Today there is a strong interest in the Camino de Santiago or “The Way of St. James,” as it is known in English. The Way of St. James started almost a thousand years ago as a Christian pilgrimage through Europe, and peaked in the Middle Ages. The pilgrimage still attracted many believers, although interest subsided somewhat in the first half of the 20th century. Today there is a renewed interest from a religious perspective, as well as from cultural and historical perspectives during the last decade of the 20thcentury, coinciding with the celebration of the second millennium and 2000th birthday of Christ.
Although thousands of people have heard of the Way of St. James and still thousands more take the journey every year, few actually know the history of St. James and the pilgrimage. Fewer still know much about the regions of Spain that the road passes through, nor are they aware of how the pilgrims who followed the route played a key role the in religious and cultural exchange and development during the later Middle Ages, permanently affecting Spanish civilization and culture.
So, in 2005 I decided that I would undertake the writing of a text as a final project in a Master of Spanish program. The purpose of the project was to provide the student with an in-depth knowledge and understanding with respect to the history, geography, art, music, religion and culture of the various regions of Spain through which the Camino de Santiago passes. I finished the project at the end of 2005 and since then I had wanted to make the trip myself.
The year 2010 was a Holy year or Jubilee year. That’s when St. James Feast day (July 25th) falls on a Sunday. It won’t happen again for another 12 years. So, my husband, our close friend Dave, and I decided to walk 300 km. of the 700+ km. Camino. We documented our preparations, as well as our 13-day journey in June 2010 here. We hope that you enjoy reading about our adventure, and wish you Buen Camino!