Templars on the Camino de Santiago

February 7, 2012

Templar origins

In 1096-1099 the First Crusade was held, in which Hugo de Payns participates among others.

In the year 1118, the French knight, called Hugo de Payens and the flamenco gentleman Godfrey of Saint-Adhemar, decided to promote the foundation of a monastic order, whose purpose was the custody of the Pilgrims and the guarding of the dangerous roads that led to the places of pilgrimage. They called it Order of the Poor Soldiers of Christ.


How was a Templar?

The humility and poverty of Templarios, is patent in the Seal and Symbol used by the Templars: two Knights Templar mounted on a horse. The stamp reflects the collection and transfer of the pilgrims going to Jerusalem.

The Knights Templar, renounced all kinds of personal property, being the Order the Owner of all the Goods.

The Templars, were prohibited from sharing the horse and the Rules of the Order, stipulated that each Knight Templar should have 3 horses.


Some of the most important capillas and castles templarios on the Camino de Santiago that pilgrims can visit among others.


Santa María de Eunate probably lto Templar hermitage more disconcerting, since its origin generates many controversies.

It is in the place where the Paths meet from Somport and the Camino de Santiago from Roncesvalles. The set is octagonal and is surrounded by a porticoed gallery of 33 arches, with decorated capitals. The harmony of the octagonal floor is broken by a pentagonal apse and a square turret attached to the side of the Epistle.

Torres del Rio

The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, is the culmination of the perfect octagon. The church of Santo Sepulcro of Torres del Río or Sansol, also named after the nearby hill of that name, is still on its floor the infrequent octagonal pattern already seen in Eunate. It served as a guiding light to guide pilgrims in transit to Santiago de Compostela as well as Eunate.

The Queen's Bridge

Church of the Crucifix: In late Romanesque style, it was built by the Templars in the middle of the 12th century, which houses the Virgin and Child of the 12th century and a Crucified Christ, in the form of »Y»


Church of San Juan: On the Camino de Santiago, rebuilt on a Romanesque base, it belonged to the Templars,

that later they gave to the Hospitalers, so that they could carry out their work of aid to the Pilgrims.

Rabanal del Camino

Parish Churchl. Small Church, with Romanesque remains that belonged to the Templaría Commendation of Ponferrada.


One of Temple's most important encomiendas in Spain. It was a fundamental enclave in the Kingdom of León.

They developed protective work on the Camino de Santiago, later transferring these functions to the Order of Santiago and the Hospitallers.

The encomienda disposed of the Castles of: CornatelCorullónSarracín (Vega de Valcarce) and perhaps also of the Balboa Castle. The disappearance of the Order, meant the change of owner, passing through the hands of the Osorio family and the Count of Lemos. Following the Irmandiña revolt and the struggles between the Count of Lemos and his son, was claimed by the Catholic Monarchs .

The jurisdiction of the encomienda of the Order of the Temple of Ponferrada, included, almost all the Bierzo, extending from Rabanal de Camino to O Cebreiro. The monasteries of Bierzo belonged to the Cister and the O Cebreiro Monastery to Cluny.

Vega de Valcarce

The Sarracín Castle, was a Templar enclave, for the defense of the Pilgrims who went to Santiago.

In Vega de Valcarce, the Portazgo was charged, which was a payment for a right of way. The pilgrims were exempt, but many times the pilgrims to order, could be considered rich merchants and were forced to pay the Portazgo.Esto originated a historic road that runs alongside Sarracin for the mount of the Villela (Villaus of the Codex Calixtinus), obtaining like this the protection in front of the Portazgueros of the Castle of Autares. There was another alternative way, to avoid the Portazgo, which was diverted by the San Fiz valley, and continued towards Villasinde (Hospital de Villasinde) and linked in the Vilela with the Historic path. We also continued to Barjas (see Game of the Goose), accessing O Cebreiro.

Past O Cebreiro, the protection of the pilgrims passed to the Order of Santiago, which will deserve special mention in another article.