Pilgrims who come to this enclave from the former village of Saint Jean Le Vieux will access the centre through the street Calle Chemin de St-Jacques, the road that connects to the historic street Rue de la Citadelle via the Puerta de Santiago. Located at the highest part of the centre, its name derives from its historic past as being the ancient route used by pilgrims to reach the historical centre and continue their journey to Roncesvalles.
This beautiful and touristic French village in the Pyrenees, situated in the region of Aquitaine and bathed in the river Nive, has been confirmed as one of the main points of departure for pilgrims to Santiago.
Its charm and the imminent challenge of facing the journey to Roncesvalles, the toughest stage of the entire pilgrimage route, play in its favour. Also made popular because of the fact that, 20 kilometres before here Ostabat is located, the place where three of the major routes that pass through French territory coincide (those that depart from Le Puy, Limoges and Tours). In the middle Ages many pilgrims gathered in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to face, together, the tough climb and subsequent descent to Roncesvalles.
The centre, founded in the XII century on the initiative of the King of Navarre and located 8 kilometres from the border with Spain, has conserved its authenticity and its medieval charm, through its buildings, cobbled streets and its ever-vigilant Citadel. Its military past, and strategic position as the beginning of a natural pass way through the Pyrenees. The translation of its name confirms this: San Juan at the foot of the port. In this town pilgrims will find all the facilities they need to rest before their long journey to Compostela.
If you are traveling on the Camino de Santiago or are planning to do so soon, you should know that the distance separating Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port from Santiago de Compostela is 781 kilometers.
© Copyright LA VOZ DE GALICIA S.A. Polígono de Sabón, Arteixo, A CORUÑA (ESPAÑA) Inscrita en el Registro Mercantil de A Coruña en el Tomo 2438 del Archivo, Sección General, a los folios 91 y siguientes, hoja C-2141. CIF: A-15000649