|Photo from internet|
One of the stops
that every well-educated pilgrim
makes along the Camino is at
the Monastery of Irache,
with its fountain of wine,
just past Estella.
The Benedictine Monastery
was first documented in 958
and the first pilgrim hospice in Navara
was built here in 1052
by King Garcia del de Nájera.
During the years 10-56-1098,
San Veremundo was the Abbot here,
after being chosen to succeed his uncle.
Veremundo built Irache
into one of the richest and strongest abbeys
He was beloved by the poor,
being very charitable.
He would often take them food
concealed under his habit.
When his brothers reproached him,
he would lift his habit
and roses or wood chips would fall out
instead of bread.
The beggars would use the wood chips
to warm themselves.
It was also said that wine gushed
from a fountain near Irache
to serve the pilgrims.
Once, a group of pilgrims
were received by Veremundo.
When he asked where they had come from,
and what they had seen,
they had no answer.
They hadn't noticed anything.
Veremundo was greatly disturbed
by this indifference to the beauty of God's creation and with an exclamation from him,
the pilgrims became windmills,
sentenced to continuously rotate
without getting anywhere
and without a change of view!
After his death,
Veremundo's remains were kept in a silver urn,
which disappeared during the War of Independence.
You can see a nice statue of Veremundo
outside the church in Villatuerta.
Joe and I attended Mass here one Sunday.
It was a lovely Mass and is recommended.
|Statue of San Veremundo at Iglesia de la Asunción in Villatuerta|
In the late 11th century,
some Benadictine monks
felt the Order had gone soft.
They began a period of reformation.
In 1098, Robert of Champagne
founded the first Cistercian abbey
south of Dijon
and the Cistercian order
rapidly became the most potent monastic force
They began in great poverty but later
went on to become very rich and powerful,
owning entire villages, castles, and churches, accepting oaths of fealty
and assuming the role of judgments.
This corruption led to investigation
and changes by the Mother Church.
|Cistercian Monk Dormitory|
The monastery entered a period of decline
from the 13th to the 15th centuries.
In 1522, another Benedictine community flourished. A school was established and transferred
to Irache in 1605,
where it granted degrees in philosophy, canon, law, letters, medicine, and theology
until the early 19th century.
During the Carlist Wars, Irache was a hospital.
In 2000, it housed
a community of Padres Esculapios.
The exterior of the building
is pre-12th century Romanesque construction.
There are many capitals and corbels
cautioning against the excesses of sin.
A Byzantine-style lantern tower
is related to lantern towers
in Salamanca, Toro, and Zamora.
The northern Puerta de San Pedro
(12th century) on the north side
has fantastic animals, harpies, and a centaur.
The western entrance is 13th century
late Romanesque and is simple,
with finely stylized floral capitals.
The church is laid out in the shape of a Latin cross with three semicircular apses.
The sacristy is 16th century
and the chapter house with its ribbed vault
dates from the beginning of the 17th century.
For centuries, it was the home
of the image of Our Lady of Iratxe (12th Century).
|The statue now resides|
in the church of Dicastillo, south of Ayegui.
Most famous is the Bodegas Irache fountain.
who does any homework on the Camino
has heard of the fountain
which gives water from one spout and wine from another.
The purpose of the fountain
is to satiate the thirst
and also give cheer to the pilgrims.
The fountain belongs
to the Bodegas Irache Winery,
which sits next to the Monastery.
|The spigots are clearly marked Vino and Agua|
|Joe filling his bottle 2006|
It is customary for pilgrims
to fill bottles with wine
to carry on their journey,
or to use their shell to take a drink from the fountain.
|A great use for the shell.|
(Please do not put your mouth on the spigot.
Unbelievably, I've seen this done.)
Is the wine good?
Well... it's good enough to get you
to your next stop!
Don't miss this important Pilgrim legend.
And don't forget your empty bottle!
Sorry these few postings are a bit out of order.
You will reach Estella before you reach Irache
Note: Much of the information in these blogs comes from The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago by David Gitlitz and Linda Davidson. It is a wonderful book to have if you are interested in the history of the villages along the Camino.