Saturday of our European Coastal Civilizations tour took us to Santiago de Compostela, the famous destination of the medieval pilgrimage trail Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The morning began as we docked in La Corona, Spain, after sailing past the Tower of Hercules, the oldest Roman lighthouse in use today. It makes for a dramatic entrance into the port city and set the stage for what was in store.
After an hour-long bus drive, we arrived at Santiago de Compostela, with its cathedral of St. James. The picture at the top of the post marks the official end of the Camino de Santiago, and we had a chance to talk with pilgrims who were arriving in a steady stream – many on very nice road bikes!
The city’s importance came from a visit by the Apostle James to this outpost in Spain to convert people to Christianity. Centuries later, in 813, a hermit saw a vision of a shining field, and from the Latin “Campus Stellae” (field of the star), Compostela – and an important pilgrimage site – was born.
The cathedral dominates its end of the city, with facades from four periods and surrounding plazas, chapels, and shops. French Romanesque, Baroque, and other styles can be found throughout the complex.
Enjoy the photos from our visit to the final destination of centuries of pilgrims walking the Way of St. James.
More to come…