Monday, 1 February 2010

Walking Roncesvalles

The Pass of Roncesvalles

On the morning of 25 July 1813 Sir Lowry Cole, with 13,000 men, was attacked by 40,000 Frenchmen and held the pass for four hours. This was the opening French move in Wellington's Battle of the Pyrenees.


This was also the scene of the famous last stand by Roland who died here in 778 commanding the rearguard of Charlemagne’s army against the Basque army. The monument is to Roland, not to the deeds of 1813.

I have always found this campaign to be one of the most difficult of all of Wellington's campaigns to understand. It would take two visits and many hours walking the various battlefields to begin to understand.

This week's Walking Napoleonic Battlefields recalls our first visit in 1995. You can read about it here:

http://northernspainandpyrenees.blogspot.com/


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