The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is Spain’s finest Romanesque work of art. It is also the final destination of all the Roads to Compostela that, for centuries, led pilgrims from all over Christendom to the tomb of the apostle St. James. Furthermore, it was to be the foundation stone for the monumental city of Santiago de Compostela, which was born in a sacred wood at the very ends of the earth, and was to become a Holy City and a World Heritage Site.
The basilica was built with three naves on a cruciform floor plan, covering a surface area of around 8,300m2. Its numerous extensions have contributed a number of different architectural styles to the building, such as Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Plateresque and Neo-classical, enveloping an indoor space that is crammed with ornate chapels devoted to Christian saints. On the outside stand the magnificent façades of the Obradoiro and Platerías, the emblems of the city of Santiago.
The Portal of Glory is the cathedral’s main doorway. It was built in 1188 by the master architect and sculptor “Maestro Mateo”, and it is one of the most important medieval monuments in Europe, due to its impressive size and the outstanding quality of the carvings.