Monday, July 14, 2014

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Friday 6th June 2014

Our walk brought us to the Praza de Obradoiro - a large square on one side of the church. To the west of the square is the 18th century Pazo de Raxoi which was a palace but is now the City Hall and the seat of the Galician Xunta. On the right from the cathedral's steps is the Hostal dos Reis Catholicos founded in 1492 by the Catholic Monarch Isabella of Castille and Ferdinand II of Aragon as a "pilgrims hospice or hospital' but today has been turned into a 'parador' (a 5-start hotel) 

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is the reputed burial-place of St James the Great - one of the apostles of Jesus Christ. Since early Middle Ages it has been a place of pilgrimage on the Way fo St James. The building is a Romanesque structure with later Gothic and Baroque additions The church was built in 829 which became expanded in 899 into a pre-Romanesque church under instruction of King Alfonso III of Leon. in 997 it was burnt down to ashes by the Al-Andalus commander of the caliph of Cordoba,  Al-Mansur ibni Abi Aamir . The bells and gates were carried away to decorate the AlJamaa Mosque in Cordoba. When Cordoba was retaken by King Ferdinand III of Castilles these bells and gates were taken back and re-installed in Toledo.

The present Cathedral was built in 1075  (King Alfonso VI of Catsille) - according to the same plan as the Romanesque cathedral of Saint Sernin in Toulousse France. The Baroque facade facing the Obradoiro Square was completed in 1740.

 The Pazo de Raxoi ( Raxoi Palace) now houses the City Hall and Parliament

 this former hospice/hospital for pilgrims is now a 5-star hotel ( parador)

 this used to be a hostel for the choir boys but is now part of the university

 the Cathedral from the City Hall

 parts of the Cathedral's tower under rehabilitation

 entrance into the parador

 this is the South Facade ( Facade of the Silverware)
it is Romanesque in character

 the East Facade or Da Quintana

 the Quintana Square with the East Facade to the right
to the left is now the Nunnery

 this tower has an Aztec roof -
signifying the spread of the religion to the Americas

inside the cathedral.

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