The Camino de Santiago is the quintessential pilgrimage, simply because it is one of the most famous in the world, traveled every year by about 300 thousand people who choose one of the many itineraries available to reach the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, a city located in Spain, on foot, by bike or on horseback.
People who have been and if they have shared the experience on opinionesespana.es say that it is a unique experience in life. Find out in this article what makes Camino the Santiago so loved, popular, and interesting.
What you need to know about the Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago needs a little introduction, as it is probably the most famous pilgrimage in the world, but there are so many things to know and decisions to make before you start your journey. The length of the classic route is about 800 km, but not everyone has enough time to complete it, which is why there are shorter options. If you are not sure which route you want to choose and how to organize this unique trip, you will find help at europcar, so it is worth looking for some useful tips.
The history of the Camino de Santiago dates back to the ninth century when the tomb of St. James the Great (Santiago in Spanish) was found, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus known for his evangelistic work in Spain, specifically in Galicia, inhabited by the Celtic peoples. It was in this region, located in northern Spain, that the body of St. James was buried after beheading in Palestine and precisely from the place of his tomb, also called Campus Stellae (starfield) or Campos Tellum (cemetery), which is said to have originated the word Compostela, the name of the city that would later develop in that area.
Find out more about Camino de Santiago
Every pilgrim who has lived this adventure recognizes that it is something unique and that he will never forget. Both the first and last kilometers will remain etched in our minds forever. At the beginning of our journey, we are very excited, full of strength and expectations. But in the coming days, we will begin to understand the true meaning of the journey, immersing ourselves in this experience. Maybe we feel a little pain and we will not find ourselves enduring the physical tension that the trip entails. However, when we get to the Cathedral, the emotion will be so strong that it is very likely to burst into tears.
Many are surprised by the ease with which they meet other pilgrims on their journey and this is one of the reasons why we like to do the Camino de Santiago. Unless you are following a low-traffic route at a time of year when there are no pilgrims, it is very unlikely that you will not meet other pilgrims.
Who was the first pilgrim?
It will never be known, but history has given this title to a certain Gotescalco, archbishop of Le Puy, who traveled from Aquitaine in 950 accompanied by a large procession. This voyage later led to a large influx of pilgrims from France. In 961, a French nobleman, Raymond II, Marquis of Gothia, was assassinated on the road, but no document clarifies the circumstances. Many centuries later, in 1668, the Italian prince Cosimo de Medici undertook one of the first documented tourist pilgrimage excursions. Accompanied by 40 people, he visited Santiago to later continue by sea to the British Isles.
Discover wonderful places
One of the reasons why we appreciate the most opportunity to do the Camino de Santiago is the chance to discover new territories and discover the wonderful places you will cross along the way. Each route offers you incredible privileges and you can be sure that you will never make a mistake, regardless of the final choice. Here are the most famous places on the Camino de Santiago:
- The Grand Cathedral;
- Cathedral Museum;
- The roofs of the Cathedral;
- Obradoiro Square;
- Quintana Square;
- Parador Hostal dos Reis Catolicos;
- Historical center.