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.
Beautiful Santiago de Compostela is famous world-wide for its Gothic Cathedral, the resting place of the Apostle Saint James and the end of the Camino de Santiago. But inside the old Medieval walls that surround the City there is much more to discover for those who allow themselves to wander and who know what to look for. In this article, we would like to give you a bit more insight on the monuments that make the most stricking and important of the 5 squares of the Cathedral – The Plaza del Obradoiro.
What monuments will you find on the Main Square of the Plaza del Obradoiro
The Portico de la Gloria of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela