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Portico de la Gloria - Galician parliament demands free access days


Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
The controversy over the cathedral's plans to charge for visits to the recently restored Portico de la Gloria rumbles on. El Correo Gallego has reported that the Galician parliament has ruled that in order to comply with the laws governing cultural heritage the cathedral must offer some free access to the Portico: a minimum of four hours per day for at least four days each month. And this must be open to all - not restricted to local residents or pilgrims who have received a Compostela for whom limited concessions had already been announced by the cathedral.
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino frances 2013; Camino portugues 2015; Via francigena 2016
I don't think I know enough to decide whether it is fair or not. Has the Catholic cathedral (i.e., the Catholic Church) received grants or concessions in any manner (taxation credit, utilities, etc) from the Parliament (government) of Galacia then it certainly would seem only fair. If however this Catholic cathedral is totally self supporting then probably not.


Veteran Member
That depends on how you define "public grants". In Spain, taxpayers can check a box in their tax returns, so 0.7% of their payments go to the Catholic Church. Currently, the yearly global amount is around 250 millon euros. After that, is the Church that decides on the allocation.
A similar system exists in Germany, but in this case, once the taxpayer has declared his/her affiliation to a church, the deduction is automatic.


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C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
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Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I actually concur with the law that underlies this demand. Some free access SHOULD be provided.

Also, I believe that SOME grant funding WAS provided by SOME government along the way, for some portion of the Cathedral renovation. Be it Galicia, Spain, or the EU; in that context, the demand (request) is not unreasonable, at least IMHO.

Based on my direct knowledge of the crowd pattern, weather, and daily tourist and pilgrim loads in the old town, I opine they should grant free access on Monday - Friday mornings, from 0800 to 1200 noon (FIVE days a week). That should satisfy the government, as it goes well beyond the four-day per month minimum. It should satisfy the tourists as it is early in the morning. And it should satisfy the's free. Given the distribution of visitors, I do not believe the reduced revenue will harm matters.

Plus, it structures the day so that money is not collected until noon each day, this aids security issues.

If this is not doable, for some reason, then perhaps offering free access for four hours, on three mornings (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) is possible. This is a logical pattern that most people can remember.

In my direct observation, having spent a month near this spectacle, the lines are HUGE, every day. However, they are smaller earlier in the morning.

Offering these, specific, free hours might push some of the demand from the hot, usually sunny, afternoon hours to the cooler morning hours. This helps everyone and everything involved in this.

Hope this helps the dialog...
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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I don't think I know enough to decide whether it is fair or not.
It's not a question of fairness. The article says that the Galician Parliament approved a proposal yesterday to demand that the Church comply with the Heritage Law and then quotes article 48 of this law. I didn't google much but this Ley de Patrimonio is a law established by the Government of Galicia in 2016 apparently. It's not specific to the Cathedral, it concerns the cultural patrimony of Galicia. No idea why this is even an issue if it's the law, or why the Parlamanent has to vote to demand the application of a law ... the article doesn't explain it. Anyone?

BTW, I cannot imagine that any of the large Romanesque/Gothic cathedrals in Europe, no matter in which country and under which individual legal system, is self-supporting! I'm referring to the buildings, not the parishes/church to which they belong. Even in France, which has perhaps the strictest separation of church and state, the government helps with financing the ongoing restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris for example.
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