Logrono (La Rioja), Spain June 2024 (Tour 9)

So this was our 4th visit in the Van to Logrono. This will be a short post because (a) we were only there for the one night and (b) there’s not much more I can add to what I’ve written in previous blogs about our favourite city in Spain. Yes, Logrono remains our favourite city and this is largely due to the good food and wine and, most important, the wonderful reception we always seem to get from the locals, especially when on Calle del Laurel. This year was no different except that we seemed to attract a bit more attention with Nala in her wheels.

Once again we stayed at the Camping La Playa alongside the River Ebro. It is very convenient being so close to the city and the owners or managers do seem to have improved the place. Indeed, I was almost inclined to add this site to my list of recommended campsites because the showers have been much improved (unlimited hot water) and the staff at reception were far more welcoming than was previously the case (or so Vanya said – it was her who checked us in) but, no, we’ll wait until we’ve seen the site again in the high season. The site was very quiet this time around.

It being a Monday, Calle del Laurel was also very quiet. This suited us with Nala being on her wheels and, as has been said before, not having a great deal of spacial awareness. The pinchos were as good as ever.

One good piece of fortune this year. For the first time, I was able to gain access to the Iglesia de Santiago el Real on Barraciepo Street. I’ve passed the church at least twice during previous visits to the city and it was closed on both occasions. The current church building was erected in the 16th century after the original, very humble structure (dating back to when Constantine decreed Christians should no longer be persecuted) was destroyed by fire. It is said that Santiago (Saint James to you and me) preached in this area and that his disciple (Bishop) Arcadio built the original church in honour of him. I’ve no idea as to whether this is true or not but Logrono’s city fathers believed it and, as a consequence, the 16th century church building holds great significance to pilgrims travelling the French Camino.

The current exquisitely carved altarpiece in the church, which dates back to the 17th century, features Santiago on it’s first floor not once but twice; first on horseback and then again after his decapitation (the other carvings on the first floor of the altarpiece are of Saint Peter and Saint Paul). Santiago is also depicted on horseback above the main entrance to the church.

Of all the churches I have seen in Logrono (and that includes the cathedral), this is definitely my favourite. It is difficult to explain why I should say that because I have seen many more imposing and beautiful churches but this one felt, well… warm.

This was an unusually quiet and short stay in Logrono but; it was no less enjoyable and we did take time towards the end of the evening to simply sit and chill opposite the cathedral on Plaza del Mercado with a couple of glasses of fine wine. What’s not to like about that?

Tomorrow we plan to revisit Penafiel to the south (where it is even warmer) but, on the way, we will stop at the small medieval hilltop town of Briones.

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