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300,000 Compostelas issued so far this year

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
La Voz de Galicia has noted a special reception for the 300,000th pilgrim this year to receive a Compostela. A landmark figure which has been reached two weeks earlier than in 2018.

 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I said, elsewhere and earlier, that the annual pilgrim volume this year would likely be only marginally higher than 2018. The above observation seems to bear that out. In 2018, IIRC 327k Compostelas were issued.

With 300k Compostelas issued as of the end of September, it seems logical that the previous record of 327k will be surpassed. The year has three full months more to run. But, the degree to which this will wind up is debatable.

I suspect we will see a smaller increase over the previous year than would normally be expected. My original, earlier estimate for 2019 was somewhere in the vicinity of 370 - 375k. I now believe that the actual 2019 result will fall between 340 - 370k pilgrims processed for Compostelas.

The reason for this flattening is likely the Cathedral being offline all year. This means you literally could not pay ANY AMOUNT to see the infamous / famous Botafumeiro fly. In a normal year, groups and organizations pay to have the Botafumeiro used at a Pilgrim Mass. The Church only pays to have it used on Catholic feast days and holy days. At all other times, it is "pay to play..."

The fellows who pull the ropes must be paid. They are paid per event. All are lay persons. The days of having legions of seminarians, monks, and religious people who would do it as part of their religious duties is long gone...

I assess that as soon as the Botafumeiro is back in operation and the Cathedral is fully open for worship, touring etc, the numbers will surge ahead. There is pent up demand from intending pilgrims who deferred a Camino or tourist visit in 2019 for the above reason.

So, regardless of whether the final 2019 tally three months from now is up by the same 13 - 15 percent per annum average increases we have seen each year, over the past decade, look for a serious jump in the volume in 2020, and a crazy big spike in 2021. My earlier estimate of the 2020 volume was about 425k pilgrims. At present, given the pent up demand from 2019, I think that figure might be conservative. We shall see...

At present, it is being reported that renovations at the Cathedral will be completed in time for the liturgical celebration of the Apostle Saint's Transition (delivery to Santiago) on 30 December 2020.

Also, IIRC the actual Holy Year 2021 commences with the start of the Catholic Church liturgical calendar. I believe this is with the first week of Advent in 2020. This would be in late November. I presume they are racing to meet this deadline, as the Cathedral must be available for use during the 2021 Holy Year.

I think I need to reconsider walking a Camino in 2020 vs volunteering a second month at the office, earlier in the season. That is already my 2021 plan. But, I see a tsunami building offshore... Must speak with wife...

I encourage each of you to consider doing the same thing. If you go to my signature below any of my posts, click on the blue link "Pilgrim Office Volunteering." It will take you to the thread that will tell you everything you need or want to know.

Hope this helps.
 

Guy Strachan

Alba Guido
Camino(s) past & future
Frances ('13/'14), Portugues ('15), Finisterre ('16/'19); Ingles ('17); Sanabres ('18); Invierno '20
It's great that El Camino in all its forms/routes has become so popular but I do have mixed feelings about the sheer numbers and consequential pressure on infrastructure, nature and accommodation going forward...
Surely, there must be a limit to its popularity but maybe not?!
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
It's great that El Camino in all its forms/routes has become so popular but I do have mixed feelings about the sheer numbers and consequential pressure on infrastructure, nature and accommodation going forward...
Surely, there must be a limit to its popularity but maybe not?!
@Rebekah Scott wrote an excellent article postulating the future implosion of the camino and what that might look like. Not sure where it is, perhaps on the American friends of the camino site? It might be searchable.
 

IngridF

Intrepid Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017, 2019
I said, elsewhere and earlier, that the annual pilgrim volume this year would likely be only marginally higher than 2018. The above observation seems to bear that out. In 2018, IIRC 327k Compostelas were issued.

With 300k Compostelas issued as of the end of September, it seems logical that the previous record of 327k will be surpassed. The year has three full months more to run. But, the degree to which this will wind up is debatable.

I suspect we will see a smaller increase over the previous year than would normally be expected. My original, earlier estimate for 2019 was somewhere in the vicinity of 370 - 375k. I now believe that the actual 2019 result will fall between 340 - 370k pilgrims processed for Compostelas.

The reason for this flattening is likely the Cathedral being offline all year. This means you literally could not pay ANY AMOUNT to see the infamous / famous Botafumeiro fly. In a normal year, groups and organizations pay to have the Botafumeiro used at a Pilgrim Mass. The Church only pays to have it used on Catholic feast days and holy days. At all other times, it is "pay to play..."

The fellows who pull the ropes must be paid. They are paid per event. All are lay persons. The days of having legions of seminarians, monks, and religious people who would do it as part of their religious duties is long gone...

I assess that as soon as the Botafumeiro is back in operation and the Cathedral is fully open for worship, touring etc, the numbers will surge ahead. There is pent up demand from intending pilgrims who deferred a Camino or tourist visit in 2019 for the above reason.

So, regardless of whether the final 2019 tally three months from now is up by the same 13 - 15 percent per annum average increases we have seen each year, over the past decade, look for a serious jump in the volume in 2020, and a crazy big spike in 2021. My earlier estimate of the 2020 volume was about 425k pilgrims. At present, given the pent up demand from 2019, I think that figure might be conservative. We shall see...

At present, it is being reported that renovations at the Cathedral will be completed in time for the liturgical celebration of the Apostle Saint's Transition (delivery to Santiago) on 30 December 2020.

Also, IIRC the actual Holy Year 2021 commences with the start of the Catholic Church liturgical calendar. I believe this is with the first week of Advent in 2020. This would be in late November. I presume they are racing to meet this deadline, as the Cathedral must be available for use during the 2021 Holy Year.

I think I need to reconsider walking a Camino in 2020 vs volunteering a second month at the office, earlier in the season. That is already my 2021 plan. But, I see a tsunami building offshore... Must speak with wife...

I encourage each of you to consider doing the same thing. If you go to my signature below any of my posts, click on the blue link "Pilgrim Office Volunteering." It will take you to the thread that will tell you everything you need or want to know.

Hope this helps.
My thoughts too about 2020. I usually walk every 2 years. Thinking of splitting my 90 days into 2 trips. Potential walking CF to arrive for the opening of the Holy Door. Maybe...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
@Rebekah Scott wrote an excellent article postulating the future implosion of the camino and what that might look like. Not sure where it is, perhaps on the American friends of the camino site? It might be searchable.
This might be the thread you're referring to: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/the-future-of-camino-hospitality.46772/

And those of us who dream of the days when tumble-weed drifts again down the deserted streets of Foncebadon will have to wait a little longer I fear ;)
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
And those of us who dream of the days when tumble-weed drifts again down the deserted streets of Foncebadon will have to wait a little longer I fear ;)
Especially as Foncebadon is about to enter the record books for having the biggest pizza in Spain. A pizzeria in Foncebadon???!!!!
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
The reason for this flattening is likely the Cathedral being offline all year. This means you literally could not pay ANY AMOUNT to see the infamous / famous Botafumeiro fly.
Some people walk all that way just to have the 'botafumerio experience' at the end of it all? I never even considered that. Wow...the world, and our superficial culture... 🤔
Well, if that's so, I hope by the time they do see it they realize the camino is about much more than that. Or the piece of paper, too, for that matter.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Some people walk all that way just to have the 'botafumerio experience' at the end of it all? I never even considered that. Wow...the world, and our superficial culture... 🤔
I spend far too much of my life haunting this forum and Facebook Camino groups. Since the announcement that the cathedral would be out of use for services this year and the Botafumeiro would not be in use I have read many posts from people saying that they would delay their Camino until the Botafumeiro was back in action. Though the forecasts that total numbers walking this year would plummet because of that decision by the cathedral have been proved false today.
 
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Though the forecasts that total numbers walking this year would plummet because of that decision by the cathedral have been proved false today.
You must not believe everything you read on the internet. Not even when it’s presented with many words and great conviction. :cool:
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
You must not believe everything you read on the internet. Not even when it’s presented with many words and great conviction. :cool:
Really? 🤣
Well especially about pilgrim numbers because of the great unwashed. Oh...sorry...uncounted.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
You must not believe everything you read on the internet. Not even when it’s presented with many words and great conviction. :cool:

I think we are seeing that the pilgrim numbers did not plummet with the Cathedral offline. It is likely true that tens of thousands of pilgrims opted to defer their pilgrimage until the Cathedral is open once again... for whatever reason.

The bottom line is the growth curve just flattened out a bit this year.

My assessment is that the folks who stayed away this year will likely plan to return in 2021. That suppressed demand will further increase Holy Year 2021 pilgrim arrivals.

Hope this helps.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
My assessment is that the folks who stayed away this year will likely plan to return in 2021. That suppressed demand will further increase Holy Year 2021 pilgrim arrivals.
A good time to be looking at routes in other countries I think. Pax et bonum to all the pilgrims who walk the Caminos in the 2021 Holy Year but I cannot picture myself being amongst them. I think that for most of us our first Camino sets a personal benchmark. Why else would we return? Numbers walking last year were sixty-six times larger than in the year of my first Camino. The Xunta estimates that for the Xacobeo 2021 numbers will rise to around 500,000 - more than 100 times the number I first experienced. I am a shy and retiring person by nature - my wife has often described me as a married hermit with two children. Simply surviving mentally in such a crowd would be a massive challenge for me. Not a party person.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Especially as Foncebadon is about to enter the record books for having the biggest pizza in Spain. A pizzeria in Foncebadon???!!!!

This is just another sign of the coming implosion that Rebekah talked about in her seminal speech. It is a cycle of: discovery, revitalization, growth, development, increasing popularity, overuse, demise, obscurity...repeat every x decades or years...

Rebekah is the Oracle of Moratinos... She was so spot-on it almost hurts to read what she wrote and said several years ago, now coming to fruition.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
This is just another sign of the coming implosion that Rebekah talked about in her seminal speech. It is a cycle of: discovery, revitalization, growth, development, increasing popularity, overuse, demise, obscurity...repeat every x decades or years...
The thing which I found so extraordinary about the pizza story was that it involves Foncebadon of all places. Relative newcomers to the Camino Frances may not find that at all peculiar. But those of us with longer memories can recall it as a ghost village: when I passed through for the first time there was a single inhabitant - an older lady - and every building except her home was abandoned and falling into ruins. It was a quite eerie and iconic image of the Camino. Now Gronze lists 7 albergues or hostals there with beds for well over 100 in total. And bars. And now apparently a pizzeria. For me it is the most extraordinarily visible symbol of the explosion of interest in the Caminos.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Rebekah is the Oracle of Moratinos... She was so spot-on it almost hurts to read what she wrote and said several years ago, now coming to fruition.
Not only an oracle but a prophet in the original biblical sense - someone who speaks the truth as they see it even if their audience doesn't always want to hear it!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
A voice in the wilderness... But knowing her as I do, she would say "pish posh and phooey..."

Rebekah does not like to be singled out for praise, or placed on a pedestal, regardless of whether it is appropriate. I frequently think it is. She is on my short list of people I highly admire.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
The thing which I found so extraordinary about the pizza story was that it involves Foncebadon of all places. Relative newcomers to the Camino Frances may not find that at all peculiar. But those of us with longer memories can recall it as a ghost village: when I passed through for the first time there was a single inhabitant - an older lady - and every building except her home was abandoned and falling into ruins. It was a quite eerie and iconic image of the Camino. Now Gronze lists 7 albergues or hostals there with beds for well over 100 in total. And bars. And now apparently a pizzeria. For me it is the most extraordinarily visible symbol of the explosion of interest in the Caminos.

What's next, golden arches...?

Foncebadon is a good break point between Astorga and Molinaseca, especially if there is no room at the inn at Rabanal.

It is just odd that there was NOTHING there, and now there is quite a lot there. But, as Rebekah observed so correctly, it is part of the Camino lifecycle. NOTHING is forever...
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
What's next, golden arches...?

Foncebadon is a good break point between Astorga and Molinaseca, especially if there is no room at the inn at Rabanal.

It is just odd that there was NOTHING there, and now there is quite a lot there. But, as Rebekah observed so correctly, it is part of the Camino lifecycle. NOTHING is forever...
I just realised where Foncebadon is! That little stone village you encounter as you climb up the hills from Astorga. If you miss the main street on the left (I did) you can loop around on the road that skirt the right-hand-side and approach from the west. I stayed there in 2013 and thought it charming - there were 4 albergues in that small place, if I remember. Freezing at night due to the altitude, but my albergue had blankets. It struck me as a very keen example of a derelict village that had been revived by the resurrection of the camino during the last couple of decades or so.
 

Lloyd Woodall

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016 & 2018. Cherry picking routes 2019.
Foncebadon has been one of my favorite places on the Camino. I loved this little respite in the mountains that looked like something out of the Wild West... and the place always had a “good vibe”. I miss walking along the dirt road out of town on the pre dawn departure to Cruz de Ferro. It WAS one of a kind.
 

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