Santiago de Compostela was the supreme goal for countless thousands of pious pilgrims who converged there from all over Europe throughout the Middle Ages. To reach Spain pilgrims had to pass through France, and the group of important historical monuments included in this inscription marks out the four routes by which they did so.
The four main pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela in France began at Paris, Vézelay, Le Puy, and Arles respectively, and each of these was fed by a number of subsidiary routes. Thus, the start of the Paris route saw the convergence of routes from Boulogne, Tournai, and the Low Countries, while routes from Caen, Mont-Saint-Michel, and Brittany joined it at intermediate points such as Tours, Poitiers, Saint-Jean d’Angély and Bordeaux (the port for pilgrims coming by sea from England and coastal areas of Brittany and Normandy). Le Puy was the link with the Rhône valley, whereas those coming from Italy passed through Arles. The three western routes converged at Ostabat, crossing the Pyrenees by means of the Ibaneta pass, while the eastern route from Arles used the Somport pass; the two routes joined in Spain at Puente-la-Reina.
Since 1998 it is a Unesco site.
Thanks to my mom for the postcards.
Thanks to Lee and David for the postcard.