The Santiago de Compostela Cathedral devoted to St. James is one of the most famous Romanesque representation in the Iberian Peninsula;
this is why lots of pilgrims come to visit it every year. They come through the different ways to see this wonderful Romanesque cathedral and also to visit St. James’ grave. The cathedral was declared Heritage of Cultural Interest such as Santiago’s Old Town.
St. James and the Cathedral
St. James’s mortal remains haven’t been always in the cathedralas many people believe.
Just after finding for the first time St. James’ mortal remains, King Alfonso II of Asturias ordered the construction of a little chapel made with stone and mud in the same place where the other apostles built the altar with St. James’ mortal remains.
The first temple was really simple, it had a small building with a colonnade and an arcade made with granite slabs.
Then, Alfonso III of Asturias decided that this building should be bigger because lots of people were visiting it, so the build another building next to the original one.
Then, at the end of the 10 century, Muslim troopsdestroyed this pre-Romanesque work.
The original tomb wasn’t destroyed and lots of people continued coming to Santiago to visit it.
Then a Romanesque church was built, in 1075 ordered by Alfonso VI and Diego Peláez and then by Diego Gelmírez. The building workslast many years as we can see in Codex Cilixtinus, the last stone was put in 1122. Since that moment Alfonso VI and the archbishop worked very hard to promote the pilgrimage to this holy place.
At the beginning it was a Romanesque building but then, after a great remodeling in the 17 century, it became a baroque building. The main changes were on the main altar and also on the dome. By that time it was also designed the Holy Door and it was finished Obradoiro’s facade.
In its interior, it is divided into three different navesthat are around the floor in a Latin-cross shape. These naves have a great length, more or less between twenty and thirty-two meters, this is why it is the greatest Romanesque building in Spain.
Its chapels are located around the temple, there are sixteen and some of them still have a Romanesque style. Located on the main altar
we can see a statue of St. James protected by a baldachin and decorated with angel’s statues.
Located on the main altar we can see a statue of St. James protected by a baldachin and decorated with angel’s statues. In the cathedral, we can see many emblematic symbols such as botafumeiroor Pórtico de la Gloria (Portico of Glory) made by Master Mateo between the 12 and the 13 centuries.
Inside de cathedral, we can also find a museum devoted to it, a cloister from the 16 century and a crypt where some Romanesque and gothic parts still remain.
Outside there are many squares around the cathedral.
At Platerías square we can find the only Romanesque façade that the temple has.
At the Quintana square is where Holy Door is located surrounded by Casa de la Parra and by the Convento de la Quintana de Vivos convent.
Around the cathedral we can also find Obradoiro and Azabachería squares.
o conclude, we have to highlight the upper part of the cathedral: the roof. You can visit the roof booking a guided visit that starts at Gelmirez palace. The sights are amazing!
Visitar la Catedral de Santiago
Si quieres llegar a apreciar la grandeza de la Catedral de Santiago. Es la hora de que planifiques tu Camino para poder llegar a verla, te aseguramos que la peregrinación, cuanto más larga, más satisfacción produce al ver por fin la Catedral.
En este año 2019, hasta 2020, el interior de la Catedral estará cerrado por causa de las obras que se están realizando en ella.