The Pilgrims

The first pilgrim known was Godescalc, bishop of Puy, in 950, together with an important retinue. The Duke IX of Aquitaine began the way in 1137; in 1154 Louis VII, King of France, went on the pilgrimage to Santiago and a century later the archbishop of Lyon visited the apostle’ shrine. It is also known that other personalities went on a pilgrimage, like St Francis of Assisi, St Dominic de Guzman, Joanna the Mad and Philip the Handsome in 1506; Charles I and Philip II. The Catholic Monarchs made the pilgrimage in 1486. Their great work favoring the Way was the construction of the hospital of the Catholic Monarchs, started in 1501. And together with these distinguished pilgrims, walked believers of all social positions, increasing the number each time. Mixed with the crowd of peasants, rascals, bourgeoisies and noblemen, then arrived through the Way of St James craftsmen, stonemasons, painters, sculptors and religious orders. That cornerstone of the Reconquest soon became the conduit through which slipped into the Peninsula the aesthetic and cultural vanguards which ruled the Occident world. It was the great contribution of the apostle to the artistic and humanistic development of Spain.