A few images from the Cathedral
The Cathedral is a magnificent building, with such a rich history, I highly recommend visiting the cathedral if you are in the city, and allow a couple of hours to listen to the audio tour and view all the details.
The Way of St. James is the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. It ranks along with Rome and Jerusalem as one of Christendom’s great pilgrim destinations.
By the 12th century, the Camino had become a rather organized affair and what is widely regarded as the world’s first travel guide, the Codex Calixtinus from around 1140, provided the would-be pilgrim with the rudiments of what he or she would need to know while en route; advice for pilgrims, informing them where they should stop, relics and sanctuaries they should visit, bad food they should be wary of and commercial scams, including in the author’s opinion, other churches who claimed to hold relics of St. James. The book provides a valuable insight into the life of the 12th-century pilgrim.
By the 12th and 13th centuries, half a million pilgrims made their way to and across northern Spain and back each year. Local kings and clergy built hospitals, hostels, roads and bridges to accommodate them. The Knights Templar patrolled the Camino, providing protection, places of hospitality, healing and worship, as well as a banking system that became one source of their fabled wealth.
There is evidence of a pre-christian route, the celts used this route across northern Spain, to Finisterre, the end of the world. For them, watching the sun set over the endless waters was a spiritual experience.
Some of it winds its way over the remains of pavement laid down by the Romans two millennia ago, they built infrastructure, including a road from Bordeaux in modern France to Astorga in northwest Spain, to mine the area’s gold and silver. Some of the original road remains on today’s Camino.
A combination of the Protestant Reformation initiated by Martin Luther around 1520, the Enlightenment and European wars gradually suppressed the Camino. In the 17th century Louis XIV of France forbade his subjects from going to Santiago in order to stop trade with Spain. The Camino fell into disfavour but was never abandoned.
The European Union has designated a network of four pilgrimage routes in northern Spain in 1993. The network of routes represent 1500 kilometres, and includes historical sites, cathedrals, churches, monasteries, hostels, bridges and natural landscapes. Pilgrimages were an essential part of European culture and spiritual life during the Middle Ages. Along the route pilgrims were provided with everything they needed to ensure their physical and spiritual well-being. The route contributed to the economic and social development of the towns along the way, and the movement of large numbers of visitors contributed to the two-way exchange of cultural advances between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe.
Now, after centuries of slumber, the Camino is alive with upward of 250,000 pilgrims—and growing—yearly.
Bill and I have travelled through Leon Spain a couple of times, first as part of our walk along the Camino to Santiago de Compostella the autumn of 2013 the second visit was the summer of 2014 when we spend about three months visiting the beautiful cities of Spain.
Leon was one city we remembered fondly during the camino, during this visit we only had one day to see the city. During our visit last summer we spent a week wandering the streets, enjoying the festival and seeing the historic sites. It is often difficult when visiting a city to find an image that hasn’t been taken, I want it to have personal meaning, and contect with people. I think the statue of the pilgrim sitting resting his sore feet in Plaza de San Marcos in front of the Parador “Hostal San Marcos”
What is now The Parador had originally been built during the 16 century as the western headquarters for the military Order of Saint James. Built on the site of an old pilgrim’s hospital that had existed to house and help the pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela. So the image of the pilgrim sitting resting his feet and looking at the convent, his resting place for the night reminds me of the first time we were in Leon.
How time fly’s by, Bill and I visited Bamberg Germany for the first time April 2011! We loved it so much when the opportunity to spend this month in Germany photographing Christmas Markets came up, we knew that the Bamberg Christmas Market would be on the list of places to see.
We have spent a couple of days wandering the streets, visiting the familiar tourist attractions, as well as some of the coffee shops and breweries that we had visited before. We have also found some new favourites.
This is the old town hall, and it doesn’t matter how many times I walk by, or which bridge I am on when I see it I think about taking a photo. According to legend the bishop of Bamberg would not grant the citizens any land for the construction of a town hall, so the townsfolk rammed huge wooden beams into the river Regnitz to create an artificial island on which they built the town hall. The location marks the old border of rule between the bishop, the ruling clergy and the local trades people on the island city.
the old town hall at night.
The Mezuita, Spanish for Mosque, of Cordoba is a building that shows the many religious changes Cordoba and for that matter Spain has undergone over the centuries. The Mezquita is now the Cathedral of Cordoba and officially known as the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, but a majority of the art and architecture is the work of Islamic architects, who built the mosque in the 8th century. It is quite amazing to walk around the UNESCO world heritage site, and see the different architectural and religious features standing side-by-side in harmony.
Just outside the Visgoth Museum is Merida Spain was a lovely garden, and the Calla Lilies were blooming, the garden was lovely. I wanted to share them with you. The Visigoths spread over much of the western Roman Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries, and the museum owns a collection of more than a thousand pieces of Visigothic art and is one of two Visigothic museums in Spain. It is a must see for anyone travelling to Merida Spain. We have been walking up the Via la Plata on our way to Caceres, the scenery is beautiful, but it cannot beat the lovely Calla Lilies. I hope you enjoy your Sunday.
Heritage Park, Calgary Alberta, Canada’s Largest Living History Museum. We try to visit once a year, check out the new exhibits, wander the streets of the town, and maybe have lunch at the Wainwright Hotel or the Dairy Barn. Each year I talk about packing a picnic and sitting on the lawn near the Glenmore Reservoir but that hasn’t happened yet! One of the great places to visit is the bakery for a cookie or better yet a butter tart!
This year we wandered around and I spent time talking to the many people who were working at the exhibits, learning a little about their “role” in history. This gentleman was at the Lady of Peace Mission close to the Hudson’s Bay Fur Trading Fort. He was busy making Metis Sashes to be sold I.G. Baker & Co. Store. He was sitting it the little mission, just inside the door. The light was perfect for a portrait of him at work.
I love old architecture, and in Calgary this is about as old as it gets! The cupola has a long history and you can read all about it on the Waymarking pages. It sits in the south-east corner of the James Short parade, there is a beautiful park to sit an enjoy the sun. I love the way the old building is framed by the new glass and steel buildings around it, give its age and grandeur more significance.
I am enjoying my time walking around Calgary! If you have a special place in Calgary that you would like me to visit, let me know.
Obanos is about 20 kilometers from Pamplona, along the Camino to Santiago de Compostela, the French Route. I learned recently that the French Route of the Camino to Santiago has the UNESCO World Heritage Designation. Every year thousands of people from all over the world travel the camino.
It was mid afternoon when we arrived in the little town, the streets were quiet and I am sure the local people were all having their siesta. The beautiful old Gothic Church sits in the main square, in front of the Nuestra Señora de Arnotegui Shrine. The sculpted portal depict stories from the Bible to the pilgrims who walked the Camino a thousand years ago, now worn by time and weather speaks to the heritage of the church in these communities.
The Cathedral of Royal Saint Mary (Santa María la Real), a 15th century Gothic Catholic Pilgrimage Church has many beautiful features. We visited the lovely Cathedral in September when walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela. I could spend hours photographing the details. Just off the main temple, a beautiful stone carved staircase topped by a magnificent dome.
For more Cathedral and camino images: Cathedral