Walking the Camino de Santiago is always a wonderful and unforgettable experience from any point of view. You’ll traverse paths trodden by thousands of pilgrims over hundreds of years, encounter marvellous landscapes, and meet walkers from different corners of the world.

To make the most of your journey, it’s advisable to rely on one of the travel agencies for the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. They can guide you on the best route for you and cover every detail you might need.

Both the days and nights during your journey will be magical, especially because of the night sky. In case you didn’t know, the stars have always played a significant role in this history. Stay with us and we’ll talk about astrotourism on the Camino.


The Way of the Stars

The Camino de Santiago has hundreds of years of history and it is believed that many of its secrets and meanings remain a complete mystery. One of these is its relationship with the night sky. In fact, what few people know is that it is also known as the Way of the Stars, due to its close and inseparable link with the night sky.

Whether you are planning to do the organized French Way from Sarria, there are a few things you should know about this relationship between the Jacobean route and astronomy.

The first clues are found in the route itself. In fact, taking the French Way to Santiago as a reference, the route is oriented east-west, which exactly matches the arm of the Milky Way that is visible to us from Earth.

Moreover, in ancient times, pilgrims had to rely on their sense of direction. Therefore, they used the stars as guides, i.e., the constellations and, of course, the direction of the Milky Way.

Another important fact is that the discovery of the tomb of the Apostle Santiago is also directly linked to the night sky. It was in the mid-9th century that Bishop Teodomiro made the discovery, believed to be guided by the stars, at the very spot where the crypt of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is now located.

According to legend, stars miraculously indicated the location of Santiago’s remains, making it one of the first symbols of Jacobean tradition.


From Charlemagne to the Present Day

Another important detail about the Way of the Stars is found in a 12th-century document. In it, Emperor Charlemagne reflects in the sixth book of the Codex Calixtinus.

Here, the sovereign refers to a path of stars he saw in the sky, starting from the sea and extending across various regions of Europe, passing through Germany and Italy. In Spain, it reached Galicia where it ended at a point, precisely at Santiago’s tomb.

Shortly after this, the Apostle Santiago himself appeared to the emperor and asked him to follow this path of stars which would lead him to his tomb. Moreover, Santiago hoped that Charlemagne would free the area where his relics were from the Muslims so that pilgrims from around the world could come there.


Little-Known Theories

As pilgrims walk the different stages of the Portuguese Way or the stages of the Northern Way to Santiago, they learn about the various theories and legends surrounding these Jacobean routes, such as the campus stellae.

Although it is one of the less recognized theories, it has gained significant attention in recent times. This theory suggests that the very name of the city of Compostela is linked to the firmament.

According to the theory, it could be derived from the Latin expression campus stellae, which refers to how the Apostle’s tomb was discovered. The direct translation to English is field of stars. In some way, this is also related to Charlemagne’s reflection, where the path of stars ended in Galicia.


Alchemists and the Camino