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Friday, May 14, 2010

The Jubilee Year of Compostela

Philately commemorates the Jubilee Year of Compostela or Xacobean Year with a stamp depicting the silhouette of a pilgrim facing the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

The Jubilee Year of Compostela was established in the 12th century and occurs whenever July 25th, feast day of the apostle St. James, falls on a Sunday. The cult of St. James originated when word spread that his remains were buried in the small Roman necropolis of Campo Stellae. A church was buried on the site and it soon became a pilgrimage centre on which a plenary indulgence could be earned. Santiago de Compostela, as Rome and Jerusalem, is one of the most important holy places for Christianity.During the Middle Ages, the Way of St. James was a transmitter of culture as it was traveled by pilgrims from all over Europe who brought along new styles and influences in architecture, handicrafts and general culture.

Along the way and over the years, towns and villages were built with hospitals, monasteries, churches and inns where pilgrims took refuge, fed, and healed if they fell ill. From the XIV century, St James’s path was scarcely traveled through and only very few pilgrims dared to reach Santiago de Compostela.

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela preserves its original barrel-vaulted cruciform Romanesque interior. The construction of the present cathedral began in 1075 over the remains of the former basilica and was finished in the XII century. It has been embellished and expanded in later centuries. The crypt houses the silver reliquary covered in semi precious gems, which according to tradition, must be embraced by pilgrims who arrive at the Cathedral.

Title: The Jubilee Year of Compostela
Date of Issue: 13 May 2010
Country: Spain
Denominations: 0,34 €