The pilgrim's credential The Santiago Way It is a "passport" that must be stamped once each stage of the route is finished, to demonstrate that, in fact, it has been carried out as part of our journey to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
Its origin dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was granted to pilgrims as a safe-conduct so that they could make the journey without any risk or danger.
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What is the credential for?
The credential serves not only as proof that the different stages of the route have been completed, but it will also be proof that will allow you to apply for the Compostela at the end of the Camino de Santiago.
Being a bearer of this document also serves to prove that you are a pilgrim and, therefore, you will have access to the hostels that receive those who are making the trip to Santiago de Compostela.
Where can the credential be obtained and how much does it cost?
There are many places where you can get a pilgrim's credential. There are the Associations of Friends of the Camino de Santiago in Spain and even the same associations with a presence in other countries. It can also be obtained in the Brotherhoods of the Apostle Santiago or in the same hostels for pilgrims or tourist offices that can be found on the route.
Its price ranges between 50 cents and 2 euros. In some shelters whose management is in charge of the Associations of Friends of the Camino de Santiago or in social venues they do not charge for the document, but ask for a donation to be able to continue with the activities of protection and improvement of the Camino de Santiago.
How It Works
Having the pilgrim's credential for the Camino de Santiago with its corresponding stamps will serve so that, once the journey is over, the walker can request the Compostela as proof that the trip has been completed. These stamps are obtained each time a stage is completed and the Cathedral of Santiago requires that you have at least two per day in order to deliver the final document.
Once the corresponding stamps have been obtained in the hostels for pilgrims or in the tourist offices, and it can be demonstrated that they have completed at least 100 kilometers on foot or on horseback, or 200 kilometers by bicycle, the traveler can go to the Pilgrim Reception Office, located at Rúa Carretas, 33, very close to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, to request the Compostela when you have completed your trip.
The Compostela can be requested by anyone, including minors, as long as they are accompanied by their parents or a group, with the capacity to understand the spiritual nature of the Camino de Santiago.
Although the journey does not have to be made in a consecutive period of time, in order to obtain the Compostela it is necessary that the journey has been made consecutively in terms of geographical distance.
For example, the Camino de Santiago could be done on weekends, but it is important to always return to the last destination that was left, since skipping a section invalidates the right to obtain the certificate.
The Certificate of Distance and the digital credential
Since 2014 you can also get a Distance Certificate, a document where the days on which the tour was made, as well as the distance traveled, are recorded. Said certificate indicates the date and starting point of the trip, as well as the route followed.
One of the most recent novelties is the pilgrim's credential for the Camino de Santiago in its digital version. Its launch is scheduled for this 2021 and will be managed by the Cathedral of Santiago through a mobile application.
The pilgrim must obtain two stamps daily, as is required with the traditional certificate, only that, in the case of its electronic version, these will be obtained by scanning the QR codes that are found in the hostels for pilgrims and in the offices of tourism of the different localities.
It is important to remember that you can start the Camino de Santiago without a pilgrim's credential, but you must obtain it as soon as possible so that you can begin the sealing process, which is what will allow you to obtain what every traveler longs for: the Compostela.