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Not to be missed in Santiago


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Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
Last Tuesday (June 17) I took the overnight train from Madrid to Santiago to surprise a friend who was completing the Camino del Norte. I had only one and a half days in Santiago as I needed to return to my students, but we went to the Cathedral Museum, the Archbishop´s Palace and the Pilgrim Museum. They were wonderful! They should not be missed!

The Cathedral Museum takes you up to the Cloister, the Treasury room and houses some spectacular works of art. I particularly enjoy seeing the tapestries made from Goya´s cartoons- The are something I teach and have seen the cartoons in the Prado many times, but never saw any of the actual tapestries. What a treat! The view from the balustrade of the Praca de Obradorio was spectacular, the money and the works of art and statuary were amazing.

The Pilgrim Museum is free and has a wonderful gift shop as well. They too have fantastic works of art and you can take pictures (sin flash, of course) - something that has all but disappeared in Spanish museums due to the abuse of the ¨without flash¨ rule. There are wonderful renderings of Santiago, a copy of a Pilgrim map from the Middle Ages, models of the church and later cathedral of Santiago. It is well worth the visit!

The most amazing however, was the Archbishop´s palace where we ended up in the balcony above the Puerta de la Gloria looking down the nave at the main altar. I finally learned why the Cathedral in Santiago is different from all other Spanish cathedrals in that it has no choir in the center to block the view from the main door to the main altar. (every other Spanish Cathedral has the choir in the center) Then a climb brings you to the roof of the Cathedral where we took no less than 100 photos! The views are breathtaking and we were blessed with a day of brilliant sun, with the spectacular azure Spanish sky.

I would highly recommend visiting the sights if you get the opoprtunity - it was SO worth it!

Buen Camino,
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Deirdre said:
block the view from the main door to the main altar
Interesting point, Deirdrè! In Russia we learnt that the iconostase (a complete 'wall' of very large man size to small icons) is there to block the view on what the priest is doing facing East. In our churches that wall has gone and the priest is now looking West facing the faithful. These days I'm reading Volume III of The Way of Saint James on the beach and I remember Ms King writing about this sight line you're talking about; I'll look it up again making notes so you don't have to search.

The Santiago Enigma


Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
On our nocturnal tour we were shown the famous "Paris-Dakar" students' pub crawl along Rua do Franco from Bar Paris to Cafeteria Dakar, with about 40 popular bars in between.

Whilst in the square look out for the "Tunas" (traditional musicians) who tour the streets, bars and restaurants in medieval costumes.


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    Tunas in Santiago.JPG
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