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Santiago - Can you still hug him at the Cathedral?

Time of past OR future Camino
Sept. 2022 El Salvador, Oct. 2022 Tui Portugués
Anyone who has recently arrived in Santiago, is it now possible to climb up behind the altar in the cathedral & hug the saint? 🤗🤗
 
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K_Lynn

Buen Camino!
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021
Post COVID this was closed to Peregrinos/visitors. It was closed in March when I was last there.
I'm going to need you to explain the whole thing. People actually traipse about the altar and touch things?
.....Nevermind, I googled it in the middle of posting this. I had no idea that was a thing. I'll try to make a mental note for next year. lol
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I'm going to need you to explain the whole thing. People actually traipse about the altar and touch things?
.....Nevermind, I googled it in the middle of posting this. I had no idea that was a thing. I'll try to make a mental note for next year. lol
On my first camino when I arrived in Santiago you could still put your hands in the statue in the front of the cathedral. The front was open then. It seems to be closed almost all the time now and you have to go in the sides. I don't know why but when I hugged St. James it was really a moving moment for me. Hope you have the opportunity to do it one day.
 

K_Lynn

Buen Camino!
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021
On my first camino when I arrived in Santiago you could still put your hands in the statue in the front of the cathedral. The front was open then. It seems to be closed almost all the time now and you have to go in the sides. I don't know why but when I hugged St. James it was really a moving moment for me. Hope you have the opportunity to do it one day.
I'll try to remember when I walk again next year!
 

PadreQ

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo 2021
I have a friend there now and it doesn't seem to be open to hug Santiago. Masks are no longer required today. What is the issue with another restriction on traditional pilgrim practice? I confess this is irksome! It seems unnecessary. It's been closed since the interior was restored. Is this permanent? Anybody know?
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Sept. 2022 El Salvador, Oct. 2022 Tui Portugués
Masks are no longer required in the cathedral and very few people wore one, I did. Hugging the saint is probably incredibly low for transmission.
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
I believe you are still only allowed to go down to see the relic box of St James, but not climb the stairs behind the altar.

Also, for everyone going in to the Cathedral - please remember to bring a mask. It's one of the places that still requires one.
Yes - this was my experience both Caminos (July 2021 and June 2022). And I can confirm that yes, you can go down to see the relic box but not climb the stairs. And yes - mask was still required - although I can't confirm if that is still true.
 
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SioCamino

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
I've been reluctant to contribute as what I'm about to say is my opinion rather than fact. I would be very surprised if hug access is granted again. The restoration work on the cathedral has been enormous and i imagine at an enormous cost. Looking at the statue of St James in the altar and his silver (?) shawl, it appears much brighter and cleaner than it was in the past. If visitors were allowed to hug and touch the statue as they did in the past, it would not remain in its restored state for very long. I doubt that this would be allowed to happen. While hugging the statue was a tradition and may have been meaningful for past pilgrims, it would not have been good or healthy for the statue/coverings.
The cathedral is a the caretaker of a huge amount of cultural and religious heritage and take that responsibility very seriously as far as i can see. Some practices that were not perceived as harmful in the past would no longer be allowed now that we understand the long term damage e.g. Touching the portico of glory etc


This is my interpretation though and not based on firm facts!
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
The restoration work on the cathedral has been enormous and i imagine at an enormous cost. Looking at the statue of St James in the altar and his silver (?) shawl, it appears much brighter and cleaner than it was in the past. If visitors were allowed to hug and touch the statue as they did in the past, it would not remain in its restored state for very long.
The current silver cape is a fairly recent version from 2004. The previous very worn cape was placed in the cathedral museum and a replica installed. I see no good reason why the tradition of a hug for the apostle should not continue with a new cape from time to time when necessary.

 

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