Good atmosphere, peaceful but there are other cathedrals which are more spectacular inside and more moving for me
It is a stunning cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Is totally a must to do while visiting this beautiful city. March is is a good time for it as the town was almost empty and weather was mild and sunny.
If you do nothing else in this beautiful city, visit this cathedral. having been to Malta and being from Ireland, I have seen some amount of Cathedrals in my time, however this beautiful structure is absolutely stunning.This is a MUST.
I have visited many places of pilgrimage but never one that has made such an impression on me me as Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. My friend and I did not expect to be so touched and inspired by our visit. We knew the history of the Camino and the pilgrims so had a fair ideal what to expect. I was overwhelmed though, by the sense of peace and indeed the presence of Christ amongst all those visitors. We attended Mass each day of our visit and were lucky enough to see the botafumeiro censer in action twice after the Pilgrims' Mass. Even if you are not religious, you cannot help being touched by the wonder of what you see. An experience we certainly won't forget!
The cathedral is impressive, ancient and holy. Outside it is ornate baroque (although under scaffolding when I visited last week due to restoration work) and inside it is a juxtaposition of plain towering walls with a magnificent gold ornate alter over the relics of St James. You can go into the crypt and also through the alter, treading the path that so many pilgrims came for through the centuries. It was a bit odd on Sunday morning that tourists continued to go up into the alter whilst mass was on, but sweet in a way the holiness could accommodate it.Well worth seeing. A very Spanish attraction and city - very little in the city is in English which is unusual these days but adds to the sense of authenticity of the place. Around the cathedral are a maze of medieval streets with little shops, where there many bars and restaurants to eat at a reasonable price. It does rain a lot in Santiago so do bring wellies and waterproofs!
To be honest I would not describe myself as very religious but we attended the Pilgrims Mass on returning back to Santiago and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, I can't even desribe it, you just have to go and see for yourself.
This is a majestic approximately 1000 old edifice. The Cathedral and more specifically the tomb of St. James buried underneath is the goal of an ancient historic 800 km pilgrimage called Camino Francés – which starts near Biarritz in France and passes through the Roman town of Saintes (which we also visited). We could see why this cathedral is such a hallowed place. Hugely impressive from all angles even though it is under construction and we got there when it was raining. Beautiful, Historic, Imposing, Unforgettable are some of the other words that come to mind. Inside there are a number of side chapels dedicated to Saints. Look for the suspended large incense burner - the famous "Botafumeiro" , the intricate stained glass, the gold inlays and the many alters. Try to get to take a guided tour of the roof – we couldn’t on this day…It is a shame you cannot light a real candle and of course we had to navigate the many beggars outside. Amazing place – a must see!......
A classic Gothic interior, but for extra enjoyment take a guided tour of the roof. The museum, attached to the cathedral is interesting, but perhaps only to those interested in religious memorabilia, and particularly to those who can read Spanish!
During my 170k walk to Santiago I envisioned what it would look like upon arrival: crowds, celebrations, music, bells, cheering. What I found was a church covered in scaffolding and an empty rainy square and church doors locked. Oh well. I didn't walk the Camino for the ending; I walked it for the journey, and what a journey it was!
It's hard to be totally objective as it had taken me five weeks and an 800km walk to get here, so it was always going to be special. The interior is glorious and take the chance to do the rooftop walk - not a problem if you don't have a head for heights and really interesting. The fact the Cathedral in August is absolutely thronged with people my well be off putting if you are a day tripper and looking for solitude, and the queues at mid morning to get in can be quite outrageous, so be prepared for a visit that could be the very opposite of what you are looking for. If however you are a pilgrim then the Cathedral is less a tourist attraction and more and ending. It's worth the visit just to see the spectacle and if you are also lucky enough to see the botafumiero fly then it is truly amazing.
the cathedral lives in the center of old town surrounded by 3 palaces and charming medieval streets. Great atmosphere and great views. Highly recommended