Santiago de Compostela: Wikis


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Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

Coat of arms
Santiago de Compostela is located in Spain
Santiago de Compostela
Coordinates: 42°52′50″N 8°32′47″W / 42.880447°N 8.546303°W / 42.880447; -8.546303
Country Spain Spain
Autonomous Community Galicia (Spain) Galicia
Province A Coruña
Comarca Santiago
 - Type Concello
 - Mayor Xosé Antonio Sánchez Bugallo (PSOE)
 - Total 220 km2 (84.9 sq mi)
Elevation 260 m (853 ft)
Population (2008)INE
 - Total 94,339
 Density 428.81/km2 (1,110.6/sq mi)
 - Demonym santiagués (m), santiaguesa (f)
compostelano (m), compostelana (f)
pichelero (m), pichelera (f)
Time zone CET (GMT +1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (GMT +2) (UTC)
Postcode 15700
Area code(s) +34
Twin Cities
 - Santiago do Cacém Portugal
 - Mashad Iran
 - Buenos Aires Argentina
 - Qom Iran
 - Santiago de Querétaro Mexico
 - Santiago de los Caballeros Dominican Republic
 - Assisi Italy
ISO 3166-2 ES-C

Santiago de Compostela (also Saint James of Compostela) is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in the north west of Spain in the Province of A Coruña, it was a "European City of Culture" for the year 1998. The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James (Galician: Camiño de Santiago, Spanish: Camino de Santiago). The Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela hosted one of the Catholic World Youth Day gatherings.

Folk etymology for the name "Compostela" is that it comes from the Latin "Campus Stellae" (i.e., Field of Stars), but it is unlikely such a phonetic evolution takes account of normal evolution from Latin to Galician-Portuguese. A more probable etymology relates the word with Latin "compositum", and local Vulgar Latin "Composita Tella", meaning "burial ground" as a euphemism. Many other places through Galicia share this toponym (with identical sense) and there even exists a "Compostilla" in the León province.



Santiago de Compostela is served by an airport[1] and rail service. There are also plans to provide access to Santiago de Compostela by the Spanish High Speed Railway Network, a project under construction.

The city

Santiago's old Town UNESCO World Heritage Site

The cathedral borders the main plaza of the old and well-preserved city. Legend has it that the remains of the apostle James were brought to Galicia and in the early 9th century on a boat made of stone, and were later discovered at Santiago de Compostela. The cathedral was built in his honour on the spot where his remains were said to have been found. Across the square is the Pazo de Raxoi (Raxoi's Palace), the town hall and seat of the Galician Xunta, and on the right from the cathedral steps is the Hostal dos Reis Católicos, founded in 1492 by the Catholic Monarchs, Isabella of Castille and Ferdinand II of Aragon, as a pilgrim's hospice (now a parador). The Obradoiro façade of the cathedral, the best known, is depicted on the Spanish euro coins of 1 cent, 2 cents, and 5 cents (0.01, €0.02, and €0.05).

Santiago is the site of the University of Santiago de Compostela, established in the early 16th century. The main campus can be seen best from an alcove in the large municipal park in the centre of the city.

Within the old town there are many narrow winding streets full of historic buildings. The new town all around it has less character though some of the older parts of the new town have some big apartments in them.

Santiago de Compostela has a substantial nightlife. Divided between the new town (la zona nueva or ensanche) and the old town (la zona vieja or a zona vella), a mix of middle-aged residents and younger students running throughout the city until the early hours of the morning can often be found. Radiating from the center of the city, the historic cathedral is surrounded by paved granite streets, tucked away in the old town, and separated from the newer part of the city by the largest of many parks throughout the city, Parque da Alameda. Whether in the old town or the new town, party-goers will often find themselves following their tapas by dancing the night away.

Santiago gives its name to one of the four military orders of Spain: Santiago, Calatrava, Alcantara and Montesa.

The prevailing wind from the Atlantic and the surrounding mountains combine to give Santiago some of Europe's highest rainfall: about 1,900 mm (75 inches) annually.

One of the most important economic centers in Galicia, Santiago is the seat for organizations like Association for Equal and Fair Trade Pangaea.


Santiago de Compostela (Old Town)*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Obradoiro façade of the grand Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela: an all-but-Gothic composition generated entirely of classical details.
State Party  Spain
Type Cultural
Criteria i, ii, vi
Reference 347
Region** Continental Europe
Inscription history
Inscription 1985  (9th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.
Demographic evolution of Santiago de Compostela between 1900 and 2006
1900 1930 1950 1981 2004 2006
24,120 38,270 55,553 82,404 92,298 93,458
A Coruña Province Population c. 1787
District population
City of Coruña 13,575
City of Ferrol (Civilian Pop. Only) 24,993
Santiago de Compostela 15,584
Towns, Villages and Hamlets c.229,123
All the Province (Total): 283,275
(Ferrol - Urban History, 2004) [1]
A Coruña Province Population c. 1833
District population
City of Coruña 23,000
City of Ferrol (Civilian Pop. Only) 13,000
Santiago de Compostela 28,000
Towns, Villages and Hamlets c.233,000
All the Province (Total): c.297,000
(U. P. Gazetteer By Th.Baldwin, 1847) [2]
A Coruña Province Population c. 1900
District population
City of Coruña 43,971
City of Ferrol (Civilian Pop. Only) 25,281
Santiago de Compostela 24,120
Towns, Villages and Hamlets 580,184
All the Province (Total): 653,556
(Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911) [3]


Back facade of the catedral

Santiago de Compostela was originally founded by the Suebi in the early 400s, as part of the collapse of the Roman Empire. Then, in 584 the whole settlement together with the rest of Galicia and northern Portugal was incorporated by Leovigild into the Visigothic kingdom of Spain. Raided from 711 to 739 by the Arabs, Santiago de Compostela was finally recaptured by the Visigothic king of Asturias in 754, about 60 years before the identification of remains as those of Saint James the Great, and their acceptance as such by the Pope and Charlemagne, during the reign of Alfonso II of Asturias. From then on, this settlement was not just a city, but a holy city, and one of the main centers of Christian pilgrimage, rivaled only by Rome itself and the Holy Land. Still, there are some who claim that the remains found here were not those of the apostle James but those of Priscillian. They are also thought by many to be someone else altogether. Christian persecution of Spain's Muslims, following the fall of the Moorish state in 1492, echoes into present time, with local residents evincing antipathy towards those who are visibly Muslim.

Santiago de Compostela was captured by the French during the Napoleonic War and its capture broke the spirits of the many Spanish guerillas who were fighting the mighty invading armies of Marshals Soult, Victor, Massena and Napoleon's brother, the new King of Spain, Joseph Bonaparte. During the war, many attempts were made to recapture it by Spanish partisans, who believed St James would come down on the field and destroy the French if they earned his favour by beating the French out of the holy city, which was St James's city. Many of the attempts to return the holy city to the Spanish failed, and the only one that didn't fail was unsuccessful in retaining its hold on the city, and the combined British and Spanish forces were beaten back, where they retreated with the British, and the city was back in French hands within 48 hours.


History of the Way of St. James Pilgrimage

Way of St. James

The legend that St James found his way to the Iberian peninsula, and had preached there is one of a number of early traditions concerning the missionary activities and final resting places of the apostles of Jesus. Although the 1884 Bull of Pope Leo XIII Omnipotens Deus accepted the authenticity of the relics at Compostela, the Vatican remains uncommitted as to whether the relics are those of Saint James the Great, while continuing to promote the more general benefits of pilgrimage to the site. According to a tradition that can be traced before the 12th century, the relics were said to have been discovered in 814 by Theodomir, bishop of Iria Flavia in the west of Galicia. Theodomir was guided to the spot by a star, the legend affirmed, drawing upon a familiar myth-element, hence "Compostela" was given an etymology as a corruption of Campus Stellae, "Field of Stars."

The establishment of the shrine

As suggested already, it is probably impossible to know whose bones were actually found, and precisely when and how. Perhaps it does not matter. What the history of the pilgrimage requires, but what the meagre sources fail to reveal, is how the local Galician cult associated with the saint was transformed into an international cult drawing pilgrims from distant parts of the world.

St. James' shell

The 1000 year old pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is known in English as the Way of St. James and in Spanish as the Camino de Santiago. Over 100,000 pilgrims travel to the city each year from points all over Europe and other parts of the world. The pilgrimage has been the subject of many books and television programmes notably Brian Sewell's The Naked Pilgrim produced for UK's Five.

Pre-Christian legends

As the lowest-lying land on that stretch of coast, the city's site took on added significance. Legends supposed of Celtic origin made it the place where the souls of the dead gathered to follow the Sun across the sea. Those unworthy of going to the Land of the Dead haunted Galicia as the Santa Compaña.

Alchemical metaphor

In Fulcanelli's Mystery of the Cathedrals and Dwellings of the Philosophers the pilgrimage to Compostela is decoded as a metaphor for one of the processes for making the Philosopher's Stone.

Main sights

International relations

Plaza de Platerías
Villar street

Twin towns — Sister cities

Santiago de Compostela is twinned with:

See also

  • Order of Santiago or Order of Saint James of Compostela founded in 12th century Spain

Saunders, Tracy, Pilgrimage to Heresy: Don't Believe Everything They Tell You (iUniverse 2007), for a somewhat different slant on the occupant of the tomb in Compostela. Though a fictionalised history, it looks at what we know of Bishop Priscillian of Avila, arrested on charges of "heresy and witchcraft" along with eight of his followers, including a noblewoman, Euchrotia, and subsequently beheaded in 385 CE by the Romans with the full knowledge of the newly formed Catholic Church, and whose remains have been suggested (by Prof. Henry Chadwick and others)may be entombed in the sepulchre which is said to contain the remains of St. James. See also: Priscillian, and Priscillianism, and The Way of St. James



External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Iberia : Spain : Northwestern Spain : Galicia : Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela is the capital city of Galicia, Spain, and one fo the most important places for Catholicism because it's supposedly the place where St. James is buried.



Santiago de Compostela was originally founded by the Suebi in the early 400s, as part of the collapse of the Roman Empire. In 584 the whole settlement together with the rest of Galicia and northern Portugal was incorporated by Leovigild into the Visigothic kingdom of Spain. Raided from 711 to 739 by the Arabs, Santiago de Compostela was finally conquered by the Visigothic king of Asturias in 754, about 60 years before the identification of remains as those of Saint James the Great, and their acceptance as such by the Pope and Charlemagne, during the reign of Alfonso II of Asturias. Certainly, the remains were found in the small and close town of Iria Flavia, but they were moved to Santiago according to political and religious reasons. From then on, this settlement was not just a city, but a holy city, and one of the main centers of Christian pilgrimage. Still, there are some who claim that the remains found here were not those of the apostle James and one of the most famous theories is that these are the remains of Priscillian. They are also thought by many to be someone else altogether.

Santiago de Compostela was captured by the French during the Napoleonic War and its capture broke the spirits of the many Spanish guerillas who were fighting the mighty invading armies of Marshals' Soult, Victor, Massena and Napoleon's brother, the new King of Spain, Joseph Bonaparte (called Pepe Botella by the Spanish resistance). During the war, many attempts were made to recapture it by Spanish partisans, who believed St James would come down on the field and destroy the French if they earned his favour by beating the French out of the holy city, which was St James's city. During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), Santiago was under the control of the fascists since the very begining and it suffered from a very brutal repression during the inmediate years and the whole Dictatorship. After the Spanish Transition, when the democracy was restored, Santiago de Compostela was declared capital city of Galicia.

Santiago de Compostela today

With a population of about 100.000 inhabitants, it's one of the most important cities of Galicia and the most touristic of them, receiving thousands of visitors every year, many of them attracted to the the ancient history and the religious tradition. It was declared by the UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its cathedral and old city centre.

The University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) is one of the oldest Spanish universities and it has more than 40.000 students, becoming Santiago one of the centers of the university education in Spain, with Salamanca and Granada.


The climate of Santiago is typical of the Spanish Atlantic coast: wet winters with frequent rains which, in light or heavy bursts, lasts from September to June. The summers are slightly less rainy than the rest of the Cantabrian coast.

Temperatures remain mild throughtout the whole year with a yearly average of 19ºC. They drop down to about 8ºC in January, the coldest month of the year.

Get in

The traditional way of getting to Santiago de Compostela is by walking about 780 km from St. Jean Pied-de-Port in France, on the Way of St. James. It is just as traditional to arrive on horseback, though considerably more difficult in terms of facilities. You may be able to stable your horse with a local farmer, but virtually no hostels provide this service. Cycling is also popular.

Other way of getting to Santiago is by bus. The bus station is located in the outskirts of the city, but there you can get a public bus or a taxi to get to the city centre. You can get to Santiago by bus from several places:

  • From cities and towns of Galicia, try Arriva[1] or Monbus[2]. Unfortunately, the last link is only available in Spanish.
  • From other parts of Spain, try Alsa[3], one of the most important bus companies of Spain.

If you want to arrive to Santiago by train, you should visit the RENFE webpage [4]. The train station is relatively close to the city centre.

By air, the closest airport is Lavacolla [5] (ICAO: LEST, IATA: SCQ), about twenty minutes by bus from the city centre. The following companies operate currently at this airport:

Get around

Santiago is a relatively small city (about 100.000 inhabitants) and you can get anywhere by walking.

Although this, there are several bus lines that connect every part of the city. These services are offered by the company Tralusa. The ticket costs 0,90 € for adults (for people under 18 it costs 0,55 €). If you are going to take several times the bus, you may buy a bono of 10, 20 or 30 tickets with a price of 0,55 € for each one. You can buy these bonos to the bus drivers and you must pay a deposit of 3 € that will be payed back to you if you return the card in good condition. The most interesting line for visitors is the number 5, that stops at the bus station and goes to the city centre.

Taxis are not very expensive and the taxi drivers are usually kind and willing to help tourists.


In the parts of the city most frequented by tourists, it's easy to find someone that speaks English or even French, Italian or German. Some restaurants even have English menu. It's more difficult, but not impossible to find menus and signs in Japonese and Chinese. Due to the high number of students in Santiago, it's not difficult to find someone with a good level of English in the streets that will be willing to help.

The official languages of the city are Galician and Spanish. Galician is language with great similarities with Portuguese, so speakers of this language will not have troubles to understand people.


Praza do Obradoiro

Praza do Obradoiro is the heart of the city, and it's named after the workshop of the stonemasons that was established during the construction of the Cathedral (Obradoiro is the Galician word for wordkshop). This is the arrival point of thousands of pilgrims every day and just in the center of this square it's located the kilometer 0 of the Way of St. JamesThe surrounding buildings are examples of different architectural styles. At the East, the barroque front of the Cathedral with the Museum at its right and the Gelmírez Palace at its left. At the West, the Rajoy Palace, that it's the current city hall. At the North, the Catholic Kings Hostal, a plateresque building destinated to host the pilgrims. At the south, the San Jerónimo College, an old students residence and now the head office of the University of Santiago de Compostela.

In center of Praza do Obradoiro
In center of Praza do Obradoiro

Catedral Santiago de Compostela (Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela)

This Cathedral has so many examples of different architectural styles that it would be impossible to reflect hear everything. Maybe the most important are the Baroque front of the Praza do Obradoiro and the interior porch, Pórtico da Gloria. For a better idea of what this Cathedral means for the art and the Catholic religion, visit this link of the Wikipedia [6].

The tomb of Santiago ("Saint James") is located under the Cathedral, and there's the possibility to visit its tomb and even hug the sculpture that represents the saint. On regular occasions the church shows its "Botafumeiro", a huge solid silver incense burner which is swung from the ceiling of the church by a team of energetic men ("tiraboleiros") hauling on ropes.

Hostal dos Reis Católicos (Catholic Kings Hostal)

Originally it was a hospital built after the visit of the catholic Kings to Santiago in 1486, to attend the pilgrims. With the years, the Catholic Kings ordered the built of a big hostel with the money they had earned with the conquest of Granada. Its style is Plateresque. At its front, two coats of arms of Castilla can be seen.

Palacio de Raxoi (Rajoy palace)

Building of the XVIII century, it was built to host the city council, a jail, a seminary and the residence for the children of the choir. It was built under the classic canons. At the top, there's a sculpture of St. James riding his horse and fighting with the Arabs.

Colexio de San Xerome (San Jerónimo College)

It was founded by the archbishop Alonso III de Fonseca to host poor students. Its front has a Romanesque style.

Palacio de Xelmírez (Gelmírez Palace)

Built in the XII and XIII centuries, it's the current home of the archbishop of Santiago. It's a great example of the Romanesque civil architecture.

Praza da Quintana (Quintana Square)

This is the square situated at the other side of the Cathedral. It's divided in two, Quintana dos Mortos, just until the staircase and Quintana dos Vivos, the upper side. In the past it served as cementery and market. There's a legend that tells that if you're at this square alone at midnight, you will be able to see all the deads there buried.

Praza de Praterías (Silversmith's Square)

Close to the Quintana, it has a well-known fountain and it offers one of the best sights of the Cathedral.

Monasterio de San Martín Pinario (San Martín Pinario Monastery)

Benedictine monastery of the XI century. The current building is baroque. It's one of the most emblematic buildings of all the city. It's situated in the Praza da Inmaculada.

Casa da Parra (Parra House)

Situated at the Quintana dos Vivos, this building has the typical chimney of the XVIII century.

Praza de Abastos (City Market)

The second most visited monument. This market is the typical Galician market and one of the biggest all over Spain. It's the perfect place to buy some fresh seafood, vegetables and meat.


The city has also several museums that are worth the visit. Some of them are:

  • Cathedral Museum: it shows the Cathedral’s history and artistic testimonies, from the first basilicas and archaeological remains, the Romanesque period, the work of Master Mateo, with the reconstruction of the Cathedral’s Stone Choir; sculpture in the Cathedral between the 13th and 18th centuries, a tour of the Mannerist Cloister, Library, where the Botafumeiro censer is exhibited and the Chapterhouse, ending on the top floor with an important tapestry collection, which includes a room dedicated to Goya, and the spectacular continuous balcony that dominates Plaza del Obradoiro and the streets of historical Santiago. It opens all the days except on Christmas Day, New Year's Day, January 6th, St. James' Day and August 15th. The prices depend on the person, but it's between 3 and 5 €. Praza do Obradoiro.
  • Museum of the Galician People: the former Convent of Santo Domingo de Bonaval, situated on a hill outside the walls of the historical city, beside the road used by pilgrims to enter Compostela, now houses the Museo do Pobo Galego (Museum of the Galician People), which, provides a general view of the most representative expressions of Galicia’s own culture. It displays different aspects of costal life, traditional trades, the country, traditional costumes and architecture. It also includes sections of Galician archaeology, painting and sculpture. Different temporary exhibitions are regularly organized on a variety of subjects. The entrance is free and it's open all the year except on Mondays. It's also the place where many important Galician figures are buried. Rúa de San Domingos de Bonaval.
  • CGAC (Galician Centre of Contemporary Art): open since 1993, and holding a stable programme since 1995, the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea is located in the limits of the Old Town in Santiago de Compostela. The building was designed by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza and finds a careful balance between the outer and innerspace. The entrance is free and it's open always except on Mondays. Rúa Ramón María del Valle-Inclán.
  • Pilgrimage Mseum: the exhibition highlights the importance, for European culture and Hispanic America, of the pilgrimage and worship of St. James. The entrance is free for people under 18 and over 65, and it costs 1.20 € for students and 2.40 € to the rest of people. Rúa de San Miguel.
  • One of the best ways (and maybe one of the most comfortable) of knowing all the city and learning things about its building and history, it's to get on a little train that will take you through different parts of the city showing it in an unique way. It has an English spoken guide. It departs from the Praza do Obradoiro it costs 5 € to adults and 3 € to children between 4 and 12. Here you can check the route [7]
  • If you want a guided visit on foot through the Old District, just try one of the guided visits that the City Hall organized with an English spoken guide. These visits depend on the day and the season, for a more complete information, check this link [8]
  • There are several guided visits, but they are only available in Spanish. For example there are a night tour or a tour visiting the different churches. Although this, if you're a big group (more than 15), you could ask for them in the Official Tourism Office at Rúa do Vilar, 63 or through this email:
  • If you're feeling like having a different sight of the city, you could book an airplane tour upon Santiago de Compostela. It price is high, depending on the kind of tour you want, but surely it's an original way to know the city. For more info [9]
  • Like many tourists in Santiago, you are maybe one of the hundreds pilgrims that arrive to the city following the Way of St. James, you can get a diploma certifying you've completed the pilgrimage.


The town is now a very important center for pilgrims. You can find all sorts of souvenirs related to "the camino": walking sticks, the typical water-bottles, and the shells that are typical for the camino. Also you can buy typical sweets and drinks in many shops at the Zona Vella (Old District). If you want to buy an original gift, visit the Sargadelos [10] shop at Rúa Nova and see the modernist ceramics of this old and legendary factory in the province of Lugo. Also in the Old District you can find many jewellery shops where to buy typical jewels made of silver and jet, many of them of celtic inspiration.

If you want to buy clothes, move to the Zona Nova (New District) and visit the stores that are all over these district. Here you can find Zara, Bershka, Pepe Jeans... and other famous brands. Maybe the most original brand you could find is Rei Zentolo at Rúa Santiago de Chile, a Galician brand with original and really funny T-shirts and other clothes.

There are two shopping centers in the city. The first one, Área Central, is located at the district of Fontiñas (you can get there by taking the bus number 11 in the City Centre) and it has fashion shops, fast food restaurants and one big supermarket. The other one, Hipercor, at Rúa do Restollal, is a typical department store.


Galicia is known for "Pulpo" or cooked octopus. In general there are a lot of restaurants selling fish and seafood suitable for all budgets. The local cheeses should also be sampled, as well as delicious cakes like the "Tarta de Santiago". Expect long queues at popular pilgrim eating places. Also try pimientos de padrón. The saying goes, "los pimientos de padrón, unos pican y otros no" meaning that in a single serving, some are spicy while others are not.

Street in Santiago
Street in Santiago


Try the Albariño wine, a white wine from the south of Galicia. Other popular drinks are:

  • Licor café is a popular local liqueur, which tastes strongly of coffee.
  • Orujo, also known as Aguardiente or Caña, is also a popular local drink, made with the grapes after juicing them. It's often served in little glasses (chupitos) or just a trickle with the coffee. There are three kinds: Orujo Blanco, just eau-de-vie, Orujo de hierbas, often green, it has different tastes depending on the kind, it's usually served very cold, and Tostado, that it's the result of soaking the grapes with nuts and other fruits.
  • Queimada, very traditional drink, it's a mix of aguardiente, sugar and some fruits and coffee beans. It's set on fire before drinking it while someone recites the conxuro (a sort of spell)

For a quiet beer and a couple of tapas on the Old District there are several places where you can sit in terraces when the weather is nice or inside where it's rainy or cold. Some of these places are for example, Tokio or Alameda at Porta Faxeira or the terraces at the Quintana Square. It's specially well-known the Rúa do Franco, one of the main streets, full of places where you can drink and eat something. One really famous is Bar Orense (Rúa do Franco), where you can have cuncas (cups) of wine and licor café for a very low price. If you like coffees, ice-creams and pastries, try Pastelería Mercedes Mora (Rúa do Vilar). On the New District there are bars full of university students, such as Central Perk (Rúa Nova de Abaixo), Luis (Rúa Santiago del Estero) or the multiple terraces at Praza Roxa.

Later in the evening, there are several places to go because Santiago de Compostela is a city with a very interesting nightlife.

If you want some beers or cocktails to begin the night, try Nido del Cuco or Momo, both at Virxe da Cerca. The last one, Momo, during the summer season has a big and nice garden and during the winter it has perfomances of singer-songwriters. Other interesting places are Casa das Crechas (Vía Sacra, very close to Praza da Quintana), where you can hear some folk music, A Calderería (Rúa da Calderería), spot where many foreigners get together and sometimes there are music performances or Modus Vivendi (Praza Feixoó).

To continue the night, Santiago has many pubs where drink and dance different kinds of music. The following ones are only examples of the great variety you can find in Santiago. On the Old District:

  • El Retablo: the music is mainly Spanish and International pop. It's usually full of people, mainly young people. Rúa Nova.
  • Avante: really famous little pub where you can dance and listen to ska and traditional nationalist music. Cantón de San Bieito.
  • A Reixa: well-known indie bar. Here you can listen mainly to 60's music, with a great poster of Björk decorating the pub. Rúa Tras Salomé.
  • Fonte Sequelo: little pub, with music of different styles. Rúa Xelmírez.
  • Forum: gay pub, very little and always full of people. Music of different styles. Rúa Travesa.
  • Meia: very popular specially between the Erasmus students (it even has discounts for them), the music is international pop. Rúa Algalia de Abaixo.

Going to the New District:

  • Blaster: popular pub, with music of very different styles and a really original decoration. Expect lots of people. Rúa República Arxentina.
  • Krooner: one of the most original places, depending on the day and the hour, you can listen to indie rock, 60's music or house. It's also an after party from 10.00 to 14.00. Rúa República Arxentina.
  • Guayaba: pub with latin music (merengue, salsa...). Rúa Nova de Abaixo.
  • La Ruta: popular disco and the oldest one, it has twoo floors. Up, indie and alternative rock, down, house and electronic music. Gay-friendly place. You must pay 5 € to get into. Rúa Pérez Constanti.
  • Liberty: one of the most popular discos to finish the night. Mainstream pop. The admission is not free for men (5 €) and depending on the day either for women. Rúa Alfredo Brañas.


Just outside of Santiago is a small town called "Monte do Gozo". Some Pilgrims stop there before entering the city. It's a huge center and has almost 2000 beds. There is a frequent bus line that will take you to walking distance of the town center.
People with a bigger budget can stay in the luxury "Hotel Dos Reis Católicos", the former medieval pilgrim hostel, situated on the same square, O Obradoiro, as the cathedral. It is owned by the Paradores group, a large hotel-chain which operates hotels exclusively in historic buildings.

There is a 3 stars hotel near the cathedral, called Hesperia Gelmirez with very good rates.

For the budget traveler you can try Hostal R Mexico located at Republica Argentina 33. It's just a few blocks away from the train station. Another budget option is Hostal Pazo de Agra on Rúa Calderería 37. It is an easy two-minute walk from the cathedral.

  • NH Obradoiro, Avenida Burgo das Nacions, +34.98.1558070 [11].

Get out

70km out of Santiago is the town called Finisterre. Before the Americas were discovered, people believed this was the end of the world (finis = end; terra = earth)

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File:Catedral santiago
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela (also Saint James of Compostela) is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia and a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. The city is in the northwest of Spain in the Province of A Coruña.

The city's Cathedral is the destination of an important pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James (Galician: Camiño de Santiago, Spanish: Camino de Santiago). Pilgrims have been following this route since the ninth century.

The cathedral is believed to be where James, son of Zebedee is buried. Saint James was one of the apostles of Jesus Christ.

In Santiago de Compostela there are a lot of university students who live there because their houses are very far to the university. This is the city of the Spain that rains all the winter, and where it is a cold weather.

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