Santo Domingo de la Calzada is a town with a history closely linked to the Camino de Santiago. It has a valuable heritage where its medieval networked streets stand out, streets that house important monuments that have deserved to be declared a Historic-Artistic Interest Complex. We will meet and enjoy all the attractions of this Rioja town. Let's go to Santo Domingo de la Calzada!
Santo Domingo de la Calzada, land of saints and pilgrims
It was the late Middle Ages, when the pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago, used to rest on the banks of the Oja River, in the Hojuela forest. It was then, in the year 1044, when Santo Domingo decided to found a village to help the pilgrims. This is how he built a bridge, a hospital, a hermitage and built a shelter, giving rise to Santo Domingo de la Calzada.Bridge of Santo Domingo de la Calzada - ANSELM PALLÀS / Flickr, com
Located at the foot of the Sierra de la Demanda and Mount Yuso, Santo Domingo de la Calzada was named «city» by Alfonso XI in the year 1334. Pedro I the Cruel fortified it with walls that emphasize its medieval layout. Of them there are only 12 towers, several cloths and three doors.
What to see in Santo Domingo de la Calzada
1. Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la CalzadaCathedral - ANSELM PALLÀS / Flickr.com
This church is a key point in the pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago. It was built in 1158 by Master Garçion was remodeled several times until 1958. For this reason it presents different styles, ranging from Romanesque to Gothic or Baroque, with its beautiful exempt tower.
Further, It is well known for the popular rooster and chicken miracle, which gave rise to a popular motto of the people:
«Santo Domingo de la Calzada, where the chicken sang after roasting»
For this reason, it contains a 15th-century Gothic niche that houses a live rooster and chicken. These are the symbols of this town, which are also in your shield.
It also has a Cathedral Museum that exhibits pieces brought to the saint by illustrious pilgrims. In the cathedral, the mausoleum of Santo Domingo stands out especially. They say that it was the saint himself who prepared his grave on the road he had drawn himself.
2. Pilgrims HospitalParador de Turismo - Paradores / commons.wikimedia.org
This structure, built in the twelfth century by Santo Domingo next to the cathedral, today houses the Parador de Turismo. They say this hospital was built thanks to a miracle which allowed Santo Domingo to cut all the wood he needed for his sickle.
It is a building with a sober and elegant style. It has majestic halls and its lobby is full of Gothic arches and wooden coffered ceilings.
3. The Hermitage of Our Lady of the Plaza
It is located in the Plaza del Santo, where, according to tradition, Santo Domingo raised a humble oratory for the pilgrims of the Camino de Santiago. The temple that is seen today is the result of several remodeling that took place between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries.
4. The Plaza of SpainSpain Square - Quintanilla
Also known as the Plaza Mayor of Santo Domingo, it is located at the back of the city. It is a square with large spaces and cobbled floors. Dating from the medieval period, from the 14th century, and it was the place chosen to carry out the markets and bullfights.
In its surroundings is the Town Hall, a baroque building built on theWall medieval. You can also see the Alhóndiga building, current municipal offices, and the Corregimiento de la Rioja building, which dates back to the 18th century.
5. Trastamara HouseHouse of the Brotherhood of Santo - Antonio Periago Miñarro / Flickr.com
It is the oldest civil building in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a gothic building where Henry II of Castile lived and died. It was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1983 and currently houses the Library and Information and Tourism Office.
It is located on Calle Mayor, where it is also located the House of the Brotherhood of the Saint. It is a 16th century Renaissance building expanded in the 18th century. Currently, and since 1968, it houses the Brotherhood of the Holy, considered the oldest Jacobean brotherhood, founded by Santo Domingo in the eleventh century.
Also on Calle Mayor, don't forget to visit the Cistercian monastery of Our Lady of the Annunciation. Another monastery of interest is the Convent of San Francisco, in the Herrera style. Finally, take a tour of the Oja River and walk along the bridge of Santo Domingo, the same one that was built by the saint at the beginning of the 11th century.