If Saint James the Greater died in the 1000st century, the pilgrimage routes to his tomb in Galicia developed mainly in the Middle Ages. In France, many have been leading pilgrims to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela for almost XNUMX years, with a real revival in recent years beyond all religious considerations. Two Jacquaire lodgings welcome pilgrims on the way to Tours: in Cartelègue, Elisabeth Sempérès and the town hall of Saint Martin Lacaussade 05 57 42 02 06.

Major routes and secondary routes

Saint James panel

In France, there are four major pilgrimage routes (Tours, Arles, Vézelay and Puy en Velay) and so-called “secondary” routes, including four to reach the Pyrenees. We must imagine that over 1 years, pilgrims have had to adapt to the landscapes to best connect the major sites, giving rise to several routes taken.

In Blaye Bourg Terres d'Estuaire, it is the Voie de Tours which crosses the territory.

A path for whom?

If faith guides many pilgrims, in recent years there has been a new craze: many, of all ages, undertake this journey for non-religious reasons, because it is above all a beautiful journey. The idea is a bit to “find yourself”… There are people who want to challenge themselves, reconnect with nature, meditate, through long moments of walking which encourage introspection.

Each year, the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela has nearly 300 pilgrims.

It’s an opportunity to let go, far from the frantic race of time. We see pilgrims pass alone, with family or friends, on foot, by bike or on horseback sometimes. Generally, they do the paths in several times.

welcome saint jacques

A “Jacquaire lodge” in Cartelègue and Saint Martin Lacaussade: what does it consist of?

It is one of the roaming accommodations for pilgrims on the routes to Santiago de Compostela. In Cartelègue, it was the will of the municipality, in the 2000s, which allowed the development of part of the town hall into a Jacquaire gîte and which still bears the costs. The reception is managed by volunteers from the Culture and Entertainment association, with the help of ARSEC*.

Is it enough to knock on the door to sleep in such accommodation?

Yes and no… In principle, you must provide proof of credentials. And it is better warn in advance of its passage especially for that of Saint Martin Lacaussade. A good quarter of the pilgrims call us in the morning when leaving their last relay, half more than a week in advance... and the last quarter arrive unexpectedly, but fortunately in Cartelègue we take turns in pairs to ensure a almost permanent presence on site to open the door and show them around the church!

And… is it expensive?

The Cartelègue and Saint Martin Lacaussade gîte are “donnativo”, that is to say that for the night, everyone gives what they feel they should when leaving.. Most accommodations are in this spirit: it is traditional to thank the people who host you, or to contribute by donating to the maintenance of the place, within your means. There are also dedicated guest rooms or hotels at very reduced rates, on average €10 to €20 per night.

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