July 25: Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
When we talk about Galicia, its history and its monuments, the most prominent and well known is the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Pilgrims and tourists come from all over the world to know its history and beauty without equal. If you come to Galicia on vacation, it is a mandatory stop. But do you know its origin?
The most remote antecedent of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela was a small Roman mausoleum of the first century in which the remains of the Apostle Santiago were buried after his beheading in Palestine (44 AD) and after his transfer by sea to the coasts of the finis terrae. For centuries, the underground chamber and the necropolis that surrounded it were assiduously visited by a small local Christian community.
In the year 813 there was the miraculous discovery of the relics of the Apostle under the brush of Monte Libredón. They were found by a hermit who saw celestial signs there. Warned by the Bishop of Iria Flavia, the Asturian King Alfonso II ordered the construction of a first stone and mud chapel next to the old mausoleum. This temple received a Preceptum regio in 834, which converted it into an episcopal seat and granted it power over nearby territories.
Around him, seeking his protection, began to settle the first settlers and monastic groups of Benedictines in charge of the custody of the relics. They were the first steps of the future city of Santiago de Compostela.
The king of León Alfonso VI and the first archbishop of the city, Diego Gelmírez, so promoted the Cathedral, urban life and pilgrimages, that we can speak of the twelfth century as the greatest splendor of the history of Compostela. This time they did not settle for a sanctuary that housed the relics, but designed a large pilgrimage cathedral following the style that stretched along the Camino de Santiago.
The best Romanesque builders would parade through it until they reached Master Mateo, author of the last sections of the ships, the defensive towers of the west, the crypt and, above all, the Portico de la Gloria.
Come and discover this marvel of Romanesque with Simply Galicia.