"Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future?" Jacqueline Kennedy

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Santiago De Compostela, Spain, The Easy Way

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The Cathedral of Santiago De Compostela
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The St. James shell is a symbol of the Camino and points the way to Compostella
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Praza do Obradoiro
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Hostal dos Reis Católicos

Monastery of San Martiño Pinario
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Museum of the Holy Land at the the Hotel Monumento San Francisco
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Beautiful old streets in Santiago
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A modern day pilgrim in front of the city's Pilgrims Office
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Certification received after completion of pilgrimage
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Proper pilgrims reach Santiago de Compostela on foot along the many paths that make up the Camino de Santiago, which starts at different points throughout Europe.  We drove there from Porto, Portugal. I know...

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain, is the final destination for these pilgrims. More exactly, it is the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great, which, according to legend, contains the bones of the Saint. Together with Rome and Jerusalem, Santiago was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages in the Middle Ages. Today, it still attracts pilgrims for religious and non-religious reasons. in 2018, a staggering 327,378 people completed parts or all of the way to Santiago. And the number keeps increasing every year.

To receive a 'compostela' from the city's Pilgrim's Office, one needs to have walked at least  the last100 kilometers or bicycled the last 200 kilometers to Santiago.  Along the way, one must collect stamps in a special passport as proof of credentials.

Arrived in Santiago, pilgrims gather at Praza do Obradoiro in front of the huge cathedral, where a special mass for them takes place every day at 12 pm and 7:30pm.

Unfortunately, the cathedral is currently undergoing significant renovation work, so we could only walk through a small section inside. We did however get a peek of the famous Botafumeiro, one of the largest 'censers' in the world.

Perhaps some day, we will walk parts of the camino along the French route along the Northern Spanish coast, but a visit to Compostela by car was quite pleasant as well.

Next stop on our trip, San Sebastián, Spain.
The next stop on this trip is Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain. Stay tuned. If you are on Instagram, you might want to follow along in real time here.

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