Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
The end of the pilgrimage
Santiago cathedral is the last stop on the pilgrims' journey, and its monumental character makes it supremely worthy of this distinction. This is a key work in the Romanesque style in which numerous architectural styles converge.
Construction on the cathedral was begun in 1075 in the reign of Alfonso VI, and sponsored by Bishop Diego Peláez. The work took place under the direction of Master Esteban on the remains of old churches built in devotion to the saint. It was built with three naves and a floor plan in a Latin cross, and had an area of about 8300 m². Its countless extensions have added numerous architectural styles to the building (Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Plateresque and neoclassical). The La Gloria portico is the main entrance, and was created by Master Mateo in 1188. It features 200 figures referring to the Apocalypse, and the figure of Saint James the apostle appearing to welcome the pilgrims, supported on a column rising from the mullion. The Obradoiro façade of the cathedral is the work of Fernando de Casas y Novoa, and is considered to be one of the supreme expressions of the Spanish Baroque. The main altar is also in the Baroque style, and the crypt of Saint James the apostle lies directly beneath.
- Construction: Cathedral
- Artistic period: Romanesque
- Historic period: 19th century, 11th century
- Setting: Santiago, a World Heritage City, has numerous monuments and attractive settings which make it well worth a visit. The cathedral stands in the lovely Plaza del Obradoiro square, the point at which all roads into the city converge.
- From Monday to Sunday From 07:00 to 20:30
- Admission free