San Xulian

Camino Francés


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The bar here opens at 7:30.


Saint Julian is one of the favored Saints of the camino and is the patron of hospitallers and hoteliers. The legend that surrounds his calling to the camino is a dark one: As a young noblemen fond of hunting, he receives a prophecy (by a deer no less) that he would kill his own parents. A believer, young Julian decides to put distance between himself and his parents, getting as far away as Portugal. He finds both work and favor from the King and is married to a young widow.

By a most remarkable circumstance of chance, his parents in the meanwhile had set off looking for him only to find his young wife at home alone. The wife, of course, was overjoyed to realize the family connection and immediately welcomed Julian’s parents into the home and went as far as to offer them rest in her bed while she went to church for her prayers. When Julian returns home to find two people in his marital bed, he slays them both in a rage. Of course, it doesn’t take long for him to realize his mistake, to curse that deer, and to begin his own pilgrimage to Rome seeking forgiveness.

That forgiveness would not come easily; the Pope declared that he would have to care for pilgrims along the road to Santiago. He then returned and with his wife set up a hospice to do as the Pope demanded. He got more than forgiveness for his labors and so did his wife, both were canonized. He, of course, is St. Julian and his wife St. Basilisa. All of this makes for great storytelling of course, but the church itself is undecided on the veracity of it. There are several Julians, surprisingly many Basilisa’s, and chances are good that this tale takes the best of each.

The Road:

Near San Xulain the camino is undergoing a rerouting to accommodate the new highway connecting Santiago with Lugo. Most recently this meant walking across the unfinished highway. Changes are frequent and it is best to follow the detour signage.

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Accommodation in San Xulian