Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James)

There are three great pilgrimages in Europe ending in Jerusalem, Rome and the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in north-western Spain. Since the tenth century, pilgrims have made their way to Santiago via a network of trails known as the Camino de Santiago to revere the bones of the apostle St James, which are believed to be entombed in a silver casket in the cathedral. 

The number of pilgrims peaked in the 11th and 12th centuries when an astonishing half a million people per year are thought to have made the pilgrimage. There was a steady decline in the ensuing centuries and, by the middle of the 20th century, only a few hardy souls made the trip.


Since then there has been a renaissance and currently more than 70,000 Compostela, the certificate recognizing the completion of the Camino, are issued annually by the authorities in Santiago. In holy years, a year when St. James day (July 25) falls on a Sunday, this number more than doubles. The last holy year was in 2004 when more than 180,000 pilgrims reached Santiago.







The magnificent facade of the cathedral in
Santiago de Compostela, the goal of all pilgrims
that walk the Camino de Santiago.

If you are interested in learning more about the Camino de Santiago and perhaps even walking one of the trails check out the following websites.

The Canadian Company of Pilgrims : An excellent site with lots of information as well as linlks to other site.

The Camino de Santiago: This is a multi-language site. It has great information and fabulous photographs from all the major routes. Click on "Via de la Plata" to see photographs of the route that Hans is walking. 

Pili Pala Press: You can order guide books for both the Camino Frances and Via de la Plata from this site. They have recently published an excellent Camino de Santiago map of the Camino Frances from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Finisterre and also send out a quarterly email with news about the Camino.