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The building of Santiago Cathedral


Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
Hola Pergrinos....Hace much tiempo! I haven't abandoned you but I have moved house and have no internet connection just yet. Very frustrating when you have got a(nother) book to write.

My "Novel of the Camino" Pilgrimage to Heresy is about to be published in Spanish (July) under the title Peregrinos de la Herejia. The publisher is Editoriales Boveda, a division of ANAYA. In the meantime, I am trying to research book two of the Camino Chronicles which, without internet, is proving very tricky!

The book will be about the end of the 10th century and the beginning of the construction of the present cathedral and the rise to prominence of Diego Gelmirez and the Cluny influence. Priscillian's secret gospel is also brought up to date. The problem is that I am not an architect and have found very little available in English about the history of the cathedrals themselves. I can and do read Spanish, but technical terms are lengthy. I am also researching Diego Pelaez and Diego Gelmirez and the Traba family.

Can anyone suggest books, material, papers which might help me with my research in these areas?
It would be so appreciated.

P.S. Am walking Camino from Oporto in July as part of the research for the "present day" timeline of the book. It's also my 10th anniversary of the Camino Frances. What a difference that has made to my life in the intervening years. Can't wait to see those yellow arrows once more! Will finally be in Santiago for the 25th!
Tracy Saunders
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Nunca se camina solo
Tracy - I hope to be in the pilgrims office that week and may very well issue your Compostela. If not - ask for the small balding Scotsman - of course I may be obvious!

Best regards for your pilgrimage.

Have you seen the CSJ guide to the Camino Portuguese? Available for free download:


It has now been user tested and I will be doing an updated version soon - but nothing of major consequence. It works!

Buen Camino



Active Member
The building of Santiago Cathedral: straigt lines and angles

The book will be about the end of the 10th century and the beginning of the construction of the present cathedral (…) Can anyone suggest books, material, papers which might help me with my research in these areas?
Hi Tracy, we're glad you're back on this forum! Perhaps this may be of any help:
Early last year on the Santiagobis forum (message 22820) pilgrim Lydia drew our attention to a virtual model of the cathedral from the time it was built:
http://www.cvrlab.org/projects/real_tim ... stela.html
Dear Geert and all,
Yesterday my husband and I went to a presentation at UCLA by Prof. John Dagenais of a virtual recreation of the original Romanesque Cathedral of Santiago. Through the camera, one can “fly” all around the cathedral from rooftop to underground chapel. It is truly a wonderful experience. We were able to see up close and in great detail the Portico de Gloria from top to bottom.
See the video: http://www.ats.ucla.edu/videos/did/did_dagenais_ref.mov
I have a few little questions myself:
On the video:
The camera travels through a large fixed door in the nave. Did that door have the same function as the iconostase (wall of man seize icons) in Russian orthodox churches?
On the general floor-plan:
Why is the line along the left side of the nave (looking from Obradoiro square) not quite straight? Near the left west tower there is a hardly visible slight bend. Very tentalizing for gatherers and smorgasbordians regarding Le Corbusier's poem about the right angle:
On a
avec un charbon
tracé l’angle droit
la signe
Il est la réponse et le guide
le fait
une réponse
un chain

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