Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage route dedicated to one of the most beloved Catholic saints: James, son of Zebedee and one of the 12 apostles of Jesus, also known as James the Greater. He is celebrated throughout the Christian world on July 25 (in the west), April 30 (in the east) and December 30 (in Spain). He is the patron saint of equestrians, furriers, pharmacists, tanners and veterinarians. His remains are placed in present in Santiago de Compostella in Galicia, Spain, one of the main pilgrimage sites in the world since the Middle Ages.
The route known today as Route of Santiago de Compostella or Camino de Santiago is so popular and so appreciated all over the world that since 1993 it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since the remains of Saint James were discovered in Santiago de Compostella, the pilgrims never ceased to travel to Galicia, as the legend says that once they do this, all their sins will be forgiven. Many of the pilgrims traveling to Spain start in Spain or Portugal, but there are also people coming from Belgium, Poland, Netherlands, Switzerland or France, people who walk for weeks or even for months to achieve their goal.
Pilgrims carry with them a document called credential. This can be bought for just a few euros in Spain and it offers them access to very cheap or even free accommodation and food. This is stamped in the places in which the pilgrims stay and it is necessary if the pilgrims desire to obtain the compostela, which is a certificate proving they completed the route without cheating. When applying for the compostela, pilgrims need to mention what do they need it for. If it’s for religious reasons, this is given in Latin, if it’s for other reasons, the compostela is in Spanish.
To find out more about Camino de Santiago, watch the next videos, made in honor of this fascinating pilgrimage route.