The path of Santiago Mozarabe

In the 8th century the Muslims arrived in Andalusian lands that they conquered definitively in a period of three years. Contrary to popular belief, Muslims were tolerant of the other religions of the Book, Jews and Christians, and although they had to pay more taxes than Muslims, their culture was tolerated in centuries of occupation with some exceptions.

The Christians who remained under Muslim rule, were called Mozarabic, and although they did not lose their rites and liturgies, practically they became Arabized and took their customs mixing with the rest of the inhabitants.

In the Middle Ages, they had their own liturgical rite different from the Roman Catholic rite and they had their own church. Some of its buildings were left for posterity in different parts of Spain, although in Andalusia there are hardly any remains.

At the beginning of the 9th century, a mausoleum with Hebrew inscriptions was discovered in a forest in northern Galicia, which could be seen even at night due to the vision of the path of the stars that were part of the Milky Way and that served as a guide to the first pilgrims of what would be the sanctuary or later Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (the tomb of the Apostle Santiago el Mayor had been discovered in a place called Campus Stellae, field of stars).

Since then, the pilgrimage to the city of Santiago began through the different Jacobean Ways during the Middle Ages that gave rise not only to a religious movement but also to an economic revulsion that affected all the inns, and towns that were part of the French, Portuguese, Vía de la Plata and other roads.

These roads, had been traveling through the Christian kingdoms such as Castilla, León, Navarre or France, however, since a few years ago, a different path is being promoted, a path used by Christians who lived in Muslim lands of the South.

There is evidence that from the ninth century and until the fall of the last Muslim kingdoms, the Mozarabs made their pilgrimage from different parts of Andalusia to reach Mérida, in Extremadura and connect with the Camino de la Plata Jacobeo although less and less Christians left from pilgrimage of Al Andalus since the definitive emigration to the north was every time greater.

These roads started from the cities that were part of the Nazari, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and Almería kingdoms that came to the capital of the Caliphate Córdoba, to go to Mérida.