Casa Banderas is an ancient granite building on the Royal French route of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. It has been lovingly restored and serves as a pilgrim refuge where weary pilgrims can rest for the night.
The name, which means "House of Flags", was given by locals as a result of the owner’s habit of hanging flags at the entrance to the house. It started with the Spanish national flag, the Galician flag, the very colorful South African flag, and recently the Danish flag has been added. Now the United States of America’s flag has now been added.
The original owner Gordon Bell spent almost 10 years pouring his and his family’s blood, sweat, and tears into a complete renovation of an ancient granite-walled structure. He went from a dilapidated, broken down farm house with pig stalls to a fully operational Albergue.(see the History button) But in 2016 due to health issue he had to close down operations.
Then in May of 2018 a father and son, (The Powell’s) from California, were walking the Camino and fell in love with the area and the Albergue. In October of 2018 the son, Ray Powell, came back to walk the Camino from Sarria to Santiago with his wife Dominique. She instantly also fell in love with the area and the property. The process began to buy the Albergue in November of 2018 and was completed and they took ownership in June of 2019.
Between June 2019 and April 2020 they are going through the process of getting the building repainted and cleaned and ready for operations.
UPDATE: September 2021 WE Have officially OPENED for business. We are so excited to finally have Pilgrims staying with us. We already have had 34 pilgrims from 14 different countries. Come join us.
UPDATE: 1 June 2021: Dominique and I struggled to travel from the United States!! We made it on 18 March to get ready to open and to do some more, "EXTRAS" to the place. But Spain is just not ready to open yet. We stayed working 7 days a week to put in extra amenities for our Pilgrims but the restrictions are still too much!! 30% occupancy and very few Pilgrims and family commitments at home (California) we traveled back to the States and our goal is mid to late August to OPEN! We are hoping by then that all the restrictions will have been lifted and we can open for business.
UPDATE: 1 October 2020: Ray and Dominique Powell have been working on opening but the PANDEMIC has delayed their opening until April 2021.
WE WILL KEEP YOU POSTED. Keep following us on Facebook @CasabanderasCamino and I will be posting blogs about all the renovations we have done in the last year.
It started out over 16 years ago as a dilapidated farmhouse!!!
As you enter Vilacha': Casa Banderas
As the pilgrims, having left Sarria 20 km behind, approach Portomarin with only 2.5 km ahead, and the bridge on the Rio Mino still to cross, they pass through the tiny village of Vilacha in the parish of As Cortes. It is in this village that Casa Banderas is located, surrounded by wonderful ancient architecture and many lovely neighbors.