A travel enthusiast is most happy when he is not in-home and if that place gives something extra than commonplace trips, it’s a gift from the heavens. In this year in May I took a break from jet-speed life of NY and went for a tour that could give me time to think about me, my life as well as chances to explore its cultural significance. After spending a good time to zero in on a suitable place I chose Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
A Brief History of its Ecclesiastic Past
A self-proclaimed place of Catholic pilgrimage from 9th century onwards when Bishop of Theodemar of Iria found some remains that he claimed was of Saint James the Greater. This claim was fortified by the erstwhile Pope and Charlemagne on the basis of its ecclesiastic and political significance. Soon a new establishment grew surrounding this cemetery area which was came to be known as Compostella with the advent of 10th century.
By the mid 11th century, this place became one of the most significant spots to visit Saint James remains across Europe. In the following centuries its importance was lower than only Rome and Jerusalem.
Authenticity of Legend Associated with St. James
Legend says that while preaching across Spanish Iberia St. James decided to return to the Holy Land but was killed while he reached Gallicia. Later his disciples cremated him in Compostela. This fact was verified in 1884 by Pope Leo XIII but the Vatican has never confirmed this while stressing upon its general significance of pilgrimage. Further fortifying this principle, in 2010 Pope Benedict XVI went for a complete ceremonial pilgrimage.
How it Looks Now?
I reached here on a sunny day of May and went to visit its plaza area in the afternoon. As if I could clearly visualize major differences between modern tourists and those who visited here centuries ago. For hundreds of years pilgrims came here after trekking several kilometers to get a glimpse of the holy site. Still now pilgrims come here but many come for purely secular reasons. For the epic appeal of the route, people trek through this region to reach the Galicia region of Spain.
Among its secular appeals Gaias Centre Museum is a fine destination for art lovers.
Gaias Centre Museum
First thing that caught my attention here was the architectural beauty of the building. With its impressive height and a wide surface area, the Centre surely wants to go far long into holding all cultural treasures of the Galicia region.
Library and Archive of Galicia
This is a flagship library of Galicia Library System and is a significant emissary of the region’s bibliographic history. For all edited publications of Galicia, this Library is the legal deposit having a minimum of 1 copy.
Centre for Cultural Innovation
Galician Administration’s digital heart is placed in the Centre for Cultural Innovation and is the home of logistics and management departments of City’s Foundation for Culture.
Not only visually rich, Santiago de Compostela is famous for its wide variety of food dishes which needs no special mention that I explored in details.
Beet soup garnished with quail legs, beet foam, straberries, pea puree, yuzu chunks accessorized with lime sorbet, sardine rolls and tempura-fried asparagus- just an awesome combination. In the end a dish of dessert namely Casal Coton Chocolate completed my day.
Before visiting Santiago I searched some authentic travel blogs which I feel was of great help. So you too can do the same. Santiago de Compostela is still holding fresh memories in my mind for its unique combination of spirituality mixed with a certain laid-back nature that lets you ample amounts of me-time. In a single sentence, I liked the city immensely.
David Danto is a traveling enthusiast and a passionate writer on reputed travel blogs.