Discussion Topic: Pilgrimages Then and Now

The Pilgrimage Route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain was important to the religious, economic, and cultural development of the later Middle Ages. According to the 12th-century Pilgrim’s Guide, people traditionally followed one of four routes through France to visit the shrine of St. James in western Spain. On the French routes, pilgrims visited Romanesque churches to venerate important reliquaries. Services, such as hostels and taverns, sprung up along the routes to accommodate the increasing numbers of pilgrims. The French pilgrimage routes converged in Spain at Puente la Reina, from which it was another 500 miles to Santiago de Compostela. Pilgrims walked many months to complete the journey. Explore the map of pilgrimage routes on a website about medieval pilgrimages, read an excerpt of the 12th-century tourist guide for pilgrims (chapter VII only!), and watch a short video of a modern-day pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. What do you think of the difficulties encountered by medieval and modern pilgrims? Would you ever consider making such a trek?

Look at the map of medieval pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela

Read Chapter VII of the Pilgrim’s Guide to Santiago de Compostela

Watch a video about modern-day pilgrimage to Santiago

FYI, the following link is not necessary for the discussion, but if you’re interested there is a new FICTIONAL movie on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
Emilio Estevez’s The Way starring Martin Sheen

Please submit your posts by Saturday, October 27th.

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4 Responses to Discussion Topic: Pilgrimages Then and Now

  1. The video was kind of inspiring. At first i heard and read about the walk thinking oh thats kool but never that i would actually want to do it. I thought it would be a two day thing but then they said it was a month and I was pretty shocked. I still would want to complete this walk. I think ill add it to life goals. It seems like a good way to escape from the world for a bit.

  2. Juwel says:

    Someone who journeys to sacred place as an act of religious devotion knows as pilgrim. Since now and back from 10 century pilgrims had their way to Santiago along four traditional routes. Pilgrims all came from all over Europe including Britain and Ireland. Each of them was site of to provide their own right. Based on the video “Camino De Santiago” it shows that Santiago De Compostela is the best destination for all the Camino routes. They can walk, plan and organize everything.

  3. JonathanChu says:

    I found the idea of the pilgrimage to be very interesting. It’s a very time consuming activity and people do it annually and each pilgrimage is at least a month long which is surprising. I do think it is a good idea because it’s for a religious reason and its good to take out time from your regular daily lives and commit a whole month into thinking about your problems and thinking about life. Also it’s a good chance to meet other fellow pilgrims on the journey and hear stories about people from all over the world. I however wouldn’t take a whole month pilgrimage, maybe 1-2 weeks.

  4. This type of pilgrimage seems to be very hard working but interesting. I give a lot of respect to the people that do it. The fact that you have to walk for a month straight in order to complete the pilgrimage is incredible. Now in days, if someone wants to go far they can either drive there or get on a plane and fly there. Hours, sometimes a few days wasted, but these people take an entire month, no cars and no plains, just feet. That’s shocking, incredible, inspiring and simply inexpiable. I would like to this sometime in the future, hopefully i’ll complete just as they do every year.

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