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Alumni Travel Reading: El Camino de Santiago

The History of El Camino

Grassy clearing with horses, trees, and mountains in distance

Camino de Santiago, junio de 2008. Día 1: Orreaga (Roncesvalles)-Villaba (37,5 km), by Eliseo García Nieto

El Camino De Santago: The Way of St. James

View of green Spanish countryside

Camino de Santiago 2011 - Day One - St Jean Pied de Port - Somewhere out there is where I came from, somewhere beyond where I'm headed to., by Darran

El Camino de Sanitago, or The Way of St. James, is a series of paths across Spain that span hundreds of miles in length which serve as a pilgrimage to the believed burial site of the apostle St. James. The most popular trail, for example, is El Camino Frances (The French Way) which is a distance of about 500 miles. Eight trails are available for travelers to cross, and those who complete 100km of either path are certified for their completion.



Selected and Annotated By:

Rebecca Stuhr
Coordinator for Humanities Collections and
Librarian for History and Classical Studies

Alixandra Boucher
Collections Assistant

For more information, visit the Penn Alumni Travel Website.

Trailer: Walking the Camino: Sig Ways to Santiago

Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago, 2014, presented by Virgil Films and Entertainment.

This film follows the journey of six individuals from various backgrounds, all of whom begin their adventure through El Camino de Santiago to mimic the trail walked by thousands of pilgrims before them. While the path asks much of its visitors--challeinging the body's physical and mental toughness in unimaginable ways--those who venture through the Camino soon discover an unparalleled triumph of the self, and the soul.

Codex Calixtinus

Medieval codex opened to colorful illustrations«The Codex Calixtinus» / Photograph by Álvaro Ballesteros

Guardian article covering the trial over the theft of the Cdex Calixtinus. January 19, 2015

Details from a facsimile at the Frank Cooper Music Facsimile Collection

The Way of St. James, a site devoted to the 12th century guide

Los secretos del Códice Calixtino

A video that provides a close up of a facsimile of the manuscript, that served as a guide for pilgrims along the Camino Santiago de Compostela. Linked to from Youtube (advertisement for the facsimile).

A Contrarian's Perspective on the Pilgrimage

Bert Archer's A Skeptic's Pilgrimage in Spain. In this illustrated essay, Archer takes a less traveled road to Santiago. He walks the Via de la Plata to avoid the crowds of tourists.

The tiny streets of the mostly undeveloped town of Baños de Montemayor. Photo: Bert Archer

The tiny streets of the mostly undeveloped town of Baños de Montemayor.
Photo: Bert Archer

Art and Architecture throughout the Journey

Detailed Spanish cathedral

Spain_Bike trip_54, by Jason Jones

Suggested Reads by Previous Travelers

Hiker walking down dirt path next to house

Fromista, by Rich Yates

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