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Different Camino Routes

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#1
Even though the authorities are trying to encourage people to walk routes other than the Camino Frances, the map on the website of the Archdioces of Santiago only shows the four routes through France (described by Aimery Picaud) and the Camino Frances in Spain. Perhaps they need to up-date their pilgrimage site?

http://www.archicompostela.org/Peregrinos/Inglés/Peregrinsantiago.htm
 

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Minkey

Active Member
#2
Hmmm... I thought about doing the Northern Camino this year, but changed my mind as I was unsure of the accommodation issues, the numbers of people doing it, etc... I think if other Caminos were treated with the same degree of reverence that is applied to Camino Frances and VdP then more people would almost certainly do them...
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#3
Other Camino Routes

It will probably rest on supply and demand.
The Camino Frances was the one first road to Santiago re-animated by D Elias.
As a result, more monuments and villages were restored along that route.
As a result of that, it was named the first Cultural Itinerary in 1987.
As a result of that, more and more people and organisations took an interest in it. More municipal, church and private albergues have sprung up.
Compostela stats for 2005:
79,396 pilgrims followed the Camino Frances
5,508 the Portuguese Way
3,984 the Camino Norte
3,140 the Via de la Plata
1,028 the Primitive Way, and the rest followed several other routes.
It doesn't matter which was the oldest/first/authentic/mythical - when people ask about the "Camino" I presume they mean the Camino Frances.
 

Minkey

Active Member
#4
Not to mention funding from the EU etc... I do see wht you mean. Maybe next year I'll pluck up the courage to venture onto pastures new.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#5
Sil, it's my understanding that the Camino Primitivo, starting from Oviedo, was the first Christian Camino after St James' tomb was discovered. And I say Christian because there were other caminos (some of them pilgrimages) in that general area utilized by Celts & Romans. After that came the route that entered Spain via the Camino Aragones through Somport. Then came the Camino Frances, and others. Let me do some research on this. Best, xm 8)
 

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A

Anonymous

Guest
#8
It doesn't matter which was the oldest/first/authentic/mythical - when people ask about the "Camino" I presume they mean the Camino Frances.
To me it does matter, Sil.

I believe that each Camino has its own particular history, its own personality, if you will, reasons why I like to refer to the Jacobean routes as the "roads" instead of the "road." I believe that we do a diservice to future pilgrims and to the other than CF routes by making the CF sound like it's the only one, when in fact it isn't.

Likewise, I don't assume anymore that, when people talk about "the Camino," the reference is exclusive to the CF. Not after having experienced others. To me it would mean that the other Caminos I walked, very real & important times in my life, did not exist, or became erased.

History is interpreted, re-interpreted, and re-defined, as years and centuries pass. I believe it is time to re-examine the issue of the "Camino" and update the singular "Camino" to the plural(ized) "Caminos, " making them all inclusive.

Comes to mind the re-assessment, at least in Spanish, of the term "discovery," of the " Americas," as the "encounter", since the area was always there. Likewise with the term "America," not exclusive to the norht, but inclusive of Central, Caribbean, and South America.

BTW, I enjoy this type of exchange, I learn a lot from them, not only because of mutual acquisition of new knowledge (definitely for me), but for personal, and mutual, clarity's, sake. Let's keep up dialoguing!

Best,

xm 8)
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#9
It is interesting how a particular route becomes popular and for what reason. Why have the caminos to Santiago become so popular and why there are so few walking pilgrimage routes now: Rome, Fatima and St Olavs route are the only ones that come to mind though I am sure there are others?

In the medeival period when relics were really venerated a local pilgrimage to the big cathedral a few days/weeks away was the most common pilgrimage. The quantities of pilgrimage badges found in the UK from English sites such as Canterbury and Walsingham compared to those of Santiago and Rome (approx 97%) back this up and the pattern is the same on the continent. Why has this pattern not reappeared?
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#10
Camino Routes

That is what they say in the Xaocobeo guide books about the Original Way.
"The pilgrimage route to Compostela was used by the first devout pilgrims from Asturias - now known as the Original Route."
They also say that, "This might have been the route taken by King Alphonso 11 from Oviedo to the tomb of St James."
Might or might not, who can tell?
I'm sure there were many other original routes - carved out by people who lived all around Compostela.
Most people I meet have only read about the Camino Frances in books by Paulo Coelho, Shirley MacLaine, Walter Starkie, Edwin Mullins, Joyce Rupp, Ben Nimmo etc etc etc. I have never had anyone ask me about a book on any of the other caminos.
I have a number of books on the camino but not one about a walk on the Caminho Portuguese, or the Camino Norte, Via de La Plata or any of the other 20+ routes.
That is why I say, when people ask me about 'the Camino' I presume they mean the Camino Frances.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#11
Hi William,

...Why have the caminos to Santiago become so popular...
There's a lot of info. and research on this subject. Peter Robbins' web page above may be a good place to start.

...why there are so few walking pilgrimage routes now: Rome, Fatima and St Olavs route are the only ones that come to mind though I am sure there are others?
Pilgrimages have been going on forever. For Christians, Muslims, and Jews, the sites of veneration are well known and visitied, even today-Rome/Jerusalem/Mecca, as well as in many other religions. This was a topic of interest in recent, previous, mails, where lists of names of pilgrimages were posted.

In Latin America, for example, there are so many pilgrimages I wouldn't know where to begin, like to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Mexico, DF.

...The quantities of pilgrimage badges found in the UK from English sites such as Canterbury and Walsingham compared to those of Santiago and Rome (approx 97%) back this up and the pattern is the same on the continent. Why has this pattern not reappeared?
What pilgrimages badges are you refering to?

Best,

xm
8)
 

Peter Robins

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#12
William Marques said:
It is interesting how a particular route becomes popular and for what reason. Why have the caminos to Santiago become so popular
yes, that interests me too. Part of it is good marketing, and part due to the undeveloped nature of much of N Spain, which gives the illusion of being 'medieval', which you would never get walking to say Canterbury or St Denis. People can pretend to themselves that they are like pilgrims of long ago.

William Marques said:
and why there are so few walking pilgrimage routes now: Rome, Fatima and St Olavs route are the only ones that come to mind though I am sure there are others?
I have 23 on my list http://www.peterrobins.co.uk/camino/routelist.html and that's only the ones with waymarking and/or guidebooks, so does not include the annual mass pilgrimages such as Paris-Chartres or Warsaw-Czestochowa, nor the many small local pilgrimages. I know of a couple of others that have never really caught on and been abandoned, such as to Bardsey or Whithorn here in Britain. There are also plenty of one-offs, such as the one to Chester, where I live, this year for the 1100th anniversary of the translation of the relics of St Werburgh. http://www.chestercathedral.com/Website ... pe=current
Most of the main shrines, at least in W Europe, are now visited by either their own route or by one of the Compostelan routes.
And I would also point out that the current status of these other routes isn't much different from that of the Camino 20 years ago. If you had told me when I first walked the Camino Frances that 180,000 would be walking it at the beginning of the 21st century I would have said you were demented.

William Marques said:
In the medeival period when relics were really venerated a local pilgrimage to the big cathedral a few days/weeks away was the most common pilgrimage. Why has this pattern not reappeared?
In places that retained the Catholic tradition, such as Galicia or Ireland, it has never disappeared - though road, air and rail have increasingly replaced shank's pony. Children of the Reformation/Enlightenment don't venerate relics any more, and are unlikely to do so again - especially as most of the shrines were eradicated long ago. For us, though we like to call walking to Santiago 'pilgrimage', it bears little resemblance to either the medieval version or the popular modern ones to places like Lourdes. Our motives are more complex: history, culture, art/architecture, the simple pleasure of walking that most modern townies have forgotten, not just the physical pleasure but that of walking together with others on a common purpose - plus, yes, some kind of spiritual dimension, whatever that might be.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#13
The Credendial is not an official document, it's meant to be a letter of introduction, also recognizble as an accreditation of being a pilgrim to Santiago.

The Credencial emerged as a result of the 1987 Congress of Jaca. Until then, and theoretically unti now, to obtain the document that certified a person had completed his/her pilgrimage to Santiago, it was enough prior to that year to have a sheet of paper with notes on the pilgrimage or a travel journal.

As far as albergues are concerned, this controversy does not affect them at all, some because they're private and do whatever they want (poderoso caballero es don dinero), and the others because they're not subected to that hierarchy or its impositions.

What seems to vary right now is that whoever wants the Compostela, will have to go to Santiago's Oficina del Peregrino,with the credencial, whichever they approve. That is all.

-a pilgrim


La Credencial no es ningún documento oficial, es una carta de presentación, que es reconocida también como una acreditación del peregrino.

La credencial surge a raiz del congreso de Jaca en el año 1987, hasta entonces y teoricamente hasta ahora, para la obtención del documento que acreditaba haber peregrinado a Santiago, bastaba con cualquier papel o cuadernillo a modo de diario de viaje.

En cuanto a los albergues, no les afecta para nada esta controversia, a unos porque son privados y hacen lo que quieren (poderoso caballero es don dinero) y a los demás porque no están para nada sujetos a esa jerarquia, ni a sus imposiciones.

Lo único que variará respecto ahora, es que el que quiera la Compostela, tendrá que ir a la Oficina con su Credencialm, o las que ellos den por buenas, si es que aceptan otras. No hay más cera que la que arde.

-un peregrino
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#14
Hi Sil,

It is mostly agreed that the C Primitivo was the Road that King Alfonso took to the campus stellae, where the supposed remains of St James were discovered by Pelayo. This man was a hermit, which state connotates that he lived in an area far away from people. The place was uninhabited.

No doubt there were routes around the area. But they may have had more to do with pre-Christians, the Celts, Vikings, or Romans. Though I do agree in that 90% (or more) of the Caminos that we walk today are not the “originals”, I pretty much believe that the C. Primitivo, or around that area, was most likely the first road to what eventually became Compostela.

Of the writers you named I must confess that I only know Shirley and Coehlo. About the first one, and I do like her a lot, I had to skip over some 60 pages of her book on "The Camino," I coulnd’t get into her sexual tryads with beings from Atlantis. Re: Coehlo, and for other reasons, I did not get beyond the third or fourth page.

But hey, art is art, one reacts to it subjectibly and in a very personal way. Matter of taste. I will say this, many of the pilgrims that I’ve met, found out, or were motiviated, re: the Caminos, by either Coehlo or Shirley. They have bee able to spread through their work the Caminos at an international level. That has my respect.

I should check out the other writers you named.

Prior to walking my Caminos I did extensive research re: them. It is unfortunate that I have not kept at least a bibliography to pass on to u; there's much documentation "on the Caminho Portuguese, or the Camino Norte, Via de La Plata or any of the other 20+ routes."

But let me suggest this: prior to start compiling a bibliography on the other Caminos, presumably in English, it would be a great idea to contact the CSJ. I’m not a member, yet. I undertand you may be. Would it be possible for you to write to them requesting the bibliography re: other caminos than the CF? Let me know.

Finally, to me the term “camino” encompasses the overall concept of the Jacobean tradition. At a practical level, even though there’s no denying that the CF is the most important one, today, the other Caminos do have their very particular histories and, as shared previously, physical and spiritual, characteristics & personalities. It is time to carry out a historic revision of all the Caminos, and give them the recognition that they deserve, other than "options to the CF."

Best,

xm 8)
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#15
xm said:
I should check out the other writers you named.

But let me suggest this: prior to start compiling a bibliography on the other Caminos, presumably in English, it would be a great idea to contact the CSJ. I’m not a member, yet. I undertand you may be. Would it be possible for you to write to them requesting the bibliography re: other caminos than the CF? Let me know.
Let me recommend the Walter Starkie book to you.

The CSJ does indeed print a booklet "Which Camino" that outlines the Camino routes. Given their remit however almost all the routes in that booklet are related to St James and Santiago. From memory the only other routes they include in that booklet are St Olav's Way and the Via Francigena. Their library does of course have much information on pilgrimage routes in general as well as the Caminos.

What pilgrimages badges are you refering to?
When pilgrimage was in its heyday (pre-reformation as Peter says in fact I think th 13th and 14th centuries were the peak but I stand to be corrected) the pilgrim badge was a souvenir bought by pilgrims as proof of their visit to a particular shrine. They were generally made from fabric (as the vernicle nearly always was) or cheap metal and were so cheap that all bur the poorest pilgrim could afford them. Being made from such poor materials and of little material value few survived the centuries but with the advent of metal detectors more are being found all the time. You may have read a recent posting in which the Piers the Ploughman poem is taken apart by Peter. They are also referred to in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. As I said in my earlier post on this subject the vast majority of those which survive are from local pilgrimages to sites which may still exist but which cannot be considered pilgrimage centres any more. I do accept that there are attempts to restart the tradition and I was one of may who joined the Archbishop of Canterbury on a short (morning) pilgrimage to St Albans Abbey last summer.

Pilgrimages have been going on forever. For Christians, Muslims, and Jews, the sites of veneration are well known and visitied, even today-Rome/Jerusalem/Mecca, as well as in many other religions.
My post referred to walking pilgrimages not sites of pilgrimage which I agree are many but very few these days walk to Mecca or Jerusalem etc (although I know some do Sil and Peter) and my list was not supposed to be exhaustive but indicative of the longer routes similar to the Caminos within the Christian tradition in Europe I am sorry I did not make this clear. The toughest pilgrimage I understand is the 1000 day Sennichi-Kaiho-Gyo pilgrimage near Kyoto.
http://www.kyoto-np.co.jp/kp/topics/eng/2003sep/09-18.html

yours

William
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#17
Maybe it's a case of following the herd with everyone on the CF. The figures speak fort hemselves-80,000 on the cf, 4,000 on the vdlp.If you want crowds then the cf is probably for you but to me it's a bit like comparing the costa del sol with, say, the alhambra. If you want 'camaraderie' go to the costa del sol/CF if you want an uncrowded more reflective experience try the al hambra/vdlp
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
#18
I also think one of the really interesting facts might be where people start on the VdlP - I suspect from what I was told in albergues and casa rurales that a much smaller number start in Seville.
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#19
I think that starting in Sevilla is a must. You get a good feel for the changing terrain-sevilla is about 25m above sea level and you do eventually appreciate the diversity of scenery of spain. The VDLP was my very first camino-I looked at the figures: CF 80,000 people, VDLP 4000 and 250kms longer-no contest.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#20
That is one Camino that is definitely on my list, Omar. Don't know if this is the same with u, but after having experienced a Camino, I like to vary the experience by doing one I haven't walked before. There have been repeats, of course, including the ubiquotous CF. The ones I've walked the most have been, yes yes yes, the CF, but number one: the C Aragones, and then the C Portugues. The Camino to Fisterra has been a sublime way to end the experience, it is pure magic. So far the exception has been the Camino del Norte. For some reason I couldn't get into the "spirit" of the pilgrimage in this Camino. Granted, it's another beaut, but... That was the main reason why I quit it and went on to experience the Camino Primitivo. That, however, will be another post. Best, xm 8)
 

Peter Robins

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#21
xm said:
I believe that each Camino has its own particular history, its own personality, if you will, reasons why I like to refer to the Jacobean routes as the "roads" instead of the "road."
ah, but what is 'a Camino'? A 'route' starting in a particular place is a modern artefact - in effect, a label applied to a sort of marketing package ('Camino del Norte', 'Camino Primitivo'). Medieval pilgrims did not follow 'routes'; they started from their home and used the road network of the time (or of course the sea) to get to the shrine of their choice. In effect, each pilgrim created their own route, joining up sections of road. The further they were from the shrine, the more choice they had. A particular section of road has a history, which in some cases you can trace, but a Camino? Pilgrimage, on the other hand, is an abstract, not linked to any route. It shouldn't matter to the Pilgrim Office which route people take.

xm said:
the Camino Primitivo, starting from Oviedo, was the first Christian Camino
meaning that the first pilgrims all lived in Oviedo? ;-)
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#22
Camino Routes

Peter, do you really think people had that many roads to choose from in the middle ages? I don't have that many road to choose from today to walk from my home to our Capital - 96 kms away. I really only have a choice of three roads to choose - the old "Main Road" from Durban Bay to Pietermaritzburg: a Highway that meanders through the suburbs to Pietermaritzburg and a 'new' National road that avoids most of the towns but converges with the other two roads about 10kms outside of Pietermaritzburg. The choice becomes less the further I have to go - not more if I wanted to walk 650kms to Johannesburg.
When I walked from Durban to Cape Town in 2003, we had two choices - an old, disjointed coastal route that wends its way from one small town to another, or a more direct inland route on a major highway. And this is the 21st Century!
Pilgrims would surely have made their way from their homes to the 'safest' road, the one most used by merchants and other travellers. One with bridges across the rivers, that passed through towns or villages where they could find shelter overnight. (I wonder if Santo Domingo built bridges over rivers on any of the other 'routes' or only on the French route?) These safe roads would have formed the 'routes' - as described by Aimery Picaud, Laffi, Arnold von Harff and others.
There doesn't seem to be any evidence of hundreds of historical caminos (ways) with thousands of monuments, cathedrals and castles leading to Santiago - only a few.
Even further afield, there might be several routes across the Pyrenees but a few would have been the most popular. Linda Davidson writes that as late as the 17thC (well into the decline of the pilgrimage) the Roncesvalles hospice was hosting 25 000 pilgrims a year. If this was not a pass on 'THE' route from France then how many more thousands crossed in other places?
Many European pilgrims leave their homes and walk to Santiago but for others, especially those from other continents, we have to find a place to start and we choose a particular 'route'.
 

Barbara

Active Member
#23
Shrine to shrine, ask as you go, of course everyone does their own camino, but mouth to ear worked in the middle ages, and works well today if you aren't in a hurry. Of course the routes converge, but we still start from home.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#24
meaning that the first pilgrims all lived in Oviedo?
Peter, King Alfonso, who lived in the general area of that section of Astur, first did the pilgrimage in what today is known as the Camino Primitivo. I believe it is mentioned in ur web page. Check it out.

Best,

xm 8)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#25
...'a Camino'? ...is a modern artefact ...label applied to a sort of marketing package ...
It does make geography easier to understand these days :arrow: living as we do in a market economy.

Medieval pilgrims did not follow 'routes'; they started ...used ...created ... joining ...choice
Fine for the times, now is now :D .

Pilgrimage...is an abstract, not linked to any route.
I prefer the term "concept." But then, "what's in a word :?: "

A particular section of road has a history, which in some cases you can trace, but a Camino?
Absolutely :wink: .

It shouldn't matter to the Pilgrim Office which route people take.
De acuerdo, and frankly, I couldn't care less about that tenebrous :evil: , second story, torture chamber's :twisted: , dictates.

Best,

xm 8)
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#26
I too was thinking about the millions of pilgrims that have walked to SDC. Presumably they simply walked out of their home and started walking-surely there were, at least initially, an infinite number of routes. Clearly the closer to the goal the coming together of the different routes.
My other thought is-why the preoccupation with starting in SJPP, is this another example of the herd mentality of everyone wanting to start together?
Also Sil: the number of roads that we may have now does not really relate to what may have existed in the middle ages. In europe numerous tracks and paths have disappeared under towns, farmland and highways. In Australia there must be hundreds of tracks and paths originally used by Aboriginals that are long lost.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#27
Hi Sil, roads are diff depending on what they're used for. Back in the middle ages, and in much of today's so called "underdeveloped world," they were/r geared for walking, horseback riding, & carts. Economics played a key, then as now. If u had the means, u traveled more comfortably by horse, carriage, etc. If not, walkie walkie. Today, we walk the Caminos, but we may get there flying on coach or business class, depending. Best, xm 8)
 
#28
Kia ora - me again
Good ol' Howie and his notorious tuppence...

...Why have the caminos to Santiago become so popular...

Many pilgrims on the Camino francès - The one and only Camino for germans - are of german nationality (or from german speaking countries like Austria, and Switzerland, there are numerous swiss websites about the Caminos). I will try - from my point of view - to explain why they are interested so much in the Camino francès and the Camino francès only:

There were three incidents which influenced the potential german CF pilgrims:

Paolo Coelho's pilgrimage and consequential book (1987)
For the not faint at heart (demons etc.) and esoteric people.
Esoteric ideas in those days just took off in Germany.
Had some influence on german pilgrims, but not a lot.
But that's when it all started.

Shirley Maclaine's pilgrimage and consequential book (translated in german 2001)
Shirley is a very popular and famous actor in Germany and her films are almost classics in german movie history. So everybody got exited when she did the Camino (francès of course). Shirley has been involved in esoteric stuff of all sorts for a long time. The book is about exactly that: the Camino francès under an esoteric view of things, about invisible "power lines", "magent or force fields", "earth power" and "parallels to the Milky Way, the Universe" and so on. Hugely popular things in Germany - many people need that for orientation in life.
That was the real big push for german pilgrims to do what Shirley did. And to get "esoteric insights".

HaPe Kerkeling's pilgrimage and consequential book (2006)

http://www.hapekerkeling.de/
A german TV entertainer and comedian.
His book was #1 on the german hit list for over a year and still sells extremely well.
This book brought an enormous interest and increase in german pilgrims for the CF - and the CF only. Things took really off then. I dont know why - it's not even esoteric, it's not about the path, it's not a guide of any sorts - it's mainly about the author himself.
After that book everyone in Germany wanted to do the Camino francès. Or at least started talking about it...

I have read all three books. Didn't like either.

Coelho is sort of aloof and very hard to digest.
MacLaine is pure esoteric stuff. If you like that - ok...
Kerkeling is admiring his own belly button.

But without any doubt the combination of the three has created an enormous public interest in Germany for the Camino francès. And according to the way germans think they walk the path "to get inspiration". Which, alas, doesn't come when ordered or expected to come...

Spain is not very far from Germany and can be reached by car within 8 to 18 hours, depending where you live. Spain is a very common holiday destination for germans. Spain is part of the EU and there are no border controls. That all makes it very easy to get there. Spain is sort of "next door" - so is southern France where the CF starts. To most german people I know or talk to about that the Camino francès ist just an other, although unusal, holiday destination. Simple as that.

So. My tuppence. And an attempt to explain why so many german pilgrims are on the Camino francès.

Thank you for reading my waffle...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
#29
Another one for the list of books related to the Caminos that I didn't get into was: Frances Temple's, young adult's, novel, "The Ramsay Scallop." Guess am gonna have to write my own :!: On the other hand, to end this post on a constructive note, I loved Nancy Frey's "Pilgrim Stories," & Jesus Torbado's "El peregrino." Best, xm 8)
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#30
Howie said:
Kia ora - me again
Good ol' Howie and his notorious tuppence...
Hi there Howie from a fellow Kiwi. I live in Palmie and hope to be just started from Le Puy about this time next year. Kia ora.
 

Peter Robins

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#32
Re: Camino Routes

sillydoll said:
Peter, do you really think people had that many roads to choose from in the middle ages?
yup :)
For example, pilgrims from England going overland could have gone via Our Lady of Boulogne and perhaps on to John the Baptist at Amiens, or via Our Lady of Chartres, or via St Martin of Tours, or via Mont-St-Michel . . . They could have landed at any number of ports on the north coast of France to get to these places, and the exact route they took will have depended on circumstances at the time (time of year, weather, who was fighting whom where, and even whether they could get permission to cross a particular territory).
If they went by sea, there were a dozen or more landing places on the Galician coast, and another dozen or more elsewhere on the N coast of Spain. If there were enough of them, they could hire a ship specifically to take them to a port near Santiago like Corunna, but if not they would have had to take whatever ship was available: to elsewhere in N Spain or, failing that, to Gascony. With any luck a further ship to Galicia might have been available, but maybe not.
And circumstances might have changed by the time they returned.

Of course, some ports were more used than others, and some roads were more used than others, and of course geographical constraints like mountain passes and river bridging points limit possibilities. But pretty much any medieval road/track/path will have been used by some pilgrim at some time. Which one is 'The Camino'? None, they all are!
 

Peter Robins

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#33
omar504 said:
My other thought is-why the preoccupation with starting in SJPP, is this another example of the herd mentality of everyone wanting to start together?
because the medieval concept of pilgrimage has got muddled up with the modern concept of waymarked trail. The yellow arrows start in St Jean, therefore 'The Camino' starts in St Jean, therefore if you want to walk 'The Camino' you must start in St Jean.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#35
Camino Routes

Hi Peter,
I was specifically referring to choices of 'camino' routes in Spain and not to the 'ways' in England or 'chemins' in France or 'wegs' in Germany etc.
If people from the Kingdom of the Franks (c1140) used their chemins etc to reach the Pyrenees and cross over to Roncesvalles (or at Portalet) surely they would have used the 'French way' - or the Norte? Especially with all the Villafrancas along that route.
When the indigenous peoples from within the Kingdoms of Navarre or Leon started walking to Compostela (I don't mean from the lands ruled by the Moors in the south) surely they would have found their way from their homes to a well travelled, well suported road to walk to Compostela?
Sil

You can find excellent maps of Spain from 910 to 1492 here:
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/historic ... 0_1492.jpg

I bought one of the (false) 1648 'Carte de Chemins de St Jacques' maps from the tourist office in St Jean de Angeley and although it is false, it looks very good on my wall next to my compostelas!

TYou will find this map - and other on the French website:
http://www.saint-jacques.info/fausse-carte/faux.htm
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#36
If people from the Kingdom of the Franks (c1140) used their chemins etc to reach the Pyrenees and cross over to Roncesvalles (or at Portalet) surely they would have used the 'French way' - or the Norte? Especially with all the Villafrancas along that route.
Hello Sil, I guess it would depend where in France. Entering through the Summus Portus via the C Aragones was also a viable way for pilgrims, then. I've noticed that many people refer to the C Frances as that portion in Spain, and the ones in France by other names. Best, xm 8)
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#37
Camino Routes

There was no "France" as it exists today.
'France' was mainly Acquitaine (as I remember from reading Peter's website!)
We have to VERY careful with our wording
:wink:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#38
Granted, Sil, nonetheless, entering via Somport was widely used for a long time via "las Galias," how about that term :lol: ? Best, xm
 
#39
The Japanese pilgrimage noted by xm comes from the Tendai sect of
Buddhism, one of a number of sects of the
ancient religions of the Far East. I'm not familiar
with this one, in which priests walk some 1000 days in
the mountains, some of which are endured in temple
prayer without food.

The one I'm most familiar with is the 88 Temple
Shikoku pilgrimage, founded by priest and scholar
Kukai, known as Kobo Daishi. This one's for the common
person.

In this pilgrimage, "henro" (pilgrims) walk either
clockwise or counterclockwise around the circumference
of Shikoku, the smallest of the four main islands of
Japan, stopping to pray, donate, rest, eat, and get
stamped or signed at each of 88 temples along the way.

The walk is approximately 1600 kilometers around, in
all terrain including mountains. Important to note is
that in Japan, temples are often built high up. It
takes about 60 days to walk. Most henro actually go by
bus and this is considered perfectly acceptable. A
minority walk.

The pilgrim, clad in normal pilgrim garb for the
weather (spring and fall are urged due to the extreme summer humidity), plus the
traditional henro white blouse, prepares mentally and
spiritually for the pilgrimage by first visiting Mount
Koya. Then henro start out at Ryozenji, near
Tokushima. They must then return there to complete the
pilgrimage.

Dotted throughout Japan are mini versions of this
pilgrimage, with the same 88 temples (replicas
obviously, but to the Japanese it's the symbolism that
matters), the same garb, the same prayers and many of
the same feelings, I'm sure.

I've done half of one and a few stops of another. One
of the reasons I've chosen to return to Japan is to
complete this.

Although no pilgrimage for me is the "real" Camino,
becoming henro gave me a perspective and a vantage
point I would have otherwise missed.

I recommend all peregrinos do one other pilgrimage to
see what extra can be gained -- and given.

Buen Camino,
Ana
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#40
Note: The reference that Ana refers to about the article re: the Japanese pilgrimage came from Peter. Best, xm 8)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#41
I recommend all peregrinos do one other pilgrimage to see what extra can be gained -- and given.
Ana, very interesting post regarding the Japanese pilgrimage, thanks for sharing. I'm interested in finding out about other pilgrimages, this one sounds like a very plausible one to experience. I wonder to what extent the fact that one comes from a Christian, non-Bhuddist, tradition, may influence the spiritual gains a pilgrim may gain from this particular pilgrimage (The Way in reverse :?: )

Buen Camino,

xm 8)
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#42
And, of course, there is the prosaic fact that SJPdP-Santiago takes about a month to walk. This fits into trip-planning cycles fairly easily and is a space of time which is easy to conceptualize-- as in "I will walk for a month," rather than "I will walk for 23 days etc." Simply, a month seems doable.

The previous poster's comments on Germans and the Camino Francese are interesting; I remember that I met no Germans on the Camino Aragonese, although there were Austrians, Australians, French and Spaniards, but that may have been coincidence.
 
#43
There has been a marked increase in foreign, non-Buddhist henro in Japan. I intend to do the big one someday, and I do intent to walk it -- perhaps after my work stint in Japan, perhaps between stints. But I'll do it.

Not sure of the specific spiritual gains made by non-Buddhists, but there's enough openness and welcome there to encompass all.

My priority, of course, remains to be a peregrina. I'll not let anything get in the way of that.

Buen Camino,
Ana
p.s. I met some German pilgrims along the Aragones.
 
#44
There is a very strong interest perticularly in the CF particularly from german pilgrims (or whatever they call themselves - as I said: many consider it sort of "sport", an "in thing" to do). I'm still trying to find out why - i.e. numbers etc. I have the strong guess it is connected to this above mentioned entertainers book (#1 in the german book hit lists) about the CF and his personal pilgrimage (which indeed was exactly that: a pilgrimage - he, according to his tale, was looking for God).

Not really important a matter, I know - just very interesting to me, because I've read all these books.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#45
Como to think of it, the German pilgrims I've met have been on the CF, not on the others. But then again, I would say the same for Brazilian/Japanese/US pilgrims...hmm. Coincidence, r we generalizing here, or...? :? Best, xm
 
#46
Of course, I do remember that German peregrino who waxed eloquent about the 40K stages he was doing. A strapping young guy, I heard it several times from him: "Yesterday I did 40Ks and the day before ..."

So it seems sometimes there's an element of sport in it. And it's not just among the young, either. There was this one sixtysomething, a Canadian in this case, who asked me, genuinely perplexed, when I was mentioning the number of stops I'd made, "Just how many times do you plan on stopping?"

He asked in a chiding way. My answer to him: "As many as I want."

So some walkers really do see this as some sort of sport -- and not just Germans.

Buen Camino
Ana
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#47
So some walkers really do see this as some sort of sport...
:lol: I've met many many Spanish youths walking the Caminos on their summer vacation, with that attitude...

Best,

xm
 

Peter Robins

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#48
Re: Camino Routes

sillydoll said:
If people from the Kingdom of the Franks (c1140) used their chemins etc to reach the Pyrenees and cross over to Roncesvalles (or at Portalet) surely they would have used the 'French way' - or the Norte? Especially with all the Villafrancas along that route.
When the indigenous peoples from within the Kingdoms of Navarre or Leon started walking to Compostela (I don't mean from the lands ruled by the Moors in the south) surely they would have found their way from their homes to a well travelled, well suported road to walk to Compostela?
yes, although there were variations at different times and for different reasons, just as modern holidaymakers motoring to Mediterranean resorts will broadly follow the main roads but may deviate to visit friends or look at something they're particularly interested in (or to avoid the traffic on the main roads :) ).

But my point is not that every pilgrim created a new road but that which roads they used depended partly on where they lived, partly on personal preference, and partly on the prevalent circumstances. Those who lived in, for example, Bayonne, might have gone to St Jean PdP (unlikely, as it's a long way round), or may have gone via the Baztan valley to Pamplona, or via the coast to Irun; from there overland to perhaps Burgos or along the coast to Bilbao; from there, perhaps south to Burgos, or west to Reinosa and south to Carrion, or further along the coast perhaps to Oviedo; from there overland to Lugo or further along the coast, etc, etc. Those who lived in the Ebro valley, say Saragossa, may have gone along the valley to Logrono, or west to Soria, then perhaps north to Silos and Burgos, or west to Valladolid, etc etc.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with waymarking routes (I would hardly keep a list of them on my website if I thought that), but they are a simplification. To talk about 'The Camino del Norte starting in Irun' or 'The Camino Aragones starting at the Somport' is a distortion. These are modern labels imposed on the underlying road network.

sillydoll said:
I bought one of the (false) 1648 'Carte de Chemins de St Jacques' maps from the tourist office in St Jean de Angeley and although it is false, it looks very good on my wall next to my compostelas!

TYou will find this map - and other on the French website:
http://www.saint-jacques.info/fausse-carte/faux.htm
as this website points out, any map of 'Roads of St James' is simply a redrawing of the road network of the time. Pilgrims to St James used the same roads as everyone else.
 

Minkey

Active Member
#49
I think you'll always encounter these sports types. Fair enough, everyone has their reasons but I think if you just bolt through it you're doing yourself and injustice. I remember stopping in Belorado only to encounter two very competitive Brits... The first Brits I'd encountered on the Camino, in fact. They were talking about their GPS readings and how fast they'd covered x amount of ground... If that's what they want to do then I guess just let em do it! :roll:

I for one have promised myself that I'd never become a racer... Although I have done a 40k day, I would surely avoild such a thing ever again. Carrion de las Condes to Sahagun. Ugh.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#50
"Caminoglobetrotters" abound on the roads. That's probably how they run their lives. For some reason I find them funny and entertaining, for a while, dunno why. Eventually, though, they do bore me and I try to avoid them asap :!: All this said without being judgemental of course (What :?: Who are u kidding :?: :lol: ). Best, xm 8)
 

Peter Robins

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#51
Re: Camino Routes

sillydoll said:
Linda Davidson writes that as late as the 17thC (well into the decline of the pilgrimage) the Roncesvalles hospice was hosting 25 000 pilgrims a year
I don't know where she's got that number from, but suspect it may be the total number of travellers who stopped in Roncesvalles. By this time pilgrimage was banned in several countries. Concrete evidence of pilgrim numbers is extremely sparse, but there's an analysis of numbers of non-Spaniards stopping in Reyes Catolicos in Santiago 1630-55 at http://www.saint-jacques.info/nombre_pelerins.htm Even making heroic assumptions on the proportion of pilgrims in Santiago who stopped in the Hostal and the proportion who might have passed through Roncesvalles, it's hard to see how you would get to 25,000 - perhaps it should read 25 :)
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#52
One of my trepidations about the Le Puy-SDC route which I'm doing from late june is the apparently common activity of many wanting to leave hours before daylight to get to the next albergue around lunch time to get a bed. I didn;t encounter this on the VDLP last year although speaking of germans the few I saw were well equipped, highly organised and stuck to a pre determined schedule.
To each his own (the mandatory thing to say) but it did not seem a very enjoyable way to walk the camino.
I'll be the one shuffling in in the late afternoon-yes I know it will be hot but at least I'll 'smell the roses', stop for refreshmnets, maybe have a nap-I may miss out on a bed which is why I have a very lightweight tent with me.
 

Minkey

Active Member
#53
Shuffle away, that's what I say. walked with a German lad last year who, although rather obsessed by his buch, didn't mind stopping at every given opportunity to taste the blackberries... Almost to the point I thought the poor fella might have to seek treatment! I'm glad I met him though. He was a lovely guy who everyone seemed to get on with.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#54
Hello Peter. "...pilgrimage was banned in several countries...." I didn't know this. Can u please expound? Best, xm
 
#55
I don't have any problem with them, I too find them amusing. What I need to get past is their tendency to sometimes preach to others. I mean, it is no one's business how many stops I choose to make.

But most I meet along the Road make it totally worth it.

Ana
 

Minkey

Active Member
#56
Quite. Don't really care if it doesn't take me 25 days to do it. I don't want to do it in 25 days! On my first Camino when stopping (in desperation I might add) in Cardenuela Riopica, I shared a refuge run by the local bar with three others. Two girls who stayed there were progressing at a rate of about 10k a day, but... They were happy. Never did meet them again, though. Shame
 

Peter Robins

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#57
xm said:
Hello Peter. "...pilgrimage was banned in several countries...." I didn't know this. Can u please expound? Best, xm
at the Reformation. In England for example by statute in 1536. Most of the shrines were destroyed along with the dissolution of the monasteries at around the same time. Scotland was a bit later, but more zealous, with pretty much all the shrines being destroyed in a short period of a year or so around 1560.

Erasmus wrote in his Colloquies in 1526:
"Me. Prithee, tell me how does the good man St. James do, and
what was he doing ? Og. Why, truly, not so well as by far he used to be.
Me. What is the matter; is he grown old? Og. Trifler, you know
saints never grow old. No, but it is this new opinion that has been
spread abroad through the world is the occasion that he has not so
many visits paid to him as he used to have, and those that do come
give him a bare salute, and either nothing at all, or little or nothing
else ; they say they can bestow their money to better purpose upon
those that want it. Me. An impious opinion. Og. And this is the
cause that this great apostle, that used to glitter with gold and jewels,
now is brought to the very block that he is made of, and has scarce a
tallow candle. Me. If this be true the rest of the saints are in danger
of coming to the same pass."
http://www.archive.org/details/thewhole ... 00erasuoft
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#58
Peter, thanks for the quote. Am to assume that walking the Road to St James was legally banned in England during the Reformation, as well as in other countries? Am not getting that too clear from the quote or the link. Would appreciate clarity. Best, xm
 

Peter Robins

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#59
All pilgrimage was banned. The reformers were 'protesting' about what they saw as false doctrines and malpractice; pilgrimage was part of that. So they swept it away wherever they came to power. Shrines were destroyed, priests who encouraged pilgrimage were sent packing (or worse), pilgrims were no longer given safe-conduct passes or blessed by churches but told to reform their ways. In England, the Reformation was a long-drawn-out process, with a brief interlude under the Catholic Mary who married Philip II of Spain, a strong supporter of the Counter-Reformation; there may have been some pilgrimage to Santiago during this time, but if so it won't have lasted as England was at war with Spain for much of the rest of the century.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestant_Reformation and associated articles for the full story.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#60
Thanks for the info, Peter.

But of course, it had to be! One of the issues of the Reformation had to do with the cult of relics. Therefore, it follows that sites of pilgrimage, where relics were venerated, point in case, James, would be banned.

I wonder how the Road to St James was revived in England and other Protestant countries?

Best,

xm 8)
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#61
Pilgrimages

Besides Erasmus, the main protagonist was, of course, that rowdy German monk and priest, Martin Luther. He protested against the veneration of relics and saints (especially the virgin) and most vehemently against the sale of indulgences as well as the interpretation of the sacraments. It is said that it was not his intention to split the church but to reform it. The eventual result is history.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#62
...and depletion of funds for pilgrimage sites and the sale of relics, I guess :shock: Best, xm
 

Peter Robins

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#63
after 1589, there weren't any relics to venerate in Santiago anyway. They were hidden to prevent their falling into the hands of the 'English Armada' and not replaced until 1879.
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#65
Peter Robins said:
after 1589, there weren't any relics to venerate in Santiago anyway. They were hidden to prevent their falling into the hands of the 'English Armada' and not replaced until 1879.
Am I right in thinking that they are not sure if the ones they replaced were the ones they hid?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#66
"...after 1589, there weren't any relics to venerate in Santiago anyway. They were hidden to prevent their falling into the hands of the 'English Armada' and not replaced until 1879...."

"Am I right in thinking that they are not sure if the ones they replaced were the ones they hid? "
Is there any info re: all of the above?

Best,

xm 8)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#68
Am I right in thinking that they are not sure if the ones they replaced were the ones they hid?


Pope Leo XIII declared that they were
Amen to that :!:

Does the cult of relics exist today in any way/fashion with Protestants &/or Jews :?:

Best,

xm 8)
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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#69
Veneration of relics

The veneration of relics is a HUGE no-no for Protestants (protestors) but hey, people still beleive in miracles, still pray to the Saints, still walk to Sant 'Iago!
This was posted on another Forum last week:

"I walked to Saint James' relics to venerate them in the cathedral at Santiago and to ask for a miracle. More than once. I am quite sure I was not alone."

In Brittany, there is a very old pilgrimage called the Tro Breizh (tour of Brittany), where the pilgrims walk around Brittany from the grave of one founder saint to another. The seven founder saints of Brittany are:
·St Pol Aurelian, at Saint-Pol-de-Leon/Kastell-Paol,
·St Tudual (sant Tudwal), at Tréguier/Landreger,
·St Brieuc, at Saint-Brieuc/S-Brieg,
·St Malo, at Saint-Malo/S-Maloù,
·St Samson of Dol, at Dol,
·St Patern, at Vannes/Gwened
·St Corentin (sant Kaourintin), at Quimper/Kemper

Historically, the pilgrimage was made in one go (a total distance of around 600 km). Nowadays, however, pilgrims complete the circuit over the course of several years. In 2002, the Tro-Breizh included a special pilgrimage to Wales, symbolically making the reverse journey of the Welshmen Sant Paol, Sant Brieg, and Sant Samzun.
Whoever does not make the pilgrimage at least once in his lifetime will be condemned to make it after his death, advancing only by the length of his coffin each 7 year.
http://www.tro-breiz.com/
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#70
In Brittany, there is a very old pilgrimage called the Tro Breizh (tour of Brittany
Excellent info, Sil. This sounds like a very interesting pilgrimage. I tried to find an English language web page but none came up. Please let me know if there r any. Thanks, again, xm 8)
 

Peter Robins

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#71
How about Welsh? http://www.bbc.co.uk/cymru/tramor/straeon/pererin.shtml
"Pilgrimage from Brittany to Wales"

Seems they're getting on with waymarking and producing guides, so looks like I shall have to add this one to my list.

More relevant to the Camino is the Grand Pardon on St James Day at Locquirec on the N Breton coast, with blessing of boats, processions etc. Legend has it that St James arrived by boat and lived in the town.
 

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