Road Trip Santiago de Compostela

Below the altar in Padron

The battle of Clavijo in 844 was to be a major turning point in the reconquest or re-Christianisation of Spain. It was during this battle that the great legend and image of Santiago Matamoros was born. At Clavijo, St James appeared on a white charger as the slayer of the Moors and turned the tide of the battle. St. James then became Patron saint of Spain and the spearhead of the re-conquest. It was during one of these crusades that a Christian knight had to ford one of the coastal inlets in Galicia and came out covered in Scallop shells. This is but one version of how the legendary symbol of the pilgrimage to Santiago was born.The best-known account and the earliest written record of the pilgrim path to Finisterre is from the medieval travel diaries of Aimery Picaud. Picaud was a French clergyman from Parthenay (le Vieux) near Poitiers, and the account of his travels in the 12th c. became known as the Liber Sancti Jacobi (Codex Calixtinus).

Road Trip Santiago de Compostela Photo Gallery

The blog of Saint James has been translated into English and is a veritable mine of information and makes for wonderfully descriptive reading. One of several original copies rests in the Cathedral Library at Santiago.

Catholic Monarchs 1474 -1516

Isabel, wife of Ferdinand, succeeded Henry IV of Castille and shortly afterwards established the Court of the Inquisition in Spain in 1478. However, she is perhaps best remembered for her more beneficent activities, such as the building of the pilgrim hospital in Santiago, now the luxurious parador Hostal Dos Reis Catolicos.

War of Independence 1808

Despite its remote location, Galicia was not spared from the effects of the War of Independence, the Peninsular War. Forces of Napoleon ransacked many of the villages along which you will pass on your way to Finisterre. Corcubion itself was razed to the ground in 1809.

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