No 10

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Compostela de Santiago or Camino de Santiago in Spanish (the Way of St. James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes leading to the tomb of St. James in North-West Spain

Santiago de Compostela

Pilgrims have been following the route since the 9th century. It is tradition to start from home but St.Jean-Pied-du-Port in the foothills of the Pyrenees to Santiago is one of the most popular starting points along the route.

In the past, the pilgrims identified themselves by wearing a uniform of heavy cape, long stave, sandals and a felt hat turned up in front and bearing the scallop-shell emblem of St James.  

A stylised shell is used used to mark the way and seen on posts and signs along the route in order to guide pilgrims.

Nowadays, in the region of 200,000 pilgrims set out each year, with an estimated 12,000 passing through our local town of Navarrenx.  Here while taking the weight off weary legs, they can enjoy a Menu Pèlerin’ at the Taverne.

Pilgrim passport duly stamped to record your journey, eventually the final steps are taken.

On arrival at the magnificent Cathedral in Santigo, so many pilgrims have laid their hands on the pillar just inside the doorway over the years that it has worn away the stone.

Pilgrims have been following the route since the 9th century.  Traditionally the pilgrimage starts at the pilgrim’s home but more often people choose to start somewhere along one of the routes.  One of the most popular route stretches from St. Jean-Pied-du-Port in the foothills of the Pyrenees to Santiago.

In bygone times, for those making the arduous journey a series of hospitals and hospices were set up along the route to take care of sick and weary pilgrims.

One such was L'Hôpital-Saint-Blaise, where the 12th century Romanesque church remains. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of World Heritage Sites of the Routes to Santiago de Compostela in France and just a short drive from Number 10.