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Portico de la gloria ?


Veteran Member
Which door to the Cathedral is the portico de la Gloria?
Story has it that the portico de la gloria is only opened during Holy year.

In 2004, the last Holy year, Pilgrims and tourists lined up at a small door at the back of the cathedral to see the crypt and hug the apostle. This door appeared closed and locked in 2006, not a Holy Year.

In 2006, not a holy year, the main front door off the obradorio square was open when I was there.

Which door is the portico de la gloria?
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Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2006)
The Portico de la Gloria is open always; it is at the cathedral's main entrance. The crypt under the altar is open everyday and the apostle can be hugged anytime, unless the authorities forbid it (H1N1 scare?).

The Holy Door (not the Portico) at the back of the altar is opened only on Holy Years -- it leads to the passage behind the main altar and you can see it if you go there. Of course during a Holy Year it is a very convenient shortcut to the aspotle and the crypt, but I guess the lines are longer.


Veteran Member
Thank you FatmaG and Mark.

From the website Fatma referenced:
The eastern façade at the Praza da Quintana ... has two main portals : the Holy Door and the Royal Door. The Holy Door opens only during a Holy Year, the year when 25 July (the saint's day of St. James) falls on a Sunday. It is accessible during those years via a smaller gated door, dedicated to St. Pelayo (St. Paio) (discoverer of the tomb of St. James).

So the Holy Door is the door closest to the crypt and St. James where people lined up in 2004. The lineup was nominal at 8:00 am, but several hours long at mid day.

The riddle of the doors now makes sense to me. I am so focused on walking during my pilgrimage that I have very little interest in the history and culture I am experiencing. It is only after that I begin to wonder about what I have missed.

David, Victoria, Canada
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