The Way of St James

Legend has it that the martyred body of the apostle St. James was transported from Palestine to the Atlantic coast of Spain for burial. By the 10th century St. James was regarded as the protector of Christian Europe against the Moslem Moors. The church built on his grave at Compostella in Galicia, became a ‘Mecca’ for pilgrims who walked there from France along the ‘Camino de Santiago’. This section of the historic route will takes us into deepest France and the wonderfully remote countryside of the Massif Central.

Within France, by the 12th century, there were four different routes for pilgrims on the ‘Chemin de St. Jacques’. Of the four, the earliest recorded and the best preserved is that which starts at Le Puy on the headwaters of the Loire and crosses the Massif Central from northeast to southwest on its way to Aquitaine and the Pyrenees.

Copyright Charles Hawes (2012)