It is located on a plain on one side of the Canal de Castilla, with a landscape of gentle undulations and a slight uphill slope to the east. There are several versions of the etymological origin of Frómista. According to some historians it dates from Roman times and from the word frumentum, which means wheat, according to others and some documentary source from the 10th century, Frómista is an anthroponym, a proper name with which a person is identified, coming from some Mozarabic. In addition to the Roman road that linked Aquitaine with Astorga and that would eventually become the Pilgrim's Way to Saint James, through Frómista passed another road, also Roman, that linked Aldana, possibly Dueñas, with the current Herrera de Pisuerga and Julióbriga, today Reinosa. In its municipality there were two Roman villas. Later it was occupied by Goths and Visigoths living together with the Hispano-Roman settlers.
Frómista began to resurface in the 9th century with Alfonso III el Magno, but it was with Doña Nuña La Mayor, widow of the Navarrese king Sancho, with whom it was consolidated in the year 1066, becoming a true bastion as a town on the Way. Several hospitals arose, San Martín, Las Palmeras, Santiago,... and by order of this lady, the church of San Martín was built, an emblematic building of the Way and a true jewel of Romanesque. An important Jewish community lived in Frómista from the 11th to the 15th century. This town had years of prosperity when Arabs, Jews and Christians lived here. The following centuries, marked by the power of the lordships, the expulsion of the Jews, epidemics...are the key note to drawing the decadence that, like many other places, Frómista suffered. With the construction of the Canal de Castilla, at the end of the 18th century, its life and activity were once again boosted. Today, Frómista is a modern town linked to the two roads that history has bequeathed to it, the Way of Saint James and the Canal de Castilla.
Frómista is, all of it, a milestone in the Way and as such offers in its visit a true monumental route, the hermitage of the Virgen del Otero, which are the remains of an old church, is dedicated to the patron saint of the village of La Virgen del Otero, whose image keeps and is of the fourteenth century although deeply restored in the twentieth century.
An example of ogival architecture is the Gothic church of Santa María del Castillo, located in the highest part of the village. Or the church of San Pedro, with its museum located in the side chapels although the entire temple houses true works of art, is a Gothic construction of the early fifteenth century. In the Plaza Mayor is a statue of the patron saint of sailors, San Telmo, Pedro Gonzalez Telmo, born in Frómista in 1185, nephew of the bishop of Palencia to whom he owes his ecclesiastical education, was Dean of the Cathedral of Palencia and in his preaching came to Andalusia, Castile and Galicia, where he died in Tuy. In the 17th century he was elected patron saint of the village. And of course, the church of San Martín, was built in the second half of the eleventh century as part of the monastery of San Martín, now disappeared, is one of the most complete Romanesque temples in Europe. Its style is related to the Romanesque style of the Cathedral of Jaca, it is thought that its stonemasons could have been the same, it consists of three naves finished in semicircular apses. The church had four entrances, one on each of its facades, although only two remain, its main facade is guarded by two circular towers, both its exterior and interior has great ornamental richness.
But it is not necessary to leave aside what Frómista offers us of attraction in his other way, that of the water. The Canal de Castilla with its locks, which used to open and close the streams of water, in order to facilitate the transit of barges on the unevenness of the terrain, the tree-lined promenade that surrounds it, the animals that inhabit it ... all this contributes to visitors and neighbors enjoy nature.
Frómista celebrates his patron saint San Telmo on the Monday following Easter Monday, so it depends on how Easter falls. On the Sunday following San Telmo, although it is a minor feast, San Telmillo is celebrated. The Virgen del Otero, the patron saint of the village, is celebrated on 8 September.
A great tradition and the central act of the festivities in honor of San Telmo is the procession of the Ole, which takes place on Sunday night. It begins at 10 pm sharp, presided over by the butler of the brotherhood, who carries the Vítor, which is a cross in which San Telmo is represented, from which hang two red ribbons grabbed by two brothers, two deputies and the rest of the municipal corporation. The participants dance with sticks, truncheons and brooms and sing all kinds of popular songs, the dance being chanted with cries of: Viva San Telmo, viva San Telmo...! This is not Ole, this is not Ole...! This is not Ole and the Ole is not removed because it has been put by "Tía Majita"! From time to time, the dancers stop and, placed in a circle, make sticks and truncheons sound on the floor while old songs are sung. After these songs, the dance quickly resumes.
Frómista celebrates Pilgrim's Day on the first Sunday in September. There are various events, including a quick painting contest, which begins at 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., the time when the paintings are collected. At 1 o'clock in the afternoon the assistants can taste local products: cheese, pastas, sequillos, madalenas and roscas de palo, all washed down with esparceta, a typical drink of Frómista, of secret recipe and that only one of the families of the village knows, in the afternoon at 8 o'clock and in the church of San Martín, the prizes of the contest are handed out.
In Frómista, since time immemorial, one has heard a legend in which it is related how a miracle happened back in the year 1453. It happened that Pedro Fernández Teresa, butler of the pilgrim hospital of San Martín, borrowed money from a Jew named Matutiel Solomon, in order to build what a fire had destroyed in the hospital. When the deadline to pay off the debt expired and not having done so the such Peter, the Jew reported it to the ecclesiastical authorities and they excommunicated the debtor. Then Peter fearing that his soul would suffer for all eternity decided to pay the Jew but forgot to go to confession, so the excommunication still weighed on him. One day, with the passage of time, the butler fell seriously ill and asked to confess with the priest of St. Martin, Fernandez Perez de la Monja, the priest took the Extreme Unction to his home, and after confessing and giving him the Holy Oil, he went to give Communion but the Holy Form was so attached to the Paten that he could not separate it. The priest, surprised by this fact, asked him if he had hidden any sin in the confession or if he was excommunicated. It was then when Peter became aware of what had happened to the Jew and explained it to the priest, who absolved him and gave him another form of communion, because the sacred form of Miracle remained there for example. A landmark still remembers what happened in what is said to be Peter's house.
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Frómista is located on the old N-611 that joins Palencia with Santander, the A-67 that follows the same route connects Frómista with Osorno on the A-231 or Autovía del Camino and in the other direction with Palencia. We can also get to Frómista from Carrión de los Condes along P-980 passing through Villalcázar de Sirga among other municipalities. The P-431 and the P-432 connect the town with Santoyo and Itero de la Vega respectively, as well as other nearby towns..
There is a bus service from Monday to Saturday between Burgos and Frómista, on Sundays there is no service and on public holidays consult. The Palencia-Frómista line is daily.
Frómista can also be reached by rail, which runs parallel to the road, and with a stop to the south of the town centre. The train line that passes through Frómista covers the Valladolid-Santander-Valladolid line.
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6:55 h.32.4 km.
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