems to touch the sky. It was built at the end of the 12th century but its appearance was forged with the 16th century remodeling. It is worth stopping in front of the multi-lobed doorway that overlooks Calle Mayor and in front of the Gothic carving of Santiago Beltza.