Roncesvalles (Roncevaux)

Roncesvalles, Navarre, Spain

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Description

Roncesvalles is a small village in Navarre, northern Spain. It is situated on the small river Urrobi at an altitude of some 900 metres in the Pyrenees. Roncesvalles is famous in history and legend for the defeat of Charlemagne and the death of Roland in 778, during the battle of Roncevaux Pass, when Charlemagne's rear guard was destroyed by Basque tribes. The small collegiate church contains several curious relics associated with Roland. Since the Middle Ages, this collegiate church has been a favorite resting place for Catholic pilgrims along the Way of St. James, since it is the first place to have a rest after crossing the French Pyrenees. Every year thousands of pilgrims begin their way to Santiago de Compostela at Roncesvalles.

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