The Pilgrim Passport / Credencial
The Pilgrim Passport or Credencial is a document issued by the cathedral authorities in Santiago, and made available to pilgrims at various points along the routes – e.g. at St. Jean Pied de Port, and at some churches and albergues along the way.
To prevent people abusing of the hospitality of the pilgrimage, access to the albergues are restricted to those carrying credencials.
You should always try to remember to have your credencial stamped and dated daily with a local sello at whatever albergue you stay at, the local church, town hall, ayuntamiento, or the local police station, Guardia Civil, to keep a record of your pilgrimage. Each town/albergue has it’s own original stamp, some more decorative than others.
On completion of your pilgrimage at Santiago de Compostela you can present your credencial at the Pilgrim Office beside the Cathedral. You will then be given your Compostela certificate, the traditional document, in Latin, confirming your completion of the pilgrimage.
It is required that walkers and pilgrims on horseback must have completed at least the last 100km and cyclists the last 200 km in order to qualify for the Compostela.
A few years ago the Pilgrim Office in Santiago started asking pilgrims who start their camino in Galicia to try and get two stamps per day in their credencials. So if you’re starting from anywhere before Ponferrada make sure to get two stamps a day, and get hold of another credencial if you need room for the extra stamps. If you’ve come from outside Galicia, one stamp a day within Galicia is enough.
How and where to get your Credencial, or Pilgrim Passport
You can get your Credencial from:
Confraternity of Saint James. Website: www.csj.org.uk
Confraternity of Saint James Australia: Website: www.csj.org.uk/australia.htm
Canadian Company of Pilgrims. Website: www.santiago.ca
Irish Society of the Friends of St James. Website: www.stjamesirl.com
Confraternity of Saint James of South Africa. Website: www.csjofsa.org
Where can also register for your credencial at a anumber of potential starting points although this is subject to change.
- If you are starting in le Puy, go to the Cathedral, or the local association of the Amis de St Jacques
- If you are starting in St Jean Pied-de-Port, go to Accueil St Jacques, 39 rue de la Citadelle
- If you choose Roncesvalles as your starting point then you need to go to the Abbey
For you are starting at any other point in Spain you should go to the local albergue, church, police station or the Town Hall, Ayuntamiento, to register.
You will be required to have your passport with you as they need the number for your registration.
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