It is located in the Way of Saint James, in the region of Bierzo and a few kilometres from Ponferrada. The municipality is made up of the towns of Camponaraya, with whom it shares its name, Narayola, Magaz de Abajo, Hervededo and La Valgoma. Remains from the pre-Roman period have been found in Castro de Camponaraya, but it was in the Middle Ages that the current villages began to emerge. At the beginning they were two different nuclei separated by the river Naraya, Campo, located on the side of Cacabelos, and Naraya, near Fuentesnuevas. It was not until the 15th century that the two joined to form the current Camponaraya. The oldest of the two settlements, Naraya, is mentioned as early as the 9th century, specifically in the year 853 when Ordoño I ceded the ownership of two churches to the Monastery of San Julián de Samos, linking the entire area of Camponaraya to this monastery. Later Camponaraya will depend on the Monastery of Santa María de Carracedo. As it happens in many other localities, the boom and development of the Jacobean route boosts progress in Camponaraya, with written references from the 12th and 13th centuries that speak of the locality having two hospitals for pilgrims, that of La Soledad and that of San Juan de Jaberos, as well as a hostelry.
Camponaraya continued to be an ecclesiastical lordship and was part of the priory of the Carracedo monastery until 1812, during the War of Independence, when the first constitutional municipal government was formed. It was at the beginning of the 20th century, and after several comings and goings of belonging to the monastery or to noble families and secular owners, when the first democratic town hall was created, which with the passing of time would result in the beautiful town of Camponaraya.
In Camponaraya, on the main street, you can see several houses with the coats of arms and blazons of the Marquises of Quiñones and Uceda, and the remains of the priory building of the Carracedo monastery. On the bridge over the Naraya River there is a curious brick tower which, built in 1923, houses a clock. The Virgen de la Soledad hermitage is a chapel guarded by two towers. It is believed that there was previously a sanctuary in which the Virgen Nuestra Señora de la Soledad was venerated. The parish church is dedicated to San Idelfonso, is built of brick and has a high bell tower.
But Camponaraya is also a landscape and gastronomy that, with typical products of the zone qualified with denomination of origin, make the delights of the visitor. On the outskirts, in the natural space La Cuesta, surrounded by a beautiful grove and of course, in an environment of vineyards is the Interpretation Centre of the Vine and Wine of Camponaraya, CIVI. During your visit you can learn about the history and present of Bierzo wine as well as the ancient and modern techniques of tilling, or the production systems and elaboration of Bierzo wines.
Camponaraya pays homage to its patron saint, the Virgen de la Soledad, on the third weekend of September and on the first Sunday of August the Pilgrimage of Santiago is celebrated in the place known as La Cuesta.
In Camponaraya there are traditionally several fairs, which are better known each year as the Fair of the Purebred Spanish Horse, the Fair of the Hunting Dog or the Fair of Cheese and Wine, among others.
The Camponaraya parish church dates from the 20th century, and storks nest in its tower. It is curious that Camponaraya did not have a parish church until the 19th century, as it depended directly on the nearby Monastery of Santa María de Carracedo.
According to oral tradition, in Camponaraya there is a reference to the identity of the first foreign pilgrim who walked around these places; he was Godescalco, bishop of Puy between 927 and 962. The fact is known of Gòmez, monk of the Monastery of San Martìn de Albelda in La Rioja, who was commissioned by the bishop of Le Puy to copy the manuscript of San Ildefonso de Toledo entitled "De Virginitate beatae Mariae". In the prologue of this copy is told the reason that Godescalco had for stopping to go on pilgrimage... "motive for prayer, he left Aquitaine with great devotion and great retinue and hurriedly went to the confines of Galicia to humbly implore God's mercy and the suffrage of the apostle Santiago...".
Camponaraya can be reached following the LE-713 that joins Ponferrada with Cacabelos and Villafranca del Bierzo, we can also do it directly from the A-6, where we will find the access to this town in the section that goes from Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo.
Camponaraya is connected to Ponferrada by several urban bus lines which stop next to the square of Lazúrtegui. Ponferrada's bus station is located in Libertad Avenue 15 and from where regional services such as Toral de los Vados, Carracedelo, Bembibre, Villafranca del Bierzo... also connect it with other important cities and capitals such as León, Salamanca, Madrid, Santiago de Compostela, La Coruña... The station's telephone number is 987 401 065.
The nearest train station is Ponferrada, located on Ferrocarril 9 Avenue and connected to Vigo, La Coruña, Zaragoza, Madrid and Barcelona. The telephone number for further information is 987 410 067.
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8:05 h.28 km.
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