Whatever the starting point of the Camino de Santiago is, pilgrims will walk through big cities, towns, small villages … they will hike along beautiful rivers, they will make their way through valleys, mountains … they will meet people from the place, share their journey with other pilgrims from any corner of the world … and, step by step and day by day will be getting closer to the city of Santiago de Compostela.
All those Pilgrims, who will walk Camino Francés, Camino Primitivo, Camino Portugués, Finisterre Way or others, will meet impressive statues and monuments of pilgrims which represent the spirit of the Camino.
Here you have some of the most representative and well-known:
Statue of two pilgrims on Monte do Gozo
After joining all the Caminos, pilgrims ascend together to Monte do Gozo, from where there are only four kilometers of the Camino left to reach the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Nowadays, once pilgrims arrive at Monte do Gozo, they cannot see the city of Santiago de Compostela or the peaks of the cathedral but a lush forest of eucalyptus. So they will have to walk 600 meters more to the impressive statue of two pilgrims. In the distance you can see the peaks of the Cathedral from here as well. It is worth to walk a little more to do the selfie next to the Statue of the Pilgrims on Monte do Gozo.
Monument of a pilgrim at O alto de San Roque, in O´Cebreiro
This is an emblematic bronze figure of a pilgrim facing towards Santiago and fighting against the wind which is situated at O´Cebreiro, reaching 1.335 meters in height. There is a small chapel to San Roque next to it. After visiting it, you will descend to Triacastela, one of the most beautiful villages in Galicia.
The bronze statue of this pilgrim fighting against the wind was created by the sculptor José María Acuña. There is another one of his sculptures, called “El Peregrino” in front of the Parador San Marcos in Leon. Jose Maria Acuña lost his hearing at the age of four and pioneered an organization of the deaf in Galicia. He graduated at the College of the Deaf and Blind of Santo Domingo in Santiago de Compostela and his works include sculptures, drawings and paintings.
This is El Peregrino at San Marcos Parador in Leon, Camino Francés. His pose represents all those exhausted pilgrims who need to rest and wiggle their toes.
In Astorga we can find a pilgrim carrying a suitcase on his back. Fortunately, current pilgrims take more modern backpacks.
The following monument is made of iron and stone. The most state-of-the-art statue in the traditional village of Rionegro del Puente in Zamora, Camino Francés. This pilgrim wellcomes other pilgrims coming to the local albergue.
One site that is relevant for those pilgrims on Camino Francés is the Alto de Perdon, roughly translated as the Hill of Forgiveness. Located 10km from Pamplona in Navarra, it is about 750 metres above sea level. There is no doubt that it is a tough climb, but the views are well worth it.
That point you are greeted by a unique combination of the old and the new. You will see a sculpture depicting a number of Pilgrims either on foot or on horseback as they make their way along the Camino to Santiago. It is dedicated to pilgrims who have walked the Camino and was erected in 1996. If you look closely, you will see the below engraved into one of the monuments. Donde se cruza el camino del viento con el de las estrellas which translates into English as where the path of the wind crosses that of the stars.
Monument of pilgrims are along the camino, even at Finisterre.
The Finisterre pilgrim´s hiking boot is really popular. According to the Confraternity of St. James, “Pilgrims Guide to Finisterre,” published in Jan 2009, this bronze sculpture is in memory of a pilgrim who drowned here in the 1990’s. Otherwise, on Cabo Fisterra (at the end of the world) this boot means for many pilgrims the reflection on the Camino.
Buen Camino, amigos!