It is situated to the southeast of the province of León, almost on the border with the provinces of Valladolid and Palencia, still in Tierra de Campos and equidistant from Burgos and León. In a completely flat area with very little vegetation. In its beginnings, the history of Bercianos del Real Camino is intrinsically linked to that of Sahagún. The moment in which Bercianos del Real Camino is mentioned in documents dates back to the year 950 when Álvaro Velaz, fearful of the next life after his death and as a remission of his sins, donated to the monastery of Sahagún, the Villa Mayor, located in Valdejuara and bordering Mount Cañizal and the Bercianos Valley.
Years later it was Doña Paya, who in 963 had been granted the villa, who donated it again to the monastery of Sahagún in remission of her sins and for the salvation of her late husband and her father Fáfila. In Bercianos del Real Camino, on the outskirts of the town, there was a hospital for pilgrims, the Hospital de Cebreiro, donated by Fernando II de León in 1886.
The High Street, which forms part of the Way itinerary, divides Bercianos into two neighbourhoods, El Barrio Arriba and El Barrio Abajo, with their paths and large eras, as the flat land used for drying and threshing the harvest is called. At the entrance of the village coming from Calzada del Coto, is La Perala, as is traditionally known to the hermitage of the Virgen del Peral, dedicated to the patron saint of the village. The other hermitage in Bercianos, located in the town centre, is dedicated to San Roque, recently refurbished and where religious events are held until the restoration of its parish church of El Salvador, whose spectacular and graceful tower, which was reflected in the existing lagoon at the foot of the church, collapsed.
Inside it keeps a Renaissance carving of Saint John the Baptist, and the tomb of Doña Leonor de Quiñones, Lady of Bercianos, who lived on horseback in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In the Elm Valley, following the course of the Jacobean route, the Rosemary Fountain offers a beautiful landscape of peace and rest.
Bercianos, on 15 May celebrates San Isidro and carries out a pilgrimage with the typical blessing of the fields and a picnic, on 8 September it celebrates its patron saint festivities in honour of the Virgen de Perales.
In Bercianos del Real Camino it is a tradition that on the last days of March the Virgen de Perales, who is in the hermitage of the same name, is taken in procession to the village, where during all the days of the month of May she presides over the praying of the Rosary being the last day of the month of May when she is returned again in procession to her hermitage.
If the weather accompanies and shines on a clear day, the distant but majestic silhouette of the Cantabrian Mountains can be seen to the north. To the left, the Montes de León and to the right, the peaks of the Palencia mountain watch over Bercianos.
The legend tells a story that took place in the town of Bercianos and that has given rise to beautiful romances and poems. During the war in León and Castile, there was a cruel and bloody warrior, named Gerinaldo, who by order of his kings took advantage of an unbearable night of storm to put Bercianos' men to the sword. The people tried to escape the slaughter but in the darkness of the night they did not know very well where they were going. Without realizing it they reached the lagoon and sank into its muddy waters, and their souls still live in the flight of the birds. And according to the legend of the Lagoon, the Virgin of Perales protected those who remained alive with her mantle. In the place, nowadays, when some bird dies by shots of hunters are heard the cries of those that in the waters of the lagoon perished at the same time that the souls that have been prisoners for so many years are liberated.
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Bercianos del Real Camino can be accessed directly from the A-231, Highway of the Way, we can also do by the local road A-601 or from the N-120 between Sahagún and Leon.
There are daily buses to León, with schedules morning round tripand return .
To access the train service you have to go to nearby Sahagún, or go to El Burgo Ranero.
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