All you need to know about the history and making of the Cathedral of Santiago posted: 2014-01-14 09:11:00
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela - History
News of the Hermit`s sighting in the Campus Stellae started an investigation, and so the tomb of the Apostle was discovered. King Alphonse II declared Saint James the patron of his empire and had a chapel built at that place. More and more pilgrims followed the way of Santiago. The original chapel soon became the cathedral of the new settlement, Santiago de Compostela.
In the 12th and 13th century the town developed great importance, and Pope Alexander III declared it a Holy Town, like Rome and Jerusalem. Pope Calixto II declared that the pilgrims who went to Santiago in a Holy Year should be free of all their sins. El Año Santo (Holy Year) is celebrated when the Apostol's day (July, 25) is a Sunday.
Cathedral of Santiago- architecture
The most impressive piece of architecture in Santiago de Compostela is undoubtedly its Cathedral . The construction of this church began in the 11th century. The interior is decidedly Romanesque in style, but the exterior façade is Baroque. One of the main attractions of this cathedral is the 12th century Portico da Gloria. In recent years, it has become particularly significant for pilgrims walking the Camino to reach this cathedral at the end of their journey along the Camino de Santiago. One of the three rituals that pilgrims perform on arrival is to touch a certain place on the column. So many pilgrims have laid their hands here to rest their weary bones that a groove has been worn in the stone. Other notable features of the cathedral are the two towers, which were built over a span of several hundred years.
There are many squares and plazas to be seen throughout the city, but the most important are located around the Santiago Cathedral. The Plaza del Obradoiro is the gathering place for pilgrims during the feast day of St. James. The name of this square is said to come from "Obra de Oro" (work of gold). It forms the center of a town.
Another major architectural attraction in Santiago is the Rajoy Palace, which faces the cathedral on El Obradioro Square. The four-story granite building has an arched walkway, central columns and a triangular neo-classic feature of the apostle St. James.
Check out our blog post on Arriving in Santiago de Compostela here
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