The Valdes Salas Foundation in the village of Salas in Asturias is a space in the third stage of the Camino Primitivo available for the pilgrims to rest, reflect and learn about the history and culture around the Origin of the Way of Saint James.
The Foundation is located inside the Castillo Valdes Salas. Here the pilgrims can enjoy free of charge, two reading rooms, a library including books of Spanish Golden Age and a magnificent collection of world maps facsimiles ranging from the discovery of the tomb of St. James in the s. IX until the middle of s. XV.
The Valdes Salas Foundation announced in 2014 the first edition of the “Alfonso II” Award for the Diaries of the Primitive Pilgrim Route (Camino Primitivo) to Santiago.
The aim of this award is both to encourage and recognize the records made by pilgrims of their experience on the Primitive Pilgrim Route to Santiago, which has its origins – both historical and geographical – in Asturias.
The organizing body aims to encourage and recognize annually the best Pilgrim’s Diary, focusing on descriptions of the enjoyment of nature and the overcoming of adversity, the pilgrim’s reflections and notes on culture and tradition and, finally, the personal enrichment that the journey has brought to the pilgrim. Likewise, the award seeks to recognize the presence of the ancestral trails by means of which travelers from around the Old Continent moved through the villages, valleys and mountain passes of the Principality of Asturias, as a symbol of belonging to Europe and of the hospitality offered by Asturias to travelers from all latitudes.
In parallel, and with similar aims and criteria, the Foundation has established a digital photography contest.
In 2015, the Pilgrim’s Diary winner was Mr. Yves Oustric, from Escalquens (Haute Garonne, France) for “Le Camino Primitivo. L’ autre chemin de Compostelle. Journal d’un pèlerin du XXI siècle d’Oviedo à Santiago”, and the Photography winner was Mr. Harley Anderegg from Switzerland for a photography taked in Buspol watching the descent to the dam of Grandas de Salime.
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