de Santiago / French Way : 35. Pedrouzo (Arca) - Santiago de Compostela
the village of Arca
/ Pedrouzo, back
on the Camino, you pass through some more woods and
down a track towards the hamlet of San Antón.
The track now follows a path through some fields
which run parallel to the main road and at the bottom
of a hill you will enter the village of Amenal.
passing through Amenal the track crosses a river
and climbs up to the hamlet of Cimadevila and
then again through some more woods before, after
about 2 kilometres, you come to a large roundabout
with a stone marker close by indicating that you
have reached the outskirts of Santiago.
Camino now passes by the runway of Santiago Airport
where you might be lucky enough to see a plane
landing or taking off, mind you that is if you are
interested in that sort of thing. The path now takes
you through the hamlet of San Paio where there is
a restaurant and a small hotel, and then through
to the village of Lavacolla.
ancient times when pilgrims were close to the end
of their pilgrimage it was customary to stop at
a stream which flowed through the village now known
as Lavacolla, to wash themselves before making
their final journey down to the cathedral. The name
is said to derive from the pilgrims taking particular
attention in washing their backsides because literally
translated Lavacolla means washing the tail.
the village there are a number of café/bars, hostels
and hotels but most seem to be catering for those
making their way to the airport rather than the
pilgrims so they may not be a cheap so it’s probably
better to continue on to Monte de Gozo for accommodation.
Camino passes the Iglesia de Benaval which is dedicated
to a local man called Juan Pourón who during some
local unrest was sentenced to death by the local
magistrates. Just as he was about to be hung he
shouted out to the Virgen de Belen (Virgin of Bethlehem)
“ven e valme” which roughly translated means come
and save me. The Virgin heard his plea and sent
him straight to heaven thus preventing a painful
death through hanging.
Camino continues down some quiet roads and down
through the village of Vilamaior where there
is a casa rural and an old pazo converted into a
hotel. Continuing on you will pass a couple of television
stations belonging to Television Galicia as well
as for the main Spanish channel Television de España.
Just a little further on you arrive at San Marcos
where there are a couple of café/bars.
1 kilometre from the village of San Marcos
is your resting place before the final short trek
into Santiago de Compostela, the extremely large
pilgrim complex of Monte do Gozo. It is tradition
that if you are walking in a group the first of
your group to arrive at Monte do Gozo will be designated
a pilgrim King (or Queen if it happens to be a woman).
name Monte do Gozo means mount of joy. After the
pilgrims had finished their wash at Lavacolla they
would ascend to the top of the hill which looked
out over the beautiful town of Santiago de Compostela
and the spires of the cathedral in the distance.
The joy came from what the pilgrim felt at seeing
his journey’s end. In the complex you will find
a statue of two pilgrims looking out toward the
cathedral. There is also a modern sculpture that
was put up to commemorate the visit of Pope John
Paul II visit in 1993. He performed a mass here
to thousands of people.
albergue here as I’ve said is huge, it accommodates
around 500 pilgrims and if you have your credencial
you can stay here for free for one night only. If
you choose to stay longer they will charge a small
fee. The complex has all the amenities including
shops, restaurants and café/bars all geared to the
pilgrim. If you can’t find accommodation in the
Albergue San Marcos there are a couple more nearby
over the other side of the motorway.
you wake up on the last morning of your journey
you will hopefully rise with a great sense of achievement
and that your long Camino is soon to come to an
end in what I consider to be one of the most beautiful
cities in the world. Mind you I am biased as I was
born a stone's throw from the Cathedral. In ancient
times the tradition was that pilgrims would walk
the last 4.5 kilometre stretch barefoot, however
I wouldn't recommend it especially if your feet
are really sore.
the albergue the path takes you past the Capilla
de San Marcos where there is a little picnic area.
The path continues downhill passing a house with
various creatures made from concrete in its garden.
From here the path continues down some steps and
over a bridge across the motorway. You are now entering
the area known as San Lázaro, one of Santiago's
suburbs where there are a number of café/bars and
other shops as well as a tourist information office
which provides free maps of Santiago, well worth
picking one up before you continue on. After crossing
the motorway walk down Rúa do Valiño and past the
Iglesia de San Lázaro. Continuing down Rúa do Valiño
the road soon becomes Barrio das Fontiñas and then
at the main junction take the Barrio de los Concheiros.
path goes through a small square or plaza where
there is a cross to Homo Sancto and then down Rúa
San Pedro and then to Porta do Camiño. This is the
traditional entry point for pilgrims into the old
town of Santiago de Compostela.
path now takes you down the Rúa das Casas Reales,
across the Plaza de Parga and the Plaza de Animas
where you will need to take a left down to the Plaza
Cervantes and then take a right down Calle Azabachería
to the Praza da Immaculada, taking some steps down
past the side of the cathedral and down a walkway
under the Arco del Obispo which will take you into
the Plaza del Obradoiro and the front of
de Compostela - Santiago
city map (Rabe) - Santiago city
you arrive before noon you will be able to attend
the pilgrim mass, but if you have time pop down
to the pilgrim's office in the Casa do Deán to
collect your Compostela. From the Plaza del
Obradoiro and whilst facing the front of the cathedral
walk to your right down the Rúa de Gilmirez and
then take another right down Rúa Vilar where you
will find the Casa do Deán on your left and the
pilgrim office is found on the second floor. At
the next day's pilgrim mass your country
of origin and starting point of your pilgrimage
will be announced at the mass.
are entitled to a Compostela as long as you've
completed at least 100 kilometres of the Camino
and you have had your pilgrim passport or credencial
stamped along the way. This credencial is proof
of where you have been. If you have undertaken the
Camino for spiritual or religious reasons you will
be given the traditional Compostela. If you undertook
the Camino for any other reason you will be given
a slightly different, more colourful alternative.
Cathedral itself is vast covering around
10,000 square metres. It was originally consecrated
in the very early 13th century, having been commission
by Alfonso VI the king of Leon and Santiago's first
Archbishop Diego Gelmirez. The cathedral has been
added to over the years, but the Portico de la
Gloria designed by the sculptor Master Mateo
was an original feature. The twin Baroque towers,
the iconic symbol of the cathedral were added in
the late 18th century.
the façade lies the Portico de la Gloria
carved between 1166 and 1188 by the inspired genius
of Maestro Mateo. The central elements of the rich
decoration with ftgures is the middle pillar with
the statue of St. James, with Christ the
Redeemer above and surrounded by the four evangelists.
base of the column shows signs of wear from
millions of pilgrims' hands. Touching the column
has since been forbidden.
the left of the middle pillar stand the prophets
of Jeremia, Jesaja, Moses and Daniel on a column,
the latter with an enchanted smile on his face.
According to many he was delighted with the bare-bosomed
that had been carved by the hand of an expert on
the opposite side.
kneeling ftgure facing the altar is said to be master
Mateo who, allegedly, was destined never to
be allowed to see his work. He 's also called Santo
dos Croques, the saint of the clout on the head,
since you can receive a share of his genius by touching
his head three times with your forehead (access
is no longerallowed).
97m long church interior is dominated by
the lavishly carved altar with the Smiling
Daniel. gold, silver and jewel encrusted St.
James. Not until the steps behind the altar
are climbed and the apostle embraced, is the pilgrim
journey at an end.
alleged bones of the Saint lie supposedly in the
crypt below the altar.
mass at noon each day. The swinging Botafumeiro,
the silver-plated censer weighing roughly 60 kg
(100 kg full) and 160 cm high, is only used in certain
circumstances, otherwise it is kept in the library.It
was once used to make more bearable the strong body
odour of pilgrims. Today it is a popular spectacle
when, hanging from the 35m long rope, it is swung
through the transept. It has twice overshot and
ended up outside the church.
of the cathedral lie the Praza de Platerias in
front of the similarly named, oldest preserved
portal of the cathedral, and the Praza de
Quintana ontowhich the Porta Santa (17th
century, adorned with sculptures from the 12th century)
opens out during Holy Years.
back to the Plaza del Obradoiro you will have passed
the 15th century Hostal de los Reyes Católicos.
This now very grand parador hotel was once a pilgrim
hostal founded by the catholic monarchs Ferdinand
and Isabella and is regarded as one of the oldest
hotels not only in Spain but the whole world. If
you are lucky you may be able to get one of the
free meals that they offer to pilgrims with breakfast
at 9am, lunch at noon or dinner at 7pm. You will
need to have your Compostela with you as proof that
you have completed the Camino and wait at the garage
entrance to the hotel, which is to the left of the
main entrance. In busy periods the free meals are
limited to the first 10 pilgrims. It might seem
a little unfair, but at the end of the day they
are a business. In
summer or peak times arrive early as the free meals
are only limited to the first 10 pilgrims. You are
entitled to take these meals within 3 days of your
arrival in Santiago.
In the Praza do Obradoiro there is the 18th century
Pazo de Raxoi built for Archbishop Raxoi
by the French engineer Charles Lemaur. It is now
used as the main council offices and some of the
local government departments of the Xunta de Galicia.
making up the fourth side of the square is the gable
end of the Colegio de San Jerónimo, part
of the university.
In the center of the square
del Obradoiro stands
the km 0 of the pilgrimage.
is so much to see in Santiago de Compostela, it
really does have one of the most stunning old town's
of any city I've ever been to. Not only has it got
a truly impressive cathedral but there are a large
number of other historic buildings worth visiting.
de San Martín Pinario, Palacio de Fonseca...
Cathedrals museum: June-Sept. Mon.-Sat. 10.00-14.00
and 16.00-20.00, Sun./public holidays 10.00-
Oct.-May only until 13.30 and 18.30, 5 € .
Museo das Peregrinaciones, history of the
PilgrimWay. Rua de San Miguel, Tue.-Fri. 10.00-20.00,
Sat. 10.30-13.30 and 17.00-20.00, Sun. 10.30-13.30,2.40
€ (Sat. 17.00-20.00 and Sun. free).
Museo do Pobo Galego, museum of Galician
folklore, San Domingo de Bonaval, Tue.-Sat. 10.00-14.00
and 16.00-20.00, Sun./public holidays Il.00-14.00,3
Centro Galego de Arte Contemporáneo, museum
for contemporary art, c/ Valle Indém, Tue.-Sun.
Cidade da Cultura de Galicia, cultural centre,
designed by the American architect Peter Eisenman,
monument with an interesting legend is that of the
Convento de San Francisco de Valdediós. It
is rumoured to have been founded by St Francis of
Assisi. St Francis is said to have made a pilgrimage
to Santiago in 1214 where he received a vision of
the Apostle St James asking him to build a monastery.
St Francis decided to move into a small hermitage
close to Monte Pedroso where he met a coal merchant
by the name of Cotolay and to whom St Francis entrusted
the building of his monastery. Poor Cotolay had
no idea how he was going to complete this mammoth
task, he wasn't a builder and he was extremely poor
and didn't have the resources to undertake a venture
such as this.
day St Francis asked Cotolay to accompany him on
a walk to look for the right spot to build the monastery.
They came across a piece of land in an area known
as Val de Dios which belonged to an existing monastery.
St Francis spoke to the Abbot who agreed to hand
over the land to St Francis on the condition that
they would receive from him a basket of fish on
an annual basis. St Francis and Cotolay continued
on their walk until they came upon a fountain where
St Francis asked Cotolay to dig a hole. This he
did and soon struck something solid which turned
out to be a chest containing gold coins and other
riches. Cotolay now had the financial means to build
the monastery and he put the money to good use.
He was even able to live comparatively comfortable
for the rest of his life. Little remains of the
original 13th century church but you will still
find Cotolay's tomb and 5 gothic arches in the cloister.
are many sights to see....
à CF description
at wanadoo.fr - 11/01/2014