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Study Tour: Medieval Spain
Medieval Study Tour on the Camino de Santiago
9 May-12 June, 2010


Fordham University

Medieval Studies (mvST) 2998-001

Spring 2010, 29 May-12 June 2010


El Pilar



"Study Tr: Medieval Spain"


Course Credit

3 credits. Fordham College students may apply the credits earned for this course (MVST 2998) as a free elective regardless of major, or toward a major or minor in Medieval Studies or History. (This course does not replace any of the required credits in the Honors Program curriculum.) Eligibility requires that students be full-time and registered during the spring 2010 semester. Participation in this study tour can then be added to their schedules for a total not exceeding 18 credits without further tuition charges.

Course Fees and personal expenses

Participants will pay a course fee of $550, which will cover accommodation, insurance and the instructor’s expenses. See the description in the appended file, “Study Tour Medieval Spain 2008—Basic Info” under “Payment information” for estimates of personal expenses that might be expected (transportation, accommodation before and after the tour, meals).


Richard Gyug
Dealy Hall 628



tel. 718-817-3933


Study tour in northwestern Spain along the historic and modern Camino de Santiago from León to Santiago de Compostela. Participants will walk about 15 miles a day for two weeks (29 May-12 June). Meetings, lectures and discussion each day.


The Camino de Santiago is the traditional pilgrimage route from France across northwestern Spain to Santiago de Compostela, the legendary burial site of St. James. One of the great medieval pilgrimages and the greatest surviving itinerary for medieval monuments and landscapes, it has enjoyed a remarkable revival in recent years, attracting European Union sponsorship, the attention of media stars, and hundreds of thousands of walkers and pilgrims.

In this two-week study tour, participants will walk the route, and meet each day for lectures and discussion of the medieval and pre-modern monuments along the route. The group will meet periodically during the spring 2008 semester to discuss reading assignments and prepare for the walk. A journal is required at the end of the course.

See below for further course descriptions and requirements. See also the appended “Statement of Responsibility and Disclosure.”

Pre-Departure and Post-Return Requirements

Pre-Departure: participants will meet for two hours each month at Fordham from January to May 2010 to discuss assigned readings, make presentations on sites and readings, and make travel arrangements. In addition, as preparation participants will be expected to go on several walks of at least 12 miles in the NY area during the spring.

Post-Return: participants will submit a journal by 26 June 2010 on their analysis and assessment of the historical context, the relation of the experience to their readings, and the contemporary Camino.

Method of Evaluation

Journal (report submitted on 26 June after the study tour)….......40%
Discussion in meetings (before and during the study tour)…..…30%
Presentations (before and during the study tour)..........................30%


William Melczer, The Pilgrim's Guide to Santiago de Compostela (1993) [translation of Bk 5 of the Codex calixtinus]

Nancy Louise Frey, Pilgrim Stories: On and Off the Road to Santiago, Journeys Along an Ancient Way in Modern Spain (1998)

Additional bibliography will be assigned for reports during the spring semester.


Although the historical context supplies the content of this course, much of the experience will be about walking and self-reliance. Participants will need to be prepared and fit. Good shoes or boots, well used and broken in, and a semester-long record of regular walking will be expected of everyone. Although the instructor will book accommodations in advance. Each participant is responsible for finding their way from place to place, plus meals, coursework, and the experience of the Camino.

There are many ways walkers can make themselves miserable, or worse, but remember also that as many as 75,000 pilgrims/walkers will walk the Camino this year (there will probably be 50-100 pilgrims/walkers staying each night in the same towns along the way), and with a little care and preparation, they can all share an unusual and fulfilling experience.


Each destination along the way will have most of the amenities, and at no time does the Camino stray far from villages or major roads, so the gear does not need to be comprehensive. In fact, the lighter the better, because you will be walking five to ten hours each day. Everyone needs good shoes or boots, a light sleeping bag (hostels do not have sheets or blankets), a light backpack, a couple of changes of clothes, water bottles, a hat, sunscreen, etc. The whole kit should not be more than 22 lbs.


We will be staying in private hostels and small hotels along the way. The accommodations are usually dormitory-style. Most do not provide blankets, so a light sleeping bag is required. Course fees will cover the cost of accommodation.


Students will be responsible for their own meals. Groceries are available in most villages for breakfasts, breaks and lunches, and bars along the route supply reasonable breakfasts and lunches. For the evening meal, many hostels have kitchens for preparing food, and almost every village has very reasonable (though basic) restaurants with a “pilgrim’s menu” (bread, first course of pasta or vegetables, second course of meat or fish or eggs, etc., dessert, water, wine, for 7-10 Euros [$9-12]).


In case of blisters, fatigue, heat or emergency, all points on the route are close to taxis or intercity buses; almost everywhere has cell-phone coverage. We will lease several cell phones for the group, and many other walkers along the Camino will also be carrying cell phones.


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Last modified: August 31, 2009
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