We start our morning with a delightful breakfast, fully aware that today carries a mix
of emotions: it’s our final day together. The morning continues with a guided tour of
the Cathedral and the surrounding area, led by our local art historian from Santiago.
Upon entering the fortified section of the city, the Cathedral is just a brief stroll
away. The Plaza de Obradoiro, the square facing the Cathedral, unofficially called
“kilometer 0,” holds special significance for the multitude of pilgrims that complete
the pilgrimage every year.
The Obradoiro square is surrounded by some of Santiago’s most notable landmarks,
including the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos in the Plateresque style (Spanish
Renaissance), the Palacio de Rajoy, the Colegio de San Jerónimo, and ultimately, the
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
Our local guide will explain how this structure has undergone significant changes
since the construction of the initial chapel in the early ninth century. The Cathedral’s
interior showcases a progression of Romanesque styles, featuring a timeless layout
typical of pilgrimage cathedrals. However, the unequivocal artistic masterpiece
within the Cathedral is the Pórtico de la Gloria, the west Romanesque door, crafted
by Master Mateo and completed in 1188. The Pórtico de la Gloria boasts over 200
sculpted figures, seemingly coming to life as they interact realistically.
The grandeur of this final destination, coupled with the profound journey, makes
every challenge worthwhile! Following the Cathedral tour, you’re welcome to partake
in the Pilgrim’s Mass at noon if you so desire. We trust your journey has been
enjoyable, and we eagerly anticipate your return in the near future!