Whoever goes to Terreiro da Sé do Porto will find a “Jacobean milestone”, one of the most representative symbols of the Ways of St. James. It is a piece of granite, placed near a “Ruta Xacobea”, to indicate to pilgrims the correct direction and distance to Santiago de Compostela. It contains two of the Way's most recognised symbols: the yellow arrow and the scallop shell.
Signage on the different routes of the Way of Saint James, in Europe, exceeds 80,000 kilometres in 28 countries. However, the recognition of the Jacobean Route is not limited to the physical plane. Pilgrims are anywhere in the world: from the United States to Japan, from Greenland to Madagascar. In 2018 alone, pilgrims from 180 different countries on five continents arrived in Santiago de Compostela, Portugal being the second country with the most pilgrims, after Spain.
In this context, the milestone of the Holy Year 2021 is a cultural, religious and tourist event that will attract thousands of people to Galicia, which is why the Galician Government intends to place these “mojones” milestones in iconic places around the world, as is the case the city of Porto and Terreiro da Sé.
At a time when the Holy Year Xacobeo 21-22 is being celebrated in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, the commemorations were extended for the first time by two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Xacobeo, also known as the Jacobean Year, Holy Year or Jubilee Year, is only celebrated when the festivity of the Apostle St James on July 25th falls on a Sunday. This occurs over an interval of different years, every five or six years, and sometimes as many as 11.
Porto has joined the Galician commemorations of the Holy Jacobean Year and, among other initiatives, is scheduled to welcome on 17 July 2022, the Iacobus Maris regatta, whose sailboats will recreate the voyage of the apostle St James’ body from Israel to Galicia.
In addition to the Holy Year commemorations, the campaign, traveling through Portugal and Spain, aims to showcase the most representative aspects of Galician culture, art and gastronomy.