Stage 32: O Pedrouzo – Santiago de Compostela Distance: 21.5k
From O Pedrouzo / Arca do Pino take the track through eucalyptus forests and farmland through the village of San Antón and Amenal.
Continue uphill through Cimadevila and after a couple of kilmetres you will come to a roundabout.
From here turn left towards Santiago Airport and proceed along the track that runs along the end of the runway.
Proceed past the airport and through San Paio
Casa Porta de Santiago *. Tel: (0034) 902 88 97 61
Pass through San Paio and stay on the country road uphill onto a tree lined track that takes you down into Lavacolla
In mediaeval times, pilgrims used to wash themselves in the stream at Lavacolla before continuing there journey in Santiago.
According to the French monk Aymeric Picaud, who wrote the mediaeval pilgrim guide Codex Calixtinus, this was called Lavamentula which translates into something like “Wash your private”.
Due to it’s close proximity to the airport, Lavacolla is now more geared towards travelers than passing pilgrims.
You’ll find a number of bars, restaurants and accommodation here.
The camino nows runs past Lavacolla’s parish church, Iglesia de Benaval. Just past the church and it’s fountain continue down to the river before climbing steeply uphill to Vilamaior
Continue through Vilamaior past the Television de Galicia Headquarters and turn left at the campsite opposite the Television de España building.
Proceed into San Marcos where you’ll find a couple of bars and a café.
In less than a kilometre from San Marcos you’ll come to Monte do Gozo
Monte do Gozo
Monte do Gozo, Mount of Joy, is where mediaeval pilgrims got their first view of the spires of Santiago cathedral. The suburbs block the view today.
A monument commemorating the visit of Pope John Paul II in the Holy Year of 1993 stands on top of the hill.
A few hundred metres later you come to Albergue, which looks like a giant grey army barracks.
Although not a pretty sight, you are pretty much guaranteed a bed for the night if you decide to stay here.
Within the complex are a number of shops, restaurants and bars.
Beds: 500 in twenty separate buildings. Open all year. Has cooking & laundry facilities. Also has a number of shops, restaurants and bars on site as well as campsite and private rooms.
After Monte do Gozote path goes across the motorway and a railway track before continuing past the Palacio de Congresos. On the other side of the road you’ll find:
Continue along the main road past the Capilla de San Lázaro and take a left turn at Rúa do Valiño.
The path now goes straight along the Rúa das Fontinas, the Fonte dos Concheiros and across the roundabout onto Rúa dos Concheiros. Take a right onto Rúa de San Pedro and into the old town along Porta do Camiño.
Walk down the Rúa Casas Reais onto the Rúa dos Animas and cross the Plaza de Cervaqntes onto Rúa da Acibechería.
Continue across the Praza da Immaculada, underneath the Arco del Abispo and into the Praza de Obradoiro to the front of the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
According to legend, the remains of the apostle James were brought to Galicia and in the early 9th century they were discovered at Santiago de Compostela. The cathedral was built, on the spot where his remains were found, in his honour.
With it’s twin Baroque towers standing high above the Prazo do Obradoiro, the cathedral is a beautiful sight, and in mediaeval times was the third most important place of pilgrimage after Jerusalem and Rome.
Around the Prazo do Obradoiro are a number of historic buildings including the 18th century Pazo de Raxoi, now home to the city’s Ayuntamiento, and the 15th century Hostal de los Reyes Católicos, a pilgrim hostal founded by King Fernando & Queen Isabella. Today it is a parador hotel and regarded as one of the oldest hotels in the world.
To collect your certificate, Compostela, from the front of the Catedral take a right and walk up along the side of the cathedral onto Rúa de Gilmirez and take a right onto Rúa Vilar. Casa do Deán is on the right.
As long as you have completed at least the last 100km of the camino, you are eligible to receive the Compostela. The office is on the second floor and you will need to produce your pilgrim passport as proof you have completed the required 100km.
There is a travel desk on the ground floor, that offer discounts, if you need to make any return travel arrangements.
A Pilgrim’s Mass is held each day at noon for pilgrims in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Pilgrims who received the Compostela the day before have their countries of origin and the starting point of their pilgrimage announced at the Mass. The musical and visual highlight of the mass is the synchronisation of the beautiful ‘Hymn to Christ’ with the spectacular swinging of the huge ‘butafumeiro’.
For more information on Santiago de Compostela
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