After a very long day of walking we made it to a place just a little ways off the camino, Pazo de Andeade. This is a small palace built in the 1600’s and has been in the same family for 17 generations. The grounds are beautiful; orchards, arbours with grape leaves covering the top for shade, flowers and lots of little areas to explore or just find a seat for some peace and quiet. The buildings are made of stone, having very thick walls (great for keeping the heat out). We will be here for just one night and tomorrow we walk into Santiago.
There were more pilgrims on the road today than there have been this past week. We were told that the closer we get we will find it busier as pilgrims merge together from various paths all over the country. Our arrival into Santiago also coincides with the feast of Saint James, a mega holiday and festive time on the 25th. Saint James’ Day is an occasion to honor the life and deeds of one of Jesus’ disciples. Saint James was the son of Zebedee, one of the apostles of Christ, and a brother of John the Apostle according to Christian belief. He lived at the same time as Jesus. It is believed that he may have traveled to the area that is now Santiago de Compostela. Saint James was beheaded in Judea in the year 44 CE. Some Christians believe that his disciples carried his body by sea to Padrón on the Galician coast. They then buried his body under what is now the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Saint James’ relics were discovered sometime between 791 CE and 842 CE. Santiago de Compostela then became a place of pilgrimage. Pope Leo XIII asserted that the relics of Saint James at Compostela were authentic in a papal bull which was published on November 1,1884.
Now that you’ve had a bit of history lesson, on to pictures from today.