The Santiago Way ends when we finally arrive to the Obradoiro square, where it’s placed the stunning Romanesque cathedral. We’d have been probably dreaming about this cathedral for a while, during our hard stages on the Way. Once we’ve admired the baroque facade and other exterior wonders, like the Pórtico da Gloria or the Platerías one, will be the moment of going inside this exciting artistic trip around the interior of the temple. We’re going to tell you what to see inside the Santiago Cathedral to enjoy the full experience, a millenary journey full of fascinating relics.
A cathedral made of History, tresures and stone
To discover what to see in the Santiago Cathedral in order to get to understand its importance and charm, we’ve to start from the legend.
By the IX century there was a man called Pelayo; he was a hermit from the area of Santiago. One day, he was resting calmly in his home when, suddenly, some celestial lights started to call from the deepest part of the forest. The bishop ot the zone in that time, called Teodomiro, decided to investigate this mysterious subject with Pelayo and this was how they found the remains of the Apostle Santiago.
In this documentay of Planeta Doc we can see a reconstruction of this historical landmark. You can watch it wiht English subtitules if you activate this option.
The bells that travelled along one thousand kilometres
The documents of that have no quite confirmed or denied this story, but what is for sure is tha the King Alfonso II ordered to build a basilica in the location where the remains where found. Very soon, some pilgrims started to walk to visit the temple and that’s why another one, more modern, was built. This new temple felt during the Muslim conquer, the remains of the Apostle were saved, but they took the bells of the church were taken as a war loot and carried to Córdoba.
After all this hustle and bustle, in the year 1978 a new Romanesque cathedral was rised to honour the Apostle Santiago in the same location. And, from that time, the pilgrimage has never stopped again.
How to visit the inside of the Santiago Cathedral
The Santiago Cathedral is mysticism, mystery and magic not only because of supposedly be home to the remains of the apostle Santiago, but also because of its huge architectural value that gathers styles like the baroque, the gothic, neoclassical, plateresque or Romanesque in one structure. With all this avaliable, it’s important to know what to see inside the Santiago Cathedral before arriving there if we don’t want to miss anything. Let’s start from the begining!
The walk around the Latin cross plant and its three naves, which are extended in the arms of the cross, is like the mandatory visit for all pilgrims. The Santiago Cathedral is opened to visits everyday of the year, from 7 am till 20.30 h.
The entrance is free, but the plant it’s just the begining of a discovery full of secrets and that’s why, if we have the time, we recommend to visit the other areas included on the Cathedral Museum. What are we going to find there?
What to see inside the Santiago Cathedral: an excavation and a tresure
During the XIX century, an excavation under the hart of the basilica was made and they found a pile of relics that we can visit today at the Cathedral.
To answer to the question of what to see inside the Santiago Cathedral, it’s important to start by the Cathedral Museum, that opened its doors in 1930 to show us all this relics found in the subsoil: books, coins, tresures and all kind of art pieces, an incalculably valuable legacy. The museum count on five different areas that we mentioned before, all of them incredibly beautiful: the Relics Chapel, the Royal Pantheon, the Tresure, the Cloisters and the archaeological rooms.
We can visit the Museum everyday of the week, between April and October from 09:00 h to 20:00 h; and between November and March, from 10:00 h to 20:00 h.
The relics of the Holy Apostle
Besides all the tresures, art pieces one thousand year old and amazing chapels, what triggers most pilgrgims curiosity between what to see inside the Santiago Cathedral are the relics of Santiago Apostle.
Under the main altar of the Cathedral, there’s a crypt of limited dimensions where we could find a mausoleum dating from the Roman Age. Inside, there’s a silver urn imitating the shape of Romanesque sarcophagus and, inside this urn, the relics of the apostle and his disciples.
Visiting the inside of the Santiago Cathedral and find out all its secrets it’s an adventure that makes us feel like real archaeologist in a historical mission, are you up to this journey?