Cathedral Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain

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Cathedral

The cathedral from Santiago de Compostela was proclaimed in 1985 as World Heritage by the Unesco.

Last year the façade was awarded with 'The Prince of Asturias Award for Peace'.
The main façade is called Obradoiro, which means goldsmithwork, because it was deeply artistic and witty developed by the stonecutters in the 18th century. The total surface of Santiago de Compostela's cathedral is nowadays 23000 square meters. The first church's foundation stone was placed under the sovereignity of Alfonso II, between 791-842, being since then almost destroyed through the attacks by the muslims and the peasant's risings.
The building of the present cathedral was begun in 1077 (Alfonso VII). The grave of Apostle Santiago is situated under the altar in the east side of the church. The famous portico (1188) from Master Mateo at the entrance of the west porch is an architectural masterpiece. The southern portico is the only romanesque original one from the 11th century.
From the incense chalice was the Botafumeiro developed for the first time in the 14th century, to praise for the gods or to cover up, originally, the body odour of pilgrims. Nowadays, it hangs at the end of a 30 meters long rope and it is swung sometimes, nobody knows exactly when, by eight men, swinging it through the central nave and reaching almost the ceiling. It is an event to live, reserved only for the lucky ones!. The old incense chalice is 1,60 meter high and weights 80 kg and it is no more swung.

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