2/Apr/2019

Román Rodríguez signposts the Camino de Santiago in the heart of Europe with a milestone next to a piece of the Berlin Wall

  • The Regional Minister for Culture and Tourism and the Vice-President of the European Parliament today presided over the discovery of the milestone in the access of visitors to the European Parliament
  • The regional leader stressed that the pilgrimage itineraries served to establish the values on which Europe was built

Brussels (Belgium), 2 April 2019

The Regional Minister for Culture and Tourism, Román Rodríguez, today presided over the placing of a milestone on the Camino de Santiago in the European Parliament. The regional leader, accompanied by the vice-president of the European institution, Ramón Luis Valcárcel, discovered this symbolic milestone in the access of visitors to the European Parliament.

Throughout the ceremony, the Regional Minister stressed that the stone element installed in the heart of the European Union symbolises the Pilgrim's Way to Santiago, which is "the first germ that gave rise to the unity of Europe". This milestone will share space at the entrance to the European Parliament with a piece of the fallen Berlin Wall. It is an element which, like the Pilgrim's Way, commemorates that "a united Europe was and still is possible". It was placed in a ceremony attended by different authorities and Members of the European Parliament and attended by the co-president of the Intergroup for the Development of European Tourism, Cultural Heritage, Ways to Santiago and other European Cultural Routes, Francisco Millán Mon, and the permanent representative of Spain in the European Union, Juan Pablo García-Ber.

The head of Culture and Tourism stressed that the Jacobean Route is "much more than a cultural or tourist route" and that the pilgrimage itineraries served to establish the values of solidarity and harmony on which Europe was built. It was precisely this transmission of values over the centuries that helped the Pilgrim's Way to Santiago to be declared, more than 30 years ago, the first European Cultural Itinerary.

The milestone installed in the access to the European Parliament contains the main symbols of the Way: the shell, one of the oldest and most representative of the Jacobean Route; the yellow arrow, which indicates the correct direction, and the kilometric point that indicates the distance of 1,318 kilometers to the Cathedral of Santiago.

In short, as Román Rodríguez reminded us, this is a milestone that reminds us that in Europe there is much more that unites us than that which separates us. "We live in difficult times in which voices are heard that deny everything we have built, that deny the idea of a united Europe, but to all those voices I recommend doing the Way of St James because they will believe in Europe again," said the Regional Minister.

Involvement in Xacobeo 21

Galicia is working to involve different institutions in the celebration of Xacobeo 2021 and to make it as participatory as possible. Along these lines, the Regional Minister of Culture and Tourism has just held meetings at Autonomous Community, national and international level with the aim of involving the various institutions in the celebration of the Holy Year. Achieving this goal requires including Xacobeo 2021 in the agenda of various European institutions, which is the focus of most of the working meetings that Román Rodríguez is holding during his visit to Brussels.

Milestone in Glasgow

It should be remembered that the Regional Minister of Culture and Tourism has already placed a milestone of the Way of St. James in George Square, Glasgow. This symbolic fact served to enhance the English Way, which is now the fifth most traveled by pilgrims, and remember that the Atlantic was, since the Middle Ages, a place of pilgrimage for thousands of people from all over Europe, including the United Kingdom, who came to the port cities of Galicia on their way to Santiago de Compostela.