Roncesvalles – Ochagavia tours

 2011_01_puente_piedraToday we are going to the starting point in Spain in the Camino de Santiago, it is named Roncesvalles.

At the feet of the Pyrenees, surrounded by Europe’s largest beech forest, we find the church of Roncesvalles. Its gothic temple (15th century) was built by the king Sancho “the Strong” following the style of Nôtre Dame de Paris. His purpose was to build the place where he would rest for eternity, and also to host all the pilgrims who crossed the border and needed a place to rest and eat warm food. We will also see the cript where according to the tradititon lays the body of Charlemagne’s nephew, Roldan. It was the year 778 when Charlemagne’s troops were attacked and defeated by the basque sheperds. Thanks to this epic battle one of France’s most popular poems, La chanson de Roland, was written. We will learn about Roldand and the battle.

From here we will drive by the valley of Aezkoa, bordering the Irati forest. We will have lunch in a traditional Pyrenees restaurants and from here we will visit Ochagavia, one of the most picturesque villages in Navarre.

With its strong constructed houses, its medieval bridge and an amazing church, Ochagavia seems to be stopped in time.