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Cathedral Tour in Santiago, includes roof top

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Kurt5280

Crazy Enough To Try It Again!
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances: SJPDP to Finisterre & Muxia 9/15 (MTB) - Norte: Bayonne to Muxia & Finisterre 9/18 (MTB)
I wanted to do the Cathedral rooftop tour...the problems are...first...you have to know there is a Tour Office in the basement to schedule special tours...second...you have to go to the Tour Office and get the weekly schedule of special tours...third...every time I was there attempting to schedule a special tour there were only two employees scheduling special tours...one was always having an exceptionally long conversation with another group...and the other was trying to act busy behind the counter without helping anyone standing in line...basically I missed scheduling a rooftop tour on my last Camino...so my advise is use the same patience that you did standing in line for two plus hours to get your Compostela and schedule a Cathedral rooftop tour.
 
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Deleted member 43780

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I did the roof top tour last May. After walking the Ingles.

Checked at the Cathedral office. Told to go on line to reserve a space.

Went on line. Reserved space. Saved the reservation.

At time of the tour showed up few minutes before scheduled time. Showed my online booking. Was saved to my phone as well.

No problems. Nice tour. Good guide.

The office in the cathedral would not sell me a ticket directly.
Got me why. I was there face-to-face. But had to do it on line.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
My first tour was in English, but could only get one in Spanish the following year during my available timeframe. I thought I'd be disappointed, but it's really the spectacular VIEWS I love anyway, so I was still very happy.
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Our tours (Pilgrim Office voluntarios) are usually in Spanish. Last summer, I finally got to ask a question that had flummoxed me on prior tours.

On the ridge of the roof, to the east, above the central nave and main altar area of the Cathedral, there is a single bell suspended from a small stone and wooden frame. It has a cord leading from it, into the roof.

Clearly, it was not intended to be a main Cathedral bell. Santiago, and the other really BIG bells in the South bell tower have that need well covered.

Note: the North bell tower does not have bells, it contains the "clacker" the large wooden wheel that makes a pronounced clacking sound. During Semana Santa (Holy Week) it is used in place of bells during the celebration of the Passion of our Lord, when using bells is considered inappropriate.

Back to the small bell. It is about 50 cm in diameter at the bottom and looks more like a chapel or schoolhouse bell. I did ask what it was for. Here is the docent's explanation...

"Back in the day (my term), the official bell ringer and his family lived on the roof of the Cathedral. The cord on the small bell led, and still leads to the area behind the main altar. When the celebrant in the Cathedral below, desired bells to be rung, an assistance would pull the bell cord, alerting the official bell ringer on the roof to ring the main Cathedral bells."

Go figure...
 
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Dianne Hartenburg

New Member
I took the Roof Top Tour last October. Easy to sign up for and worthwhile. However, I was not prepared for the slanting roof and height. I, frankly, was very happy to come down to the ground at the end of the tour!
 

tinta

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago 2016, Le Puy en Velay to SJPP 2018, Santiago to Finisterre, Muxia 2018.
Or, you could volunteer to work at the Pilgrim Office. The Cathedral roof tour is part of the benefit package. We also get an exhaustive tour of the Cathedral museum and library provided by the Cathedral historian.

Priceless!
Hi. firstly, I would love to do the Cathedral roof tour, but I am guessing my ridiculous fear of high places would prevent that.
But I am very interested to hear of your work as a volunteer. Would you mind steering me in the right direction to find out more about this work.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Hi. firstly, I would love to do the Cathedral roof tour, but I am guessing my ridiculous fear of high places would prevent that.
But I am very interested to hear of your work as a volunteer. Would you mind steering me in the right direction to find out more about this work.
Me too for the volunteers (have been hospitalero before) as now retired but not if you have to go on the roof - entering Portomarin is bad enough for me!
 
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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Time of past OR future Camino
yes...
Hi. firstly, I would love to do the Cathedral roof tour, but I am guessing my ridiculous fear of high places would prevent that.

I can cry walking over bridges and really do hate heights but I found the rooftops ok. There was a lady on our tour who was very nervous but she didn't regret her visit. I never felt so close to the edge that it was a problem and the longer I was there the more comfortable I felt. I know everyone is different but I just wanted to say it wasn't so bad for me (and my family were so surprised I did it!) :)
 

tinta

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago 2016, Le Puy en Velay to SJPP 2018, Santiago to Finisterre, Muxia 2018.
Me too for the volunteers (have been hospitalero before) as now retired but not if you have to go on the roof - entering Portomarin is bad enough for me!
Ah, yes I remember Portomarin, for most walkers those steps would be a doddle, for us with a questionable sense of balance, those last ten steps are at crawl pace. But of course, once you did it you felt as big as ten bears. :)
 

tinta

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago 2016, Le Puy en Velay to SJPP 2018, Santiago to Finisterre, Muxia 2018.
I can cry walking over bridges and really do hate heights but I found the rooftops ok. There was a lady on our tour who was very nervous but she didn't regret her visit. I never felt so close to the edge that it was a problem and the longer I was there the more comfortable I felt. I know everyone is different but I just wanted to say it wasn't so bad for me (and my family were so surprised I did it!) :)
Thank you. I think the tour has to be on our list of "must do's" whilst we are in Santiago this year. Can't wait.
 

jsalt

Jill
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Ah, yes I remember Portomarin, for most walkers those steps would be a doddle,

I thought Jeff was talking about the bridge, not the steep steps the other side, but I may be wrong ;).
I have to walk across that bridge in the road, and be very wary of traffic, rather than on the path at the side.
Jill
 

tinta

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago 2016, Le Puy en Velay to SJPP 2018, Santiago to Finisterre, Muxia 2018.
I thought Jeff was talking about the bridge, not the steep steps the other side, but I may be wrong ;).
I have to walk across that bridge in the road, and be very wary of traffic, rather than on the path at the side.
Jill
Yes, your probably right. I had erased that experience, ha,ha. Your comment revived the memory, 'cos I too had to walk the bridge. Don't think I breathed till I got to the other side. But we did it, and that is what enriches our experience.
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Hi. firstly, I would love to do the Cathedral roof tour, but I am guessing my ridiculous fear of high places would prevent that.
But I am very interested to hear of your work as a volunteer. Would you mind steering me in the right direction to find out more about this work.

I will send you a PM with the information you need. I have posted it here, in the forum previously as well.
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
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rooftop tour a few years ago included some of the rooms (incl. the great hall with its amazing capitals and the loo) of the Palacio de Gelmirez, built by one of the most important bishops of the romanesque santiago. is this still included in the tour? or if not, is it possible to visit separately? I visited it in 2005 (before the rooftop was added), was delighted and would like to visit the palace again. only there is no mention of the palace in the guided tours on the cathedral site. is it closed? in renovation?
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I love the rooftop tour and have done it twice. A very unique opportunity and such beautiful views of the city. A big "thumbs up"!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Hi. firstly, I would love to do the Cathedral roof tour, but I am guessing my ridiculous fear of high places would prevent that.
But I am very interested to hear of your work as a volunteer. Would you mind steering me in the right direction to find out more about this work.

Sorry for the delay. I am just now seeing this. As a matter of fact I am in Santiago, having come off the Camino de Invierno.

For detailed information about volunteering, please consult my post: “How to Volunteer in the Pilgrim Office at Santiago.”

You can use the search function to locate it.

I hope this helps.
 
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MegR

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2018)
From the site, it appears the tours are only in Spanish. Can anyone confirm?
 

gschmidl

sator arepo tenet opera rotas
Time of past OR future Camino
Kumano Kodo (11/2018), Camino Sanabres (4/2019)
Is the tour currently not available? Can't find it on the website.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
The cathedral is undergoing renovations and most activities, including the pilgrim masses, have moved to other venues or have stopped. I believe the roof tours are canceled for now.
But in compensation, the Pórtico de Gloria can once again be seen, and the restoration looks amazing! (And to anyone who is a fan of romanesque, the ticket to the museum includes entrance into the adjacent Palacio Gelmirez. I remember reading that it is one of the finest examples of civilian romanesque and the carvings are so well preserved and depict lots of merry-making and eating. Don’t miss it!)
 

Traveler2019

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May (2019)
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Deleted member 73526

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But in compensation, the Pórtico de Gloria can once again be seen, and the restoration looks amazing!
Great! I found this information regarding free viewings of the Portico de Gloria -

If I understand that site correctly, the visit is free of charge but available by reservation only to a maximum of 25 people for a maximum of 15 minutes. To reserve a ticket you must go to the ticket office the day before your visit (on Saturday if you wish to visit the Portico on Sunday or Monday). Ticket office is located on the ground floor of the Casa do Deán (rúa do Vilar, 3). Opening hours are Monday to Saturday, from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

You must bring ID to receive a ticket. Tickets are released for the next day only (on Saturday the tickets for Sunday and Monday are issued). Tickets are specific to named individuals and cannot be transferred.

Well, that's quite the procedure, but I'm sure it's worth it. Has anyone else done this?
 

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