Santiago de Compostela – a place of pilgrimage with a vibrant student atmosphereBerlin, 29.04.2015
Since 830, Santiago de Compostela has attracted pilgrims from all over the world wishing to worship here at the tomb of James the apostle. The impressive Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, in which his relics are kept, has undergone many phases of construction, as can be seen from its various styles of architecture. The western entrance, the Pórtico de la Gloria, by Maestro Mateo is considered to be a major art treasure. A central starting point for the continuous stream of pilgrims visiting the cathedral is, however, the small statue of the apostle at the high alter. Every year approximately 75,000 people make a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, and a great many more make the journey in the Jubilee years. But at the very latest since Hape Kerkeling’s book “I’m Off Then”, the Way of St James has achieved great popularity also as a non-spiritual hiking trail for leisure, for thinking over one’s life, or for simply escaping the daily routine.
The historical part of town – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and culinary highlight
With the prominence of the Way of St James, it is easy to forget that Santiago de Compostela is a city that is well worth a visit. In 1985, the historical part of town and cathedral were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city’s “high street”, as it were, is the Rúa do Franco, which leads to the cathedral. Alongside the typical tapas offered in the numerous restaurants and bars, visitors can also savour excellent Galician specialities. A top tip for foodies is the Mercado de Abastos, which is a veritable feast for the eyes. The large student population gives the city a very vibrant atmosphere. In the evenings the streets are filled with young people, and the many bars and pubs in the old part of town are not merely busy on weekends.
The beautifully landscaped Alameda Park is a great place to spend some time to relax. The artistically planted flowers and trees, the sculptures by Manuel Vázquez Figueroa, and the tree-lined paths soon make visitors forget the hustle and bustle of the city, allowing them to enjoy the tranquillity and birdsong. Families with young children will particularly appreciate the large playground. From the promenade you can furthermore enjoy an unforgettable view of the old part of town and the cathedral.
Airport and travel
Santiago de Compostela Airport is located on the Iberian peninsula 15 kilometres northeast of the city of Santiago de Compostela and is easy to reach by bus. People wishing to visit Santiago de Compostela can look forward to a new Vueling connection from Berlin Tegel: from 28 June 2015, the Spanish airline will be flying to the city once a week, on Sundays.