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Dampierre on the Paris Way of Saint James

30 Janvier 2014, 21:22pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com


A must



Hard to find the time to visit castles and chateaux on the way to Santiago...



Chateau de Dampierre, how's that ?  Ph. J F F

At least you can see them from the path. And very often they are worth a visit.


When you leave Paris, Sceaux is on your left. The following day after Vauhallan and its monastery (accomodation) the pilgrim towards Chartres and Tours and Bordeaux and Spain goes on near the castle of la Madeleine, and the Coubertin manor (Pierre de Coubertin is the man of the awakening of the Olympic Games). 


Dampierre was built by the architect of Versailles. The gardens were designed by Le Nôtre, the gardener of Versailles... 


For a short break or a nap, that's the ideal place. If you had time to go inside, you'd see a solid silver statue of Louis the XIVth, a very large fresco by Ingres, and a 9 feet tall statue of Minerva...


Go on, pilgrim ! It's a long way to Santiago ! From Dampierre, you have a choice :


- Either to walk up the hill (almost an aerial view). At the top of it you'll stay overnight at the Maison de Fer (a future article).



A bird's eye view from the hill.  Ph. J F F

- Or to carry on through the woods and reach another "gîte" via the Vaux de Cernay Abbey. You'll sleep in a nice country house


in the middle of the Forest of Rambouillet.


Would you like a map ? Ask for one !  (comments in Ecrire un commentaire)

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Screenings in France about the Way of St James

23 Janvier 2014, 14:14pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

The film


One of the posters 

A well known US film could be seen in the French movie theatres last year, long after the Spaniards and the Germans : The Way, starring Martin Sheen directed by his son Emilio Estevez. 

It gathered 120 000 spectators, out of 60 million people in France.



Emilio Estevez, and the arrow !

            A figure to be compared with the number of copies sold by Jean Christophe Rufin's Immortelle randonnée, Compostelle malgré moi personal camino : 300 000 copies ! 


Does that mean the French are better readers than film spectators ?


Hard to beleive. Rufin is an "Academicien", a former ambassador, the writer of best sellers. An equivalent of Paolo Coelho for France.



The main regret about both works is that they start the camino on the French-Spanish border whereas it begins in the Netherlands, in Danmark, in Germany, in Poland, in Hungary, in Italy, etc.




At least they both advertise for the Way of St James.  The future will tell us which one leaves


the best memory...





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The personality of the year 2013 Way of St James

16 Janvier 2014, 21:42pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com













Mr Rémi Rivière





2013 was a major year for the pilgrims in Paris : for the first time in history, the St James tower was open to the public. So many people had waited long for such a cultural event ! Many thanks to  the Director of the Association of the tower of Jean sans Peur.


Monsieur Rémi Rivière is an archeologist. He is a fan of the Paris monuments. He likes to share them with the public. Sharing : that rings a bell to the pilgrims of St James and other pilgrims.


Last Summer after so many meetings, files and conversations with the City administration, he was allowed to program visits of the tower which in fact was originally the St James church bell tower.


A very symbolic spot. The pilgrims in Paris start from that point on their way to Chartres or Orléans , then Tours, Poitiers, Bordeaux and Spain. In the old times, that is where traditionally the pilgrims used to gather, have their belongings and themselves blessed  and from which they departed together, ready to face all the dangers of the route...                              


Below under the trees : the Way of St James


Mr Rivière has been proclaimed Personnality of the year 2013, that is the least we could do for him.


Most probably that experience will be repeated next Summer.


Together with the French and Foreign visitors, pilgrims or not, young and older ones we send him our congratulations like the ones we read in the Gold book.



Three examples : 









Le trésor du Livre d'Or




"What an amazing way to begin our Camino de Santiago (St Jean P de P - Compostela)

Many thanks ! Merci "

Leslie H. Cole + Erik B. Johnson

Seattle 1/19/13


"Pour les Pèlerins de Compostelle après 1750 km ! 300 marches ! C’est fabuleux pour arriver à ce paysage magnifique.


Translation : 300 steps for the Pilgrims of Santiago (1750 km) ! It's fabulous to reach such a view ! Thank you !

Françoise et Yves Chatelais Les Sables d’Olonne


And guess who ?


"Stupendous !

Be sure Tour St Jacques will be the venue of my next book…" 


Dan Brown


Links : 

A post about the opening of the tower


The personality of the Year 2012 was Mrs Kyndt for the bronze shell at the doorstep of the Massy tourist Office and the accomodation provided to the pilgrims.

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