Menu del Peregrino – a blog about the Camino de Santiago

The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 6 – Santiago de Compostela)

At the east end of the cathedral (the ‘back’, so to speak) the square known as Praza da Quintana is divided into two levels, the lower Quintana de Mortos (‘Square of the Dead’) used to be a cemetery until the end of the eighteenth century, and above the steps lies the Quintana de Vivos (‘SquareContinue reading “The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 6 – Santiago de Compostela)”

Medieval Mapping – a superior technique for a modern pilgrim?

When chatting about guides and maps to the Camino, John Brierley’s A Pilgrim’s Guide is often spoken of approvingly, particularly for its maps.  Indeed, a separate smaller maps-only versions of his guide to the Camino Francés and Camino Portugués are also available.  Part of the reason they are so successful is that they follow aContinue reading “Medieval Mapping – a superior technique for a modern pilgrim?”

The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 3 – Navarra)

Alto del Perdón, just south of Pamplona, features in almost every Camino guide thanks to a rust-coloured iron art installation of medieval pilgrims struggling into the wind, accompanied by the legend ‘Where the way of the wind meets that of the stars’ (Donde se cruza el camino del viento con el de las estrellas).  AltoContinue reading “The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 3 – Navarra)”

The Spanish Inquisition and the Camino

The Inquisition was an office within the Catholic Church that dealt with matters of religious orthodoxy (proper belief and practice), and the Spanish Inquisition’s reputation is not simply a result of its activities, but also of propaganda wars of the sixteenth century and later.  As Spain increasingly portrayed itself as a champion of Catholicism andContinue reading “The Spanish Inquisition and the Camino”

How to read a (church) door

One of the most common scenes you’ll see over an external church door is the Last Judgement, where all the dead are summoned and Christ grants heaven to some and condemns others to hell (each according to their merits).  The sculpturing of these doors is amazing and was executed according to a universally understood designContinue reading “How to read a (church) door”

Know your Camino architecture: Romanesque and Gothic

Do you have a favourite type of medieval architecture?  Weird question?  Personally, as a medieval nerd I’m a bit torn between Romanesque and Gothic, but I think the older Romanesque wins out.  Why?  Well firstly it comes down to what they can and can’t do. Romanesque and Gothic are readily identifiable by their trademark arches;Continue reading “Know your Camino architecture: Romanesque and Gothic”

Eucalyptus — a (un)welcome smell on the Camino?

Eucalyptus is one of the smells I associate with the Camino, particularly stretches of the Camino del Norte/Primativo, and while I enjoy the sweetness that fills the air as its thimble-like seed capsules crunch underfoot in the early morning, I can’t help but wish it wasn’t there. Perhaps that’s because one interloper rarely likes another?Continue reading “Eucalyptus — a (un)welcome smell on the Camino?”

And they say that he got crazy once and that he tried to touch the sun…

One of the most beautiful sights on the Camino is the sky above.  I recall lying in a field one night in August 2016 along with my friend Jay and a group of five or six other companions outside Carrión de los Condes, watching the annual Perseid meteor shower over the Meseta — the inspirationContinue reading “And they say that he got crazy once and that he tried to touch the sun…”

A recipe for pleasure: Tarta de Santiago (Santiago’s Cake)

Tarta de Santiago (or Torta de Santiago in Galego, the language of Galicia) is one of my favourite deserts and is a wonderful expression of what is best in Spanish cooking — good ingredients used simply but effectively.  Essentially, it’s a flat cake of almonds, eggs and sugar, in roughly equal measure, which mightn’t soundContinue reading “A recipe for pleasure: Tarta de Santiago (Santiago’s Cake)”

The wine of La Rioja

La Rioja is the smallest of Spain’s autonomous regions and is synonymous with quality wine in the way that Bordeaux is in France or Napa Valley in the US.  Indeed, it’s sometimes known as the Bordeaux of Spain, not least because French winemaking techniques were introduced to it in the later nineteenth century, which reallyContinue reading “The wine of La Rioja”

Two Medieval Irishmen on the Camino

This is my first work of fiction and will be available to buy in 2022. All author profits will be donated to the Camino Society Ireland.

You can access my camino blog in the ‘Camino de Santiago’ tab of the menu above.

Denis Casey

I am a writer, historian and university educator, from Co. Kerry, Ireland, with a passion for things medieval and Celtic.

The wine of La Rioja

La Rioja is the smallest of Spain’s autonomous regions and is synonymous with quality wine in the way that Bordeaux is in France or Napa Valley in the US.  Indeed, it’s sometimes known as the Bordeaux of Spain, not least because French winemaking techniques were introduced to it in the later nineteenth century, which reallyContinue reading “The wine of La Rioja”

Alto del Perdón botafumeiro Burgos Callixtus II Camino del Norte Camino Francés Camino Portugués Camino Primativo Carrión de los Condes Castille y León Codex Calixtinus Donkeys Eduardo María González-Pondal Abente Elias Valiña Sampedroto El País Vasco Emilio Mola Eucalyptus Finisterre Flora and Fauna Francisco Franco Galicia Gothic architecture John Devner José Antonio Primo de Rivera La Rioja León Meseta Navarra Os Pinos O’Cebreiro Pamplona Perseid meteor shower Pilgrim’s Guide Ramón Bengaray Zabalza Raymond of Burgundy Red Kite Romanesque architecture Santiago de Compostela Santiago de Compostela Cathedral Spanish Civil War (1936-39) Tardajos Tarta de Santiago Urraca of León Wildlife Wine

Alto del Perdón botafumeiro Burgos Callixtus II Camino del Norte Camino Francés Camino Portugués Camino Primativo Carrión de los Condes Castille y León Codex Calixtinus Donkeys Eduardo María González-Pondal Abente Elias Valiña Sampedroto El País Vasco Emilio Mola Eucalyptus Finisterre Flora and Fauna Francisco Franco Galicia Gothic architecture John Devner José Antonio Primo de Rivera La Rioja León Meseta Navarra Os Pinos O’Cebreiro Pamplona Perseid meteor shower Pilgrim’s Guide Ramón Bengaray Zabalza Raymond of Burgundy Red Kite Romanesque architecture Santiago de Compostela Santiago de Compostela Cathedral Spanish Civil War (1936-39) Tardajos Tarta de Santiago Urraca of León Wildlife Wine

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