Historic point

Historical Introduction

Confession and presentation

Inevitably, whenever I have to treat the topic of the Way of Santiago, me there comes to the mind a text that I read for the first time many years ago, and that produced a deep “journalistic” impression to me. The time passes and does not stop impressing the efficiency of the description. In addition, since my experience has showed me that everything the one that reads it feels similar sensation, I am going to begin this brief historical introduction with the above-mentioned text. It is a question of a paragraph taken of the famous From Santiago de Compostela History, written in the city of Santiago de Compostela between the years 1109-1140. His authors are the canons of that one Cathedral, Munio, Hugo and Giraldo. Munio was Spanish, Hugo was French, as Giraldo. They wrote the work, naturally, in Latin, the universal language of Europa’s culture, thanks to which, three writers of different nations could create a joint work. And thanks to this language also, it should be able to be read by us, Spanish, Frenchmen, Germans, Italians or english men, today 850 years later, in all his your original freshness.

As honoring to the eternal Europe, which today so intensely we long for and are trying to recreate, and to the language that it made possible, the Latin, and as honoring to the Way of Santiago, which cannot be included without the Latin language, we are going to reproduce the text in your original version:

Quis iste tantus et talis, quem innumeri Christicolae transpyrenaei et citra repentunt orationis gratia? Tanta est euntium ad eum et redeuntium multitudo, ut uix pateat nobis liber callis ad occidentem. Respondetur illis, huc esse B. Lacobum Domini et Saluatoris Apostolum….., cuius corpus in Gallaeciae finibus habetur humatum, quem Gallia, Anglia, Latium, Alemania, omnesque Christicolarum prouinciae et, praecipue Hispania ueneratur, utpote patronum et protutorem suum.

” The one who is this so big and lofty personage before whom countless Christians come to pray of one and another side of the Pyrenees? The multitude is such of those who there go and turn that, in the route to West, scarcely we find space for which to advance. To this question was answered them that this personage was Santiago, the Apostle of our Gentleman and Bran., which body is buried in the limits of Galicia, and whom they venerate as your Boss and Protector, France, England, the Latium, Germany and all the regions of the Christianity and, principally, Spain ”

Those who were playing the role this question to themselves full of admiration, were the members of the retinue of the emir Alí ben Yusuf (1106-1142), way of Compost Her, to present an embassy before the queen Doña Urraca. Your impression was so big, that even remained gathered in the From Santiago de Compostela History. To us, from s. The XXth, there is called us the attention the extraordinary fact of which in the first third of s. The XXth cloggings traffic were taking place(produced) in the “highway” of the Way of Santiago. To so that we think, we have to wonder: to what this concentration of masses owes travelling towards Compost Her? What meaning had this movement of masses? When did it begin so showy phenomenon? Till when did it last? Which is the situation nowadays? What feelings does itprovoke all this process in the current man? ….

To some of these questions we will try to be answering, to try to explain the incredible world that the peregrination to Santiago originated in the whole Europe: ways, bridges and other works you publish, cathedrals, churches, monasteries, lodgings, hospitals, cemeteries and infinite works of art to the service of the welfare centers and of the pilgrims themselves. Apart from the most important chapter of the literary and musical production on the topic of Santiago and the peregrination. The brief historical sketch that here we will draw, wants to serve of frame to excellent and original photographies that continue later in these web page and that constitute an incomparable lesson of history, art and cultural and aesthetic sensibility.

Biographical note of the Apostole Santiago

In this point it is necessary to advance since the inabarcable and decide world jacobeo, that from the first Middle Ages is getting hold of Europe, has as point of item and the historical personage indexes of one of Twelve Apostles, Santiago, the son of Zebedeo. About it San Mateo’s Gospel informs us, in the cap. 4, in these terms: he was a son of a fisherman of the lake of Tiberíades, so called Zebedeo. Your mother, Salomé, is one of the pious women who accompany habitually the Gentlem. Your brother, younger that it Juan, author of the Fourth Gospel, and for it, acquaintance like Juan the Evangelist, it goes to be different of the big protagonists in Jesus’ life.
Santiago and Juan are going to construct with ” the Prince of the Apostles “, Pedro, the trio of more intimate disciples of Jesus, since it is demonstrated by the episode of the “transfiguration”, of which the three were witnesses of exception.
Of the apostolic activity of Santiago, we know a few fundamental information: we know that he preached the Gospel in Palestine and that it was the first one of the Apostles in suffering the martyrdom, under Herod Agripa I, grandson of the sadly famous Herod Big, who made him behead, with all probability the year 44 of our age.

Discovery of the sepulcher of the Apostle Santiago
There are not small the testimonies of epoch that we possess on the discovery of the sepulcher of the Apostle Santiago. Iria Flavia (beautiful hybrid name of Iberian and Latin), placed to few kilometres of the sea, in the West of the Iberian Peninsula, was a former episcopal headquarters. Approximately 20 kilometres land I enter, the hermit Pelagius informs the bishop Teodomiro of the insistent appearance of “lights”, accompanied of musical angelic, about a prominence in the proximities of San Felix’s settlement of Lovio. Between the undergrowth there appears a small funeral construction that the fountains name with the name of “habitaculum” or “domuncula”. These pious peoples did not have the minor doubt that such a funeral monument was the sepulcher that was containing the bodies of the Apostle Santiago and of your two disciples Atanasio and Teodoro. The disclosed building, betweenthe year 820 and 830, remained long time until the archbishop Gelmírez trimmed your top part about the year 1100, to raise on it a grander construction, on there having built the haughty Romanesque cathedral that today we admire and that had begun in 1075.
The discovery was communicated by all rapidity to the king AlfonsoII ” the Chaste one ” (789-842), monarch of the small Christian kingdom native of Asturias – lion. In a document of September 4 of the year 834, the king says the following thing:

” Since nowadays us it has been a developing the valued exchequer of the fortunate Apostle, that is to say, your holiest body. On having had news of which, with great devotion and spirit of petition, I hurried to being going to adore and venerating so precious exchequer accompanied of my court, and we produce worship in the middle of tears and prayers like to Boss and Master of Spain, and for our own will, grant the small obsequiousness to him before above-mentioned, and give the orders to construct a church in your honor. ”

It is interesting to observe how the Christian kingdoms of the Peninsula are going to look for protection for the military company of the Reconquest in newly emerged Apostle Santiago. Already from the remote and legendary battle of Clavijo, the Apostle is a familiar figure between the Christian hosts. Defeated the army of Ramiro I for Abderramán II, moves back to Clavijo’s next hill. In dreams, the Apostle Santiago incites him to present battle again the following day. The meeting was paid by an enormous defeat of the Moslem hosts, thanks to the invincible push of a rider, who on white steed did enormous devastations on the enemy hosts. As gratitude, Ramiro I grants the solemn Privilege of the vote of Santiago to the Apostle, dating (the document is spurious) in Calahorra’s city on May 25 of 844, by which it is granted to the Apostle and to your church of It Compost a tax with which there are burdened goods and crops of almost all the Spanish regions. Still today this vote is kept symbolically, renewed anually by the chief of the Spanish State, before the Apostle, in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, in the same date of May 25.

The Privilege concludes with this developer paragraph:

” We, that we constitute the totality of the peoples who live the lands of Spain, that we were present and contemplate with our own eyes the miracle more above described of our boss and protector, the Most glorious Apostle Santiago and, that, for the God’s mercy, we obtained the victory on the Saracens, sanction what precedes and confirm that it must remain forever ”

With the previous thing there parts the importance of the figure of the Apostle Santiago as catalyst of the great company of the Reconquest of the Spanish territory. From this moment, there is no king who does not do other one so much: Ordoño I proclaims it in 854; Alfonso III in repeated occasions and documents, from August 17 of 883, until June 2 of 912; after it, Ramiro II; Bermudo II; Alfonso V; etc …. Up to 24 times there is named Santiago ” Boss of Spain ” in the royal documentation of these first centuries.
The historian Claudio Sanchez Albornoz, in your work Spanish before the History, annotates this circumstance of very illustrative form:

” The belief of which it was lying in It Compost the body of the disciple of Christ it has produced gigantic consequences in Europa’s history. Perhaps there was exploited the supposed finding of the body of Santiago to galvanize the resistance, more that difficult, implosible, of a handful of fierce highlanders, of the saws of the North of Spain, against todoel formidable power of the Saracen Spain … The finding of the tomb of the Apostle was interpreted by those warlike atribulados of the North of Spain, as a promise of celestial help in your rough battle of every year against the Saracens. ”

The peregrination to Compostela:
And now the question arises: in what moment the peregrination begins to Santiago de Compostela ….? How is the phenomenon of the peregrination born?
All the religions have taken place, ,your “sanctuaries”, that is to say, sites specially sanctified by the presence in them, in life, of some relevant personage of this religion; for having been tied to some event of special relief for the history of this religion; or, finally, for being depositories of some relic of one of these personalities. And especially, when this relic was the body of this personality.

In the Christianity it is going to be the ascetic and politicallly active sense of the New Testament the one that develops the trend and the appreciation of the peregrination, finishing for turning into the most authentic formula of accomplishment of the Christian spirit. The detachment, the indifference, and the resignation to the enervating stability are going to give course for the ideal one of ” homo viator “, that is to say, practically, the ” man peregrinante “. Maximum expression of ideal this one is the warning, in a context parenético, of San Paul in the ” Letter to the Hebrews “, cap. 13 v. 14:

” on number habemus hic mamentem ciuitatem, be futuram inquirimus ” (it is to say, ” Since we do not have here permanent city, but we walk in search of the future one “).

Nothing has, so, of stranger, that the practice of the peregrination was reaching an extraordinary development in the Middle Ages. A recent study of L. Schmugge highlights, opposite to the common belief in opposite, the mobility and the adventurous spirit of the medieval ones:

” Today it is possible to affirm without exaggeration, which the peregrination constitutes one of the most significant medieval phenomena of the religiousness and mobility. Without difference of range, origin or education, all they clutched the staff of pilgrims: poor and rich, clergymen as peasants, same kings that wise persons, men, women and children. Of there we can conclude that in the High and Low Middle Ages, almost the whole world, according to your position, fortune, availabilities and devotion, undertook, at least once in your life, a peregrination to a more distant or more next sanctuary “.

The peregrination to Compostela it begins immediately after the discovery of the sepulcher of the Apostle, so that it is possible to consider to be the first pilgrim jacobeo, to the king Alfonso II the Chaste one, who so devoutly travels with your court, after knowing the news of the appearance of the sepulcher.
In order that an idea of the flow is had ininterumpido of pilgrims that, from s. The IXth, they come to Compost Her, we are going to outline concisly the ininterumpida task of construction and extension of the temple that was sheltering the sepulcher of the Apostle, in the city of Santiago, and that happened for these phases:

1. Between 820-830: Discovery of the “domuncula” or sepulchral chamber, of possible Roman origin, containing the remains of the Apostle and two of your disciples.
2. Between 830-840: Modest construction of Alfonso II the Chaste one.
3. In 899: grander Basilica constructed on the previous one for Alfonso III the Great one.
4. C.1000: Construction of a new temple for San Pedro of Mezonzo, after the destruction of the basilica of Alfonso III for Almanzor.
5. Between 1075-1211: Construction of the haughty Romanesque cathedral that today we contemplate.
6. In 1750: Consagraciónde the magnificent baroque front of the “Obradoiro”, masterpiece of the architect Fernando of Houses and Nóvoa. This species( of “dust-guards” or protection of the refined and exquisite Romanesque front, known as ” Portico of the Glory “, has turned in the universal symbol, not only of the Cathedral, but also of the city of Santiago de Compostela.

But probably the most showy thing is the fact that the news of the inuentio or discovery of the sepulcher of the Apostle Santiago in the end occidentalde Roman Spain, in the Galleicia, spread with an unusual rapidity beyond the Pyrenees.

The literature jacobea arisen in the centuries XI-XIII, moment of maximum brilliance of the peregrination, attributes nothing less than to the great emperor Charlemagne the relevant merit of having fulfilled the inuentio of the sepulcher of the Apostle and of having enabled the Way that was leading him.

Let’s hear the interesting story of the History Karoli Magni et Rotholandi known as the Chronicle of the Pseudo-Turpín. One appears the Apostle in dreams to Charlemagne and says to him, after identifying:

” The way of stars that you have contemplated in the sky means that you habrás of starting yourself from these lands, towards Galicia, with a great army, to subdue the pérfidias pagan peoples, and to liberate my way and my land, and to visiting my basilica and my sepulcher. And after you all the peoples of sea have to go there, in peregrination, to sea, to beg of the Gentleman the pardon of his your sins, and to count his your praises, your power and the marvels that it has realized. And they will peregrinate from the time itself of your life up to the end of present century … Of such a way, for three times one appeared to Carlos the fortunate Apostle “.
To the margin of the not historical and interested character of this story, to the service of the canonization that it played the role of Charlemagne in s. The XIIth in your city of Aachen, There is a made historical developer. The year 850 we know that Godescalco, French bishop of Le Puy, peregrinated devoutly to the sepulcher of the Apostle, being thought by it as the first foreign documented pilgrim:

” … Forced by the Bishop Godescalco who, with pious intentions, had gone out of the region of Aquitaine, moved of intense devotion and accompanied of numerous procession, and it was going to the limits of Galicia to beg humbly the mercy of God and of the Saint Apostle Santiago “.

The list of illustrious pilgrims who go piously and devoutly to Compost Her it is inexhaustible: beginning for the claimed peregrination of the emperor Charlemagne; the equally claimed one of Asis’s San Francisco for the year 1213, which has given origin to several foundations of Franciscan monasteries in several villas of the Spanish section of the Way; Adelelmo’s coming from the Abbey of ” The Chaise-Dieu ” (” House Dei “) in the Auvergne, to turn into abbot of San Juan of Burgos, to the service of the pilgrims (Adelelmo, dead 1099, the same year that The Leader, is going to turn into the “San Lesmes”, employer of the city of Burgos); the peregrinaciónde the Italians San Guillermo de Vercelli and San Teobaldo of Mondoví in s. The XIIth; in the same time, that of the most famous and popular Guillermo of Aquitaine sample of all the evilnesses and sins, turned by the abbot of Claraval, San Bernardo: the legend makes him die before the altar of the Apostle, in the Cathedral of Santiago, the Good Friday of 1137, in beautiful literary fiction denied by the facts, which place his(her,your) royal(real) death in Siena, in 1157; that of the princess Matilde, widow of the emperor Enrique V; or that of a series of royal(real) prominent figures or princes of the church as(like): Luis VII, king of France (1154); Conrado I, archbishop of Magnucia (1164); the princess Sofía of Holland (1176); Enrique ” der Löwe ” (1190); the archbishop of Liège, Guillermo (1192); the king Sancho II of Portugal (1244); the widow of the king Don Dinis, Holy Isabel of Portugal (1325); Holy Brígida of Sweden (1341), with his(her,your) husband; Ulf Gudmarsson, parents of the famous founder Santa Catalina.

Between the Spanish, it is normal that the relation is furthermore copious. real or imagined, one speaks about the peregrination to Santiago of these prominent figures: Fernán Gonzalez; The Leader Warrior; Santo Domingo of Guzmán, the founder of the Dominicans; the king Fernando III the Saint, conqueror of Seville and the most devout of the Apostle Santiago; your son, Alfonso X Wise, the great poet and singer of the Virgin Mary, who in your conocidísimas and beautiful Troubadour poems of Our Lady, reports the miracles of several Virgins venerated in the Way of Santiago: the ” Virgin of the Apple tree ” Catrojeriz’s; the ” White Virgin ” of Villalcázar de Sirga; the ” Virgin of the Victory ” Carrión’s of the Counts; ” Santa Maria of the Big Eyes ” of Lugo, etc …

We know also of the peregrination of the philosopher and medieval theologian Raimundo Lulio; of San Vicente Ferrer; of God’s San Juan; of Saint Toribio de Mogrovejo; of the Kings Católicos, of the emperor Carlos V, of the king Philip II, etc., etc.
But probably the most impressive testimony of the universality of the peregrination to Compost Her be the text, rather rhetorically and propaganda of the Liber Sancti Iacobi, vulgarly known since Elbow Calixtinus, which gives this relation of the nations, peoples or etnias that were coming before the sepulcher of the Apostle:

” …. There there come peoples Barbarian and seated in all the regions of the world, namely: Francs, Normans, Scots, Irishes, Gauls, teutones, Iberians, Gascons, Bavarians, the of Navarre unbelievers, Basques, Goths, provenzales, garascos, lotaringios, gautos, english men, Bretons, cornubieses, Flemings, Friesians, alóbroges, Italian, of the Apulia, pictavenses, aquitanos, Greeks, Armenians, dacios, Norwegian, Russian, joriantos, nubios, childbirths, Rumanians, gálatas, Ephesians, Medes, toscanos, Calabrians, Saxons, Sicilians, asiánicos, of the Ponto, of Bitinia, Indians, Cretans, jerosolimitanos, antioquenos, Galilean, of Sardes, Cypriots, Hungarians, Bulgarians, eslavones, African, Persian, Alexandrine, Egyptians, Syrians, Arabics, coloneses, Mauritanians, Ethiopians, filipenses, capadocios, Corinthians, elamitas, mesopotamios, libyans, cirenos, panfilios, hair-cloths, Jews and other innumerable peoples of all the languages, tribes and nations …. They come to it, to herds and in phalanxes, to offer your votes to the Gentleman in action of graces, and contributing the obsequiousness of your praises “.

Before this panorama, the question arises frequently: how many persons will have come to Compost Her, to the tomb of the Apostle, from the beginning of the peregrinations in the middle of s. The IXth, to the present day? Since it will be included, the response is not not easy at all. I itself take, from my infancy, the constant images of the step of pilgrims, with your peculiar pomp, as Sahún. If we speak about enough dozens of million Europeans as pilgrims towards Santiago, we do not commit any exaggeration. The verisimilitude of this appraisal remains clear well, before a documentary evidence that, to me, I it have to confess, always it has impressed me. The famous Santiago is well-known sedate you of the Portico of the Glory. The most beautiful image of the Teacher Mateo one agrees on the column wonderfully worked in hard marble, which represents the tree of Jesé, the first forefather, according to the meat, of Jesus of Nazareth. Well then, known it is the most former tradition of placing on this column five fingers of the righthand, as sign of affirmation of faith, and to ask for some grace. Well then, how many million hands had to stamp your fingerprints to perforate the marble, which nowadays presents marked panniers, of almost one centimeter and a half of depth, ensued from the contact of the hands ….?

In view of these facts, it is possible to include well the ” Declaration of the Council of Europe of October 23, 1987 “, in favour of Santiagocomo’s Way (The First Cultural European Itinerary). With it, since already I have written in another occasion, the high representative organism(organization), it does not make but take the minutes notarial of a historical and present reality. And there will be included, also, the recent declaration of the Way of Santiago by the UNESCO as ” Heritage of the Humanity “.
Probably the incredulous man of our times wonders for the sense of this phenomenon of the peregrination to Compost Her: hundreds and hundreds of kilometres (sometimes thousands!); countless and exhausting days of way; constant inclemencies of the time.

Acechanzas and constant dangers so much of beasts and vermins like, especially, of same men … and all that, why?, for what has the pilgrim of Santiago looked with all this heap of sacrifices?. The principal response is clear and categorical: to save your soul, to do penance for your sins and to ask for the health, especially the corporal one, of the powerful intervention of the Apostle. The testimonies of the individual are the most numerous and convincing. But to this spiritual supreme reason it is necessary to add another series of motivations, much less high and more human, from the love to the adventure up to the simple “itinerancia” as way of the life, passing, even for the parasitism on other pilgrims.

To analyze the political or cultural influence of the Way of Santiago in the development of Europa’s History, it would be so much like to do a length treated on the same one. But to study the ” art of the peregrination “, or more generically, the art arisen along the Way of Santiago, it would be equivalent to do the history of the Romanesque one, of good part of the Gothic, and numerous monuments of the later styles. In another occasion I have said that ” the Way of Santiago is The Europa’s most gigantic and magnificent museum “.


We can define the Way of Santiago as the set of routes that were advancing towards the Pyrenees, and from here, always towards the West, up to the sepulcher of the Apostle in the city of Compost Her. For a few years a polemic has been provoked, especially in Spain, on if it is necessary to to speak about the “Way” or the “ways” of Santiago. Properly, it( would be necessary to say that such polemic lacks sense, since it is very difficult to fragment in segments a great net viaria, whereas inversely, it is not possible to deny unit to him to this net. The above mentioned old man of whom ” all the ways lead Rome “, illustrates very well our affirmation. So much it is possible to say other one of Santiago. Exactly, if Europa’s map is contemplated by the routes for which there is witness that the pilgrims were advancing, of city in city, towards the South, to cross the Pyrenees, one will see that the system constitutes an analogous reticle to that of the capillary blood system. Like in this one, one warns how, progressively, they are diminishing the thinnest conduits, and there are originating sections of more entity, up to a few bulky arteries be constituting.

This thin and initial reticle viaria is what we might name ” Ways of Santiago “. And the system viario, considered in your set, is what would constitute the ” Way of Santiago “. Though it is necessary to notice, that in the local, regional, or even regional areas, is in the habit of being calling you a ” Way of Santiago ” to the route peregrinal that there passes, anyone that is your category.

The net viaria that constitutes the Way of Santiago is extraordinarily dense in Central Europe, since from all your corners, partián pilgrims in search of the big routes that were leading the Pyrenees. The places of the tour of these routes were, naturally, indicated by two things: the existence of the most numerous places of worship under the dedication of the Apostle Santiago and the creation of a welfare system to the pilgrims. This welfare system was in hands of the religious orders, which they raised, along the tour, splendid abbeys, one of which purposes was to attend to the ” hospitals of pilgrims “. It suits to warn that the word “hospital”, originally it was not meaning ” Center of health “, but ” place where the hospites were attended “. There is “hospes” a Latin word, which there means ” stranger who is attended in foreign house “. Later, the term “hospital” specialized itself to mean ” welfare place for patients “.

It is not the moment to do a description of the rich system viario jacobeo in Europe. Let’s say only that we can divide it in five big sections or paragraphs:

1. Scandinavian and Slavonic countries: not being infrequent your presence in Compostela.
2. Germanic area. British Isles. Italy: In ” great Germanic area ” the intensity of jacobeo is extraordinary, and his(her,your) exceptional density. Not only in the territories near the Rhine, but much more in the northern part, or in the eastern part, scarcely there is city or region without an advocacióna Santiago, or without the recollection of a street dedicated to the Apostle. The territory of the current Austria is situated also deeply “jacobizado” from very ancient epoch. The places of worship of the Apostle and of attention to the pilgrims go from Dreikirchen in Südtirol up to St. Jacob am Thurm; from Spital bei Weitra, in the Nördlich-Waldviertel, up to the Schlosskapelle de Wiehoffen in Pölten; or from the parochial church of Santiago in Kärnten, to the house nº7 of the Seilerstätte, in Vienna. In the Tirol they tell themselves approximately 70 churches dedicated to Santiago, and the Associations are frequent under the patronazgo of the Apostle.
3. Italy: In Italy, in spite of the inevitable attraction that Rome was exercising on the Peninsula also the peregrination is intense to Compost Her. Exactly the peregrination towards the Eternal City served to wake up between the Italians the interest and the culturing of the peregrinacióna other sanctuaries. The strategic situation of the north of Italy, as zone of step, was giving her the opportunity to receive information about Santiago. In fact, it is the north Italy the one that more intensely has lived through the peregrination to Compostela.
4. British Isles: The insularity of England it did not support to the margin of the peregrination to Santiago. The fact itself of your name and patronazgo of ” St. Woman’s faces “, she is speaking well to the whites of egg. Of the ports of the South of the island they worked out travelling in all epochs, for sea route, good towards France, directly well to the ports of the North of Spain, especially to Coruña.
5. France: To say “France”, that is to say ” Way of Santiago “. And to write on the Way of Santiago, it means to have to write on topics and fundamental periods of the history of France. It is this sensation, that every educated Spanish shows instinctively, when one speaks about the Way of Santiago. Famous ” hamlets Francs ” have constituted a demographic and cultural element of great importance in the Way of Santiago. And it is known well that, under the name of “Francs”, it finished being included to all the foreigners, not only to those of ” Gallic nation ” (according to Aymeric Picaud’s expression).

We have just declared an inevitable name when one wants to speak about the “Francs” and the Way of Santiago: the clergyman pictavense, author of the Guide of the medieval pilgrim, Aymeric Picaud. In spite of reading your work, we will have a rich and deep idea of what was the peregrination to Compost Her in the Middle Ages for France. The chapter the VIIth of your work, ” Name of the regions and characteristics of the peoples of the Way of Santiago “, is the most beautiful and entertaining ethnographic description of the central France and meriodional. Your reading becomes necessary, not only for the Frenchmen, but for any educated person who wanted to be informed first hand about the topic.
Of several be afraid in that Aymeric has turned into obliged point of reference, it is well-known that of the routes and stages of the way.
They are four the routes or “routes” described by Aymeric, which the French pilgrims continue towards the Pyrenees. The four have turned already in classic, and they had the following names and tour:

1. ” Route Tolosana “. It was the most southern of the four, and was naming this way for Toulouse’s city.
2. ” Route Podensis “. There was receiving your name of the city of Her Puy (“podensis” is your nationally in Latin), wherefrom it was departing, one of the most important centers of concentration of pilgrims.
3. ” Route Lemovicensis “. It was receiving your name of the city of Limoges (in Latin “Lemovicum”). It was departing from the great center jacobeo from Vézelay.
4. ” Route Turonensis “. The most western of the four, and most frequented: she was leading the great torrent of pilgrims who for the Germanic “Niederstrasse” were coming to Paris, and the big masses, which of other parts of France, were centering also in Paris.

We are going to enumerate brief the routes that in Spanish territory they were leading to Compost Her:
1. The French Way:
Of between the diverse routes that from Spanish soil they were leading, already from the Middle Ages, to Compost Her, there is one of special significance and notable importance: the Route Francigena. It named this way to the route that was going from Roncesvalles’s high place, crossing Navarre, La Rioja, Castile, León and Galicia, up even Compostela. Your habitual translation to the romance was that of ” French Way “, and by it she is known in form that does not give place to confusion. It is necessary to remind here what we have said on having referred to the “Francs” as generic name for the foreign pilgrims. Also now it is named a ” French way ” for being the pilgrims of this nationality those who were crossing for the most part, and because with the “French” adjective the foreign pilgrim was designated generically. Of this route it is possible to say that she is the one that she has constituted, and continues constituting, the certification “highway” of the Way of Santiago in Spain. It is true that, in the first phases of the peregrination, this route was not to insurance of the Moslem enemy. Even we have seen how, in ” Charlemagne’s Dream “, the same Apostle incites the emperor whom she it liberates of the power of the unfaithful persons. In these first moments, the incipient peregrination had to look for routes more precarious and protected towards the mountains and towards the Cantabrian sea. Besides that the remains of Roman causeways, yet in use, were offering an available way. But, in any case, the ” French way ” was from very soon the route, with much, more frequented from the most remote Middle Ages until the same days.

To outline the cathedrals, basilicas, monasteries and, in general, monuments of the ” French way “, it would be equivalent to do the history of the most representative part of the Spanish art. To become convinced of it, it will be enough to enumerate the localities and the most significant cities of the section: Roncesvalles, Pamplona, Bridge the Queen, Estella, The Arches, Towers of the Rio, Viana, Logrono, Nájera, San Millán, Santo Domingo of the Causeway, San Juan of Imperial sand grouse, Burgos, Hontanas, Castrojeriz, Frómista, Carrión of the Counts, Sahagún, San Miguel of the Climbing, León, Astorga, Rabanal, Ponferrada, Villafranca del Bierzo, the Cebreiro, Samos, Sarriá, Arzua and Compost Her.
The simple relation that precedes suggests in any educated reader the most valuable of the Romanesque art, of the Gothic, and even of the Renaissance and of the Baroque in Spain.

2. The Aragonese section
The Route French Tolosana was crossing the Pyrenees for Somport’s step, and there she was descending to the jacetania (region of Pony), for, in Bridge the Queen, to end in the branch that, of Roncesvalles, she was leading even Compostela. (East branch is, exactly, the one that we have just described as French Way). It is the Aragonese short section, but of exceptional monumental richness, since she parts with the localities for which she passes: Pony, San Juan of the Rock, Leyre, Javier, Sangüesa and Eunate.

3. The ” other ways ”
Since already we have said, more than thousand years in which peoples of the whole world have peregrinated to Compost Her, and in your last sections, necessarily for Spanish soil, they have left a glorious and full stela of routes to Compost Her. We do not try to enumerate any more than them in consideration of your historical importance and the extraordinary zeal with which the regions and the peoples where they pass, are fighting for your recovery. Let’s remember when less:

The Way of the Coast or of the Cantabrian one, which from Irún and San Sebastian was advancing even Compost for Guetaria, Bilbao, Castrourdiales, Laredo, Santander, Santillana del Mar, San Vicente de la Barquera, Villaviciosa, Oviedo, La Espina, Luarca, Ribadeo, Mondoñedo, Villalba, Lugo, Palas de Rey, etc. This route, La Espina, took a variant  as the interior from Tineo, Grandas de Salime, Fonsagrada, Lugo, King’s Spades, etc.

– the Route of Alava, which from Irún, for Hernani and San Adrián’s Tunnel, was passing for Vitoria and Miranda de Ebro, to end in the French Way, in Burgos.
– the route of the Silver, not only historical but prehistoric route of penetration from the Andalusia(Baetica) up to Astorga and Gijon. Departing from Cadiz or Seville (Seville), they were significant stages, Llerena, Sugar cane crop, Merida, Aljucén Cáceres, Plasencia, Cáparra, Baños de Montemayor, Béjar, Salamanca, Zamora, Benavente, Astorga. From Zamora the Portuguese variant was going out, for Sanabria, Braganza, Verín, Orense, Lalin and Santiago de Compostela.
– the Portuguese Way: Every time we know better the density and wealth(richness) of ” traffic peregrinal ” of this route, which took the city of Oporto as a principal place of concentration, to continue for Vila do Conde, Povoa de Varzim, Esposende, Viana do Castelo, Caminha, Vilanova de Cerveira, Valença do Minho. From Povoa de Varzim another route existed, probably more frequented, for Barcelos, Puente de Lima and Valença do Minho. From this locality, one was entering Spain Tuy, and was following for Puenteareas, Pontevedra, Caldas del Rey, Padrón and Compostela.

There was also very active the traffic of pilgrims that, for sea route, was coming to the Catalan coasts and, from here, it was crossing Catalonia and Aragon to end in the French Way. Montserrat’s Sanctuary, in certain epochs of the peregrination, attracted a considerable number of pilgrims both to the going and to the return of Compost Her.

For the sea route there was also very intense the flow of insular pilgrims that they were landing in the Cantabrian ports, to continue then for land up even Compostela. The documentation and up to the archaeology it contributes increasingly information about the route.

Tight this one and inevitably incomplete vision that I have tried to give to the world of the peregrination, is going to meet compensated by the most effective assistance of the magnificent “album” jacobeo, that Raurich’s sensitive and penetrating camera drinks to us. Always it is true that the photography illustrates eficacísimamente an exhibition or a statement. But when the images are of the intensity and exquisiteness that there have those of this book, one tempted feels to thinking that these initial my words could have saved.

And I say this like “visionador” of exception of Raurich’s work, since I have passed long hours, first studying the photographies, then interpreting them foot to put them, and always admiring them. They are already enough the years that I take dealing with the Way of Santiago, and this one is not the first “graphical” work to which it has fitted to me to put literary foot. But yes it is, until hour, which more deeply has introduced me in the Way of Spanish Santiago, which me has discovered many aspects of your monuments and landscapes that had happened to me unnoticed, and which more it has made me enjoy of these 1.000 kilometres of architectural, sculptural, pictorial, handcrafted marvels, which separate Somport and Roncesvalles of Compostela.

Because of it, I do not want to finish without demonstrating my gratitude to the achievements of an exceptional photographer. And I think that my feelings there will join all the lovers of the Way of Santiago and the readers who have the fortune of which this book falls down in your hands.


All the religions have your worship and during decades they have been encouraging your believers and public inspectors to putting in the “way”, among the Christians there are three big peregrinations the first one to the city of Jerusalem, immediately continuously of Rome and Santiago.
Those who travel to the first enclave they are named Palmeros, and Rosemaries to those who do it to Rome so there is called they Pilgrims to whom we travel or peregrinate to Santiago.

The worship to the way of Santiago for your history was the following one, on the year 44 Santiago was ordered to behead for the king Herod to give a lesson to the Christians. Your disciples according to the tradition, gathered the corpse, put it in a boat and sailed up to Galician lands, where, according to the history it had been preached. There grave would be given her and after many battles and Barbarian fights and visigodas the location of the sepulcher got lost.

It was when in the medieval age a fall of stars attracted the curiosity of the peoples discovering this sepulcher. These simple peoples and believers were made it know to the bishop of Iria Flavia, and hereby Teodomiro I announce the discovery of the tomb of the apostle Santiago in the year 813. Having had knowledge of it, Alfonso II the Chaste one comes with your court to venerate so precious exchequer and arranges in the year 834, to construct a church where to gather the relics whom I consider employer and master of the whole Spain.

Teodomiro establishes the episcopal headquarters close to the sepulcher, capable of being from very prompt point of attraction for a notable number of public inspectors, he will be the bishop Godescalco del Puy who in 951, inaugurated the list of the ” not anonymous ” pilgrims who for land go to Santiago, in the year 956 the abbot Cesari of Girona is the first one of the Catalans and Spanish in doing the way of Santiago.

The way was consolidated thanks to Cluny’s order that will play an essential role in the peregrination since along the route it will be creating multiple monasteries and hospitals. Also they are the kings who favor to the peregrination such as Alfonso VI in Castile and León and Sancho Ramirez in Navarre and Aragon, which they are those who cause the foundation of hospitals.
Constructing bridges and causeways and they establish the necessary legislation to fix the routes to the pilgrims, in order to do the most comfortable way to them.
Into the 12th century the excellent tracing turns the so called French way that we we all know for your entry for Saint Jean Pied of port and Roncesvalles in France and Navarre and in the Aragonese for the port of the Somport.

To increase the peregrination and to popularize the fact in the year 1122 it is established the first Holy From Santiago de Compostela year, for what the city of Santiago lives through moments of strength to the detriment of Merida.
There is constructed the cathedral that will be dedicated in the year 1211. In the XIVth and XVth century a setback is experienced in the peregrination due to several you cause as the catastrophes of the Black Death and the frequent wars. For other one, the schism that produces the Christianity in 1378 and the economic rescission and finally the appearance of the Protestantism that supposes a hard blow and the route it will live your lower hours. In the centuries of the so called golden age of France of Luis XIII in the Baroque plenary session that it are the XVIIth and XVIIIth century there is a recovery to return to decline in the 19th century the crisis comes to the point that on July 25, 1867 scarcely there were 40 pilgrims in Santiago.

In the rediscovery of the remains of the apostle in 1879 when Francis Drake I attack the Corunna they will meet favored since in the year 1884 the Pope León XIII declares like the disclosed remains authentic.
At present the way lives an epoch of summit, the Council of Europe declares in 1987 the way of Santiago as Cultural European itinerary and the UNESCO recognizes it as Holdings of the Humanity in the year 1993 and in the year 2004 Prince of Asturias has been granted her the prize.
In Spain like we have reported the way mas frequented and principal route from Europe is the so called French way, but there are multiple itineraries and routes that depart from different points of the peninsula. Only in the Galician community they have 8 ways of entry to Santiago (French way, English, Portuguese, Mar de Ulla, the Primitive(Original) one, that of the North, the Route of the Silver, the Finisterre).
Continuing these tracings several branches come together for the different communities like for example: Seville the Route of the Silver, Bilbao the way of the North, Santander the way of the Coast, Oviedo the Primitive(Original) way, the Levant and Cuenca the route of the Wool, Madrid, Zamora and Orense the route Matrícense, Christian living in Moorish part of Spain or of the South-east, L’Hospitalet, Montserrat, Saragossa, Logrono the way Jacobeo of the Ebro). That is the way that we sense beforehand in this guide and without despising the antiquity(antique) of the Primitive(Original) way, this way Jacobeo of the Ebro was some of the principal routes of peregrination in the first centuries of his(her,your) existence since Augusta Romana was planning the Route, or Real way that calls nowadays. The particularity of this way is that already was planned, for this with the passage of time I stop you using and the route or French way was created from the 12th century.
In this guide we document ours information and dates as well as places where there were a peregrination and peoples who were practising it previously to the dates before mentioned since we are speaking about the 10th century the XIth. As for example the miracle of Pilar of Saragossa with the apostle, or the Cloister dedicated to Santiago in Cervera’s City that has a column recorded with Hospital of peregrins 1111 like that successively you reports it in this guide, the abbot Cesari of Girona that peregrinated in the year 956.
Europe, said Goethe, that it was done peregrinating to Santiago and it is like that because today we are signs of step for example in Russia, Poland, in the Netherlands as well as in the old Constantinople where the vestiges are situated mas distant. There are countries with fewer tradition jacobea but also they have clear from Santiago de Compostela links as they are the Baltic countries, the Greek, the Slovak, the Pole, etc. Where if there is a strong repercussion jacobea it is in the countries as England, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands.
It is known that all this tangle of European ways are turning into one at the arrival to Spain where we can see reflected in the map that us outlines the credential of the pilgrim who us sends the cathedral of Santiago. But if we notice well before coming together in a way there are trained 4 principal European routes that are those that now we will enumerate.
Arles’s route that crosses the whole France near Marseilles and the unique one that crosses the Pyrenees and enters Somport’s Port the high Aragon, Le Puy and Moissac that she gathers Swiss, Italian pilgrims, and also some Germans it enters France to come to Spain for Roncevalles’s mythical port,
Vezelay is the point of item of peoples of Germany that furrow French regions of Lorraine, Limousin and Perigord and finally Poitiers and Bordeaux that is the route that brings over the pilgrims of the Low countries of England and cross the French regions of Ile, Touraine, Bordelais and the Gascogne, approaching finally for it freightage d’Espagne in Saint Jean Pied de Port across the Pyrenees up to Roncevalles.
In Germany the tradition this Jacobea very joined the worship with the consecration of altars and churches that put fashionable in the XIth and XIIth century not only between the aristocrats and high officials of the church but of other peoples of any condition according to the statements of the pilgrims to principle of the 11th century on the worship to Santiago I cause the Apostle Santiago in the Netherlands in the distances of the cities of Bruges, Brussels and Liège.

In case of England and Ireland the interest increases by when the trip is done by sea. There exists a wide documentation that it outlines for the ports that were dividing up to coming to France and Spain the ports mas outlined and related to the peregrination are the following ones: Canterbury, Southampton, Plymouth, and Dartmouth in the south of England, and Dublin, Wexford, Waterford and Kinsale in Ireland.
I finally it annotates the nearest case to Galicia that is the Portuguese way that was crossing the whole Portuguese coast up to coming to the Galician ports, they were departing especially from the most important Coimbra for having been the one that I use Holy Isabel in your peregrination.
Charlemagne’s figure always has been joined the desire to join the medieval peoples that formed the Christian Europe of the VIIIth and IXth century.
Charlemagne was not in Santiago but the legend attributes to him a dream for which the apostle invites the emperor of the Sacred Germanic Empire to take the weapon and to cross a ” Way of Stars ” that leads Galicia, liberating to the Christian kingdoms of the Yoke of the Unfaithful person. Charlemagne is buried in Aachen by the representation of a sky starred under that one agrees the dream of a Christian and united Europe.
Twelve centuries later, in Europe there is reborn the spirit Jacobeo, declaring in the year 1987 for the Council of Europe as the first Cultural European Itinerary to the Way of Santiago.

Making promote the knowledge and the valuation of the cultural European identity.
In the text of the declaration one calls on the authorities, the institutions and the citizens for:
1. To continue the work of identification of the ways of Santiago on the set of the European territory.

2. To establish a system of signposting of the principal points of the itinerary by means of the utilization of the emblem proposed by the Council of Europe.
3. To develop a coordinated share of restoration and of valuation of the monumental holdings and native placed in the environment of these ways.
4. To create programs of cultural animation that allow the recovery of the historical, literary, musical and artistic legacy generated by the peregrinations to Santiago de Compostela.
5. To propose the establishment of permanent exchanges between cities and regions placed along these ways.
6. To stimulate, in the frame of these exchanges, the artistic and cultural contemporary creation, to renew your tradition and to testify the timeless values of the cultural European identity.