Study Tour: Medieval Spain

Camino 2020 Group

Fordham's 2020 Camino class arrives in Santiago.

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 spring course, two-week study tour, and interdisciplinary capstone, 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 semester to discuss reading assignments, make presentations and prepare for the walk. A final project is required at the end of the course.

Fordham College students may gain four credits for this course and may apply the credits earned for this course (MVST 4998) to meet the ICC requirement, EP3 requirement, as a free elective (no matter what their major), or toward majors/minors in Medieval Studies, History, Latin American and Latino Studies, and American Catholic Studies.

Eligibility requires that students be full-time and registered during the spring semester. Participation in this study tour can then be added to their schedules for a total not exceeding 18 credits without further tuition charges.

For information, please contact Dr. M. Christina Bruno ([email protected]); FMH 405B, telephone: 718-817-4656.

View May 2017 article in Fordham News: "The Camino as a Classroom, One Last Time"

View the October 2017 post in English Connect: "Fordham Students Experience the Camino"

  • Course Fees and Payment Information
    The course fee ($1300.00 total cost as of Spring 2020) covers includes insurance, entrance fees for museums and field trips and hotel/hostel accommodation while on the Camino.

    The course fee DOES NOT INCLUDE tuition, airfare, hostel/hotel accommodation in Spain before or after the tour, meals, ground transportation. (Note that tuition is already covered for fulltime students.)

    Expenses will vary, but personal expenses on the tour will be about $600; i.e., $320 for meals (16 days @ $20 p.d.) and a similar amount for incidentals. Expenses before and after the course will include airfare ($700-1000), transport to Leon and from Santiago (about $75), and daily costs before and after the trip (at least $150 p.d. in Madrid or other major cities). A personal “out of pocket” budget of at least $1300 can be expected (in addition to the course fee). ATMs are available along much of the route.

    The Study Abroad Office manages payments and course fees, as well as the final application process. Please visit the Study Abroad Portal for up-to-date prices and deadlines.

    About the Walk

    People of all ages and physical conditions have walked the Camino de Santiago, and anyone in average shape should be able to complete it. Some parts of the route can be demanding, with passage through occasionally mountainous terrain. This indeed is part of the attraction for many. Students should, however, contact their physicians at least three months prior to travel. All questions about medical advice should be addressed to your physician. Students and families should be assured that Spain has an advanced and extensive medical care system, and professionally staffed clinics are available in most towns and cities along the route and throughout the country.

    Participants will also meet regularly during the semester to walk in preparation. Each participant will need to sign up for at least 2 weekend walks (either to City Island, about 12 miles total, or from the Lincoln Center Campus to Rose Hill along the Hudson River, about 13 miles total).

  • The course meets every other week during the Spring semester for discussions and lectures on medieval pilgrimage and religion, modern experiences of pilgrimage, and practical matters relating to the walk. The Study Tour portion of the course begins the Wednesday following University Commencement, and lasts 17 days. The final project must be submitted by Fordham College’s deadline for changing grades of Incomplete, usually about 1 week following arrival in Santiago.

    Day 1

    • Arrive in Spain: each participant will be responsible for their own travel arrangements (air to Madrid, rail or bus to León.)
    • Group dinner in León.

    Day 2

    • León: orientation; city tour; Gothic Cathedral, Collegiate church of San Isidòro; museums; romanesque frescoes in the Panteón de los Reyes.

    Day 3

    • Walk 25 km (6 hr)
    • Hospital de Órbigo
    • 13th-century bridge, site of the 1434 paso honroso (tournament)

    Day 4

    • Walk 25km (6 hr)
    • Astorga: Roman mosaics and city walls, baroque cathedral, episcopal palace designed by Antoni Gaudí.

    Day 5

    • Walk 20.6 km (5 hr)
    • Rabanal del Camino
    • Vespers in Rabanal

    Day 6

    • Walk 26 km (6 hr)
    • Molinaseca: medieval town, romanesque buildings.
    • Monte Irago (Cruz de hierro/Cruz de ferro at 1504m. alt.)

    Day 7

    • Walk 7 km (2 hr)
    • Ponferrada
    • Templar castle
    • Bus trip to Roman mines at Las Médulas

    Day 8

    • Walk 22.5 km (5 hr 30 min)
    • Villafranca del Bierzo: Church of Santiago, San Francisco and Santa María, “calle del Agua,” castle of the Marquis, valley of El Bierzo.

    Day 9

    • Walk 30 km (8 hr 30 min)
    • La Laguna

    Day 10

    • Walk 20.5 km (5 hr)
    • Visit the village of O Cebreiro and the 12th-century “holy Grail” in the pre-romanesque church of O Cebreiro
    • Triacastela

    Day 11

    • Walk 17.5 km (4 hr 30 min)
    • Sarria: churches of San Salvador, 13th-century towers and walls, gothic convent of the Magdalena.
    • Monastery of Samos

    Day 12

    • Walk 22.5 km (5 hr 45 min)
    • Portomarín: romanesque churches of San Nicolás and San Pedro, 17th-century palace of Berbetoros, 16th-century comital house.
    • Church of Barbadelo, sculptured tympanum

    Day 13

    • Walk 24.5 km (6 hr 30 min)
    • Palas de Rei: church of San Tirso, medieval houses.

    Day 14

    • Walk 14.8 km (3 hr 45 min)
    • Melide /Mellid: 14th-century church of Sancti Spiritu, romanesque church of Santa María de Melide, pulpo at Exequiel!

    Day 15

    • Walk 32.4 km (8 hr)
    • O Pedrouzo (Arca-Rua)

    Day 16

    • Walk 20.1 km (5 hr)
    • Arrive in Santiago!

    Day 17

    • Santiago: romanesque cathedral (Portico de la Gloria) and museum, city streets.
    • Pilgrims’ mass at noon
    • Tour of the city
    • Closing Dinner
    • End of the study tour

    Day 18

    • Return: each participant is responsible for their own return arrangements; air or train from Santiago to Madrid.


    • Essays due (may be submitted as email attachments) by FCRH/FCLC for removal of INC/NGR/ABS grades (usually 7-10 days after completion of Camino)
  • Syllabus for Study Tour: Medieval Spain (Walking the Camino de Santiago) 2020

  • See blogs and digital projects from past Camino classes here!