Study Tour: Medieval Spain

camino16group

The peregrinos of summer 2016 celebrate their arrival in Santiago de Compostela!

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 2017 semester to discuss reading assignments, make presentations and prepare for the walk. An essay 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 core interdisciplinary capstone 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 2017 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. David Myers (dmyers@fordham.edu): Dealy 631, telephone: 718-817-3932 / 646-719-0417.

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


Introducing: 

Mapping the Camino: The Student's Guide to the Camino de Santiago

An interactive map, guidebook, and student blog for Fordham's annual study tour in Spain. 

Basic Information

Description
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 2017 semester to discuss reading assignments, make presentations and prepare for the walk. An essay is required at the end of the course.

Course Credit
Fordham College students may gain four credits for this course and may apply the credits earned for this course (MVST 4998) to meet the core interdisciplinary capstone requirement, or 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 2017 semester. Participation in this study tour can then be added to their schedules for a total not exceeding 18 credits without further tuition charges.

Texts

  1. William Melczer, The Pilgrim's Guide to Santiago de Compostela (1993) [translation of Bk 5 of the Codex calixtinus]
  2. Nancy Louise Frey, Pilgrim Stories: On and Off the Road to Santiago, Journeys Along an Ancient Way in Modern Spain (1998)
  3. David M. Gitlitz and Linda Kay Davidson, The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook (2000)

Major Paper Format
An essay, journal or reflection concentrating on analysis and assessment of the historical context, the relation of the experience to the readings, and the contemporary Camino; due no later than 20 June 2017.

Grading
Major paper (40%); discussion in class meetings (before and during the study tour; 30%); presentations in class meetings before and during the study tour (30%).

Course Fees and Payment Information
The course fee ($1000.00 total cost) 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.

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.

The Study Abroad Office manages payments and course fees, as well as the final application process. Please visit the Study Abroad Portal.

Payment schedule: $300 due 1 February 2017: balance due 1 April 2017, along with a copy of the student’s passport.

Cancellation policy: $100 charge per person at any time after signing the agreement. Cancellations after 15 April 2017 will only be refunded at 50% of the tour price. Cancellations after 15 May 2017 will forfeit 100% of the tour price.

Sample Itinerary

January

  • Orientation meeting (2 hours): (1) Presentation on the Camino de Santiago, Past and Present; (2) Discussion of Nancy Louise Frey, Pilgrim Stories: On and Off the Road to Santiago, Journeys Along an Ancient Way in Modern Spain (1998---ISBN: 0520210840; BX2321.S3 F74 1998).
  • 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).

February

  • Past and Present: Reports on web accounts of at least two modern pilgrims: who? where? when? how? and any special points that you would like to emphasize. How have the historical destination and remains shaped the modern experience?
  • Movie night: watch “The Way” (2010) directed by Emilio Estevez and starring Martin Sheen. Loosely based on the course text, Hitt, Off the Road (2005 [1994])

March

  • History and Legend: Discussion of the reading from the Codex calixtinus (William Melczer, The Pilgrim's Guide to Santiago de Compostela [1993]), and other assigned medieval legends. The account in the Codex calixtinus is a travelogue without much narrative, but we can ask how it compares to contemporary accounts like those on the web, and more significantly what it reveals about medieval expectations and values. What were the interests expressed in the account? How was the author presenting distance, time and the world around him?

April

  • Setting and Context (I): Presentations of the sites and monuments along the way. See especially David M. Gitlitz and Linda Kay Davidson, The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook (2000), with further bibliography.
  • Each participant will be responsible for two sites, one we will be walking through, and one from other parts of the medieval pilgrimage routes. For each of the sites, be prepared to hand out a page or two of outline information, and then use the Web (or you can copy the images in advance and show them via Powerpoint) to illustrate in the history, legends, main features, must-see items, and significance of your site. For instance, for Castrojeriz (on any earlier stage of the route), the references to the church of Santa Maria del Manzano in Alfonso X's Cantigas de Santa Maria, and the history of the castle on the hill are the starting points.
  • On the camino itself, you will be responsible for your town as the resource person and guide (though we'll all work together on that), so imagine this presentation as the basis for the real-time, real-life consideration. In addition, on the camino you will be responsible for the class blog entry for your day.

May

  • Setting and Context (II): Continued presentations of the sites and monuments. For the rest of the class, I would like to review preparations for the walk.

24 May

  • travel to Spain: each participant will be responsible for their own travel arrangements; usually air to Madrid, rail or air to León
  • León: arrive
  • Dinner

25 May

  • León: orientation, tour city, gothic cathedral, s. xiii, Collegiate church of San Isidoro, museum, romanesque frescoes in the Panteón de los Reyes.

26 May

  • San Martin del Camino
  • walk 25 km (6 hr)
  • meeting/lecture
  • landscape (meseta, Páramo, adobe construction)

27 May

  • Astorga: Roman mosaics and city walls, renaissance cathedral, episcopal palace (Gaudí).
  • walk via Hospital de Órbigo, 25 km
  • meeting/lecture at Hospital de Órbigo
  • Hospital de Órbigo
  • 13th-century bridge, site of the 1434 paso honroso (tournament)

28 May

  • Rabanal del Camino
  • walk 20.6 km (5 hr)
  • meeting/lecture
  • medieval towns of the Maragatería
  • vespers in Rabanal

29 May

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

30 May

  • Ponferrada
  • walk 7 km (2 hr)
  • tour of Ponferrada
  • Templar castle

31 May

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

01 June

  • O Cebreiro
  • walk 30 km (8 hr 30 min)
  • meeting/lecture
  • the village of O Cebreiro
  • the 12th-century “holy Grail” in the pre-romanesque church of O Cebreiro

02 June

  • Triacastela
  • walk 20.5 km (5 hr)
  • meeting/lecture
  • landscape (the view over Galicia)

03 June

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

04 June

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

05 June

  • Palas de Rei: church of San Tirso, medieval houses.
  • walk 24.5 km (6 hr 30 min)
  • meeting/lecture
  • houses of Ligonde
  • church of Eirexe

06 June

  • Melide /Mellid: 14th-century church of Sancti Spiritu, romanesque church of Santa María de Melide, pulpo at Exequiel!
  • walk 14.8 km (3 hr 45 min)
  • meeting/lecture
  • 14th-century castle of Pambre
  • town of Leboreiro
  • romanesque bridge of Furelos

07 June

  • Pedrouzo (Arca-Rua)
  • walk 32.4 km (8 hr)
  • meeting/lecture
  • village of Boente
  • Arzúa, church of Santiago

08-09 June

  • Santiago: romanesque cathedral (Portico de la Gloria) and museum, city streets.
  • walk 20.1 km (5 hr)
  • pilgrims’ mass at noon
  • tour of the city
  • dinner at El Gato Negro
  • end of the study tour

10 June

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

20 June

  • Essays due (may be submitted as email attachments).

Syllabus

Blogs from Past Tours