Search 59,165 Camino Questions

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


Advertisement
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

SANTIAGO IS CROWDED!!

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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:
Compostela became again yesterday an impossible city. The high influx of pilgrims and visitors made the Galician capital register completely crowded areas and demonstrations in equal parts, mostly caused by long queues and disorganized access to the cathedral.
A picture that is repeated every weekend, and that this time was exacerbated by high temperatures throughout the day, which at times exceeded thirty degrees.
The area of the Basilica of St. James, especially in the Platerías and A Quintana, was the most crowded, with lines of masses of people trying to enter the Cathedral, and organized groups of pilgrims, who used their stay in the city to attend Mass and then get a family photo for memories.
This was the case of members of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, who yesterday completed the last stretch of road from Monte do Gozo, later to hear the Mass in the cathedral before the ceremony of investiture of new Knights held in San Martín Pinario.
The Bishop of Tui-Vigo and Ourense apostolic administrator, Bishop Luis Quintero, was also in Compostela yesterday to preside over a Mass at the Cathedral on the occasion of the pilgrimage of Ourense Diocese.
Thus, several hundred people arrived in buses from various parishes and villages in Ourense to be quoted in the conclusion of the Service.
Also despite the exertion of running over a thousand miles in five days, the Green Berets did not hesitate to collect at seven in the morning at Monte do Gozo to run down to the Obradoiro Square, the goal of their pilgrimage. Next, the 58 military Special Operations Command Alicante attended the Pilgrim's Mass where the Apostle made an invocation. "

http://www.elcorreogallego.es/santiago/ ... ia-550111/
 

Attachments

  • Thousands of pilgrims.jpg
    Thousands of pilgrims.jpg
    34.2 KB · Views: 2,619
Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Past OR future Camino
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
What do you think it will be like on Tuesday or Wednesday this week? I am thinking of arriving on Tuesday, doing the Pilgrim mass on Wednesday, bus to/from Finisterre on Thursday, then leave on Friday or Saturday for Barcelona. Any ideas on my plan?
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Usually mid week is better than the weekends but Santiago is getting busier and busier. This is the last Holy Year for 11 years and huge pilgrimage groups are arriving just like in Sil's photograph. there are 4 pilgrim Masses per day 10, 12, 6pm and 7.30. Go early is my advice :)
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
I am having grave doubts about going there July 25, even though I have a good reason to go.... Just looking at that photo makes me shudder! :shock:
 

johnBCCanada

Active Member
I'm wondering if I shouldn't just go directly to the airport and wait there for a flight out? I hope/plan to be coming on the Inglise from Ferrol and am not worried about going to the pilgrim office and getting the compostela. If it is this crowded maybe I will just go directly to the airport and get the first Ryanair ticket to Madrid and onwards!
 
Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

Frances73

New Member
You can see a live webcam on the Plaza de la Quintana and the Holy Dooron the homepage of The Albergue (see top menu or click here).

Right now it's raining and looking very quiet, but there is no Pilgrim Mass right now. Around 12 there was a row of people, but it wasn't nearly as crowded as on sillydoll's picture.
 

aussieozjane

New Member
Thanks for the link Frances. Does anyone know if it is expected to be this crowded come Autumn/Fall - I know you don't have any crystal balls out there (well, at least I don't think anyone does!), but just thought some of the more experienced Pilgrims may have an idea.

thanks
Jane
 

JohnT

New Member
So that is what I got mixed up in!!!

It was so bad coming into Santiago along the city part of the Camino that I had to take off and come in on another route.

By contrast the Officina del Pelegrino was quiet (except for all the 'invaders' with their video cameras) and I had only a short wait for my Compostela and was given a tip to get into the Pilgrims Mass via the Plaza da Immaculada entrance with it in hand. Plenty of Latin which too few people seemed to know, special mention for the German Pilgrims but nothing in English
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Past OR future Camino
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
I went to the Pilgrims Mass this past Wednesday. It was a nightmare, to say the least.

I ended up in the cathedral halfway through the 10a Mass, so I decided to find a seat and wait for the Noon mass and then try to get a better seat. The whole church was overrun with tourists in large groups, who DURING MASS were taking pictures and chatting it up. There were guys in blue habits walking around telling people to be quiet and stop taking pictures or shooting video. In between Masses, every 15 minutes there is a recording or someone who announces for people to be quiet and be respectful. Are you serious? I saw other Pilgrims in the Cathedral and we all had the same shocked looks on our faces. At one point, I was sitting in a pew and there was room for two more people to sit, but that didn't stop some people from trying to fit three people in. They kept pushing me over and finally there was nowhere else to go, so I just got up and left to find another place to sit in the back of the church.

In other news, I got to see the botofumero (I am misspelling this, I think, sorrry) twice and it was pretty spectacular.

Just a side question: why isn't the Pilgrim Mass just for pilgrims? I'm not asking for a special privilege or anything, but it sure would be nice to not have to fight the tourists for a place to sit. There are four other masses they could go to......

I did enjoy my time in Santiago, but this Holy Year is something else!
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Well, the others (tourists) might very well consider themselves to be pilgrims too!

The 4 masses at 10 am, 12 noon, 6pm and 7.30 are all considered to be Pilgrim Masses - walking pilgrim numbers are read out at each and often the Botafumeiro is used at these as well.

But things can only get better or worse depending on how much you like crowds!

Pilgrims holding their compostelas can now get preferred access to the Cathedral from the Plaza of Azabacheria
 
Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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:
The estimates are that 12 million pilgrims will visit the tomb of St James this Holy Year.
Of those, about 250 000 will be walking pilgrims - of which, the majority will have walked the last 100km.

We all know that not every walking pilgrim who walks the camino is doing it because of the destination. But, I'm sure that the many millions of Catholics who fly to Spain and brave the masses of people in Santiago just to visit the cathedral are there for precisely that reason. Its a big occasion, a last chance for many to earn a plenary indulgence this Holy Year.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
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:
Suffer the little children ..............

350 school children and a few parents (one grandmother who pushed her walker) walked 2km into the city yesterday - maybe this is why the cathedral was so packed!
They were received by the mayor, Sanchez Bugallo and the mayors of Education, Mercedes Rosón and Civic Participation, Guadalupe Rodriguez. The kids gave him the ruler a scallop shell.
They attended the Pilgrim's Mass and saw for the first time in their lives, the Botafumeiro.

Photo from el Correo Gallego



........ and the queues stretched all the way back to the Obrdoiro square when numerous groups of pilgrims from various parts of Spain and abroad attended Mass yesterday at noon. These included a group of forty people from Como (Italy), twenty-four employees of Banco Santander in Latin America, eighty alumni Liceo de Braga and fifty pilgrims of the Veterans Association of the Guardia Civil The Pillars of Asturias. Today 170 Pilgrim's, employees in the group Coca Cola Spain, will walk from Ponferrada and Sarria.
 

Attachments

  • Children pilgrims.jpg
    Children pilgrims.jpg
    76.3 KB · Views: 1,809

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Also what happens is that once in a while, we get a cruise boat in Vigo or A Coruña..they get bussed down to Santiago... and it becomes crowded...

.. it has been crowded the last few days.. but not that crowded... there are still some room in the streets... were it gets crowded in if you want to enter the cathedral. Due to new security and the number of pilgrims entering. Note that once the pilgrims mass has started, there is no way to enter the cathedral... you need to be in before it starts.

Greetings from a sunny Santiago,
Ivar
 

Ribeirasacra

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
the highway
I have not been able to watch teh news the past few days so can anyone tell me if the rubbish collectors have gone back to work?
 
Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Past OR future Camino
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
There is a lot of confusion amongst the pilgrims though....a lot of people do not know that backpacks are not allowed in the Cathedral. (yes, there are signs in front of the entrances, but no signs telling people where to go) For instance, if you get there first thing in the morning (around 8a or so like I did) before the lines start, you CAN walk in with a backpack. I saw several people get yelled at by security, including a German pilgrim I knew who had been there two years ago and was quite shocked to find out no backpacks were allowed. I was able to show her where to go to check the backpack. I actually saved a few pilgrims from being told they couldn't take their packs in after standing in line for a while.

It's one thing to say there are crowds of people and it's a whole other thing to excuse their behavior. I knew Santiago was going to be crowded, from reports here and the tour busses I started seeing in O'Cebreiro. I had prepared myself for the crowds. But, I have NEVER been to a Mass before where people were having full conversations, cell phones were going off, people were video recording or snapping pictures with flash. I have been to churches all over (and just visited the three churches today, including the Cathedral in Barcelona), including some of the big ones (St. Patrick's in NYC, St. Peter's in Rome, Notre Dame in Paris, and a bunch in Jerusalem) and the BEHAVIOR I witnessed in Santiago that was tolerated by the church was what shocked me the most. It was distracting and disappointing. Today, in Barcelona, I saw three women turned away from the Cathedral because they were not dressed appropriately. There were very clear signs about what was permitted and what was not. It's just interesting to me, that as I continue on my travels around the world in prime tourist season, there are major differences in how each church handles their crowds. Most of them do a good job keeping the space as sacred as possible while still handling the tourist aspect of their building. It's a double-edged sword, I think.....
 

MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
The behavior of pilgrims, walkers, tourists, etc. in any church such as the "end stone" of the Camino will always encourage some different behavior because such a broad range of people seek to attend. I would guess that many have not set foot in a church in years. Second, many are in a celebratory spirit and lose all sense of reverence. Third, where expectations are low people tend to fall to the lowest common denominator; this applies to behavior as well as many other things.

It will be an almost unbearable experience for those truly faithful pilgrims that arrive in the Cathedral and allow the behavior of others to interfere with their worship. A few things may help:
1) try going to the early or late Mass where possibly fewer people are in the congregation. Ask at the pilgrim's office which might be the best Mass for quiet. Be prepared during this Holy Year that all Masses will be completely full. 2) Focus on the Mass and allow the noise to recede into the background. 3) If someone is unusually disruptive near you, KINDLY, CHARITABLY ask for reverence. Be prepared to be totally ignored and accept it; be grateful when they comply i.e. say thank-you!

Humanity may be just as disruptive as they are surprising. Seek for the surprise every day.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Just and FYI to pilgrims with a Compostela....

The new pilgrims office website writes that if you have a compostela you will get proffered access to the cathedral through the door at the Plaza de Azabacheria. This is the small square that is located close to the tunnel that leads onto the Plaza de Obriadoiro (in front of the cathedral).

For the general public the door on this square is used only as an exit... but it seems like pilgrims can also use it as an entry point. Should be very few people there..

Would be interesting to hear if anyone has tried this?

Read about this on the pilgrims office website here:
http://peregrinossantiago.es/eng/prefer ... cathedral/

Greetings from Santiago with Sun!
Ivar
 
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
I have been sketching in Quintana almost everyday for the past 3 months now. Weekends have become hectic. Even before 10AM the queues are a bit of a nightmare to negotiate. But, if you don't intend to go to mass and just want to enter the cathedral via the Holy Door, my advice is go between 3.30PM and 5PM. No queues even at weekends.

Quintana is a beautiful plaza to chill in the evening. Very special atmosphere after midnight.
 

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 102 ratings
Downloads
15,347
Updated
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Downloads
8,008
Updated
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
Downloads
7,778
Updated

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

Top