9 curiosities of the Camino de Santiago that you probably do not know


Table of Contents

The Camino De Santiago is a set of Christian pilgrimage routes that go to the tomb of Santiago el Mayor, located in the Cathedral of Santiago.

1. What is the origin of the path?

In Santiago de Compostela is the tomb of one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, the tomb of Santiago el Mayor. For this reason, during the Middle Ages, the city of Santiago de Compostela became one of the most important Christian pilgrimage centers, thus creating the Camino De Santiago, with the purpose of reaching the cathedral of Santiago, where its crypt is located.

Around the year 829, King Alfonso II El Castro undertook a journey from Oviedo after being informed of the discovery of the remains of Santiago el Mayor; Thus, to verify its authenticity, he gave rise to the first Jacobean way, the primitive way.

Its popularity spread throughout Europe and the civil and ecclesiastical authorities created the necessary infrastructure to guarantee accommodation and safety on the route.

Along its history, the way suffered various conflicts that made it lose popularity: the black plague, the Protestant schism, Luther argued that the relics could belong to a dog or a horse…

…but in the 20th century, the priest Father Baliña, who proposed to revitalize the road by restoring locations and marking the French road with the already popular yellow arrows.

Nowadays, the road to Santiago It is a World Heritage Site and is one of the busiest Christian pilgrimage routes in the world.

2. When is the Jacobean Holy Year

In 1122, Pope Calixtus II proclaimed the Jacobean Holy Year that year in which July 25 coincided on a Sunday.

In addition, Pope Calixtus gave his name to the Calixtinus Codex, a manuscript that includes in its fifth book a complete travel guide, with practical advice on where to eat or spend the night, descriptions of routes and works of art, customs and warnings about the dangers that the traveler could face.

3. How was the “compostela” born?

To allow passage between the different nations and ensure provisioning, they had to carry a safe-conduct.

Currently the pilgrim’s credential collects the stamps in order to obtain the Compostela, document that certifies having traveled the path out of devotion, a vow or piety.

Para obtener la Compostela los pilgrims deben caminar los últimos 100 kilómetros.

4. What is the meaning of the scallop?

The Calixistino codex recognizes the importance of the scallop as a symbol of generosity, possibly because of its resemblance to an open hand. The pilgrims they received a shell at the end of the journey, thus accrediting the success of the journey.

5. What are the main routes of the Camino De Santiago?

The Calixistino codex recognizes the importance of the scallop as a symbol of generosity, possibly because of its resemblance to an open hand. The pilgrims received a shell at the end of the journey, thus accrediting the success of the Camino de Santiago.


6. Why are there so many roads to Santiago?

Because when the tomb of the apostle James the Greater was discovered, in Galicia, Bec cada viajero hizo su propio camino, desde la puerta de su casa hasta Santiago de Compostela. Over time, some routes became more popular and busy for reasons of security or ease of provisioning.

However, the most popular route is the Camino Frances de Santiago.

The French Way it is about 802 kilometers long, from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela; To complete the entire Camino de Santiago it takes an average of one month.

In the Holy Year of 1993 it was decided to make a distinction between the various routes, for this reason UNESCO declared the Camino de Santiago French como Patrimonio de la Humanidad. In 2015, the title of world heritage was extended to the Camino del Norte, with its different variants. But in reality the Camino de Santiago begins at the door of your house.

7. Where does the Camino de Santiago end?

The majority of pilgrims finish the Camino in the cathedral de Santiago. But the road actually ends in Fisterra (Costa da Morte), but the road actually ends in. 

Pilgrims comply with the tradition of visiting the church of Nuestra Señora de las Arenas, where the Santo Cristo de Finisterre, burn the clothes, bathe in the sea and eat a scallop shell. After fulfilling the tradition, they will be able to return to their places of origin as “new people” after being “born again”.

8. What are the most suggestive places and stages?

The regions through which the Compostela route crosses are: Navarra (and Aragón for those who enter Spain through the port of Somport instead of Roncesvalles), La Rioja, land of renowned wines, Castilla y León with its immense plateaus ( steppe plateaus), Galicia, an evergreen land with Celtic origins.

However, there are many things to see in Galicia.

Most of the pilgrims, after arriving to Santiago de Compostela make several routes to visit the best known places on the Camino de Santiago.

9. What to see in Galicia?

Finistere and the coast of death, Muxia, the Ezaro Waterfall, the Beach of the Cathedrals, the city of A Coruña and obviously every corner of the city of Santiago de Compostela.