Santiago de Compostela is Galicia’s capital that offers the best of the country’s greens. The name is taken after St. James apostle whose ashes lie in the cathedral. That alone attracts religious pilgrims continuously over 10 decades.
The city’s natural heritage and culture with its beautifully preserved ancient quarters are sufficient to attract any tourist.
It has 92,000 residents with a university that houses 40,000 students; that makes it comfortable for a walkthrough discovery. You can get to Santiago from major cities in Europe.
This city is also acclaimed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO with its unique medieval squares and streets. The ancient quarters lie at Praza do Obradoiro; one of Spain’s most beautiful and large square. The plaza is paved with stone since the 18th century.
Here you will also find the enchanting medieval parador, Reis Católicos hostel, which was formerly a hospital as well as a pilgrim’s hostel. There is also the 15th century building, the Colegio de San Xerome, which now functions as a university administration. The Cathedral, a Romansque building, dons an Obradoiro façade since 1075; its construction only completed in the 1300s with a Baroque exterior and some Neo-classical facelifts during the 1700s.
There are many squares at the Cathedral sides with different names for identification. The Praza da Quintana is a unique stepped plaza on the top of a burial ground with a few monuments and a Baroque façade that is a fake over the Casa de Longa.
There are plenty of free guide books and city maps at the tourist office to assist the tourist in locating the sights and other interesting tourists’ areas.
The city of Santiago de Compostela lies in the midst of a scenic region; hence, you can wander anywhere to your fancy and enjoy the scenery around you.
One interesting excursion would be to hire or rent a car that will take you through the 25 kilometer drive (16 miles) to Pazo de Oca which is a private palace with beautiful and well cared for gardens. The locals call this place “the Galician Versailles.” On the other hand, the Pazo Santa Cruz has interesting olive groves since ancient days which might be of interest to those with green thumbs. Its gardens flourish in a natural manner.
If you want more information for your short days in Santiago, you can always take on a guided tour. All major currencies are accepted and it is advisable to make your bookings in advance to avoid disappointment.
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