• PLEASE NOTE: Please think twice before you travel to Spain now. More here.

Search over 55.000 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Credencial vs passport


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:
Credenciale - Passport

None really. It is called the credential but it is the pilgrim's "passport" to staying in the refuges.


Thanks Sil. The first probably came about from the Congress at Jaca, I suppose. Wonder where the other one came from? Best, xm 8)


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006)
Out of convenience, probably for the foreigners. The term 'passport' is easier to understand instead of 'credencial' (or credential) but of course we can't have these people thinking of showing their national passports at the albergue -- those would be filled with sellos in no time. Historically, the credencial was issued in one's own parish, as a sign to all people concerned on the route that the person carrying it is undertaking a pilgrimage.


...a true pilgrim's passport - i.e. a passport issued for a Frenchman to go on pilgrimage

Hello Peter.

Then, there's a diff between a credencial & a passport :?:


xm 8)
define your terms! "Pilgrim's passport" is sometimes used as an English term for the credencial, although 'credentials' would be the straight translation. The CSJ calls their version "Pilgrim Record" specifically to distinguish it from the credencial. As marktqm says, this is a distant descendant of the credentials (= letter of introduction) carried by a medieval pilgrim as identity papers. Of course, today's credencial, whatever you call it, isn't really 'credentials' as it has no authority behind it. Incidentally, one of the first things the Société des Amis de St Jacques did when they were founded in 1950 was to issue a letter of credentials to prospective pilgrims.

Originally a passport was a permit, literally to pass through the port or entry point to a city or territory. So today's national passport, as identity papers, is descended more from the credentials than from the passport which is more like a visa.

Hope that's clear!



Similar threads

Camino Conversations

Camino Conversations

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

Most downloaded Resources

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 56 4.2%
  • April

    Votes: 200 15.1%
  • May

    Votes: 329 24.9%
  • June

    Votes: 96 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 24 1.8%
  • August

    Votes: 27 2.0%
  • September

    Votes: 381 28.8%
  • October

    Votes: 158 12.0%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 7 0.5%

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store