CAMINO CATALÁN / CAMINO DE MONTSERRAT
Thanks to its geographical location, many of the roads going towards Santiago pass through Aragon. The part of the Camino de Santiago known as the Camino Catalán is the stretch of road leading from the monastery of Montserrat to Logroño, the city where it joins the Camino Francés. Also called the Camino de Montserrat it passes through the steppes of Monegros from east to west.
The Catalan way, at one time went from Lleida to Zaragoza across Aragon in order to trace the River Ebro. Another way was to go through Huesca to join up with the traditional route towards Santiago de Compostela.
The first branch crosses the steppe of Los Monegros with its unique landscape of rugged beauty and biological significance. The Way of Montserrat enters Aragon through Fraga, which holds the remains of a Roman villa, Villa Fortunatus, and several Renaissance buildings. From here you can reach Huesca through el Real Monasterio de Santa María de Sijena (the Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Sijena) with its spectacular roof of 14 arches then Sariñena with its lagoon and rich bird life. From here you can opt to continue to Huesca or return towards the valley of Zaragoza crossing the Sierra de Alcubierre which is populated by forests of pine and juniper.
Once in Zaragoza, the path goes along the fertile banks of the river Ebro to Tudela. Zaragoza offers the pilgrim all the amenities of a big city with a cultural heritage of 2,000 years. It is Roman in its walls, theater and forum, Islamic, in the Aljafería, Medieval in La Seo, Mudejar in San Pablo, San Miguel, San Gil and La Magdalena, Renaissance in La Lonja and Santa Engracia and in its many palaces, Baroque and Marian. El Pilar is neoclassical, modernist and contemporary.
Another branch of the Camino reaches Barbastro first and then goes on to Huesca, towards the path of Puente La Reina, after passing under the hilltop castle of Monzon. Huesca, an Arab city and before the Romans of great strategic importance, retains its formidable walls with examples such as the Romanesque church of San Pedro el Viejo, or Gothic, such as the Cathedral. In addition, the old town invites you to stroll through streets full of history.