The world’s first tourist-guide will go on a tour next year
A year ago one of the most valuable manuscripts in the care of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the Codex Calixtinus was stolen. Luckily the manuscript was found unharmed almost a year later. For the last few weeks it has been exhibited at the Palacio de Gelmírez (the Cathedral Museum); at the end of September it will be exchanged with a facsimile.
The book is also known as the Liber Sancti Jacobi and contains descriptions of the pilgrim route to follow, works of art, which may be seen on the camino and tidbits about the customs of the locals. Apart from that it includes sermons, reports of miracles, liturgical texts and not least very early polyphonic musical pieces. The curious bits of advice about poisonous streams and lousy food along the pilgrims’ path has at some point produced the epithet: the world’s first tourist-guide.
To celebrate the return of the manuscript – and supposedly garner some tourist income from the PR, which the theft created as a side-effect – the government of Galicia has decided to create a traveling exhibition to tell the story about the manuscript and the context in which it was produced: the mentality and the culture of Santiago in the 12th century. The traveling exhibition will showcase a facsimile as well as virtual reconstructions of the cathedral and its interior at that time.
The travelling exhibition will be an extension of a current exhibition at the Palacio de Gelmírez, where the Codex is currently exhibited after its relocation from the garage, where the thief had hidden it. Another inspiration is the current exhibition at the Museo das Peregrinacións , which tells the story of Santiago in the 13th century using virtual reconstructions plus another exhibition at the e Museo de la Ciudad de la Cultura, which in the near future will showcase 12 famous manuscripts. Normally they reside in the treasuries of the Galician Cathedrals, but will for the first time be shown together. Exactly when this exhibition is scheduled to open is not as yet known as some of the precious manuscripts are currently being restored, but late September or beginning of October has been mentioned.
See reproductions at a dedicated blog: Codexcalixtinusfacsimil.com