One of the most famous pilgrim route in the world - St. James's Way - winds through Cēsis. The route symbol is the shell. To symbolically mark the route in the city, bronze shells have been placed near the Cēsis St. John's Church and on the stair railings of the Cēsis Castle Park stairs. The author of the bronze shells is the sculptor Matiass Jansons.
St. John's Church in Cēsis is one of the main stop points, therefore one shell is located at the entrance to the church. When visiting the church, pay attention to the entrance arch, because on its left side on ground level you will find one of the bronze shells. The second bronze shell is located on the handrail of the stairs of Cēsis Castle Park. Part of route winds through the park of Cēsis Castle and goes up the stairs of the park. Be careful on the way, because the bronze shell is placed on the right side of the railing of stairs.
St. James Way in Cēsis region winds along the Gauja, in the direction from Valmiera to Liepa, including the Līču-Lanģu cliffs. Further, the route leads to Cēsis and Cīrulīši nature trails. Further on, the trail goes towards Līgatne through the surroundings of Amata county, allowing the traveler to enjoy the beautiful nature of the Gauja National Park.
During the archaeological excavations, a symbol of this travel path - a shell was found under one of the church windows. Its age dated between the 13th and 16th centuries. This archaeological find is a historical and unique, and well-preserved symbol of the Way of Holiness. To honor this find, at year 2019 a new stained glass window has been created in the upper case of the church window depicting the shell.
St. James Way is one of the most popular pilgrimage routes in the world. The destination of this travel is St. Jacob's Cathedral located in Santiago de Compostela – the city in the north of Spain. Interested people who want to record the travel made can mark it in the pilgrim passport with a special stamp. The passport is now also available at Cēsis Tourism Information Center.
The route has been created in collaboration with the Latvian Association of St. James Way. It aims to continue the road of the program of Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe “Camino de Santiago” basing on the principles of Humanism, Freedom, and Justice of the Declaration of the European Union of the year 1987 that historically unite the cultures of the countries of European Union.