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Catedral de Santiago, Bilbao
(3.6/5 based on 380+ reviews on the web)
Catedral de Santiago is the final destination of pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, an ancient route that, during the Middle Ages, was believed to allow the faithful to halve their time in purgatory. Pilgrims still hike for weeks to reach this Cathedral, which legend tells it houses the tomb of St. James, known as Santiago in Spanish. He is thought to be responsible for spreading Christianity throughout the Iberian Peninsula. After his beheading in Jerusalem, his remains purportedly were carried to Galicia on a stone boat. The first church was constructed on the site of his tomb in the ninth century, after the hermit Pelayo saw unexplained lights in the night sky. The Romanesque church that stands there now dates back to 1075. Stop by the Visitor Center and pick up an audio guide, or just download it on your phone. Gazing up at the lofty apses and intricate stained glass, and soak up the atmosphere and history of this mystical site. Plan to visit Catedral de Santiago and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Bilbao attractions using our Bilbao tourist route planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • It's basically impossible to do not get amazed by the history and the beauty of this place. I have been there 3 times already, and every time it brings me a different feeling. 
  • This church was not originally built to be a cathedral, and so retains some of the local parish essence. It is right in the middle of the old town, and the facade is not too ornate. There is a neat "p...  more »
  • Towering over the buildings surrounding it, this cathedral has beautiful entrance doors. The inside has had some cleaning making the columns and ceiling stand out. Worth a quick look.