When learning about the History of Santiago de Compostela there is one man that regularly comes up as the saviour, historian, architect and politician that made this city possible. We are of course talking about Diego Gelmírez or Xelmírez (Latin Didacus Gelmirici) (ca 1069 – ca 1149) who was the second bishop (from 1100) and the first archbishop (from 1120) of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela.
He is a prominent figure in the history of Galicia and an important historiographer of the Iberia of his day. Diego involved himself in many quarrels, ecclesiastical and secular, which were recounted in the Historia Compostelana, which covered his episcopacy from 1100 to 1139 and serves as a sort of gesta of the bishop’s life.
At the entrance of the Alameda Gardens, you will come across an unusual statue that is of two women dressed in a rather eccentric way and with most peculiar features. There are the famous Marias or “las dos en punt” (two o’clock on the dot), two much loved characters of Santiago de Compostela.
Santiago de Compostela is often referred to as a large village built around a beautiful Cathedral. When walking around the Old Walled Town and arriving into any of the 5 squares of the Cathedral you will see this is true. Each one of these 5 squares shows the Cathedral in a different way, always grandiose, and allows an entrance or exit to this sacred site. They all have a different spiritual meaning and reason for being.