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A pilgrim passport : the credencial

13 Février 2012, 17:50pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

First step



 In a previous post an old style credecial was mentioned.  What about today  ?

The name comes from the Spanish word el credencial, and it seems it's the same in every single country.


You will need that extra passport. Not to cross the borders, to get accommodation.


That piece of cardboard fullfills the same need as in the old time.


It shows the hosts, monks, farmers, hotel keepers, refuges "hospitaleros", that you are not a tramp nor a thief. You will be asked that document on your arrival everyday. Sometimes, it allows you a discount on museum entrances, for instance.




On your arrival in Paris, if you start your pilgrimage there, getting your credencial at Compostelle 2000* or from any other member of the Fédération Française des Amis des Chemin de Compostelle (F.F.A.C.C.) also enables you to stay in a F.U.A.J. Youth Hostel and you don't need a FUAJ member card.


Very useful if you stay overnight at Beaugency (via Orléans). Same thing in the Youth Hostel at Tours, a building in the Old City, equipped with almost 200 beds.


It is a real pleasure to have one's credencial stamped every day and see on that document that the pilgrimage is in progress...






The same document will be shown to the Pilgrims' Office in Santiago in order to receive another document in latin, with your name in latin ... 


  a document called the Compostela.

*26, rue de Sévigné, 75004 Paris, France.

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Way of St James Paris area : Accommodation

12 Février 2012, 11:51am

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Strangers in the night



Maximilien Luce, Intérieur, 1890, 122 years ago.



The previous posts just showed you how to find your way thru the Paris Region. Now, where will you sleep ?


Compostelle 2000, a member of  Fédération Française des Associations  des amis des Chemins de Compostelle,

may help you.

Paris has a lot of hotels and some of them are very well located on the camino and regularly receive pilgrims. If you want to spend less, the Paris association will indicate you :

- Youth Hostels,
- Religious albergues,
- Bed and Breakfasts,

                 and even more for lower budgets,
- A couch or a bed in an appartment with a family .

Call Compostelle 2000 :
00 33 (0)1 43 20 71 66, Mon. thru Fri. 10 to 12 a.m. and 2 to 6 p.m.


Get there early, you will show your credencial.


Address :  26, rue de Sévigné, 75004 Paris, France


How to get to Compostelle 2000 :





Coming from the North, the pilgrims take rue Saint Martin down. As soon as you see the Pompidou Centre (Modern Art Centre) take the street on the left (Rambuteau st.). Sévigné st. is the 8th street on the right. 26, rue de Sévigné is on the left side.

Welcome to Paris !

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To Santiago Verrières Forest - Vauhallan

11 Février 2012, 14:38pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com





Across the Paris Region 



Click on any map to see and download



Map nr. 5      8 km






  Ile de France, the Paris Region

Along the edge of the Verrières Forest, across the little valley of the Bièvre stream, and via the Igny Hights,


you'll get to the abbey of St Louis of the Temple


at Limon.


Other Maps to walk or cycle north-south across the Paris Region :

nr. 1  To Santiago Châtenay en France - Sarcelles

nr. 2  To Santiago Sarcelles - Saint Denis

nr. 3  To Santiago Saint-Denis - Paris St James Tower

nr. 4  To Santiago Paris St James Tower - Verrières Forest

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To Santiago Paris St James Tower - Verrières Forest

10 Février 2012, 21:00pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com


Departure point in Paris, the pillar of  St James square


Across the Paris Region




Click on any map to see and download




Map nr. 4      15 km






  The Paris region is called Ile de France

To leave Paris, France, is quick and easy :


Rue and faubourg St Jacques, walk or cycle  thru Montrouge and in a 14 km (8 miles) long peaceful park on the top of an underground railtrack :


  Coulée Verte.

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To Santiago Saint-Denis - Paris St James Tower

9 Février 2012, 18:13pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com


Au bord du Canal St Denis


Across the Paris Region




Click on any map to see and download




Map nr. 3       11.5 km






  Ile de France : the Paris Region

Walk across the park of the Legion of Honour in St Denis.


Along the Canal Saint Denis you'll reach the Cité des Sciences de la Villette, a Science Museum, go on southward along the same canal that becomes Canal St Martin, walk across Villemin Garden. Two narrow streets will lead you to rue du faubourg St Martin. Go straight ahead ... 


...to the heart of Paris, St James square.

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To Santiago Sarcelles - Saint Denis

8 Février 2012, 22:30pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com


Basilique St Denis


Across the Paris Region




Click on any map to see and download




Map nr. 2      7.5 km






  Ile de France : The Paris Region 

Straight ahead :


You'll walk or cycle across the old villages of Sarcelles and Pierrefitte.


Arrival at Saint Denis, rue de la République,  turn left 600 feet away east stands...


...the Basilica .

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To Santiago Châtenay en France - Sarcelles

7 Février 2012, 14:17pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com


Château d'Ecouen


Across the Paris Region  




Click on any map to see and download 




Map nr 1    12.5 km





Plaine de France is the little territory north of Paris which gave its name to the whole country :


Before Ecouen, on a clear day, you will see the vast stretch of the city ahead.


Easy ! Walk across the Ecouen Forest (you may also visit the Renaissance Museum the Château houses). After the Sarcelles city hall, and the church dedicated to St Peter and St Paul, take Pierre Brossolette street on your right . And your way is straight ahead ...


... as far as St Denis.

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From Paris to Santiago exhibition at Pons

4 Février 2012, 14:40pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com


  Camino and Heritage




Photo : O.T. de Pons


For a long while, locals have been active to help the pilgrims on their way.


Pons offers camp grounds, bed and breakfasts, hôtels, and at the exit of the town an albergue which is open year long. It has cooking facilities and a fridge and one night costs 8 € in 2012. The Halte Jacquaire accomodates up to 8, credencial mandatory. 


You can book thru the local Office du Tourisme (tél : 00 33 (0)5 46 96 13 31).

In the same Tourist Office two exhibitions are to be held in february and march 2012 to celebrate the  40th anniversary of the agreement concerning the protection of the World Curltural and Natural UNESCO  Heritage.



The grafiti covered arch under the hospital     Photo O.T. de Pons


That shows preservation of the Heritage and the revival of the Way of St James ...

are in the same movement.

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Pons an Old Hospital on the Way to Santiago

4 Février 2012, 11:11am

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com


  Mens sana in corpore sano             




L'Hôpital Neuf        Photo : O.T. de Pons


Pons is about 20 km south of Saintes on the Camino to Santiago, before your arrival at the Garonne estuary and the Bordeaux region .


Today there is a pilgrim refuge at Pons, and the Paris Way was already very important in the 12th century :  "The Saint Nicolas hospital, the Tourist Office says, was too busy and showed insufficient to accomodate the sick, the orphans an the pilgrims. Geoffroy III of Pons decides then to build a second hospital called  "Hôpital Neuf" (New Hospital) out of town. The founder was buried there in 1192.


573px-Chemins-Saint-Jacques-PM-en-France fr.svg   The Pons hospital, on the old road to Bordeaux (click on the map to see the whole Paris Way via Orléans), is the one and only remaining example of such a hospital. The plan is typical : here body and soul were cured. A covered passage way with ribs of vaults linked the church (east) with the dormitory for the sick hosts (west).

That is the porch (topped by a tower in the past) under which pilgrims received blessed bread, shade or shelter from the rain. Sometimes ... abandonned children were left there. Grafitis in the shape of horseshoes and crosses cover the walls. The top of one of the collums shows the town emblem : an eel.  

The hospital operated until 


the 18th century."

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Vaux de Cernay an Abbey south of Paris

30 Janvier 2012, 17:38pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com


A secret treasure.                                                                       



On the Camino  25 miles from Paris


The 3 and 4 stars hotel chain keeps this beautiful place. 

L'Abbaye des Vaux de Cernay, is situated in the Chevreuse Valley  close to the Forest of Rambouillet. The clients still can visit the cellar, the gothic lounge, the lay brothers dining room, the monks' room with pillars and ribs of vaults made of sandstone.  

The cloister, the reading room, the water mill, the chapter house are 800 years old.  A cistercian abbey were the Kings of France used to spend time and meditate. Saint-Louis and Marguerite de Provence drank the miraculous water from fountain Saint-Thibault that made the queen fertile, so they say. "The fountain still exists and the guests still drik it ".


Long distance walkers, (or cyclists) you may decide to stop a while for a drink. As it is a rather formal place, remember only well dressed people are accepted.



If you can't, enjoy the view from the hills and get into the

... Forest of Rambouillet.

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