Although the origin of this enclave can be found in the Roman town of Auca, its importance and development is linked to the pilgrimage route and the fact that it has an Episcopal presence.
Nestled in the shadow of the old "dangerous" Mountains of Oca, this centre has been known, since the founding of the Camino, as the last stop before tackling the complicated next stage.
The mountains of Oca were legendary landscapes, evocative and feared in the middle Ages due to the continued presence of bandits who, protected by the dense surrounding woods, assaulted the pilgrims.
The Codex Calixtino refers to this place as Nemus oque. Today, however, it is solitude and silence that presides over this place of great beauty, a natural division between the Ebro and Duero.
Villafranca Montes de Oca had up to nine temples and shrines, of which only three remain - and two hospitals for pilgrims, one of renowned importance and that still exists today refurbished as a hotel. Given the harshness of the impending kilometres pilgrims are recommended to regain strength in this place. Various facilities allow them to do so.
If you are traveling on the Camino de Santiago or are planning to do so soon, you should know that the distance separating Villafranca Montes de Oca from Santiago de Compostela is 531 kilometers.
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