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The Camino de Santiago Catalán from Barcelona

We tell you the story and the different routes that include the Camino de Santiago Catalán or Camí de Sant Jaume.

Flecha Camino de Santiago | Imagen: Pixabay

Flecha Camino de Santiago | Imagen: Pixabay

Although officially the Camino de Santiago in Spain starts at two different points on the border with France, the ports of Roncesvalles and Somport, and that most pilgrims decide to start the French Way from Puente la Reina, the truth is that there are other routes previous that have also managed to have a certain impact and previous history. Today we will talk about what is known as the Camino de Santiago Catalán or Camí de Sant Jaume.

👣Way of Santiago Catalán or Camí de Sant Jaume

The Camino de Santiago Catalán was born as an alternative for pilgrims who crossed the Pyrenees through its easternmost part, for example through La Junquera, or who came from other coastal countries in Europe to Catalan ports such as Barcelona or Tarragona. There are several variants within the possibilities that pilgrims have when leaving from Barcelona, which we will comment a little below.

There is evidence and data of the Camino de Santiago Catalán since the 10th century, therefore it is a medieval road, however it was not until the end of the 20th century when the different associations of the Camino de Santiago -especially Asociació d'Amics del Camí de Sant Jaume- in that community they decided to mark the routes and turn them into something much more official.

As for the beginning, it seems that most pilgrims who chose this way to enter Spain since the Middle Ages gathered in the Monastery of Santa María de Montserrat, from which they left for some of the official routes of the Camino de Santiago. Today we can also consider this Benedictine abbey as a starting point for the Camí de Sant Jaume - in the region of Bages, about 50 km from Barcelona.

✌Two variants of the Camino de Santiago Catalán

As we have said, the starting point is the Monastery of Santa María de Montserrat, but where does it continue? Currently there are two recognized variants, which link with other Paths and both will give the most traditional French Way. There are three common stages in both variants: Montserrat - Igualada, Igualada - La Panadella and La Panadella - Tárrega. It is in this municipality where the Catalan Way is divided: one branch deviates towards Lleida and the other deviates towards Balaguer. The first three stages are 77 kilometers.

1- Camino de Santiago Catalán through Lleida - to Fuentes del Ebro

The Camino de Santiago Catalán through Lleida is called Camí de Sant Jaume, the most common and traditional. This crosses the Ebro valley and joins in Fuentes del Ebro with the Jacobeo del Ebro road, which comes from Tortosa and then passes through Zaragoza. It joins the French Way in Logroño, so pilgrims who opt for this option will not pass through Puente la Reina.

This road is a total of 7 stages from Tárrega, about 188 kilometers, with an average of 26 km stages: Tárrega - El Palau, El Palau - Lleida, Lleida - Fraga, Fraga - Candasnos, Candasnos - Buajaraloz, Buajaraloz - Pina de Ebro, Pina de Ebro - Fuentes del Ebro.

2- Camino de Santiago Catalán by Balaguer - to Santa Cilia de Jaca

The Camino de Santiago Catalán by Balaguer and Huesca is known as the Camino de Montserrat. This goes up to the variant of the French Way that crosses the border through the port of Somport, connecting in the municipality of Santa Cilia de Jaca, a piece before reaching Puente la Reina. From here, the Ebro Valley will descend and join the pilgrims of the Jacobeo del Ebro Trail in Logroño.

This variant of the Catalan Way has more stages, about 10, with a total of 243 kilometers to Santa Cilia de Jaca: Tàrrega - Linyola, Linyola - Algerri, Algerri - Tamarite de Litera, Tamarite de Litera - Monzón, Monzón - Berbegal, Berbegal - Pueyo de Fañanás, Pueyo de Fañanás - Huesca, Huesca - Bolea, Bolea - La Peña Station, La Peña Station - Santa Cilia.

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