Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is in Galicia, the western region in Spain and the west coast of Europe. The western cape in the continent was called by the Romans: Finisterre, "the end of the Earth". Taking a bit of free time and with luck on the weather, Galicia has the most beautiful beaches in Spain, where the Atlantic reaches the land. The beaches are protected from the wild sea because of its location in the Rias. Santiago de Compostela was declared a world heritage city by UNESCO in 1985, in view of its urban beauty and monumental integrity, as well as the profound echoes of its spiritual significance as an apostolic sanctuary and the destination of the Middle Ages' most important religious and cultural movement: the way of St. James' pilgrimage. An extraordinary ensemble of distinguished monuments grouped around the tomb of St. James the greater, the destination of all the roads of Christianity's greatest pilgrimage from the 11th to the 18th century, Santiago de Compostela is beyond the shade of a doubt one of the world heritage's most obvious properties as this city, owing to monumental integrity, enshrines both specific and universal values. To the irreplaceable uniqueness of Romanesque and baroque masterpieces is added the transcendental esthetical contribution which makes use of diachronic and disparate elements in the construction of an ideal city which is overflowing with history and timeless as well. The exemplary nature of this city of Christian pilgrimage which is enriched by the ideological connotations of the "reconquista" is echoed by the great spiritual significance of one of the few places which are so deeply imbued with faith as to become sacred for the whole of humanity.
The cathedral with its masterpiece, the 12th-century Pórtico de la Gloria, the Pazo de Raxoi, the College of San Jerónimo and the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos, the main hotel of the Congress. It is a former hospital for pilgrims sponsored by the catholic monarchs. The hotel was built some 600 years ago and preserves still four extremely beautiful cloisters and elegant public rooms.
The Cathedral's Botafumeiro is the largest incense burner in the world. The Botafumeiro is suspended from a pulley mechanism in the dome of the church roof. At the top of the swing, the Botafumeiro reaches a height of 21 meters. It swings in a 65 meter arc between the Azabacheria and Praterias doorways at the ends of the transept.
Cathedral Virtual tour
You can have a virtual tour to the external areas (Obradoiro Square, Azabacheria) and the interior of the Cathedral (Apostle Santiago tomb, Treasure room...)
The City of Culture of Galicia was designed by the American architect Peter Eisenman to host the best of cultural expressions of Galicia, Spain and Latin America. This new 'city' will contribute towards meeting the challenges of the information and knowledge of society. Its unique buildings, are interconnected by streets and plazas equipped with state-of-the art technology.
(More info: Cidade da Cultura)