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Namur and Santiago de Compostela

On foot

5.00 km

2 h

Namur and Santiago de Compostela

In the past, the city of Namur was an important stop on the way to Santiago de Compostela. Pilgrims, also called Jacquets in the case of the pilgrimage to Compostela, came mostly from northern countries such as Flanders, the Netherlands or Denmark.

The pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela has existed for more than a thousand years. It coincides with the discovery of the tomb of Santiago the Great on the Galician coast in the 9th century, nine centuries after his burial. According to legend, Catholics reportedly saw a shower of stars just above the place of burial known as the "star field" or "campo stellae" in Latin. Hence the name of the holy city that developed there: "Santiago de Compostela". 

James, a modest fisherman from Capernaum (a village in ancient Galilee), became one of Jesus' apostles in the 1st century AD and went to Spain to spread the good word. The Iberian peoples are reluctant to accept these new ideas. Back in Palestine, James was condemned to decollation by Herod Agrippa, king of the Jewish people. After the execution, his disciples took his body on a long sea voyage to Galicia. The remains of the apostle James are buried not far from the small port and are forgotten for nearly eight centuries.

This route is more fully described in a discovery brochure Detours and other pilgrimages in Namur (FR).

  1. Namur Train Station

    The tour begins near the station, following the bronze shells fixed on the pavement (...)

  2. Ancient Saint-Jacques Church – Namur

    The bronze shells lead to the old Santiago church. The symbol of the Way of Santiago de Compostela is engraved in blue stone near the front door. Built in 1757, it was recently desacralized (...)

  3. Saint-Loup Church – Namur

    A small peaceful square where it is pleasant to stroll adjoins the square in front of the church. Its façade announces colour: a universe of volumes and volutes (an ornamental motif, constituted by a spiral-shaped winding). The church was founded in the 17th century under the impulse of the Society of Jesus (...)

  4. Saint-Aubain Cathedral – Namur

    From the outside, the cathedral does not look like much. It is inside that everything becomes more interesting. Nicolaï's paintings are hung everywhere. In the choir, there are no less than six of them, painted with ardour and passion (...)

  5. The "Grognon" – Namur

    From the Grognon, the old historical centre of the city now razed to the ground, two paths are possible to head towards Dinant, and thus get closer to Santiago de Compostela (...)

  6. The Saint-Jacques Tower - Namur

    In the past, the city had its own wall. The highest of its three towers takes the name of Saint-Jacques. In the 18th century, it was restored and covered with a skylight housing a bell (...)

Church buildings on the route