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Trekking on the Way of St. James

France
By Dmitry Petrounin Dmitry Petrounin Section editor Profile

Discover Trekking on the Way of St. James

In the 1970s, the French Trekking Federation created and revived old routes that the pilgrims used to take to go to Santiago de Compostella.
There are three main routes that run through the Midi-Pyrénées region: the chemin du Puy (GR65), the chemin d'Arles (GR653), the chemin du Vézelay (GR654), but also the route along the Pyrenean Piemont (another version of the Arles route).
In the Middle Ages, Santiago de Compostella and Rome were the two most important pilgrimage destinations. Pilgrims would come in herds from France and northern Europe, with their satchels tied to their walking sticks.
Numerous remnants of this religious history mark these routes: chapels, hospitals, and simple crosses, and most are part of UNESCO's World Heritage Programme.
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