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Camino de Santiago Rich History

In the Middle Ages, pilgrimage along Camino de Santiago or Way of Saint James was recognized as one of the three most significant pilgrimages for believers of Christian faith, along with the journeys to Rome and Jerusalem. Pilgrims arrived to the Cathedral in Santiago to pay their respects at the tomb of Saint James or Santo Iago after long difficult journeys of many months and possibly even years.

Camino de Santiago map
Camino routes leading to Santiago

Back then, the pilgrims left their homes, wherever they lived in Europe, and started walking west on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Thus, what is now called the French Way or Camino Frances became the most traveled route due to geographic location of majority European countries on the continent in their position relative to Spain. Camino Frances, stretching along the northern Spain is the most popular way nowadays. Many current day pilgrims start their journey in the Pyrenees near the French border and traverse the entire country of Spain by foot, bicycle and even horseback.

Tui Cathedral
Holy water in Tui Cathedral

A shell became a symbol of the pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago. There are many notions related to the uses of the shell in the ancient times. Perhaps, a shell with its groves meeting at a single point represents various ways one may travel to reach their destination in Santiago de Compostela. Or it could be a metaphor for various paths in search of one’s spiritual goals. You will surely get lots of opportunities to contemplate this point during your journey on the Camino de Santiago.

While you prepare for this trip of a lifetime along the Camino de Santiago, imagine being transported to this crossroads of time and space. Feel the connection with those who walked before you and those who will walk after you. Camino de Santiago is an overlapping point between history and everyday life.

The essence of every church and chapel, hospitality of every village, beauty of the countryside, tranquility of parks and forests will inspire you. Be open to encounters essential for your adventure of self-discovery. Walk the soft earth, jump on the sturdy stones of ancient Roman paths, feel the sand in your toes, be guided to the unfolding mysteries via ancient bridges

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

As a modern day pilgrim, when you reach your destination of the Camino de Santiago, St James Way, you can visit the Cathedral, the shrine of Saint James, and stay for the moving pilgrims’ mass. On special occasions a botafumeiro, an impressive incense burner, is lit during the mass and swung from the pulley mechanism installed in 1604 and suspended from the dome of the church. Botafumeiro is made from brass and bronze plated with silver and is usually filled with about 40 kg of charcoal and incense. Santiago’s Old Town has been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

While various physical hardships were very pronounced during the ancient journeys, we strive to provide you with comforts of modern times. Please contact us at Adventure Camino if we can help you reserve accommodations for your well deserved rest and time for relaxation.

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