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The Pilgrims

Along the routes to Santiago have walked people of all stamps and conditions: honest pilgrims, convicts, minstrels, beggars, adventurers,tramps, fugitives from justice, bandids... 

The religious people made the pilgrimage urged by their unrestrained need to visit the tomb of the Apostle and to begin a personal relationship with him. Other pilgrims made the journey in order to fulfill a promise made to the Apostle after they overcame a difficult situation. 

Among these were those who had been seriously ill, and others that came in search of a miraculous recovery. There were also convicts who made the pilgrimage as a punishment, imposed either by the ecclesiastical authorities or civil judges. 


But not all pilgrims made the journey for pious reasons, some "pilgrims" sought gain. There were penitents who were fulfilling an assignment, those who wanted to see the world, those who were obliged by testamentary clauses to visit Santiago in order to receive an inheritance. 

Robbers, unscrupulous merchants and rascals could also be found. The number of pilgrims increased when the Pope Calixto II established the Jubilee in 1122. This meant that all penitent travellers who set out on pilgrimage in Holy Years -when the feast day, 25 July, fell on a Sunday- and fulfilled the requirements, would get jubilee indulgences. As a consequence, the number of pilgrims that made the way in the 12C rose surprisingly to 200,000.