The triforium

The triforium is a large, palatial balcony supported by Romanesque arches, on the second floor of the church. The one here in Santiago cathedral is unusual in that runs continuously all the way around.

The Codex Calixtinus mentions the gallery:

“Even if they are sad when they go up, those who go round the naves up in in the triforium, become happy and contented as they view the splendour and beauty of the church”.

The gallery is made up of 118 balconies, although its purpose is not known. In architectural terms, it helps to distribute the weight of the very high barrel vaulted roof over the central nave. As a space, it may have been used to enable more worshippers to attend services on special days, to hold nocturnal vigils, or even as accommodation for pilgrims. There is also a theory according to which it was used to reach the archbishop’s palace.

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Diego Laforga Marcos

Source: Own work
Author: Diego Laforga (2013)