Length: 18 Kilometres
First stage of the pilgrimage to Santiago in the Province of León starts in the municipality of Sahagún. The pilgrim comes from Carrión de los Condes, in the province of Palencia, and reaches this leonese village through the Alto del Carrasco.
The pilgrim progresses leaving on the left the hermitage of Virgen del Puente, first sanctuary in the leonese pilgrimage to Santiago, and crosses the Barrio de San Martín towards the centre of the village. The old church of La Peregrina is close to the bridge Puente de Canto, over the river Cea –that tells us we are leaving Sahagún. In the past, this church, founded in 1527, was a Franciscan convent. We leave on the right the poplar grove known as Prado de las Lanzas de Carlomagno and, soon after, we reach the A-road Nacional 120 that takes us to Calzada del Coto.
The pilgrim has two choices here:
- Following the way of the ancient Vía Trajana, crossing the railway Palencia-La Coruña and, one km before reaching Calzadilla de los Hermanillos –the only village in this stretch- the pilgrim can rest at the fountain Fuente del Peregrino. This way takes us to the crossroads with the road of El Burgo Ranero.
- Taking the gravel road that starts from the access of the village. This gravel road progresses in parallel to the Real Camino Francés.
The path becomes easier among the trees and has rest areas and seats for the pilgrims, with the advantage of being closed to road traffic. We cross the surroundings of Lagunas del Hito and the hermitage Virgen del Peral and, after one km, we get in Bercianos del Real Camino. After leaving the village, we take the path among the trees and 7,5 km after we reach El Burgo Ranero.
Calzada del Coto
The village of Calzada del Coto, located 5 kilometres away from Sahagún and with a total population of 260 inhabitants, appears, with its actual name, in documents dated from the Xth Century. The chapel Capilla de San Roque, placed at the entry of town, and the parish church devoted to San Esteban, represent the religious references of Calzada del Coto.
Calzadilla de los Hermanillos
The name of this town recalls other times, like Millón Bravo Lozano describes in his Guía Práctica del Peregrino (A Practical Guide for Pilgrims, in the English version): the “Hermanillos” are younger monks established in the Abbey of Sahagún, positioned in an intermediate station of the Camino –named “calzadilla”- to wait for pilgrims.
Bercianos del Real Camino
Less than 10 kilometers from Sahagún, the pilgrim who chose the gravel road which runs parallel to the Real Camino Francés will arrive at Bercianos del Real Camino, a small town with nearly 280 inhabitants, whose name refers to the repopulation with natives from Comarca del Bierzo.
In all maps of the pilgrimage to Santiago there is a special mention about the town Los Graneros, where we can arrive diverting from the route at a crossroads which is nearly 2 kilometers far from Bercianos.
We can see a Renaissance sculpture representing San Juan Bautista and the sepulchre of Doña Leonor de Quiñones, Señora de Bercianos in the parish church of El Salvador.
Sahagún, as well as being one of the most important parts of the pilgrimage to Santiago in the region of León, is also a highlighted historical center of the region, which impresses with the wealth of monuments.
The town, which has a population of 2.600 inhabitants and is located on the riverbanks of the Cea, owes this name to the martyrs San Fecundo and San Primitivo, patron Saints of the Abbey erected during the IXth Century. After several ups and downs, destructions and reconstructions and the Desamortización (the Seizure), just a small part of the town remains still standing.
From the moment of entering Sahagún and until leaving the town, the pilgrim can visit different monuments:
- The hermitage Ermita de la Virgen del Puente.
- The churches Iglesias de la Trinidad y de San Juan.
- The church Iglesia de Santo Tirso, a brick building erected during the XIIth Century. Over its chapel,Capilla Mayor, was raised a tower.
- The church Iglesia mudéjar de San Lorenzo and the chapel Capilla de Jesús –with bas-reliefs by Juan de Juni.
- The church Iglesia de la Peregrina.
- The Baroc Arc Arco barroco de San Benito.
- The museum Museo de las Madres Benedictinas, which houses gold and silver articles, religious paintings, the mortal remains of Alfonso VI and two valuable objects belonging to the artistic treasure of the province of León, such as the Custodia Procesional (the processional monstrance) and the image of La Peregrina.
- Address: Church of the Trinidad
- Place: Sahagún
- Phone: 987 780 001 (Town Hall of Sahagún)
- Property: Municipal
Were the Hostel closed, there is a tourism office right in the same place. ( 987 782 117).
There is room for 100 people, 64 of them in bunk beds and another 36 in mattresses over the floor-.
There is a room for those who snore and a toilet for the disabled.
No booking allowed. Open from 10 to 22 h. (leaving the premises is forbidden after the closing hour).
This Hostel is available only for pilgrims with accreditation.
- Place: Calzada del Coto
- Phone: 987 78 12 33 (preferably Wednesday morning and Thursday evening)
- Property: Municipal
Were the Hostel closed, ask in the village for the person in charge of the key.
- Address: Calzadilla de los Hermanillos (Burgo Ranero)
- Phone: 987 330 023 - 987 330 047 (Town Hall from El Burgo Ranero)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Property: Municipal
- Place: Bercianos del Real Camino
- Phone: 987 78 40 08
The woman in charge of the Hostel is called Tina. She lives next to the Hostel.
During the summertime, there are volunteers helping to run the Hostel.
An outstanding place in terms of hospitality.
Asociación del Camino de Santiago de León
- Place: El Burgo Ranero
- Phone: 987 330 023 - 987 330 047 (Town Hall of El Burgo Ranero)
- Property: Association of the Camino de Santiago de León
Were it close, please call at the Town Hall or ask the inhabitants.