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The area around Santiago de Compostela was likely first settled by a Megalithic tribe that originated north of the Tagus River during pre-historic times. Celtic tribes then moved in around 600BC and remained in the area for several centuries. Though the Romans officially took over the region during the expansion of the Roman Empire, there was ever only a weak Roman presence in this remote outpost of the Iberian peninsula. After the fall of Rome, several groups took possession of Galicia, including the Swabians, Normans, Vikings and Britons fleeing the invading hoards of Saxons and Angles in their home country. It was not until well into the Middle Ages that Santiago de Compostela came firmly under the rule of Castile. When all of Spain was united under King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in the 15th century, the monarchs claimed absolute power over all the regions of Spain and began several centuries of imposing Castilian law, culture and langauge on Galicia. It was not until a few decades ago, with the fall of Franco, that Galicia regained any say in its own affairs as an autonomous region and continued a path of nation-building which had commenced in the 19th century with the emergence of the Rexurdimento movement, which promoted the recovery of the Galician language (which is still spoken by the majority of Galicians) and a distinct national identity from the rest of Spain.Santiago de Compostela rose to fame as the famed burial ground of Apostle Saint James, brother of John. The remains of the great patron saint are said to lie in the crypt of the city cathedral, the destination of a long pilgrimage path that starts in France and takes a month for devoted Catholics to traverse. For over a thousand years, European pilgrims (mainly from Spain and France) have walked along the Way of Saint James, as the path is called. Today, the shrine attracts over 100,000 pilgrims annually, especially for the July 25 feast day of Saint James.