all roads lead to the camino de santiago…

All roads lead to Santiago, at least metaphorically and at least around these parts. Last year in Santiago de Compostela was some kind of super holy year (there is a “normal” holy year every 4th year, but even HOLIER years occur at longer intervals). I never go near the place when it’s holy year, it’s a crazy pilgrim nightmare! however, this was a quiet period so i got to have a good root around the cathedral with no queues or crowds…

There are many rituals to be performed in the cathedral of Santiago as obviously it’s the culmination of the whole camino (road) to Santiago. Among the many things the weary but presumably ecstatic pilgrim must do is to queue up, kneel at the centre piece to the amazing (but unfortunately under scaffolding – so i can’t really show you it) “puerta de la gloria” as seen above, they place their hands in the holes and rest their heads on the stone head. High above them holding the scroll stands the man himself, Santiago (St James).

Right inside the altar, the focal pint of the cathedral. Last year folks queued up for 4 hours just to get inside here. I had the place to myself. Not supposed to photograph this, but am on my own and not using a flash so…

Those architects knew what they were doing – a shaft of sunlight suddenly illuminates a statue of Mary…

Outside the cathedral, a small but hardy contingent of the 15 May movement have been camping in the plaza all week…

“there is not enough bread for so much salami”

Meanwhile…same city, same day, different kind of angels…


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