Travel in Spain, Day 6, and we set off from Cambados on a cool and overcast day, and as we drove north the sky got darker and darker, and then the rain started. I am a competent map-reader, but the Spanish road markings and signposts soon defeated me and I felt distinctly frazzled by the time we finally arrived in Obradoira Square, outside the Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos.
How can I possibly capture a sense of this extraordinary city in a few photographs, taken over two days? Perhaps all I can do is share with you those places where I lingered, beginning with the Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos, the Parador.
The Reys Catolicos, the Catholic Kings, were Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon and they commissioned a Pilgrim’s Hostel to be built in Santiago, the destination of the Mediaeval Pilgrim Routes across Europe. The Hospital of 1499 was planned in the shape of a Latin cross with two cloisters. The male pilgrims were accommodated on the left, with a refectory, kitchen, and apothecary. The female pilgrims had similar quarters on the right side, which also included a prison and orphanage. The hospital wards were on the floor above, as were quarters for the administrators. Pilgrims were allowed to recover for 3 days in the summer and 5 days in the winter. Essentially this was a state-run hospital, the equivalent of the NHS today. (The Parador provides a map.)
The Patio San Juan and the Patio San Marcos are part of the 15C building.
Patio San Marcos.
The Patio San Lucas and the adjacent Patio San Mateo date from the 1800s.
There was no lighting in The Chapel but I managed to capture some of the carved columns, and the ceiling.
The symbol of the cross is found all over the building.
There were beautiful details everywhere.
A magical building.
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The Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos