The Credential Or Pilgrim’s Passport

The Credential or Pilgrim’s Passport

The Pilgrim’s Credential used to be a document given to pilgrims during the Middle Ages as a safeguard for the Camino de Santiago. Nowadays, it is an essential document to do the Camino, a kind of passport for pilgrims that must be filled out with their personal information and stamped at each stage. The credential must accompany the pilgrims throughout the full Camino.

The fundamental purpose of the Credential is to identify the pilgrims and have a follow-up of their journey. It serves as proof that one has completed the Camino and is required to apply for “The Compostela”, which is the official certificate you will receive when you have finished the pilgrimage.

Each pilgrim has to stamp the credential at least once a day along the way, it is important to put the date as well. It is suggested to stamp it where you sleep, every hostel and hotel on the Camino have their own stamp, all of them different.

You will also find stamps in the tourism offices, churches, bars, restaurants and other business along the way. Getting different stamps is optional, but we do not recommend getting more than two per day, considering the Credential has only 56 spaces available, and you may need the extra when doing the whole 35 stages of the full Camino. If you run out of space, you will need a second Credential. Our advice is to always stamp the Credential in the place you spend the night, and if possible also stamp it in a city or monument that you specially liked and want to remember.

You can get your Credential at the beginning of the Camino in Saint Jean-Pied-de-Port or where you start the pilgrimage, you will not have any problem in getting it, since every hotel or hostel will have it.

The official Credential is printed on cardboard and consists of sixteen folded pages. The first page is like a cover letter and should be completed with the Pilgrim’s details. There is also a space on the top for the stamp of the place that issues the Credential, and on the bottom for the last stamp, the Cathedral’s.[click here]

What is the “Compostela”?

The Compostela is the official certification that you have fulfilled the pilgrimage to Santiago. It shows that you have done at least the last 62 miles (100 km) on foot or on horseback, or the last 124 miles (200 km) by bike.

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