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History and culture on VdlP and the Le Puy route?

bjorgts

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
In Spain, France, Portugal, Germany since 2003
Can anyone help me with this: Walking Camino Francé, I have enjoyed reading something about history and culture along the way. What sort of village is this? How many pilgrim hospitals in the middle ages? How old is this church? Are there something special about it? ... and so on. When I walked from Sevilla to Caceres two years ago, I tried to find that sort of guide, but did not find any. I had the guide of Alison Raju - good for helping me finging my way and all practical things, but not good on history and culture. I have the same problem with the route from Le Puy. The miam-miam-do-do guide is perfect for its purpose, but no history and no culture. On both routes I really miss that part. Can anybody help me?
 
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Although there have always been pilgrims in Le Puy En Velay - mainly to visit the famous shrine of the Black Madonna - there isn't much 'St Jacques' history on the Le Puy route (as we know it) to read about.
One of the only documents referring to the pilgrimage of Bishop Godesalc to Santiago lay undiscovered until the 19th C and even then was only read by a few academics. It didn't say anything about the route he took from Le Puy to Santiago. Go to this website to read about how a 'walking route' from Le Puy en Velay to Santiago was devised in the 1960's.
http://www.saint-jacques.info/anglais/lepuy.htm

I haven't ever seen a history/cultural book (in English) on the VDLP. There is a boxed set of 3 DVD's available on the Via de la Plata - in Spanish - which is very beautiful describing the three thousand year history of the 'al blata' way and visits various places and locations along the route. http://www.elcorteingles.es/cine/produc ... 5941512953

You can read albout this amazing DVD collection in a previous post here:
post12104.html?hilit=%20Beautiful%20DVD%20collection%20on%20the%20Via%20de%20la%20Plata#p12104
 
Very interesting, Sillydoll. Thank you very much! I see that this is a very criticel writing on the route from le Puy. But even though there is no "pilegrimhistory" from a route, there are history, and on the route from Le Puy, there are interesting places, old churces, old towns and so on. (For me I look forward to se Conques, for example, where there were pilegrims, even though not going to Santiago.) As on VdlP one want to know what one are walking through and looking at and going to Mass in - if you understand. (I have thought of buying the DVDs.) Do you (or anyone else) know of books for VdlP on other languages than english? If anybody know of anything written from one of these two routes, please tell! (... and in the end I may walk from Cluny, just because it is Cluny - the history, you see!) :)
 
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You might find a historical/cultural guide written in French rather than in English. Or, you could email the different regions/departments that the route passes through for information on the historic places and monuments in their department. That is what I did when I was planning to walk from Paris as there was no historical/cultural book on the Via Turonensis either. I don't think there are any books in English that cover the entire Le Puy route.
I bought a book by Annie Shaver-Crandell and Paula Gerson called "The Pilgrim's Guide to Santiago de Compostela" - which is not a guide at all but a gazetteer with over 580 illustrations of the monuments along the four routes in France and the Camino Frances in Spain, mentioned in the Codex Calixtinus. It includes monuments that no longer exist but that are mentioned in Church or museum archives and that pilgrims would have seen in the different centuries.
For example: Arles (Bouches-du Rhone)
Church of Ste-Eulalie - mentioned as early as 824, this church which belonged to St Blaise des Nonnes, stood at the foot of the ramparts, south of and not far from the Aurelan Way. It was demolished in 1373.

You can buy it from http://www.csj.org.uk
 
Good ideas! I am ready for my sixth season on the Caminos. Can`t wait, but have to.
 
bjorgts said:
Can anyone help me with this: Walking Camino Francé, I have enjoyed reading something about history and culture along the way. What sort of village is this? How many pilgrim hospitals in the middle ages? How old is this church? Are there something special about it? ... and so on.
I have the same problem with the route from Le Puy. The miam-miam-do-do guide is perfect for its purpose, but no history and no culture. On both routes I really miss that part. Can anybody help me?
If you read French, there are three TopoGuides to the route from Le Puy to St Jean. They have maps and route descriptions, but also have brief notes about historical and cultural features along the route.
The Alison Raju guide (from Le Puy to the Pyrenees) has a middle insert of several pages that summarises all the St James and pilgrim 'references' on the Le Puy route, eg statues, chapels crosses.
Margaret
 
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