29/Oct/2019

The Xunta has installed a Way of Saint James signpost in Krakow, in front of the John Paul II ‘Papal Window’

  • The regional minister of Culture and Tourism highlighted the Polish pope’s support for the Way of Saint James and recalled that he visited Santiago twice, in 1982 and 1989
  • He underlined Poland’s growing interest in the Jacobean Route, with over 20,000 Poles making the pilgrimage in the last five years and nearly 5,000 doing so so far this year
  • It is the fifth milestone installed by the Galician Government after those recently established in Glasgow, Brussels, Lorient and Rio de Janeiro.
  • During the trip, Román Rodríguez met the Mayor of Krakow and, this afternoon, he will attend a meeting on the Way of Saint James in the Cervantes Institute

Krakow (Poland), 29 October 2019

Today, the Xunta signposted the Way of Saint James in Poland, indicating the distance to Santiago de Compostela (4,184 kilometres) from the Pope John Paul II ‘Papal Window’ in Krakow’s Bishop’s Palace. As part of his insitutional visit to the country, regional minister of Culture and Tourism, Román Rodríguez, oversaw the establishment of the milestone, alongside the Mayor of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski, the Spanish ambassador to Poland, Francisco Javier Sanabria and the Bishop of Kraków, Damian Muskus.

The Culture and Tourism minister, who was accompanied by the Xacobeo 21 commissioner, Cecilia Pereira, highlighted the Polish pope’s support for the Jacobean route and recalled that he visited Santiago De Compostela on two occasions: firstly in 1982, when he undertook the pilgramage; and, secondly, during World Youth Day in 1989, 30 years ago. "The placement of this symbol in this location represents everything that unites us and symbolises the relationship between Galicia and Poland," he added.

In his speech, Román Rodríguez stressed the importance of the Way’s values as an "underlying layer of European identity" and highlighted Poland’s increasing interest in the Way. Over 20,000 Poles undertook the pilgrimage in the last five years and nearly 5,000 have done so so far this year. He added that Poland is among the top 15 countries with the highest number of pilgrims, a particularly relavent fact when you consider that, so far in 2019, people from over 180 different nationalities have undertaken the pilgrimage.

The milestone established in Krakow today is the fifth to be installed by the Galician Government. It follows ones recently inaugurated in Glasgow, Brussels, Lorient and Rio de Janeiro, to promote the internationalisation of the Way of Saint James. In this sense, the minister for Culture and Tourism highlighted that the establishment of this symbol will serve as a reminder that both Galicia and Poland "share the same destiny and a common path".

Publicising the Jacobean Route abroad and strengthening links with Europe form one of the action plans within the Xacobeo 21 Strategic Plan. Among other objectives, this includes emphasising the importance of pilgrimages to Santiago as an intrinsic part of the Old Continent.

Official reception and meeting on the Way

During his institutional trip, Román Rodríguez participated in an official reception with the Mayor of Krakow. The Spanish ambassador to Poland, the director of the Cervantes Institute in Krakow (Fernando Martínez-Vara de Rei), the Tourism minister of Spain’s Embassy in Poland (Maria Isabel Martin) and the honorary consul of Poland in Galicia and ANFACO-CECOPESCA President (Juan M. Vieites) also attended.

In the afternoon, the regional minister for Culture and Tourism will attend a meeting on the Way of Saint James at the Instituto Cervantes in Krakow where he will visit the Camino de Santiago. A contemporary pilgrim experienceexhibition. The exhibition contains nearly twenty images created by photographer Manuel Valcarcel, which cover some of the valuable aspects of the pilgrimage to Santiago, such as the presence of nature, artistic heritage, cities and landscapes along the Jacobean routes, but also the coexistence, chance encounters, effort and mix of cultures.

The travelling exhibition has previously been shown in cities such as Boston, Chicago, North Carolina, Lorient and Mar de Plata. At the end of the exhibition, you will have the opportunity to taste Galician products from Galicia Calidade and ANFACO-CESCOPESCA, in collaboration with the Ministry of the Sea.