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The Uncovered Pilgrims’ Hidden Santiago

7 years ago

The professor and journalist Manuel F. Rodríguez presented the "Pilgrims’ Hidden Santiago in a crowded Hostal dos Reis CatólicosIacobus Absconditus Peregrinorum", a new project launched by the city of Compostela to promote and spread the ‘jubilee trace in the Galician capital’.

The Mayor of Santiago, Ángel Currás, was present in the event and highlighted the project’s cultural and tourism role. He stressed the idea of ‘trace’ throughout the project as the jubilee trace is ‘The recognition of millions of pilgrims’ steps’ and he also said that the itinerary proposed in the map is ‘A route not only through space but through time as well’. The mayor emphasized the implication of institutions, associations, entities, and business which gives even more value to the project and opens a path for an essential cooperation for the development of this kind of initiatives. ‘Santiago is an inventio, a discovery, and there is room for a million more inventios’.

All these entities were represented by the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Santiago, Jesús Asorey, and the Chairman of the Hospitality Association of Santiago, Jesús Sordo, the latter thanked the invitation to take part in this project ‘which brings together culture and tourism, two of the most relevant characteristics of this city and essential to enhance visits and stays’. He also assured that the current economic situation forces all of us to ‘Double our efforts to move forward’ and he reminded that Santiago ‘Benefits from the St. James Way which, despite of the crisis, still giving us lots of satisfaction’. This is why all innkeepers from Compostela support ‘Initiatives like The Pilgrims’ Hidden Santiago as they open a new door for the future of Santiago and for all those who live in and love this city’ said Jesús Sordo. 

Mr José María Díaz, Dean of the Cathedral, was also present as the Church representative. He highlighted the important role of the Way for Santiago as well as for Spain and Europe since 12 centuries ago. He said that ‘never before a saint had been as committed to his people’ to the point that Santiago is known as the city of the Apostle, he also reminded that ‘Usually, a cathedral is built for a city, but here the city was built for the cathedral, the basilica was the origin of Compostela’.

He did not forget to mention the ‘Happiness’ to celebrate the Apóstol party with the Codice Calixtino again in the cathedral although he assured that ‘The book could have been burned but its words would fly’ meaning that the message of the Códice would never be lost as it went beyond printed pages.

 

Santiago from a Young Perspective

The professor and journalist Manuel F. Rodríguez, coordinator of the project, explained that he had been years compiling all the information since ‘Despite the utmost and unquestionable relevance of the jubilee trace in all the city’s areas, Santiago had never been shown from this perspective’. Hence the ‘Pioneer nature of the project which will amaze both visitors and citizens of Compostela who will discover a lot of unknown aspects of their city’.

In addition to its historical and cultural relevance, this project will attract new tourists and pilgrims ‘Within the longest cycle between two Holy Years and their Xacobeos’. The next date will take place in 2021, which means a feared slowdown in an activity which in the last years had achieved its period of splendour. This is why a lot of organisms, institutions, and business wanted to take part in this project which, according to his coordinator, offers ‘A good pretext for visiting Santiago for the first time or to come back as it will be seen differently when viewed through the stories behind each corner of the city’. 

 

Multidisciplinary Project

The Pilgrims’ Hidden Santiago is a tourism and cultural project which is developed through several printed and digital media. Among the first we highlight the publication The Cathedral of Santiago for Pilgrims. Secret Guide ‘A guide which does not appear in guides’ said its author Manuel F. Rodríguez. The words of the pilgrim Angelo G. Roncalli (who became the Pope John XXIII) at his arrival in Santiago in 1954 are reminded in the guide: ‘The cathedral of Santiago is the cathedral of the world’. Amazed, he referred to the universality of this basilica, goal of the most intense and open historical pilgrimage.

In 2011, the 800 hundred years of the consecration of this unique temple, built to receive pilgrims from all Europe after having overcome sufferings and difficulties thank to their unbreakable will, were celebrated. This guide is ‘The first one travelling thorough the historical process of the Cathedral, with a content, many times hidden, which gave life to the basilica itself’.

The most jubilee spaces from an historical and cultural point of view are indicated and explained in the guide. It contains numerous anecdotes as well as an important graphic section which make it an interesting handbook on the most unknown aspects of one of the most relevant architectural work.

The guide includes a map available in three languages- Spanish, Galician, and English- where the most relevant jubilee places of the Cathedral and the city are indicated and briefly explained. The project will be completed with plaques in the physical places of the city which will include a QR barcode reader which redirects to the information about that place at the website.

 

A Website Open to Take Part in

As we are in the digital era, the project is present in the network at www.santiagooculto.com. It is a web 2.0 which, in addition to all novelties and news regarding the Way of St. James and Compostela, includes the map with the main jubilee places of Santiago.

Besides, you can make the itinerary by yourself or following a guided route which covers 35 interest points of the city, it is available in a mobile application which you can download to android or iPhone thus the map can be checked without internet connection.

One of the main novelties is that each of these interest points allows the users interaction and comments, thus they can improve and enlarge the contents keeping the website updated. Everyone can make a comment or upload their photos and users can even chat among them.

The website is also available in three languages, it seeks ‘To provide all citizens with jubilee information related to Santiago which had never been compiled before giving them a new motive to stay more days in Compostela’ said the coordinator of the project. This way, besides the cultural stimulus, there will be a new tourism resource for Compostela and an increase of the average stay, especially of the millions of pilgrims who arrive each year at the goal of St. James Way.

In addition, the project is also present in the main social networks where it can be found as ‘Santiago Oculto de los Peregrinos’ in Facebook and in Twitter to follow the news about the project.

 

Sponsors and Collaborators

The Pilgrims’ Hidden Santiago has been created by Bolanda Ediciones y Marketing and counts on the support of the Xunta de Galicia through the Secretaría Xeral para o Turismo and Tourgalicia, the Council of Santiago, the Archbishopric, the Foundation, and the Cabildo of the Cathedral of Santiago, Novagalicia Banco, the University of Santiago, the Chamber of Commerce of the City and the Hospitality Association.

But a lot of business from Compostela and Galicia also made this project possible: Pedras de Santiago, Gadis, Restaurante Calderón, Hostal dos Reis Católicos, the Museo das Peregrinacións, Apecsa, the Asociación Galega de Amigos do Camiño de Santiago, Tórculo Artes Gráficas, San Francisco Hotel Monumento, Vinoteca Rosalía, Centros Dentales Oral Group, Librería Couceiro, A Curtidoría, Restaurante Broa, Casa Pepe, O Dezaseis-Casa de Xantar, Casa Manolo, Restaurante Camilo, Café Casino Museo, La Flor, Don Gaiferos, Restaurante Mesón El Pasaje, camping As Cancelas, El Galeón, Hotel Hesperia Peregrino and Fundación La Rosaleda.

Most of them were present in the event, as well as numerous local and Galician authorities such as the local representatives Albino Vázquez, Amelia González, Paula Prado, Rebeca Domínguez, Reyes Leis and Rubén Cela; the Member of Parliament María Seonae, the Secretary General of Language Policy, Valentín García, the former president of the Xunta de Galicia, Gerardo Fernández Albor, among many others. 

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