The Shell of Saint James is a Christian symbol and symbolizes the holy Saint James. Since the middle ages the shell is the symbol is synonym with Saint James of Santiago de Compostella.
The legend about the origin of the symbol of the holy Saint James and the shell is told in different stories which are sometimes contradictory. De symbolism of the shell itself dates further back than the middle ages. There are images of shells from the Roman age. In the Roman age the shell symbolized birth and rebirth.