116. The Way... Middle Ages marketing

I come from Santiago de Compostela, in Northwest Spain, best known for the Way, a pilgrim route that saw many travellers cross Europe on foot in the Middle Ages, a trip which has been revitalised in the last 30 years, with modern travellers undertaking it as a combination of challenge and adventure. Nowadays, close on half a million people walk to Santiago every year, and the numbers were not dissimilar at its heyday 800 years ago. A lot has been written about The Way’s contribution to building European culture by the connections that pilgrims on foot established along the way, and the ideas and technologies they spread. But also very interesting is how it originated. At a time when European powers needed to stop the Muslim hordes’ advance through the Pyrenees to France and the heart of Christianity, the grave of St James was providentially (sic) found on the very spot that would unite all of Christianity on the defence of an open path through the Pyrenees to the backwaters of Galicia

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