The rebuilding work that led to the creation of the portico you see here today was carried out in the 18th century by the Galician architect Casas y Novoa. It was built because the combination of the aesthetic taste of the time, the power of the canons of the church and the importance of the cathedral itself, all meant a more ornate façade was required. The one that stood here at that time dated from a 16th century refurbishment that had modified the Portico of Glory in order to be able to close the doors. As the Codex Calixtinus stated, the doors were always open to receive pilgrims, and it had been that way for centuries.
For 18th-century people, however, whose taste was for the Baroque, the facade was too plain and too poor. The project involved installing the beautiful cedar doors with Cordoban ironwork that you can see here, flanked by columns and coats of arms. The large size of the doors meant that what was left of the outside of the Portico of Glory had to be demolished. The change threw the inside into darkness, but this was resolved by creating some rather original large windows which, besides enhancing the facade, let daylight in to light up the space.
(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Diego Laforga Marcos
Source: Own work
Author: Diego Laforga (2013)
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