Main nave of the cathedral
Main nave of the cathedral

These images were made some before the pandemic known as Covid-19 was about to end with a historical and cultural milestone, which has been perpetuated for a not inconsiderable amount of a thousand years: Saint James Way.

Panoramic of the Obradoiro’s Place
Panoramic of the Obradoiro's Place

Believe it or not, these images represent what was an ordinary day, albeit a joyous one, in a city, Compostela, which has been welcoming travelers, tourists and pilgrims since the dawn of time.

Romanesque art in civil architecture
Romanesque art in civil architecture

I remember that at that time, there was an unusual influx of German pilgrims, a circumstance that made, a policy of states aside, that the city of the Apostle Santiago was also entertained with the visit of the Chancellor of Germany, Mrs. Angela Merkel, who walked through the last kilometers, accompanied by the then President of the Spanish Government, Mariano Rajoy, a circumstance that was widely reported in the main media.

Front view of the cathedral
Front view of the cathedral

Anecdotes aside, who knows if the German reader can find in these images, a friend or a relative, who ended here that vital experience, which in his day pushed him to travel west, following the ancestral itineraries of the fireproof Saint Jame's Way.

The so-called ’Santo dos Croques’
The so-called 'Santo dos Croques'

Because this place, this immeasurable and metaphorical ark of time, which keeps in its interior not only the improbable remains of a Santiago, nicknamed Boanerges, Son of Thunder - curiously, like Thor, the god of thunder in Norse mythology. -It is also the depository of an incalculable spiritual, historical and artistic treasure, which make it a true time capsule, which I assure you is worth seeing, at least once in your life.

A forest of stone columns
A forest of stone columns

Because this cathedral, which has been restoring itself for years with the zeal with which a young child's diapers are changed, is the true heart of that ancestral Galicia, being its receiving walls of yesterday, today and tomorrow, as well as a lighthouse. that attracts the attention of every traveler, regardless of their particular interests or spiritual affinities.

Capitals with various characters
Capitals with various characters

Penetrating inside and letting yourself be seduced, not only by its beauty but also by the thousand and one mysteries it contains, is already, I assure you, another experience that transcends reality.

The enigmatic smiles of the characters of Maestro Mateo
The enigmatic smiles of the characters of Maestro Mateo

Curiously, the first phase of its construction is attributed to a mysterious Master Mateo, whom Spanish historians considered, until well into the last century, as an obscure architect of the court of King Ferdinand II of León.

Mass in honor of the German pilgrims
Mass in honor of the German pilgrims

And yet his work created a School throughout the entire length and breadth of the Saint Jame's Way and even outside of it, where the 'Mateano style' is spoken of, by similarity or imitation, in the same way as the builders of the Burgos monastery from Santo Domingo de Silos, they were the promoters of another style, also Romanesque, which is known as the 'Silense style'.

Large influx of pilgrims and visitors
Large influx of pilgrims and visitors

A style, in which the transcendent and ironic smile of its characters stands out and not only in the famous sculpture of Daniel, to which all Art historians allude, but also present in practically all of its characters: from the herculean Samson unleashing the lion, the choirs of angels and even the perfidious harpies that crown and illustrate the many capitals inside the cathedral.

The ark with the supposed relics of Saint James the Greater
The ark with the supposed relics of Saint James the Greater

And this, centuries before Leonardo Da Vinci surprised the world with the most ironic and at the same time most enigmatic smile of all time, which even attracted the attention of relevant characters, such as Sigmund Freud, the father of Psychoanalysis: that of Mona Lisa. .

Gothic painting: right, Santiago Peregrino. Left, the vision of Saul on the way to Tarsus
Gothic painting: right, Santiago Peregrino. Left, the vision of Saul on the way to Tarsus

Because everything, as a whole, is here, at least, an ironic mystery that extends from the numerous and indecipherable stonework marks that cover walls and columns, the legends about its characters - such as the so-called 'Santo dos Croques', with the that you had to hit your head to achieve 'wisdom'- or the presence of mysterious Black Virgins in their chapels, even the Truth hidden in those ancient bones, so venerated, that they sleep the dream in their little silver chest located in the crypt from the cathedral, whose contemplation puts the culmination of the so-called Orthodox Way, although many pilgrims continue their journey to Finisterre, located forty kilometers further, where the pilgrimage and initiation paths of all the cultures that preceded us ended.

Chapel and Black Madonna of Montserrat
Chapel and Black Madonna of Montserrat

Compostela and its cathedral: a beacon of culture and mystery, in the confines of Magic Spain.

Waiting to go down to the crypt where the relics of Santiago rest
Waiting to go down to the crypt where the relics of Santiago rest

NOTICE: Both the text and the photographs that accompany it, as well as the video that illustrates it, are my exclusive intellectual property and therefore, are subject to my Copyright.

Strolling through the old town
Strolling through the old town

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