1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. Preposition use zu & nach


Preposition use zu & nach

I was reading an article on Deutsche Welle and I encountered this sentence:

"Schon vor Jahrhunderten pilgerten die Menschen zum heiligen Jakobus nach Santiago de Compostela in Nordspanien."

I believe the gist of this sentence is "For hundreds of years people have pilgrimaged to Saint James in Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain."

I'm particularly curious about the preposition use and interplay of "zum" and "nach." I wasn't aware that "in" was a valid definition for either "zu" or "nach."


April 12, 2018

1 Comment


"zu" to a person, here Jakobus

"nach" to a city, here Santiago de Compostela

"in" because Santiago d. C. is in Spain, no movement towards it

"... zum heiligen Jakobus in Santiago .... " would imply that he is literally there what as far as I know even the pilgrims have not assumed. But you could say "zur Kirche des heiligen Jakobus in Santiago..."

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.