Want to learn about the Cathedral Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, the final resting place of the Apostle Saint James and the end of the Camino de Santiago?
It is the largest Romanesque Cathedral in #Spain. 94 m long with a transept of 63 m, a maximum height of 32 m and construction of the building started in 1075. But although this is useful information, the importance of this building is not in these details. What interests Anne Born @nilesite in her new book If you stand here… is the stories of those who were lucky enough to stand in this great Cathedral.
Anne will guide you through the Nave, the Cloister, the different squares and even the rooftop, telling you what events took place at the very spot you are standing and which historical figure were involved. And there were many, from the Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon, to Cosimo de Medici III, to Eva Perón, Cary Grant, Frederico Garcia Lorca…
She mentions this about Georgiana Goddard King’s own guidebook of the Cathedral, but this is also true with If you stand here… “you will feel like as if she were in fact present beside you, guiding you by the hand, as she would with a friend.”
Reading this book, we not only learned about the building but the History of Santiago de Compostela and to a greater extend Spain and Europe.
The Pilgrim community woke up in shock this morning as the Dean of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela announced there will be no Mass at all in the Cathedral in 2019 because of the ongoing restoration works. In this article, we would like to clarify what this means, why this should not impact your travel plans and detail where you will be able to attend Mass during this time.
For the first time since it was built, there will be no service in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela at all for 12 to 18 months, starting from next week, Monday, January 28th 2019.
The Cathedral & the Pilgrim Office did warn pilgrims and neighbours of Santiago for over a year that there might not be any use of the Botafumeiro during Pilgrim Mass for 6 months in 2019, but the latest news is much worst than expected:
After months of investigation and negotiation, the Dean of the Cathedral has announced today that due to the unexpected scope and magnitude of the essential works required in the interior it will be impossible to maintain the normal activity in the main altar, naves and in the chapels of the basilica.
So no Pilgrim Mass in the Cathedral, no guided tour of the Cathedral, no visit of the rooftop and no Botafumeiro Ceremony until the end of the renovations!
But the Cathedral will remain open for visits in the areas not under construction, you will be able to see the newly repainted Portico de la Gloria and Pilgrim Mass will be moved to different churches around the City.
One of the man difference you will find with your home country when traveling in Spain and on the Camino de Santiago is the extreme mealtimes that are followed and this is a concern for many of our clients. Spaniards are among those who eat lunch and dinner the latest in the world so we created this blog post to detail the different eating times customs you will encounter in Spain as well as the shop opening times.
The Timezones explanation
To understand, why Spaniards eat so late, you must know Spain goes by Central European Time (CET), putting it in sync with the Serbian capital Belgrade, more than 2,500 km East of Madrid, while it should be in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) like the UK and Portugal. So Galicia, which is the most Western region in continental Spain, is about 2h away from its normal sun time. This means the sun rises later and sets later, bestowing Spain with gloriously long summer evenings and 10 pm sunsets.
Consequences on the typical work-day in Spain
The typical Spanish work day begins at 9am and ends around 8 pm with a 2 to 3h lunch break (the vast majority of workers go home for lunch and enjoy a large meal with their family and rest for a while). Prime-time television doesn’t start until 10:30pm. Most people do not go to bed until midnight.
When pilgrims are walking the Camino and staying in municipal Albergues, they tend to get up very early (between 4 and 6 am) and go to bed early (by 9 pm). They do this to ensure they reach the next town and bed before the rest of the crowds but this means walking most of the distance in the dark.
Your room is booked and is not going anywhere so no need to rush. Just make sure your luggage is at the reception by 8:30 am for the luggage transfer.