San Juan de Ortega Monastery

Barrios de Colina, Spain

San Juan de Ortega Monastery was probably built by Saint John of Ortega himself, with the help of his friend and fellow saint, Domingo de la Calzada, around 1142 as a help point to the pilgrims who walked to Santiago de Compostela along the Way of Saint James. The monastery was originally staffed by a community of Augustinian canons.

The monastery belonged to the Order of Los Jerónimos from 1432 until the 1835, when the monastery was disbanded. During their tenure, the monks developed a pharmacy known throughout the area. In the sixteenth century, the hospice had room for sixteen beds. At one time a welcomed refuge for pilgrims, over time the area declined and the monastery was abandoned in the nineteenth century, with the local farmers using the church as a barn for hay.

The hamlet is very small and sparsely inhabited. With the increase in pilgrims along the Camino since the 1980s, the former monastery has undergone some gradual restoration. A portion of the premises has been fitted out as a albergue with fifty beds. The monastery has a café where pilgrims can rest and eat.

Architecture

The church is an example of late Romanesque art, constructed during the 12th and 13th centuries. The oldest part of the church is the three twelfth century apses, built either by or under the direction of St John. Isabella I of Castile had Juan de Colonia, architect of Burgos Cathedral, add Gothic arches in the fifteenth century. She also financed construction of the Chapel of St Nicholas.

The illustrated capitals deserve special mention, as well as the tomb of the Saint, in the crypt. in Each year in March and September at 5 pm (solar time) on the equinox light penetrates through a small window placed in the main façade and a small beam of light illuminates the Annunciation of Virgin Mary, sculpted in stone in the top of a pillar.

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Details

Founded: 1142
Category: Religious sites in Spain

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

ITZIAR CHAVER RUEDA (3 years ago)
Horrible place to stay. If you’re a pilgrim you’d better walk to the next stop
Miguel Ángel (4 years ago)
Worst albergue ever. Super expensive. Bad food. And they don't even let u eat in the kitchen.
Anja Ell (5 years ago)
Lovely outside, perhaps closed ? no Pilgrims visit possible and just we did the way to passed by
Brend Mcevo (5 years ago)
For the weary traveller, this is not the best place to dine. It's the only place in the village! If you have the strength to carry on..... Then please do so! There's bound to be a better dining experience to be found.
inceneritore intrepido (5 years ago)
Everything here is a display of disrespect for the pilgrims doing the Santiago Walk. The place is dirty, toilets and showers barely work, the dinner consisted of cold pasta (the type that is not supposed to be cold), pork slices and cold fried potatoes, a bit of salad and a yogurt. The only (surprisingly) satisfying thing was the garlic soup. If you can avoid this place and go to the next point you’ll do yourself a favour.
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