Villafranca del Bierzo: little Compostela

The quaint mountain town of Villafranca del Bierzo, on the Camino Frances, is also known as ‘la pequeña Compostela’, little Compostela.

Villafranca’s Romanesque Iglesia de Santiago, Saint James Church, is home to the ‘Puerta del Perdón’, the gate or door of Forgiveness. This 12th century church dedicated to St James is the only other temple along the Camino de Santiago, besides Santiago’s Cathedral, where pilgrims could, and still can, receive plenary indulgence. The requirements: having walked the necessary distance, attend mass and say their prayers, as well as being able to proof they can’t physically continue all the way to Santiago de Compostela, due to illness or physical weakness.

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The door of Forgiveness in Villafranca, like the Holy Door in Santiago’s Cathedral, is only open during Holy Years (or Jacobean Years, when 25th July falls on a Sunday). Hence the town’s nickname of ‘little Compostela’.

And while you are in Villafranca, you should also:

  • Visit the castle of the Marquises of Villafranca
  • Stroll down the Calle del Agua (Water Street) and admire its grand palaces and houses, such as Casa Torre, Casa Morisca and the Palacio de Torquemada
  • Enjoy a coffee at the lively Main Square
  • Explore the town and its many religious and historic buildings such as the Gothic Collegiate Church of Santa María and the Saint Francis Convent.

*If you would like to walk the Camino de Santiago, contact our Camino travel experts: info@caminoways.com

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Comments

  1. by Maria

    Hi Hilary, it would be €565 for the last section of the French Way in October: http://caminoways.com/ways/french-way-camino-frances/french-way-section-8, 6-nights, including half-board accommodation along the way (no dinner on first or last night), luggage transfers and holiday pack. Would you like our travel team to email you a proper itinerary? Kind regards

  2. by Maria

    Hi Arthur, we have divided the French Way in 8 parts (or sections): http://caminoways.com/ways/french-way-camino-frances, then each section has various days. John has divided his book in days as he is looking at the full way (hence day 26 being Villafranca del Bierzo). Still the same itinerary however, see our full itinerary here: http://caminoways.com/ways/french-way-camino-frances/french-way-full-way. I hope this helps. Kind regards

  3. by Hilary Bolton

    I would like some idea of the cost of walking the last 7 days of the Camino in early October please

  4. by Arthur Cuellar

    ON THE PILGRIMS GUIDE BOOK BY JOHN BRIERLEY THE VILLAFRANCA DEL BIERZO IS LOCATED BETWEEN SECTIONS 25 AND 26 BETWEEN TOWNS OF MOLINASECA AND O’CEBREIRO, SECTION 7 LOS ARCOS AND LOGRONO IS NOT CORRECT , PLEASE RESPOND EITHER WAY, ARTHUR CUELLAR

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