We show you how pilgrims in the Middle Ages experienced the Camino de Santiago.
Due to the influx of pilgrims in those years, improvements were made to the road by nobles and ecclesiastics, among others. This improvement in infrastructure took place in the 11th century, a period in which bridges were also built and hospitals were founded.
Although many people were already making pilgrimages to Santiago to see the tomb of the apostle, it was not until years later that the construction of Santiago Cathedral was completed. The work was officially completed in April 1211, but even before that there were several churches that guarded the remains of the apostle St. James.
Another important point about the Jacobean routes at that time is that there were many risks along the way. The influx of pilgrims attracted many thieves, which led to an increase in criminal activity. It also caused many traders to take advantage of the situation and raise the price of their products to outsiders.
One of the most striking aspects for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, are all its myths and legends. Most of these were created during the Middle Ages and are still present today. Some of the best known are the legend of Fuente Regina and the legend of the rooster and the hen, although there are many that exist.
Whether you are going to do the Camino de Santiago or not, you should know the legends of the Camino de Santiago. These help us to know the importance that had this pilgrimage route at that time, and is an example of how pilgrims lived the experience of the pilgrims of the Middle Ages.
Since the birth of the Camino de Santiago, pilgrims arriving at the tomb of the apostle received a scallop shell as accreditation. As it was so easy to plagiarise, the ecclesiastics decided to change this recognition with the letters of proof, which we now know as the Compostela.
It was in the Middle Ages that the classical pilgrim's clothing was born. Some of the classic elements were the staff, the bag or the scallop shell, elements that are still linked to the Camino de Santiago and the pilgrims but not as part of the clothing, but as souvenirs.
As we mentioned before, the scallop shell was given to pilgrims before the Compostela was born. That is why this symbol was so closely linked to the Camino de Santiago. So much so that it was known when a pilgrim was already back home, as it was because he was carrying the shell that he had been given as accreditation.
© Copyright LA VOZ DE GALICIA S.A. Polígono de Sabón, Arteixo, A CORUÑA (ESPAÑA) Inscrita en el Registro Mercantil de A Coruña en el Tomo 2438 del Archivo, Sección General, a los folios 91 y siguientes, hoja C-2141. CIF: A-15000649