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2009 Credentials

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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FROM ROSINA WACHTEL:

Translation of Don Genaro’s letter re credentials in 2009:

“The credential has been, throughout the centuries, the fundamental means to certify a Santiago pilgrim. For a long time the most significant pilgrim document was the signed and seal letter from his/her parish attesting to the intentions of the pilgrim’s effort.
On September 14, 2000, recognizing modern necessities, in a final, for the purpose, reunion of the Santiago Archdiocese, the Archconfraternity, and the Federation of Friends of Santiago Associations, an accord was made regarding future Pilgrimage-related measures.
Those present recognized that the ultimate destination of Santiago pilgrims is the tomb of the Apostle. With this in mind, those present pledged themselves to nurture, assist and protect, in every possible way, those making the pilgrimage to Santiago, and to cooperate with one another in such purpose.
Because of the profusion, and the lack of genuineness in many instances, of pilgrims’ credentials, the need for only one uniform pilgrim’s credential was recognized, and agreed upon.
In 2000 the number of Compostela earning pilgrims was 55,004, and in 2007 it was 114,026. But many more approached the Pilgrims’ office with credentials issued by non-recognized institutions, and they did not have the necessary information about the pilgrimage, its Christian significance, or its spiritual dimension. On a daily basis a great many such non-pilgrims appear at the Pilgrims’ office bearing would-be credentials which only attest to their free use of albergues.
These are the reasons for the following resolutions and measures:

Commencing on January 1, 2009, the Pilgrims’ Office will only accept as such the credential issued by the Santiago Cathedral, which has a space for the seal of the authorized institution, church or Santiago Friends’ Association that issued it.
Friends Associations that are not part of the Federation of Associations that may wish o issue credentials must contact its parish to obtain the information that must be imparted to those who wish to make the pilgrimage. Through their parish they may obtain a sufficient number of blank credential forms.
For the purposes of granting the Compostela the criteria that have compelled the need to accept at the Pilgrims’ Office only the credential issued by the Cathedral, or those that may be created by the Federation of Friends of Santiago Associations that will clearly contain information about the religious character of the Santiago pilgrimage, have been openly, abundantly and repeatedly discussed and recognized.
Genaro Cebrian Franco
Canonic of Pilgrimages”
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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There has been a lot of debate about this letter on other forums. The decision not to accept any credentials except those printed by the Archdiocese in Santiago DOES NOT affect any of the associations in other countries.

This is an extract from the letter sent to the CSJ in 2007:
No hay cambio alguno ni para ustedes ni para ninguna asociación fuera de España. La decisión de no aceptar en la Oficina del Peregrino más que la credencial de la Catedral a partir del 2009 se refiere sólo a España.

Translation:

There is no change to you or to any association outside Spain. The decision not to accept at the Pilgrims Office any credentials other than the credential of the Cathedral from 2009 refers only to Spain.

So, if Arn, or Sagalouts, or Omar or I decide to walk the camino, we can use a credential issued by the Confraternity in our country. But, if Ivar or Rebekah or Javier decide to walk a camino in Spain, they will have to use the official credential issued by the Cathedral in Santiago.
Secondly, they are no longer allowed to charge for the credential.
 
Camino(s) past & future
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The President of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims has noted that their credential remains valid (as does the credential of the Association Québécoise) and that the ruling came into being to address the situation of credentials being issued by local clubs and tour groups.
 

crevans

New Member
I'm confused... I hope to walk the VdlP in May and had hoped to collect my credencial before departure at Seville Cathedral. (Correspondence with the Cathedral Office cofirmed that this would be possible.) Does this edict mean that I will not be able to do so? And that I will have had to come to Seville already armed with a credencial?
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
No - you will collect your approved credential in Seville - or anywhere else in Spain. This ruling only applies to tour operators, travel agents or tour guides etc in Spain who, in the past, were printing all sorts of credentials that were being presented at the Pilgrim's Office for a Compostela.
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
This is from Sil's post
So, if Arn, or Sagalouts, or Omar or I decide to walk the camino, we can use a credential issued by the Confraternity in our country. But, if Ivar or Rebekah or Javier decide to walk a camino in Spain, they will have to use the official credential issued by the Cathedral in Santiago.

I take it that means if you're from Spain, you have no choice and must use the official credential (and so one would expect that these would be freely available at all churches and albergues, not limited to starting points in Spain)

If you're not from Spain, it's unclear from Sil's translated text whether you must use a credential from one of the foreign associations of friends of the camino (though potentially not necessarily the association of your country) or whether you can use the local Spanish credential as an alternative
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
If you are from another country, you can bring a credential from your Association and it will be accepted. You don't have to, you can just wait until you arrive in Spain and collect one locally. However, for those pilgrims starting in France, Switzerland or any other country, they can use their local credential. I used one South African CSJ credential (very similar to the Canadian one) and 4 Spanish fold-out credentials on my last walk. The Pilgrims' office will only want to see the last one with at least 2 stamps per day for the last 100km.
 

flecher

New Member
I also am unclear re the implications for 2009.
I am from UK and intend walking the Camino Portuguese in May this year.
I hoped to obtain a Credencial in Lisbon.
Will this still be possible and if so where in Lisbon can I collect it?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
And ... ermm ... so if we are not Spanish or resident in Spain nothing is changed ... but will they accept only, say, CSJ passport from the UK or could you just design and print your own?

hhmmm ... but, well, surely it is the stamps not what they are stamped on ... ?
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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No, Br David. Your credential should be from a bona fide St James Association.

In the 80's when the refuges were being established the credencial had nothing to do with the church. It was the pilgrim's passport to staying in the albergues. Now it is used to prove that you have walked/cycled/gone on horseback the required distance from Santiago.
The CSJofSA provide members with a little passport booklet for stamps, and with a Credencial letter of safe conduct based on a medieval document.
We also provide them with a small plastic garbage bag with 9 languages requesting:
Dear Pilgrim, Please help to 'spring clean' the Camino. At some point on your journey sill this bag with litter you find along the way and put it into the efficient Spanish garbage system. Thank you and buen Camino!
 

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A

Anonymous

Guest
Thank Sil - I still have my UK csj passport (with enough room to do the Frances again ... wonder if I could use it twice ...) - and thanks for the info but, my question was - with foreign pilgrim passports, the credentials, does it matter whether they are home-printed or pilgrim's association or church printed (to the Pilgrim's office I mean)?

I would quite like to use my own logo integrated into a late medieval design - can't see any problem there - can you (or, actually, what I means is - can they)?
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
No, Br David. Your credential should be from a bona fide St James Association.
That was my understanding.

However, you raise a good point. Perhaps you should email the Pilgrim's Office and ask them if you can bring your own credential? peregrinos@archicompostela.org
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Good idea Sil - would clarify for all - like your SA doggy bag (sorry, litter bag) :wink:
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Sorry if I missed this elsewhere, but what is the status of the credencial issued at the Pilgrim office in SJPP? (Not being in Spain).

Col
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Colin,

Perfectly acceptable!

The problem came when some, less than honest, tour groups "guaranteed" a Compostela and issued their own passport/credential. Sometimes with sellos already afixed...or placed by the guide.

Last year I questioned the practice of some cathedrals/albergues, etc of displaying their sello on line. Having been in the business of duplicating "entrance' documentation for training purposes...I recognized the problems associated with such a practice.

Make your Way...get a sello as often as possible...even stopping at an albergue in a town you're passing thru...get their sello!!!

The passport/credential of my journey resides in a place of honor in my parlor just below My Compostela.

Buen Camino,
Arn
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Thank you Arn.

Arn said:
Make your Way...get a sello as often as possible...even stopping at an albergue in a town you're passing thru...get their sello!!!
Arn

Is it possible to fill your credential before you get to Santiago?

Do you "pick up" another page along the way?

Col
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Br. David said:
so if we are not Spanish or resident in Spain nothing is changed ... but will they accept only, say, CSJ passport from the UK or could you just design and print your own?

I'v walked twice in the last year with a credencial I made myself and never encountered any problems with the Pilgrims' Office. I've also added pages at the back of an existing CSJ credencial - i.e. the one I used for the Camino Frances I later used for the Camino Ingles again with no problem. Whilst I suspect this is an issue internal to Spain we should get some clarity. I also think that any old psychedelic, non St James related design, would not go down well either! :) Not that I am suggesting your tastes lie in that direction.

I'm spending a week in the Pilgrims' Office in Santiago from next Monday and I'll try to post an answer to this question - if I get one!

colinPeter said:
Is it possible to fill your credential before you get to Santiago?

Do you "pick up" another page along the way?

Either add pages or simply use more than one credencial - i.e. when you fill up the first get another at the next albergue.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Whilst I suspect this is an issue internal to Spain we should get some clarity. I also think that any old psychedelic, non St James related design, would not go down well either! :) Not that I am suggesting your tastes lie in that direction.

Doh!And I've just spent hours making one out of two paisley pattern ties and a cnd badge instead of a shell!

No Johhny, my tastes are more 'catholic' and historical than that ... this is a good thread though isn't it - clarity ... does suggest their (the office) action is due to very rascally tour operators
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Yes - I've had a number of conversations with them about this. They are very concerned at tour operators marketing the Pilgrimage simply as a tourist/sport activity with no spiritual basis or appreciation of the tradition of St James. They are also concerned about what they term "trampas" - not tramps but "cheats" - people who use the pilgrim infrastructure simply for cheap holidays or as a weekend sporting activity . The "tightening up" is much more a re-statment of the spiritual nature of the pilgrimage rather than more passport control for its own sake! :)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Sounds good to me - at heart I am very much a traditionalist ... I do remember numbers of Spanish folk who would join the Way for just a weekend mainly wearing cheap trainers and never be seen again ... I associated their incessant chatter with 'Spanish culture' rather than not being religious about it but perhaps they were just having a weekend away .... there was also a very sharp looking young beggar who would flash his credential around before launching into his pitch .. all tight jeans and lank hair and narrow face and sucking cigarettes met him in ... ermm Burgos? and then in refuge that night .. next day he left his bags there and went back to town .. he didn't feel like a pilgrim with no money just someone aboard a gravy train.

Always thus surely?
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
The changes regarding credentials came into effect from January 2009, so whatever you were used to doing until then might no longer be acceptable.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
...and hospitaleros must still beware of the people who drive up to the door and jump out with 40 perfectly legit cathedral-issue credenciales, all with different names and addresses, etc. They want a stamp on each one, for "the big parish youth group" that´s coming through later. It´s tempting to save yourself a confrontation with the group leader, and a big crush later on, by just doing them all up on the spot.

But they´re counting on that. God knows who or where the people are whose names are on those credenciales... they might be the $3,000-per person deluxe tour group that´s not left home yet!

Always stick with the "one person handing you one credential" rule. Gotta SEE the person before you fill in the blank. (same goes for registering incoming pilgs!) It´s also important to check the dates.
Cheaters abound.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
My credential was always taken very seriously, the stamper would always look through the previous stamps and even ask me a question about one of them - this pleased me.

As suggested I wrote to ask about foreign credentials and whether one could use a home-made one and just received this reply ....

Hermano David:

Para hacerse con la "Credencial del Peregrino" el camino es: dirigirse al Párroco de su Parroquia y que le de una carta, acreditando con ella su condición de peregrino, y siendo enviado con la bendición del Párroco a la Peregrinación Cristiana. En ella sellaría al menos dos veces al día para acreditar haber recorrido, al menos, los últimos 100 km a pie o a caballo o 200 en bicicleta.
En Inglaterra puede también solicitarlas en:

BREDERETH SEN JAGO
Hilary Shaw
The Old Kiln,
Port Navas
Falmouth, CORNWALL TR11 5RJ

THE CONFRATERNITY OF SAINT JAMES
William Griffiths (Presidente)
(Secretary: Marion Marples)
27, Blackfriars Road
LONDON SE1 8NY

Thursday from11,00 to 15,00

Office: 1st floor. 1 Talbot Yard.
Borough High Street
London SE1 1YP

Tel: (020) 7928 9988Fax: (020): 7928 2844
office@csj.org.uk
http://www.scj.org.uk


Which is roughly ...

Brother David:

This the way to get the "Pilgrim's Credential": go to your parish priest and he will give you a letter certifying your status with the pilgrimage, and that you are being sent with the blessing of the priest to the Christian pilgrimage. Have it stamped at least twice a day to show that you have traveled at least the last 100 km on foot or horseback (or if by bicycle 200 km).

In England you can also apply to:

BREDERETH SEN Jago
Hilary Shaw
The Old Kiln,
Port Navas
Falmouth,
Cornwall TR11 5RJ

CONFRATERNITY OF THE SAINT JAMES
William Griffiths (Chairman)
(Secretary: Marion Marples)

27 Blackfriars Road
LONDON SE1 8NY
Thursday from 11.00 to 15.00

Office: 1st floor. 1 Talbot Yard.
Borough High Street

London SE1 1YP
Tel: (020) 7928 9988
Fax: (020) 7928 2844
office@csj.org.uk
http://www.scj.org.uk


But ..... well, I think that was a bit of a standard answer as it didn't actually answer my question (can you use a homemade one) and the first section is most likely for Spain as it then says "in England you can also apply to ..."

very nice of them to respond so quickly but - don't you hate it when people don't answer what you ask but respond as if you have asked something else? :shock: .... so - won't ask them again - anyone with better Spanish want to ask specifically if you can use a homemade one if from another country?

and what is a BREDERETH SEN Jago ?

so - unless I get clarity on this it is back to the csj paperwork for me ... actually, thinking about it, I might go and get a letter from my priest .... that could be good ... turning up with an often folded and ragged letter all covered in stamps ... I rather like that idea ............. :wink: but, you know how it is .. then Father Gregory would persuade me to give a talk when I got back again and next thing you know there'd be a new Catholic pilgrimage group meeting at the church, and then they'd be walking it to raise money for the school or the day centre - it would go on and on and on ... (though the day centre does need money ...)
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
I am wondering what to do about Credencials for our forthcoming Camino Ingles in March this year. Peter and I have the beautifully made and presented CSJ ones, with plenty of pages. As we are travelling by stages from home our last sello is from Flavignac, just south of Limoges. We will be continuing from there later this year, I hope.

The Ingles is therefore a little 'spoiler' pilgrimage!! I was wondering about using the last page, leaving lots of blank pages for the rest of our 'proper' Camino.

As our daughter is coming with us, we will need to find one for her - from the church of Santiago in A Coruna, I believe? So we could get one for each of us?

Of course, we won't be covering the required 100km, so it's not that we will need the sellos to get a compostella - but it would be a pity not to have the stamps as momentos.

Any thoughts?
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
From the Confraternity of St. James:

In 2002 the Pilgrim Office in Santiago started asking pilgrims to get two stamps per day in their credenciales or Pilgrim Records. We asked for confirmation and clarification of this new request, and here is their reply:

"Last year we started to control a little bit more the credentials and the stamps, in order to differenciate pilgrims on foot, horse or by bicycle from those who are using other means of transport to come to Santiago. The Cathedral of Saint James wants to be fair with those who are doing the pilgrimage by giving them, and only them, the "Compostela". That is the reason why we ask for two stamps per day. However, we understand that if a pilgrim starts the Way in a far away point, it is enough to get only one stamp. Otherwise, they would need several credentials. We specially apply the rule of the two stamps per day to pilgrims starting from Galicia. We really appreciate your interest on the matter, and will be very grateful if you would give that piece of information to the pilgrims addressing the Confraternity."

So, be prepared, if you're starting from anywhere west of say Ponferrada (or picking up a pilgrimage made in stages), to get two stamps a day, and get hold of another credencial if you need room for the extra stamps. However, if you've come from outside Galicia, one stamp a day within Galicia is still enough. (This advice was confirmed by the Pilgrim Office in June 2006.)
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Bridget and Peter said:
I am wondering what to do about Credencials for our forthcoming Camino Ingles in March this year. Peter and I have the beautifully made and presented CSJ ones, with plenty of pages.

The Ingles is therefore a little 'spoiler' pilgrimage!! I was wondering about using the last page, leaving lots of blank pages for the rest of our 'proper' Camino.

As our daughter is coming with us, we will need to find one for her - from the church of Santiago in A Coruna, I believe? So we could get one for each of us?

Any thoughts?

Well you can do all of the above: use the last pages of your existing CSJ credencial and/or pick up a credencial at the Church in A Coruna.

And since you won't be presenting a credencial at the Pilgrims' Office to recieve a compostela you could always make your own simply to collect sellos.
 

Rose Louise

Member
Hi Bridget & Peter

Last year I made up our own with our first stamp from the local rural church, across the border to another rural church, Melbourne, London, Porto and Tui. Picked up the Spanish version in Tui. The clerk at the Pilgrims Office was mightily impressed that we had gone to all this trouble and spent about ten minutes talking to us. The home made version reflected our travels only to the beginning of our Camino.

Buen Camino

Cheers Rose Louise
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
Bridget and Peter-
"The Ingles is therefore a little 'spoiler' pilgrimage!! I was wondering about using the last page, leaving lots of blank pages for the rest of our 'proper' Camino."
If I read you right you want to use the same credencial for 2 different pilgrimages but the peregrino office in SDC puts their stamp on the inside cover to say you have received the compostele so I dont know how you would go asking them to stamp it again.
I too have used the CSJ credencials (by the way you have to be a member of the CSJ to buy them) and have always received a favourable response being quite large and glossy yellow (the credencial,not me). By cntrast the fold out ones look dull and usually too small for some of the large sellos available.
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
omar504 said:
I too have used the CSJ credencials (by the way you have to be a member of the CSJ to buy them) and have always received a favourable response being quite large and glossy yellow (the credencial,not me).

Yes, we have had the same experience - people in the mairie or office de tourisme commenting how grand it looks. And with the glossy stiff cover ours still look in good condition after nearly 5 weeks in and out of panniers and bumbags.

omar504 said:
If I read you right you want to use the same credencial for 2 different pilgrimages but the peregrino office in SDC puts their stamp on the inside cover to say you have received the compostele so I dont know how you would go asking them to stamp it again.

Well, as we will be walking only from A Coruna, we won't walk far enough for a compostela, so we won't be asking for a stamp at the Pilgrim Office. It's really only for our own satisfaction.

Rose Louise said:
our first stamp from the local rural church, across the border to another rural church, Melbourne, London, Porto and Tui.

Our first is from our local church. We also have one from Stena Line, which we asked for crossing from Harwich to Hook of Holland!

I think we will all ask for one from the church in A Coruna - it may cause confusion later on if the dates get all muddled up!

Thanks for all your comments!
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Br. David said:
... but will they accept only, say, CSJ passport from the UK or could you just design and print your own?

The Director of the Pilgrims' Office said today that whilst they do not wish to be inflexbile generally speaking home made credencials are not acceptable. The wish to encourage everyone to either use the official credencial available in Spain or from http://www.mundicamino.com or from the Confraternity in Pilgirms own countries.

Many pilgrims travel with a diary and a credencial - therefore the Pilgrims' Office is happy to stamp both a home made credencial accompanied by an official credencial. They also suggest that some pilgrim's may wish to make their own additional home made cover for the offical credencial. But when it comes to issuing the Compostela they are going to look for sellos for the last 100kms ( or 200 for cyclists) on an official credencial.

A number of options but a home made credencial on its own is not recommended.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
AMEN.
Thanks for sourcing that information Johnnie - and I hope we can put this thread to bed now!
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
colinPeter said:
....what is the status of the credencial issued at the Pilgrim office in SJPP? (Not being in Spain).

Arn said:
....Perfectly acceptable!

Does the the Pilgrim office in SJPP issue the official Spanish credential?

Col
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
JohnnieWalker said:
It is the office of the recognised Association and therefore as has been said the credencial they issue is accepted at the Pilgrims Office in Santiago.
Thank You JW,

Didn't realise the Pilgrim Office in SJPP was a recognised Association (Can't imagine why I didn't). Somehow thought of it as a type of "service" provided by the town. But now I know.

Is the office part of the Association des Amis de Saint Jacques Pyrénées-Atlantiques?

Col
 

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