Monasterio de Santo Toribio de Liebana
Although most of the routes in the Iberian Peninsula go in the direction of the Cathedral of Santiago, there are many other religious pilgrimage routes in Spain. One of them is in the northern part of the peninsula and links San Vicente de la Barquera with Santo Toribio, as is the Camino Lebaniego.
History of the Camino Lebaniego
Liébana has been celebrating its Jubilee period since 1512. A route with hundreds of years of history to Santo Toribio de Liébana, where pilgrims hoped to find the largest relic of the Cross of Christ, the Lignum Crucis. Legend has it that the cross used by the Romans to crucify Christ was divided into several pieces, located in important points such as Jerusalem or Rome.
The pilgrimage to the Monastery of Santo Toribio began after the bull of Pope Julius II, which in 1512 made official the celebration of the Lebaniego Jubilee Year. From that moment on, this enclave became an important pilgrimage center thanks to the preservation of the largest piece of the Cross of Christ. The pilgrims who walk to see this relic are known as crucifixes, and the Jubilee Year is celebrated whenever April 16 (Santo Toribio) falls on a Sunday.
Stages of the Camino Lebaniego
Despite being one of the most popular pilgrimage routes in Spain, the Camino Lebaniego is not exactly a very extensive route, especially if we compare it with some of the most important Jacobean routes. In total there are 72.73 kilometers that pilgrims must travel to complete the Camino Lebaniego, which are divided into 3 stages.
- Stage 1: San Vicente de la Barquera - Cades (28.5 kilometers)
- Stage 2: Cades - Cabañes (30.53 kilometers)
- Stage 3: Cabañes - Santo Toribio (13.7 kilometers)
Credential and Jubilee Year of the Lebaniego Way
As is also the case with the Camino de Santiago, the Camino Lebaniego has its own credential. Pilgrims will be getting stamps in different hostels and establishments located along this route to finally get the Lebaniega, a document similar to the Compostela, for the Camino de Santiago.
In the case of the Jubilee Year, you should know that the Camino Lebaniego has its own. The Jubilee Year for the Camino Lebaniego is any year in which April 16 is a Sunday and covers the following 365 days, until April 15 of the following year. In 2023 the 75th Lebaniego Jubilee Year will be celebrated, since the first one was celebrated in 1512.
The Jacobean routes closest to the Lebaniego Way
As we have said, Cantabria is fortunate to be the only region in the world with the passage of two pilgrimage routes. The fantastic Camino del Norte, known for its natural beauty, has a route through Cantabria, in addition to the Camino Lebaniego, which begins and ends in this community.
In addition to the Camino del Norte there are many other Jacobean routes that are quite close to the Camino Lebaniego. This route coincides in part with the Camino Vanidense that joins the Camino del Norte with the Camino Francés, as well as being close to others such as the Camino de El Salvador or the Camino Olvidado.