Information about stage 17: Stage from Terradillos de los Templarios to El Burgo Ranero
- Km 0. Terradillos de los Templarios (Shelter. Bar. Small food store in one of the shelters)
We leave the old Templar encomienda of Terradillos along a parcel track that ends at the P-905, also marked as P-973 (Km 1.4) . A short stretch of road leads to a track that runs between the cereal and the rows of poplars, arranged next to the streams of San Juan and La Huelga. This landscape accompanies us to Moratinos , the penultimate town on the Camino de Santiago as it passes through Palencia that shows off excavated cellars and adobe houses: a mass of mud sometimes mixed with straw and used to build walls and walls.
- km 3.3. Moratinos (Hostel. Hostel. Bar in the hostel itself)
At the height of the church of Santo Tomás de Aquino we turn right and leave the town. Two and a half kilometers separate us from San Nicolás del Real Camino , the last town in Palencia.
- km 5.8. San Nicolás del Real Camino (Hostel. Bar in the hostel itself)
On leaving San Nicolás we cross the Sequillo River and turn right to take the pilgrims’ path that runs along the N-120. One hundred and fifty meters north of it runs the A-231, the Camino de Santiago highway. Along the path we cross the border between Palencia and León , the last Castilian province that holds the record for kilometers on the Camino. A total of 214.4 already waiting to be discovered (Km 7.7) . We progress parallel to the N-120 and after crossing it we cross the Valderabuey river over a stone bridge. We thus access a wooded esplanade where the hermitage of the Virgen del Puente is located , in the Mudejar Romanesque style (Km 10.3). Having passed a third of the stage, the Camino leads us to Sahagún . Avoiding the N-120 below (Km 11.6) we access the town center of this town in Leon. After Ronda de Estación street we cross the bridge over the tracks, we pass next to the municipal hostel and continue along La Herrería and Antonio Nicolás streets.
- Km 13. Sahagún (All Services)
Sahagún exhibits Mudejar art in the churches of San Lorenzo and San Tirso , built by master builders who dispensed with stone and armed their works with brick. Also, at the end of Antonio Nicolás street, we can see the baroque arch of San Benito . Further on, we cross the Cea river – a tributary of the Esla – by the Canto bridge , which bids farewell to Sahagún (Km 13.7) . The day continues along a tree-lined promenade parallel to the access road to the N-120. At the foot of the national highway, before passing the detour to Mayorga, the trees disappear and the promenade becomes a walkway. Skimming the vegetation that separates us from the road, we cross a stream and half a kilometer later we cross the N-120. Shortly, next to a canopy, a stone sign warns, wrongly, of the double alternative that is presented: straight ahead, continue along the Royal French Way towards Bercianos and Burgo Ranero. To the right, crossing the A-231 motorway over a bridge, you immediately access Calzada del Coto and from this town to Calzadilla de los Hermanillos. There is also the option of entering Calzada del Coto and returning to the Real Camino Frances by another bridge located at the end of the town (in fact, at this point the original fork has always persisted to take one itinerary or another). Both routes meet again on the following day(Km 17.4) . We continue straight ahead along the Real Camino Francés ( the alternative through Calzada del Coto and Calzadilla is briefly described in the observations section ). A dirt track, built specifically for pilgrims and shaded by an endless row of false plane trees ( Acer pseudoplatanus ), will accompany us for the next 32.2 kilometers. Next to it flows a paved track used by pilgrims by bike. The traffic towards Bercianos del Real Camino is quite monotonous and, after an hour’s walk, on the left, we see the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Perales (Km 21.5) on an esplanade . Later on, after crossing a stream and putting aside the cross in memory of the German pilgrim Manfred Kress , we enteredBercianos of the Royal Way .
- Km 23. Bercianos del Real Camino (Shelters. Bar. Shop)
At the entrance to Bercianos we are greeted by a fountain decorated with a scallop. We cross the town along its Calle Mayor in the company of adobe, the basic material of the traditional architecture of these first Leonese towns. In Bercianos, a couple of groceries and a bar allow you to regain strength to face the last part of the stage. We leave the town to resume the trail of the false plane trees, contemplating in turn the small plots of vines that dot the fields. After two kilometers we arrive next to a rest area located next to the Olmo stream (Km 25.1) . Later, the tree-lined track advances to a viaduct of the A-231 motorway (Km 28.7) and later to El Burgo Ranero . We cross a road to enter this town at the height of a cross in memory of the children . It is possible to continue straight ahead along Calle Real or skirt the town along the road to the pilgrim hostels.
- km 30.6. El Burgo Ranero (Hostels. Bars. Shop. Pharmacy)
- Flat stage: Although the mileage is high, the journey only oscillates between 800 and 880 meters of altitude. It is flat except for small undulations and it can be covered, at an average of 4.5 kilometers per hour and including stops, in eight hours.
- Itinerary through Calzada del Coto and Calzadilla de los Hermanillos:
Those pilgrims who decide to continue towards Calzada del Coto and Calzadilla de los Hermanillos must turn right at the fork (Km 17.4) and cross the bridge over the A-231. It is 32 kilometers from the intersection to Mansilla de las Mulas. It is the Roman road known as Vía Trajana. Once this route is taken, the itinerary then enters Calzada del Coto . Attention at the crossing because there is usually sabotage between towns so that pilgrims go for their variants. If our intention is to go to Bercianos del Real Camino, we DO NOT have to cross the A-231 motorway
- km 18.1. Calzada del Coto (Hostel. Bar. Shop)
This population has a hostel for pilgrims . On leaving the town it is also possible to return to the itinerary of the Camino Real Francés. Following Calzadilla de los Hermanillos, take a track that leads you to cross the train tracks (Km 20.2) and after a solitary section through areas of scrubland, scrubland, and small forests, you arrive next to the farm and forest of Valdelocajos (Km 23.2) . About three and a half kilometers later the population appears.
- km 26.5. Calzadilla de los Hermanillos (Hostels. Bar. Shop)
Both Calzada del Coto and Calzadilla, where there are several bars, a Rural Tourism Center with rooms and restaurant service and a shop, have hostels. Those who spend the night in Calzadilla de los Hermanillos will continue the next day to Mansilla de las Mulas, where this road joins the Royal French Way.
- In Moratinos , in addition to the pilgrims’ hostel, there is a restaurant bar and a hostel, http://www.hostalmoratinos.es/
- In Sahagún , in addition to three pilgrim hostels, there are a large number of hotels on offer.
- As in Sahagún, in Burgo Ranero there are two hostels for pilgrims and several hostels, bars and restaurants.
What to see, what to do
- MORATINOS: The church of Santo Tomás de Aquino was built in brick between the 16th and 17th centuries. Inside there is a carving of the Virgin with the Child Jesus from the 16th century.
- SAN NICOLÁS DEL REAL CAMINO: This small hamlet in the municipality of Moratinos is the last Palencia town on the French Camino de Santiago. As José María Lacarra states in the second volume of Las Peregrinaciones a Santiago de Compostela , “in the 12th century in the 12th century in San Nicolás del Real Camino there was a hospital for lepers run by canons of San Agustín”.
- SAHAGÚN: Sahagún is a small capital with 2,811 inhabitants (according to INE 2012) that offers all kinds of services. We are already in the province of León, on the banks of the Cea River, where its origins are, by the way, specifically in an old hermitage dedicated to the martyrs Facundo and Primitivo . It had a splendid past and was called the Spanish Cluny, since it grew up in the shelter of the Benedictine monastery of San Benito. The artists brought Mudejar art (the use of brick instead of stone) from Muslim Spain , which gave rise to the famous monuments of Sahagún.
- Church of San Lorenzo : It was built in the 13th century and bears the stamp of the Mudejar master builders. A four-section tower, a basilica plan (without a transept dividing the three naves of the presbytery), three domed apses decorated with blind arches and brick, a lot of brick, define this church. Faced with its clear deterioration, which leads to fears of its collapse, the Board has finally put out to tender the file for contracting works for its restoration.
- Church of San Tirso: Of the same typology as San Lorenzo, although older, San Tirso began to be built with stone ashlars, in the purest Romanesque style, at the beginning of the 12th century. However, it continued to be built in brick.
- Sanctuary of the Pilgrim: Dominating Sahagún on a hill on the outskirts of the city, the church of the Pilgrim, also in Mudejar Romanesque, was built at the end of the 13th century and inhabited by a Community of Franciscans. The carving that housed the Pilgrim Virgin, from the 17th century by Luisa Roldán, is found in the Benedictine Mothers of Sahagún. The restoration works of 2010 and 2011 have turned it into a Documentation Center for the Camino de Santiago . Pilgrims who visit it are stamped with their credential and given ‘The Pilgrim Letter’ , a document that certifies having passed through the Geographical Center of the Camino de Santiago, in Sahagún.
- Arco de San Benito: It can be seen at the exit of Sahagún. It is Baroque from the 17th century and replaced a Romanesque door of the dilapidated and disappeared monastery of San Benito. This monastery of the Benedictine order adopted the Cluniac reform in 1080.
- BERCIANOS DEL REAL CAMINO: It owes its name to the repopulation with people from the Bierzo region. Before Bercianos, to the left of the andadero and on an esplanade with several stone tables, is the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Perales , popularly known as La Perala. An inscription recalls that whoever prayed a salve to the Virgin of Perales would obtain 40 days of indulgence. A new temple has replaced its slender parish church of El Salvador, which collapsed and has been left in ruins. Inside there was a Renaissance carving of Saint John the Baptist and the tomb of Doña Leonor de Quiñones, Lady of Bercianos. A kilometer and a half from the town, in the Valle del Olmo, is the Fuente del Romero.
- EL BURGO RANERO: Due to its layout and its name it refers to the pilgrimage, its main street was called the French Way and is now Calle Real. Its church, dedicated to San Pedro, kept a beautiful Romanesque carving of the Virgin, today in the León Cathedral Museum. Lost in the plain, El Burgo Ranero offers warmth, several hostels and restaurants, as well as shops and a pharmacy. Numerous pilgrims photograph the spectacular sunsets from the Laguna de la Manzana.
- CALZADA DEL COTO: This town already appears in the oldest documentation of the Sahagún monastery (10th century). Since the 9th century, it has been a clear road reference for the Camino in Castilla . The parish church is dedicated to Saint Stephen. The new tree-lined road is a marvel for the pilgrim in the middle of the Leonese wasteland. Another way to get to Mansilla de las Mulas is to follow the old Vía Trajana, a Roman road of which remains remain.