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Santiago de Compostela

The third Holy City of Christianity
Since the ninth century pilgrims from all over the world have travelled along the Camino (Way of St. James) on foot or on horseback, and in recent times even by bike. Arriving directly by plane eliminates the experience of adventure, but certainly not the feeling of spirituality and the striking atmosphere of the final destination.
 
Santiago de Compostela. Cathedral.
Santiago de Compostela. Panoramic view on the Cathedral. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Serjio74 / Shutterstock
 
The most notable aspect of this ancient city, the capital of Galicia, is its very rich monumental heritage.
 
The historic centre
The historic centre, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a succession of narrow streets, squares and granite buildings imbued with centuries of history, many dating back to the Middle Ages. Dominating everything is the Cathedral, an architectural gem with a majestic façade, which sits in Obradoiro Square.
 
Santiago de Compostela. Cathedral.
Santiago de Compostela. Cathedral.  Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
Built of granite stone and covered with slabs in the same material, the church, which houses the tomb of the apostle James, has three naves and is considered a characteristic Romanesque building. Pilgrim’s Mass is held at midday and during the service a botafumeiro, a giant thurible, is swung along the nave of the church.
 
To visit
  • Museums that are well worth visiting include the Museo do Pobo Galego (Museum of the Galician People),
  • The Galician Centre for Contemporary Art, two buildings that house works of inestimable artistic value,
  • The symbolic building of the Faculty of History and Geography of Santiago University.
 
Santiago de Compostela.
Santiago de Compostela. Cultural complex: the City of Culture of Galicia. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / faber1893 / Shutterstock
 
Parks and gardens
Parks and gardens are a dominant feature of Santiago, which has a million and a half square metres of public green areas, evident proof of the care given to the countryside and the environment. Nature not only surrounds Santiago de Compostela, but seems to get to the very heart of the city, which is set is a location without equal. Forests, mountains and valleys, impregnated with the scent of damp earth, give this place a charm of its own.
 
Santiago de Compostela. Alameda Park.
Santiago de Compostela. Alameda Park. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
The squares around the cathedral play host to improvised shows by artists, musicians and, obviously, university musical groups. The main areas for nightlife in the city are the historic centre and the Ensanche area. In the historic centre, places tend to have more character and unusual decor - some are set in historic buildings, such as the stables and garages of old palaces. This area runs from Nova, Xelmírez, Conga, Acibechería, Entremuros streets and surrounding areas, up to Virxe da Cerca.
 
 The path of Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela.
The path to Santiago de Compostela. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / faber1893 / Shutterstock
 
Santiago de Compostela is one of the holy cities of Christianity after Jerusalem and Rome. Start the journey to the Sanctuary, where the tomb of Santiago the Greater, one of the apostles of Jesus, was found, means, since the Middle Ages, for all pilgrims, to embark on a symbolic journey towards salvation. There are more than 200,000 pilgrims who come to Santiago each year, in addition to Christians, there are people of other faiths, and even atheists, who embark on the journey. What unites them is the search for the true nature of man and their relationship with his soul.
 
The routes
 
Santiago de Compostela.
The path to Santiago de Compostela.
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
There are over 60 routes to reach Santiago de Compostela.
Among the most popular there are:
  • The Primitivo Way is 343 km long starting from the city of Oviedo.
  • The French Way is 800 km long starting from Saint-Jean Pied de Port on the Pyrenees and is the most frequented and and it's divided into 25 km stages.
  • The Northern Way is 850 km long, starting from Irùn on the French / Spanish border.
  • The Via della Plata is 1000 km long and starts from the city of Seville.
  • The Portuguese Way is 760 km long and starts from Ponte de Lima in Portugal.
 
 
Gastronomic specialties of the cuisine of Santiago de Compostela
Gastronomy is one of the major attractions in Santiago de Compostela, and it is an important part of the city's way of life and identity. Places to eat range from traditional restaurants, inns and taverns, where you can enjoy wonderful local dishes made with fresh produce such as hot gallego (a local soup of vegetables and beans), to the churrasquerías which serve Galician beef and the marisquerías, shellfish restaurants. Don’t leave Santiago without tasting a good mariscada, a magnificent shellfish dish. To try is the Santiago cake made with almonds and wih the decoration of a cross.
 
Hot gallego
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
Mariscada
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
Santiago cake
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 
 
Text by Federica Fusco
Photos: Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock
Video: www.spain.info
Published on Avion Tourism Magazine
Copyright © Sisterscom.com. All rights reserved
Updated: october 2018, february 2020 edited by Alisè Vitri
 
 
Tourism Board
www.santiagoturismo.com
www.spain.info
 
 
Where to sleep in Santiago de Compostela 
Santiago de Compostela. City Hall.
Santiago de Compostela. City Hall. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
 

Santiago de Compostela is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.

To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.

 

WHERE TO GO
Monuments
Santiago de Compostela. Cathedral.
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
CATHEDRAL
Santiago de Compostela. Convent de St. Clara.
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / bepsy / Shutterstock
CONVENT DE SANTA CLARA
 
Santiago de Compostela. Casa do Cabido.
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Lux Blue / Shutterstock
CASA DO CABIDO
Monastery of St. Martino Pinario.
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
MONASTERY AND CHURCH OF SAINT MARTINO PINARIO
 
Museums
Santiago de Compostela. Cathedral.
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
CATHEDRAL MUSEUM
Santiago de Compostela. Museum of Pobo Galego.
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / joan_bautista / Shutterstock
MUSEUM OF POBO GALEGO
 
Santiago de Compostela.
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / joan_bautista / Shutterstock
CENTRO GAIAS MUSEUM
Santiago de Compostela. Natural History Museum.
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Maria Madrinan / Shutterstock
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
 
Excursions 
Destinations found in the vicinity
Flights
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