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This area is the starting point for many, if not most, long term pilgrims, who often begin their journey on foot at either the French town of St Jean Pied a Port or the Spanish village of Roncesvalles. If the journey if begun in Frances then the Pilgrim will face a crossing of the Pyrenees before arriving in Spain. Once in Spain, the first two days of the Journey will be taken up with a decent to the city of Pamplona, famous for bull running and the capital of the province of Navarre.


Monastery buildings, Roncesvalles

The beginning of the pilgrimage for many, Roncesvalles is a tiny but important village dominated by the Monastery where the Cannons Regular of St Augustine have been taking in pilgrims for nine hundred years. Roncesvalles' fame in Spanish history is bound up with the eleventh century French Epic, The Song of Roland, which tells of a battle, fought in 778, supposedly with the Moors.

The pilgrim hostel, half barrack, half monastery where many pilgrims have their first taste of their new life. *

The collegiate church at Roncesvalles *

A pilgrim mass is celebrated each day which concludes with a moving blessing for all who are destined for Santiago

View of the Pyrenees from the Camino *

Detail of house, Larrasoana

A village originally founded as a monastery, which provided hospitality for pilgrims. The modern hostel is run by the Mayor, Santiago Zubiri Elizaldi.