Welcome to the Cathedral of Santiago

Pilgrims or travellers… whichever you are, the building that stands before you has been one of the beacons of Christianity for over a thousand years, alongside Rome and Jerusalem. I will help you to unravel its mysteries - but you must look with the eyes of your soul as well as the eyes in your body, because this is a place of Christian spirituality.

First of all, take a look around you. You are in the very heart of the Old Town of Santiago de Compostela, which has been a World Heritage Site since 1985. This beautiful Obradoiro square most definitely deserves its title. Certainly it is true that for centuries, to thousands of pilgrims of all ranks and races, this city was famous for being a place where one could find both inner peace and God.

Stand opposite the church, under the arcades of the Raxoi Palace, and examine every detail of the façade and towers, while you listen to a general introduction to the Cathedral that will help you to understand a building that was designed as much to express deep faith as to display power and wealth.

From the very beginning, these stones have known no rest. Their layout has been altered time and time again, to suit tastes, fashions and needs. Even today, the maintenance and restoration work is continuous. This sometimes means the planned itinerary for visitors has to be modified.

Whether you are a traveller or a pilgrim, you are probably acquainted with the story of St. James the Great – of Santiago el Mayor in Spanish. It has been told so many times that many people have heard the story of the arrival of St. James’s body from Palestine to this place, at the very end of the earth.

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.

Picture: St. James Cathedral facade
Source: Own work
Author: Diego Laforga (2013)

Picture: Palacio Raxoy
Source: Wikicommons
Author: José Luis Filpo Cabana (2012)
Licence: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.