In the Middle Ages, pilgrims were taken to “hospitals” and refuges normally belonging to the church.
But in order to be recognized as pilgrims, they took with them a type of document, which was no more than a letter of introduction that was signed by the parish priest or by a nobleman. This document served for the pilgrim to present himself as such and would give him a certain status to be able to enjoy some perks that were only granted to pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago.
Currently, the pilgrim who carries the pilgrim’s credentials feels that it is part of history. The pilgrim credential currently offers some perks to pilgrims, such as being able to sleep in municipal hostels intended only for pilgrims, as well as serving as proof to the church that traveled the Camino de Santiago, in order to obtain for themselves the “Compostela”.
With its unmistakable format, in the form of an accordion, the credential must be stamped at the beginning of the Way, as well as stamping at least two stamps per day, for the Way to be validated before the Church.
Along the way, stamps can be obtained in churches, as well as in bars, restaurants, hostels and even in hotels.
The credential never expires on its date, in other words, the pilgrim may take several years to travel a long distance, which in the end the church recognizes and validates its path to Santiago de Compostela.