A tiny hamlet of just 22 inhabitants that forms part of the municipality of Barrios de Colina that has been renowned for its hospitality ever since it was founded by the saint of the same name. A living milestone on the Pilgrims’ Route to Santiago. This place of pilgrimage boasts a church that has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.
WHAT TO SEE:
- Monastery of San Juan de Ortega (12th century). Founded by the disciple of Santo Domingo de la Calzada to provide aid for pilgrims. It was a monastery belonging to the Order of St Jerome from 1432 until Mendizábal’s Disentailment. It has a church with three apses (12th and 13th centuries) that was completed in the 15th century. It boasts a fascinating canopy with 6 reliefs depicting scenes from the saint’s life. In the centre of the crypt was a sarcophagus containing the remains of St John and on one side the Romanesque tomb that always remained empty; today, both can be found on the ground floor of the church. One of the chapels that surround the apse offers visitors the chance to admire the famous miracle of the light of the equinox as it shines on the capital that tells the Christmas story. The sanctuary boasts a Herrerian style courtyard.
- Chapel of San Nicolás. Annexed to the monastery it has a fine 16th century railing and a hostel with a courtyard dating back to the same century.
Just a few metres from the Sanctuary of San Juan de Ortega there are two optional routes: the first is described below. Less popular with pilgrims, it takes us to the city of Burgos via Santovenia de Oca. From Santovenia we take the N-120 road, passing through the towns of Zalduendo, Ibeas de Juarros, Castrillo del Val, San Medel, Castañares and Villayuda or La Ventilla
The second alternative from San Juan de Ortega takes us along a route dotted with constant reminders that we are heading for Burgos along the Pilgrims’ Route to Santiago, passing through Agés, Atapuerca, Cardeñuela Riopico, Orbaneja Riopico and Villafría.