Saturday, June 14, 2008

SANTIAGO'S CATHEDRAL

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA - MARCH 2007

Santiago's cathedral, the end destination of the Camiño de Santiago, is the alleged burial-place of Saint James the Great, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ. In 1075, the construction of the current granite cathedral began, according to the same plan as the church of Saint Sernin in Toulouse, probably the greatest Romanesque edifice in France. The Cathedral was built on the site of an earlier ninth century church destroyed by Almansor's army in 997, the last stone was laid in 1122 and the cathedral was consecrated in 1128 in the presence of King Alfonso IX of Leon. After the completion of the main structure new elements were added in later centuries, culminating in the Baroque transformation of the exterior in the 16th through the 18th centuries. The interior of the Cathedral, however, remained in the Early Romanesque style.




"OBRADOIRO FAÇADE - The western or Obradoiro front, facing the Plaza del Obradoiro and built in the Late Baroque style (the Churrigueresque style) between 1738 and 1747 by Fernando Casas y Novoa, is one of the most impressive church façades I've ever seen. It has two 76 m high towers. The left tower (Torre de la Carraca - Carraca Tower) shows a statue of Zebedee, father of St. James. At some time it held an enormous percussion instrument called a «matraca», which only sounded during Easter, when the bells fell silent. The right tower (Torre de las Campanas) shows the statue of Maria Salome, mother of the apostle. A statue of St. James the Great may be seen in the centre, with his two disciples Athanasius and Theodomir, dressed as pilgrims, shown below. They are flanking a representation of the tomb of St. James. Under the main staircase, the oldest surviving part of the Cathedral, the vaulted Romanesque chamber known as the Old Cathedral, can be found. It's a crypt built in the early 12th century"



"SOUTHERN FAÇADE - The Romanesque façade of the Puerta de las Platerías (Silversmiths Door) on the South façade, the oldest surviving doorway of the Cathedral and one of the best preserved portals, is situated at the Plaza das Praterias where, in the past, silver jewels were sold. It's a two-arched Romanesque portal showing a series of juxtaposed scenes in bas-relief, sculpted between 1112 and 1117. Above the arches of the doorways, in the centre, is the figure of Christ in the act of blessing, flanked by St James and Moses, and below this are the Creation of Adam, the Expulsion from Paradize and Abraham emerging from the tomb"



"BERENGUELA (OR CLOCK TOWER) is a 72 metre high baroque tower. The main body, with a Romanesque base, was built in the 14th century by the archbishop for whom the tower is named: Berenguel de Landoira; later, the architect Domingo de Andrade finished the upper part (1680). Both the original clock (1522) and the bell, measuring 2.5 metres in diameter and considered one of the best in the world, had to be replaced"




"EASTERN FAÇADE - The Eastern façade of the cathedral faces the Plaza Quintana Mortos (Dead) below, as there was a cemetery there; and Quintana Vivos (Alive) on the upper side, where people lived... It has two main portals : the Royal Door (Puerta Real), an excellent example of Compostela baroque, built in the mid-17th century; and the Holy Door (Puerta Santa), known also as the Door of Pardons (Puerta de los Perdones)"


"PUERTA SANTA (HOLY DOOR) opens only during a Año Xacobeo (Holy Year), the year when July 25th (St. James' Day) is a Sunday. During those years, it is accesssible via a smaller gated door, dedicated to St. Pelayo (discoverer of the tomb of St. James). This privilege of holding a Holy Year (shared with Rome and Jerusalem) dates from the 12th century and was granted by Pope Callixtus II in 1119"


"NORTHERN FAÇADE - It was here, at the Francigena (also called Gate of Paradise, the Romanesque portal built in 1122 by Bernard, treasurer of the church) that ended the Camiño de Santiago coming from France. The current Azabachería Façade at the Praza da Immaculada was built on the orders of Archbishop Raxoi in the mid-18th century to replace the existing Romanesque façade. On top of the façade stands a statue of St. James from the 18th century, with two kings at his feet in a praying position : Alfonso II the Great (866-910) and Ordoño II of León (873-924)"



"AT NIGHT - The Obradoiro Façade!"

50 comments:

Trotter said...

This post is dedicated to the outside tour of the Cathedral, the most important monument in Santiago de Compostela. Pictures of the inside will follow in the next post. Wish you enjoy!
Meanwhile, I will try to reduce my posting delay to 15 months instead of 18, while still making some (not much seen, truly) posts on Blogtrotter Revival 70s & 80s and Blogtrotter Revival 90s. That will be a great achievement…

LeenaM said...

It`s always most amazing to see, how skillful builders they have been.
I have read much about Santiago de Compostela and walking all the way there like a pilgrim.
Have a nice weekend and thank you for your visit my site.

leo said...

I still havent got the chance to see the pictures that my hubby took in Spain. After 2 days arrived home he still jet lag. But he did mentioned about this majestic Cathedral and after seeing ur pics, I truly can appreciate how huge it is. Have a good weekend.

Worldman said...

Hello, I am back.

I have presented your blog to "my" world with a post and you are now in "My favorite blogs".

And I am pleased to have discovered you.

Take care

Pete

indicaspecies said...

Hi Gil,

Splendid posts on Santiago de
Compostela. The Cathedral is magnificent. Thank you for sharing these beautiful shots.

Thank you for your kind words on my blog. I extend my best wishes for the Lisbon celebrations and have a great weekend.:)

Nihal said...

WOW Gil!
An elegantly preserved medieval cathedral, very impressive indeed. A tour of faith to the baroque Cathedral Santiago de Copostela waiting in my wish-list, a special thank you for this guided visit of the cathedral:)
BTW, today I'm celebrating 850th birthday of Munich, a hint: June 14th, 1158.

For more, you're always welcome to my home. Have a blessed weekend.

N at CrossRoads

Ash said...

Splendid architecture...I could look at these photos for hours together!

have a great weekend Gil!

Chuckeroon said...

Hi Trotter.....tks for this one. My "Spain" experience is confined to a few intensive business visits - all tourism forbidden. 666, 997, 1075, Baroque and so on. The mind staggers. The depth of feeling and the importance of it all to the minds of that era!

Tks for taking time to review the RuT week. Trot along now, old chap.

RuneE said...

It was an impressive cathedral indeed. The old masters really made architecture that was beautiful, grandiose and at the same time pious.

A couple next door went half-way along the pilgrim-route last year, This time they will try to walk the rest.

Wendy said...

Hi Gil,
This is impressive to say the least. Also impressive is your ability to update several blogs!

SusuPetal said...

Those cathedrals of yesterday are amazing, just think of the work they have required! Not only the building, but the ornaments, decoration, facades etc, too!

Susanne49 said...

Hi Gil,

this is a very impressive architecture and a nice and interesting post - as always!

Thanks for sharing! btw. "worldman" is a great Swiss guy and also a good friend of mine.:-)

traveler one said...

Fantastic as usual Gil! You obviously were there on a wonderful day for phototaking- great skies and clouds- lots of 'atmosphere' here! What fabulous architecture!

shooting star said...

whw!!!!...such an extensive piece!!!ur writng is quite in detail..the pics are lovely and capture the building in detail..however, i think there are much more interesting looking cathedrals than this one!!!
btw...regarding your comment about not psting anything new...i have uploaded a post on my other blog..http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.com/
do check it out!!!

Priyank said...

Hey GMG

The cathedral is truly gigantic :) The rustic look and the old architecture looks nice against the blue sky.

Good luck with reducing the delay.

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

As usual I come here only intending to stay a few minutes and it ends up being an hour. :) Amazing architecture!

Nikon said...

Wow, that is elaborate architecture!
Bloomsday is being celebrated at Hem's ;)

Pietro said...

Wonderful series of photos and splendid architecture. Really very nice and interesting!

Azer Mantessa said...

hi

you covered the angles well. very comprehensively written.

have a good week ahead.

di.di said...

wow...the cathedral looks so majestic!!

Piika said...

don't you just love Spain?

Dsole said...

Gil, what a nice surprise watching Santiago de Compostela in your blog!
Great photos but is there any chance that they wouldn't be? this cathedral is just amazing. I love Santiago, I love Galicia. I'll be in this place next July, again, but I'm not tired at all!
Nice to "see" you!

lyliane said...

Superbe cathédrale, j'ai fait deux fois le tour de toutes ces constructions en dentelle avec les très intéressantes explications.
J'ai très envie d'aller la voir.

lv2scpbk said...

I always love the buildings you post. They have such wonderful details and I bet they look even more spectacular in person.

JB's Big World said...

Amazing architechture and great shots!
--JB

M.Kate said...

Hi Gil,

WHOA!!! What a picture and architecture!!! Just splendid and beautiful, love the first picture and the last one. Just fantastic :)

Looking forward to hop over again :)

Deslilas said...

On peut imaginer l'état d'esprit des pélerins après un très long périple à pied à la vue de si magnifiques constructions.
les temps changent mais l'admiration reste.

Neva said...

This is a stunning cathedral. I can only imagine what it looks like in person! You will have accomplished an immense amount of work if you are able to get all your blogging done and up to date where you want it! Your blogs reflect the time and effort you put into them.....

Noushy Syah said...

The beauty of Spain! Not only the people but the architecture of the buildings/cathedrals just amazing.

alice said...

Quel monument!

Peter said...

Difficult to find something more baroque than the Obradoiro facade! Incredible! You can imagine the sensational feelings (even stronger than ours) that the travellers of more ancient times must have experienced after a long pilgrimage! The building must have been impressive already in roman style and before the later additions, but now it’s really sensational! This is however an issue; should we have preferred today to see the original creations?

Jules said...

With all the airposts I have been in lately it is great to travel to Spain without getting my suitcase out!!!

hpy said...

What a beautiful building. Just like in your previous post.

Lori said...

Hi Gil! Sorry I've been away so long! This cathedral is breathtaking. It looks majestic from every angle. It must have been an amazing sight in person!

lyliane said...

Qu'elle stupéfaction! le Portugal qui perd devant la Suisse!!!Je suis déçue mais ça me permets de revenir voir les belles photos.

julia said...

Well, forget the pilgrimage just visit the cathedral instead, astounding, in night light as well. Is there more about the nitty gritty of walking the ancient way, (apart from the most exclusive hotel in town LOL)

Lawstude said...

i love churches and whenever i travel, i see to it that i visit the church of the area. great framing sir and beautiful set as well.

ruth said...

What a very ornate cathedral, wow. I wonder what St. James would think of it. A friend of mine is writing a book about the burial places of the 12 apostles, so I assume this is that James?

Dr.John said...

Thanks for the grand tour.

Indrani said...

The shots are captivating, I forget to take my eyes off to read the text. I wonder what it will be to see it in real.

Thanks for the comments on my site. Have a great week ahead.

Dalicia said...

thank you for visiting my blog again :) what a nice facade!!!

backpakker said...

wow...i will say again wow..

Lakshmi

kyh said...

I think I'm falling in love with it. One day I'm going to walk the pilgrimage trail just for this!

Trotter said...

Hi everybody! Thanks again for your visits and comments and sorry for the late reply!

Leena,
Skilful builders! You’re quite right…

Leo,
So your hubby was in Santiago; ask him if he made the Paris-Dakar… ;))

Pete,
Thanks a lot for introducing me to your world and for the link in your blog!
Reciprocating, I included you in my Trotter’s list!!

Celine,
Thanks. It’s an incredible building!!

Nihal,
This cathedral is probably one of the most impressive I know…
Talking football, we’re out; good luck to Turkey!

Ash,
I agree!

Roon,
It’s always a bit odd to see how they would build such wonders with so limited resources…

Rune,
Walking the Way is certainly an achievement, even if split in two times…

Wendy,
Thanks! Impressive building, I agree…

Susu,
It’s amazing how they would be able to build such structures…

Sue,
Thanks! It was great to be «discovered» and to «discover» Pete and his blog!

Kim,
Spent some days; some with clouds, some of a stunning blue sky… ;))

Shooting Star,
Details matter… I’m not so sure that «there are much more interesting looking cathedrals than this one»; there might be some, but not that many… ;))

Priyank,
More than gigantic, it’s wonderful…
Hopefully, I’ll manage to reduce the delay, as I’m travelling much less now than earlier… ;))

Lynn,
Thanks! Great pleasure to see you here…

Paul,
Great to see Joyce at Hem’s…

Pietro,
Thanks. Great pleasure to seeing you commenting here for the first time…

Azer,
Thanks. Angles and curves… ;))

Di.Di,
Wow, great to read you back… ;))

Piika,
I like it a lot; and now that we are out of the Euro, will be looking interested to «nuestros hermanos»… ;))

Dsole,
So, you’ll be back in Galicia next July; lucky girl… ;) And Portugal?

Lyliane,
Tu dois y aller; et après tu descends vers Lisbonne et on y va à Alfama manger les sardines grillées… ;))
C’est une façon d’oublier la défaite face à Allemagne, beaucoup plus pire que face à la Suisse… C’est l’héritage de M. Scolari; heureusement qu’il est finalement parti… (On espère que le prochain ne sera encore pire…) ;))

Barb,
Thanks! You bet well…

JB’s,
Amazing indeed…

M.Kate,
I also love the night pictures!

Daniel,
C’est vrai que l’arrivée après le Chemin devrait être une expérience incroyable…

Neva,
Thanks! I might reduce the delay in blogging just because I’m travelling much less now… ;))

Noushy Syah,
Beauty of Spain? OK, but you should see Portugal… ;))

Alice,
Impressionnant!

Peter,
You’re right; it’s an incredible façade!
I found a site with the reconstruction of the Romanesque façade, but didn’t take note and lost track…

Jules,
I’ve seen some of your landing spots; and I understand how comfortable it is to travel at home… ;))

Helene,
Thanks!

Lori,
I’m so glad to see you back blogging and commenting…

Julia,
Don’t you want to try to walk the Way? It seems the Hostal still gives a hot meal to the first pilgrims that arrive there each day… Must confess I’ve seen none; probably was waking up too late for the pilgrims’ hot meal experience… ;)))

Norman,
You have good taste: old churches are usually some of the most impressive monuments in cities with some history!

Ruth,
According to Wikipedia, it’s supposed to be Saint James, son of Zebedee (d. AD 44), one of the disciples of Jesus, brother of John the Evangelist. He is called Saint James the Greater to distinguish him from the other apostle named James (James, son of Alphaeus) (also known as James the Lesser). James is described as one of the first disciples to join Jesus! So it’s probably one of the subjects of your friend’s book…

Dr. John,
Thanks! Also for making Blogtrotter the Link of the Day at your blog…

Indrani,
It’s a great experience to get there…

Dalicia,
It’s a pleasure to land at your blog!

Lakshmi,
Wow! It’s perfectly adequate… ;))

Kyh,
Thanks for your comment; first time here I assume!
It’s a great walk, if you’re planning to do it: 100km minimum to get the pilgrim’s certificate… ;))

'JoAnn's-D-Eyes'NL said...

great fantastic i love this shots

Trotter said...

JoAnn,
Thanks! Glad to see you here. Hope you're definitely feeling better!

Sigma said...

Wow! The words will fail to describe the grandeur of the cathedral .... it never ceases to amaze me how they managed to construct such magnificent buildings without sophisticated tools in those times!

Trotter said...

Sigma,
You're right about the grandeur! And it's amazing how they managed to create it; as the pyramids...

Ted Roth said...

I could comment on every image, but this set of exterior shots is especially wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

Trotter said...

Ted,
Thanks. I also believe that some of these pictures happen to be included in the best I've ever managed to take...