Scallop shell, © Weinviertel Tourismus / Lahofer

A symbol for the Ways of St. James: The scallop shell

A companion on the route - the scallop shell

The scallop shell is a historical symbol of pilgrims and is cherished as a companion on Ways of St. James in the whole of Europe.

In the old days, it was customary for pilgrims to receive a scallop shell upon arrival at Santiago. Today, the symbol, most often in the form of a necklace, is being received already at the start of the pilgrimage and accompanies the pilgrim all along the way.

The myth surrounding the shell

The symbolism around the scallop shell goes back to a myth that tells of a saviour retrieving St. James' coffin from the sea. Both saviour and coffin were covered in seashells when they came out of the water.

Scallop shells

You can obtain your personal scallop shell for your pilgrimage along the Way of St. James in the Weinviertel region at Weinviertel Tourismus GmbH for EUR 3.