Europe's 'First Travel Guide' Stolen

12-century Codex Calixtinus goes missing from Spanish cathedral
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2011 5:00 AM CDT
A page from the Codex Calixtinus.   (Santiago de Compostela, Archivo de la Catedral)
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(Newser) – Modern technology didn't prevent the theft of a priceless 12th-century manuscript from a Spanish cathedral. The Codex Calixtinus—known as "Europe's oldest travel guide" because it contained a guide to walking routes for pilgrims—is believed to have been stolen by professional thieves from an safe in the archives of the Santiago de Compostela cathedral in northern Spain, the Guardian reports.

None of the archive's five security cameras were pointing at the area where the manuscript was stored. "Whoever took it knew its importance, knew its incalculable value, and knew how to get to it," the cathedral's dean says. The manuscript serves as a guide for those following the Way of St. James, and describes how the apostle's body was supposedly transported from Judea on a raft to its final resting place, which the cathedral was built on top of.

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