Camino de Santiago – Places Names as Border Posts in Collective Memory (I)

Ion Nicolae
2010 Human Geographies: Journal of Studies and Research in Human Geography  
An important subject of interest for human geographers has been, since at least Friedrich Ratzel's time, the link between geographical reality and the place-names. These 'fossils of human geography' (cf. Raoul Blanchard) have become nowadays increasingly attractive for the cultural geographers interested, among other issues, in explaning the impact of some political actions (for instance giving names with political connotations to different places, especially streets and other public places) on
more » ... the collective memory. Authors' pedestrian trip (of almost 800 km) through the northern Spain along the St. James' Way has been both, an experience, of meeting special people from all around the world and, an opportunity to discover the Spanish 'place names envelope' – at home. In addition it created the right occasion for the author to reflect on the impact of recent law on 'Historic Memory' (La Ley de la Memoria Historica) of the street names. This paper analyses the places names and the street names of some settlements of St James' Way (Camino de Santiago) emphasysing the sources of places names (historical, natural, economical, religious ones) and the actions of the local authorities to implement the central decisions in the field of street names. There are used limited amount of examples as the work is at its beginning.
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