O Leboreiro, España

The UNF Department of History and the Department of Economics and Geography offered two courses in Spain during the summer of 2019: Medieval Pilgrimage and the Camino de Santiago and Spatial Dynamics of the Camino. These two courses were designed to provide transformational learning opportunities. During three weeks of travel across northern Spain, students were engaged with unfamiliar cultures and languages as we traveled through four culturally distinct regions of the country: the Basque Country, Castile, Aragon, and Galicia. Students also stayed for five days at the University of Burgos, where they had the opportunity to participate in Spanish university life and familiarize themselves with the pace and contours of one Spanish city.

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

The final week of the trip involved real pilgrimage. Students walked 118 km to Santiago. During this portion of the journey, students interacted with pilgrims from across the globe as they confronted many of the same joys and hardships that faced medieval travelers. On the successful completion of the journey, students received the Compostela, an official document issued by the pilgrimage office in Santiago marking their accomplishment. Through participation in a centuries-old pilgrimage tradition that connects the ancient and modern worlds, students emerged with a more sophisticated understanding of both medieval and modern cultural landscapes. Finally, students demonstrated specific subject area knowledge by identifying and analyzing key developments related to the history of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages and connecting these to their own pilgrimage experiences.

We are proud to partner with the UNF Digital Humanities Institute, dedicated to promoting collaboration on interdisciplinary projects that combine the use of technology with materials and methodologies from the humanities, fine arts and social sciences. The UNF Pilgrimage Project combines interdisciplinary approaches with digital and STEM technologies and applies them to the study of pilgrimage. The broad definition pilgrimage employed by the project encompasses the flow of people, ideas, technology and trade along a sacred or spiritual route. This project focuses on the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain and grew out of the noteworthy 2015 and 2017 study abroad trips.

Looking over the Plaza del ObradoiroOften, your only goal is to wake up and walk. Regardless of their reasons, those who travel the Camino will all agree that there truly is something special about taking the journey to the beautiful city of Santiago de Compostela. While traveling across northern Spain, students captured these experiences through writing. We hope you will follow our blog to join us in our adventures.

Real Colegiata de Santa María de Roncesvalles InteriorTo help share the impact of experiences throughout our travels, we have captured 360 degree virtual tours across the Camino de Santiago. Visit each of the galleries to view the architectural spaces, plazas, and landscapes across the spectacular country of Spain.

Medieval knight fighting with snail