The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is the reputed burial place of St James the Great. In 9C a chapel was built over his grave, and then a church, which was destroyed by Al-Mansur in the 10C. Today’s building dates from the 11C.
The exterior of the Cathedral
The West Front of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is perhaps the most immediately familiar image, but the building is currently under wraps. This West front dates from 1740 and overlooks Obradoiro Square.
The Cathedral and its bell towers originate in the 11C, but the towers were increased in height or embellished as time passed. The Clock Tower overlooking the Praza de Pratarias illustrates this continued work.
Inside the Cathedral of Santiago
The interior of the Cathedral is breathtaking – literally so. As you stand in the nave and look towards the high altar rich Baroque carvings are all round you. The soft lighting enhances the gold decoration and there is a scent of incense in the air.
The ornate decoration and carving is everywhere, even in the Chapels which glowed in the soft light.
And then there is the organ…
The Cloisters of the Cathedral
The Cathedral Museum is fascinating and includes models of the cathedral, reconstruction of cloisters, and beautiful tapestries. When you visit the Museum you can also access the Cloisters of 1533 which are quietly grand. I pictured the Cloister – from the inside – it was pouring with rain! (Spanish museums usually forbid photography so I have no other photographs.)