Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela's historic quarter is among the most elegant in Spain, dotted with graceful monasteries, impressive churches and historic palaces. Its magnificent Gothic architecture and quaint cobbled streets are definitely worth visiting.
Santiago de Compostela Archcathedral Basilica is part of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela and is an integral component of the Santiago de Compostela World Heritage Site in Galicia, Spain. The cathedral is the reputed burial place of Saint James the Great, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ.
Today July 25 is St.James feast day.
It has a magnificent Cathedral which marks the end of a long arduous walk for pilgrims who undertake & complete the Camino Santiago. The Cathedral can be visited without doing the Camino.
The Camino is a network of different trailsspread across Europe, all sharing one goal and one destination: the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The Camino can be done in stages. The most popular & well known one is Camino Francès which is 490km and starts from over the French border. It would take about 5 weeks to complete. Pilgrims say they like undertaking the Camino for quiet prayer & reflection while walking through wonderful countryside in South France & North West Spain.
The Cathedral has a wonderful church organ & it is lovely to sit and listen for a while when it is being played.
It is also known for its Botafumeiro which swings back & forth throughout the day. In olden days it was thought that it was used to overcome the odours from pilgrims who would have walked for many weeks without washing themselves.
According to the Cathedral, the purpose of the Botafumeiro is: “To symbolise the true attitude of the believer. In the same way that the smoke from the incense rises to the top of the temple's naves, so must the prayers of the pilgrims rise to reach the heart of God.
Santiago de Compostela is easily accessible to us as Aer Lingus and Ryanair fly regularly from Dublin to its airport.