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Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

An important site of pilgrimage, this historic cathedral is considered to be one of Spain’s most extraordinary examples of Romanesque architecture. 

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is a magnificent blend of architectural styles, with elaborate Baroque and Gothic features embellishing its primarily Romanesque design. Follow the popular Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route and visit this last stop, the cathedral dedicated to Spain’s patron saint Santiago (St. James).

The first cathedral to stand on this site was constructed in the ninth century, after the tomb of St. James was discovered here in the 9th century. Destroyed by the Moors in 997, the cathedral was rebuilt beginning in 1075. Its original Romanesque façade was replaced in the 18th century by the Baroque one you see today. Note that the interior remains distinctly Romanesque, with its barrel-vaulted ceiling and numerous chapels. 

Be sure to see the cathedral’s finest work of art, the Pórtico de la Gloria, just beyond the west entrance. Considered one of the world’s most beautiful Romanesque sculptures, this stunning portico was designed in 1188 by Maestro Mateo. The portico is composed of more than 200 sculptures, which depict figures from the Old and New Testaments. Look closely at the column topped with an image of St. James and you’ll see indentations created by the millions of pilgrims who have placed their hands here over the centuries. 

Don’t miss the cathedral’s lavish main altar, which is guarded by a statue of St. James. Behind the altar, you’ll see a set of stairs where pilgrims line up to kiss or hug the statue of St. James after finally reaching the end of their journey. Descend the steps to reach the crypt below the altar, which is said to hold the remains of St. James in a silver urn.

Save time to see the adjoining cathedral museums, which house gorgeous tapestries and archeological artifacts. Be sure to see the room devoted to the different stages of the cathedral’s construction; look for interesting 17th- and 18th-century plans and drawings of the building.

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is free to enter, but there is an admission fee for the museum. Opening hours vary by season and tourists are discouraged from visiting during religious services.


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See all 413 properties near Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
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.

              San Francisco Hotel Monumento £149
              San Francisco Hotel Monumento

              San Francisco Hotel Monumento

              Campillo de San Francisco, 3, Santiago de Compostela, La Coruna
                 
                4.0 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. Convento de San Francisco de Santiago and Xelmirez Bishop's Palace are also within 5 minutes. Santiago de Compostela Station is 20 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.