The arrival in Santiago de Compostela, to the Obradoiro Square and the Cathedral of SantiagoSurely your feet appreciate it.
It's the moment: The Porch of Glory and the Cathedral of Santiago await you pilgrim !!
Upon arrival in Santiago de Compostela, for a few minutes in Plaza del Obradoiro, sit down, lie down, stand in the middle of the square and admire the extraordinary facade of the Recently restored Santiago Cathedral. Let the sensations and feelings flow within you. For each pilgrim the arrival in Santiago de Compostela has a different feeling, hence the greatness of the Camino de Santiago.
Later, go into the Cathedral of Santiago, and first of all we recommend you to have booked a visit to the majestic Pórtico de la Gloria, a marvelous Romanesque style, also restored, next to the facade of the Cathedral of Santiago. Let yourself be impressed! It is not only a decorative ornament (although the photos you take give a good account of it), but it is also a visual documentary of the entire Bible. It is a representation of the History of Salvation, that is why the main passages of the Old and New Testaments are sculpted. The summit is in Jesus Christ, located in the center, the only mediator between us and the Father, who gives way to the righteous to be part of the heavenly Glory. Under the Lord is the Apostle Santiago, indicating himself that he is the receiver of the Messiah's teachings and is also the transmitter of his message.
It was designed by its author so that the pilgrim understood, at the end of his journey, the meaning of his pilgrimage and of his life. Believer or not we invite you to go through each statue unraveling its meaning. This is not going to be a waste of time but the culmination of the kilometers traveled, regardless of the route taken: French Way, Camino Portuguese, English Way, Camino from North, Portuguese Coastal Way y Primitive way.
The portico of glory in Santiago de Compostela is the crowning glory of Romanesque sculpture. The middle ages rehearse the animation of the figures in Santiago. Medieval symbolism is carried out here through a sculptural ensemble in which the figures speak, sing and constitute a true mystical and religious atmosphere. Its author is Maestro Mateo, architect of Fernando ll de león, who knew how to capture a dense theological message in stone.
The current Portico de la Gloria is not entirely original, as some of its original figures were removed when the current Obradoiro façade was built, and it can be visited in the Cathedral Museum. The original portico was polychrome in its entirety, but today there are only remnants of the painting at some points (the passage of time does not forgive).
Traditionally pilgrims when entering through The Porch of Glory they have placed their hand in a cavity already deformed by so many pilgrims throughout history. This gesture symbolized that you wanted to become part of the followers of Jesus. Currently such a gesture cannot be made for conservation reasons.
Behind the mullion is the figure of the holy two croques, tradition says that he is the same master Matthew, architect of the basilica and sculptor of the portico. The Compostela students They touch the head three times to ask for wisdom and understanding.
Entering the basilica is a surprising feeling. The first thing you should notice is the great spaciousness. The three ships with a barrel vault they create a radically different atmosphere to the outside. Time and space, here inside, are different.
Tour proposal to explore Santiago Cathedral
- Walk to the altar as it is the end of your Camino de Santiago.
- On the right you will find the chapels of Pilar and La Concepción.
- Later you can admire the original San Pedro chapel of Romanesque court, and Tomb of the Apostle Santiago (silver urn where the remains of the Apostle rest together with those of his disciples San Atanasio and San Teodoro)
- Get out of the crypt, you're almost done. Up to GIVE HUG TO THE APOSTLE If you feel that way, preside over the Basilica from the High Altar. It is a hug between pilgrims.
- Visit the roofs of the cathedral to take in the views of the city, and take a tour of the cathedral museum, which is absolutely no waste.
- Do not forget to visit the Praza das Parteiras annexed to the Cathedral, which receives its name from the medieval silversmith's guilds that performed their work duties there. In the center of the square you can see the Fonte dos Cabalos, one of the most beautiful in all of Santiago.
And remember that on arrival in Santiago de Compostela you can pick up The Compostela which is issued at the Pilgrim's Office, located at Rua Das Carretas 33, next to the Cathedral, upon presentation of Last 100 Kms, to Santiago de Compostela, or the ÚLast 200 Kms, if you have done the Camino de Santiago by bicycle.