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Stromnetz Berlin signposts 3 km of the Camino de Santiago/Way of St. James through Berlin
Berlin's first Camino de Santiago electricity boxes were unveiled at the Priesterweg S-Bahn station today (Thursday, 20 August, 2020). The unveiling of the distributor box designed by artist Mario Winkler was attended by the following people:
The Council of Europe has spent the past 30 years building up solidarity in the form of cultural routes spanning different countries. The Camino de Santiago, or Way of St. James, was named as the very first European Cultural Route in 1987. However, there isn't just one Way of St. James; there are several. and it starts on the doorstep. Pilgrim's paths are becoming increasingly well signposted in Germany. Berlin typically didn't mark the routes. That was, until December 2019, when the Tempelhof-Schöneberg district council led by Jörg Steinert decided to signpost the Berlin section of the Camino de Santiago (the Via Imperii). The association that looks after the interests of the Camino de Santiago, Jakobusgesellschaft Brandenburg-Oderregion e.V., welcomed the political decision and appointed Jörg Steinert as its Berlin representative.
At the beginning of the summer holidays, a Camino de Santiago banner was unveiled at the Gartenarbeitsschule Tempelhof-Schöneberg school bearing the slogan 'Deine Reise beginnt hier', or 'Your journey starts here'. In the districts of Tempelhof-Schöneberg and Steglitz-Zehlendorf, eleven electricity boxes and a transformer building operated by Stromnetz Berlin GmbH along the route have since received a makeover. They now show the number of kilometres from the destination as well as scallop shells, which are symbolic of the pilgrim's path. Thomas Schäfer offered the following statement: "In Berlin, the Camino de Santiago hasn't been easy to find – until now. We're delighted that our electricity boxes will now mark a short stretch of this famous pilgrim's path. We also hope that more people will support this initiative throughout the districts and that similar signposts will be added along the entire Berlin section of the Camino de Santiago route, from Buch through to Mariendorf."
From Priesterweg S-Bahn station, it is another 2,961 kilometres to Santiago de Compostela. Pilgrims setting off from there would take around three months to complete the journey on foot. In 2019, 347,578 pilgrims from 190 countries travelled to Santiago.