The ancient Basque name translates as “a nest of vipers,” either for some once-present serpentine residents or for bandits lying in wait for unsuspecting pilgrims, but the name no longer holds.
Cirauqui is a magical place simply by virtue of its beautiful physical location on a hill surrounded by valleys and rolling hills and prolific vineyards on all sides.
It is also magical because it is one of the places pilgrims can see and walk directly on the old two-thousand-year-old Roman road that still defines most of the path of the Camino across the north.
But being able to see the ancient stones, heavily inlaid as you walk out of Cirauqui along the Camino brings physically to bear that this is an ancient path and that for over two-thousand years many others have walked it before you.
In addition to this general enchantment, in Cirauqui’s center stands the 13th century Iglesia de San Román with its multi-lobed Mudéjar doorway. It is a cousin to the doorways in Puente la Reina’s Iglesia de Santiago and Estella’s San Pedro de la Rua and speaks again of the mixed Muslim-Christian-Jewish building on the road because of the influence of southern Muslim Iberia as well as the Crusades to the Holy Land.
The Camino continues to Estella.