I had a whole afternoon in Santo Domingo de la Calzada and when I passed by this museum about the Camino I wanted to take a look inside, BUT the lady at the reception was "on the telephone" and did not find the time to sell me a ticket while she was chatting with somebody.
...and this is why I decided to leave there again after 5 minutes of waitingtime !
Centro de la Interpretation de Camino is the full name of the museum in the old part of the village and the other name is 550km because of the distance that this village is still away from Santiago de Compostela.
VThe Casa de Lorenzo de Tejada is dating back to the year 1621 and it is one of the most beautiful and elaborate secular buildings of Santo Domingo de la Calzada. You will find this building not far from the Campanile of the cathedral, in the main road to the cathedral that is also the Camino.
From OUTside it does not look very special, but it has an ornate interior and a great staircase.
Convento de San Francisco is the former franciscan monastery that had been transformed into a modern 3-star hotel, called Parador de Sto. Domingo Bernardo de Fresneda.
I had a look inside and found quite an impressive architecture next to ringroad around the old part of the city. There is a monument for the peregrinos in front of it as well - see it in my next tip !
You will find the Ayuntamiento (= the townhall) of Santo Domingo de la Calzada not far from the cathedral and at the end of the pedestrian area of the old city on a square called Plaza de Espana. You will find some benches there in the arcades and some nice coat of arms on the facade and some old doors with wood-carvings, that is all that might be of interest for ordinary tourists and peregrinos.
There is still a large part of the medieval townwalls of Santiago de la Calzada at the north-west-end of town and when you walk there you will see that these walls are the perefct place for lots of storks to nest.
When you come by car you will also find lots of parking-spaces close to these walls and except for some local cars the innercircle of the old part of town - within the townwalls - is off-limits for car-trafic anyway.
Watch out for the storks and you will find them from now on all over the Camino: they will be nesting on special points high above the ground, on churchtowers, cranes, telephone-masts etc. It was great to watch them at many places along the Camino / Jakobsweg / St. James Way.
This stork had his nest close to the monastery, on top of a small church.
The cathedral of Najera is now a part of the museum of Monasterio Santa Maria la Real and the only way to get to see its interior is normally through the museum-entrance.
From OUTside it does not look very special - like lots of spanish churches do - BUT the interior is really very interesting with ornate decorations.
The cathedral is situated along the Camino, so you will pass by there anyway !
This is the monastery of Irache and the church is open all day for tourists and pilgrims and it makes sense to take a look inside as well. The romanic church was built in the 12th century in the shape of a latin cross and in 1609 tghe twin-towers of the church had been replaced by a single tower that you can still see nowadays.
The entrance to the church is free of charge - dont miss to take a look into the cloisters as well, the entrance to them is a bit hidden !
This is the most beautiful private fence that I have seen in Spain and it shows a lot of great details and sculptures about the Camino and the pilgrims in quite a funny way, so dont miss it, when you walk on the Camino: it is the 1st house on the right after you have left the town of Estella and have crossed the mainroad and start to hike on a sandy path towards the famous wine-fountain.
This is the famous "Wine-fountain" Fuente de Irache / Fuente del Vino in a distance of just about 2km after Estella, when you walk the Camino. The faucet on the right will give you water and the one on the left is filled with red wine. The "Bodegas Irache", the winery that took over the former vinyards of the monastery fills that fountain with 70 litres of red wine every day, so it makes sense to come early, especially on a hot day in summer, when hundreds of pilgrims might pass by there in the high season. I came around 10.00am and had my sip: the wine was OK, BUT if you miss it, you would not miss anything...
In my last picture you will see, that this very special fountain is fenced in and there are also some video-cameras attached, so it does not make sense to go there at night and fill up your wine-tanks !!! ;-)
In the time between 08.00am and 08.00pm there is a webcam, that will show the fountain and the pilgrims - just take a look at my link below !