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The Camino del Norte on the Way of St James

6 Novembre 2012, 14:33pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com



Once you've made it to the south-west of France, once in Spain, which route should you take ?


Good question. One must make the right decision. The simplest, the most unusual, the hardest, the most lonely solution is to walk along the coast, in the Basque Country and later in Cantabria.


Video (in French but the pictures are international) for those who think it always rains there. 





Would you rather like a video in English ? Send us some ! 


Get ready for your departure next year.

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The enigma of Manier, a pilgrim of Santiago

26 Octobre 2012, 19:44pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

A piece of life


Only one part of Guillaume Manier's life is known. We are in the 18th century : he goes on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. A very picturesque story : the tailorman has a few adventures with his friends, adventures that no one could repeat today...









  Let's quote Jean-Claude Bourlès, in "Passants de Compostelle" (Petite bibliothèque Payot), about the group of pilgrims as they reach Saint Jean de Luz in the South-West corner of France :


"They've walked a lot already. And they've seen a lot of things. After having left their village of Carlepont, in Picardy (north of France) they got to Paris. The tailorman lists almost everything and shows an open mind. In the Sainte Chapelle, he is amazed by the quantity of relics.


He mentions Christ's Crown of Thorns, the diapers in which the Virgin Mary wrapped him, the iron chains that tied him, the table-cloth of the Last Supper, pieces of the Genuine Cross, the sponge and


the spear that wounded his side, the red dress, the rod which the Jews gave him as a skepter, part of the Holy Shroud, part of St John the Baptist's Head.


Then they went to Orléans, Blois, Amboise, Châtellerault, Poitiers and Briou(x), where they escaped from a raid by the bowmen of the militia, in a time it was frequent for foreigners to be sent to the Islands by force for any reason whatever... Wonderful Manier, who forgives them, the excuses of the arrestations were too frequent thefts or rapes by a gang of forteen bad boys ...                                                                                                        Lenepveu-_Jeanne_d-Arc_au_siege_d-Orleans.jpg


Actually he doesn't know and goes on to Aulnay (between Melle and Saintes) and reminds the "Big Fear" they had.  Further down, still on the Paris Way of St James, they walk across Saintes, and stop at Lajard early enough to see companions of Cartouche, "Bride les Boeufs", and his son "Bride les Vaches", tortured on the wheel on the public square. They carry on towards Blaye, Bordeaux, Gradignan, Dax, where Guillaume is surprised by a hot spring :


"It is a boiling fountain, neither square nor round in shape, it gives a smoking water on the street and every one can take it to wash the dishes. Once upon a time, a carpenter who was completely crazy fell into it. When they picked him up, quickly, his skin was peeling off"...


They resume their journey to Bayonne, where they stay overnight at Madame Belcourt's..."


And what about Spain ? And on their way back ? You'll know what happened ...

in a future article.


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Bordeaux on the Way of Saint James

5 Octobre 2012, 20:28pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com



From an author to another one

"Take Versailles, add up Antwerp, you'll have Bordeaux."

Victor Hugo.



Place de la Bourse Ph J F F 


And what connects the Flemish harbor to the most beautiful French port, through the Ile de France and Touraine ? The Way of Saint James of Compostela, of course ! 


CLOU-P1000944BIS-.JPGAt Bordeaux Ph J F F

                 The camino is an asset to the towns and villages it passes through.

The authorities of Bordeaux have understood it long ago. Bronze marks and plaques were placed throughout the city, about a hundred of them altogether.


You'll see them on Saint James st., the aptly named old way, which passes under the Great Bell, the belfry.


In that street Montaigne had his manuscript brought to the workshop of his printer.




Rue St James  Ph J F F


Is the taste for roaming and meditation hereditary ? The plaque notes that Ramon Eyquem, the 16th century French philosopher-traveler's grandfather, walked the way of Saint James to the end. 

He was 70 years old. 


From north to south, you will find good accommodation in the region :
after Margaux, refuge at Le Bousquat, youth hostel and diocesan hospitality at Bordeaux and near Talence, albergue at Gradignan.

Map    -  Bordeaux, on the Paris Way (via turonensis), south-west corner of France :


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A Hollywood Star on the Way of Saint James

3 Octobre 2012, 14:51pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

  People !



  A Hollywood star

Shirley MacLaine is 78 years old now. Mischievous eyes, a natural energy. More than 53 films to his credit, not to mention television appearances.



In Two mules for a nun


It does not look like that, but she has long been interested in spirituality and metaphysics. She has practiced Transcendental Meditation, written a dozen rather New Age books, two of them about... the path she has traveled through the north of Spain, in the footsteps of the pilgrims of Saint Jacques de Compostela.



A heart


Not easy being famous. Along the way she met all kinds of adventures, dogs, exhaustion, delusion, visions, and, worst of all, the paparazzi !
She manages to escape them several times, and reaches the end of her way.



For ever in Deauville, France


In the Livre d'Or de Compostelle, one hundred legends and stories of pilgrims from the Middle Ages to the present day, with a preface by Max Gallo (Bayard), Sophie Martineaud retains what matters the most of that adventure. The actress reportedly said: "I knew that my real journey began

at the end that one. "


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Love and the Paris Way of St James

13 Septembre 2012, 18:12pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

The Paris kisses



Le baiser de l'Hôtel de Ville  Ph.R D

1950, Robert Doisneau creates the scene of a famous kiss in front of the City Hall.




Aougust 14, 2012, quai de Valmy Ph. J F F 

2012 : by the Saint Martin Canal, lovers kiss each other...


... the pilgrims go on.

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How you meet people on the Way of St James

10 Septembre 2012, 20:39pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

The right Way


P1010806 bis -copie-1

Rue de la République at Saint Denis Ph. J F F






From Lille, north of France,  Philippe and Anne-Marie have been walking for two weeks :


Across Picardy and Amiens, thru the Oise river, and the region of Chantilly, they've made it straight ahead to Saint Denis, on a market day...


In front of the Basilica and the City Hall they meet two long distance walkers with scallop shells on their bag, too.


Willemijn and Dirk spend part of their vacations every year to go to Santiago de Compostela.


They will reach the Holy place in three, four or five years. 



P1010814-copie-1.JPG From Amersfort, from Lille, come the pilgrims Ph. J F F



They know they are on the right Way to get there. A reporter is on the spot. Good opportunity for a group picture that is soon to be published in the news...


Le Parisien, August 15, 2012

Our pilgrims decide to carry on and reach the City Centre of Paris ...


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Massy south of Paris on the Way of St James

4 Septembre 2012, 20:08pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

    Go ! go ! go to Santiago !


South of Antony and Verrières, two suburban cities of the Paris Region, Massy claims it is the first stop from Paris on the Way of St James.



A bell tower à la parisienne Photo OT Massy


Those who leave from Tour Saint Jacques may have a short walk as a start. Massy is 15 km from Notre-Dame. The pilgrims from further north who have slept at Saint Denis (north of Paris) may find accomodation at Massy after the beautiful stroll thru the Paris streets. About 25 km across history, architecture, knowledge, and green parks.


Massy has 40 000 inhabitants. The Paris Region has 11 millions of people. No one should ignore that the Way of St James winds its way thru Massy. The Tourist Office organises a special Camino week. Many events during 9 days : a lecture, an exhibition, a film, a story telling session, walks on the way, an outdoor visit of Massy. 


You will be tempted by the cooking lessons, or by the specialties created by the local pastrry shops. Last but not least,  a bronze shell will be inaugurated at the Tourist Office doorstep.



At the Tourist Office doorstep Photo OT Massy


Compostelle 2000, the Paris association gives a serious hand  to the organisers...


Dates : Sept. 22 to 30, 2012.  


  at: https://www.facebook.com/Massy.Compostelle

  Or Manifestation organisée du 22 au 30 septembre 2012 - De Massy à Compostelle


Or call  01 69 20 08 27

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A Bench for Pilgrims on the Camino in Paris

2 Août 2012, 18:49pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

While the bronze marks are on their way...



A garden soon


See what happens in front of the cité des sciences et de l'industrie, a science museum, at la Villette, in Paris !


On the way that goes through Paris the museum is changing the plaza into a garden. The institution proposes to donate 1800 € a bench. The collected money will finance 3D models for the blind.


As you know, pilgrims sometimes wish to rest. It's such a long way ! Under a tree is even better. The way of St james is not a race, let's take it easy ...



  The future garden by the Way of St James (blue line)

Tempted to give ?


Just do as Anne and several others did : give 10, 20, 50  €uros or more, and a plaque  "Banc du Pèlerin" (Pilgrim's Bench") will be fixed on the seat. You'll get advantages from the cité des Sciences.


Information and subscription form on the 


blog "Le Banc du Pèlerin"

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Santiago de Compostela : The Codex is back

6 Juillet 2012, 08:36am

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Good news and Coindicences 



Do you remember ? No, you weren't born. 1911 : Mona Lisa is stolen ! An event that made the painting even more famous. The thief had worked at the Louvre and wanted to give the portrait back to Italy, his mother country. 


He thought that the masterpiece had been ... borrowed by the French during one of these many non pacific military campains on Leonardo's land.






In fact some say he was not alone and the story was not so simple.

vincenzo perugia voleur de la joconde


Mona Lisa and her endless smile were found again, wrapped in a sheet of paper, under his bed.


The Codex

Mona Lisa, stolen by an Italian.  It seems that the Codex Calixtinus was stolen by a ... Spaniard. The manuscript has been found again in a torn garbage plastic bag in a cardboard box in a caretaker's garage, a short distance from the city center of Santiago de Compostela. The caretaker had worked as an electrician for the cathedral.


Not just one book

In the suspect's home the police also found 1,2 million euros in cash, the keys of secondary buildings of the cathedral, and other manuscripts one of them was another precious hand-written book.


A dispute on the loss of his job would have been the main reason for the theft.



Codex given back to the Cathedral Dean Photo Correo Gallego


Funny enough, the priceless manuscript was found again on a St Antony - Mary 's day.


The blink of an eye from st Antony ?


For more information on the Codex Calixtinus, see the article published a year ago

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Nuitsromanes and the Way of St James

25 Juin 2012, 23:15pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Poitou–Charentes on the Paris Way




Romanesque is directly connected with the Way of St James, as if they were born together ! 


Wikipedia : "In France, the famous abbeys of Aux Dames and Les Hommes at Caen and Mont Saint-Michel date from this period, as well as the abbeys of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela...


The Crusades resulted in the transfer of, among other things, a great number of Holy Relics of saints and apostles




Many churches, like Saint-Front, Périgueux, had their own home grown saint while others, most notably Santiago de Compostela, claimed the remains and the patronage of a powerful saint, in this case one of the Twelve Apostles.


Santiago de Compostela, located near Galicia (present day Spain) became one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Europe. Most of the pilgrims travelled the Way of St. James on foot, many of them barefooted as a sign of penance. They moved along one of the four main routes that passed through France, congregating for the journey at Jumièges, Paris, Vézelay, Cluny, Arles and St. Gall in Switzerland."


The Poitou–Charentes region, so rich in pure romanesque churches organises 150 shows this Summer 2012. See what it looked like last year :




Among the shows, a fews spots that are on the Way : Poitiers, Lusignan, Melle, Saint Sauvant, Saintes... Entrance free for present pilgrims...


and the ones in the future.


Link to programme, map, etc. nuitsromanes.poitou-charentes.fr

Photos Région Poitou-Charentes

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