The day of August 11th is distributed between two visits in the morning, the track in the beginning of afternoon then two visits.
Ujué is an example of a strengthened medieval village. Its church, Santa Maria, is her specificity; it is included in a fort whose gangways are as much of protection against an invader. Its style is a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic. It is seldom to enterin a church by a weephole.
Close to Carcastillo Monasterio de Oliva is of the most austere Cistercian type. The later cloister is of Gothic type as well as the chapter house. The kitchens are still black smoke of the furnaces.
The track of the day is broad and without aggressive trees. It crosses villages with narrow lanes. The roadbook makes pass by Leache where a villager disputed me copiously because there is a turning! In the landscape, the wind mills are in the modern times what the pillars of aqueducts are at the Roman time.
|Bridge, VIB923||Windmill, VIB943|
Sos del Rey Catolico is a pretty village on a hill where Fernando II was born in 1452. With his wife Isabel I of Castile they conquered the last Islamic kingdom of Grenade reunifying Spain. In this Monday few visitors surveyed the inclined lanes. On the other hand the Parador Hotel was well stocked. The closed church is characterized by a bell-tower out of comb as in the south of France.
The monastery of Leyre is remarkable for several reasons. The church was built in two times. At the 11th century the chevet is purer Roman style with a strangeness, the two side aisles do not have the same width. The central nave of the 12th century is of Gothic style with a richly decorated porch. Under the bedside the crypt is of an unusual sizen with enormous pillars and capitals. Finally behind, a tunnel gave access to the old monastery. I bivouacked on the car park.
|Chevet Romananesque||Nef Gothic|
During the night on the car park of the monastery of Leyre, my thoughts directed me towards a revision of my road plan to go to visit Roncevaux before back to France. I definitively gave up the roadbook of Transpyrénéenne at the VIB965 instead of going up to the VIB983. Thus I forked on the NA140 then N135 which led me to Roncevaux then at the border of the two countries which are not materialized any more and finally to Saint Jean Pied of Port.
Roncesvalles, Roncevaux for French, is expensive to Europeans set on history. Indeed in 778 the armies of the emperor Charlemagne were defeated by the Basque and Roland, their commander, was killed. Later in the 11th century, the troubadours popularized this event by very famous Chanson of Roland. Roncesvalles became a big step on Camino de Santiago de Compostela. The road from Saint Jean Pied de Port go through the only way of passage in the Pyrenees by a narrow strait. The monastery of Roncesvalles has the characteristic to belong to the Spanish church not having been nationalized like all the other goods of the church. The whole of the buildings attest of a remarkable simplicity although of Gothic style with however additions in the 20th century like the silver canopy covering the statue of the Virgin in the chevet. After lunching I traversed the strait towards Saint Jean de Pied de Port where I made supply in food and diesel. Finally I stopped on D 18 at the Vault of St Saver to bivouac.
|Church Santa Maria|
|Side stained glasses in rosette||Crypt|