Legends of the Way of Saint James

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When we walk the Camino de Santiago, we not only walk and enjoy the landscape, but we also enrich ourselves with the culture, art, architecture and, of course, with the legends that surround it. For this reason, at ALBERGUES DEL CAMINO, we are going to tell you about some of the most popular legends about the Jacobean Route. Let’s go there!

The Apostle’s Donkey

Legend has it that a French couple and their two children were so tired that they stopped to rest in a hostel in Pamplona to regain strength and continue on their way to the Santiago Cathedral the next day.

During the night, the mother fell seriously ill so they had to stay much longer than they had planned.

After a long stay in the hostel, her mother dies.

When the man and his children decide to resume the pilgrimage to Santiago, the owner of the hostel asks them to pay a large sum of money for having lived there for so long. Since the family has no money, they hand over their donkey as payment and continue on their way.

As they walk the path to the Cathedral of Santiago, the family gathers to pray and ask the Apostle for help. Days later, they come across an old man who gives them a colt to help them through the hardest stages.

Finally, when they arrive in Santiago, the father has a vision with which he discovers that the old man who gave him the animal days before was the Apostle Santiago.

Once on the way back home, the family walks past the same hostel where the woman had died. There they discover that the owner of the hostel had died in an accident and that the townspeople said that it was the cause of a divine punishment.

The miracle of the rooster and the hen

An 18-year-old German boy, Hugonell, was doing the Camino de Santiago with his parents.

Arriving in Santo Domingo de la Calzada (La Rioja) they stay in an inn and the innkeeper’s daughter falls madly in love with the young man. Not being reciprocated, she decides to take revenge by hiding a silver cup in the young man’s luggage to report him for theft.

When he leaves the city, the girl denounces the robbery. Upon being captured, he finds the cup among his belongings and is sentenced to hang.

The next day, his parents, before embarking on the trip, go to see the body of their son, who surprisingly was alive and tell them: “The blessed Santo Domingo de la Calzada has preserved my life against the rigorous cord… realize of this miracle.”

Full of happiness, the parents approach the mayor of the city to tell him about this miracle. However, he taunts them and tells them that his son is as alive as the roasted rooster and the hen they are about to eat. After this comment, both birds recover their feathers and start clucking, thereby giving credibility to the miracle.

The Legend of the Ghost Pilgrim

This legend is one of the most curious and is directly related to the city of Santiago and the surroundings of the Cathedral of Compostela. It tells the romance between a clergyman and a nun from the convent of San Pelayo. Every night the clergyman crossed a narrow passageway that linked the convent with the Cathedral, to meet with his girlfriend. This passageway was under the Plaza de la Quintana.

Tired of living in hiding, one day the priest proposed to the nun to meet at midnight in the square to elope together and never return. Dressed in a pilgrim’s robe, the priest waited for hours and hours for his beloved in the square, but she never arrived. Legend has it that since then every night the cleric waits for her in the same place as a wandering soul.

The most curious thing about this story is that every night when the lights are turned on the facade of the Plaza de la Quintana, a shadow is projected, which draws the shape of a pilgrim dressed in a wide-brimmed hat, cane, pumpkin and cap. What do you think? Will the priest continue to wait for his beloved?

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