There was he never a pilgrim that did not come back to his own village with one less prejudice and one more idea. –Chateaubriand 1768 – 1848
Apparently this is what the Camino de Santiago does to you. It makes you want to become better, learn more about yourself, about others and about the world. But this post won’t be about the Camino because this requires a deeper understanding of the experience. An understanding that can only be acquired through execution.
Instead I’ll try to help you know Santiago de Compostela a bit better and see why rain has its beauty!
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
This is probably the ultimate goal for those who come to Santiago. And I must say that although I am not a religious person I did feel an atmosphere loaded with a strong emotional charge. One of the curious things that happen here is the process of knocking one’s head three times (gently of course) on the statue of Master Mateo. You would be surprised to know that this custom comes from the students who did this in order to have inspiration and good luck at their exams.
Other interesting attractions are the crypt which has the remains of the apostle and the Main Altar that hosts the statue of Santiago. And if you are here, don’t forget to visit the roof of the cathedral (the tour starts around 10:00 am and it lasts approximately 45 minutes). From here you can see the beautiful historic center and believe me, the sight will leave you breathless.
Where to eat?
Santiago is the perfect place to taste some delicious tapas or drink a fine wine. After so much visiting, you will surely need it! Where can you do this? Try Casa Rosalia (Rua do Franco; 0034 981 568441), Vinoteca O Beiro (Rua da Raina, 0034 981 581370;www.obeiro.com) or Casa Calo (as an affordable version of restaurant where you can eat pastas, steaks and pork chops). For a nice, typical Galician dinner try O Dezaseis (0034 981 564880; www.dezaseis.com). Here you can try the grilled octopus (pulpo gallego). It doesn’t come served very elegantly, but it sure is delicious.
7 Interesting Facts About Santiago
- Santiago is the most popular city in Galicia and it is visited by the highest number of tourists.
The remains of apostle Saint James were brought to Galicia after he was beheaded.
The first recognized guidebook (Codex Calixtinus) was produced in Santiago de Compostela. This offers guidance to those who want to follow the route of the “el camino.”
Every year the number of pilgrims raises and thus Santiago remains one of the holiest places in Christendom.
Santiago de Compostela is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 1993).
When visiting Santiago don’t forget to check the
Hostal dos Reyes Católicos is claimed to be the oldest hotel in the world. Now is a parador and its gorgeous facade is placed near the main cathedral.
How do these sound?