Camino Sanctuary in Brussels

A very clear Camino marking on the outside of the Our Lady of Refuge Church in Brussels, Belgium.

If you’re a Camino pilgrim who happens to be walking around town in Brussels, you’re in for a little Camino surprise. There are signs of the Camino de Santiago all over. Not only are there scallop shells embedded in the cobbles there, but there is also a church once dedicated to pilgrims. When in Brussels, seek out OUR LADY OF REFUGE CHURCH. It is the hub of Brussels Camino heritage.

Quite often I find inexplicable statuary in the churches of Europe. No explanation plaque, no clue as to why this little imp of a thing was sitting in the Camino church of Brussels.

When I was there 2 years ago today, I received a handout that read,

“It was once (12th century) a chapel named after St. James and depending of a hospital stood there. In this hospital, built against the first surrounding walls of the city, nearby, a gate placed under the saint’s patronage, pilgrims were housed, as they were coming from the North of Europe and going along this way to Camino de Compostela.”

Inside the church, I lit candles for my mother and my fellow Camino peregrino, Connie. Both had passed about a year prior to my visit. I originally wrote about my 2014 pilgrimage with Connie in THIS POST HERE on my author website.

Lighting candles in memory of my mother and Camino friend…


Β The inside of the Camino church. (-:

It was an absolute thrill to find and follow the scallop shells throughout the streets of Brussels. The Camino always finds you, always calls you back and waves hello. If you ever get to the beautiful Grand Place plaza in the heart of Brussels, look around. You will find a shell. Follow it.

There it is! Inviting, welcoming, enticing. A warm invitation to all pilgrims.


Even St. James himself can be found in Brussels!


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