Santiago De Compostela On the Road

Santiago De Compostela, Spain
Santiago De Compostela, in the northwest region of Spain, is most famous as the end point of a religious pilgrimage known as the Way of St. James. People come from near and far to take away their sins by walking the 700 kms (or so!) to reach the main Cathedral of Santiago De Compostela. About 100,000 people a year make this journey to see the bones of this famous saint. The name of the city is believed to mean field of the star or burial ground, referring to those saintly bones in the main cathedral.

Santiago de Compostela was founded in the 9th century when a shepherd stumbled upon the bones. Pope Alexander III and Pope Calixto II declared it a holy place freeing all of their past sins… but not all travellers arriving here are pilgrims seeking purification! Some come just for the challenge of the walk and for the unmistakeable beauty of the city itself.

The wind from the Atlantic and the surrounding mountains bring in frequent rainfall – so don’t forget your umbrella. When you’re here see what the pilgrim fuss is all about - visit the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The church is a gothic construction, with a couple of classical details and a Romanesque interior. There's also another cathedral worth stopping by, called the Capilla del Relicario which had a gold crucifix dated back to the 800's. It’s said to have a piece of the true cross. There are plenty of other things to see in town where you can just follow the narrow winding streets and find old historic buildings.

For typical Santiago De Compostela dishes, try the empandas (a pie usually filled with meat), navajas (fish, the translation meaning pocket knifes), rice, pasta, potato, seafood, tapas (hot or cold), chorizo (sausage) and churros (fried dough with sugar). For dessert there's the torte de Santiago, a tart filled with jam.

Santiago is a university town, meaning that the night caters to the youth with cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs and dance clubs. In the old town, there are a number of old traditional taverns and restaurants, while in the El Ensanche area around Plaza Roja there are a number of pubs, cafes and discotheques.