Anton arriving at Cathedral in Santiago

Santiago de Compostela, Spain, October 1, 2000

A big hug and "thank you" to all my new friends and companions I met along the way -
just by following that same yellow arrow day after day
and smiling whenever we met - in rain, wind or sunshine!
You made it look like the most natural, normal thing to do:
to walk the Camino, and also to finish it.

Thanks, Sherpa and Princess, Knud, Hans, and Sigrid...

The site will soon be filled with many new pictures and stories.
So read about the beginning now and then come back soon.
Leave me a note:


---> ---> ---> ---> ---> ---> --->


A Painter's Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain

these are the very first pages in Anton's book

(To see the beginning of the book in much more detail, there is a larger image
you can "click to",but it may take a while to load, since it is 1206 x 640 pixels.)

The many-colored papers in this book were made by hand in the spring of 1998,
in Anton Krajnc's Arizona studio, using only natural fibers - pure cotton and linen -
and water.

The artist then selected 40 sheets in gradually changing tones from black to pure white,
to symbolize the path to enlightenment: from darkness into the light.

The sheets were sewn by Dagmar, the artist's wife,
onto both sides of a 16' 8" long strip of raw linen,
to make an accordion-type book:
No pages to turn, all images connected like the walk itself.
The cover is wood, with small semi-precious stone inlays.
More small stones and other found objects were added along the way.

the eyes of Cristo

The book starts with a striking image of a fresco detail,
a XIIth century depiction of Christ,
painted in egg tempera on a black sheet of paper (see above!).
The original fresco is no longer on its wall in Ruesta.
Like so many frescoes that have been removed in the sixties and brought to various museums,
this one was taken off and is now in the Museum of the Church of Jaca,
where Krajnc found himself face to face with it.

This encounter marked the actual beginning of his pilgrimage,
on September 23, 1998.

On that day, Krajnc had received a Credencial del Peregrino,
a Pilgrim's passport of sorts, at the church of Santiago in Jaca.
The small folder has spaces for the official seals and stamps of the various stations of the Camino,
documenting the pilgrim's progress from Jaca to Santa Cruz de la Serós, Berdun, Artieda, Ruesta,
to Sangüesa, Izco, Tiebas, Eunate, Puente la Reina, Estella,
and on to the Monasterio de Irache, Krajnc' final destination for this part of the journey.

On the return by bus to Sangüesa, he resumed walking to see the Abbadia (Abbey) de San Salvador de Leyre in Yesa, which he could not get to on the way out - it was on the other side of a lake...

The artist drawing on location in the crypt of the Abbadia de San Salvador de Leyre.

By the end of spring 1999, after having walked the second leg of the pilgrimage,
the first half of the book was done.
The color of the images had shifted from stark white on black with yellow markings
- all the road-signs and arrows pointing to Santiago are bright yellow -
to subtle increases in additional colors of both papers and paint.
The images were to become more and more vibrant, the papers brighter,
as the artist was nearing his goal.

But, let's look back:

in the fall of 1998, the artist walked about 200 km (roughly 135 miles), and
made his first 10 egg-tempera paintings of landscapes and events he encountered.
(He carried raw pigments and mixed them on the road.)


A photo documentary by Anton Krajnc, who walked alone.

(If he's in the picture, it was done with self-timer!)

a lone (but not lonely!)  pilgrim

En route from Ruesta to Sangüesa,
crossing the wide open plains with the modified "baby-jogger".

sheep in the hills

A herd of curious sheep greets the pilgrim along the road from Jaca to San Juan de la Pena.

It was rather cold and wet that autumn...

singing in the rain

A surprise on a rainy morning: a choir sings hymns, going form door to door.
Anton decides to accompany them, while balancing his umbrella and drawing in his book.

the road becomes a small river

Sometimes the road was washed out.
Krajnc had to take off his shoes and socks and carry his cart across.
(The mere thought of it makes me shudder!!)

But when the sun came out, it was gorgeous!

Here's the answer to a question the artist was asked repeatedly:
where did you get the egg-yolk for your egg-tempera?

In the spring of 1999, the artist returned to Spain,
hoping for better weather and equipped with a new "baby-jogger".
The first one was completely worn out!
I guess, mothers usually don't walk 200km...

Anton picked up the path, where he had left it six months earlier,
at the Fuente del Vino, the famous wine fountain,

drinking from the wine fountain

next to the Monasterio de Irache just outside of the town of Estella.
And he proceeded to walk another 200km.

This photo is a self-timer at a poignant spot on the road:

only another 623km to Santiago!

From Krajnc's starting point at the Somport Pass in the Pyrenees
(on the border between France and Spain),
the trail to the town of Santiago de Compostela is over 900km (600+ miles) long.

The final walk, 531km from Burgos to Santiago, begun on Sept 14th, 2000,
has been successfully completed on September 30th!
Anton has long returned from Spain, but still thinks and talks about his experience...

Until we add more text and more great photographs,
you can read "THE PILGRIMAGE: A Contemporary Quest for Ancient Wisdom".
This book by Paulo Coelho has intrigued many people, but also has given rise to quite a bit of controversy.

Order The PILGRIMAGE Today!



artist's dove

Last modified: April 20, 2006

Photography by Anton
Page prepared by DAGMAR

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