High on the hills, looking down onto Santiago de Compostela which is a beautiful city in Galicia, Northern Spain, Verity the Volkswagen is parked on the slightly damp official Aire, but the view of the cityscape is WoW ! (N 42.8918, W 8.50061)
It’s possibly one of the most important cities in the region.
Most foreign tourists visit it as a part of their Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. And in reality we are no different, well apart from the fact we haven’t walked a few hundred km to get here. Instead the little shell markers have slowly creeped up many many times over our past travels and finally we are here at the end of this magical pilgrimage.
One of the main pilgrimage routes in Europe. Since the rediscovery of the tomb of St.James in the 9th-century hundreds of thousands of people arrived in Santiago following different Camino routes. We spotted these markers all over Spain and even sampled the Free Pilgrims wine in the past.
This time tho, we are close enough to the end to visit this amazing city, although we can see the spires of the magnificent cathedral, we are far enough away to join the last few Km of the walk via Mont de Gozo and then on into the city.
Mont de Gozo is a symbolic place on the French Way. It gets its name from the feeling of joy that it awakens in the pilgrims, since this is the first point where the towers of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela can be seen, indicating that the journey is about to come to an end.
According to the legend, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is the burial place of Apostle St.James, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus.
As the legend goes, Saint James, an apostle of Christ, found his way to Roman Hispania (Spain) to preach the gospel there.
Saint James returned to Judea from Galicia and was beheaded there under the orders of King Agrippa. The apostle’s disciples carried his body back to Galicia.
The Cathedral is the main attraction of Santiago de Compostela it’s something not to miss. For pilgrims and random tourists such as ourselves arriving at the Cathedral is the highlight of their journey.
Seeing many excited people with backpacks and walking sticks on the square around the Cathedral was a strangely humbling and emotional experience, the joy and satisfaction of their triumph in completing their own pilgrimage was awe inspiring.
The construction of the current Cathedral started in 1075 under the reign of Alfonso VI. It was expanded and modified over the centuries; the last changes to the Cathedral were made in the 18th century. Both the exterior and the interior are impressive. Inside the Cathedral is just as impressive.
The richly decorated baroque altar is an elaborate piece of art.
After the majestic cathedral, we emerged into what can only be described as a superb Old Town made of narrow cobblestone streets with beautiful old buildings, churches, squares, fountains, and parks
Pretty much the majority of the buildings in the Historic Center of Santiago are remarkable and a fest for your eyes
And our final stop if the day Alameda Park.
The park is a great place to come for a walk and a little bit of contemplation It’s a large green area in the center of Santiago. Alameda Park is almost 500 years old. Some alleys look like green tunnels created by massive oak trees.
There are many walking routes through the park. The only we followed is the circular route that allows visiting different parts of the park.
There are several monuments, sculptures, and fountains inside the park. Due to its location on the top of the hill, the park offers great views of the city center and the Cathedral.
P.S. the full walk is definitely now on the ‘Bucket List’ …..