Art and the Pilgrimage: The Way of Santiago de Compostela


June 8 – 19
3 Undergraduate Art History Credits
Course number: IPD-3409-A
Tuition: $3,300

Faculty: Fatemeh Chwalkowski

This course will explore the art history, architecture and culture around the Camino de Santiago (in English: the way of St. James), the most foundational pilgrimage experience in Europe The Camino takes travelers to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, where legend has it that the remains of Jesus’s apostle, Saint James the Elder, lie. The Camino has existed as a Christian pilgrimage for well over 1,000 years (and there is evidence of a previous pre-Christian route). Throughout the medieval period it was one of the three most important Christian pilgrimages undertaken.

Students will meet in Madrid before joining the pilgrimage in Sarria. From there we will walk just over 100km to Santiago de Compostela, exploring and investigating local culture, art and architecture along the way. The final three nights will include museum and cultural site visits in Madrid. The course aims to investigate the relationships between religion, art, architecture and culture.

Please note:  Participants will meet twice in New York City—before and after the trip to Spain. Students are encouraged to travel light as they will be walking between 9 and 14 miles per day during the pilgrimage.

For more information, contact Dora Riomayor at