What to do at Hornillos del Camino

A little more than 20 kilometres from Burgos on stage 13 of the Camino Frances,  you will find a village as small as it is unique; Hornillos del Camino. Today we want to tell you what to do and what to see in this town.

Hornillos del Camino 13 stage of the Camino Frances

Hornillos del Camino is one of those villages on the Camino de Santiago Frances in which it is worth stopping. After the busy city of Burgos, this typically Castilian town offers tranquillity and tradition. Hornillos del Camino is one of the best examples of road-village or pilgrim town.

Below we tell you what you can visit in Hornillos del Camino, this charming town in the province of Burgos. We also want to talk about how stage 13 of the Camino Frances is. A stage that runs through Castilla and begins in Burgos and ends in the cradle of the network of host volunteers.

Stages on the Camino Frances: from Burgos to Hornillos del Camino

Many people decide to start the Camino Frances from Burgos, Therefore, for many, this is the first stage on the Camino de Santiago. Those who have started from Saint Jean Pied de Port will be on stage 13 of the Camino de Santiago if they have followed the stage planning in our guide on the Camino Frances.

Stage 13 of the Camino Frances begins at the Cathedral of Burgos and is the gateway to the immense Castilian plateau. The route is made along an environment away from the mundane noise, surrounded by a solitary landscape between the moors and cereal fields, a perfect picture of Castile.

The spiritual stages of the Camino Frances

It is one of the most intimate stages on the Camino Frances. A stretch that invites introspection and to connect with oneself. It is not said in vain that these stages of the Camino Frances represent the mental challenge of the Camino de Santiago.

The endless straights on this stage, surrounded by solitude, test the spiritual balance of the pilgrims. It will not be necessary to overcome physical tests, stage 13 of the Camino Frances is totally devoid of unevenness and is only 21 km long.

This is one of the reasons why many people are encouraged to start the Camino de Santiago from Burgos. In this way, they can use the Castilian plains to prepare themselves physically before facing stages of the Camino Frances when they enter Galicia. Much more demanding on a physical level.

What to see on the route of stage 13 on the Camino Francés

In the first 10 kilometres that separate you from Burgos, you will find few villages along the Camino. After a long walk, you will arrive at Tardajos. In this charming village, divided into two neighbourhoods, you will find three churches: Santa Maria, Magdalena and the Assumption of Our Lady.

Soon after you arrive at Rabé de la Calzada. Tardajos and Rabé de la Calzada are two villages that are almost touched, hence the popular song that is sung in this region of Burgos:

“From Rabé to Tardajos you will not lack work. From Tardajos to Rabé, free us from Dominé”.

Rabé de la Calzada

Rabé de la Calzada es is a quiet town that gives us a feeling of the desert. On its streets, surrounded by stone houses, you can visit the Church of Santa Marina and the Palace of the Count of Villariezo.

After visiting these two locations, it is time to return to the Castilian straight line, wide and desolate. The Pilgrims travel this stretch of the Camino Frances along with their shade, accompanied by a partridge or lark that hides along the way.

You’re experiencing Castile, feeling it every step of the way. At that time forms part of the barren landscape Castilian: wheat and fields of intense yellow colours of which the poet Manuel Machado was in love with.

Burgos stage on the Camino Frances

Almost 5 kilometres before reaching Hornillos del Camino, you will find the Praotorre fountain. Fresh water and a small break in the picnic area next to the fountain, you will regain the energy to cope with this final stretch of the Camino.

On Calle Real, you’ll go into Hornillos. It is the only street that this town has in the province of Burgos and has always been a pilgrim’s path.

After 20 kilometres of reflection, this small Castilian village opens before your eyes as one of the main attractions of stage 13 on the Camino Frances. Your kindness and courtesy can be felt since you put your first foot on  Calle Real. Hornillos del Camino is a great place to sleep! You’ll think.

Hornillos del Camino: origin and history

In the past, this locality, which has been recorded since the 9th century, was named Forniellos (furnaces in which the tiles were prepared). It later adopted the name of Hornillos del Camino.

The change of name clearly reflects the strong connection with the Camino de Santiago that the town had since it began to pilgrimage to Santiago. It is almost a millennium that this Jacobean village has received pilgrims, providing shelter and protection.

This tradition has made its people famous for their welcome. Of course, it is impossible not to link the town’s hospitality with the history of the Pilgrim hospitals. In the past, in the 19th century, this locality had three hospitals.

One was that of St. Lazarus in which both lepers and pilgrims were welcomed. Another was that of the Holy Spirit who was dedicated only to the reception of rosemary and pilgrims. There is also a record of the existence of a third hospital, although there is not much information available from the latter. The three of them all disappeared in time.

The first pilgrim’s hostel

In 1989, Lourdes Lluc, a Catalan pilgrim, faced with the absence of shelters or places to eat, decided to start the first hostel house. “A simple house with rooms and kitchen, open 24 hours a day,” recalls the pilgrim in the interviews she has given to the media.

That house in Hornillos del Camino welcomed selflessly all the pilgrims who have passed by. An act of hospitality, generosity and love for the most social concept of the Camino de Santiago.

The volunteer network that began in Hornillos del Camino

The idea of Lourdes Lluc encouraged others and very soon more people wanted to join her initiative. The following year, in 1990, a network of hospitality was inaugurated. Time passed by and the project continued to grow strongly, surpassing all expectations.

In 1993, just three years later, more than 100 people were part of the cause: The hosts’ volunteers were born. A network of hospitality which is still alive.

Today, this feeling ignited by Lourdes brings together more than 6,000 volunteers from some 40 different nationalities, all along the Camino de Santiago. Its function is to take care of the pilgrims, to inform them about cultural heritage, to provide a place to eat and to rest, etc.

The Camino de Santiago is an experience of contrast between self-discovery, loneliness and the most spontaneous friendship. These experiences are possible, to a large extent, thanks to the selfless collaboration of other pilgrims and many of the neighbours you will find in each village. This village in Burgos is a wonderful example of the pilgrim’s essence.

Hornillos del Camino: what to see and do

Hornillos del Camino is a small village of 50 inhabitants. The rural urbanism of its streets breathes the pilgrim’s essence: small-stoned houses of two floors.

One of the main things to do in Hornillos del Camino and more after having told you the inspiring history of Lourdes is to visit the plaque that commemorates the first pilgrims’ hostel. You’ll find it at number 29 on Calle Real.

The hosts volunteers at Hornillos del Camino

The other place of interest in Hornillos del Camino you can visit is the Church of San Román. A gothic-style temple, built in the 16th century.

Of course, in this town on the Camino de Santiago, as in all the pilgrim routes, one of the things you can do is enjoy the gastronomy. We leave a link to the website of the town of Hornillos del Camino where you will find information on its typical dishes and where to eat.

Pilgrim towns: towns on the Camino de Santiago

After talking about the 13th stage on the Camino Frances, as well as the history and wonders of Hornillos del Camino, we want to explain why we talk about pilgrim villages. As the name indicates, the people-towns or peoples-routes are those whose relationship with the Camino de Santiago is so great that it configures its essence, its form and its history.

Not all the towns on the Camino de Santiago receive this denomination. Only those who are strongly marked by the pilgrim route and who have been linked to it throughout the history of the Camino de Santiago.

In other words, the villages on the Camino de Santiago are those which have remained on the route, both in their heyday in the Middle Ages and in their resurgence in the 20th century. Other examples of pilgrim villages on the Camino Frances are Portomarín and Arzúa. Located in stages 29 and 31 on the French route.

We hope you enjoy your visit to Hornillos del Camino, whether it’s your 15th stage on the Camino Frances or the first one if you come from Burgos. Fortunately, the hospitality of this town is breathed in many parts of the Camino Frances, don’t you think?

If you have already completed the Camino de Santiago, either the Camino Frances or any other route, we would love you to leave a comment telling us your experience with hospitality on the Camino de Santiago. If you have not already done so, we encourage you to do so, call us and we’ll organize the trip for you!

Buen Camino!

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