Brief History Camino de Santiago

A Brief Summary of the history behind the Camino

James the Greater was the brother of John. Both of them were sons of Zebedee. After the death of Jesus, James went to Spain to preach. According to an ancient legend the Virgin Mary appeared to James in Zaragoza and she encouraged him in his evangelical work.

On his way back to Palestine Herod Agrippa send an order of excution against him and also prohibited to bury his body.

According to the legend, his disciples took his body and placed it in a boat without a rudder, asking the Lord to lead them to the place, where they should bury the body.

The boat traveled through the Mediterranean Sea, stopping at Iria Flavia in Galicia, where James once preached.

This is the legend, according to which the remains of the Apostle arrived to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Holy year (Año Jacobeo)

It is the hoy year of Saint James. It takes place when the day of St.James, 25th of July, is a Sunday. Next one will be in 2021. This happens with a fixed period of 6, 5, 6 and 10 years. Exceptionally can be given Years of Mercy, the most recent in 2016.

La Compostela

It is a document that, if you wish, you can get at the "Oficina de atención del peregrino", located at Rua das Carretas 33, just next to the cathedral, at the back part of the "Plaza de Platerías". This document proves that you have done at least the last 100 kilometres on foot, or 200 Kms by bicycle.

In parallel to La Compostela, if you walk the Camino to Finisterre or Muxia you can obtain La Fisterrana or La Muxiana , issued by the competent municipalities of those localities.


The Certificate of Distance

In addition to the cited Compostela, now you can also obtain the Certificate of distance which is the document that certifies the exact path where the pilgrim has started his way of pilgrimage.


The Credential or Pilgrim's Passport

It is the document where you will put the stamps from churches, hotels, restaurants… from the places you pass along the different stages.  You need at least two stamps or to be sealed twice in each stage. You will see that there are some boxes in the documents that you need to seal. Once in Santiago you have to show this document if you want to receive "La Compostela"