The Route of the Castilian Language

by John Bascombe on Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Route of the Spanish Language

The Camino de la Lengua Castellana is a private foundation that was created in February 2000 with three overarching intentions. Firstly, to encourage, develop and expand knowledge and awareness of the Castilian language (Castellano = Spanish).  Secondly, to publicize the “Route of the Castilian Language” as a historical journey that started thousands of years ago and to display the global spreading of the language. Lastly, the Foundation serves to educate people about the cultural and ancient origins of the locations that the Route of the Castilian language encompasses and the affect that these places had on the evolution of the Spanish language.

The Foundation operates through a Board of Governors which consists of a variety of members from different public institutions. The institutions include regional governments, councils as well as the country council of the city of Valladolid. The role of Chair and Deputy Chair alternate biennially between the autonomous communities that are controlled by the Board of Governors. The Board convenes bi-annually, with the first meeting dedicated to the approval of the previous year’s accounts, and the second to decide and sanction the budget alongside the Program of Activities for the forthcoming year. These meetings are hosted in different cities along the route of the Castilian Language.

The foundation is responsible for organizing different activities to promote the three general aims that were established in 2000 upon its creation.  To this end, tourist packages are available for those who want to travel around the places that make up the route of the Camino. The institution provides eighteen distinct travel packages to cater for people who want to visit the entire route, or just a couple of destinations, to those who want to travel in big groups or alone. Local cuisine is considered to be an important aspect in the promotion of the Camino de la Lengua Castellana, with a number of popular, delicious dishes to be found in the Spanish cities. The website even offers the possibility of downloading a document that contains some of the traditional recipes that you might encounter for those who want to try and cook for themselves.

The Route of the Castilian Language passes through many fascination locations that have played a crucial role in the creation, expansion and development of the Spanish language; including Santo Domingo de Silos, San Millán de la Cogolla, Alcalá de Henares, Ávila, Valladolid and Salamanca. Four of these intriguing, beautiful locations are World Heritage Sites demonstrating the monumental importance they have in Spain. Visitors will come across an enormous wealth of places of cultural significance, from cathedrals, old-towns and monasteries to squares, old streets and local traditions and many other fascinating locations. 

It is not only Spain where the Castilian language exists. In the Mediterranean there are communities of Sephardic Jews who left Spain in the fifteenth century settling, and keeping the language alive in cities in Greece, Morocco, Turkey and Israel.

The historical and cultural significance of the route accompanied by the plethora of interesting places to visit meant that it became part of the European Cultural Itinerary in 2002 and then in 2004 it was recognized as being a Major Cultural Route of the Council of Europe.

Keywords: spanish language,castellano,castilian,castilian spanish,castilian language


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