Royal Collegiate Church of Roncesvalles

Roncesvalles, Spain

The Royal Collegiate Church of Roncesvalles was built in the French Gothic style. King Sancho VII built this church in the 13th century as part of the hospital’s facilities in Roncesvalles; its purpose was to provide succour to pilgrims on the Way of Saint James after crossing the Pyrenees. Highlights include the cloister, the chapel of San Agustín, the chapel of Santiago and the crypt, consisting of a straight section of barrel vault and a pentagonal apse. The walls and vaults are covered in mural paintings dating from the 13th century. The art treasures of the Royal collegiate church are housed in a museum in one of the rooms in the church, and include a particularly interesting collection of precious metalwork, exhibited in six display cases. Also outstanding is a chess set belonging to the Emperor Charlemagne, a Renaissance silver chest and a silver-plated wooden statue of the Virgin and Child. There is also a selection of paintings, books and sculptures.



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Founded: 13th century
Category: Religious sites in Spain

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

L. O. (8 months ago)
Just beautiful, very well organised and run by the volunteers. Great value for money too. Worth staying here
May Rosales (11 months ago)
The church, a former pilgrim's hospice, is one of the most impressive examples of French gothic architecture. Built in the 13th c. by the Navarran King Sancho VII el Fuerte, it now plays host to his tomb. You can enter the cloisters and the tomb by paying EUR 2.50. I attended the 8pm pilgrims mass while I was there during my camino.
Oleg Naumov (2 years ago)
Wonderful monument of Navarese medieval culture and architecture of XIV century. Don't forget to visit the cloister where you are going to find the tomb of Navarese Knight Enel Omorio who died in 1393. Through the cloister you can get in to the Chapel where the Royal Navarese Mausoleum is and where you are going to find the tomb of King Sancho VII of Navarre who totally crashed Moors at famous battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. King was the real giant two meters and seven centimeters tall. So, entire complex is one of the greatest national monuments of the Kingdom of Navarre. There is also small museum dedicated to medieval Navarese culture where you can find two maces of beginning of XIII century. Alas! This part of the Kingdom of Navarre was conquered and annexed by the Kingdom of Aragon in 1512.
Cristina Honorato (3 years ago)
Must see. Historical place, starting point of the French Camino de Santiago.
Grant Bremner (3 years ago)
This is such a beautiful church to visit and it one of the most important Gothic Buildings in Navarre. it was used by Navarrese monarchs for great festivities and solemn ceremonies and it is definitely well worth visiting if you are in the area. The interior is quite plain compared with other churches yet with many columns it has its own beauty you will not forget.
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