Turismo de Galicia completes improvement work along three sections of the Primitive Route with a total investment of over one million euros

  • In the Lugo municipality of Castroverde, Navas Castro inspected the results of the restoration and signage work to make the pilgrimage route safer and more accessible
  • Over 500 milestones, almost 100 ceramic shells and more than 15 bronze shells were placed, in addition to adapting stretches where the route was blocked

Santiago de Compostela, 7 July 2017

Today, Turismo de Galicia Director Nava Castro inspected the restoration, signage and improvement work carried out along the Primitive Route of the Way of St. James, which celebrates its second anniversary as a UNESCO World Heritage Site this week. The work was completed along three different sections in the Lugo municipalities of A Fonsagrada, Baleira and Castroverde, and the A Coruña municipality of Melide, where the Primitive Route joins up with the French Route.

Accompanied by the regional representative of the Xunta in Lugo, José Manuel Balseiro, the Turismo director visited one of the affected sections of the Primitive Route in the municipality of Castroverde. The work was carried out along more than 17 kilometres, with an investment of just over 1.1 million euros. A total of over 500 milestones, almost 100 ceramic shells, more than 15 bronze shells and other additional signage were placed.

These improvements help make the Primitive Route – whose combination of nature and cultural heritage is generating growing interest among pilgrims – a safer and more accessible route. In just one decade, the number of pilgrims travelling this route has increased fourfold. Last year it reported its highest figure: over 12,000 people. This growth has not stopped since the route was added to the prestigious UNESCO list, and this trend is expected to continue.

New official delimitation

On her visit, Castro inspected the results of the work, which included recovering sections where the route had been blocked by upgrading and opening up the path. Signage was then added according to the new official delimitation. These actions respected both the existing width and the traditional values of the Way of St. James. The work was completed by digging and cleaning ditches, creating culverts, and restoring or extending the surface with appropriate materials for the location.

‘The Way of St. James Master and Strategic Plan, presented a few weeks after UNESCO added the Primitive Route to its list in 2015, included commitments to make improvements to the route,’ underscored the Turismo director, who celebrated the fact that it is now possible to see that many of the proposals put forward at that time ‘have become a reality and improve the pilgrims’ experience’.

The work on the Primitive Route was carried out on the section from O Acevo to Paradavella, in the municipality of A Fonsagrada; at A Calzada, in the municipality of Baleira; at San Miguel do Camiño, in the municipality of Castroverde; and in one third of the municipalities of Castroverde and Melide. This is in addition to work done on the Northern Route, which was also inspected by the Turismo director this week. Together, these actions ‘make the pilgrimage route safer and more accessible’.