May 7, 2016

2529 SPAIN - Routes of Santiago de Compostela: Camino Francés and Routes of Northern Spain (UNESCO WHS)

2529 Itinerary of the French Way (Camino Francés),
of the Route of Santiago de Compostela
(Camino de Santiago)

The Camino de Santiago, also known by the English names Way of St. James, St. James's Way, St. James's Path, St. James's Trail, Route of Santiago de Compostela, and Road to Santiago, is the name of any of the pilgrimage routes to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during the Middle Ages, together with those to Rome and Jerusalem.

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, like the oral narrative that entertained and continues to entertain pilgrims on their journey.

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. It includes a heritage created to meet the needs of pilgrims, including cathedrals, churches, hospitals, hostels and even bridges. Moreover, in contrast with the waning of urban life in the rest of the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages, the commercial activities emanating from the Camino led to the growth of cities in the north of the Peninsula and gave rise to the founding of new ones.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site, named Routes of Santiago de Compostela: Camino Francés and Routes of Northern Spain, consists in a network of  almost 1,500 km, which comprises over 1800 historic buildings in 166 towns and villages. The French Way (Camino Francés), included on the list in 1993, is the most popular of the routes. It runs from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the French side of the  Pyrenees to Roncesvalles on the Spanish side before making its way through to Santiago de Compostela through the major cities of Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos and León.

The Routes of Northern Spain (Caminos del Norte Peninsular), added on the list in 2015, complete the phenomenon of the veneration of Saint James represented by the Camino Francés as a reference to its origins. The four routes that comprise it, the Original Way (Camino Primitivo), the Coastal Route (Camino de la Costa), the Basque Country-Rioja Inland Route (Camino Interior Vasco-Riojano) and the Lebaniego Way (Camino Lebaniego), are the most outstanding of those that existed in the north of Spain at the beginnings of the history of the Camino de Santiago.

About the stamp

The stamp was issued on Januarz 21, 2014 to commemorate the 5th Centenary of Juan Ponce de León’s arrival at the Florida coast. On Easter Sunday 1513, also called Pascua Florida (Festival of Flowers), the Spanish expedition led by Juan Ponce de León disembarked in a new land which they named Florida, in honour of the religious festival.

Camino de Santiago - Wikipedia
Camino de Santiago (route descriptions) - Wikipedia
Jacobean Council - Official website
Routes of Santiago de Compostela: Camino Francés and Routes of Northern Spain - UNESCO official website

Sender: Michael
Sent from Santiago de Compostela (Galicia / Spain), on 19.12.2014

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