Introduction: The Compostelan Universe

Introduction: The Compostelan Universe

Santiago de Compostela lies only twenty miles inland from the Atlantic ocean at the far western extremity of the European landmass, adjacent to a point of land known to the Romans as Finis Terra, the “End of the Earth”. The seemingly limitless expanse of ocean beyond...
Picture Gallery: Romanesque Symbols

Picture Gallery: Romanesque Symbols

Vézelay Marie-Madeleine Vézelay Marie-Madeleine Thiviers, Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Thiviers-SamsonThiviers, Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Thiviers, Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Thiviers, Notre-Dame de l’Assomption Thiviers, Notre-Dame de...
Picture Gallery: Facade of Poitiers Notre-Dame-la-Grande

Picture Gallery: Facade of Poitiers Notre-Dame-la-Grande

Poitiers Notre-Dame-la-Grande West Facade Poitiers Notre-Dame-la-Grande West Facade Poitiers Notre-Dame-la-Grande West Facade Upper Levels Poitiers Notre-Dame-la-Grande West Facade Poitiers Notre-Dame-la-Grande Frieze and Upper Register Apostles Poitiers...
Picture Gallery: Aulnay de Saintonge Saint-Pierre-de-la Tour

Picture Gallery: Aulnay de Saintonge Saint-Pierre-de-la Tour

Aulnay Saint-Pierre, West Facade Aulnay Saint-Pierre, Crossing Tower Aulnay Saint-Pierre, South Porch and South Nave Aulnay Saint-Pierre, General View Aulnay Saint-Pierre, South Porch and Chevet Aulnay Saint-Pierre, West Facade Aulnay Saint-Pierre, West Facade,...
The Great Portals

The Great Portals

Video: Saint-Pierre de Carennac An Artsymbol Production Music by Martin A Smith Duration 3:45 The Romanesque tympanum was the ultimate artistic achievement of the early twelfth century. After the triumphal arches of Late Roman Antiquity, large scale monumental...
The Romanesque Ascension

The Romanesque Ascension

The angels of the Ascension appeared in white garments because the human race had been covered by the dark because of a mortal blindness Odilon of Cluny   Video:  Saint-Pierre de Collonges-la-Rouge Romanesque Porch Relief Sculpture An Artsymbol Production Music...
The Camino Francés: Saint Michel to Estella

The Camino Francés: Saint Michel to Estella

According to the medieval text known as the Pilgrim’s Guide, the Road to Santiago de Compostela passed over the Pyrenees. It came to be referred to as the Camino Francés, because it reached Spain from French territory and was the principal conduit for pilgrims to...
The Camino Francés: From Borce to Puente la Reina

The Camino Francés: From Borce to Puente la Reina

The Road to Santiago de Compostela known as the Camino Francés is prescribed in the medieval text commonly referred to as the Pilgrim’s Guide. According to the text pilgrims who used the Toulouse Road from France entered Spain over the central Pyrenean pass of the...
The Camino Francés: Estella to Burgos

The Camino Francés: Estella to Burgos

The Pilgrim’s Guide, the twelfth century Latin text which described the road to Santiago de Compostela known as the Camino Francés, directed pilgrims through Navarre and Castile to the city of Burgos. From Estella the Camino descended towards the valley of the...
The Camino Francés: Burgos to León

The Camino Francés: Burgos to León

The Pilgrim’s Guide, the twelfth century Latin text which determined the course of the road to Santiago de Compostela known as the Camino Francés, describes the road between Burgos and León. After Burgos, the Camino Francés soon enters the Castilian Meseta, a...
The Camino Francés: León to Compostela

The Camino Francés: León to Compostela

The Pilgrim’s Guide, the medieval Latin text which charted the course of the Camino de Santiago informs us that before entering León the road passed over the Río Porma via a bridge. As the station marking the eighth day’s journey, the royal city of León, (Legio) on...
Romanesque Symbolism

Romanesque Symbolism

  The Romanesque attitude to images was heavily informed by the idea that as a matter of course, they were subject to no single interpretation but instead carried multiple layers of meaning. This attitude was in part derived from the practice of exegetics, a...
Via Turonensis

Via Turonensis

  Video: The Tours Road at Saint Savin An Artsymbol Production Music by Martin A Smith Duration 1:53   Still another cuts through Saint-Martin of Tours, Saint-Hilaire of Poitiers, Saint-Jean-d’Angely, Saint-Eutrope of Saintes and the city of Bordeaux. LSJ...
The Romanesque Tympanum of Conques

The Romanesque Tympanum of Conques

  Video: West Porch Tympanum Abbey of Sainte Foy de Conques An Artsymbol Production Music by Martin A Smith Duration 6.00   Even the deep recesses of Erebus lie open as she leads souls out of the underworld The Book of Miracles of Sainte Foy Bernard of...
Picture Gallery: Daniel in the Lion’s Den

Picture Gallery: Daniel in the Lion’s Den

Picture Gallery: Daniel in the Lion’s Den Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Sarcophagus of Sainte Quiterrie, Aire-sur-l’Adour Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Sarcophagus De La Chaste Suzanne, Alyscans, Arles Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Sarcophagus San...
The Romanesque Facade of Poitiers: Notre-Dame-la-Grande

The Romanesque Facade of Poitiers: Notre-Dame-la-Grande

  Video: Romanesque Facade Notre-Dame la Grande de Poitiers An Artsymbol Production Music by Martin A Smith Duration: 5.27 According to legend the church of Notre-Dame la Grande at Poitiers had been founded by the Roman emperor Constantine. This may have been the...
Daniel In The Lion’s Den

Daniel In The Lion’s Den

Daniel In The Lion’s Den You may be brought from the Den and may be found as a sharer of the Resurrection Hippolytus of Rome: In Danielem The depiction of Daniel in the Lion’s Den was one of the most iconic in the whole Romanesque canon. Showing a human figure...
Via Podensis

Via Podensis

Another goes through Notre-Dame of Le Puy, Sainte-Foy of Conques and Saint-Pierre of Moissac The Pilgrim’s Guide   The Puy Road was one of the four French pilgrimage roads to Santiago de Compostela. In the year 951 the bishop of the Auvergnat town of Le...
Espalion Perse Church of Saint Hilarianus

Espalion Perse Church of Saint Hilarianus

Espalion was an important halt on the Puy Road to Compostela. Pilgrims who travelled this route would have come from Marian shrine of Le Puy-en-Velay via Saugues and the desolate landscape of the high plateau of the Aubrac. The pilgrims were journeying not only to...
The Jacobus and the Camino: Of the names of towns on this road

The Jacobus and the Camino: Of the names of towns on this road

At some point in the middle of the twelfth century, the authors of the Jacobus, the manuscript devoted to the cult of the Apostle James, set down in writing what had partly been a growing popular tradition and partly the enforced will of royalty and the Church, the...
Vézelay: The Mystic Mill

Vézelay: The Mystic Mill

On the south aisle of the basilica of Marie Madeleine at Vézelay in Burgundy is an exceptional carved capital often referred to as the Mystic Mill. The depiction of two male figures, one pouring grain into a mill and the other receiving the processed flour into a sack...
Via Lemivocensis

Via Lemivocensis

Thereupon, on the route that through Saint-Leonard stretches towards Santiago, the most worthy remains of the Blessed Mary Magdalene must first of all be rightly worshipped by the pilgrims. LSJ     Video: The Limoges Road near Troyes An Artsymbol Production...
The names of those who restored the road

The names of those who restored the road

The development of the Camino was a major enterprise supported by influential and wealthy interests. The Spanish pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela is a journey of almost seven hundred kilometres crossing two formidable mountain ranges, the Pyrenees and the...
Vézelay

Vézelay

The church of Vézelay is known and shining unto the ends of the earth and eminent all over the world Hugues de Poitiers   Video: The Pilgrimage Road at Vézelay An Artsymbol Production Music by Martin A Smith Duration 1:35   On a lonely hilltop in Burgundy stands...
The Alyscans Necropolis of Arles

The Alyscans Necropolis of Arles

In no cemetery anywhere, except in this one, can one find so many and so large marble tombs set upon the ground The Book of Saint James Video: The Necropolis of the Alyscans at Arles An Original Artsymbol Production Music by Martin A Smith Duration 1:47 ​ The Alyscans...