Pilgrims' Cross


Frequently, the consolidation and the "new design" of the way to Santiago de Compostela was attributed to Sancho III el Mayor (1004- 1035). Although nowadays, we know without a doubt that Sancho Garcés I (905- 925) was the person who, while he was organising a Christian Monarchy aimed at the enlargement of the territory at Moslem's expenses and was also very interested about the relationships between the other Christian groups from the Peninsula, secured the Jacobean Way which roams along the Roman road to Pamplona and from there to Nájera and goes on to the west following the "way of the stars".

It is also true that the first information about an Assistance Centre in Summo Pyrineo refers to the late middle part of the 11th century, when the monarchs from Pamplona and specially Sancho el de Peñalén, entrusted the attention of the pilgrims to the Monastery of Leire, located at the entry of the Jaca way in Navarra. Leire received a donation, a small monastery, an already existing one. Located at the top of Ibañeta, its construction date is unknown. Nowadays, it serves as a chapel. Of that primitive construction that was sometimes also called "Charlemagne's Chapel" or "Roland's", there is not a trace remaining.

However, with the temporary union between Navarra and Aragón (1076- 1134), the new dynasty decided to contribute to the "Colegiata de Somport", which was responsible for attending the Tolosan route in its entry into Aragón and prepared since the beginning of the 12th century a small hostel in the way down from Ibañeta.


Some years would have to pass for the bishop of Pamplona to decide to take part in the assistance policy, which until that moment had been managed by the "Colegiata de Somport" and the monastery "San Salvador de Ibañeta", at the main entry point of pilgrims.

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