The way of Saint James: Schwarzenburg-Fribourg
The way of Saint James (Camino de Santiago) is a European walking itinerary that corresponds to the historic pilgrimage route to the tomb of Saint James in Spain. It crosses part of the canton of Fribourg.
It is said that the route begins on the threshold of your own home. There is therefore a multitude of itineraries. The Via Jacobi crosses Switzerland from East to West. Travellers generally journey on foot, but also by bicycle or on horseback. It takes several months to travel the 2,500 km to Santiago de Compostela.
The pilgrims traditionally brought scallop shells with them on their travels. They have become one of the symbols of the pilgrim, along with the staff, the saddlebag and the wide-brimmed hat. The scallop is the symbol found on the route's signposts. It can also often be found in the architecture. Sanctuaries dedicated to Saint James and representations of the saint abound on Via Jacobi. The Camino de Santiago was named the first European cultural route in 1987.
Saint James was one of the twelve apostles of Christ. According to tradition, his body was carried by boat to Galicia, where he was buried. A church was built there, which contained his remains and became a place of pilgrimage. Piety was a prominent feature of the Middle Ages. In the 12th century a monk described the routes in what became the earliest guidebook.
The Reformation brought this craze to an end. Later, the authenticity of the relics was questioned. The Church currently speaks prudently of the "Saint James memorial". The route, however, is becoming increasingly popular.
Every year, nearly 300,000 people are drawn to the journey. While everyone is looking for something, their motives are as varied as the walkers themselves. The hospitality service has established that 54% of visitors to the route have religious motives and 40% other spiritual motivations. People even talk of "Camino therapy"!
Numerous premises provide accommodation to pilgrims travelling along the Fribourg section of this European cultural itinerary: list on www.viajacobi4.ch, "Accommodation" section.