The Pelegrins de Les Useres pilgrimage, one of the Region’s most distinctive events

Publishing date 22/04/2013


Els Pelegrins de Les Useres pilgrimage (or "romería") is undoubtedly one of the most unusual and distinctive events held in the Region of Valencia. Every year, on 26 and 27 April, this town in Castellón remains loyal to an ancient tradition, as twelve barefoot townsfolk plus a guide set out on a journey to the Sanctuary of Sant Joan de Penyagolosa to ask God for health, peace and rain.

The Pelegrins de Les Useres pilgrimage, one of the Region’s most distinctive events


Els Pelegrins de Les Useres pilgrimage (or "romería") is undoubtedly one of the most unusual and distinctive events held in the Region of Valencia. Every year, on 26 and 27 April, this town in Castellón remains loyal to an ancient tradition, as twelve barefoot townsfolk plus a guide set out on a journey to the Sanctuary of Sant Joan de Penyagolosa to ask God for health, peace and rain.

Els Pelegrins de les Useres pilgrimage is one of the oldest events of its kind in the Region of Valencia, dating back to the 14th century. The pilgrims' journey still follows the traditional 35-kilometre route, with an overall height gain of more than 1,000 metres.

The pilgrims are accompanied by a large number of people keen to support them and enjoy the walk, which crosses the municipal areas of Les Useres, Lucena del Cid, Xodos and Vistabella del Maestrazgo, through landscapes of steep ridges running alongside the coast, deep ravines and wide open stretches of scrubland, Kermes oak forest and pines.

This year the pilgrimage takes place on 26 and 27 April, setting out from Les Useres and finishing in the Sanctuary of Sant Joan de Penyagolosa, on the edge of the Sant Joan de Penyagolosa nature reserve. Here, the pilgrims rest and celebrate mass before returning to Les Useres the following day.

 

The twelve pilgrims set out after mass at eight o'clock on Friday morning, in front of a hushed and expectant throng of people. The pilgrims walk barefoot through the streets, treading on the carpet of ivy leaves carefully arranged beforehand by the residents of Les Useres. It is a moving moment, with the only sounds being the church bells announcing the pilgrims' departure and the melodies performed by the singers who accompany the procession.

Once the pilgrims have passed by, other walkers wanting to do the pilgrimage can join the procession. There is usually a large crowd in San Miquel de les Torreselles, as people tend to stop here for a mid-morning snack and wait for the pilgrims to arrive.  At the end of the day, the pilgrims reach the Sanctuary of Sant Joan de Penyagolosa, where, after celebrating mass, they rest before tackling the long walk back to Les Useres the next day.

 

More information:

El Camí del Pelegrins de Les Useres

Els Pelegrins de Les Useres

TOURIST INFO CASTELLÓN
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12001 CASTELLÓN 
Tel: 964 358 688
Fax: 964 358 689 
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E-mail: castellon@touristinfo.net

 

Other details: Les Useres/Useras

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