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April 2, 2012 / TAB

Santiago- Stars and Shells

Santiago de Compostela is the end point of a religious or spiritual pilgrimage. The main route starts in France but there are many ways to arrive. According to legend the remains of St. James (Santiago) were found by a shepherd in a field (compo) illuminated by bright lights (stela). St. James was revered for driving out the Moors during their occupation of Spain and most statues show him astride a horse, lopping off a head or two. The original route to Santiago de Compostela was a Roman trade route to the Atlantic Ocean and many pilgrims continue their journey to the sea.

Upon arrival, the pilgrims make their way to the cathedral and find the marker on which to plant their walking sticks and say a prayer of gratitude for their safe journey. Then they enter the cathedral to touch the the column of St. James and hug his golden form on the altar.

Shells and stars are the symbols of Santiago de Compostela and they can be found throughout the city. Here are a few.

 

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