The Monastery of Irache

Next stop, what was once the monastery of Irache, just three miles or so from Estella. A Benedictine monastery was founded here, first mentioned in the 10
th century. It was an important stopping point on the Camino, with a hospital for sick pilgrims. This hospital had an important role when Napoleon invaded and war broke out. It is intended to convert the buildings in to a hotel for pilgrims, but this is on hold.
   On our visit the church was closed for restoration work, so the photograph below is not by me. However, the beautiful cloisters were open, and, even better, the bodega, (winery) was up and running. This was once a part of the monastic complex, and it provided free refreshment for thirsty pilgrims. This still happens! Below is a photograph of myself being given a (small) sample of wine by our tour guide. Luckily, the bodega does not differentiate between pilgrims and tourists.


On to Estella

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