"Santiago de Compostela", Blog English, Country, Spain

“Plaza del Obradoiro”, center and heart of Santiago de Compostela

Surrounded by historic buildings such as the Palace of “Rajoy”, the Hostal de los Catholic Kings, the Saint Jerome’s School and the Cathedral of “Santiago de Compostela” is “Plaza del Obradoiro”, center and heart of this Galician town. Today, it is the place where pilgrims and tourists arrive, to celebrate the completed pilgramage, to reaffirm their faith or to simply contemplate and be a participant in everything that surrounds them and provokes their splendor.

The word “Obrador” or “Obradoiro” in Galician means workshop or place where manual or artisanal works are carried out. This place gets its name precisely because it was the place where the workers  performed the tasks for the construction of the great cathedral.

It was under the supervision of Task Master Mateo, the work was carried out for the construction of the current Cathedral of “Santiago de Compostela”, fourth temple that is built precisely in this place. In addition, the “Plaza del Obradoiro” served as a warehouse for all the materials necessary for such construction.

In fact, the front facade of the Cathedral of “Santiago de Compostela” is known as the “Fachada del Obradoiro” precisely because it faces this square, the epicenter of the city.

Originally it was an empty space or lot and it is not until the twentieth century that it takes its current appearance.

In ancient times, the pilgrims used star-shaped roads to reach “Santiago de Compostela”. The point where these roads reached convergence, is marked with what was considered to be the zero kilometer (0) of all the routes and roads that lead to the “Plaza del Obradoiro”, the point of arrival of all pilgrims on the pilgramage or better known as the “Camino de Santiago”.

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