Sculptures of pilgrims on el Camino de Santiago

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Pilgrims! What would it be of El Camino de Santiago without you? They are a fundamental and inherent part of the phenomenon of peregrinations, you “wear off you feet” on your travels, but not only that: you also endure the climate, you negotiate the tarmac parts of the way, fight the traffic, the bad signposting (helped by that awful custome of taking the milestones…), avoid those trying to make the most of your tiredness, carry your heavy backpacks, get hungry and thirsty…, of course you deserve an homage!

There are many statues and sculptures that honour the pilgrims along El Camino and we wanted to honour all of you pilgrims through them (something like the “picture inside the picture” that we say in art). This is an entry with lots of images and little text, they speak for themselves…and for you. Buen Camino!

The Pilgrim, Martín Vázquez de Acuña. León City. Photograph: Jule Berlín (Wikipedia).

The Pilgrim, Martín Vázquez de Acuña. León City. Photograph: Jule Berlín (Wikipedia).

It was donated by the directors of Paradores of Spain (luxury hotels in historical converted buildings) to the city of Leon. This one is opposite Hostal de San Marcos, in San Marcos Square.You can find it here. Camino Francés.

Monument to the pilgrim, Rafael Esteruelas. Outskirts of Gandesa (Tarragona). Photograph Per Bat (Blogspot).

Monument to the pilgrim, Rafael Esteruelas. Outskirts of Gandesa (Tarragona). Photograph Per Bat (Blogspot).

You ought to know that in the mountain range of Pándols-Cavalls, on the highest point of the Camino though Ebro river, you will come across this atypical monument, inspired on a work by famous Catalan artist Antoni Tàpies. You can find it here.

monumento-o-peregrino-jose-maria-acuna-alto-de-san-roque-foto-marathoni62-wikipedia

Monument to the pilgrim, José María Acuña. Alto de San Roque (Lugo). Photograph: Marathoni62 (Wikipedia).

Possibly this is one of the most famous sculptures in honour of the pilgrims in the Iberian peninsula. At about 3 Km from O Cebreiro, in one of the hardest points of El Camino, even more so when it is snowing (usually it becomes an impossible task), it is something that happens quite often, as this excellent image shows. You can find it here. Camino Francés.

A group of pilgrims, by anonymous author. Alto del Perdón (Navarra). Photograph: José Antonio Gil Martínez (Wikipedia).

A group of pilgrims, by anonymous author. Alto del Perdón (Navarra). Photograph: José Antonio Gil Martínez (Wikipedia).

Is there anyone out there that knows anything about El Camino that does not recognise this group of silhouettes? Alto del Perdón awards you with these magnificent panoramic views and a perfect spot for a photograph. You can find it here. Camino Francés.

Monument to the pilgrim, Salvador Amaya. In the grounds of Hospital del Rey, at the entrance of the University of Burgos. Photograph: Amanda González (own work).

Monument to the pilgrim, Salvador Amaya. In the grounds of Hospital del Rey, at the entrance of the University of Burgos. Photograph: Amanda González (own work).

This bronze sculpture is two metres high and was donated by the brotherhood of the city of Burgos, it was officially presented in July 2004. It has a beautiful inscription about El Camino, but I will not reveal it to you, you will see it when you visit it. You can find it here. Camino Francés.

Sculpture in honour to Pilgrims,Teodoro Antonio Ruiz. Burgos. Photograph: Mario Mart (Flickr).

Sculpture in honour to Pilgrims,Teodoro Antonio Ruiz. Burgos. Photograph: Mario Mart (Flickr).

Although on the photograph it appears in its original location, currently it is displayed on Plaza del Rey de San Fernando, next to the cathedral, where there are lots more people to keep him company, of course! Podéis encontrarla aquí. Camino Francés.

 Monument to the Pilgrim, unknown author. Mansilla de las Mulas (León). Photograph: Estuafoto (Blogspot).

Monument to the Pilgrim, unknown author. Mansilla de las Mulas (León). Photograph: Estuafoto (Blogspot).

Linking both routes, Camino Francés and Trajan Way (Via Trajana) is this original sculpture featuring three pilgrims. In the image you can see two but the third one is just having a kip, lying down on the back of the cross. You can find it here. Camino Francés.

Female pilgrim over a fountain, unknown author. Monte do Gozo (Santiago de Compostela). Photograph: Camino de las luciérnagas (Blogspot).

Female pilgrim over a fountain, unknown author. Monte do Gozo (Santiago de Compostela). Photograph: Camino de las luciérnagas (Blogspot).

This is perhaps one of the least known statues of the list, it is located in a square in a holiday city Monte do Gozo. You can find it here. Camino Francés.

Pilgrims, José María Acuña. Monte do Gozo (Santiago de Compostela). Photograph: Ray Rosa (Wikipedia).

Pilgrims, José María Acuña. Monte do Gozo (Santiago de Compostela). Photograph: Ray Rosa (Wikipedia).

In the outskirts of Santiago you can find this sculpture ensemble encompassing two pilgrims that, giving the proximity of the cathedral, point to the final and close destination. You could find it here.Camino Francés.

The Pilgrim on Praza da Paz, unknown author. Santiago de Compostela. Photograph: Cladius113 (Panoramio).

The Pilgrim on Praza da Paz, unknown author. Santiago de Compostela. Photograph: Cladius113 (Panoramio).

In the city of Santiago de Compostela, although not in the city centre and not particularly near the cathedral, but well positioned in the middle of the roundabout in the square dedicated to peace. Has this pilgrim got lost? You can find it here. Camino Francés.

The templar pilgrim, Santiago de Compostela. San Lázaro bridge. Photograph: Fratertempli (Blogspot).

The templar pilgrim, Santiago de Compostela. San Lázaro bridge. Photograph: Fratertempli (Blogspot).

Again in Santiago, and as a crowning piece on this tour of the sculptures of pilgrims, you can visit this templar knight as a pilgrim. I have a doubt though, about his relationship with the pilgrimage to Santiago. You can find it here. Camino Francés.

I know that there are lots still that could have been included, like the one of Reliegos (Leon), the one of the Bridge of the queen (Puente de la Reina) in Navarra, or the pilgrim boot in the lighthouse of Finisterre (originally there were two boots) that is the cover of this entry, but I would like you to add the ones you think should be here too. Would you like to add some of the ones I left out? Go on, go mad and add them on the comments!

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Sergio De Arriba

Graduado en Historia del Arte, trabajo como Gestor de Contenido Cultural y arquitecto de rutas en VOJO, aunque de vez en cuando también realizo vídeos corporativos e ilustraciones. En este blog mi intención es mostraros el Arte de la forma más atractiva y sencilla posible, alejándome de descripciones complejas pero sin olvidar los métodos científicos que acompañan a la teoría artística.

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