The Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago). Origins | Documentary Part 2

The Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago). Origins | Documentary Part 2

The Way of St James (Camino de Santiago) is the perfect mix of touristic-sports adventure and religious sentiment. This documentary shows all of the story from the origins until today.
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The discovery of the sepulcher of the Apostle Santiago, in the first third of the IX century, compelled many Christians to make pilgrimages to Compostela to worship his relics.
This required the construction of a church. This building, besides guarding and honoring the relics of the Apostle and his disciples Teodoro and Atanasio, had to take in a greater number of pilgrims coming from the Peninsular kingdoms, as well as from the rest of Europe. The purpose of its builders was not only to construct the most perfect church dedicated to the cult of the pilgrims; they wanted to make Compostela a religious and artistic reference for the world, like Rome and Jerusalem.
These are the beginnings of a fascinating story, a fabulous saga spanning centuries carried out by thousands of people united in their devotion to the figure of the Apostle Santiago, in a remote corner of Finisterre. They called it Compostela: the field of stars.
The present state of the Santiago Cathedral is the result of numerous changes, projects, works, remodeling; in short, an evolving and impassioned architectural and artistic creation developed throughout many centuries.

▶ Origins: Second part of the documentary The way of ST. James (Camino de Santiago). The Temple of stars.

It was the year 1065, and in the French village of Conques, they had been building a church for 20 years to house the relics of Sainte Foy.
During the construction of the church at Conques, they had to face an endless chain of technical challenges. The problem was to combine the celebration of the usual liturgy with the demands of the pilgrims to worship the Saint’s relics. They needed more spaces, and by lifting the vaults, they got the space they needed to build tribunes. This allowed for the transit of worshippers along the upper galleries.
Construction works were often interrupted, forcing masters, masons and artisans to look for work elsewhere. Chances of finding work increased in the different towns and cities, along pilgrimage routes towards western Spain. Because of the increase in the number of pilgrims, it wasn’t strange to find sanctuaries, hospitals or inns under construction. And because of this continuous flow of artisans, builders and artists, new developments, shapes and techniques, both in construction as well as in sculpture and painting, were transmitted.The Way of St. James was not only a pilgrimage route it soon became a flow of transmission and creation of culture and art.

Bishop Diego Peláez decided to build a new church to replace the pre-Romanesque Basilica. After Almanzor’s ferocious attack, the reconstructed temple proved to be too small for the steady increase in pilgrims. Master Bernardo had updated the bishop on the architectural techniques they had been adopting in southern France.The Romanesque building that still stands today would soon get under way.

But before learning of the process that led to building the magnificent and legendary cathedral, let’s go further back in time to the origins of this marvelous story. The excavations carried out under the cathedral uncovered something more than the vestiges of the first temples dedicated to the consecration of the Apostle’s relics. Archeological remains uncovered the existence of a Roman village
that dates back to the first four centuries of the Common Era. Many of their materials and structures were reused in the Middle Ages. But we can still see the remains of the necropolis, some of its walls and part of its mausoleum that in which the remains of the Apostle and his disciples were found, and which today constitutes the crypt that contains the urn with his relics.

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Current touring Santiago, Chile and living at Padre Mariano 331, Providencia, Santiago