The Pilgrims office is a place of welcome and reception for the pilgrims that arrive in Santiago de Compostela that have walked or have come by bike or horse to the Tomb of the Apostol Saint James.
Here is where your final Camino stamp in stamped, in the Cathedral of Santiago, in the “pilgrim credentials” and where you get the traditional pilgrim certificate known as the “Compostela”.
For this, on top of having done the journey for spiritual or religious reasons, you need to do at least the last 100km by foot or the last 200km by bike or by horse, which would evidently demonstrate the “ pilgrims credentials” stamped along the journey.
The Office of the Pilgrim can be found next to the Cathedral, it is open almost every day of the year form 10am to 7pm, except of Christmas and New Year’s. It’s located on Rua do Vilar, adjacent to the Platerias Plaza. In the Calle Rua do Villar, 1/3 (Telephone: 0034 981 568 846).
Since the pilgrimage to Saint James tomb that appeared spontaneously though out the IX and X century, was made official, acquiring social and religious considerations, it was important to acknowledge and confirm those who had done it.
For this, first, they used the emblem that could only be acquired in Santiago consisting of the scallop or the scallops shell. But this was easy to forge. It was decided to use the written letters that were sent in the XIII. These letters are the direct origin of La Compostela.
Presenting La Compostela, the pilgrims acquired the right to be lodged for free for three days in the Royal Hospital Foundation, an actual Parador.
TEXT of LA COMPOSTELA
The Translation to Spanish says:
El Cabildo de esta Santa Apostólica y Metropolitana Iglesia Catedral Compostelana custodio del sello del Altar de Santiago Apóstol, a todos los Fieles y peregrinos que llegan desde cualquier parte del Orbe de la Tierra con actitud de devoción o por causa de voto o promesa peregrinen hasta la Tumba del Apóstol, Nuestro Patrón y Protector de las Españas, acredita ante todos los que observen este documento que: D. …………… ha visitado devotamente este sacratísimo Templo con sentido cristiano (pietatis causa).
En fe de lo cual le entrego el presente documento refrendado con el sello de esta misma Santa Iglesia.
Dado en Santiago de Compostela el día………mes……………año del Señor……….
El Canónigo Diputado para los Peregrinos