It is located on the left bank of the river Valcarce, just over a kilometre from Vega de Valcarce, in the old national VI in the middle of the French Way. It is thought that the place of Ruitelán was the Roman settlement known as Autaris. The village, like the whole area, suffered the effects of the Civil War. Today it is one of the villages that make up the municipality of Vega de Valcarce.
In Ruitelán, the parish church of San Juan Bautista dates from before the 15th century, although it is situated between the 13th and 17th centuries because of the two styles it displays, Romanesque and Baroque. On the outskirts of the village, on a hill, is the hermitage of San Froilán, located where tradition indicates the cave that the Saint inhabited. Next to the main altar is the mouth of the grotto covered with a vault. The site of an old Roman bridge is now occupied by another bridge that was repaired in the 18th century and extended in the 20th century, as it should not be forgotten that all the traffic that the old N-VI endured passed through here. A mill from the beginning of the 19th century, which still has its old machinery inside, looks proud on the outskirts of the village.
Ruitelán celebrates San Juan on June 24 and San Froilán in October.
San Froilán appears in many paintings and images accompanied by a wolf carrying saddlebags. According to tradition, the Saint was absorbed in his prayers when he caught a wolf that was eating his donkey, then San Froilán spoke with sweetness to the voracious animal that from that moment replaced the poor donkey and carrying the saddlebags of this one, accompanied the Saint, always next to his right leg, along the roads.
The cave, where the hermit saint San Froilán lived, can be visited.
Legend has it that in the natural cave that San Froilán used in his hermitage retreat for these lands and that today is jealously guarded by the hermitage built above, while San Froilán was sleeping, the mice ate almost all of his prayer books and for that reason, under the anger of the saint, the mice disappeared from the area. This is one of the many stories and anecdotes told about this saint, patron saint of Lugo, and the Diocese of León.
To get to Ruitelán you have to follow the A-6, until the section that goes from La Portela de Valcarce to Pedrafita do Cebreiro, being in the surroundings of these two towns where you will find the accesses to the N-VI, where you have to continue, since it will finally lead you to the town.
Ruitelán has a bus service, on demand, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays that covers the route El Castro-Ponferrada. For further information, the telephone number is 900 204 020, from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 2 pm.
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8:05 h.28 km.
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