G a l i c i a










The way of St. James



In green and celtic Galicia in the northwest of Spain, beneath dense woods that cover forgoten vestiges of ancient civilizations, in the year 813 A.D., there was discovered the thomb containing the mortal remains of St. James the Elder, who had been beheaded in Palestine and whose body had been brought to Galicia. On the site of the tomb, Alfonso II "the Chaste", founded a church and monastery. These early buildings were the nucleus around which the city and shrine known as Santiago de Compostela came into being.

After the fall of Rome, Santiago was one of the focal points of the first spiritual movement which united the peoples of Europe

The Way to Santiago is neither as narrow as a higway nor as wide, of course, as the Milky Way which spreads across the night sky. It is a broad European area some hundreds of miles wide, stretching from the coasts of Portugal to the shores of the Black Sea bounded to the south by Islam and to the north by cold.

The pilgrimage held sway for five centuries from the 11th. to the 15th. An infinite variety of peoples found their paths constantly crossing and re-crossing in their endless, ceaseless comings and goings along the Ways to Santiago. Pilgrims of the most devout intentions, supplicants and penitents. kings, princes, nobles, statesmen, pioneers of industry and trade. Wandering knights in search of adventure. Daring thieves in search of booty. Curiosity-seekers, artists, globe-trotters, beggars.

The art of the cathedrals, the monasteries and the hospices, the ways trod by the Jacobean sandals of the pilgrims are Romanesque and Gothic ways. The ways of Europe followed by the pilgrims abound in examples, buildings, statues, sculptured, reliefs, paintings, etc...





Galician National Anthem (mp3 2.236K))

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© Copyright José C. García,1999 -2007