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Plaza de la Quintana
Holiday Travel Guide

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.

Top things to do in Plaza de la Quintana

Top Trending Hotels Near Plaza de la Quintana

Parador de Santiago de Compostela
Parador de Santiago de Compostela
5 out of 5
The price is £82 per night from 25 Feb to 26 Feb

Located in Santiago de Compostela Historic Centre, this luxury hotel is steps away from Obradoiro Square and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Xelmirez Bishop's ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (661 reviews)

"Very luxurious , beautiful bedrooms and luxurious public spaces. Very central and the breakfast was gorgeous! Also staff were very helpful when I left bag in cab in way to airport. I realized what had happened instantly and was able to call hotel who coordinated with cab driver to return bag to me!.. ..."…"

Reviewed on 14 Oct 2020

Parador de Santiago de Compostela
Hotel Carrís Casa de la Troya
Hotel Carrís Casa de la Troya
3 out of 5
The price is £54 per night from 26 Mar to 27 Mar

Located in Santiago de Compostela Historic Centre, this boutique hotel is steps away from Monastery and Church of San Paio de Antealtares and Santiago de Compostela ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (240 reviews)

"Except for weak Wifi connection, it was awesome considering its price."…"

Reviewed on 5 Jan 2020

Hotel Carrís Casa de la Troya
Exe Area Central
Exe Area Central
3 out of 5
The price is £36 per night from 26 Feb to 27 Feb

Situated in the shopping district, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of As Cancelas and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Multiusos Fontes do Sar and Pedagogical ...

4.1/5Very Good! (293 reviews)

"Nice hotel Good location Friendly people at front desk Clean room"…"

Reviewed on 9 Nov 2019

Exe Area Central
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Plaza de la Quintana

Plaza de la Quintana

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Top Hotel Deals

Parador de Santiago de Compostela
Parador de Santiago de Compostela
5 out of 5
The price is £82 per night from 25 Feb to 26 Feb
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Hotel Carrís Casa de la Troya
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3 out of 5
The price is £54 per night from 26 Mar to 27 Mar
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Exe Area Central
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The price is £36 per night from 26 Feb to 27 Feb
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Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.