The Way of Saint James - continued
Friday, June 16th
After a cloudy start to the day, it becomes sunny on the way to Logrono. Later in the day it becomes very hot
- the temperature reaching 36°C. Our first stop in Logrono is at the Bodegas Franco-Espanolas, a winery in the Rioja province that
was established in 1890. Following a tour of the facility we attend a tasting of red wine at which we learn some techniques that we
attempt to apply during the remainder of the trip. At the end of the tour we are joined by a local guide, Vanessa, who then leads
us across the River Ebro into Logrono's old town.
Our route through Logrono takes us first to the Santiago el Real (above), a church in the Calle Barriocepa that has an impressive
equestrian statue of St James and is located next to the Plaza de Santiago where there is an oca, a unique board game (based on Snakes
and Ladders) with motifs relating to the Way of St James.
After passing La Reja Dorada, a beautiful house from 1831 now housing a restaurant, we pass two churches: Santa Maria (right) and
San Bartolome (above left and centre) where the tympanum of the porch illustrates the life of the Saint and other Biblical passages.
Vanessa's route takes us along Logrono's main street (Calle Portales) to the Concathedral de Santa Maria de la Redona (left)
and past the tall chimney of the former tobacco factory. The tour ends at Calle 11th June, named after the Saint Barnabas festival
that celebrates the siege resistance against French invaders in 1521. Fried trout is served at the festival by the Brotherhood
of the Fish. Near this street there is a statue of two modern pilgrims.
Jeanette, Janet, and John enjoy a sandwich lunch at the Cafe Breton in Logrono before we return to the tour bus at 3:30pm to travel
to our next destination:
Santo Domingo de la Calzada.
Situated on the banks of the River Oja, the town's name refers to its founder Domingo Garcia, who
built a bridge, hospital, and hotel here for pilgrims.
Domingo Garcia was born in 1019 and wished to enter the nearby monasteries
at San Millan or Valvanera, but was not accepted. He became a hermit in the forests which occupied the site on which the city now
stands. Seeing the difficulties that pilgrims incurred, he built the bridge, etc, to assist them.
The original hermitage became
a church and was later consecrated as a Cathedral. And it is this wonderful 12th-Century building that we visit, commencing with
the south or 'Santo' entrance, with a semi-circular arch, images set in niches and circular skylights. Inside, there are some important
works of art, particularly in the several chapels. However, the most unusual item is a hen coop that houses a live cock and hen. This
is a reference to a miracle by which a cock and hen were revived to prove the innocence of a young man who was wrongfully hanged and
who survived his sentence.