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skull & crossbones


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I know that this has been mentioned but I don't remember any definite information. I am curiuos about the skull & crossbones on the church in Castrojeriz and wonder if anyone has any real information about them?

John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Time of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
It´s a "memento mori," a graphic way to remind all who pass that death is always just a breath away. Common imagery in Christian art, esp. the counter-reformation when everyone in Spain was VERY emotional about their Catholicism!

These kinds of gruesome things were common also in the Victorian era in the USA and England and western Europe. You see inscriptions on tombstones and graveyard gates with sunny sayings like "As you are, so once was I, and as I am you soon shall be: Prepare for Death and follow me."

I´m sure it´s being recycled as we speak by some Horror Rap star...



Active Member
Thanks Rebekah

It is a striking image and has remained in my memory, as I guess was intended, and I have wondered about it ince seeing it last year.



Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
Skulls and crossbones generally signified the burial place of some Templar knight or connection thereto. I remember the ones in Castrojeriz and they intrigued me also. I had read about this connection many years ago, but heaven knows where - the problem with being a chronic researcher!
see ... sbones.php
for good if somewhat lengthy explanation
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