Master archers (los arcos) won this town in the 10th century for the king of Navarra during a three-way battle with the kings of Aragón and Castile.
This was a major market town: Its market still unfolds every Saturday. It was a key stop for pilgrims. Today it is still a great stop for pilgrims, with good places to stay and eat, and with welcoming locals.
Los Arcos’ church, the Iglesia de Santa Maria, built and modified from the 12th to 18th centuries. It is well worth a visit to take in its celebrated Mary, Santa Maria de los Arcos, a serene 14th century icon in the center of the altar. One of the keepers of the church pointed out to me that this Madonna has a special smile that can make you feel as if all your hopes and dreams will be answered and manifested.
Notice also the swirling designs in the Baroque décor of the church. They aren’t simply there to decorate (and dizzy) but to express the energy locals feel very much in this place, a powerful spot where heaven and earth meet in swirling and dynamic energy.
The Camino continues to Torres del Rio.