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Santiago de Compostela

History

By 1075 when the Romanesque basilica was begun and the pilgrimage was becoming a major European phenomenon, Santiago de Compostela had already been raided on various occasions by the Normans and Muslims. Bishop Diego Gelmírez obtained archbishopric status for Santiago in 1100 and added numerous churches in the 12th century, when homage paid to its saint brought in a flood of funds. Enthusiasm for the pilgrimage to Santiago peaked around then, and the following centuries were marked by internecine squabbling between rival nobles, damped down by Isabel and Fernando after the Reconquista. After misguidedly siding with the Carlists in the 1830s, Santiago de Compostela slipped into the background. Only since the 1980s, as capital of the autonomous region of Galicia and a rediscovered tourist and pilgrimage target, has the city been revitalised.