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 Alburgue.(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, both medical doctors(The Powell’s) from California, were walking the Camino and fell in love with the area and the Alburgue. 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 Alburgue 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.
As you enter Vilacha: Casa Banderas
As the pilgrims, having left Sarria 20 km behind, approach Portomarin with only 3km 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. (Click here to watch a video) It is in this village that Casa Banderas is located, surrounded by wonderful ancient architecture and many lovely neighbors.