Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia, is best known for its magnificent cathedral, and as the final resting place of St. James the Apostle. It is believed that his remains were brought back from Palestine and buried here.
The tomb was said to have been rediscovered in 814 AD. King Alfonso II built a chapel on the site in the 9th C., which was later replaced by the present cathedral in the 11th C. when the early church burned down. The cathedral is the final destination for pilgrims who follow the Way of St. James through Europe and across northern Spain each year.
Here is a list of some of the things to see during your stay in Santiago:
- Catedral de Santiago – completed in 1211, it is largest Romanesque church in Spain, and one of the largest in Europe. For more information, click here.
- Plaza del Obradoiro – the main square is bordered by the city’s most important monuments, including the Cathedral, Palacio de Rajoy (Town Hall), and Royal Hospital.
- Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea – Contemporary art museum that houses a good permanent collection, along with temporary exhibits. For more information, click here.
- Museo do Pobo Galego – the former Convento de Santo Domingo de Bonaval houses the Galician Folk Museum, which exhibits interesting info on traditional life in Galicia, including fishing boats, bagpipes, costumes, and crafts. For more information, click here.
- Museo das Peregrinacións – the Pilgrimage Museum is housed in the 14th C. Gothic House, and provides an overview of the history of the pilgrimage routes and rituals, and its contribution to the development of the city. For more information, click here.
- Pazo de Xelmirez – constructed between the 12-13th centuries, the palace of Archbishop Gelmírez is considered one of the outstanding examples of civic Romanesque architecture in Spain. For more information, click here.
- Praza da Quintana – located behind the cathedral, this square is a popular meeting place in Santiago.
Photo credit: © Turismo de Santiago
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