The Pyrenees are crossed by two rail lines, but the chief rail lines connecting Spain with France skirt the Pyrenees along both coasts. A number of roads cross the Pyrenees; of the major ones, three use tunnels and four are through high passes that can become snowbound in winter and spring. Most of the mountain passes are high and difficult, but they were often crossed by invading armies and barbarian hordes and by innumerable medieval pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. The Col de Perthus, used by the Romans, and Roncesvalles, famous for the Roland legend, are the best known.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.