CAMINO DE SANTIAGO
The Camino de Santiago is the most famous pilgrimage in the world. Many pilgrims have dreamed of it for years. And rightly so, because walking or biking this route is an experience for life.
For some, embracing the statue of the Apostle Saint Jacob in Santiago de Compostela is a form of liberation and the beginning of a new life. For others, the pilgrimage is a sporting challenge. Regardless of the motivation, the pilgrimage route has a lot of meaning for everyone. But only those who have taken up this challenge know it.
The Camino Santiago is one of the most important pilgrimage routes for Christians since the Middle Ages. In the past 1,000 years, many pilgrims went to the city of Santiago de Compostela. In the Middle Ages, the tomb of the Apostle Saint Jacob in Santiago de Compostela became a popular place of pilgrimage and many people undertook this – arguably the greatest – journey of their lives.
Until the mid-20th century, the number of visitors to Santiago de Compostela declined every year, but from the 1980s the pilgrimage became popular again with pilgrims worldwide. There are several routes that lead to Santiago, but the camino Frances is considered the most important route.
The Camino logo is a shell. This symbol can be seen in numerous places along the pilgrimage to Santiago. For example, the road is indicated by images of yellow shells and arrows.
Some 2.5 million people visit Santiago de Compostela every year, but that does not mean that they have all completed the Camino. On average, over 250,000 pilgrims receive a Compostela, the official certificate of the Camino pilgrimage. To obtain this certificate, a pilgrim must walk at least the last hundred kilometers of the Camino route.
The Camino Santiago brings pilgrims past impressive cultural-historical monuments of Spain. The Camino Santiago was the first route to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
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