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AROUND NAVARRA (and a bit of Aragon)


Back to Navarre, Aragon and Catalonia Photo and History Galleries

Spanish Roads to Santiago de Compostela




Back to photo pages of people and places on the Camino de Santiago





A chest containing remains of the early kings of Navarra in the







Castillo de Javier - family seat and birthplace of Saint Francis Xavier (1506 - 1552 (46)) Patron Saint of Navarra and co-founder of the missionary and educational Jesuit order.



The west door of the church of Santa Maria la Real on the bank of Rio Aragón in Sangüesa.  Easily accessible and an outstanding and well preserved example example of its genre, it is typical of Spain that you can just rock up and park outside!    Sanguesa is on the Camino Aragonés on its way from Somport / Jaca to join the main Camino at Puenta de la Reina.


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A broom lined road near Sangüesa (accompanied by a beautiful and pervasive honey perfume).  Incidentally, Broom is known as planta genesta in Latin, genêt in French.  Geoffrey, Count of Anjou (1113 - 1151 (38)) (but more associated with Le Mans where he was born and buried) liked to wear a sprig of broom in his hat - which was why he got known as Plantagenet.  Geoffrey married Henry I's daughter Matilda (widow of Emperor Henry V) in 1127.  She was 11 years older than Geoffrey and an (ex) Empress), and so was a bit grumpy about being fobbed off onto a mere count .... however nature had its way and they produced three kids, and after she failed in an extended attempt to install herself as Queen of England, their eldest son eventually became King Henry II of England - the first of the Plantagenet Kings, husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine, murderer of Archbishop Thomas Becket and father of Kings Richard and John.  Back to Spain .......



The little medieval bridge at Monreal is also part of the Camino Aragonés on its way from Somport / Jaca to join the main Camino at Puenta de la Reina.



Further south this much bigger bridge over the Rio Gállego at Anzánigo, was just wide enough to accommodate Dom P's long suffering Peugeot.  In a field beside the bridge was a large mob of sheep with bells attached, and from above the soft sound of dozens of bells mixed with flowing water was quite magical.



Further south still, the Rio Gállego tumbles past the towering rock columns of Los Mallos de Riglos



Navarra and Aragon are lands of dramatic castles - none more so than this one at Loarre which dominates the plains as far as the eye can see.



The castle of Olite was the favourite of the latter Kings of Navarra.  It includes a huge beehive shaped structure which was packed with ice from the mountains in winter then used for refrigerated storage in the summer.



The Pyrenees in early June, seen from  the pass of Monrepos below Jaca - the same view that medieval pilgrims walking home along what is now called the Camino Aragonés towards the Somport Pass and the Via Tolsana in Southern France, would have enjoyed.



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