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Travel

In vogue: pilgrimage on Camino de Santiago

In 2016, a record number of pilgrims travelled along Spain's Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James: a total of about 280,000.

Preliminary statistics indicate that a record number of pilgrims traveled to the route's final destination, Santiago de Compostela, during 2016. The total of about 280,000 tops even that of the St. James holy year of 2010 - based on the number of certificates that are given to pilgrims who complete the journey. The certificate is awarded after officials review the pilgrim's credencial, or passport, which shows all the places he or she stopped along the route. The pilgrims have to be able to prove that they traveled at least the last 100 km to Santiago on foot, or 200 km by bicycle.

About a third of the total number of pilgrims made the journey in July (45,483) and in August (53,714). That's an average of about 1600 people a day for those two months.

Spanien Jakobsweg Pilgerdenkmal (picture alliance/dpa-Zentralbild/W. Frotscher)

Dedicated to all the pilgrims: Iconic sculpture on the summit of Alto del Perdon

Pilgrims can follow many different routes to Santiago. One of the most popular begins at Roncesvalles, on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees Mountains. This route, known as the Camino Frances, offers a diverse and demanding path to the green hills of Galicia. Pilgrims pass through the vineyards of Rioja, the Meseta Central - a vast plateau, and magnificent cathedral cities like Burgos and León.

fm/ at, jm (AKN)

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