The legend that placed the tomb of the apostle santiago at the ends of the world and its discovery in the iberian peninsula
It forged the beginning of the pilgrim current that we now call the Way of St. James. The pilgrimage to Santiago helped to strengthen the link between the north of the peninsula and Europe, the formation of urban centres and the cohesion of territories.
The route crosses the places where Aragon was born, as a county dependent on the Carolingian Empire around the year 800; it also allowed the construction of bridges, monuments and buildings and great economic contributions.
In addition to the French Way or via Toulouse, other routes led to Santiago de Compostela through Aragon, such as the Jacobean Way of the Ebro, the Maestrazgo Way or the one that runs through the Pyrenean somontano, all of which converge in the Ebro Valley and link up with the Logroño Way.
The French method
The so-called French route, an extension of the Via Tolosana, crossed the Pyrenees from Toulouse. The construction of the hospital of Santa Cristina and the fact that Jaca became the capital of Aragon and one of the main urban centres of the Pyrenees, meant that the route followed this route from the 11th century onwards. The French route through Aragon enjoyed its splendour during the medieval centuries and fell into disuse from the 16th century.
Today, the Aragonese branch of the French or historical route remains the same thanks to the work of researchers or the interest of certain institutions and associations of friends of the route during the 20th century.
In 1987, the Way of St. James was declared by the Council of Europe as a “European Cultural Route” and six years later, UNESCO granted it the category of World Heritage.