Route of Santiago de Compostela

Route of Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela was proclaimed the first European Cultural itinerary by the Council of Europe in 1987. This route from the French-Spanish border was – and still is – taken by pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. Some 1,800 buildings along the route, both religious and secular, are of great historic interest. The route played a fundamental role in encouraging cultural exchanges between the Iberian peninsula and the rest of Europe during the Middle Ages. It remains a testimony to the power of the Christian faith among people of all social classes and from all over Europe.

Chemin de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle

Proclamé en 1987 premier itinéraire culturel européen par le Conseil de l'Europe, le chemin est celui que suivaient et que suivent encore, à partir de la frontière franco-espagnole, les pèlerins se rendant à Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle. Il est jalonné de plus de 1 800 bâtiments religieux et civils présentant un intérêt historique. Il joua un rôle fondamental dans les échanges culturels entre la péninsule Ibérique et le reste de l'Europe au Moyen Âge et demeure un témoignage du pouvoir de la foi chrétienne sur les hommes de toutes les classes sociales et de tous les pays d'Europe.

طريق سانتياغو دي كومبوستيل

أعلنه المجلس الأوروبي عام 1987 الطريق الثقافي الأوروبيّ الأوّل وهو الطريق الذي كان ولا يزال يتبعه الحجاح المتوجهون لزيارة ضريح القديس. وعلى هذا الطريق أكثر 1800 مبنى ديني ومدني ذات أهميّة تاريخيّة. أدّى دوراً أساسيّاً في التبادل الثقافي بين شبه الجزيرة الإيبيرية وباقي أوروبا في القرون الوسطى ولا زال دليلاً على سلطة الإيمان المسيحي على الناس من مختلف الطبقات الاجتماعيّة ومن مختلف دول أوروبا.

source: UNESCO/ERI

冈斯特拉的圣地亚哥之路

1987年,欧洲议会宣布将冈斯特拉的圣地亚哥之路列为第一批欧洲文化之路。该遗址穿越法国和西班牙边境,从古至今一直是朝圣者们通往冈斯特拉的圣地亚哥的必经之路。沿路共有约1800座建筑,无论是宗教建筑还是世俗建筑,都有重大的历史意义。这条路对于中世纪时期促进伊比利亚半岛和欧洲其他地区的文化交流起到十分重要的作用,同时它也见证了基督教信仰在全欧洲社会各阶层人士心中的重要地位。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Дорога на Сантьяго-де-Компостела

Дорога на Сантьяго-де-Компостела была в 1987 г. объявлена Советом Европы первым Европейским культурным маршрутом. Дорога, ведущая в этот город от франко-испанской границы, использовалась и продолжает использоваться паломниками. Около 1,8 тыс. исторических зданий вдоль дороги, как религиозных, так и светских, представляют большой исторический интерес. Дорога играла определяющую роль в налаживании культурных взаимосвязей между Пиренейским полуостровом и остальной Европой в Средние века. Она остается свидетельством силы христианской веры среди людей всех социальных слоев во всей Европе.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Camino de Santiago de Compostela

Proclamado primer itinerario cultural europeo por el Consejo de Europa en 1987, el camino de Santiago es la ruta seguida por los peregrinos de todas las épocas desde la frontera franco-española hasta la ciudad de Compostela. Este itinerario está jalonado por más de 1.800 edificios religiosos y civiles de interés histórico. En la Edad Media, desempeñó un papel fundamental en los intercambios culturales entre la Península Ibérica y el resto de Europa. Hoy en día, sigue siendo un testimonio del poder que ejerce la fe cristiana en millones de europeos de toda condición social.

source: UNESCO/ERI

サンティアゴ・デ・コンポステーラの巡礼路

source: NFUAJ

Route naar Santiago de Compostela

In 1987 riep de Raad van Europa Santiago de Compostela uit tot de eerste Europese Culturele route. Deze route langs de Frans-Spaanse grens was – en is nog steeds – de pelgrimsroute naar Santiago de Compostela. Langs de route liggen ongeveer 1.800 religieuze en seculiere gebouwen die historisch interessant zijn. De route speelde tijdens de middeleeuwen een fundamentele en stimulerende rol bij de culturele uitwisseling tussen het Iberisch schiereiland en de rest van Europa. De Route naar Santiago de Compostela getuigt van de kracht van het christelijk geloof onder mensen van alle rangen en standen in heel Europa.

Source: unesco.nl

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Leon Cathedral © UNESCO
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The Route of Santiago de Compostela (Camino de Santiago) is a narrow route through the north of the Iberian Peninsula extending over 800 km from the Spanish-French border to the city of Santiago de Compostela, passing through five different Autonomous Communities and over one hundred inhabited towns.

The Camino de Santiago was originally a religious pilgrimage route culminating in the visit to the tomb of St James the Apostle at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia). The first source tracing the Apostle to Spain dates back to the end of the 6th century. The Acts of the Apostles attribute the evangelisation of Hispania to St James. This information was later corroborated in De ortu et obitu Patrum by Isidoro de Sevilla (7th century) and in the Commentarium in Apocalypsin by St Beatus of Liebana (8th century). The discovery of the Apostle's tomb in Galicia dates to the 9th century under the rule of Alfonso II the Chaste. As a result of St Jerome’s teachings that the resting place of the Apostles should be in the province where they had preached the gospel, the remains of St. James were taken from Jerusalem to Spain. The news of the discovery spread quickly throughout Western Europe, and Santiago de Compostela became a pilgrimage site. The historical moment when the tomb was discovered, i.e. 9th century Muslim Spain, defined the scope and importance of the discovery in the Christian world of the time, swiftly transforming the place into a pilgrimage site on par with Jerusalem and Rome.

During its eleven centuries of known history, the Route of Santiago de Compostela has become a veritable crossroads, fostering ongoing cultural dialogue among the pilgrims travelling it and the towns through which it passes. This route also became an important trade axis and a place for the dissemination of knowledge. Constantly evolving, the Camino includes a set of first-class historical heritage sites, outstanding natural landscapes, and intangible heritage, a prime example of which is the oral narrative that entertained and continues to entertain pilgrims on their journey to Santiago de Compostela. Pilgrimages were an essential part of European cultural and spiritual life during the Middle Ages and along the route, pilgrims were provided with what they needed to ensure their physical and spiritual well-being. Consequently, there is also a wealth of heritage associated with the Camino de Santiago, such as churches, hospitals, hostels, monasteries, traveller accommodations, crosses, bridges, and other types of construction, which today represent all aspects of artistic and architectural evolution from the Romanesque to the Baroque and constitute an indivisible part of the Camino, defining it both physically and culturally.

The importance of the Jacobean route also contributed to the economic and social development of the towns along the way, attributable to the large number of visitors and economic activities related to services offered to pilgrims.

Criterion (ii): The Route of Santiago de Compostela played a crucial role in the two-way exchange of cultural advances between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe, especially during the Middle Ages, but also in subsequent centuries. The wealth of cultural heritage that has emerged in association with the Camino is vast, marking the birth of Romanesque art and featuring extraordinary examples of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque art. Moreover, in contrast with the waning of urban life in the rest of the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages, the reception and commercial activities emanating from the Camino de Santiago led to the growth of cities in the north of the Peninsula and gave rise to the founding of new ones.

Criterion (iv): The Route of Santiago de Compostela has preserved the most complete material registry of all Christian pilgrimage routes, featuring ecclesiastical and secular buildings, large and small enclaves, and civil engineering structures.

Criterion (vi): The Route of Santiago de Compostela bears outstanding witness to the power and influence of faith among people of all social classes and origins in medieval Europe and later.

Integrity

The Route of Santiago de Compostela is completely preserved and characterised by a high level of conservation of the route itself and of the buildings and sites along the way, making it a unique example of a medieval pilgrimage route which is still in use today. The route also illustrates the integration into the environment.

The different sections of the Camino and its sites and buildings have been kept in a good state of repair because they have been continuously used. The decline in the number of pilgrims during the 18th and 19th centuries spelled a parallel decline in its state of conservation, but recognition of its historical importance in the 20th century led to the recovery of the Camino and its legal protection as a historical-artistic complex (Conjunto histórico-artístico) in 1962. Since then, an increasing number of efforts have been made to improve and protect the property, and important steps have been taken to preserve it at all levels to ensure its survival as a living cultural route of great historical importance.

Authenticity

The Route of Santiago de Compostela has existed since the Middle Ages and has withstood the test of time to the present. Its existence is documented in great detail from the 12th century onwards. Book V of the Codice Calixtino, attributed to the monk Aymeric Picaud of Cluny, who accompanied Pope Calixtus II on his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela around 1109, is considered to be the first guide for pilgrims travelling along the route. The work contains descriptions of the route and of the works of art along the Camino, the local customs of the people who inhabited the towns along the way, and helpful advice for pilgrims.

In comparison with other Christian pilgrimage routes, the Camino de Santiago is undoubtedly the one best preserved in its original layout. A significant part of the route still in use today is described in the written testimonies of different periods containing descriptions of places, populations, and architectural elements such as hospitals, boundary crosses, bridges, and churches which have been preserved.

No changes that could affect the authenticity of the site are envisaged given that the route is sufficiently protected as a historical-artistic complex by current regulations.

Protection and management requirements

The property has different levels of protection. Pursuant to the First Additional Provision of the Spanish Historical Heritage Act, Law 16/1985 of 25 June 1985, the Camino de Santiago was registered as a Property of Cultural Interest (BIC, Bien de Interés Cultural) in the category of Historical Complex, the highest level of cultural heritage protection in Spain.

In exercise of their competences, the Autonomous Communities through which the route passes have defined the protection of this property in their respective territories: Galicia protects the part of the property through the Decree 227 of 2 December 2011 establishing the delimitation of the main route of the Camino de Santiago, the French Camino, from where it enters into the municipality of Pedrafita do Cebreiro to the municipal border of O Pino, with the exception of the section between Amenal and the limit of the Lavacolla airport in the municipality of O Pino. Decree 144 of 29 June 2012 establishes the delimitation of the main route of the Camino de Santiago, the French Camino, between O Amenal and the limit of the Lavacolla airport in the municipality of O Pino. Decree 247 of 22 November 2012 establishes the delimitation of the main route of the Camino de Santiago, the French Camino, in the municipality of Santiago de Compostela. La Rioja protects the part of the property through the Decree 14 of 16 March 2001 declaring the Camino de Santiago a Property of Cultural Interest (BIC) in La Rioja and establishing its surrounding area. Aragon applies the Decree 96 of 24 May 1988 of the Regional Government of Aragon creating the Technical Coordination Committee for the recovery and revitalisation of the Camino de Santiago. Navarra applies the Foral Decree 290/1988 of 14 December 1988 establishing the definitive borders of the Camino de Santiago in Navarre and its protection regime, and Castile-Leon applies the Decree 324 of 23 December 1999 defining the area to be included under the historical complex (Conjunto Histórico) declaration of the Camino de Santiago (French Camino).

In terms of management, the need for improved communication between the administrations responsible for the property led to the 1991 creation of the Jacobean Council (Consejo Jacobeo) for the purpose of collaborating in programmes and actions to protect and preserve the route, to further its promotion and cultural dissemination, conserve and restore its historical-artistic heritage, regulate and promote tourism, and to assist pilgrims.

The Royal Decree 1432 of 11 September 2009 was enacted to reorganise the Jacobean Council to fortify its duties as a management body. To this end, the Cooperation Committee for the Management of the World Heritage Site was created within the framework of the Jacobean Council and is comprised of the Autonomous Communities through which the route passes (Galicia, La Rioja, Aragon, Navarra, and Castile-Leon) and the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports.

Notwithstanding these arrangements, systematic actions will be needed to address the potential threats posed by the layout of motorways and the high-speed train line, the natural growth of cities and towns, and the pressure from increased tourism and number of pilgrims. Enforcement of regulatory measures and legislation will be crucial, as well as the development of environmental and heritage impact studies for new construction. In addition, urban development schemes of the municipalities along the route will need to take into account protection of the attributes of the property.

Long Description

Pilgrimages were an essential part of western European spiritual and cultural life in the Middle Ages and the routes that they took were equipped with facilities for the spiritual and physical well-being of pilgrims. The Route of St James of Compostela has preserved the most complete material record in the form of ecclesiastical and secular buildings, settlements both large and small, and civil engineering structures. This Route played a fundamental role in facilitating the two-way interchange of cultural developments between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe during the Middle Ages. There is no comparable Christian pilgrimage route of such extent and continuity anywhere in Europe: the other two pilgrimage routes, to Jerusalem and Rome, are only recognizable in a very fragmentary fashion. In addition to its enormous historical and spiritual value, it also represents a remarkably complete cross-section of European artistic and architectural evolution over several centuries.

The different pilgrimage routes converged on Santiago de Compostela, at the foot of the Apostle's tomb, and were lined with works of art and architectural creations. The cultural heritage scattered along the length of these routes is immensely rich. It represents the birth of Romanesque art; then came the Gothic cathedrals and the chains of monasteries.

The tradition whereby the Apostle St James the Great preached the Gospel in Spain dates from the early 7th century. In the Latin Breviary of the Apostles, St Jerome held that apostles were buried where they preached, and so it was assumed that the body of St James had been moved from Jerusalem, where according to the Acts of the Apostles he was martyred on the order of Herod Agrippa, to a final resting place in Spain. It was not until the 9th century that the apostle's tomb was identified at Compostela. The late 8th century saw the consolidation of the Christian kingdom of Galicia and Asturias in northern Spain, with the support of Charlemagne. It was to provide the base for the reconquest of the peninsula from Muslim domination, a process that was not to be completed until 1492. The apostle had been adopted as its patron saint by the Christian kingdom against the menace of Islam, and in the early years of the 9th century, during the reign of Alfonso II, his tomb was 'discovered' in a small shrine by the hermit Pelayo and Todemiro, bishop of the most westerly diocese in the kingdom.

The fame of the tomb of St James quickly spread across western Europe and it became a place of pilgrimage. By the beginning of the 10th century pilgrims were coming to Spain on the French routes from Tours, Limoges, and Le Puy, and facilities for their bodily and spiritual welfare began to be endowed along what gradually became recognized as the formal pilgrimage route, while in Compostela itself a magnificent new basilica was built to house the relics of the Apostle, along with other installations - churches, chapels, hospices and hospitals. The 12th century saw the route achieve its greatest influence, used by thousands of pilgrims from all over Western Europe. In 1139 the first 'guidebook' to the Route appeared, in the form of Book V of the Calixtine Codex (attributed to Pope Calixtus II but most probably the work of the pilgrim Aymeric Picaud), describing its precise alignment from Roncesvalles to Santiago de Compostela and listing the facilities available to pilgrims. These structures, ranging from humble chapels and hospices to magnificent cathedrals, represent every aspect of artistic and architectural evolution from Romanesque to Baroque and beyond, demonstrating the intimate linkages between faith and culture in the Middle Ages.

There are two access routes into Spain from France, entering at Roncesvalles (Valcarlos Pass) and Canfranc (Somport Pass) respectively; they merge west of Pamplona, just before Puente la Reina. It passes through five Comunidades Autónomas and 166 towns and villages, and it includes over 1,800 buildings of historic interest; in many cases the modern road runs parallel to the ancient route. The tradition of pilgrimage to Santiago has not ceased since that time, although its popularity waned in recent centuries. Since it was declared to be the first European Cultural Itinerary by the Council of Europe in 1987, however, it has resumed the spiritual role that it played in the Middle Ages, and every year sees many thousands of pilgrims following it on foot or bicycle.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

The tradition whereby the apostle St James the Great preached the gospel in Spain dates from the early 7th century, in the Latin Breviary of the Apostles. St Jerome held that apostles were buried where they preached, and so it was assumed that the body of St James had been moved from Jerusalem, where according to the Acts of the Apostles, he was martyred on the order of Herod Agrippa, to a final resting place in Spain.

It was not until the 9th century that the apostle's tomb was identified at Compostela. The late 8th century saw the consolidation of the Christian kingdom of Galicia and Asturias in northern Spain, with the support of Charlemagne. It was to provide the base for the reconquest of the peninsula from Muslim domination, a process that was not to be completed until 1492. The apostle had been adopted as its patron saint by the Christian kingdom, and in the early years of the 9th century, during the reign of Alfonso II, his tomb was "discovered" in a small shrine by the hermit Pelayo and Todemiro, Bishop of the most westerly diocese in the kingdom.

The fame of the tomb of St James, protector of Christendom against the menace of Islam, quickly spread across western Europe and it became a place of pilgrimage, comparable with Jerusalem and Rome. By the beginning of the 10th century pilgrims were coming to Spain on the French routes from Tours, Limoges, and Le Puy, and facilities for their bodily and spiritual welfare began to be endowed along what gradually became recognized as the formal pilgrimage route, whilst in Compostela itself a magnificent new basilica was built to house the relics of the apostle, along with other installations - churches, chapels, hospices, and hospitals. The 12th century saw the Route achieve its greatest influence, used by thousands of pilgrims from all over Western Europe. In 1139 the first "guidebook" to the Route appeared, in the form of Book V of the Calixtine Codex (attributed to Pope Calixtus II but most probably the work of the pilgrim Ayrneric Picaud), describing its precise alignment from Roncesvalles to Santiago de Compostela and listing the facilities available to pilgrims. These structures, ranging from humble chapels and hospices to magnificent cathedrals, represent every aspect of artistic and architectural evolution from Romanesque to Baroque and beyond, demonstrating the intimate linkages between faith and culture in the Middle Ages. The establishment of the pilgrimage route inevitably led to its adoption as a commercial route, resulting in economic prosperity for several of the towns along its length.

The tradition of pilgrimage to Santiago has not ceased since that time, though its popularity waned in recent centuries. Since it was declared to be the first European Cultural Itinerary by the Council of Europe in 1987, however, it has resumed the spiritual role that it played in the Middle Ages, and every year sees many thousands of pilgrims following it on foot or bicycle. 59

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation
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