The legend holds that St. James’s remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain, where he was buried on what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela.
Since the discovery of the supposed tomb of the saint in the 9th century, the Way of St. James became one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during the Middle Ages, as its completion guaranteed earning a plenary indulgence.
Council of Europe values
For centuries, pilgrims could discover new traditions, languages and ways of life and return home with a rich cultural background that was rare at a time when long-distance travel exposed the traveller to considerable danger. Thus the Santiago Routes serve both as a symbol, reflecting ever one thousand years of European history, and as a model of cultural co-operation for Europe as a whole.
Santiago de Compostela Pilgrim Routes is certified Cultural Route of the Council of Europe since 1987.