Useful information about the Camino of Saint James Pilgrimage and Santiago de Compostela

The Credential and the Compostela

THE CREDENTIAL
The "Credential" and the "Compostela" are two documents that all pilgrims should know and use. The credential is the document that accredits them as pilgrims, allowing them access to most of the shelters of the Camino.


Its origin is in the safe-conducts that were given in the Middle- Ages to  pilgrims so that they could cross borders and enjoy the network assistance. Today, it has been unified and limited to an official model, only one accepted by the Office of Pilgrimages. The ‘Compostela’  is obtained at the end of the Camino.


The credential can be obtained in many places, usually for a minimum cost of about € 2. Between the places they emphasize the Office of Reception to the Pilgrim and numerous institutions and organizations, mainly the Associations of Friends of the Camino de Santiago in Spain and internationally, as well as in many shelters of pilgrims. There are some credential models of pilgrim associations that are different from the official one but have been authorized by the Pilgrim's Office, so it is important that when you buy or apply for the credential, ask yourself if you will be admitted at the end of the Pilgrim's Way. Get the Compostela
The credential is a small booklet with several pages. The first is a letter of introduction from the pilgrim in which his personal data are collected. The rest are divided into small boxes, spaces intended for church seals, town halls, hostels, cafes or restaurants,  that can testify that, in fact, the pilgrim has travelled the Camino de Santiago.
The credential is for pilgrims who travel the Camino on foot, bicycle or on horseback. In addition to providing access to the network of hostels, in order for the credential to obtain the Compostela, pilgrims must demonstrate with their stamps that they have travelled at least 100 kilometers on foot or on horseback, 200 km in the case of a pilgrim on a bicycle or 100 nautical miles plus the walking tour between the port and Santiago, if performed by sea.

THE COMPOSTELA
The "Credential" and the "Compostela" are two documents that all pilgrims should know and use. The Compostela is the document that certifies that the pilgrimage has been accomplished, so you get it when you arrive in Santiago and show the sealed credential in different places along the Camino.
It arose spontaneously at the beginning of the pilgrimage around the ninth and tenth centuries, being at the beginning an object or insignia that was obtained when arriving at Compostela: the venerates or the scallop shell. For centuries, these shells were sold around the cathedral and other parts of the city, but because they were easily falsified they ended up losing their value as proof of arrival and so gave rise to a first personal document that was probably issued for the first time in the Century XIII.
The Compostela is issued by the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in his Office of the Pilgrim [https://oficinadelperegrino.com/oficina-peregrino/]. Its concession is limited to those who come to the Tomb of the Apostle for religious and / or spiritual reasons, or at least in the spirit of a personal quest. Also, they must have followed one of the routes of the Camino de Santiago along at least the last 100 kilometers if they have traveled on foot or on horseback or the least 200k  if they have done it by bicycle. This pilgrimage is shown showing the pilgrim credential with the stamps obtained along the route. There are, however, other forms of travel permitted for persons with disabilities.

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