Galicia strengthens ties with the Celtic city of Lorient, 1,979 kilometres from Santiago de Compostela

  • The regional minister of Culture and Tourism and the mayor of the French city of Lorient, Norbert Metairie, attended the installation of a Way of Saint James milestone on the Esplanade du Mostoir today
  • France is an important country for the Way of Saint James; during 2018 alone, Galicia received close to 9,000 French pilgrims

Lorient (France), 5 August 2019

The regional minister of Culture and Tourism, Román Rodríguez, today presided over the installation of a Way of Saint James milestone in Esplanade du Moustoir, Lorient, France. The minister, accompanied by the mayor of Lorient, Norbert Metairie, installed this symbolic milestone, 1,979 kilometres from the Cathedral of Santiago, the end point of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

During the event, the Culture and Tourism minister indicated that the milestone, installed in the heart of the French town, would serve to consolidate ties between Galicia and Lorient, "two lands that have an established centuries-old link through the Via Turonensis", a French route that joined the Northern Way and the French Way, the main route to Santiago de Compostela. This milestone is located opposite the Lorient Town Hall and very close to where Lorient’s Interceltic Festival is celebrated. This year, Galicia will participate as an invited entity.

The sign has the main symbols of the Way: a conch shell, one of the oldest and most representative symbols of the Jacobean Route; a yellow arrow, pointing you in the right direction, and the kilometre count, indicating the distance to the Cathedral of Santiago. In short, the milestone represents "the basis of the foundations of the Europe we know today," said Roman Rodriguez.

We must remember that France is a country with deep Jacobean roots, something that is reflected in the fact that the French are one of the most common groups of pilgrims who collect their Compostela in the Galician capital. In the past year along, around 9,000 pilgrims arrived from France, having completed the Jacobean Route. In addition, the French Way is one of the main pilgrim routes and the one chosen by the majority of the people who decide to go on a pilgrimage to Galicia.

Lorient’s Interceltic Festival

Roman Rodriguez went to Lorient to attend its 49th Interceltic Festival, one of the main celebrations of Celtic music in France and where the Galician Community is participating as an invited entity.

Last Friday, the Culture and Tourism minister inaugurated the pavilion where Galician culture, gastronomy and tourism will be displayed until next Sunday. The event will serve to showcase Galician culture and identity with a view of celebrating the coming Xacobeo 21, which, Roman Rodriguez notes, "will place Galicia as a cultural epicentre at the international level".