The Croatian confraternity of St. James and Imota Tourist board organized a “Caimino Imota” event, presenting a new addition to the European Ways of St.James – Camino de Santiago. The event featured a photo exhibition, panel discussion “Camino pilgrimage in the 21st century”, and the first organised pilgrimage on the new section of the Camino route in Croatia. Croatian Camino is a part of European network of pilgrimage routes, protected by UNESCO and Council of Europe, and leading to Santiago de Compostela in Spain that over 1,5 million people walk every year. This event held at Imotski region, Croatia had over 100 participants from 9 countries, braving temperatures close to 40°C.
The organized pilgrimage on the Camino Imota pilgrimage route took about 3 days and it was 75 km long. It started at Cista Velika at the church of St. James, continuing through Lovreć, Proložac and Imotski. The route passed along ancient churches, Roman ruins, picturesque stone villages, and spectacular natural scenery that reminded a lot of pilgrims on the Camino route in Spain.
The panel discussion “Camino pilgrimage in the 21st century” included representatives from Camino associations in Ireland, UK, Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Slovenia as well as prof. Piotr Roszak from University of Turon, Poland and Fr. Daniel Fernadez, a missionary on the Camino, at Sahagun, Spain.
Featured topics included the following:
● What attracts the secular world, atheists as well as different religious denominations on the pilgrimage to the Catholic saint
● How to provide practical spiritual help to Camino pilgrims
● Economic impact of the Camino pilgrimage and its role in sustainable tourism development.
“While pilgrims’ infrastructure, road markers, cultural and natural heritage are all important, the personal interaction between the pilgrims as well as their hosts is definitely the most important part of the Camino experience. It was fascinating to see how the local population embraced the first pilgrims on the Camino Imota route, offering shelter, food and water.
There is a reason why an inscription near the cathedral in Santiago states. Europe was born on the pilgrimage routes to Santiago” said Zorana Mlikota, vice-chairman of the Croatian Confraternity of St. James.
All pilgrims who walked the Camino Imota route got uniquely designed stamps in their pilgrim passports as well as a special pilgrim certificate – Camino Imota Compostela. The Camino Imota route is now open to pilgrims year-round.
For more information just got to: https://caminocroatia.com/imota
Camino Imota was organized by the Imota Tourist board and its director Luka Kolovrat, with the support of the Croatian National Tourist Board and in cooperation with the Croatian Confraternity of St. James, which inherits the tradition of Croatian Confraternities that have been helping pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela since 1203. The Croatian Confraternity is also a member of Archconfraternity of Santiago, a central institution that gathers Camino associations worldwide.