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The Bells of Santiago


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Rosina sent this to the Saint James Group and I thought I would share it with you all:

If you go to the link Sil gave us for the webcams,
http://www.santiagoturismo.com/camaras/ you will see on the top bar, towards the right, a small tower with a clock. Clicking on it will activate it, and if you have the page open at the turn of the hour you will hear the church bell of the "Berenguela" , strike the hour at exactly the same time that those in Santiago hear it.
The clock tower is called the "Berenguela" and it is the prettiest of the Cathedral towers. So much so, in fact, that Galicians often will refer to a pretty woman as a "Berenguela" .
The tower is more than 70 meters tall and it is situated between the Plateria and Quintana squares. It was originally built at the beginning of the XIV century when the custodian of the Santiago Cathedral and tradition was Archbishop Berenguel. The only part of the original structure that remains today is the base of the tower.
In the XVII century Maestro Domingo de Andrade rebuilt the two superior parts of the tower in the full artistic and baroque splendor that we admire today.
The Berenguela bell that rings in our time is a replica of the original bell that was put in the tower in 1737 and which can be seen, touched, and caressed today in the Cathedral cloister. The clock is the same one that was placed, after the Napoleonic invasions, in the tower in 1833.
The lanterns that used to guide the pilgrims in ancient times are lit today, in the little kiosks at the corners of the upper parts of the tower, during the Xacobean Holy years and on Santiago holidays.
While the Cathedral is very beautiful from every angle, seeing the Clock Tower from half-way down Vilar street, and hearing the Berenguela ring away while standing there, simply takes one breath's away.
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