The International Association Cultural Itinerary of the Way of the Holy Grail in Europe promotes the value of the route along which this vessel of blessing, used in the Hebrew Passover, passed.Its president, Dr. Ana Mafé, links historical and artistic research with the territorial and tourist development of Aragon.

Zaragoza, 12 April 2024

Valuing and disseminating European cultural heritage. This is the objective set by the International Association Cultural Itinerary of the Way of the Holy Grail of Europe, an entity that highlights the history of the most sought-after relic of the Western Middle Ages, which spent eleven centuries in the Kingdom of Aragon and, after a historic journey, ended up in the Cathedral of Valencia.

For this reason, the Association, together with the Culture section of the San Jorge University, has organised a conference in the San Valero Group Building under the title “The Way of the Holy Grail: history and route”, given by Ana Mafé, PhD in Art History and president of the Association.

Mafé, a key figure in the promotion of this project, analysed in depth and with scientific rigour the history of the Holy Grail and the structuring of the route that took this relic from Jerusalem to the Cathedral of Valencia, crossing from north to south the historical territory of Aragon, with the extensions of the Jacetania and Maestrazgo regions.

In her talk she highlighted the application of the scientific-iconological method, typical of Art History, to the Christian oral tradition that protects the sacred relic, “providing a solid guarantee of the authenticity of the Holy Chalice as an authentic Hebrew vessel of blessing”, Ana Mafé pointed out, and which has been dated to the Second Temple period, contemporary to Herod the Great and archaeologically catalogued as Kos Kidush Esther – Valencia, 2018.

According to Dr. Mafé, this cup of blessing, used in the Hebrew Passover, “is of incalculable historical and spiritual value, having travelled from Jerusalem to Valencia, passing through Italy and France, tracing what is known today as the Way of the Holy Grail, the Route of Knowledge, and the Way of Peace”. This route, as she explained, “is not only a physical route but also a symbolic one, full of history, spirituality and culture”.


A highlight of the conference has been the parallelism established between the Camino del Santo Graal and the current Camino de Santiago, especially in terms of development opportunities offered to the Aragonese territory. In this sense, Ana Mafé has argued that, like the Camino de Santiago, “the Way of the Holy Grail has the potential to become a European Cultural Itinerary, generating investment and boosting the areas through which it passes. This route links Aragon from north to south, positively affecting various regions and municipalities in Huesca, Zaragoza and Teruel”.

The importance of this route lies not only in its historical and cultural value, but also in its capacity to unite people in a journey of peace and knowledge, promoting sustainable tourism and the enhancement of local heritage. So much so that Dr. Mafé urged attendees to “recognise and support the promotion of the Holy Grail Way as a strategic cultural and tourism resource, capable of economically revitalising the regions through which it passes, while enriching the cultural and spiritual fabric of Europe”.

This multidisciplinary approach, linking historical and artistic research with territorial and tourism development, underlines “the relevance of academia in the study and promotion of cultural itineraries, showing how history and art can have a tangible impact on society and the local economy”. Mafé’s lecture not only shed light on little-known aspects of the Holy Chalice and its historical journey, but also underlined “the potential of this itinerary to become an engine of change and development for Aragon and for the whole of Europe”.


Report by Will McCarthy

Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’

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