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Footpaths in La Rioja

Way of St. James (GR-65)

tipo de documento semantico rtpath

37.2-mile valley route in 3 stages and one 19.9-mile variant.

Etapas

The Way of St. James enters the Autonomous Community of La Rioja from the town of Navarra de Viana. It goes along the edge of the Cantabria mountain and it reaches the municipal cemetery before entering the city of Logroño. The route follows a paved road and it reaches the old part of the city through the Puente de Piedra over the Ebro River. Logroño is the last of the 6th stage of the French journey from Roncesvalles, the stage: Los Arcos-Logroño. The 7th stage to Nájera starts in Logroño. Here the way runs through Ruavieja street, where the oldest mansions in the city are located. One of them is a pilgrims’ hostel. The street reaches a square next to the Church of Santiago, where you can find the Fountain of the Pilgrims. Ruavieja street continues on to Barriocepo street. This street leads outside the old city, next to the Puerta del Revellín. The way follows Murrieta street, then through the San Miguel Park and crosses the ring road by means of an underpass. It reaches the dyke of the La Grajera Reservoir by a pedestrian paved path. The way goes along the edge of the reservoir and after 2 km it starts to ascend for 1.5 km, of which the first 700 metres are steep. From there, the path runs along the highway to Logroño and further on it separates to go towards Navarrete. It crosses the AP-68 highway by means of a bridge. In this stretch the way passes next to the ruins of the Hospital de San Juan de Acre before reaching Navarrete. This town is crossed through Mayor street and it is left in direction of the cemetery where the portal and the windows of the aforementioned hospital are preserved, as they were taken down stone by stone at the end of the 19th century to be reused as the town’s cemetery portal. From here, the route runs parallel to the N-120 towards Nájera. It sometimes separates from the road to ascend to an elevated area known as Alto de San Antón. From this point there is a good view of the Iberian System in La Rioja. In the distance the La Demanda Mountains and its highest peak, San Lorenzo, can be sighted. The descent starts and after a curve the path crosses the N-120 road. On the way to Nájera, we pass by Poyo de Roldán, a small elevation where the well-known legend of the victory of the Christian knight Roldán against the Muslim giant Ferragut takes place.

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The eight stage of the French Way departs from Nájera to Azofra, but from Nájera you can also take a detour that goes to the Suso and Yuso Monasteries in San Millán de la Cogolla. Although these monasteries are unconnected to the Jacobean pilgrimage, they had great influence in the Medieval Christian Spain. When exiting Nájera towards Azofra, the Way starts intensely, with steep hills and slopes. The only two paved kilometres of the stage lead to Azofra, where you should stock up, as there is no other town until you reach Santo Domingo. One kilometre after enjoying the impressive view of the Jurisdictional Symbol of Azofra, a 1,300-metre long hill starts. This is the main difficulty found until Santo Domingo de la Calzada, village that emerged due to the pilgrim traffic during the Middle Ages. In Santo Domingo de la Calzada there is a connection with another route included in the Footpath Network of La Rioja: the Oja Green Trail, which crosses the town and goes from Casalarreina to Ezcaray. The stage Santo Domingo de la Calzada-Ezcaray of this green trail coincides with the first stage of the Footpath Network of La Rioja that goes to Valverde de Cervera at the eastern point of La Rioja where it borders with Zaragoza. The previous description is the official one. Nevertheless, currently most pilgrims use the Cirueña variation.

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The ninth stage of the Way leaves La Rioja and enters Burgos. It ends in Belorado. In Santo Domingo de la Calzada, the Way, after crossing the town completely by the Calle Mayor street, crosses the Oja River on a bridge which is claimed to have its origin in brother Domingo, who dedicated great part of his life to help pilgrims cross in this location. After leaving the town, the Way runs down a path parallel to the N-120 and reaches a high spot where you will find the Cruz de los Valientes, which reminds the scene of the Trial by ordeal between the representatives of Grañón and Santo Domingo for the possession of a meadow. The following and last town of the Way of Saint James in La Rioja is Grañón. Here you will find a typical example of Jacobean urban planning, with a long main street. You will exit the town on a wide soil path that leads to Redecilla del Camino, in Burgos.

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