Practically annexed to Puente de Órbigo, this village of 806 inhabitants is named after the pilgrims’ hospital built by the Knights Hospitaller of the Order of Saint John. This enclave lies on the Cañada Real de la Plata, which links the livestock trails of Extremadura with the Babia region in León.
WHAT TO SEE:
- 13th century Gothic Bridge, known as Passo Honroso. Although the original structure was Roman, it has been restored on numerous occasions. A monument standing halfway across this bridge commemorates the battle fought for love by Suero de Quiñones, a knight of León in 1434. It has been an Asset of Cultural Interest since 1939 and is considered to be one of longest bridges on the entire Pilgrims’ Route to Santiago.
- Church of San Juan Bautista. Like the ruins of the hospital, this temple, standing on the town’s main streets, evokes the presence of the Hospitaller Knights. This imposing and well-cared for cruciform church has been rebuilt in modern style. The entrance boasts a cross of the Order, similar in style to those to be seen in Navarra.
On leaving Hospital pilgrims have two options: the rst is to follow the tracks that run parallel to the N-120 Road, taking us straight to San Justo de la Vega and which forms part of the traditional Pilgrims’ Route; whilst the second is an alternative route that has appeared in recent years, taking us through the towns of Villares de Órbigo and Santibáñez de Valdeiglesias along farm tracks and paths which also eventually bring us to San Justo