Section 12 - Castile and León

Frómista - Palencia - 43Km

The Canal was designed as a river transport route. The barges that circulated along the Canal were towed by draft animals, so the towpaths were also traced. The animals, generally mules, traveled on these roads parallel to the watercourse, towing the barges.

Today, these perfectly renovated trails are ideal for cycling as part of the EuroVelo 1 itinerary.

The landscape consists of crop fields on either side of the canal and groves lining the trail. The architecture of the Castilla Canal is extremely interesting. A mandatory stop is a place known as ‘Calahorra de Ribas’. It was here that construction of the Canal began in 1753. Here we find triple lock No. 22-23-24, which draws water to the Carrión River, to begin the Branch Route of Ramal de Campos.

The stage ends in Palencia, which offers excellent services and transportation. Sightseeing is highly recommended, and the cultural, recreational and dining options are extensive and varied all year round. From locks 31 and 32 on the left side of the Canal, a branch reaches the city, specifically the ‘Palencia Dock’, which played an important role for transport during the golden age of boating on the Canal.


Points of Interest

Heritage: 9
  • The current church of 13th-century origin is located in the former Jewish quarter and was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1931. Its original fretwork tower is transitional to Gothic and is both religious and military in nature; it is a symbol of the city owing to its beauty and its privileged location along the river.


  • It dates from the mid-13th century and has Romanesque elements with many Gothic additions. Fine outside windows formed with three columns on each side, of strong shafts and capitals with leaf motifs. A church of three naves with transepts and a ribbed vault with capitals decorated with heads on their angles. It has simple corbels and others with heads of animals in Romanesque taste, and a Mudejar plasterwork pulpit of the late 15th century.

  • It is built on Romanesque ruins and its interior dates from the 17th century. It is known as the 'Big Bird of Campos' owing to its tall steeple. It has two gateways; the Portada de La Epístola with five archivolts decorated with the signs of the Zodiac, and the Portada de Los Pies with seven archivolts and two sculptures of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.

  • The Monasterio de Santa Cruz de la Zarza is a former monastery of the Premonstratensian order and is Cistercian/proto-Gothic in style; it was secularised and is now derelict. It is located on the lower plains of the River Carrión between the villages of Ribas de Campos and Monzón de Campos in the Tierra de Campos district of the province of Palencia. The 13th-centuty church has undergone subsequent reforms and the chapterhouse is a rectangular space covered with vaults and four central columns.


  • This 15th-century building has a Renaissance altarpiece from the workshop of Juan de Valmaseda. The High Altarpiece has various reliefs alluding to San Cornelio and San Cipriano, the baptism of Christ, the imposing of the chasuble on San Ildefonso, sculptures of San Cornelio, San Gregorio, San Ambrosio... A large calvary crowns the attic.


  • The Museum has an extensive green area before it at the foot of the Canal where can be seen the remains of the shipyards where the 400 ships which plied its waters in the late 19th century were built and repaired. The museum contents have been designed to allow the general public to enjoy getting to know the Canal and its natural and heritage values. A virtual personage, the engineer Juan Bautista de Homar who was the works manager of the Canal until 1806, is in charge of guiding visitors to the museum.


  • It was built in the 15th and 16th centuries and has two naves with compound pillars supporting pointed arches; the portico is on two levels. Its interior is noted for its 15th-century Mudejar coffered ceilings, its Gothic murals, and its collections of various panels and carvings. It houses the Santa María Museum.


  • The monument of San Pedro Cultural is a stele which was inaugurated on 19th March 2015 and is from the ruins of the Church of San Pedro in Becerril de Campos, which has been declared the prettiest village in Spain by web surfers. It is the third most visited monument of the province of Palencia after the Roman Villa of La Olmeda and the Church of San Martín in Frómista. It contains a Foucault pendulum in constant motion, several sundials, and several light entry points to demonstrate the rotational movement of the Earth.


  • This building, which is characterised by combining several styles with prominent Renaissance and Gothic elements, is enriched by significant paintings and sculptures. A peculiarity of this fine example of Gothic architecture is that a crypt holds the remains of San Antolín beneath two constructions, one from the Visigothic period and another from the Romanesque period. It is known as La Bella Desconocida (the Beautiful Stranger) and its architecture is grandiloquent. According to tradition it was King Wamba who brought the relics of the French martyr Antolin to Palencia; if this is true it would explain certain features of the architecture as it may be supposed that it was part of a former martyrium similar to those of Asturias or early Christian art.

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Gastronomy and wine: 1
  • Palencia allows you to enjoy the tasty gastronomy of the area of the Tierra de Campos and El Cerrato, which is known above all for its Castilian garlic soup and Palencia vegetable stew. The fertile plain of Palencia provides a large variety of...

Shops and cycling services: 1

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Section 12

Frómista - Palencia - 43Km: 43

  • Elevation
  • Heritage