The site of this cross is thought to have been the site of a monument to the Roman god Mercury where the Celts were thought to have worshiped. The current monument, which consists of a telephone-pole-like pillar with a small iron cross at the top. At the base is now a large pile of rocks and other items that pilgrims leave. This current structure is believed to have been put here in the 11th century by Gaucelmo, a supposed hermit who built a hospital, hospice, and church for the pilgrims on the Camino.
Originally, it was a place where pilgrims left a rock in order to represent relieving the weight of their sins. As has much of the rest of the Camino and its parts, this idea has been taken and shaped to each individual pilgrim. This means that what people leave at the base of the Iron Cross might not necessarily be representative of their sins but of some other burden. We saw letters, pictures, bracelets, shoes, socks, cigarette packages, and many other things.
We got to experience a small part of the camaraderie that comes along with being a pilgrim while we ate our picnic lunch in the grass near the cross. A younger looking pilgrim was sitting near us, and we asked if he would like to join us. "I won't say no!" was his response, and we had a great time sharing and learning about each other before wishing him ¡Buen Camino! and heading on our way. He was a young man from France who had finished high school and started college before taking a break to walk the Camino.