Santiago de Compostella is the capital of Galicia, a Spanish autonomous community with ancient Celtic roots.
The city's origin,
history and name are closely tied to Apostle James.
St James was beheaded in Jerusalem in 44 AD, but his remains somehow made
it all the way to Mount Libredon in northern Spain to be re-discovered in 814 AD.
King Alfonso II ordered a chapel to be
build over the tomb and is said to be the first pilgrim to the site. Many more from all over Europe would follow, creating an extensive
network of pilgrimages that became known as the Camino de Santiago. In the process Santiago de Compostella arose around
Pilgrims end their quest at the Praza do Obradoiro in front of the cathedral.
This cathedral replaced the original
chapel. Construction started in 1075 and finished in 1211, but over the centuries many changes and enlargements took place. The cathedral sits
at the center of Santiago's Old Town with bars , restaurants, museums and old university buildings like the Pazo de
We visited Santiago in May 2019 and found large parts of the cathedral's interior and exterior hidden behind scaffolding.
Salome was a follower of Jesus and the mother of St James
300 years of erosion have left their marks above the Porta Santa
the Eastern side with the Praza da Quintana square
inside the cathedral, note the scaffolding
Mam, it's me, I made it!! (note the scaffolding blocking the main entrance)
the West facade of the cathedral faces the Praza do Obradoiro square
Atlas holds the canopy of heaven on top of the 18th century Musea Eugenio Granell
the old town has many small alleys and streets with shops and watering holes
the Fonte dos Cabalos (Fountain of the horses) at the Praza das Praterķas, north of the cathedral
a dozen apostles and prophets line up to the right of the Porta Santa
Pazo de Raxoi at the Praza do Obradoiro square is an 18th century palace and now functions as city hall
Santiago Matamores (St James the Moor-slayer) rides atop the Pazo de Raxoi
the Porta Santa or Door of Forgiveness opens only in Jubilee years
Torre da Trindade or the Clock Tower
a statue of Alonso de Foseca in the garden of the university library Pazo de Fonseca
here rest supposedly the remains of St James