At the beginning of the 5th century, Hieronymus wrote that the apostles shared up the world for their preaching and that they were buried where they had done so. At the beginning of the 8th century, the English monk Beda Venerabilis said that "the remains of St. James apostle remain hidden in the last edge of the world". And for many people the last edge of the world was in Galicia, because its cape Fisterra was considered the end of the world, the last sunset.
To explain the discovery of the remains of the apostle in Santiago, a story came up already in the 9th century: the corpse of St. James, after his beheading in Jerusalem (according to the Bible), was said to have sailed over the sea from Palestine to Galicia, the farthest place of his predication. This miraculous journey, known by the Latin name translatio, would have taken place around the year 44 a.D., immediately after the apostle's death.
A coin found in a 12th century archaeological site of this area proofs that already in those days many pilgrims followed this maritime route. On the coin you can see a boat and the body of St. James the Apostle lying down.
On this route we will recall the boat trip with the remains of the apostle, undertaking a maritime journey where we will contemplate an original and artistic heritage linked to the Camino: seventeen crucifixes that make up the only maritime via crucis in the world.
We will complement this trip with a visit to Padrón, the village where the St. James tradition starts. Padrón was a noted destination of the pilgrimage in the Middle Ages because, according to legends, it was the place where the apostle came to preach. This is the reason why we can find places so linked to the Camino as the rocks and the shrine placed on the hill where the apostle preached – Santiaguiño do Monte –; the miraculous Carmen fountain, with a remarkable St. James iconography, and the Church of Santiago, where we will find the famous pedrón, a Roman altar to which the boat with the remains of the apostle was allegedly tied when it arrived.
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