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Santiago de Compostela 2010


The Cross of Santiago


The Tomb of St James

We visited Santiago de Compostela in April 2010. 2010 is an  Año Santo Jacobeo, a Holy Year as St James' Day, 25th July, falls on a Sunday this year. This happens every 6, 5, 6 and 11 years.  The last one was 2004 and the next will be 2021. In a Jacobeo, the Puerta Santa, the Holy Door, closest to the Tomb of St James is opened to allow access, and we were able to visit the  Apostle's Tomb and view the Casket containing his bones during the Pilgrims' Mass at midday.



© Iain Laird
The Baroque Frontage of the Cathedral and the Praza do Obradoiro, Square of the Stonemason



© Iain Laird
Plaza de las  Platerias, Square of the Silversmith, entrance to the Cathedral.
 

 
© Iain Laird
Puerta Santa, the Holy Door, open only in the Año Santo Jacobeo, the Holy Year of St James and Praza da Quintana



© Iain Laird
The Cockle Shell, Symbol of Santiago


© Iain Laird

The Tomb of St James

The Tomb of St James was discovered in the Year 829. The Apostle James, brother of Zebedee, brought Christianity to Iberia.  On 25th July  44 AD he was interred in a Roman Mausoleum outside the walls of an old Celtic city. (See www.catedraldesantiago.com La Tumba Apostólica). In AD 90 St Atanasio and St Teodoro were interred in the same mausoleum. Over the following centuries the tom was lost, not least due to the Invasion of the Moorish Kings Tarik and Muza in 712.  By legend the tomb was revealed to a hermit, Pelayo, who saw a star  falling on the site, giving rise to the name in Latin "Campus Stellae" which became Compostela. Bishop Teodomiro uncovered the Tom and raised the first church on the site in 830 replaced by a more subtantial church consecrated in 899 and became the first Cathedral in 1095. (See www.catedraldesantiago.es/ing/webcatedral.html) It was an important pilgrimage site until the 15th Century. The completion of the reconquest of Spain, the attention to the Americas and conflict with England due attention away. Sir Francis Drake capture part of La Coruña, Peniche and Vigo in 1589 causing the Apostle's Tomb to be hidden again.  The Tomb was rediscovered again in 1879 and the relics of the Apostle restored to their place.  The Cathedral has been an object of renewed pilgrimage ever since. For a virtual tour see the English version of the website www.catedraldesantiago.es/visita/visitavirtualcatedralING.htm?pcated

The Pórtico de la Gloria



The Romanesque Pórtico de la Gloria (see
www.catedraldesantiago.com El Pórtico de la Gloria ) is very ornate with beautifully carved figures and decorated Romanesque Arches).

Palacio de Gelmírez

Alongside the Cathedral is the Palacio de Gelmírez, the Palace built by Archbishop Gelmírez in the 12th Century. In the Salón Ceremonial ( in the English version see www.catedraldesantiago.es/visita/visitavirtualcubiertasING.htm?pcubie 2nd Floor Ceremonies Room) , the Romanesque Arches start near the door without decoration for about one third of the length, then become decorated in the next section and very ornate in the last section, with the part reserved for the most important guests being the most ornate, beyond a single column.

The capitals at the base of the arches are intricately carved with
angels playing instruments, mainly the medieval fiddles and other figures with food and wine.

The Roof of the Cathedral

The roof is unusual as it is clad in granite flagstones.  Pilgrims were allowed to sleep on the roof as it was quite comfortable as the stone absorbed and retained warmth.

 
© Iain Laird

The Order of Santiago










The Cross of Santiago

The Order of Santiago is one of the Four Military Orders of Spain.  The Order of Calatrava was founded in 1158, The Order of Alcantara in 1176  and The Order of Montesa in 1317. The Order of Santiago was founded in 1170 to protect Pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela, under  constant threat from the Moors, who at that time controlled the Southern half of Iberia, but soon turned its efforts to the Reconquest of  Iberia from the Moors.  The fighting Monks had visions of the Saint with his sword held high at their head in battle.

Source: File:Spanish reconquista.gif - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Galician Pipes


© Iain Laird

It is interesting to note the similarity between Galician Bagpipes and the pipes played by the Angel in Rosslyn Chapel. Unlike Highland Pipes which have three drones, Galician Pipes though they may have three drone, but one upright, the bag is angled down rather than back and the Bass Drone is decorated with a distinctive fringed frond, rather than cords or banners. Could William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness, and builder of the Collegiate Church of St Matthew, Rosslyn Chapel, have found inspiration for his Chapel at Santiago?  According to James Grant's "Scottish Soldiers of Fortune" p. 118-119 Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland recorded that William Sinclair was a Knight of The Cockle, linking him to Santiago, but Roland William Saint-Clair's "Saint-Clairs of the Isles" p. 112  says that he was a  Knight of the Cockle after the Order of France, which would be the Ordre de Saint-Michel which used the "Coquilles de Saint-Michel" as its symbol distinct from "Coquilles de Saint-Jacques".

Links

Catedral de Santiago de Compostela

Catedral de Santiago de Compostela

Camino de Santiago - The pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela in pictures

Camino de Santiago de Compostela Pilgrimage - Way of St James

Santiago de Compostela

University of Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela - SantiagoTurismo.com

Photographs © Iain Laird 2010-2014