Photo and text: Antonio Colmenar
Puente la Reina is the medieval village where two main paths of the Way of Saint James merge into one, hence the fact that it is one of the places with the highest sense of Santiago de Compostela located in Navarre. The continuous coming and going to pilgrims, the shells and canes are part of the urban landscape of this village, a great example of ‘village-street’.
This beautiful locality is 24 kilometers away from Pamplona. Walking in its paved streets Crucifijo and Mayor is a pleasant exercise that allows discovering architectural jewels such as the churches of Crucifico, Santiago and San Pedro, and beautiful buildings with some details of St James’s influence.
But, without a doubt, the Romanesque bridge over the Arga River is what surprises one the most. This is one of the most beautiful Romanesque and noble examples of the Way of Saint James and the one giving a name to this village, of barely 2,500 inhabitants, close to other points of tourist interest such as Eunate, Andelos and Cerco de Artajona.
Puente la Reina was born for the Way of Saint James. Still today, the influence of pilgrimages to Santiago continues to characterize the village, a crossroads where the routes coming from Roncesvalles and Somport meet. It was founded in the 12th century by Alfonso I the Battler and it maintains its initial urban scene. Its urban structure is an example of ‘village-street’, a town built around its main street and not around a protection castle.