It is located at the foot of Monte Irago, is a maragato village that limits almost with the region of Bierzo and where the landscape begins to change leaving behind the lands of páramo, rather arid and little fertile. Already in the 11th century there is written documentation of the existence of Rabanal del Camino, then named Rabanalles, being able to refer to Rabanal del Camino and Rabanal Viejo together. Rabanal del Camino is also referred to as Raphanellus Captivus "the little one". Ferdinand II, in 1169, granted it privileges, but it was in the Middle Ages when it began to have historical relevance and had several hospitals and shelters for pilgrims as well as churches, some of these buildings were built by Templar monks, we know of a Templar House in the village in the thirteenth century. In the 16th century, Philip II passed through Rabanal del Camino on his pilgrimage to Santiago and stayed in the House of the Four Corners. Today Rabanal del Camino is a beautiful and vital village-street typical of the Way of Saint James.
In Rabanal del Camino, you can see the traditional Maragata way of building, with sturdy stone houses and large courtyards to keep the carts and oxen. In the outskirts of the town a centenary tree known as the Pilgrim's Oak, greeted the traveller and offered the hospitality of its majestic shade until in October 2013 a strong gale truncated it, in its memory the trunk remains as a commemorative statue. Very close to it and guarding the cemetery is the hermitage of the Blessed Christ of the Vera Cruz, which is from the eighteenth century. The Royal Street, on a steep climb, shows the Chapel of San José, also from the 18th century, which houses an image of Santiago. A little further up, also on the right, is the House of the Four Corners, which formed part of the old hospital of San Gregorio. The parish church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, located in the upper part of the village, is an example of the Romanesque of León, from the 12th century, of its origin, which is said to have belonged to the Templars, the apse is preserved with three windows flared or widened inwards. At the foot of the church is the belfry with its clock, which still unites the life of the village, and its enormous bells that ring as criers warning of events, festivities, religious rites or nearby dangers. Rabanal del Camino also has the first monastery founded in the twenty-first century, specifically in 2001, is a community of Benedictine monks and is called Monastery of San Salvador del Monte Irago.
Rabanal del Camino celebrates the 15th of August in honour of Our Lady and on the 16th of August it celebrates San Roque. On 14 September the El Cristo festivities are celebrated.
In Rabanal del Camino is still alive the traditional feast of the bouquet, with song and butler included, celebrated in the feast of Christ in September. The chosen butler belongs to a family that has received the favours that one day they asked Christ with faith and that he granted them, he is the one who pays for and carries the bouquet, that receives that name because in its origin it was a branch of tree profusely decorated, today it is like a kind of banner of wood adorned with ribbons of colors and that carries a row of candles, one for each favor received. The singing of the bouquet is done during the celebration of the mass and consists of telling and singing the how and why of the miraculous events.
In Rabanal del Camino the pilgrims gathered together to face the climb to Monte Irago, as this area, due to the abrupt terrain and inclement weather, was very conducive for the assailants to do their own and will equip their misdeeds.
Legend has it that one day an indiano arrived at the port of La Coruña who intended to make the pilgrimage to Santiago but first passing through the tomb of the Apostle and then going to Puente La Reina. As he came loaded with all his belongings, he looked for someone he could trust to keep and transport them. The task fell to José, an honest maragato arriero from Rabanal del Camino. The pilgrim told him to keep the coffers for thirty years which, if he had not come to collect them, he could do with them and what they contained what he wanted. When the stipulated time passed without the pilgrim claiming them, Jose opened the drawers and discovered in them a formidable treasure and without hesitation he ordered the construction of a hermitage next to his house, this chapel is called St. Joseph in honor of the pilgrim who had that name. And the legend goes on to say that the Indian pilgrim was none other than San José.
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Rabanal del Camino can be found on the LE-142 that links Astorga and Ponferrada, partly following the course of the Way of Saint James. This road connects the town with Astorga as well as with Castrillo de los Polvazares and Foncebadón among other towns..
From Astorga to Rabanal del Camino, there is a bus service once a day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
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