Day 36- Terradillos de los Templarios to Sahagún

  • Distance today:                     8.3 mi
  • Distance Camino 2017:   263.5 mi

We left Terradillos de los Templarios at 7:45… our latest start so far.

The weather has been so cool (55F when we got up) it hasn’t been necessary to start in the dark. We walked only 2.5 miles before stopping for breakfast at Moratinos.

This area has been producing wine for over 2000 years in the surrounding fields and digging caves or “bodegas” into the clay hillsides for producing and storing the wine for their families. Only two or three families in this village of 68 people still use the bodegas to make wine and we saw only a few scattered vineyards as we approached the village.

Moratinos is also a village that may once have been Muslim or had a significant Muslim population. Many moriscos (Muslims who converted to Catholicism) settled as farmers in the flat areas of Castilla, only to be removed in 1609.

There wasn’t much to see in the 16th-century  Iglesia Parroquial de San Tomás, but the roofed porch would provide a shady spot for pilgrims as would the trees in the small square adjacent to the church.

We walked another 1.5 miles and stopped for fresh squeezed orange juice in the village of San Nicólas del Real Camino (pop.48), a village that was under Templar control until the late 12th century.

We got down to some serious walking for the next 4 miles to reach Sahagún. (pronounced “SA GOON” with accent on last syllable.)

Just before arriving at Sahagún, we crossed over a medieval bridge and made a brief visit to the Ermita Virgen del Puente, built in the Sahagún historic Romanesque-Mudéjar architectural style, which incorporated Islamic decorative motifs and was built primarily out of brick rather than stone. It was built in the 12th century and underwent some renovations in 2011. Also at the site was the geographic halfway marker for the Camino Frances, if you start in Spain as opposed to SJPDP.

We continued on into Sahagún, found our hotel, La Codorniz (45€), checked and did our daily pilgrim chores.

When our growling stomachs announced it was time to eat, we ventured out into the town and found an albergue near many of the historical buildings of the town and had a tortilla lunch.

On our way back to the hotel, we took some photos of some of the key historical sites. Sahagún (pop.2830) dates back to Roman times, however the current town developed from the worship of the remains of two Christian martyrs, St. Facundus and St. Primitivus, who’s beheaded bodies were thrown into the waters of the Rio Cea, recovered and placed in a tomb that became a primary sanctuary.  The original church was established in 872 and thereafter received the favor of princes and nobles alike, its golden age culminating during the reign and patronage of Alfonso VI.

Alfonso VI was responsible for opening up Spain to the rest of Europe, granting a charter to Sahagún and promoting the Camino Frances passing through the town.  Alfonso VI and his 4 wives are buried in the museum of the Monastery of San Benito.

We stopped at a sweets shop on the way back to our hotel, then ventured out around 6:30 for pasta at one of the few bars serving food, then returned to our room for the evening.

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