Two huge and very elaborate pillars divide the Portico of Glory into three archways leading into the church.
Above them are a series of extremely realistic sculptures, which enable it to be understood in a simple, un-dogmatic way. Various characters from the bible are talking to one another on these great carved columns.
On the pillar on our left, four prophets are announcing the arrival of Jesus. They are Jeremiah, Daniel, Isaiah and Moses, who is holding the stone tablets, open at the Commandment that states “Honour Thy Father and Mother”
The image of Daniel is considered to be the best carving in the Portico of Glory because of its quality and technique. It is also the first known Romanesque carving to be shown laughing. Legend has it that his happiness comes from the carving of the Queen of Sheba, with her large breasts, which is placed opposite him on the rear side of the door. However, the orthodox reason for his joy is the triumph of faith over Paganism, after he proved the deception of the priests of the idol Bel.
On the right hand pillar are the apostles, who were responsible for announcing the arrival of Jesus. So you can see John, with a gentle smile, and very similar to the prophet Daniel; St. James; Paul, and Peter, who is carrying the keys of the church.
(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Diego Laforga Marcos
Source: Own work
Author: Diego Laforga (2013)
Independently produced by MUSMon.com, the audio guide for the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela offers you a wide-ranging, light-hearted and educational tour of one of the most visited monuments in Spain. There are 90 minutes of commentary, illustrated with over 62 high-quality images, so you won’t miss a single detail during your visit.
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