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Certificado question....


Hello, please forgive me if this question has been asked and answered before, I have been searching online and not found a definitive answer.

My understanding of the compostela/certificado situation is this:

If you can evidence a walk or cycle ride across the requisite last 100/200 km and declare spiritual/religious motivation, you may receive a Compostela from the Pilgrim Office

If you can evidence a walk or cycle ride across the requisite last 100/200 km and declare a non-spiritual/religious motivation, you may receive a certificado from the Pilgrim Office.

In addition you may now buy a certificate of distance from the Pilgrim Office.

If you do not walk/cycle the minimum distances but visit the cathedral you can buy a certificate of visit from the Archicofradia office.

Have I got it right? Some people I spoke to recently thought that the certificado from the Pilgrim Office was available to those who had come on pilgrimage but not walked or cycled the minimum distances, but I was doubtful that this was correct. Are they thinking of the certificate of visit?

If anyone can confirm or correct my assertions I should be most grateful.
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Tincatinker is correct. If you receive your Compestela, you can then purchase a certificate of distance. Don't forget to get two stamps per day where required !


Nunca se camina solo
Colin - generally speaking you are correct. However the Pilgrims Office is more flexible in its use of the Certificado. The distance requirement for the Compostela is fixed and is applied mostly consistently. The Certificado does not have the same status and is often used at the Pilgrims' Office discretion to recognise the efforts of pilgrims who may not have fulfilled the narrow requirements of the Compostela - for example children,


Thank you everyone who has responded.

John, thank you for this clarification. I was being asked about the possibility of certificados for 2 people who have done much walking as pilgrims in the UK over the years but would be doing little, if any, walking during a brief visit to Santiago. They felt that their efforts in the UK should count for something in Santiago, but I was doubtful that the Pilgrim Office would accept their request, hence me trying to drill down into what may be possible for such people who are visiting the Cathedral in the spirit of pilgrims but via air/road/rail rather than by foot or bike. Despite the flexibility available to the Pilgrim Office in awarding certificados, I would still guess that simply flying into Santiago and visiting the Cathedral would not be enough to obtain a certificado?

I'm not Colin, by the way :) I know who you are thinking of, I inadvertently chose this forum name long before I realised someone else used it elsewhere, sorry for any confusion.
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Nunca se camina solo
Sorry about that. Colin drinks so much Pacharan I assumed you were he.

This question comes up from time to time during the year in the Pilgrims Office. The Certificado has discretionary uses but I am nearly certain it wouldn't be issued to pilgrims who arrived by plane and then went to the Cathedral.

However there has been discussion about pilgrims who walk a way of Saint James in their own country and have evidence of that having that recognised towards the Compostela. Therefore if I walked the The Way of Saint James from Reading to Southhampton (or part of it) and then walked from Coruna or Portomarin or wherever the two together would add up to more than the 100 kms. This has been agreed in the past on an individual basis. If you want to pursue that I think the best way would be for the CSJ to take it up with the Cathedral.

Best regards



John, thanks once again for your input. In this instance, I believe the UK walks were done some time ago, almost certainly without the kind of documentary evidence the Pilgrim Office would need, and most were not a Way of Saint James. Since there was no walking at all planned for Spain then from what you are saying I think it unlikely that a certificado would have been issued. The people I was speaking to will have already returned from Santiago, and no doubt will have asked in the Cathedral/Pilgrim Office about what was possible. However I'll bear your comments in mind should a question like this arise again.

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