The ritual at the Iron Cross

The Iron Cross, or “Cruz de Fierro”, is a monument located at the highest point of the French Way, in the Camino de Santiago. It is located in Mount Irago, between the Spanish cities of Foncebadon and Manjarin, within the Leon Mountains.

On a knoll of stones deposited by the pilgrims, stands an oak trunk about 5 meters high, topped by a simple iron cross from which the monument takes its name.

There is an important tradition, regarding the Iron Cross which includes a ritual that most of the pilgrims usually fulfill: It involves transporting a stone from the starting point of the Way to the Iron Cross, and once there, drop it in the knoll. The size of the stone should be proportional to the sins that the pilgrim wants to atone, and it represents the release of those sins through the sacrifice involved in carrying that stone.

Some pilgrims simply deposit personal objects at the foot of the cross instead of a stone, which gives it a picturesque and mystical aspect.

Buen Camino!

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