After yesterday’s quiet stage, today we can expect another stage that’ll be relatively short and easy to complete. Without a doubt, Castile is giving us all the resources we need to focus our efforts on the more spiritual part of the Camino de Santiago.
Today’s stage is a reflection of yesterday’s, as we walk along trails with grain fields and very few places to protect ourselves from the weather. During the day, we will pass under the arch of San Antón to head towards Castrojeriz. This point on the French Way is usually very memorable for pilgrims.
Itinerary Hornillos del Camino - Castrojeriz
There will be no major difficulties in this stage, just long straight sections with only a few towns that we will encounter along the way.
Hornillos del Camino (Km. 0) Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: You won’t find many services until reaching Hontanas, so be sure to have a good breakfast before leaving Hornillos del Camino, because you have almost 10 kilometres ahead of you. Buen Camino!
When leaving Hornillos del Camino, the panorama is similar to the end of yesterday’s stage. An endless trail that makes its way among grain and piles of stone that farmers pull from their land.
After five kilometres, we find the cross of Santiago and seven hundred metres ahead, the junction that leads to San Bol, located on the banks of the river with the same name (km 6.2). After an hour of walking, we arrive at Hontanas, where the church of La Inmaculada de la Concepción welcomes us. The town will remain hidden in the valley until the very last moment as you come over the hill.
Hontanas (Km. 11,1)
Practical tips for this stage: In Hontanas, you will find all kinds of amenities and services. Buen Camino!
In this town, Calle Real street ends up meeting up with the BU-P-4013 road, which we will immediately leave behind to take a trail that heads off on the right. We pass by the ruins of a tower (km 13.1) and end the stage right by the road (km 15).
The road in this section has no shoulder and is surrounded by huge ash trees that will provide some much-appreciated shade during this stretch. Soon after, in the background, we will see the ruins of the convent of San Antón. We cross the convent’s triumphal arch and head in a straight line for more than two kilometres that will lead us to the last town in the province of Burgos, Castrojeriz.
Castrojeriz (km 20.3) End of Stage
Practical tips for this section: In this charming town, you will find all kinds of services and amenities. See you tomorrow!
The town spreads out in a half-moon shape on the slopes of a hill, presided over by a primitive castle. The first thing we’ll find is the former collegiate church of the Virgen del Manzano. A little further on, we turn onto Real de Oriente street to explore the town centre, which is surrounded by houses with coats of arms and traditional architecture.
On the right, we find the church of Santo Domingo and the hill comes to an end in the town’s main square that is lined with porticos, where we will complete today’s stage.
In the town we can also visit the collegiate church of Santa María del Manzano, with its Museum of Sacred Art, the church of San Juan and the church of San Miguel de Tabanera, as well as the convent of Santa Clara and the remains of the Arch of the Monastery of San Francisco.
In addition to the religious architecture, the town also has an Ethnographic Museum and the home of Gutiérrez Barona.
Comments Hornillos del Camino - Castrojeriz
The most difficult part of today’s stage is very similar to yesterday’s, our battle against the weather. Today we will have our last opportunity to enjoy the food from Burgos, as tomorrow will leave the province of Burgos to enter Palencia.
Precautions stage Hornillos del Camino - Castrojeriz
The absence of trees, just like in the previous days, means we will need to wear a hat and sunscreen during the summer, and a raincoat and jacket during the winter.
Unlike yesterday, today’s day has a modest hill, the climb to Mostelares, which we won’t find to be too difficult.
For people with reduced mobility, the stage is practically impossible until you reach the ruins of San Antón. From this point, you can follow the road to Castrojeriz. Cyclists can also choose this option. In either case, it is important to proceed with caution when travelling next to the road.
Food stage Hornillos del Camino - Castrojeriz
Below you’ll find our recommendations for this last stage in Burgos.
Garlic soup, a simple dish with broth, bread, garlic and paprika. However, there is so much tradition behind this soup that there is even a garlic soup fair that takes place every year.
Aged sheep’s cheese.
Roscas de palo: a ring-shaped pastry made with anis.
Esparceta: an alcoholic beverage prepared with wine and other ingredients.
Scallops from Castrojeriz: aniseed cakes with a shell shape.
What to do Hornillos del Camino - Castrojeriz
Throughout the day, you will pass through different towns and you will enter a new province. Below, we’ve provided you with all the information you need.
The town of Hontanas covers 10 square kilometres and has a population of 73 inhabitants. This small town, tucked away behind a stream, remains practically hidden from pilgrims until the very last moment. Its name comes from the Latin word “fontana”, which means “springs” in English.
Domenico Laffi wrote about this town in Viaje a Poniente: “…it is small, unfortunate and poor. With only ten or twelve houses”. This description is not entirely true. While the town is small, it is not poor or by any means unfortunate. The town offers several historical and tourist attractions. Once at the entrance to the town, we are received by the large church of La Inmaculada Concepción.
The town has also preserved several traces from its days of splendour, with the remains of a palace owned by the formed lord of the town. Or there is the medieval San Juan Hospital, which has been restored and turned into a pilgrim shelter. The building still holds onto a pointed arch from the original hospital and a few silo structures.
You can also visit the remains of a church from an ancient medieval settlement, of which a corner wall is still intact. In the vicinity, we can also find the remains of a Via Crucis from that era.
When leaving the town, we’ll find the hermitage of La Virgen, about two kilometres away. According to legend, Mary once appeared to a local resident in this place.
Parish Church of La Inmaculada Concepción
The parish church of La Inmaculada Concepción is located at the entrance to the town of Hontanas. The construction of the building dates back to the 14th century and was originally done in a Gothic style, although at present this style has been combined with neoclassical elements, which were the result of a later restoration.
The temple depends on the parish of Castrojeriz, in the archpriestship of Amaya, Diocese of Burgos. It was built attached to the Palace of the Bishop, who was the former lord of the town, of which it still preserves its Gothic arch. Looking at the structure of the church, we can highlight its large proportions and the huge tower with three sections covered with a dome.
Inside it houses a Baroque altarpiece, the work of Fernando de la Peña.
Convent of San Antón
The convent of San Antón is located at the entrance to Castrojeriz, as you walk along the French Way in the direction of Santiago de Compostela. The building dates back to the 12th century and was founded by Alfonso VII. However, the remains that we can see today correspond to the changes made to the building back in the 14th century.
San Antón was the palace of King Pedro I of Castile and later passed into the hands of the Order of St. Anthony, operating as a general hospital. In these facilities, they treated patients with infectious gangrene, popularly known as the “San Antón fire”. A disease that was transmitted by a wheat fungus.
The monastery received royal protection, proof of which are the royal coats of arms on the church’s portico and the keys to the vaults. The order was dissolved at the end of the 18th century and the Spanish confiscation of the 19th century ultimately caused the place to fall into ruins.
Currently, this site is a place of passage for pilgrims who are on their way to Santiago, who pass under the two arches of the portico that was built in the 16th century, which protected the access to the church. Even today, we can still distinguish the two larders that were placed on the portico so that pilgrims who arrived at odd hours could have something to eat.
The municipality of Castrojeriz covers 136 square kilometres and has a population of just over 800 inhabitants. The town is located on the side of a hill. It is believed to be of Roman origin and was founded by Julius Caesar, although some scholars also point out that it could be of Visigoth origin.
The town, which was formerly set up as a fortress, played an important role in the history of Castile. After the Arab conquest, in the year 882, it was repopulated by Captain Nuro Núñez. In 974, he was granted the first fueros, or set of laws, in Castile.
The town’s old quarter is surrounded by a street that has a length of one kilometre, along which you can find churches, hospitals, inns and restaurants.
The town has numerous temples, including the Collegiate Church of Santa María del Manzano, which houses the Museum of Sacred Art, the church of Santo Domingo, the church of San Juan, and the church of San Miguel de Tabanera. It also is home to the convent of Santa Clara and the remains of the ancient monastery of San Francisco.
In the town you can also visit the main square and the Town Hall, as well as an Ethnographic Museum and the home of Gutiérrez Barona.
Collegiate Church of Santa María del Manzano
The church of Santa María del Manzano is located at the entrance to the town of Castrojeriz. The temple’s construction began in 1214 and its style combines Romanesque and Gothic influences, since it was built during a time of transition.
The church has undergone various restorations throughout history, the most outstanding of which took place in the 18th century, during which the chapel of the Virgen del Manzano was incorporated, the crypt was dug where the Counts were buried, a new apse was placed and the new tower was built.
Its facilities are home to the Museum of Sacred Art, in which different sculptures, paintings and carvings are exhibited, such as the polychrome carving of the Virgen del Manzano. There is also an altarpiece in a Rococo style and the tombs of the Counts of Castro.
Hours: Closed on Mondays and from October to May. July and August (from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, and from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm). June and September (from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm).
Mass hours: Eve of holidays, at 7:00 pm.
Admission: General (€1.80), groups (€1.20).
Church of Santo Domingo
The church of Santo Domingo de Castrojeriz combines different architectural styles. Its general structure is in a Gothic style, while the vaults that cover it, as well as the main altarpiece that presides over the chevet, are in a neoclassical style. The front entrance is from the 16th century in a Plateresque style.
Hours: Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. From Wednesday to Sunday (from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm).
Admission: General (€2.50), reduced rate (€1).
Home of Gutiérrez Barona
The home of Gutiérrez Barona is located in the San Juan neighbourhood in Castrojeriz. Among all the buildings that were commissioned by the nobility, this one is by far the most remarkable. It was built in the 14th century, although it underwent later modifications after its change of ownership. Currently, the building is used as a nursing home.
Church of San Miguel de Tabanera
The church of San Miguel de Tabanera was built in 1607, at the request of Isabel de Padilla. It was built on the site of another temple that had collapsed in the same place.
Stones from the original church were used in its construction and parts of its old structure was preserved, such as the first floor of the tower. It has a square plant with lateral openings, covered with a pointed dome made of granite blocks.
Little is known about the church and there is practically no documentation on it, however we do know that it was dismantled in 1970 and its works of art were moved to other temples, such as the high altar that was moved to Burgos or the bells from the towers that went to Villasilos.
The Ethnographic Museum in Castrojeriz has been located in a house donated by Josefina González Santos since 1999. The project shows what daily life and customs were like for the residents of Castrojeriz many years ago. In order to visit the museum, you must make an appointment.
Hours: Closed on Saturdays and Sundays. From Monday to Friday (12:00 pm to 2:00 pm, and from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm).
Admission: 1 euro
Convent of Santa Clara
The convent of Santa Clara, located in the town of Castrojeriz, is built in a rural Gothic style. It was built prior to the 13th century, although it underwent several restorations, the last of which took place in the 18th century. Up until 1326, it housed the order of the Franciscans, after which year it was occupied by the Order of Saint Clare.
During this time, the order provided laundry and baking services in order to raise funds to help keep the building standing. In 1976, the Poor Clares celebrated 650 years in the village.
Mass hours: Every day (8:30 – mass, 5:00 pm – rosary, 7:00 pm – Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament). From Monday to Friday (8:00 am – lauds). Sundays and holidays (7:50 am – lauds, 7:30 pm – Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament).
Church of San Juan
The church of San Juan in Castrojeriz dates back to the 16th century. It was built in a German Gothic style and is the work of Rodrigo Gil de Hontañon. The structure is formed by the central nave and the three naves of the church, located at the same height as the central nave, a distribution that is characteristic of its architectural style.
Inside the temple there is a cloister from the 16th century in a Gothic style, which has conserved three of its galleries and an attractive coffered ceiling in a Mudéjar style.
There are two chapels on the sides of the temple, along with a main altarpiece built of golden pine in a Rococo style, and a funeral chapel built by Juan Gonzalez Gallo in the south aisle with an altarpiece composed of 12 panels.
Hours: Closed on Sundays. From Monday to Saturday (from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm, and from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm).
Mass hours: From September 1st to June 30th, every weekday (10:30 am) except Tuesday and Saturday. From July 1st to August 31st, every weekday (7:00 pm). Throughout the year, mass is held on holidays at 1:00 pm.
Admission: General (€1.80), groups (€1.20).
Arch of the Monastery of San Francisco
The arch of the monastery of San Francisco, located right on the French Way as it passes through Castrojeriz, dates back to the 14th century. The purpose of the building was to be used as a school and novitiate, however it only fulfilled this function until the 15th century.
With the Confiscation of Mendizábal, the building was left abandoned. Only a few ruins from this structure have been preserved.
Main Square and the Town Hall
The main square in Castrojeriz is located in the centre of town. In the past, the town’s markets were held in this space, and it still preserves columns from the 16th century.
The square is presided over by the Town Hall building, which was built in the 17th century. The interior has been restored in order to effectively carry out the town’s administrative tasks.
Services Hornillos del Camino - Castrojeriz
Services stage from Hornillos del Camino to Castrojeriz