Road to Santiago de Compostelle

The inhabitants of the Spanish village of La Virnez del Camino have long been accustomed to the fact that they are also dealing with the ingrowns of a strange view of a man and women, respectable elders and completely young guys and girls – dispaired by dust, they, despite the heat, get here from different countries of Europe, and not only. Local immediately unmistakably determine who these wanderers and where they keep the way along the characteristic talisman, which hangs each on the neck. This is a flat marine scallop shell with a cross image. Bypassing La Virne-del Camino and hundreds similar to her northern Spanish villages, pilgrims brave in Santiago de Compostela, to the tomb of St. James, the patron saint of Spain and almost the most revered Great Martyr of the Roman Catholic Church. From here to the ultimate goal two hundred and miles through the plains of Leon and the mountains of Galicia. Those who go to the holy places on foot, the road usually takes two weeks. Traveling riding or bicycles sleep to the cherished goal, of course, faster.

From the Spanish border to the local places will be miles three hundred, if not all five hundred. And all the way from Northern France, from where for most foreigners, actually, pilgrimage begins, is twice as much. The city of Santiago de Compostela is not yet on any map you can, but orthodox Catholics in different ends of the world, nevertheless, even very well known. After all, it is there that the famous Cathedral of the Holy Apostle Jacob is. And leading to him pilgrim "route" one of the most revered. And the oldest paths of this for over a thousand years.

In the history of one or another holy place, it often happens so that the truth is bizarrecticly intertwined with fiction, and the genuine facts often happen once or two and turned around. As for Santyago-de Compostela, the only thing that does not cause doubt even the most persistent skeptics, so it is truly the unshakable greatness of St. Jacob. Jacob – Son of Zezeda and Salome. His father was a fisherman from Galilee, and the mother accounted for the sister of Virgin Mary and began to be a aunt Jesus Christ. So Jacob and Jesus cousins. The newlyranded Jacob and his brother John were so zealous in his faith that Jesus was gratitude to both "Speakers, sons of thunder". According to legend, I saw the sideli, as crucified Christ. But even such a strong shock did not stop him, he continued to bear faith in Christ, for which he was captured and beheaded at the order of Tsar Herod.

These regrettable events took place away from the Spanish land. But how firmly convinced many Spaniards, here Jacob once preached. That before the history associated with the site of the apostle burial, which according to legend was buried in Spain, his body with his head, miraculously grown to the body, was subsequently dug and transported by the sea in the Galician port of Padron. And here, not far from Pudhron, re-established land on the old Roman cemetery. On this, however, the history of the holy place does not end. One day, shortly before death, it was at the beginning of the IX century, the emperor of Frankov, Carlo, he was given a way in a dream. The path of the stars, Stranded by the Holy Place through France and Spain. And the Most High called the emperor to clear "road" from the Moors who captured part of Iberia. The Lord’s vote, Karl led his army through the Pyrenees. In battle, his warriors went under the Horugwe of St. James, which the symbol of the marine scallop shell decorated to us. The Great Hiker ended the victory of francs – Castile and Leon, Galicia, Navarra and La Rioha were delighted with the rule of Saracinov. Well, finally, some time later, the Galician hermit of Pelagii said somehow over the plain a bright star. With the blessing of the church authorities, he took to dig in the place that she was overweight, and came across a well-preserved body, apparently treated with special ointments. The head was where it was. And in the scroll attached to the body, it was indicated that the deceased there is no one else like "Saint Jacob, son of Zezeda and Salome, Native Brother John, who is Herod compartment head in Jerusalem".

At the direction of the Pope, the remainder of the saint were solemnly reburied in the town of Campussell. A little later, a chapel was erected there, which over time, with the works of not one generation of architects, rose to the size of the current Cathedral of St. Jacob. But the optimists immediately objected pessimists, and they, of course, have their own foundations. Take at least the name of the compostela itself, they say, which does not fit with the romantic history about the delimited dear. Moreover, the Latin word "Compostus" The most prosaic values "fictional, fictional, false". As before evidence of the alleged place of the reburial, then here we are dealing with an ordinary opaist, which could well be allowed to admit a miniatory monk-correspondence. After all, between Latin words "Hierosolyma" and "Hispania", indicating Jerusalem and Spain, respectively, and the truth is some similarity, albeit very remote. So doubtful for skeptics and the value of the seafood sink, which, according to legends, was a symbol of Christians who fought against the Moors. Among other things, the sink was also a symbol of Venus and a kind "membership icon" followers of a special cult, known for their unbelievable orgies.

How reliable and convincing the arguments of the other side, let everyone decide for itself. Some of those who assured "Voting" feet. Walking in Santiago de Compostela can be called the test of the spirit rather than, for example, a wallet: Free (or for a purely symbolic fee), rude, but healthy peasant food. And such everyday prose should not be discarded, going into the path of the road to the Cathedral of St. Jacob. However, the real pilgrims are all moved by the faith. However, among the pilgrims often come across people who are more managed by the hunt for the change of places and quite understandable curiosity. The desire to admire the beauties of the Spanish nature and architecture. And the search for sensations, it would seem forever who left our rational, pragmatic world, in which we all disassembled.

American journalist Simon Winchester, who decided to go with pilgrims to the holy place, talked on his way with one Englishman from Liverpool, who, according to her, is not a zealous Catholic. Why do you, in this case, started in such a difficult way? Asmon asked. The fact is, answered "Strange pilgrimage", that I went on the journey to get acquainted not only with simple and, as I now see, welcome Spaniards, but also know myself. On the road very well thinks. So I think about many. You know, there are some topics that, for example, we have not been discussed in England. Well, how, we justified your expectations? Pretty journalist. I think yes admitted a wander. Even despite the legs knocked down in the blood and other troubles, waiting for all in the way. And to make it easier to endure all the multi-week nomadic life, each pilgrim necessarily takes the sink ("Giving calmness", According to one of his poems Walter Rali), staff, a huge hat and a bottle of pumpkin with a margin of drinking water.

By the way, the composition of pilgrims changed over time. In the Middle Ages, it was a rather different company. Monks and laitys, angry sinners and thirsty of wonderful healing patients, knights, who granted a promise to commit a pilgrimage, if you fell in battles, and those who could be called great-grandfathers of modern tourists. In other words – people who have thirsty to taste the delights of life in the picturesque Spanish coast between San Sebastian and La Coruna. In due time, among the pilgrims, we could see the venge states (for example – the French monarch of Louis VII or King Scotland Yakov III) and spiritual shepherds, such as the Italian preacher and the founder of the Order of Franciscans Francis Assisi. The main mass was and constituted, of course, people are unlucky. A little later among the wanderers began to come across and frank barter. Let’s say the French courts of that pore often put the accused before choosing: "Dunning or pilgrimage". And stretched to the holy places Outwood villains Thieves and killers, in search of sales cerebrals, which for a certain MZDU were ready to sell any so-called "Computer certificate", certified that his owner really made a pilgrimage. The onset route was chosen by merchants and other trading people, as well as robbers, who robbed all sorts of a grooved traveler. Came across on the way to holy places and the girls of the famous variety of short-circled harlots and completely young creatures that joined the ancient craft almost on the road. "Will you come back a pilgrim", Such a surcharge appeared in those times when "Good thing" It turned out to be a serious threat. Beginning "still during it" commercialization lived to this day, but the crime elements of the current travelers should not be so feared now they don’t care about the pilgrims.

Road to Santiago de Compostelle

Pilgrimage in the compost can also begin from Portugal, Ireland, Switzerland and Germany (by the way, the Germans are the most fanatical pilgrims among "Failure"). The first impressions of the Idylli mixture with a nightmare: the overload of roads and the bad organization is what strikes first of all. Getting up to Spain quite another thing. In Pamplona, ​​not far from the French border, where four pilgrimages are finally connected "trails", The number of wanderers increases markedly. Yes, and is organized here everything is much better. Especially worth noting one innovation. The fact is that the efforts of officials in Madrid and Brussels Millennary Palgrimage Path in Santiago de Compostela received official status "Cultural route in Europe". Now the pilgrims come across the road are new blue-yellow pointers (with an indispensable image of the shell of a marine scallop). Thing, in general, necessary – Sometimes the road is so loops among the hills of Spain, what to figure out – where, in fact, to go, without any assistance, it happens quite difficult. Someone came to mind the idea of ​​creating a symbolic logo, and, let’s say, on board many airlines aircraft "Iberia" Now you can see the stylized image of the staff and bottles of pumpkin.

Be that as it may, but according to the recognition of pilgrims, in themselves peaceful idyllic landscapes, opening up with a breath, and new sensations that this road gives, refreshingly acting on the mind and soul. The path to Santiago de Compostela becomes an event with a capital letter, and not a pathetic likeness of some "Rabor on a supervalued distance". By the way, according to eyewitnesses, when you approach the final point of the route, the type of two cathedral spiers from afar of a special impression does not produce: at first it seems that the Cathedral of St. Jacob is noticeably inferior to his "fellow" even in the same Spain. Perhaps they spoil the impression and modern buildings, well visible at a distance. The true beauty and greatness of the cathedral can be estimated, only standing on the square in front of this grand conservation.

By the way, all the newcomers arrived in Santiago de Compostela, it should be applied to a special institution where certificates are issued, in which it is indicated, from where and when you went to the path and how many days your pilgrimage continued. Mandatory minimum is established. In order to be able to count on receiving cherished paper, you need to go through or drive at least sixty miles to the horses, you need to cyclists "hoist" All one hundred twenty. And it should be documented. If everything is in order, then you are honored by the personal handshake of the secretary of the relevant service and receive a certificate bonded by the seal of the local bishop.

But the program does not end. It remains another three item. At five o’clock in the afternoon, all the pilgrims arrived in the cathedral in a special service and raise the praise the Lord for giving them the strength to pass the whole way to the end. Holy Jacob himself is represented by the altar in three hypostasses: Velmazby, Warrior and Pilgrim. There are four statues, personifying prudence, justice, strength and restraint. Most of all those present is remembered by a ritual, accompanied by a very original way of smoking incense with a special silver vessel of a meter height. Inside a huge chicken glowing coals and incense. From the highest point of the cathedral, the thick rope is fused, to which all this Mahina is attached. Five dozens of Galician fishermen begin to have the strength to rock her and here. The chicken with a whistle flies above the heads of the crowd, spreading around the divine fragrance. The spectacle, indeed, is impressed, especially when this adhesive thing pulls a decent speed. Once in the distant 1622 fishermen "missed" a smoke, and she collapsed down. Fortunately, no one has suffered.

After prayer, pilgrims are in turn go for the altar, where there is a sculpture of St. Jacob Pilgrim, stand on a small step in his back and, putting his hands to his shoulders, kiss the sink statues done in the back. Then wanderers, again one by one, are suitable for the ark with the relics of the Holy. Breeding the knee, they freeze for a while in silence. After which they go to the exit. On the air. On a flooded evening lights Cathedral Square. Now home. Who closer, those are sent by the night train. The rest of the aircraft. In Santiago de Composset, there is a railway station and airport. The local employees say that nowhere else in Europe does not sell so many tickets one way.

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