On The Camino De Santiago in Santiago de Compostela Spain, The Old City

May 26, 2013 — 4 Comments
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As I continued, the streets turned to cobblestone, and the buildings became older. Two church towers were in the distance, and I didn’t know if they belonged to the cathedral, but they looked impressive nonetheless. After I passed through the Porta do Camiño, I entered the old city of Santiago de Compostela, with narrow streets and centuries-old stone and brick buildings. Shops sold a variety of goods, including souvenirs, clothing, jewelry, and crafts. An intricate fountain depicted St. James, and the small church nearby had beautiful hand-painted frescos and a magnificent retablo depicting the crucifixion… From Page 193, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days. I was so excited entering the old city of Santiago de Compostela. I took my time because I knew that soon, this part of my journey would be over.

Now, I’ll continue my journey on the Camino de Santiago in the old city of Santiago de Compostela, the capitol of Galicia. Even if you don’t have my book, you can still enjoy this post, and learn more about walking the French Way or Camino Francés (map from Wikipedia Commons).

On my last post, On The Camino De Santiago in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Monte Do Gozo to the Old City, I stopped at the first bronze scallop shell placed into the stones of the old city streets. I arrived here just after noon on my spring Camino Francés and late in the evening on my summer Camino del Norte.

With an ancient crucerio on the left, this is an early view of the old city during my Camino Francés. In 1985, the old city or old town of Santiago de Compostela was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

old city Santiago de Compostela Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

I was excited although I wasn’t sure if the tower ahead was from the cathedral. The buildings on either side of the street predominately have homes on the upper levels and businesses of all sorts on the lower. As I mentioned, shops sold a variety of goods, and there were also hotels, cafés, bars, etc. The relatively quiet streets on the next four photos were from my Camino del Norte.

old Santiago de Compostela Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

city old Santiago de Compostela Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

Santiago de Compostela old Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

This is the Capilla de Ánimas which was completed in 1788. The name refers to Souls in Purgatory. Let’s take a quick look inside…

capilla de animas Santiago de Compostela Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

It’s too bad more of my photos weren’t better, as I would have loved to show a closer view of the fresco and retablo that features the Crucifixion.

fresco capilla de animas Santiago de Compostela Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

The Iglesia de Santa María Salomé retains part of the 12th century façade, however, what you see is mostly 15th. The 18th century tower is Baroque, and in the same style as many from earlier on the Camino Francés. The church sits on the edge of…

iglesia Santia Maria Santiago de Compostela Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

Plaza de Cervantes, named in honor of Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright Miguel de Cervantes. His most famous work is The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, commonly known as Don Quixote. The epic novel was published in two volumes in 1605 and 1615. Miguel de Cervantes passed away in Madrid at the age of 68 on April, 22 1616. Let’s take a closer look at the statue…

fountain statue Santiago de Compostela Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

statue fountain  Santiago de Compostela Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

The small Iglesia de San Bieito do Campo sits on a site that has been occupied by a church since the 10th century. Let’s continue…

igrexa san bieito campo Santiago de Compostela Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

One more block or so leads us to the…

pilgrims city Santiago de Compostela Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

Monasterio de San Martín Pinario or Monastery of San Martin Pinarius. Once a Benedictine monastery, it was one of the most powerful in all of Galicia. The façade that you see was completed in 1697. Today, the former monastery houses a seminary.

Monastery San Martin Pinarius Santiago de Compostela Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

Monasterio San Martín Pinario Santiago de Compostela Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

Monastery San Martin Santiago de Compostela Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

Okay, now let’s turn the other way. Directly in front of you is the Palacio Arzobispal de don Diego Gelmírez built in the 12th and 13th centuries after the original was destroyed during a revolt. The palace is supposed to be exquisite inside. Now, let’s look behind the palace and glance at the towers of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral…

Cathedral Santiago de Compostela Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

because…

Catedral  Santiago de Compostela Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

very soon I will take you through the arch of Pazo do Xelmírez…

porto camino Santiago de Compostela Galicia Spain, Camino de Santiago

 

and into the Praza do Obradoiro. That, will be on my next post, Entering the Praza do Obradoiro, Santiago de Compostela, A Pilgrim’s View. Please join me as I take you to the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, Catedral de Santiago de Compostela, and the end of our journey on the Camino Francés.

If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle and Kobo. My Goodreads and Amazon pages have reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.




About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.

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4 responses to On The Camino De Santiago in Santiago de Compostela Spain, The Old City

  1. Wow, even I got used to view of old historical buildings (having seen so much nice castles and other buildings in Czech republic) but this is something different. Thank you for correcting the link to this page!
    If everything goes well, I´ll be in Santiago for 2+1 night :-).

    • Peter, I will have a few blog posts from around Santiago too. I would stay at least two nights the first time. Once you get to the Cathedral, you will see these tourist shuttles. I really recommend taking one, once you finish walking. It gives you a good look around the city. There are many beautiful buildings that I won’t even get to on this blog.

      • Randall, thanks for the idea of the shuttle bus! Is it like an hopp-on hopp-off service in London? Anyway, the link to this page from your main page (caminomyway.com/photos) still points your previous post 😀

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