Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain


Near our bed and breakfast Dans La Creuse in Mourioux Vieilleville is located 1 of the many hiking- and cycling trails going to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

The village Bénévent l’Abbaye is 4 kilometres away from Mourioux Vieilleville. It is 1 of the pilgrims places along this route. Are you transiting Bénévent l’Abbaye as a pilgrim and are you searching for a place to sleep? Please contact us. We will pick you up in Bénévent l’Abbaye free of charge. The next morning after breakfast we will bring you back to Bénévent l’Abbaye so that you can continue your hiking trip to Santiago de Compostela. Pelgrims (hikers and bikers) who can show their credential get a discount on the price. Look for all prices on the web page rooms.

One of the cycling trails to Santiago de Compostela is 300 metres away from our bed and breakfast. Is it time to look for a place to sleep at the moment you pass Mourioux? In that case you can come to us for an overnight stay with breakfast and eventually a dinner.


The history of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and coming together at the tomb of St. James (Santiago in Spanish) in Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Legend holds that St. James’s remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain, where he was buried in what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela.

St. James’s Day is on 25 July. When St. James’s Day falls on a Sunday, the cathedral declares a Holy or Jubilee Year. The next Holy Years will be 2021, 2027, and 2032.

Santiago de Compostela is 1 of the most important Christian places of pilgrimage. Pilgrims from all over the world end up here their hiking tour. This tour is called “Camino de Santiago”, the way to Santiago.

Since the 11th century people are walking pilgrimages. Nowadays there are 4 historic routes through France that go to Santiago de Compostela. These routes are going along beautiful religious buildings. It is possible to walk the whole route from the starting point in France to Santiago de Compostela, but most of the people are choosing to walk the route in stages or just a part of the route.

The 4 routes in France that are going to Santiago de Compostela are: the Via Turonensis that starts in Tours (there is also a variant from the Mont-Saint-Michel), the Via Lemovicensis that starts in Vézelay, the Via Podensis that starts in Puy-en-Velay and the Via Tolosona that starts in Arles.

The 3 major routes are coming together in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the South of France, from which the journey continues to the Pyrenees and the Spanish border. The Via Tolonosa is crossing the Somport Pass. The entire route, the route in France and in Spain, can be made in 2 or 3 months.

Since 1993 the Spanish part of the pilgrimage was named one of UNESCO’S World Heritage Sites. The French part of the pilgrimage was named one of UNESCO’S World Heritage Sites in 1998. 


Who was St. James?

St. James was 1 of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ. On the site of his tomb in Santiago de Compostela is built today’s cathedral. The city of Santiago de Compostela was built around the cathedral. The cathedral is the end point of the long pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.


St. James’s shell (scallop shell)

The pilgrims who are on their way to Santiago can be recognized by the St. James’s shell. The St. James’s shell is a Christian symbol, the sign of St. James. The shell is also the emblem of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and is a symbol of pilgrims. As the symbol of the Camino de Santiago, the shell is seen very frequently along the trails. The shell is seen on posts and signs along the Camino in order to guide pilgrims along the way.

The shell is even more commonly seen on the pilgrims themselves. Wearing a shell denotes that one is a traveler on the Camino de Santiago. Most pilgrims receive a shell at the beginning of their journey and either attach it to them by sewing it onto their clothes or wearing it around their neck or by simply keeping it in their backpack. By wearing the shell people recognise you as a pilgrim. This has some advantages. Sometimes people invite you to eat and stay with them for free or at a reduced tariff. The shell also may be a pretext for beautiful meetings with other people.


Reasons to make a pilgrimage

There are several reasons to make a pilgrimage:

  • Religion
  • Cultural-historical heritage on the way to Santiago
  • Physical challenge
  • To de-stress after a difficult period in life.