Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

By: Tucker Windhurst


The Cathedral of Santiago is located in Graicia Spain, and is the capital of its province (Graicia). It's located at 42.880713º N and 8.544445º W. The cathedral borders the old, preserved part of the city.


The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela was created in the designs of Romanesque, which was the dominant archetectual design in the 11th and 12th century's. When you walk into the main entrance of the cathedral there is a grand staircase and a pillar. The pillar is where every pilgrim that visits the cathedral, has to touch it, just to say that they made it there safely.

On the outside of the cathedral there are four facades. The west facade has two towers with the sculptures of Saint James's mother and father. This facade was built in 1738- 1750. The south facade was built in 1103. There are two entrance doors on this facade that have carvings of Jesus and other notable people and things. The north facade has a gate that suffered a burning in the 1700s but has been rebuilt. The east facade also has a gate. Through this gate there is the holy door which is hidden behind yet another gate. There are two bell towers in the front of the building. There is the north tower and the bell tower. The North Tower was designed by Fernando de Casas Novoa. The Bell Tower was finished in 1680 and raised the cathedral two floors.


The tomb of St James was discovered in 819 A.D. The cathedral began construction in 1075 led by Alfonso VI of Castile. It was finished in 1128 A.D. but has been having rebuilding in the cathedral since due to age and tear.Throughout its time till now it has had things added to its exterior and its interior has been the same since built.

In 997 A.D. Soon after it was discovered it was destroyed by the soldiers of Al-Mansur's Moorish army. During this invasion, the people of Santiago hid the body of St. James and was lost to public until the 1800s.

What Group Worships this Place?

Christians worship the Cathedral of Santiago. The cathedral was a pilgrimage for christians, which is a route or pathway to moral, or spiritual significance. The cathedral is run kind of like a church. There are confessions and mass. Mass takes place everyday at noon and if you receive Compostela the day before, then during mass your country is called out during mass.

Sacred Meaning to the People

Legend has that St James an apostle was buried in the spot of where the cathedral now is. St James was well known for he had brought Christianity to Glacia , he also was thought to be one of Jesus's close friends. His burial was found when a light guided a Shepherd to the spot of burial, and he then notified Alfonso 11. He then built the cathedral on St James burial, and the cathedral is now very sacred to the people of Santiago de Compostela. The cathedral also a pilgrimage.

The City

Santiago de Compostela is 247 square miles. It's at 546 ft. elevation. It is near some of the most popular skiing cites, attracting many tourists. It has 5,486 million people. It was founded in 1546. It was then almost destroyed by Picnche tribe.


Santiago de Compostela gets about 60' per year, which can do its wear and tear on the cathedral. There is little frost during the winter and a rare snowfall, while the average low during the winter is about 35 degrees.