SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA - MARCH 2007
The Cathedral is of course the most impressive building in Santiago de Compostela. Anyhow, even in religious terms, Santiago has much more to offer. This post, strolling through the city, shows just a small part of the forty six churches one may find there!
"ST. JAMES reputedly appeared to Christian soldiers in their battle to re-conquer land from the Moors and became known as «Matamoros». A small chapel was built on the site where his remains were discovered which developed into today's Cathedral"
"SAINT MARTIN PINARIO - There was some competition in terms of monumentality between the Cathedral and the early 16th century Monastery of San Martin Pinario, one of Spain's largest religious buildings and one of the most impressive examples of the baroque in Compostela. The monastery, founded by a group of Benedictines and built over a medieval cloister, has a 100m long main façade, just in front of the north façade of the cathedral and of a small garden. Four Doric columns, an image of Saint Benedict in the centre and an upper structure showing the coat of arms from Spain occupy the main door. The image of Saint Martin from Tours on horseback sharing his cloak with a poor, representing Christ, was added by Fernando de Casas y Novoa in the 17th century"
"THE PLATERESQUE FAÇADE - On the eastern side, a flight of steps goes downwards to an impressive Plateresque façade from the late 16th century composed like an altarpiece, with statues and relief's"
"THE ALTAR - The church is an exceptional museum of baroque art, and its gold decorated main altar, also with a design of Casas y Novoa, one of the most impressive masterpieces"
"SAN FRUTUOSO is a Churrigueresque 18th century church. The façade, seen here from the terrace of the Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos, shows «Our Lady of Las Angustias» over the main door"
"SANTA MARIA SALOME is one of the churches commissioned by Archbishop Xelmirez in the 12th century. Dedicated to the mother of the Apostle, only the front remains from the original building. The baroque tower is from the 18th century"
"SAN BIEITO DO CAMPO is a single tower, single nave, 18th century neoclassical church in the middle of Plaza Cervantes. It is now on the site of a 10th century church, rebuilt by Archbishop Xelmirez in the 12th century..."
"UNIVERSITY CHURCH - The 17th century baroque Church of Compañia was built by the Jesuits, but became the University chapel at the end of the 18th century when the order was expelled. The statues of St. Ignatius and St. Francis Xavier on the façade were disfigured to represent St. Peter and St. Paul"
"SAINT AGUSTIN CHURCH was built in the 17th century in the baroque style, near the market. It was supposed to have two towers but one of them was never built"
"SAN BENTO CHURCH"
"THE CHURCH OF THE ANIMAS (THE SOULS, 1784) has some impressive Ionic columns in the neoclassical façade, where a terracotta bas-relief depicting souls burning in the Purgatory is probably its most outstanding feature"
"SANTA MARIA DEL CAMINO - This church, finished around 1770 by Ferro Caaveiro, was rebuilt in the baroque style to substitute the old one from the Romanesque period"
"SAN DOMINGOS DE BONAVAL is a 14th century baroque church with some Romanesque elements (The monastery was allegedly founded in 1220 by Santo Domingo de Guzman). Inside the church, the Pantheon of Illustrious Galician keeps the mortal remains of outstanding personalities, like the poet Rosalía de Castro"
"SANTA CLARA - The 17th century baroque convent has its origins in a 13th century structure"
"THE CARME CONVENT is an austere and discreet 18th century baroque convent near Santa Clara, featuring the unusual granite masonry that defines the façade"
"SAN FRANCISCO - The convent was founded by St. Francis of Assisi during his visit in 1214. However, what remains from the original building are only five gothic arches in the cloister and the tomb of Cotolay, the legendary builder of the convent. The present baroque construction was built between 1742 and 1749"
"CASA DO CABIDO - The Chapterhouse at Praza de Praterias is not a building but a three metre deep ornamental façade made in the 18th century for purely decorative purposes. The aim was to enhance the theatrical effect of the square. It stands in three heights, topped by a balustrade adorned with references to St. James"
"CATHEDRAL - Anywhere you go, the massive Cathedral imposes its presence!"