I know that Tiago is the name of the son of the opera singer Anna Netrebko. However, what I did not know: Tiago is the Spanish name for James. Thus, Santiago or San Tiago means Saint James.

Who was this saint? This question is forced upon oneself if – as have we for some days – one is on one’s way on the Way of St. James through Northern Spain.

Allegedly, James was the son of Mary Salome, who accompanied Mary Magdalene through Southern Spain. If her son James accompanied them as well, we probably will never know. He is supposed to have been tortured to death in Jerusalem in 44 AD, but he could have travelled with his mother and the entourage of Mary Magdalene to Southwest Europe as well and finally been buried in Santiago de Compostela.

However, the official version says that his mortal remains were translated from the Holy Land to Santiago de Compostela by King Alfonso II. in order to give Spain a high-ranking pilgrimage site – next to Jerusalem and Rome. According to another legend, mysterious light phenomena of the stars showed the hermit Pelagio the way to a field, where he discovered the remains of the apostle James. To this miracle the town owes its euphonious name, because Santiago de Compostela means St. James of the field of stars.

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