Camino de Santiago – Cathedral of Santiago de Compostella.

Camino de Santiago – Cathedral of Santiago de Compostella.

The huge temple built over the tomb of St. James surprises with the scale itself. It’s impossible to determine the architectural style, because it has been repeatedly adorned over the centuries. The nave alone measures up to 100 meters in length and the western façade, making the pilgrims dizzy because of the rich decoration, is the most important work of Spanish Baroque. I also contains a lot of Moorish elements.

For many pilgrims St. James’ Cathedral is not an end of the pilgrimage, as they often travel to the ocean coast to perform a kind of a ritual: burning garments on the beach and washing up in the waves of the great water. With this ceremony the pilgrims experience a kind of rebirth.

Santiago de Compostela is also known for the huge censer called Botafumeiro, which has to be served by eight priests. Botafumairo works only on special occasions, but the movement of this gigantic censer over the heads of the faithful, intersecting the space of the cathedral in a cloud of smoke, leaves a lasting impression in the minds of the pilgrims.