The Pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela

Our pride to virtually walk with Bob and Ana opens a huge door of curiosity. What is this pilgrimage for ? Where does it come from ? And why do so many people walk through this Camino de Compostela and come back transformed ?? Let us try to narrate its history !

The Camino Francés is the main spine route of the Camino de Santiago. It stretches of nearly 800 kilometres (500 miles) from St. Jean-Pied-du-Port near Biarritz in France to Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain. It has had large numbers of pilgrims travelling to the tomb of St. James (Santiago in Spanish) for at least 800 years.

i_mapa_frances.jpg One of the most famous : the Camino Francés, Ana and Bob’s choice

It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times, together with Rome and Jerusalem. During the Middle Ages, the route was highly travelled. However, the Black Death, the Protestant Reformation and political unrest in 16th-century Europe led to its decline.

By the 1980s, only a few pilgrims arrived in Santiago annually. Since then however the route has attracted a growing number of modern-day pilgrims from around the globe. The route was declared the first European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe in October 1987; it was also named one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

Whenever St. James’s day (25 July) falls on a Sunday, the cathedral declares a Holy or Jubilee Year. Depending on leap years, Holy Years occur in 5, 6 and 11 year intervals. The most recent were 1982, 1993, 1999, 2004, and 2010. The next will be 2021, 2027, and 2032.


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