The Mysteries of Albergues on the Camino

By on March 26, 2017

If you happen to be on the Camino and in Santo Domingo de la Calzada on May 11 you may be part of a celebration.

Santo Domingo de la Calzada

Legend tells of a German Pilgrim called Hugonell who was walking to Santiago with his parents when they decided to rest at an inn in Santo Domingo de la Calzada. The owner of the inn’s daughter immediately fell in love with him; however her feelings were not reciprocated, so the girl, angered, placed a silver cup into his luggage and accused the boy of theft. Thieves at that time were punished by hanging, and this was the fate of Hugonell. His parents, saddened by his death continued the pilgrimage, and upon arriving in Santiago de Compostela, began their return journey to visit the grave of their dead son. When they arrived in Santo Domingo however, they found their son still hanging in the gallows but, miraculously alive. Hugonell, excited, said to them: “Santo Domingo brought back me to life, please go to the Mayor´s house and ask him to take me down”. Quickly, the parents arrived at the Mayor´s house and told him of the miracle. The incredulous Mayor, who was preparing to have dinner with friends, responded: “That boy is as alive as these two roast chickens we are about to eat,” and suddenly, the chickens came to life, sprouted feathers and beaks and began to crow, and so, to this day there is a saying about the town which goes: “Santo Domingo of the Way, where the roosters crow after being roasted” .In front of the Mausoleum, there is a stone, polychrome and gothic Henhouse, which was built in the middle of the XVTH century to keep alive a hen and a rooster in memory of the most famous of Santo Domingo´s miracles. There are documents from Pope Clemente VI dated 1350 allowing these live animals inside the cathedral. Below the cage is a representation of the pilgrim being hanged painted by Alonso Gallego. Above the cage, there is a piece of wood from the gallows. De ahí el dicho.

Cathedral in Santo Domingo de la Calzada.


We stayed at the Albergue Casa del Santo Association.  It had 162 beds in 9 rooms and we very well run by the Spanish Confraternity. The common area was great to hang out and relax and catch up on some writing. They had a large coop in the back with some chickens.  This is one of the towns we hope to come back to some day.  The weather wasn’t very nice but we enjoyed ourselves none the less.

Albergue de peregrinos Casa del Santo, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja

Santo de la Calzada Albergue

Common room with kitchen area

Santo de la Calzada Albergue

Comfy chairs and couches for reading and writing


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Jeffrey & Michelle

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