New Google Service Allows Virtual Pilgrimage
| by IANS |
Internet users can now take a virtual pilgrimage in Spain thanks to Google's Street View service.
The virtual re-creation of the "Road to Santiago", one of the most famous pilgrimage routes in Europe, is one of the features of the service, which also showcases the Alhambra in Granada, the Toledo Cathedral, the aqueduct in Segovia, the mosque in Cordoba and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
Pilgrims have travelled the route to Santiago de Compostela, a city in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia that is home to the Shrine of St. James, since the ninth century.
The list of Spanish monuments on Google Street View Spain was unveiled Tuesday in Santiago de Compostela by Galician regional government President Alberto Nunez Feijoo and several Google Spain executives.
Users of Google Street View can see the roads, highways, streets, restaurants, hotels and colourful places along the Road to Santiago from Auritz, a town in the northern province of Navarre, to Finisterre, a point in Galicia that means "land's end" in Latin.
Virtual pilgrims and tourists are able to travel through Pamplona, Estella, Logrono, Najera, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Astorga, Ponferrada and Santiago de Compostela.
Tourists and pilgrims can use the virtual map to plan trips along the Way of St. James, identifying points of interest, as well as hotels and restaurants.
Google's showcasing of Galicia and the Camino de Santiago will make the route "a tras-national phenomenon," Nunez Feijoo said.
The legend of Santiago de Compostela dates back more than 2,000 years to when, according to Christian tradition, St. James the Apostle was beheaded in Jerusalem on King Herod's orders and his disciples brought his remains to Galicia.
Centuries later, a cathedral was built atop the saint's grave, becoming one of the top destinations of Christian pilgrims.
The Road to Santiago was awarded the 2004 Prince of Asturias Concord Prize in recognition of its contributions to the building of Europe and the development of European identity across the centuries.
The Road to Santiago has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
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