Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela

4.6
#1 of 491 in Things to do in Galicia
Architectural Building Religious Site
It’s hard to describe Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela as anything but awe-inspiring, and visitors often walk away from it muttering "How in the world did they build this?" Completed in 1211, the World Heritage–listed cathedral is the reputed burial place of Saint James, one of Christ’s apostles. Historically an important place of pilgrimage for believers from around the world, the building is a Romanesque structure with later Gothic and Baroque additions. The cathedral soars high above the city center and features a portico with 200 sculptures created by Master Mateo, a renowned sculptor and architect of the 13th century. Incredibly detailed, these sculptures represent major figures from the Bible, with the Old Testament on the left, the New Testament on the right, and the section under the central archway reserved for scenes of the Resurrection. Stop by for daily mass, or check online for available tour options. Put Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Santiago de Compostela travel itinerary planner.
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7,234 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We used the audio guide to tour the museum and cathedral. Took a bit of getting used to as it wasn't as intuitive as most. But we'll worthwhile.  more »
  • Today, the people who post to your social media account are your "friends", and the people who walk to Santiago de Compostela are "pilgrims. My how the meanings of words change over time! Since my Spa...  more »
  • It is a fantastic building independently of each one believes and religion. Take your time to walk in and around it, make sure you explore this amazing town.  more »
Google
  • Another one of the must see pieces of architecture in Europe! Not only for religious people and the city itself is nice to walk through sand soak in the atmosphere.
  • Go at the end of mass to watch the swinging incense burner. It's an incredible Romanesque cathedral that's open to the public. Go to the tomb of St. James, which doesn't have nearly as long a lineup as his statue.
  • The end of the Caminos. The center point of the pilgrimage. A giant cathedral built to celebrate the apostle Santiago or St. James.
  • Definitely the center of the city in all aspects. Walk through and appreciate the architecture. For more history visit the museum next door (Cheap and interesting).
  • This is the must place to visit in Santiago. An old and authentic cathedral with an interesting exhibition.

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Where to stay in Santiago de Compostela

Lodging in the city's old district is the most scenic option. Some hotels even offer rooms in renovated historical buildings near the cathedral. Consider a stay in Monte do Gozo, a small town just outside the city that offers 2,000 beds to weary pilgrims.
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Plans in Santiago de Compostela by other users

15 days in Muxia & Santiago de Compostela BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Santiago de Compostela BY A USER FROM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Galicia BY A USER FROM SPAIN October, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 13 days in Spain BY A USER FROM THAILAND July, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Spain & Alter do Chao BY A USER FROM SPAIN August, kids, culture, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids, culture ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in La Coruna, Santiago de Compostela & Vigo BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 20 days in Portugal, Santiago de Compostela & Baiona BY A USER FROM CANADA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 28 days in Europe BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in Spain & Paris BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, beaches, historic sites, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: August, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 8 days in Spain BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in Spain & Portugal BY A USER FROM BRAZIL October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Galicia BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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