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“The Museum of Tourism” with the Camino de Santiago

By Javier Mateos de Porras Gómez | 18/03/2021

“The Museum of Tourism” with the Camino de Santiago

“The Museum of Tourism” is a non-profit initiative that aims to disseminate the history of tourism. More than 150 people collaborate disinterestingly in a project that discloses the history of the tourism sector in two ways: a face-to-face way, with physical rooms spread across different countries where documents from the history of tourism are shown and, on the other hand, a work of dissemination in a virtual way, through the social networks of the museum and its web, currently in 12 different languages.

And in this work of spreading the history of tourism, there are, of course, various references to the Camino de Santiago.

We talk about one of the oldest tourist itineraries in history. In fact, the “Santiago Travel Guide” of Book V of Codex Calixtino is considered one of the oldest travel guides in the world. Dating from 1138 to 1140, it is the work of the French monk Aymeric Picaud and it is a practical manual for European pilgrims who in the 12th century would like to venture out the Jacobean route from France to Santiago de Compostela.

The Marqués de la Ό-Inclán, pioneer of tourism in Spain, asserts this in his reception address at the Royal Academy of History in 1927, which deals with this work and where he states that it is the “most important chapter in the history of travel in Spain” and that the Jacobean route is “the most formidable medieval tourism organization known”.

The Museum of Tourism also devotes its efforts to show the history of this fantastic route that pilgrims have followed for centuries. That is why it is present in different rooms. Some are even dedicated in exclusive mode such as:

Room 20. Located in Porto, at the headquarters of the Vefa Tours Operator Tour, in the heart of Porto (Portugal) in a place where the Portuguese Way passes. A showcase contains objects related to the different itineraries that lead to the city of Compostelana.

Room 39. At the Kumano Kodo Centre in Mie Prefecture, Japan. Mie Prefecture signed 11 years ago a "Memorandum of Understanding on Pilgrimage Roads" with the Basque Country in Spain. The Kumano Road is the pilgrimage route linking the three sacred temples of Japan:Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha and Kumano Hatayama Taisha. This itinerary is twinned with the Jacobean path and, in fact, there is even a double credential to make both pilgrimages. Inside this center is Hall 39 of our Museum, dedicated to the history of the Camino de Santiago, and especially the route that the Camino del Norte makes by the Basque Country.

In addition, Salas 9 and 11, located in Gaudí Casa Botines Museum (León) and in the Tourist Office of the City of Ponferrada, are dedicated to the history of tourism of the city of León and the region of Bierzo respectively, and for this reason, they also transfer us to know the history of the Camino de Santiago as it passes through that city and region.

On the other hand, and already in its virtual facet, the Museum has different social networks in different languages: 12 Facebook pages, 2 Instagram profiles, a Twitter profile, a Tik Tok channel and a YouTube channel. All of them have been disseminating different aspects of the history of the Camino de Santiago. Photos, videos, publications…. Thanks to the collaboration of collectors like Manuel Alejandro Fernández or Carlos Castelao, different aspects of this historic tourist route or the work of collaborating companies like El Camino con Correos or Eroski who participate in this project that tries to value the tourism sector through the dissemination of its history are shown in networks.


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