Monday, May 4, 2015

La Puente La Reina

Puente La Reina (Queen's Bridge)  is a town along the Camino that is largely known for the bridge on the outskirts of the city that was built at the request of Queen Doña Mayor.  The bridge is built over the river Arga and was constructed during the 11th century. According to, this bridge was built mostly for the benefit of the pilgrims traveling along the Camino. This arched bridge can be seen below.

Most pilgrims would come through this town if they traveled through the Somport Pass.  It is clear that this town has most of its history intertwined with the Pilgrimage, and most of it's tourism over the years have come from pilgrims.

Some of the site within this town are Santiago El Mayor and the Church of Crucifijo. These are both churches that were built in the 12th century and later extended in the 14th century. Other religious sites within the city are the Church of San Pedro that was constructed in the 14th century and the convent of the Comendadoras de Sancti Spiritus. However, the town itself is something to see. Most of the architecture throughout the town is still similar to what a pilgrim  might have seen in the 14th century.
The main point of interest within this city for me was the bridge. The church that we saw was quite ornate, with lots of gold lining the various parts of the sanctuary. I feel that as we travel along towards El Santiago de Compestello we will see cathedrals that are progressively ornate. However, I thought that the bridge was the most interesting point of this town. Even the simple fact that it still stood after all this time was wonderful. I could also tell that the bridge was a large part of this town's identity. While we sat by the river, a group of children were playing in the bridge, climbing in and out of the arches. Also, a group of girls were taking first communion pictures.
Looking around the city, it was evident that this city was a point on the Camino due to the scallop shell symbol along the path through the city and across the bridge. Also, there were many different scallop souvenirs. It was a good place to visit to get an initial taste of what is to follow as we journey onward through this trip.

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