SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
The capital of Galicia and the “Camino de Santiago”. The great beauty around the old town, the charming Galician atmosphere, the great food and light wines abound in the taverns of its narrow and fascinating streets, the university environment that gives so much life to the city during day and night.
Santiago is a gem of Spain, which crowns a long road made on foot by pilgrims per centuries.
LA PLAZA DEL OBRADOIRO
It has been said that “Obradoiro” means “work of gold”. This square, with an exceptional beauty, is the heart of the museum that Santiago. Is at the same, in a breathtaking harmony, perhaps by “miracle of the rain that unifies all “in the words of Torrente Ballester, give a varied monuments style:
The Cathedral, whose construction began in the heyday of Santiago in 1075. We started in the Chapel of the Savior, outstanding pre Romanesque influence in its rectangular plant abroad.
His second construction stage begins after the marriage of Doña Urraca with Raimundo of Burgundy, which print to the temple a clear influence of French Romanesque, leading to a own style; the Compostela Romanesque. This time it is the façade of the Obradoiro, although later, respecting its Romanesque structure were added Baroque decorative elements now noticeable in the “Bell Tower” and the “Tower of the Carrack”.
By the “Puerta del Obradoiro” you enter to the “old Cathedral”, which is actually the crypt, Romanesque church with a latin cross construction that introduced the first vaults until then in Spain.
The “Portico de la Gloria” is a Romanesque sculpture so exceptional that it has been considered “the most perfect medieval iconographic monument”.
Gelmirez Palace. Is the counterpoint to the cloister of the Cathedral and one of the most brilliant examples of civil Romanesque in Spain. It was built after the riots that marred the old archbishop`s palace. They emphasize its vaults that cover a vast space without more central support the Arch Palace (Arco de Palacio). They highlight the sculpted.
The Royal Hospital: Built buy the Catholic Monarchs in 1492 to welcome pilgrims and ill people, is a brilliant combination of Plateresque and Renaissance styles. Today is the headquarters of the “parador de Turismo”.
Rajoy Palace: Huge and elegant neoclassical building opposite the Cathedral, built for confessors seminar in the XVIII gives greatness to the square. Currently it holds the presindency of the Xunta de Galicia and the Municipality of Compostela.
The San Jerónimo college: Founded by Alfonso III of Fonseca on the s XV with Romanesque style, (still present in Galicia in that century).
The Fonseca college: Also founded by Alfonso III of Fonseca, for theological studies. The façade is renaissance with lonic columns, at the auditorium there is a wonderful coffered ceiling and its beautiful courtyard brilliantly combines various artistic styles. This building houses the University Library and the valuable Moorish manuscript of Fernando I.
It´s named because of the many shops of silversmiths that exist under the arcades on the ground floor of the Cloister of the Cathedral. These arcades lead us to:
The Gothic façade of the Cathedral, with a staircase from s. XVIII. It is the only primiti8ve romanesqaue façade of the temple. They emphasize the architectural figures of great development as King David in the center of the frieze.
The fountain of the horses in the center, work of J. Pernas in 1825.
The Cabildo´s House, façade outlined by Fernandez Sarela in 1785 to decorate the square, with its typical style plates (Galician baroque).
The Canons or Conga House, arcaded palace designed by Andrade in 1709, separating “Platerias square and Quintana Square.
A big staircase divides “Quintana of the Dead”, below, from “Quintana of living” above. A staircase faces the Royal Portico, where is situated the popular “Berenguela” or Clock Tower, which although it was initiated in 1316 was renewed in s. XVII, constituting an exceptional baroque tower and the Door of Forgiveness that opens only when the feast of the Apostle falls on Holy Year. The San Pelayo of Antealtares Monastery, with his stern granite wall contrasts with the other. It is one of the oldest monasteries in the city, was founded in s. XI by Alfonso II to guard the tomb of the Apostle when it was discovered. The inmense façade dates from s. XVII and XVIII, and has never been renovated. He highlights the beautiful lattice wingows, doors for the s. XVII, its dome and the Museumm of Sacred Art of the monastery, which exhibits the ara marble of the Apostle. Baroque Parra House, with their wines, fruit ornaments, gargoyles and fireplace, is a beautiful brooch that closes the square.
This popular name´s due to the guild of black amber artisans, that gave so much fame to Compostela´s craftsmanship. Here the original Romanesque door of Paradise, main entrance of the pilgrims, which came off their clothes at the feet of the “cross of Farrapos” which take their name from the rags pilgrims stop there. Today has been replaced by the neoclassical façade of Ventura Rodríguez.
The San Martin Pinario Monastery, the most monumental of Santiago, comes from the oratory, in the year 912, Bishop Sisnado dedicated to St Martin. In 1102 the Bishop Gelmirez consecrated the church, becoming a major religious center and its cult came to rival the Cathedral. The Romanesque building disappeared at the beginning of the s. XVI, the construction of the present monastery. His church is the baroque Compostela, highlighting inside the exuberant baroque altarpiece of wealth. Near the impressive western wall of the former is the San Francisco Convent, recalling the pilgrimage of St. Francis of Asís to Compostela in 1213-1215. According to legend St. Francis, received a divine revelation for which he was responsible to erect a monastery in “Val God” land owned by St. Martin Pinario. The monastery gave the land in exchange for the annual delivery of a basket of fish (solemn ceremony that lasted until the end of s. XVIII, when the monks of a monastery used to deliver this tax to another monastery). Funding for this project should be done with a treasure that Cotolay find a source. And so it happened, found the treasure rising Cotolay a Gothic building that today only five arches in the courtyard of the chapter. The current convent and two cloisters are the s church XVII and XVIII.
The St. Francis Statue in front of the church, was built to commemorate the seventh anniversary in 1930. Franciscan monastery currently houses an interesting museum of the Holy Land.
AROUND THE UNIVERSITY
One of the most beautiful itineraries of the city is the one that runs along the Vilar Street and New Street, crowded with the poetic atmosphere gives the rain in Santiago.
In the Vilar street we find beautiful baroque palaces that like the Dean House, which takes us through this evocative street arcades of the Monroy Palace, renaissance and the Marquis of Bendaña Palace, with its neoclassical façade and baroque façade. It´s topped with a shield and an atlas holding the world, which according to legend, it will drop when a series of events are met (don´t worry, it´s difficult that all this happens at the same time).
Behing him, through the narrowest street in Santiago, Entrerúas, we reached the New street, (not so new, but it´s called from the s XII), where the baroque tower of the Santa Maria Salomé church, which retains its Romanesque church cover rises s. XII. And from there we reach the Ramirans Palace, the Counts of Gimonde and the House of Pomas, with fruit ornaments pilasters. Then we arrive at the Theatre, the Mondragon Palace of beautiful neoclassical sobriety.
As a counterpoint King street and the Franco street, who along with the Villar door to the Faxeira door, make a fun set with the highest concentration of bars, pubs, restaurants and accommodations in the city are. This scenario provides the most vibrant and attractive city is alive.