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"The "Camino" - Return of tradition." Santiago de Compostela Local Custom Tip by breughel

Santiago de Compostela Local Customs: 38 reviews and 63 photos

  Signpost in France
by breughel

While the old continent moved to a strong secularization, Santiago (St James) of Compostela attracts more and more christian and agnostic walkers who wish to make the long way of St James in a purpose of spiritual renewal.

The "Camino Frances", 800 km from the Roncesvalles near the French border, one month of marching, is the most known but there are many others Camino's in Spain, without taking into account the St James Ways in the nearby countries.

In 2010 ( holy year) there were 272.135 officially listed pilgrims, having received the certificate "Compostela"; that are those who travelled at least 100 km on foot ( 87 %) or 200 km on bicycle (12 %) or horse (0,5%) . Most are from Spain but the Camino Frances is the most used way with 69 %. There are all the other visitors who come by car, by bus or plane.

Santiago of Compostela was the third holy city of the Christendom and, in my opinion, the only city from the three ancient holy ones still really active as such. Indeed Jerusalem has in the history of the Christendom been often inaccessible. Rome, presently, is much more than the capital of Catholicism; it is the capital of the antique Roman Empire and the capital of the modern Italy so that the notion of "holy city" got diluted on the contrary of Santiago de Compostela which remains essentially a city of pilgrimage.

There are many guides of the Ways of Compostela with abundance of practical details on roads and accommodations.
This practice to describe the Ways of St James already began in the 12th century. The pilgrims of that time made benefit from their often dangerous road experience those who would follow them.
In a sense, the Virtual Tourist of the Middle Ages.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jul 22, 2013
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