During the summer travel season many people of faith will take the opportunity to not just travel, but to go on a pilgrimage. For the last thousand years or so, one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations has been the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostella in Galicia in northwestern Spain. According to legend, the cathedral is the resting place of St. James the elder, one of the first apostles of Jesus Christ.
By the 12th century, the pilgrimage to the apostles resting place had become one of the most popular travel routes in the Middle Ages. Known as El Camino de Santiago de Compostella, the pilgrimage route was described in a book called the Codex Calixtinus, which is widely regarded as the world’s first travel guide.
Pilgrims travel various paths across northern Spain to reach the Cathedral of St. James, and along the route there are lodgings and hostels established specifically for those on pilgrimage.
Today, the Camino is still traveled by thousands of pilgrims each year. Along the pilgrimage routes, pilgrims document their progress by collecting stamps in a sort of passport called a credential. In order to receive a certificate of completion of the pilgrimage at the cathedral, pilgrims are required to walk at least the last 100 km, about 60 miles.
For more information on the Camino to Santiago to Compostella, you can go to the website Americanpilgrims.com.