Museo das Peregrinacións e de Santiago

Top choice in Santiago de Compostela

The brightly displayed Museum of Pilgrimages and Santiago gives fascinating insights into the phenomenon of Santiago (man, city and pilgrimage) down the centuries, with explanatory material in English as well as Spanish and Galician. Particularly absorbing sections are devoted to the changing image of Santiago the man down the centuries – from apostle and martyr to pilgrim to conquering knight – and to the sequence of buildings on the cathedral site, from Roman mausoleum to cathedral via three smaller medieval churches, with good models and illustrations.

There are also great close-up views of some of the cathedral's towers from the 3rd-floor windows.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

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1. Praza das Praterías

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'Silversmiths' Square' is centred on an elegant 1825 fountain, the Fuente de los Caballos, a popular photo op, with the cath­edral's Romanesque south…

2. Fuente de los Caballos

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The plaza on the cathedral's south side focuses on Fuente de los Caballos fountain (1825), a popular photo op, with four elegant horses surmounted by a…

3. Casa do Cabido

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Along the lower side of the Praza das Praterías, the baroque Casa do Cabildo is no more than a 3m-deep facade erected in the 1750s at the behest of the…

4. Casa do Deán

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The Fundación Catedral office here gives out free tickets for unguided visits to the cathedral's Pórtico de la Gloria between 7pm and 8pm Monday to…

5. Praza da Quintana

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Broad Praza da Quintana opens up outside the cathedral's eastern end. The cathedral's Puerta Santa here is opened only in holy years: it's flanked by 24…

6. Puerta Santa

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The cathedral's Puerta Santa, giving access to the cathedral from Praza da Quintana, is opened only in holy years (2021, 2027). Constructed between 1611…

7. Praza de Fonseca

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South of the cathedral, stop in cafe-lined Praza de Fonseca to look into the Colexio de Fonseca with its beautiful Renaissance courtyard; this was the…

8. Catedral de Santiago de Compostela

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The grand heart of Santiago, the cathedral soars above the city in a splendid jumble of spires and sculpture. Built piecemeal over several centuries, its…