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

Camino Forum Store

Advertisement

Famous Pilgrims

#1
I'm obsessing about the possibility of my first pilgrimage in August.

I was wondering who are some of the most famous pilgrims who have traveled the Camino Frances.

So far I have found Shirley Maclaine and Lorenzo de Medici.
 

Advertisment

#2
El Cid and St. Francis certainly.

Anthony Quinn did part of it in 1999.

Pope John Paul II visited Santiago twice, once in 1982 and once in 1989.
 

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:
#3
Gotescalco, archbishop of Le Puy - 950AD
Aimery Picaud - c1140AD
Many Catholic Kings and Queens
Paulo Coelho
Some of Sheen (Esteves) brothers.
 

Peter Robins

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#4
sillydoll said:
Gotescalco, archbishop of Le Puy - 950AD
don't think you can say that. We have no idea which route most pilgrims to Santiago took. Gotescalc will not have used the CF as we know it, for the simple reason that large chunks of it didn't exist at the time. He may have used the Roman roads, taken a coastal route, or have gone to a port such as Bordeaux or Bayonne and then by sea to Galicia; there's no way of knowing (and he was a bishop, not archbishop).

According to tradition, St Francis is supposed to have gone via Perpignan and Bordeaux, not Roncesvalles, though, if he went to all the places he is supposed to have passed by, he will have taken a very circuitous route. :) And as for El Cid, even if he went to Santiago, he is unlikely to have come from France :)
 

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:
#5
Hi Peter,
You may be right - but then you may be crazy!
In c 1140 Aimery Picaud described a route from Le Puy to Spain, which one can be forgiven for thinking was the established route taken by the good Bishop and those who followed after him. Why believe otherwise?
The priest described a route from the mountains of Aubrac, visiting the sanctuary of St Foy of Conques, descending to the Abbey of Moissac, on to Ostabat and over the Pyrenees. When describing this route he doesn't include a visit to a coastal port or a sea journey to Galicia.
I agree that urban legends spread across the Net like webs to entangle us poor believers!
The first few website to catch me out was
www. caminosantiago.com (which named him as Archbishop)
Then the following website perpetuated the legend that the Bishop walked the Camino Frances:
http://www.trentobike.org/bycountry_one/Spain.html (whilst discussing the camino Frances claims that he walked 'the trail')
Even the Rioja website at:
http://www.riojainternet.com/turismo/ri ... tiago.html - claims that he passed by the monastery of San Martin de Albelda which is in La Rioja region - then part of Navarre.
"In the National Library of Paris is a valuable manuscript coming from the La Riojan locality of Albelda de Iregua. It is dated 950 and in the prologue the monk writes of the peregrination to Compostela by de Gotescalco, French bishop of LePuy. He passed by the monastery of San Martin de Albelda. Given the early date, Gotescalco would be one of the first well-known pilgrim to travel to Santiago."
 

Advertisment

#6
Famous on the Camino

Jabo Irureta - Spanish Football Coach
José Ortega Cano - Spanish Bullfighter
Jenna Bush - George Bush Jr. daughter
 

Peter Robins

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#7
sillydoll said:
You may be right - but then you may be crazy!
or both :)

sillydoll said:
In c 1140 Aimery Picaud described a route from Le Puy to Spain, which one can be forgiven for thinking was the established route taken by the good Bishop and those who followed after him. Why believe otherwise?
1. why believe he was correct? Those who have researched the roads in the medieval Massif Central don't find any evidence of a major E-W road from Le Puy; for example, Bautier http://www.saint-jacques.info/routes_XIIIe%20copie.jpg On what did Picaud (or whoever it was compiled the thing) base this claim? It clearly wasn't personal experience.
2. it was 200 years later - equivalent to basing a journey in Napoleonic times on a modern one. I can't see any reason to assume people in the two periods would have used the same route.
3. IMO it's a mistake to think of 'established routes'. There were roads which pilgrims used depending on where they were coming from and which towns/shrines/abbeys they wanted to visit en route, which will in turn have depended on time of year, what else was going on (who was fighting whom), which shrines were 'in' at the time, etc, etc.

sillydoll said:
I agree that urban legends spread across the Net like webs to entangle us poor believers!
http://www.trentobike.org/bycountry_one/Spain.html (whilst discussing the camino Frances claims that he walked 'the trail')
yup; he bought the trail guide from Amazon, and downloaded maps at his local taberna internetica . . .

sillydoll said:
Even the Rioja website at:
http://www.riojainternet.com/turismo/ri ... tiago.html - claims that he passed by the monastery of San Martin de Albelda which is in La Rioja region - then part of Navarre.
"In the National Library of Paris is a valuable manuscript coming from the La Riojan locality of Albelda de Iregua. It is dated 950 and in the prologue the monk writes of the peregrination to Compostela by de Gotescalco, French bishop of LePuy. He passed by the monastery of San Martin de Albelda. Given the early date, Gotescalco would be one of the first well-known pilgrim to travel to Santiago."
that's correct. That's where the mention of Gotescalc comes from, though it implies that he went there on the way back. To be absolutely precise: BNF manuscript Latin 2855 http://mandragore.bnf.fr/jsp/afficherNo ... 2&idPere=8
See also http://www.saint-jacques.info/Godescalc.htm
 

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:
#8
Nah - you're not crazy - just pedantic. (I was quoting words from a song!)

1) The Codex need'nt have been based on personal experience and even if it was the work of a bunch of students (as some historians suspect due to the poor Latin) they couldn't have dreamed up the routes to Spain without information based on some kind of empirical reasearch on the roads, distances between shrines etc.
2) A few years ago I walked the "Wainwright's Coast to Coast" in England. We followed Alfred's route religiously, east to west, stayed in the same villages (in some cases the same B&B's) because we wanted to walk the 'authentic" C2C. As you know people are trying to follow Sigerics route from Rome to Canterbury - almost 1 200 years after he wrote his diary.
3) I think there might have been established routes that people would have used, mostly for safety reasons, rather than find out of the way or isolated trails. (There couldn't have been that many options between towns.)
I don't think people were very different to us a thousand years ago. If bishop Gotescalco travelled to Santiago he must have been a celebrity in his town and must have told hundreds of his kinsman about his trek. I wouldn't be surprised if those who followed tried to stick to the same route and visit the same monasteries and shrines. Today, people want to walk the 'authentic' Camino Frances, or the classic Jomosom trek to Muktinah, or the historical 88 temple pilgrimage on Shikoku. They rarely invent their own routes.
4) So - the bishop could have walked a similar route to the present day Camino Frances - on the way back to Le Puy.
We can never know for sure.
Thanks for the websites - very interesting.
 

Magnara

Maggie Ramsay
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago de Compostela (2005) Via Francigena (2010) Le Puy to St Jean (2014)
#9
IMHO, which exact route is not the important point in this thread, or the real meaning of cilento's question, it is the intent of setting off from home and ultimately arriving in Santiago de Compostela. Exactly which route isn't relevant to that - if we know some of these famous historical (and some modern) people have been moved to walk the way, it's interesting in a celebrity-spotting sort of way.
 
#10
Thanks everyone

Yes, Magnara and I are really thinking along the same lines. I did request info about the Camino Frances, but I am just as interested in finding out about other people who have completed a pilgrimage to Santiago.

I want to immerse myself in some of the history behind the entire experience, and I really appreciate your expertise in this area.

Thanks again,
Nick
 
#11
Another

From my reading, I'm inclined to believe San Ignacio de Loyola and San Francisco Xavier (two early Jesuits) travelled to Santiago de Compostella.
 
#12
This is my first message. Can I suggest the Wife of Bath as a famous pilgrim, a fictional character but one representing many thousands of pilgrims who did go to Santiago?
Chaucer's pilgrims walked on the line of a Roman road from London to Canterbury nearly a thousand years after the Roman administration in this country had collapsed. There were many Roman roads in France and Spain linking towns that were important centres in the Middle Ages, and therefore still in use. All the Caminos have lengths of road that are still recognisably of Roman origin; there is one between Puente la Reina and Cirauqui on the Camino Francés. The continuous use of roads throughout the centuries is one of the bugbears of walking pilgrims - the old Roman roads that became Mediaeval tracks are now buried under tarmac.
Laurie[/url]
 

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:
#13
Hi Nick,
If you want to learn more about the camino you could read Linda Davidson's book.
"THE PILGRIMAGE ROAD TO SANTIAGO, The Complete Cultural Handbook" by Gitlitz and (Linda) Davidson, ISBN 0 312 25416 4, published by St. Martin's Griffin, New York in 2000.
(You can order these from any good book shop in Spain or from http://www.amazon.com or http://www.csj.org.uk.)
It is, IN MY OPINION, the number one book in English on the camino and covers the history, folk-lore, flora and fauna, art, architecture etc of the camino Frances.
 

Peter Robins

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#14
laurie said:
one of the bugbears of walking pilgrims - the old Roman roads that became Mediaeval tracks are now buried under tarmac.
and none more so than London-Canterbury (though Chaucer's pilgrims didn't walk but rode - at a canter, presumably). However, I'm not sure the Church would like the idea of the Wife of Bath as a representative pilgrim; I think they might prefer someone a little more spiritual :)
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#15
John of Gaunt - but then he didn't go to Santiago for pilgrimage reasons only and not by the Camino Frances. And I may be wrong but I seem to remember that Chaucer's wife or another relation went with the party (which was to claim the Spanish throne). This is all from memory so probably twisted.
 

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:
#16
In her book "Jacobean Pilgrims from England to St James of Compostella from the early Twelfth to the late Fifteenth Century" (based on her unpublished thesis) Constance Mary Storrs includes over 12 pages with the names of pilgrims from England between 1107 and 1484 (with a note of evidence of their pilgrimage) and 10 pages of enrolled ships' licence holders from 1235 to 1484. These include the names of the master or owner. Perhaps some of you have ancestors amongst these names?
Old famous names include King Sigurd of Norway, Henry of Blois (younger brother of King Stephen), Saint Godric as well as many bishops and archbishops, Earls of Salisbury and Chester and a number of Dukes. Amongst the names are familiar characters such as William Wey and Margery Kempe who wrote detailed accounts of their pilgrimages.
The Mundicamino website lists the names of famous pilgrims through the centuries from IX C through to the XX Century. Worth a visit:
http://www.mundicamino.com/Ingles/histo ... historiaix
 

Trudy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
#18
English Pilgrims

Just to add to the debate - most English pilgrims, including Marjery Kempe, did not walk the Camino Frances. Instead they took ship from an English port, such as Southhampton, and landed on the northern Spanish coast. From there they had a shortish walk to Compostela. The full round trip in Marjery Kempe's time took about one month.
 

OLDER threads on this topic



Advertisement

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

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

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 7 1.3%
  • February

    Votes: 3 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 24 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 84 15.8%
  • May

    Votes: 141 26.5%
  • June

    Votes: 43 8.1%
  • July

    Votes: 12 2.3%
  • August

    Votes: 9 1.7%
  • September

    Votes: 143 26.8%
  • October

    Votes: 58 10.9%
  • November

    Votes: 6 1.1%
  • December

    Votes: 3 0.6%
Top