Many are the paths leading to Santiago de Compostela, and one of them begins precisely in the Cathedral of Lisbon. It is the Portuguese Central Way, also known as Main Way, which is the most used in our country, with a total distance of about 625 km. The first part of the route is shared with the Tagus Way, used by pilgrims heading to Fatima. From Lisbon to Azambuja, and then towards Santarém, this is where the paths separate: some head to Fatima, and those heading to Santiago de Compostela take the route towards Tomar, through an itinerary that gained relevance from the 12th century, passing through Coimbra, Porto and Ponte de Lima, and entering Spain via the international bridge over the Minho River.
The Pilgrim’s Credential is the successor to the documents given to pilgrims in the Middle Ages as a safe conduct. In addition to allowing access to hostels along the Way, it serves as a proof of the route taken, as it must be stamped along the pilgrimage – such as in places of sleep, churches or tourist offices –, and only by showing this Credential it is possible to request the Compostela at the Oficina de Acogida al Peregrino – Pilgrim Reception Office – of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.The Compostela is the document that certifies the completion of the pilgrimage to the Tomb of the Apostle. It is handed out only to those who complete at least the last 100 km on foot. Using a bike or on horseback, at least 200 km must be covered.
Get your Credential at the Lisbon Cathedral, Mondays to Saturdays between 10 am and 6:30 pm. In the space Memories of the Cathedral you can also find the book “The Portuguese Way”, by John Brierley, a guide complete with detailed maps of the way from Lisbon to Santiago de Compostela, including the Spiritual Variant and the Coastal Way.