Friday, July 4, 2014

Walking the Camino, Day 1: Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Over the course of our Indiegogo campaign, we’ll be sharing locations and details of our planned pilgrimage route, including towns, landmarks, terrain, and more. For our first day, we’ll start at the beginning: at the French town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.

As the most popular starting point for the Camino, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is the departure point for the Roncevaux pass through the Pyrenees, and has seen pilgrims head on their way for centuries. We’ll begin our journey by joining this long tradition of pilgrimatic inauguration. 
A site that has been razed, rebuilt, and changed hands several times between the French and Spanish over the centuries, the town itself seems to embody transit through the ages, with its history of nation-swapping and a healthy range of architecture from each century, from the 13th century sandstone walls encircling the old city to the 17th-century French military structure overlooking the town, the Citadelle.

From the Citadelle the main street of of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, the rue de la Citadelle, runs through the town, downwards to the Porte d’Espagne. The rue de la Citadelle is lined with accommodations and resources for pilgrims. From one of the hostels on that street, we’ll step onto the cobbled road, pass under the arch and clock tower of the Porte d’Espagne, cross the bridge over the Nive river, and set off on the first leg of our journey, where we’ll quickly be confronted with our first navigational choices.

1 comment:

  1. The first section of the French Way, the famous Camino Francés starts in the walled town of St Jean Pied de Port in the French Basque Country,

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