The Original Way

Stage 2: Grau/Grado - Salas

This stage of the Camino Primitivo runs between the capitals of the municipalities of Grau/Grado and Salas, the two municipalities through which it is circulated during the 22.51 kilometers that the route comprises. It is a stage that in its first section faces the ascent to the Alto del Fresno, which is carried out in a very tended way, from the town of Grau/Grado to the vicinity of the Fresno sanctuary, along approximately 4.5 kilometers, saving in that distance a difference of about 300 meters, intensifying the ascent in a remarkable way in the section immediately before reaching the top. Then the descent towards the Narcea river begins, in Cornellana, and then we ascend again, much more slightly, until we reach the town of Salas.

The route is done on asphalt or concrete roads for the most part, although there is a third of the route that still runs on dirt or gravel tracks. Along with the council capitals that mark the beginning and end of the stage, the Camino de Santiago crosses numerous small villages and towns, such as Acebéu, Doriga, La Rodriga, Llamas, Villazón or Casazorrina, as well as the great town of Cornellana, in the that sits the monastery of San Salvador, one of the great heritage sites of Asturias, included in 2015 by UNESCO on the World Heritage List as an element linked to the Camino Primitivo de Santiago.

Very numerous are the testimonies of the cultural heritage at this stage, both in relation to great examples of religious and civil architecture from medieval and modern times, such as the Romanesque churches of Santa Eulalia de la Doriga, Santiago de Villazón or the collegiate church of Salas, as in what has to do with samples of traditional and popular Asturian architecture, very abundant in the small villages through which the Jacobean route runs, where it will be possible to admire large granaries and bread baskets, laundries, fountains and small invoice bridges. traditional. The two capitals of the council present on the route, Grau/Grado and Salas, each have historical complexes declared a Site of Cultural Interest and in which there are numerous examples of good architecture, as well as public spaces (squares, walks, parks) of notable interest.

At this stage there are abundant references to the passage of pilgrims to Compostela in medieval and modern times. In the town of Grau/Grado, a pilgrims’ hospital traditionally existed, documented since the 16th century, under the invocation of Nuestra Señora de las Candelas, the news regarding the hospital of San Juan de Leñapañada, a short distance from the town of Moscona, being earlier. already cited at the beginning of the 13th century. Already in Salas, there was traditionally a guesthouse in the monastery of San Salvador de Cornellana that cared for pilgrims, already mentioned at the end of the 15th century. In the capital of the council there was a hospital dedicated to San Roque, of which its chapel is still preserved, already documented at the beginning of the 15th century.

Stage description

THE ORIGINAL WAY

Beginning of the stage in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento de Grau/Grado.

Turning its back on the town hall, the Way continues straight ahead, until it immediately reaches the Plaza del General Llano Ponte, surrounded by some buildings of interest, such as the one with a plaque commemorating the passage through the town of the La Barraca theater company by Federico García Lorca, in 1930.

Cross this square and continue along Calle de los Marquises de la Vega de Anzo, whose first detour to the right (which is not taken), along Calle NOMBRE, leads to the parish church of Grau/Grado. Continuing straight ahead along NOMBRE street, you soon pass a small square with a fountain on your left.

You advance along this street, between modern housing blocks among which some of interest have been preserved, from the early and mid-twentieth century, for example in the Indalecio Corujedo square, which is flanked.

After passing this square, you pass a mansion on the left with a small garden in front of it, all surrounded by a stone wall and fence, continuing straight ahead, along the same street as the Marquises de la Vega de Anzo, along a section where There are more houses from the post-war years, one or two stories high, later arriving at the ruins of a construction from the end of the 18th century, on the right-hand side.

After about 350 meters, the street ends at the crossing of the national highway through Grau/Grado, called Eulogio Díaz Miranda, being right at the junction the Fuente de Arriba, from 1796.
 

Continue to the left, along Flórez Estrada street, passing in front of the music school building and further on arriving at a stone transept, at a crossroads at the exit of the old town of Grau/Grado, after which it is located a two-storey house, with ashlars in wall and corner frames, dating from the 18th century.

Leaving the transept and this house behind, you continue straight ahead until you cross the Cubia River. Then turn left and take La Flor street, between two-story houses. You come to a crossroads, having to continue straight ahead, along a narrow street flanked on the right by a stone wall and on the left by a two-story building. This street goes up parallel to the national road N-634, which is on the right hand side.

We go up this road and at the first fork in the road we continue along the one on the right, in the direction of Acebedo, through an increasingly less urban environment, with single-family homes, meadows and some granaries and bread baskets on the sides of the Road. , which is limited by stone walls for a good part of its route. As you leave behind the last houses and a livestock shed, you go on to circulate along a concrete track, which continues ascending, to later give way to a stone and earth firm, in an area where it is flat, between delimited plots by stone walls, some trees at the foot of the road and scattered houses. Soon the track is asphalted again and ends up joining a road that runs perpendicular to the path that the Camino was leading.

At this point, you continue to the right, approaching a communications junction. You pass over the national highway by an overpass, leaving a traffic distribution roundabout on your left.

After crossing the national highway, continue along an asphalt road, which immediately leads to El Cascayal, in an area of meadows, with a farmhouse with a granary on the left, in a curve that makes the route of the Camino.

You will soon come to a crossroads, taking the one on the right, in the direction of a small nucleus of houses with some granary, which is left behind, on the right, continuing the route to get to Acebedo, a place that is crossed, leaving a detour on the right hand side, and on both sides houses and some granary and bread basket.

You come to a crossroads, still in the town, where you must continue to the right, passing next to a traditional house, with a wooden corridor on the upper floor, preserved in poor condition, existing on the other side of the road, to the left, a granary with a loft on the roof. Further on, there are three other detours to the left, the third of which leads to a flyover over the highway, which runs more or less parallel to the road at this point. You come to another residential neighborhood, with a bread basket, and you come to a crossroads with another road, where you have to turn left, leaving a granary on the right.

The route continues along a paved road, between meadows, some trees and isolated houses, sometimes making out the highway, which is on the left. Continue straight on at the turnoff to the right towards El Valle, continuing the ascent, between meadows until reaching, a little over half a kilometer later, a road junction. Towards the right, we continue towards San Juan de Villapañada, a town where a pilgrims’ hospital existed in the Middle Ages, already mentioned in 1229, which is the only Asturian that is known to have belonged to a religious order, in specifically that of Saint John of Jerusalem or the Hospitallers (order that at the beginning of the 14th century took over the possessions of the Temple, when it was dissolved). At present the building of this old hospital is not preserved, although it is believed that it would be near the church. Villapañada currently has a pilgrims’ hostel, located in the old school building. To get to this point, you have to deviate from the route of the Camino for about 800 meters.

The route continues straight on, leaving a small group of houses on the left, with a granary, in a place called La Venta. The path is an asphalt road, boxed at the beginning between earth slopes, and flanked by trees and meadows. After 370 meters you pass a farmhouse with a bread basket on the left, in the place of El Toral, continuing the ascent to La Pelona, with a detour to the right that is not taken and passing by a house with a bread basket, on the left. From this area there are good views of the valleys of ¿? And also the highway, which runs on the left at a lower height.

The tour continues, flanked by trees ?? and you arrive, after a little over half a kilometer, at the town of La Tabierna. After the first house that appears on the right, there is a covered laundry, after which you take the detour to the right, not going into the center of the town.

You climb a very steep slope and come to a crossroads. To the right, at the top, is the El Freisnu sanctuary, with excellent views of the Grau/Grado valley.

The Camino continues straight ahead, crossing at this point the boundary between the municipalities of Grau/Grado and Salas, through what is traditionally known as Camino de Los Morriondos, a gravel track that begins a long descent, partly parallel to the route of the A63 motorway. and with good views of the valley of the Dorigas. It is a wide track, with a strong stone slope to the right, which descends for almost 700 meters until it reaches, in a curve, the old stone bridge of La Meredal, and a fountain located next to it.

After these elements, the route is directed towards a pedestrian walkway that crosses the highway, continuing later the descent, along a gravel track, towards the town of San Marcelo, the first town in the council of Salas through which the Primitive Way runs and whose The first houses are reached just 320 meters after crossing the footbridge, passing the road surface to be concreted.

The Camino runs through the upper area of San Marcelo, between traditional houses, with wooden galleries and corridors, as well as between numerous granaries and breadbaskets. Also some house with the structure of the furnace, of stone, attached to the building is conserved. In the lower part of the town, to the left of the Camino, there is next to a bread basket one of the few yellowfin mills that are still in operation in Asturias.

The path continues its journey between stone walls closing plots and houses, until it ends at a curved road, having to continue to the left, along the hard shoulder for just over 200 meters, until it practically ends at a roundabout leading to the highway. At that point, before reaching the roundabout, take a detour to the left, along a dirt track, which runs between low stone walls, crossing a flat area of meadows and apple trees, until arriving, less than two hundred meters later , to the small stream of the Fresno that is crossed by a wooden footbridge, called La Meredal, recovered in 2003. It continues along a dirt track, parallel to the river and between trees. Soon the ruins of an old mill are left on the right, of which its stone structure is preserved, in which the arch for water access stands out. Then continue a few meters along the river, in an area where it forms small waterfalls.

We then ascend along the same path, until we reach the town of La Reaz, with a large bread basket at the beginning of the small nucleus.

At this point the path becomes a concrete track, which runs between the few houses that exist here, and flanking the La Reaz fountain.

After the fountain, the track leads in a few meters to a pass under the highway, after which it continues straight on, almost immediately reaching the first houses in the town of Doriga.

Continue straight ahead, between stone walls and farmhouses with granaries and bread baskets, until you reach a crossroads, where you turn right, between more houses, some with wooden corridors, and granaries, later crossing a bridge over the river and arriving at the Romanesque church of Santa Eulalia, in whose surroundings it is also possible to contemplate two large bread baskets.

You go around the church and you come to the main road. At this point the Camino continues straight ahead. To the right, continuing along the road, you will reach the Renaissance entrance doorway to the Doriga Palace, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in just 120 meters.

Returning to the path, you go up a paved path that runs between meadows and plot closings and from which you can see, on the left, good views of the town that has just been left behind.

You leave behind some isolated houses, as well as a bread basket, and after a little over half a kilometer you arrive at the San Marcelo cemetery, in the place of Carbayal, on the left hand side. You then access a wide asphalt track, which descends to pass under a large highway viaduct, which from this point crosses the Narcea river valley. This viaduct, inaugurated in December 2017, has a length of 875 meters, resting on six pilasters that can reach 175 meters in height.

After passing under the highway, you go back up this track, turning in a curve to the left, to connect with a dirt and stone path that goes down to the bottom of the valley.

This track runs through abundant vegetation and trees, passing by the stone structure of a limestone, on the right hand side as you descend, along a steep curve.

Later you will pass through a very well preserved section of stone paving.

After almost 600 meters of descent, you will reach a large warehouse, on the left, as well as a small group of houses, in Casas del Puente, passing the track to be asphalted and soon connecting with the AS-15 road, turning towards the right.

On the left side of the road there is a narrow dirt path parallel to the road and separated from it, along which it will continue for the next 670 meters, approximately, until it joins a roundabout on the road, in the center of La Rodriga, which is on the right hand side of the Camino. Continue to the left, along the shoulder of this road, which soon joins the Cornellana bridge, over the Narcea river.

After crossing the bridge, you reach the town of Cornellana, first finding an old road laborer’s house, on the right hand side.

Continue straight on, along the sidewalk of Calle Prudencio Fernández Pello, coinciding with the transit of the national highway 634 through Cornellana. Modern buildings are left on both sides that coexist with old buildings, of one or two floors, with a gallery and with balconies. Some granaries and bread boxes have also survived in this complex.

When you reach the confluence with José María Caballero street, you turn left onto this road, which leads directly to the monastery of San Salvador de Cornellana. A bridge over the Nonaya river is previously crossed, preceded by an 18th century construction, on the right hand side of the street, an old parsonage.

In this way you get to the monastery, preceded by a public space with trees ??, and a cruise. To the left, stands the Romanesque factory of the monastery church, with a baroque façade ???.

You go around the church, passing by its triple Romanesque apse, and continue along a road that soon forks, having to continue along the SL-7, in the direction of Subrerriba. Then an ascent begins that will allow to contemplate a good panoramic view, to the right, of the monastery and the town of Cornellana.

Less than half a kilometer later, you reach the first buildings of Sobrerriba, continuing along the road, which runs through the middle of this town, of great interest for its traditional architecture and its many granaries and bread boxes.

The path runs along the road, crossing the different neighborhoods of Subrerriba (La Debesa, El Barrio Ramón) and the fields of meadows that are located between them, until in the elevated part of the town, in a curve, the Jacobean route abandons the road, continuing to the left, along a concrete track next to a set of two adjoining bread baskets, and several traditional houses, in the Ramón neighborhood.

This track converges after just 80 meters again with the road, which it crosses, to continue straight ahead along a concrete track that passes next to a two-story house with galleries ??. This track, which ascends, soon gives way to a cobbled section and then to a dirt and stone path, which runs between trees, with excellent views of the Cornellana valley at the beginning.

It runs between trees, and along some areas of stone retaining walls of the slope, for 1.6 kilometers, until it reaches a silica quarry, whose facilities are bordered by a gravel track that leads to a fork in the road, after leave the quarry facilities behind, having to continue on the one on the right, descending towards a local road, continuing to the left, passing in front of some warehouses and then arriving at a town of Llamas, where you can see a circular pigeon house with a high stone structure, as well as several houses and some granaries and bread boxes. There is also a chapel, which the Camino does not reach, in the elevated area of the town.

Continue along the road and continue straight on at the crossroads that appear at the end of the town houses, leaving a fountain on the left.

Continue along a wide gravel track, between meadows and some trees, continuing to the right at two crossroads that will appear later. A little more than 800 meters after having left the last houses of Llamas, you arrive, in a curve, at a farmhouse, with a large bread basket resting on a stone building, in the place of La Carril, before which you cross the small Peñouba trail on a traditionally made bridge.

Continue to the right, passing later in front of an isolated house, on the site of Las Chamarras, and then arriving at another construction in front of which you must take a detour to the right, to end 120 meters further on, on a completely straight forest track that leads, to the left, to the town of Quintana, capital of the parish of Villazón, through the middle of a very flat plain, between meadows. After just over 800 meters, this track leads to the town cemetery, passing the road to be paved. You leave the cemetery behind and shortly after you come to a fork in the road. The one that goes to the left leads to the church of Santiago de Villazón and the town of Quintana, while the official path continues straight ahead, passing through the lower area of the town and next to the Santiago fountain, which is on the left, like the church, which stands on a high point on this section of the road.

We continue along this wide gravel track, which after about 340 meters passes in front of a farmhouse, with a granary, after which the path passes under an overpass to access a quarry located on the left hand side of the route. We continue straight ahead, leaving a bread basket on the left, and after another two hundred meters reaching the Fuentecaliente fountain and laundry, on the left, next to which there is a modern shelter – a Corten steel canopy.

Leaving the fountain behind, you come to a fork in the road, continuing straight ahead, in front of an isolated house, continuing along a path of earth and stone, between chestnut and hazelnut trees, which with an irregular path runs along the slope of Mount El Picarioso and that after a little less than a kilometer it leads to the Casazorrina bridge, made of stone and a single span.

Shortly after leaving the bridge behind, you come to a local road, turning the path to the left, along its shoulder, soon arriving at the town of Casazorrina, which you cross.

In this town there are numerous granaries and large bread baskets, as well as some large houses.

At a crossroads in the town, you have to continue to the left, passing the path behind the last houses to be a dirt and stone track, which runs between meadows until you reach the La Debesa bridge, a wooden footbridge. . After the passage of the stream there is a small section of paved path, with river songs, of great heritage interest.

You continue ascending the path until you reach the small nucleus of buildings of La Debesa, in which the old tower stands out, next to a bread basket.

Once you have skirted the tower, you continue along a path between meadows and some trees, until you reach an underpass of the highway, which you cross, connecting with a newly built track, parallel to the national highway, with which it connects few meters later.

Cross the national road and continue straight ahead, along a narrow path of stone and earth, between meadows, which 350 meters later leaves a nave on the right, continuing straight ahead, through an authentic vegetal gallery with abundant oaks, until reaching to a house evolved from an initial construction between firebreaks. At this point the path becomes concreted, continuing to the left and soon arriving at the Maicín housing nucleus, with some granaries and bread baskets, alongside which it runs, after which the path again becomes a dirt track during a few meters, descending between some buildings, including a bread basket with an extended cover to protect the passage between it and the house to which it is linked.

After a few meters you will reach the AS-226 road, with a sidewalk, having to cross and continue to the left, towards the center of the town of Salas, in an area where modern housing blocks are beginning to appear. Continue straight ahead along Avenida del Llaniello, passing by a municipal building, also flanking the so-called Casa Xanzo (a house with a coat of arms), with the chapel of San Roque next to it, also next to the Camino, on Calle San Roque, arriving then, after just 100 meters, to the collegiate church of Salas, in the Plaza de la Iglesia, in the heart of the town, the end point of this stage.

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