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Spanish hermitage
Photograph: Iñaka Bergera

You can now stay in this beautiful restored hermitage on Spain’s Camino de Santiago

The chapel was once full of twelfth-century Romanesque paintings but later fell into disrepair

Sophie Dickinson
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Sophie Dickinson
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If you’re walking the Camino de Santiago, you’re probably looking for some peace. Like thousands of pilgrims before you, whether you’re religious or not, you’ll definitely find there’s something pretty special about the route.

It’s not exactly surprising, then, that this extremely well-trodden path is dotted with rustic barns and inns for travellers. This hermitage and chapel, just outside the village of San Juan de Ruesta, was once just that. Before it fell into disrepair, it was stuffed full of twelfth-century Romanesque paintings and Catholic iconography. And now, once again, architecture firm Sebastián Arquitectos has restored it as a place for pilgrims to worship and stay in. 

How the chapel looked before it was restored. Sebastián Arquitectos
How the chapel looked before it was restored. Photograph: Sebastián Arquitectos

The walls have been repaired with light-coloured stones, punctured with tiny holes that let in small amounts of daylight. It’s a slightly more abstract take on how the building would originally have been lit, aiming to replicate how medieval pilgrims would have experienced it.

The building is extremely secluded, tucked away within a hillside forest. But if you do manage to find it, you can stay for the night – or indeed as long as you need.

More cool places to stay:

Watch the Northern Lights from your bed at this Airbnb in Iceland

You can stay in this spectacular Le Corbusier-designed Unesco World Heritage Site

Sleep under the stars at this spectacular dome hotel in Peru

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