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Praza do Obradoiro - Square of the Stonecutters
This Square (named after the workmen who toiled on the construction of the Cathedral, and the place where their tools and materials were stored) sits in front of the Northern Facade of the Cathedral - its main entrance.
Facing the Cathedral, to your left is the Hostal dos Reis Catolicos - The luxury parador, which was originally a shelter for the poor and infirm.
Opposite the Cathedral is the Palacio de Rajoy- (Rajoy Palace) - Founded in 1766 as a residence for choirboys,a seminary for priests, a civic meeting hall and a prison. It is now the Town Hall.
Between the Hostal and the Town Hall, sitting off the square, is the Church of San Fructoso. This 18th century church has a facade, which is popularly believed to depict the four suits of a card pack, but they represent Prudence, Justice, Strength and Temperance- The 4 Cardinal Virtues.
The East of the Square houses the Colegio de San Xerome, which is the University of Compostelas rectorship. Originally it was the Old Hospital and also housed the faculty of Arts.
The Prazas' paving looks old, but it is probably the most modern addition, with the slabs being laid to protect clothing from the mud of this former swamp. The point in the centre where the paths intersect is considered the end of the Camino de Santiago.
You might spot people laying down in the centre of the square- not neccesarily exhausted pilgrims, but it is a trick of the eye, that by assuming this position, it looks as if the Cathedral is falling towards You!
The night before The Feast of Santiago on 25th July a spectacular firework display is held here.
Having just returned from a quick visit to SDC, I'm surprised to see how quiet the square was in my January photos- It is very different in August, when this square is much more crowded
- Hiking and Walking
- Religious Travel
Squares of the Cathedral (1/4)
Praza do Obradoiro/Plaza del Obradoiro/Obradoiro square
This is the main square, not only of the Cathedral but the whole Santiago. It is the largest of its kind in the whole of Galicia and it becomes the center point for the 25th July Saint James’ day celebrations when it is tranformed into an open air auditorium for a series of concerts and events.
This square has four very important and beautiful bu¡ldings:
- The Cathedral (west façade; main and fifth pics)
- Hostal dos Reis Católicos (second pic)
- Pazo de Raxoi (third pic)
- Colexio de San Xerome (fourth pic)
All four buildings have their own tip (see the Things to Do section).
Praza do Obradoiro
This square is the core of Santiago de Compostela. In this square you will find:
. the Cathedral
. the Raxoi Palace
. the Xelmirez Palace
. the Hostal dos Reis Catolicos
. the St Jerome School.
While walking in this majestic place I felt small next to such great buildings (and the Cathedral is so huge!) and like a small child looking at something really amazing, almost a fairy tale. It was my first sight of the cathedral and it is really imposing!
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Santiago de Compostela Travel Guide
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