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更新时间:2019/5/15 21:25:05 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The Camino de Santiago's ancient secret

A simple bronze walking boot sits on a rock overlooking the immense vastness of the Atlantic Ocean. There is no plaque, but the message is manifest. This is the end of the road.


It is also ‘the end of the world’.


The snaking routes of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage convene at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the capital of north-west Spain’s Galicia region and the alleged burial site of St James. For more than 1,000 years, people have made their way along these paths to pay homage to the apostle, but for a small number of travellers who arrive in the hallowed city, the journey isn’t yet complete.

蜿蜒曲折的朝圣之路(Camino de Santiago)以圣地亚哥大教堂为终点,圣地亚哥德孔波斯特拉(Santiago de Compostela)是西班牙西北部加利西亚地区(Galicia)的首府,据称是圣詹姆斯(St James)的埋葬地。一千多年来,人们在这条路上徒步朝圣,向使徒致敬,但是对于一小部分来到圣城的旅行者来说,这段旅程还没有结束。

From the city’s main square, another, lesser-known path creeps west. The cathedral spires fade into the distance as the trail leaves the city and continues for 90km to the raging beast that is the Atlantic Ocean – and Cape Finisterre. Taken from the Latin words finis, meaning ‘end’, and terra meaning ‘Earth’, this windswept corner of Spain has a spiritual history stretching back more than four millennia.

从城市的中央广场出发,沿着另一条鲜为人知的小路向西走,你会发现大教堂的尖顶逐渐消失在远处。沿着这条远离城市的小径走90公里便能到达菲尼斯特雷角,那里大西洋如野兽般狂怒。菲尼斯特雷角的英文名为“Cape Finisterre”,源自拉丁语,意为“地球的尽头”。这个被狂风吹拂的西班牙角落已有4000多年的文明史。

Geographically speaking, Cape Finisterre is of course not the end of the world – nor even the most westerly point of mainland Europe as is sometimes claimed (Cape Roca in Portugal holds this distinction). But Cape Finisterre is an area whose mythical pull has drawn travellers since the time of antiquity. Pilgrims were brought here by religion, by adventure or simply to stand at the edge of the then-known world and stare out at the Mare Tenebrosum, the Sea of Darkness.

从地理上讲,菲尼斯特雷角当然不是世界的尽头,甚至连欧洲大陆最西端也不是,欧洲大陆最西端为葡萄牙的罗卡角(Cape Roca)。但自古以来,菲尼斯特雷角的神秘气质吸引了众多游客。慕名前来的朝圣者出于宗教信仰,或是为了冒险,又或者仅仅是为了站在已知世界的边缘,凝视黑暗之海——特内布罗姆海(Mare Tenebrosum)。

Since 1500, this stretch of coastline, forebodingly known to locals as Costa da Morte, or Coast of Death, has witnessed numerous major shipwrecks. The weather can be violently unpredictable, with merciless rocky outcrops to match. Spain’s worst ecological disaster began here on 13 November 2002, when the oil tanker Prestige was caught in a storm off the coast of Finisterre and sank a week later.

自1500年以来,这片海岸线见证了无数次重大的沉船事故,当地人称它为死亡海岸(Costa da Morte)。海上的天气难以预测,还有破坏性极强的暗礁。2002年11月13日,西班牙发生了史上最严重的生态灾难,“普雷斯蒂奇号”(Prestige)油轮在菲尼斯特雷海岸遭遇风暴,并于一周后沉没。

The small town of Fisterra sits above a south-facing promontory, Monte Facho, a gentle hill with commanding views around it. Fisterra is like many other towns on this stretch of coast; wrapped around a quaint fishing port with a long beach curling east, away from the ocean. In truth, it is far from the rip-roaring, ‘end-of-the world’ town you might imagine.

菲斯特拉小镇(Fisterra)坐落在一个名为法霍山(Monte Facho)的海角上。法霍山是一座朝南的平缓山丘,四周景色怡人。和这片海岸上的许多城镇一样,它环绕着一个历史悠远的渔港,长长的海滩向东扩展,远离大海。事实上,它可能与你想象中的那种喧嚣的“世界末日”小镇大不相同。

The Romans named those who lived here Gallaeci – Celts – because their light skin and fair hair resembled that of the tribes in Gaul – now France. The Gallaeci were animists, meaning they held strong beliefs that everything in the physical world, be it the sun, stars, rocks, trees or water, all possessed a spiritual entity. “There is a significance about rocks and water coming together, because they are of course both non-negotiable, and there’s a deep human emotion connected with these natural elements,” said Colin Jones, chairman of the Confraternity of St James, an organisation specialising in information on the Camino de Santiago.

罗马人称小镇居民为“加来西”(Gallaeci),即凯尔特人(Celts),因为他们浅色的皮肤和头发就像高卢人(高卢既现在的法国)。加来西人相信“万物有灵”,他们认为物质世界的一切,无论是太阳、星星、岩石、树木还是水,都有灵魂。专门研究朝圣之路的圣詹姆斯协会(Confraternity of St James)主席琼斯(Colin Jones)表示:“岩石和水共存是别有含义的,因为这两者如此不相容。人类与这些自然元素有深厚的情感。” 

The densely forested Monte Facho, criss-crossed by small trails, rises to a height of nearly 240m. Its eastern face gently rolls down into the town, while the western flank plummets dramatically into the Atlantic Ocean. Nestled in the undergrowth on the eastern side, overlooking the harbour, lie the ruins of the San Guillermo Hermitage. It was at this same spot that the conquering Romans first set eyes on a simple stone temple built by the Gallaeci to honour the sun – the Ara Solis – consisting of four granite columns and a slender dome above, as described by Galician historian Benito Vicetto. Sadly, nothing remains today of the Ara Solis, which is believed to have been a place of pagan sun worship.

丛林密布的法霍山高240米,纵横交错的小路分布其中。山的东侧缓缓与小镇相连,而西侧则急插入大西洋。小镇坐落在东面的灌木丛中,俯瞰港口,圣吉列尔莫修道院(San Guillermo Hermitage)的废墟坐落于此。正如加利西亚历史学家维切托(Benito Vicetto)所描述的那样,征服欧洲的罗马人在这里第一次看到了加来西人为敬拜太阳而建造的一座简单的石头神庙——阿拉索利斯神庙(Ara Solis)。这座神庙由四根花岗岩柱子和一个细长的圆顶组成。遗憾的是,这座被认为是异教徒祭拜太阳的神庙已不复存在。

For the Romans, the Ara Solis, situated at what they considered the end of the known world and facing the setting sun each evening, must have been a captivating and enigmatic sight.


Word of the untamed land at the end of the world began to spread through the Roman Empire and beyond, and travellers began making their way to Cape Finisterre to see the site for themselves. It was described in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History written in 77 AD, and by Ptolemy in his Geographia in 150 AD, who initially used the names Nerium or Promunturium Celticum, meaning Celtic Promontory.

世界尽头有片处女地的消息在罗马帝国乃至更远方传播开来,旅行者们决定亲自前往菲尼斯特雷一睹美景。老普林尼(Pliny the Elder)在公元77年的《自然史》(Natural History)中描述了这一现象,托勒密(Ptolemy)在公元150年所著的《地理学》(Geographia)中也描述了这一现象,并且第一次使用了Nerium或Promunturium Celticum一词,意思是凯尔特海角。

The rise of Christianity, especially during the 3rd and 4th Centuries AD, would prove at odds with animist beliefs. St James himself was said to have demolished the Ara Solis. It’s a fanciful story, and unfortunately one that is impossible to substantiate. In the 7th or 8th Century, the hermitage was built by a medieval traveller on the same spot.


The earliest recorded pilgrim visit to Santiago de Compostela came in the 9th Century, and numbers began to increase dramatically during the Middle Ages as Christianity spread through the Iberian Peninsula. During this period, sites of great religious significance, such as the supposed resting place of St James, gained enormous popularity, as did the routes leading to them. There is much debate as to how many pilgrims continued on to see the sunset at the end of the Earth in medieval times, but by the mid-20th Century the path to Finisterre was all but forgotten. Only with the upsurge in popularity of the Camino de Santiago during the 1980s and ‘90s did people begin to appear in Finisterre again, drawn there by its mythical beauty.


The final few kilometres of the Finisterre section of the Camino de Santiago wind along the coast, ending at the lighthouse at Monte Facho’s southern tip where the bronze boot is. For those who have walked from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port in south-west France – the traditional beginning of the French Way, the Camino’s most popular route – these are the final steps of an 870km journey.


A symbolic distance marker showing 0.0km sits just north of the lighthouse, behind which lies a wide craggy area that descends almost like a natural amphitheatre before plunging off the edge. This is where pilgrims would burn an item of clothing as an act of re-birth. The practice is now banned, but a few scorched rocks remain. Instead, small pieces of clothing are sometimes tied to the bushes squeezed between the rocks.


If travellers from long ago did make their way to witness a sunset from the spot where the Ara Solis once stood, it’s likely that at the end of the day they pursued the climb to the summit of Monte Facho. Here, three rocky outcrops lie among a sea of thick, prickly plants. The furthest north is known as Piedras Santas, or Holy Stones, and is where, according to legend, the Virgin Mary is said to have rested after journeying to Finisterre to encourage St James in his apostolic duties.

如果历史上的旅行者真的在阿拉索利斯神庙遗址看过日落的话,那他们很可能是在一天结束的时候开始攀登法霍山的顶峰。山顶上有三块岩石从茂密多刺的植被中冒出头来。最北那一块被称为“圣石”(Piedras Santas),据传说,圣母玛利亚(Virgin Mary)曾到菲尼斯特雷鼓励圣詹姆斯履行使徒职责,并随后在这块石头附近休息。

The view from the Piedras Santas is wild and spectacular. The cliffs drop dizzyingly to the Atlantic stretching out to the horizon. The Romans believed this area to be the gateway to the afterlife and where the sun went each night to die.


“There isn’t the same overwhelming amount of distractions as in other places,” said Carlota Traba, whose father was born in the lighthouse, “you simply sit with the rocks, the water and the sunset – that’s the magic”.


“You can’t go any further emotionally, spiritually and physically,” Jones added. This is the end of the road.