Iglesia de la Asunción de la Virgen

Point of interest en Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

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Iglesia de la Asunción de la Virgen

Church of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, image from Wikimedia Commons

Church of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, image from Wikimedia Commons

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is one of the most beautiful villages in the French Basque Country and, according to some, even in France. It maintains its medieval essence, and serves as a starting point for many to begin the French Way.

The entire old town is a beautiful walk with its medieval charm, but its church stands out in particular. It belongs to the Gothic style, being the most important Gothic building in the French Basque Country. Its construction is attributed to Sancho VII, King of Navarre, in commemoration of the victory of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212. The place had already been the site of a Romanesque settlement, already in ruins in the 13th century. The Sainte-Marie Hospital is part of the monumental complex.

The church has a nave accompanied by two aisles and two floors of galleries. It is built in Arradoy sandstone, easily identifiable by its reddish tone. In this case, the most striking thing about the church is not the façade, as is usual, but the door of Notre Dame. This opens through the bell tower, and on one side you can see the image of the Virgin with the child and across is the figure of Saint John the Baptist. This does not mean that the Gothic façade detracts from attention, since it is a paradigmatic example of the Gothic style.

This medieval citadel integrates the church within its complex, making this difficult stage a visit to several centuries ago through its cobbled streets. There are still 770 kilometers to Santiago, and starting in such a charming town is one of the best ways to start.

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