Ultreia et suseia: What this expression of the Camino de Santiago means

Discover the meaning of Ultreia et suseia and its relation to the Camino de Santiago

Ultreia et suseia

Ultreia et suseia

Ultreia and the Camino de Santiago: What does this expression mean?

Among all the most typical phrases that we can find within the Jacobean routes, the expression "Ultreia et Suseia" is the most popular of all. This phrase has been used for centuries by pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela and is an expression of encouragement whose meaning few know.

Although nowadays we can easily hear the expression "¡Buen Camino!", it is not the one originally used by pilgrims on their way to Santiago. Since its beginnings, everyone who was heading towards the Cathedral wished luck to the rest of the pilgrims with the expression "¡Ultreia!", something that became another tradition of the Camino de Santiago.

Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago

Ultreia!: Meaning and origin of this expression.

If you want to know if it is spelled "Ultreia" or "Ultreya" before you should know that this word has its origin in the Codex Calixtinus or Codex Calixtinus and therefore comes from Latin. In its original form it is written "Ultreia", however within the current linguistic standards we can also refer to it as "ultreya" and even "ultrella". 

Although in the context of the Camino de Santiago the expression "Ultreia" is known, it is originally followed by "Et suseia". In this case "Ultreia et suseia" means "Let's go higher" and pilgrims used it in ancient times to encourage each other along the way.

Although the meaning of this expression is the one mentioned above, there are other historians who link "Ultreia" with the expression "Hallelujah!". These historians relate both expressions with a meaning of jubilation that the pilgrims have when they only have a few kilometers left to reach the Cathedral of Santiago.



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