The Credencial or Pilgrim’s Passport
The Credencial is a kind of Pilgrim license, which has its origins in the introduction letters that Kings, clerics and authorities granted as an accreditation or safe-conduct to those who made the pilgrimage to Compostela from all parts of Europe. Having this, the pilgrim was under protection and was exempted from paying taxes. The Credencial is delivered exclusively (personally) to those who made the way on foot, by bike or horse. This document is accomplished instantaneously through the Association of Friends of the St James’ Way, Parishes or Brotherhood or in the place where the pilgrimage begins. It allows, although not entitle, the access to hostels, where the pilgrims have to seal the credencial as an evidence of their stay. It also offers special discounts at certain museums, leisure centers and monasteries along the Way. All those pilgrims who have completed at least 100 kilometers on foot or by horse, or 200 by bike, will be granted with a document that certifies the pilgrimage made in the Cathedral of Santiago, on behalf of the Cathedral Chapter and the Pilgrim Office, called “Compostela” (located near the Cathedral of Santiago, at the junction of Rúa del Villar with Plaza de Platerías).