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History of the albergues


Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
On the Camino since 2008
Hello pilgrims!
I am searching the web for anything on the history of spanish albergues (not only spanish actually). I am interested in absolutelly everything in this topic. If you could help me out with some old pictures/texts/books/documents etc. I would be very grateful.
Thanks a lot.
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Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
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:
You'll find a lot more via the Spanish forums and books.
However, I added a post on my blog last year which contains quite a lot of info on pilgrim shelters.


A register dating1594 at the hospice at Villafranca de Montes de Oca recorded 16,767 pilgrims that year, over 200 on some days.

In the middle ages almost every town and village on the Camino Frances supported at least one pilgrim hospice. Many were small and a favourite number was 12 beds that corresponded with the numbers of apostles.

The town with the highest number of shelters was Burgos which in the 15th-c boasted 32 hospices, and even as pilgrimage declined, still supported 25 into the late 1700’s.¹

Astorga had 21, Carrion de los Condes had 14 and at one time there were 7 in Castrojeriz. Even small villages like Obanos and Viana had several pilgrim shelters. Terradillos de los Templarios and neighbouring Moratinos were among the few pueblos that did not provide a hospice for pilgrims.

Just as they are today, some hospices were provided by Confraternities, some by the church and some were privately run

Read on:

Some books I used for the post:

1. The Road to Santiago - Gitlitz and Davidson

2. Jacobean Pilgrims from England to St. James of Compostella - Constance Storrs

3: Camino de Santiago - Cordla Rabe, Rother Walking Guide.

4. The Pilgrim’s Guide to Santiago de Compostela” - Annie Shaver-Crandell and Paula Gerson

5. Body & Soul - Hospitality Through the ages on the road to Compostela

In modern times you can research Don Elisas Valina Sampedro - O Cebreiro parish - who motivated for and was encharged with the available resources as well as the promotion of refuges.
Good luck with your research.

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