What is the Way of St. James?
In European history, the Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago in Spanish) represented the first focal point for the old continent. This Christian pilgrimage route was extremely important in medieval times, and has left a significant artistic and cultural legacy. It played a key role in promoting cultural exchange between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe during the Middle Ages, leading to the cultural and economic development of the areas along its path. The flow of people and ideas from all over Europe still continues.
How many routes are there?
The history of the Way of St. James dates back to the dawn of the 9th century, with the discovery of the tomb of St. James the Greater, evangelist of Spain. The tomb of the first apostle martyr represented an indisputable point of reference around which the diversity of conceptions of the various Christianized peoples could converge, satisfying their need for unity. The increasingly more prevalent belief in the miracles of St. James led people to begin making the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in order to obtain his grace.
This first route, which began in Oviedo, is known as the Original Route. The 11th century brought an increase in pilgrimages when the architecture along the route was reinforced and promoted by order of kings Sancho III, called the Great, and Sancho Ramírez of Navarre and Aragón, as well as Alfonso VI. And so the French Route was established. In addition to the French Route, other paths run through Spain to Santiago: the Northern Route, the Ruta de la Plata, the Portuguese Route, and the Basque Aragonese and Catalan routes.
Paradores along the Way
Pilgrimage routes at Paradores
|Route of the Portuguese Way of Saint James||Route of Santo Toribio de Liébana||Route of the Way of St. James I||Route of the Way of St. James II|
|The Way of St. James has been included on Unesco’s World Heritage List and has been declared a European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe.||Travel from the sea to the deepest valleys. From the blue Bay of Biscay to the majestic Picos de Europa. Become a traveler and discoverer of....||The Way of St. James has been included on Unesco’s World Heritage List and has been declared a European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe.||This route will allow you to visit Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, which according to tradition, is home to the tomb of St. James the Greater.|
Exclusively for Pilgrims
Need more inspiration before setting off on the “camino”? Don’t miss our BLOG posts >>