Route of Santiago de Compostela: World Heritage and European Cultural Route
European Council and UNESCO2010
The Saint James’ Way (Route of Santiago de Compostela) is the generic name given to a number of different routes leading to the city of Compostela in Galicia that have been followed by European pilgrims for almost 1000 years. During the Middle Ages, a period in which religious pilgrimages were of great importance, these routes played a significant part in the cultural exchanges between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe. Currently, the continued popularity of these routes is testimony to the influence the Christian faith still has on millions of Europeans.
In 1987 the route was declared the first European Cultural Route by the European Commission. In 1993 the French part of the route was added to UNESCO’s list of Human Heritage Sites, which was subsequently expanded in 1999 to include all four main routes used by pilgrims heading to Santiago de Compostela.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO – World Heritage. Route of Santiago de Compostela [On-line]. UNESCO World Heritage Centre, 1992-2010. <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/669> [Consulted: 7 July 2010].