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Portico de la Gloria Tour


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Past OR future Camino
Camino de Levante 2009
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2011
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Pilgrims Way Winchester - Canterbury
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Cistercian Way (Wales) 2016
Can I recommend the Portico de la Gloria Tour? The Portico is scaffolded at the moment as it is conserved. This means you miss a proper view of it in entirity. If you take the tour (you book in advance in the crypt, entrance underneath the Portico, tour is free) you get 15 minutes on the scaffolding at the level of Christ in Majesty and the musicians, three feet from the Portico. A brilliant experience.
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Tia Valeria

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Past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Information wanted please:-
We read somewhere that the Portico de Gloria was still undergoing restoration in 2010. Is the work finished now, or is it still ongoing? If so do the tours Andy mentioned still run? and are they likely to be running in May or might the work be finished?
Tio Tel and Tia Valeria


Staff member
I have not bee in the cathedral lately.. but remember the scaffolding that was there at the beginning of last year? They took that down for the pope visit.... but they never actually never started the work. So I imagine that if the scaffolding is not up now, it will be soon.

On a related story, they will be cleaning the facade of the cathedral this year... meaning it will be covered by scaffolding as well... :-(

Buen CaminO!

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Thanks Ivar. We'll wait and see. Or maybe we won't see for scaffolding. :( Or maybe they'll have tours again. :D
As for the facade, at least we have seen it in all its glory and maybe it will take them a while yet before they put the scaffolding up. Are they likely to wait until after the 800 year celebration Mass?


Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2002, 2005, 2008, 2012
Worst case scenario:
Scaffolding and _no_ tours,
and the facade wrapped as well....
Let's pray that it won't happen...

I was In Santiago last autumn for a short vacation, mentally prepared for the scaffolding at the Portico, but due to the pope's visit, I was given a proper view at the Portico, but no tour at the scaffolding.

BTW, a visit at the rooftops of the Cathedral is more than worth the effort!

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Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Perhaps if they have to put up the scaffolding again...they'll do as I've seen elsewhere, and at least cover it with screening that has a picture of the cathedral on it! Definitely not the same but at least gives a sense of what is behind it. This is what happened to one of the big churches on the Portuguese in '08...I think it was in Pontevedre?? not sure now!

SO .. here's to hoping! :arrow:


Active Member

When I search on the web about traditions around the Portico de la Gloria, I found always this text :

"It is customary for the pilgrims to touch the left foot of Santiago's statue, signifying that they have reached their destination. So many pilgrims have laid their hands on the pillar to rest their weary bones, that a groove has been worn in the stone."

... In Spanish a little bit more :

"Hay varias tradiciones asociadas con este pórtico. Por ejemplo, abajo en la catedral está la estatua del esculptor, Maestro Mateo. Dicen que si das un cabezazo a esta estatua tres veces vas a recibir un poco del genio del artista, y por eso es muy frecuente ver una cola de gente esperando para hacer esto. También hay una estatua del santo Jaime localizado en medio de la columna central. Es una tradición que los peregrinos tocan el pie izquierdo de esta estatua para marcar que han llegado a su destino.

Resultó muy interesante aprender sobre las costumbres y la cultura de la peregrinación que tiene como su destino esta catedral y el pórtico. Ver el pórtico para mí era una experiencia muy especial.

... particularly about Maestro Mateo ?

In the Wikipedia page, the text begin by : "Durante siglos "fue" costumbre que los peregrinos que llegaban a Santiago ..."

Is it possible to say these traditions still exist ?

Did you "implement" them when you reached Santiago ? I didn't ...



New Member
Hello Theo,

it is not an old custom. He is known only since the middle of the 19th century in connection with the holy year of 1852. Since spring 2008 it is not permitted any more on account of the damages which were thereby caused.



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