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Botafumerio out of service

rabtacoma

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Leon to Santiago October 2019
I requested a Mass to be offered with the botafumerio from the Cathederal for May 27th.
Here is the update from the Cathederal:
“We are contacting you to inform you that unfortunately the botafumeiro service will not be re-established for the requested date.”

So it looks like it will be under repairs at least through May.
 
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It has always been a bit of a "tease" though, hasn't it? Let's be honest.
All I can think of (when it comes to the since forever "will they, won't they use it?" during "Pilgrim Mass") is that I suppose if they advertised it in advance (which mass and which day they will use it) there would be a risk of overcrowding (?)

I guess the reason they don't use it at every mass is cost.
But the "€450"* they ask for a private performance seems excessive...

(*source: Wikipedia)
 
It has always been a bit of a "tease" though, hasn't it? Let's be honest.
All I can think of (when it comes to the since forever "will they, won't they use it?" during "Pilgrim Mass") is that I suppose if they advertised it in advance (which mass and which day they will use it) there would be a risk of overcrowding (?)

I guess the reason they don't use it at every mass is cost.
But the "€450"* they ask for a private performance seems excessive...

(*source: Wikipedia)

It takes 8 people to swing it (not saying they're paid but that doesn't mean it should be free). Then you have the cost of maintenance, cleaning, coals/incense, insurance, and if it generates a bit of income so be it.

I've heard people getting married paying thousands each for photographers, invitations, seat covers and all manner of nonsense and getting uptight when the church asks for €200-300 towards their costs.
 
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I posted this so pilgrims would know the botafumerio would not be used in the Mass for at least through the month of May and they could perhaps adjust their plans if they were hoping to extend their stay to experience it.
 
I guess the reason they don't use it at every mass is cost.
But the "€450"* they ask for a private performance seems excessive...

(*source: Wikipedia)
It's hardly private. Anyone who has seen the botafumerio at any time other than the 10 or so specific days listed on the Cathedral website has seen it because some one or some group has paid for it. Mass is open to anyone who arrives on time to get a seat, which generally means hundreds of people at a time.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
If you sponsor the use of the botafumeiro - as well as the certainty of seeing it in action, you do get a number of reserved seats close to the censer itself. The main event should clearly be the Mass; but a proportion of the congregation wait -phone in hand - for the boring bit to finish.

On the cost side, the eight people involved are paid, there’s wear and tear to consider as is currently obvious, the admin isn’t free and the whole lot’s subject to tax.

IMHO it’s become an over-rated gimmick which attracts too much ‘must see’ attention.
 
Hola, whilst it may be disappointing for April/May and early June pilgrims to not see the botafumeiro swing it is quite and involved piece of equipment (from my numerous observations). Maybe the ceiling fittings need repairs and other fittings (ropes etc) need more than "running repairs). Oh BTW the last time I had info about "special swing payments" it was around Euro 350/400 - based on a bus load of French or German tourist making a "donation" via their tour director. Cheers
 
Everyone needs to understand that this mechanism is hundreds of years old. It employs precise geometry and engineering - for the time. All the parts are custom made. You cannot just go to the local DIY store for replacement parts.

When the rest of the Cathedral was renovated - an excellent job by the way - the Botafumeiro was examined and assessed that it did not need maintenance at that time. Several months ago, while a priest was celebrating the Mass at the main altar, one screw fell out of the Botafumeiro and landed on the altar proper. I imagine that was a proper "oh sh$%" moment.

In any event, the Botafumeiro was promptly taken out of service, and a decision was taken that the entire mechanism should be lowered and completely renovated.

One imagines that the ongoing delays have to do with: (A) funding, (B) careful examination of all the parts, (C) design and manual fabrication of the proper replacement parts - likely more than a single screw - using techniques from the 1600 or 1700s; and (D) developing a plan to CAREFULLY reassemble and reinstall the renovated Botafumeiro while the Cathedral continues to function around the work, and throughout the peak tourism and pilgrim season.

In the meanwhile, you can easily view hundreds of You Tube videos by searching for "botafumeiro santiago de compostela."

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
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It is disappointing for a pilgrim who really wants to see the botafumiero swing but does not. However, lots of pilgrims have been disappointed but still went on to realize they had had a special pilgrimage anyways.
And regarding time for upkeep... when I visited the cathedral museum, I was surprised to discover the botamumerio was as tall as I was - 1.6m or about 5 feet high. I do not weigh 80kg- about 176 pounds, but it does. When being swung above a cathedral filled with people, it creates a large arc. If the rope broke or the mechanism suddenly failed, it could become an impressive and dangerous projectile. Maintaining the botafumerio for the continued safety and wonderment of all is worth the down time.
 
It is disappointing for a pilgrim who really wants to see the botafumiero swing but does not. However, lots of pilgrims have been disappointed but still went on to realize they had had a special pilgrimage anyways.
Not nearly as disappointing as the few centuries they misplaced St. James' relics after they hid them from Drake.
 
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It is disappointing for a pilgrim who really wants to see the botafumiero swing but does not. However, lots of pilgrims have been disappointed but still went on to realize they had had a special pilgrimage anyways.
And regarding time for upkeep... when I visited the cathedral museum, I was surprised to discover the botamumerio was as tall as I was - 1.6m or about 5 feet high. I do not weigh 80kg- about 176 pounds, but it does. When being swung above a cathedral filled with people, it creates a large arc. If the rope broke or the mechanism suddenly failed, it could become an impressive and dangerous projectile. Maintaining the botafumerio for the continued safety and wonderment of all is worth the down time.
Just by way of conversation, I believe the rope HAS failed three times over the years. SO, it CAN happen.
 
The scuttlebutt on the Camino is that the botafumeiro will swing at the festival on Thursday. Does anybody know if this is true or not?
 
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