In my last visit to Santiago de Compostela I was eggar to go to Museo das Peregrinacións e de Santiago (Pilgrimage’s and Santiago’s Museum). I really wanted to go there because I already was a pilgrim myself (I made the Portuguese Camino in Saptember 2015) and I knew it would be a special experience to me. I lived in Santiago de Compostela as an Erasmus student between 2011 and 2012. At that time I saw the museum as a person insterested in the History of the city and its growth and I couldn’t see everything because I went near its closing. At that time the museum was located in an old house in the historic center and after I left the city the museum was transferred to Praza de Praterías. The museum is now located in the edifice of the Bank of Spain. This was my first time visiting the museum in this building.
The museum has its focus in three things: pilgrimages all over the world, the pilgrimage to Santiago and the development of the cathedral. The first floor offers a sneak pick on other pilgrimages all over the world, not only Christian ones but related to other religions. The two images below correspond to a Japanese pilgrimage. Part of the same floor is related to the various ways to Santiago, with maps and an interactive tables. Alongside with that floor if you look up in one side you see lots of pilgrim’s sticks and the word Ultreia (used in the past to wish a safe journey) and on the other side a yellow way with words related to the Camino. I was particularly touched by these two things, they reminded me of my own journey.
On the second floor there was a part related to the story of the cathedral, with pieces of it and miniatures to show the different architectural styles. The original tumb was a Roman mausoleum that evolved to a Romanic cathedral and nowadays the facade is from barroque period. Other part of the same floor showed lot of objects and art related to Santiago, from objects used by pilgrims to images of Santiago.
The third floor showed the first objects given to pilgrims in the XX century to prove and congratulate them for doing the Camino. There were some medals. I was amazed by this part because nowadays it’s so simple to show that you did the way with the pilgrim’s credential that I haven’t think earlier how people would do before Compostela and the credential.
What I liked the less in my experience was that I saw few things about other pilgrimages, the colection is still small. The schedule of the museum is weird because it was only open in the morning on Sundays, so I had to watch the clock to see it. I don’t understand why is closed on a day when there are tourists and pilgrims in town.
I liked very much to be able to go to the museum. It was very emotional to see pilgrims’ objects from other times and to thing how hard must have been for them to do the camino and I also remembered my own experience. I was a happy person inside that museum absorving everything I saw. I love History, I love Santiago de Compostela, I loved doing the camino. Everything was there in my heart and in my thoughts. The amazing thing is that this is all available for everyone, because the entrance is free and there are elevators for those who can’t go through the stairs. It has locks to put your stuff, so it’s pilgrim friendly (and even I left my things there just to feel more comfortable).
You can find more information about the Museo here.