Posts Tagged ‘El Camino de Santiago’

El Camino de Santiago

April 18, 2015
Abbey Road -  Imágenes del Camino de Santiago

Abbey Road – Imágenes del Camino de Santiago

El Camino de Santiago is a mediaeval pilgrimage route that runs along northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela.

Misa para los peregrinos

March 22, 2015
setting Botafumeiro in motion

setting Botafumeiro in motion

setting Botafumeiro in motion

setting Botafumeiro in motion

catching sunbeams

catching sunbeams

Each and every day a special mass in Catedral de Santiago for pilgrims who have walked El Camino de Santiago.

Today Sunday, the cathedral packed, standing room only.

No sooner had the mass  finished, then another mass presided over by the Bishop.

For the midday mass, there was no swinging of the censer or Botafumeiro, but for the mass that followed there was. The difference to the other days, it was allowed to slowly slowly, swing to a halt.

Misa para los peregrinos

March 21, 2015
misa para los peregrinos

misa para los peregrinos

catching sunbeams

catching sunbeams

Each day at midday, a special mass in Catedral de Santiago for pilgrims who have walked El Camino de Santiago.

I was not sure what to expect, a cathedral full of pilgrims, pilgrims lining up to be blessed.

From what I could follow, a list of pilgrims read out.

As with special mass last night, the censer or Botafumeiro was swung.

Catedral de Santiago

March 20, 2015
Catedral de Santiago

Catedral de Santiago

Catedral de Santiago is the final destination for pilgrims walking El Camino de Santiago.

Catedral de Santiago is the final resting place for the remains of Santiago Apóstol, the Apostle James, brother of John the Baptist, and follower of Jesus.

Midday each day, a special mass is held for pilgrims.

Friday evening a special mass is held where the Botafumeiro is swung.

I attended mass four times, spent different times of the day wandering around inside the cathedral, sitting in quiet contemplation, even one evening walked the stations of the cross, had a chat with the priests, Holy Communion from the Bishop.

What struck me looking at the gold and the figures that are the centre piece, that if I was not aware I was in a Catholic Church I could have been in a Hindu temple as the figures were very much reminiscent of that seen in Hindu art.

The gold centre piece is breathtaking, as is the swinging of Botafumeiro.

The centre of the gold centre piece, is not as would expect Jesus or Mary, but Santiago. You can walk up and through, and hug the Saint.

Buried below in a tiny crypt in a silver casket are his remains.

Before visiting the cathedral, I would recommend first a visit to Monasterio de San Martín Pinario, which contains the original carved choir stalls from the cathedral.

Festa de San Xosé

March 20, 2015
traditional musicians and dancers

traditional musicians and dancers

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho



book signing

book signing

Welcome to the most exclusive party in the world. — Paul Coelho

Each year Paulo Coelho celebrates St Joseph´s Day with his friends.

This year in Santiago de Compostela in Paradores Hostales de los Reyes Catolicos, a former hospital for the poor and infirm, now a Parador.

Pilgrims follow a path,  follow their dreams, follow the signs.

Joseph followed the signs when he escaped to Egypt with the two-year-old Jesus.

Pilgrims followed El Camino de Santiago to Santiago de Compostela. El Camino de Santiago was an important medieval pilgrimage route. By the mid-1980s it was almost forgotten, until Paulo Coelho walked The Way and wrote of his experience in The Pilgrimage.

Reception with cocktails was held in the former chapel. Traditional music and dancers. Followed by prayers.

Then dinner in a spectacular dining room.

The dancers, led by Paulo Coelho holding a bagpipe, led us into dinner.

During dinner, amazing flamenco, or Galician variation of flamenco.

Midnight onwards, music, book signing.

Walking El Camino de Santiago

August 2, 2014

Inspired to walk El Camino de Santiago after reading The Pilgrimage.

Walking, juggling, change.

Paulo Coelho: El Camino de Santiago

January 14, 2014

Paulo Coelho discussing walking El Camino de Santiago.

His experience of walking The Way he recorded in The Pilgrimage and it led to the writing of The Alchemist.

Follow your dreams, unfortunately most don’t, they don’t take the risk, then they bemoan the good luck of others, even worse, they do their best to stop others from following their dreams.

The Way

April 4, 2013
El Camino de Santiago

El Camino de Santiago

The Way, one man’s spiritual journey walking El Camino de Santiago.

Filmmaker Mark Shea wished to explore the spiritual affect the Camino (Way of St James) has on pilgrims, by walking the French Way alone and documenting his own personal experiences.

I did my Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage in 2004. To be authentic, I walked the whole French Way; 34 days, 18 kg of gear, 764 km on foot. I lost 8 kg in weight!

I had read a lot about the Camino being a spiritual experience, and I wanted to try and capture on film my own reactions as I walked the way.

It is not the historical aspect, but what one pilgrim experiences and tries to capture on film.

What I loved was the honesty.

He talks of the comradeship. Of limping in one night into a refuge, and being helped by a yoga teacher from Barcelona.

Paulo Coelho, in a video interview for Manuscript Found in Accra, talks of that same comradeship when he crossed the US by Greyhound bus in the 1960s.

When Paulo Coelho walked El Camino de Santiago in the mid-1980s, few pilgrims walked the route. Last year saw the publication of a special 25th Anniversary edition of The Pilgrimage, his account of walking the route. In a new forward he describes sitting outside a bar halfway along the route and today seeing as many pilgrims pass by in an hour, as then walked the route in a year.

Top Story in USA Property News (Thursday 4 April 2013).

The Pilgrimage 25th Anniversary Edition

December 1, 2012
The Pilgrimage 25th Anniversary Edition

The Pilgrimage 25th Anniversary Edition

I was not aware there was a special 25th anniversary edition of The Pilgrimage (2012) with a special introduction by Paulo Coelho until I spotted one on display in Waterstone’s in Farnham today on a cold winter afternoon.

Most people think The Alchemist was the first book written by Paulo Coelho. It wasn’t, the first was The Pilgrimage.

It was walking El Camino de Santiago that inspired Paulo Coelho to write The Alchemist.

Many of his early books have their origins somewhere along El Camino de Santiago.

When he walked El Camino de Santiago, it had fallen into disuse, maybe 400 pilgrims a year. Since publication of the Pilgrimage, the numbers have risen exponentially, with peaks in Holy Years, such that by 2005 there were 400 a day passing a bar on the halfway point.

El Camino de Santiago is medieval pilgrim’s route that runs along northern Spain. The destination is Santiago de Compostela where lies the remains of Apostle James the Greater, St James.

Martin Sheen Raves About The Camino Documentary!

April 28, 2011

Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez presented a sneak peak of The Way – their upcoming feature film about El Camino de Santiago – at Georgetown University on 18 February 2011. During the Q&A afterwards, Lydia B Smith – Director/Producer of The Camino Documentary – stood up to congratulate the filmmakers, and Martin Sheen couldn’t help but comment on the documentary.

El Camino de Santiago is a medieval pilgrimage that at its height had a million pilgrims a year walking the route. It fell into disuse until in the 1980s Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho was forced to walk the route as a penance and wrote his account in The Pilgrimage, since then it has seen an exponential increase in pilgrims, the numbers peaking in Holy Years.

The History of the Pilgrimage to Compostela
Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela today

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