King Alphonse II, the Chaste, played an important role in establishing that the remains unearthed in Compostela belonged indeed to the Apostle Saint James. He also sponsored the building of the first basilica in the city and promoted the establishment of the early cult to Saint James.
The Camino Primitivo was probably a safe and well-travelled route until the present-day Camion Frances from León, the new capital of the kingdom, consolidated its position as the major Camino route in the late 10th century. Nonetheless, the Oviedo route to Santiago remained a popular alternative, due particularly to the spiritual value of the magnificent collection of relics at the cathedral of San Salvador de Oviedo and the basilica of Lugo with its permanent exhibition of the Holy Sacrament.
The many hospitals set up along the way bear witness to the importance of this route, especially those in remote spots high up in the mountains. They served a fundamental purpose: attending to the pilgrim, who, in the region of A Fonsagrada, was forced to cross areas of breathtaking beauty yet also represented an arduous challenge for the most part of the year, with snowstorms, strong winds, and treacherous paths. Walk the last 100km of the Camino Primitivo for your next walking holiday.