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Plaza de la Quintana

Santiago de Compostela’s second-largest square is an intriguing place to stop for a coffee and watch people of the city go about their daily activities. 

Plaza de la Quintana is a large, two-level square bordering the iconic Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Have a seat at one of the cafés lining the square and listen to street musicians perform or watch students chatting on the grand staircase. 

This busy square is sometimes known as Quintana de los Muertos (Square of the Dead) because it was constructed over a former city cemetery. Look down and you’ll see the square is paved with granite, a rock often used in Galician architecture. 

The west side of the square is dominated by the gorgeous Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. From the square, look for the cathedral’s Holy Door and Royal Gate. This special entrance is opened only on Compostelan Holy Years, which is when July 25 (St. James' Day) falls on a Sunday.

Stop by the square at night to see what appears to be the figure of a pilgrim standing under the cathedral’s Baroque clock tower. Look closer and you’ll notice that the pilgrim is actually just a shadow cast by the cathedral. According to local legend, this shadow-pilgrim is a priest who disguised himself to meet his lover, a nun at the nearby convent. His lover never came and thus the pilgrim is said to return every night, hoping he’ll find her.

Walk up the Quintana Stairs, which stretch between the rear of the cathedral and convent. These broad steps are a popular place for local students to gather. Find a spot on the steps to sit and look across the square toward Casa de los Canónigos. Built between the 17th and 18th centuries, this imposing building was once the home of the cathedral’s canons.

On the east side of the square you’ll find the Monasterio de San Paio Antealtares, one of the oldest buildings in the city. Note its somber façade. It was designed in an intentionally restrained style to prevent the building from overshadowing the original Church of St. James nearby. 

Plaza de la Quintana is located on the eastern side of Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, within walking distance of Plaza de la Azabachería and Plaza del Obradoiro.


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Parador de Santiago de Compostela £108
Parador de Santiago de Compostela

Parador de Santiago de Compostela

     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Santiago de Compostela Historic Centre, this luxury hotel is steps away from Obradoiro Square and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Xelmirez Bishop's Palace and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral Museum are also within 5 minutes. Santiago de Compostela Station is 17 minutes by foot.

    Hotel Palacio del Carmen, Autograph Collection
    Hotel Palacio del Carmen, Autograph Collection

    Hotel Palacio del Carmen, Autograph Collection

    Oblatas, s/n, Santiago de Compostela, La Coruna
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of Santiago de Compostela, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of University of Santiago de Compostela and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Alameda Park and Estatua a Ramón María del Valle-Inclán are also within 10 minutes. Santiago de Compostela Station is 19 minutes by foot.

      Hotel Montenegro £61
      Hotel Montenegro

      Hotel Montenegro

      Rúa de Xelmírez, 18, Santiago de Compostela, La Coruna
         
        2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Santiago de Compostela Historic Centre, this historic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of University of Santiago de Compostela and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Sacred Art Museum and Estatua de Afonso II are also within 5 minutes. Santiago de Compostela Station is 15 minutes by foot.

        OYO Hospedaje la Tita £27
        OYO Hospedaje la Tita

        OYO Hospedaje la Tita

        Rúa Nova 46, Santiago de Compostela
           
          1.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Santiago de Compostela Historic Centre, this pension is within a 5-minute walk of Alameda Park and Sacred Art Museum. Obradoiro Square and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Santiago de Compostela Station is 11 minutes by foot.

          Compostela Hotel £89
          Compostela Hotel

          Compostela Hotel

             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Santiago de Compostela Historic Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Alameda Park, University of Santiago de Compostela and Sacred Art Museum. Mercado de Abastos de Santiago and Obradoiro Square are also within 10 minutes. Santiago de Compostela Station is 10 minutes by foot.

            Hotel Alda Algalia £38
            Hotel Alda Algalia

            Hotel Alda Algalia

            Plaza Algalia de Arriba, 5, Santiago de Compostela, La Coruna
               
              1.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Santiago de Compostela Historic Centre, this historic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of University of Santiago de Compostela and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Colegio La Salle and Museum of Pilgrimages of Santiago are also within 5 minutes. Santiago de Compostela Station is 19 minutes by foot.

              Hotel Praza Quintana
              Hotel Praza Quintana

              Hotel Praza Quintana

              Rúa Da Conga, 9, Santiago de Compostela
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Santiago de Compostela Historic Centre, this hotel is steps away from University of Santiago de Compostela and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Platerias Square and Monastery and Church of San Paio de Antealtares are also within 5 minutes. Santiago de Compostela Station is 15 minutes by foot.

                Hostal Residencia Fornos £46
                Hostal Residencia Fornos

                Hostal Residencia Fornos

                Calle Horreo, 7 - 2 y 3, Santiago de Compostela, La Coruna
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Santiago de Compostela Historic Centre, this pension is within a 10-minute walk of Galicia Plaza and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Fundacion Eugenio Granell and Toural Square are also within 5 minutes. Santiago de Compostela Station is 9 minutes by foot.