Santiago de Compostela has long been a destination for Christian pilgrims from across Europe, and the world. Considered one of the holiest cities of the Christian faith, Santiago was constructed around the tomb of St. James the Greater in the beginning of the 9th century. The city was destroyed during the struggles between Islam and Christianity at the end of the 10th century, but was quickly rebuilt over the course of the proceeding century.
Danielle and I arrived late in the evening and proceeded to hunt down the hostel we had emailed earlier in the day, as we had heard a lot of places were full. The place we stayed was anything but a normal hostel, and although it might not be my first choice in accommodation again, it was an interesting experience as we found ourselves amongst the modern day pilgrims traveling to the city. Many of them had walked from France or beyond, so our 11 hour train ride paled in comparison. The pilgrims continue to flock to the city on a daily basis, and in fact, in the first photo, you can see pilgrims (and also some leftover protestors) resting and enjoying their accomplishment in front of the main cathedral.
The main part of the cathedral was built in 1211 and different additions have been made over the recent centuries. Below you can see a few photos of the inside of the church and the main altar. Needless to say, it was a beautiful cathedral, and although all of the historical and religious importance might not have completely rubbed off on us, it was definitely great to imagine the joy that many people have when they finally enter the cathedral.
For the official description of this UNESCO site visit the official UNESCO page.
Click here for a complete list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites I’ve visited.