Santiago de Compostella pilgrim's knife Direct from France
The St James scallop shell is the emblem of pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Saint James' Path Pilgrims used to pick scallops shells on the beaches of Galicia and bring them home, as token of a wish come true or as a souvenir. Pilgrims nowadays hang one on their back-pack or bicycle handlebars. And now, the shell of St James is on our Pilgrim's Knife. The shell is obtained by cold forging. A concave die is engraved and used to hammer the scallop into the cold metal. The scallop is then de-burred, polished and inserted into the knife handle. Around 1161, the Order of Santiago is created, associating the chivalrous ideal with the cult of Saint James. Over the centuries, Saint James is increasingly honoured, until, during the Middle-Ages, Christendom as a whole reveres him. Pilgrims come from throughout Europe, following, depending on their origin or choice, one of the four principal French routes leading to Santiago: - la Via Turonensis, from Paris to Ostabat, through Tours, Poitiers, Saintes and Bordeaux; - la Via Lemovicensis, from Vèzelay to Ostabat, through Bourges, Châteauroux, St-Léonard de Noblat, Limoges and Périgueux; - la Via Podensis, from Le Puy to Ostabat, through Conques, Cahors, Lectoure, Condom, Eauze and Moissac; - la Via Tolosana, from Arles, through Saint-Gilles, Lunel, Montpellier, St-Guilhem le Désert, Lodève, Castres, Toulouse, Auch and Oloron Sainte-Marie. Or close by, from Montpellier, through Carcassonne, Saint-Girons, Saint-Gaudens, Capvern and St-Pé de Bigorre. The most common path then going from Puente-la-Reina to St-Jacques is called the camino francès, the French way.