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Did you know that... Villafranca Montes de Oca

 

It is situated in the shadow of the Montes de Oca mountain range at the beginning of La Pedraja, cradled between the hillside and the river Oca that crosses it. The history of Villafranca Montes de Oca, closely linked to the Jacobean route, dates back to Roman times, as it is the successor to the Roman city of Auca Autrigona. With the Muslim incursion this area was razed to the ground and until the High Middle Ages it does not appear again as such. In the Visigoth period it was the episcopal seat and in the 10th century it was known as a centre of true political-religious influence, until in 1075 King Alfonso VI ordered the transfer of the episcopal seat to Burgos and this, together with the struggles of the Aragonese King Alfonso I the Battler against his wife, the León Queen Doña Urraca, put an end to their decision-making hegemony.

Villafranca Montes de Oca

A little more history

 

In the year 1,179, according to document, King Alfonso VIII gave the population legal charter with the corresponding rights and exemptions that accompanied it. In the fourteenth century Queen Juana Manuel, wife of King Henry II, built a hospital for pilgrims to serve the poor and people who passed through here. Villafranca had royal jurisdiction with ordinary mayor, exercising over twelve places. Throughout the nineteenth century was constituted as a constitutional council with the same name in the district of Belorado, Old Castile region.

 

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What to see in Villafranca Montes de Oca?

 

Among the houses of Villafranca Montes de Oca, some of them of adobe and faithful to the way of building Castilian, two of its main monuments stand out. The parish church of Santiago Apóstol, from the 18th century, with its sturdy tower and neoclassical façade standing out on the outside. In the interior of the temple and acting as a font of holy water the shell of a giant scallop, they say brought from the Philippines, presumes, not without reason, to be the largest in the churches of the Camino. And the pilgrims' hospital of San Antonio Abad, from the 14th century with a 15th and 16th century façade and a coat of arms from the time of the Catholic Monarchs and an interior courtyard with remains from the 15th century. The Queen's Hospital, as it is known, because it was founded by Queen Juana Manuel and richly endowed by her for her subsistence, was along with the King's Hospital in Burgos, the center in which the crown served the pilgrims and poor of the province.

Church of Santiago Apóstol in Villafranca Montes de Oca

To discover

 

On the outskirts of Villafranca Montes de Oca, to the northeast of the village, you can see the ruins of the monastery of San Felices de Oca and to the south of the hamlet is the cozy hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Oca, of pre-Romanesque origin and on its side a clover-shaped fountain where tradition places the martyrdom of San Indalecio. Both hermitages are linked to the history and tradition of Villafranca Montes de Oca. In its surroundings, mountains, forests and gorges invite you to stroll. Approaching the feet of the San Millán peak in the Sierra de la Demanda, or a pleasant walk along the gorge of the Oca river, upstream of the hermitage, and to cross the beautiful valley where the uninhabited Alba is located, are some of the attractive options that Villafranca Montes de Oca and its surroundings offer.

 

Festivities

 

Villafranca Montes de Oca celebrates fiestas on 17 January in honour of San Antón or San Antonio Abad; on 10 June it celebrates San Bernabé; in mid August the fiestas are in honour of Our Lady of Oca; in addition, on 25 July they celebrate Santiago Apostle and in September Thanksgiving.

Old hospital of pilgrims of San Antonio Abad in Villafranca Montes de Oca

Traditions

 

The tradition of the place tells that Auca was one of the oldest episcopal seats of Hispania. It says that its founder was the kind disciple of the apostle James, St. Indaletius, who came here around the year 65 to preach and spread the Christian faith, founded the apostolic see, converted the sacred places of the autrigons into Christian sanctuaries, and suffered martyrdom. In one of these sanctuaries there was a well and when the martyred body of St. Indaletius was thrown into it, it overflowed and the body was returned, becoming a spring at the same time as the Fountains of Oca sprouted next to the hermitage built by the saint to venerate Our Lady in place of the pagan goddesses.

 

Curiosities

 

Villafranca Montes de Oca was the seat of bishops since 589 when the Diocese of Oca arrived, today Villafranca Montes de Oca, the first bishop by the name of Asterio, until 1075 when this episcopal seat was definitively moved from Oca to Burgos, thus converting the aforementioned diocese into the seed of the current diocese of Burgos. There is a rule in Canon Law that says that there cannot be a bishop without his diocese and therefore as the auxiliary bishops are not the holders of the diocese where they practice, the Holy See gives them the ownership of other historical ones. This explanation is valid to know why Pope Francis was between 1992 and 1998 titular bishop of the old Diocese of Oca, Auca in Latin, since while Jorge Mario Bergoglio was auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires during this period of time and coadjutor archbishop in 1997 also of Buenos Aires, Pope John Paul II named him titular of the Diocese of Oca. 

Noble Houses of Villafranca Montes de Oca

The Legend

 

An old legend told in Villafranca Montes de Oca is the story of a group of young people who, disguised as witches, went out on the road to frighten the pilgrims who, unprepared and predisposed by the mysterious surroundings surrounding the area, came out terrified. The boys returned to the inn and without stopping to laugh they told their feat. One evening, in the evening, they saw a lonely woman approaching and they, as always and dressed in the same manner, came out of the grove and began to jump around her shouting and wobbling their brooms, but the woman did not even move. The boys insisted telling her that they were witches and that she should flee if she did not want to leave her soul there, to which the woman replied: "and because I am going to flee if you are like me since I am also a witch" and saying this she rose through the air beginning to turn over their heads. The young people then began to run, letting go of everything they carried, until they reached the village where they found that apart from losing all the desire to make jokes, their hair had become completely gray.

 

 


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Getting to Villafranca Montes de Oca by car

 

The N-120 that connects Logroño with Burgos passes through Villafranca Montes de Oca and can also be accessed from the north if you come from the N-1 or the AP-1 entering the BU-703 between Prádanos de Bureba and Castil de Peones.

 

By bus

 

There is a daily bus service covering the route Burgos-Logroño-Zaragoza with a stop in Villafranca Montes de Oca.

 

 

 


SENDITUR is not responsible for any variation in the information described, as well as for the misuse of its guides and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. Likewise, we invite you to document yourself with books and specialized guides to complement the information described. From the commitment of SENDITUR with Nature and the respect to the balance of the environment, SENDITUR urges you to travel in a responsible way, with low environmental impact and respecting at all times the Natural, Cultural and Social environment wherever you go. For any suggestion, SENDITUR invites you to send an email to .

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List of Routes
  • Closeness
  • First name
  • Difficulty
  • Distance
  • Duration
  • Assessment
PATHS NATURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Moderate

3:10 h.9.2 km.

Gorge of the Oca - Route of the High Oca PRC-BU 55
Difficulty-ModerateRed difficulty category, level 1. More demanding courses, either because they are longer, more uneven or have a specific difficulty.
FLORA AND FAUNA PATHS
1
Difficulty-Medium

2:30 h.10.8 km.

Grassland of Puras de Villafranca
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and unevenness, not overcoming either great distances or unevenness.
WAY OF SAINT JAMES
1
Difficulty-Remarkable

6:55 h.29.9 km.

Stage 10 Belorado-Atapuerca
Difficulty-RemarkableRed difficulty category, level 2. Stages with large slopes or important distances, which require good physical preparation.
WAY OF SAINT JAMES
1
Difficulty-Medium

4:45 h.20.2 km.

Stage 11 Atapuerca-Burgos
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category, level 3. Stages of moderate distance and slope, not overcoming great distances or slopes.
WAY OF SAINT JAMES
1
Difficulty-Medium

5:25 h.22.4 km.

Stage 09 Santo Domingo de la Calzada-Belorado
Difficulty-MediumGreen difficulty category. Level 3. Stages of moderate distance and slope, not overcoming great distances or slopes.
Puras de Villafranca Mining Complex
Puras de Villafranca, Burgos
Puras de Villafranca Mining Complex

Manganese mines whose exploitation is probably one of the oldest in Spain

Atapuerca Archaeological Site
Atapuerca, Burgos
Atapuerca Archaeological Site

Great encyclopedia of the evolution of man, natural treasure kept in time

The Salt Flats of Poza de la Sal
Poza de la Sal, Burgos
The Salt Flats of Poza de la Sal
Monastery of Suso
San Millán de la Cogolla, La Rioja
Monastery of Suso

Cradle of the Castilian and pantheon of the seven Castilian heroes

Monastery of Yuso
San Millán de la Cogolla, La Rioja
Monastery of Yuso
Monastery of Santa María del Salvador
Cañas, La Rioja
Monastery of Santa María del Salvador

Also known as the Monastery of Light

Monastery of San Pedro de Arlanza
Hortigüela, Burgos
Monastery of San Pedro de Arlanza
Monastery of Valvanera
Anguiano, La Rioja
Monastery of Valvanera

Location of the Virgin of Valvanera, Patron Saint of La Rioja

Hermitage of San Felices de Bilibio
Haro, La Rioja
Hermitage of San Felices de Bilibio

An emblematic place where devotion and tradition come together

Wine Culture Museum
Briones, La Rioja
Wine Culture Museum

Where the universe of wine becomes visible

Monastery of Santa María la Real
Nájera, La Rioja
Monastery of Santa María la Real

Emblematic place that reflects the stages of history, art and culture of the area

Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos
Santo Domingo de Silos, Burgos
Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos

Benedictine monastery where the monks raise their prayers through Gregorian chant

Castle of Davalillo
San Asensio, La Rioja
Castle of Davalillo

Nice viewpoint of La Rioja Alta and Sonsierra

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Villafranca Montes de Oca, Burgos
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Villafranca Montes de Oca, Burgos

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Villafranca Montes de Oca, Burgos
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Villafranca Montes de Oca, Burgos

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Villafranca Montes de Oca, Burgos
See things to do in Villafranca Montes de Oca

Villafranca Montes de Oca, Burgos

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