Santiago de Compostela was the supreme goal for countless thousands of pious pilgrims who converged there from all over Europe throughout the Middle Ages. To reach Spain pilgrims had to pass through France, and the group of important historical monuments included in this inscription marks out the four routes by which they did so.
Four symbolic routes depart from Paris, Vézelay, Le Puy and Arles and cross the Pyrenees, joining the numerous itineraries taken by the travellers. Pilgrimage churches, simple sanctuaries, hospitals, bridges, roadside crosses bear witness to the spiritual and physical aspects of the pilgrimages. Spiritual exercise and manifestation of faith, the pilgrimage has also influenced the secular world in playing a decisive role in the birth and circulation of ideas and art.
In 2018, the “Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France” are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their inscription on the World Heritage List by UNESCO (1998).
250 events have been organised during the year by local authorities, cultural institutions, associations, etc., to spread awareness of the “Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France” around the country and abroad.
These events covered various aspects of the Santiago de Compostela routes, including the history, architecture, the cultural and spiritual worlds of the Middle Ages, as well as more contemporary practices.
The 20 years programme: http://www.cheminscompostelle-patrimoinemondial.fr/fr
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L’équipe de la Mission Val de Loire.