Theme Week Auvergne – Le Puy-en-Velay

29 July 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

Chapel Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe © W. Bulach/cc-by-sa-4.0

Chapel Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe © W. Bulach/cc-by-sa-4.0

Le Puy-en-Velay (literally Le Puy in Velay; Occitan: Lo Puèi de Velai) is the prefecture of the Haute-Loire department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of south-central France. Located near the river Loire, the city is famous for its cathedral, for a kind of lentil, for its lace-making, as well as for being the origin of the Chemin du Puy, one of the principal origin points of the pilgrimage route of Santiago de Compostela in France. In 2017, the commune had a population of 18,995.   read more…

Conques in Occitania

19 April 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  9 minutes

Saint Faith Abbey  Church © Krzysztof Golik/cc-by-sa-4.0

Saint Faith Abbey Church © Krzysztof Golik/cc-by-sa-4.0

Conques (Languedocien: Concas) is a former commune in the Aveyron department in Southern France, in the Occitania region. On 1 January 2016, it was merged into the new commune of Conques-en-Rouergue.   read more…

Theme Week Navarre – Estella-Lizarra

24 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Mattana/cc-by-2.0

© Mattana/cc-by-2.0

Estella (Spanish) or Lizarra (Basque) is a town located in the autonomous community of Navarre, in northern Spain. It lies south west of Pamplona, close to the border with La Rioja and Álava. In 1927, Club Deportivo Izarra was formed who currently play in the Segunda División B. The town regularly hosts the GP Miguel Induráin.   read more…

Theme Week Navarre – Villava-Atarrabia

22 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario © Zarateman/cc-by-sa-3.0

Church of Nuestra Señora del Rosario © Zarateman/cc-by-sa-3.0

Villava (Basque: Atarrabia) is a town and municipality located in the province and autonomous community of Navarre, northern Spain. The population is about 10,000, and the town is located 4 km away from Pamplona, the capital of Navarre.   read more…

Theme Week Asturias – Pola de Siero

26 January 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

© Anual/cc-by-3.0

© Anual/cc-by-3.0

Pola de Siero (in Asturian and as official name La Pola Siero, and also known as La Pola colloquially) is a town in the autonomous community of Asturias on the north coast of the Kingdom of Spain. It is the administrative capital of the municipality (concejo) of Siero. Pola de Siero is located in the centre of Asturias, approximately 16 km east of the regional Capital Oviedo and 16 km south of Gijón.   read more…

Theme Week Galicia

23 February 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks Reading Time:  11 minutes

Carnota © Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez/cc-by-sa-3.0

Carnota © Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez/cc-by-sa-3.0

Galicia is an autonomous community in northwest Spain, with the official status of a historic nationality. It comprises the provinces of A Coruña, Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra, being bordered by Portugal to the south, the Spanish autonomous communities of Castile and León and Asturias to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the north. Galicia has over 1,660 km (1,030 mi) of coastline, including its offshore islands and islets, among them Cíes Islands, Ons, Sálvora, Cortegada, and—the largest and most populated—A Illa de Arousa. Hundreds of ancient standing stone monuments like dolmens, menhirs and megalithics Tumulus were erected during the prehistoric period in Galicia, amongst the best-known are the dolmens of Dombate, Corveira, Axeitos of Pedra da Arca, menhirs like the “Lapa de Gargñáns”. From the Iron Age, Galicia has a rich heritage based mainly on a great number of Hill forts, few of them excavated like Baroña, Sta. Tegra, San Cibrao de Lás and Formigueiros among others. With the introduction of Ancient Roman architecture there was a development of basilicas, castra, city walls, cities, villas, Roman temples, Roman roads, and the Roman bridge of Ponte Vella. It was the Romans who founded some of the first cities in Galicia like Lugo and Ourense. Perhaps the best-known examples are the Roman Walls of Lugo and the Tower of Hercules in A Coruña. During the Middle Ages, a huge quantity of fortified castles were built by Galician feudal nobles to mark their powers against their rivals. Although the most of them were demolished during the Irmandiño Wars (1466–1469), some Galician castles that survived are Pambre, Castro Caldelas, Sobroso, Soutomaior and Monterrei among others. Ecclesiastical architecture raised early in Galicia, and the first churches and monasteries as San Pedro de Rocas, began to be built in 5-6th centuries. However, the most famous medieval architecture in Galicia had been using Romanesque architecture like most of Western Europe. Some of the greatest examples of Romanesque churches in Galicia are the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the Ourense Cathedral, Saint John of Caaveiro, Our Lady Mary of Cambre and the Church of San Juan of Portomarín among others.   read more…

Theme Week La Rioja – Santo Domingo de la Calzada

27 January 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Plaza de España © Ecelan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Plaza de España © Ecelan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Santo Domingo de la Calzada is situated on the banks of the Oja River. Its name refers to its founder, Dominic de la Calzada, who built a bridge, hospital, and hotel here for pilgrims on the Way of St. James. The town’s Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada is dedicated to him. Its facade contains statues of Emeterius and Celedonius. The altar was sculpted in 1537-40 by Damián Forment in the Renaissance style. Santo Domingo de la Calzada is one of the Rioja towns most deeply marked by the Pilgrim’s Route to Santiago de Compostela. Its network of medieval streets, declared a National Historic Interest Site, store a valuable heritage, particularly its walls, the Cathedral and the old Pilgrims’ Hospital.   read more…

Santiago de Compostela

4 July 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, European Union, European Capital of Culture, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

Casa del Cabildo © flickr.com - Aestudio/cc-by-2.0

Casa del Cabildo © flickr.com – Aestudio/cc-by-2.0

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia in northwestern Spain, with 95,000 inhabitants. Santiago is the site of the University of Santiago de Compostela, established in the early 16th century. The main campus can be seen best from an alcove in the large municipal park in the centre of the city.   read more…

The Way of St. James

22 August 2012 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Editorial, European Union, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  12 minutes

Ways of St. James in Western Europe © Manfred Zentgraf/CC-BY-SA

Ways of St. James in Western Europe © Manfred Zentgraf/CC-BY-SA

The Way of St. James or St. James’ Way (Spanish: El Camino de Santiago) is the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried. The Way of St. James has existed for over a thousand years. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times, together with Rome and Jerusalem, and a pilgrimage route on which a plenary indulgence could be earned; other major pilgrimage routes include the Via Francigena to Rome and the pilgrimage to Jerusalem.   read more…

Return to TopReturn to Top