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Santiago de Compostela cathedral without scaffolding for the first time in eight years
14 May 2021 @ 13:22

The arrival point at the end of the famous Camino de Santiago – once a religious pilgrimage to what was thought to be the burial site of Saint James, and now a global tourist trail with starting points in France and all over Spain – is largely held to be one of the most beautiful in the country, along with the huge gothic cathedral in the Castilla y León city of Burgos, which is the second-largest nationwide after that of Sevilla in the south.

A painstaking restoration of the façade started on Santiago de Compostela cathedral in 2013 and, although not entirely finished, the bulk of it is, bar a few 'tweaks'.

Before (below) and after (above) restoration (photo by official pilgrims' route site,

This year is the Año Santo Jacobeo – the Saint Jacob's or Iacobus Year – and the repairs were timed so as to be broadly finished for 2021 in order for pilgrims to be able to see the stunning early-Mediaeval monument at its best.

Passers-by and residents have said almost unanimously so far that the result of the works is 'impressive'.

“I've only ever known it with blue scaffolding that blocked out the façade,” one young woman said of its recent 'unveiling'.

Another said she was 'desperate to see it as it is now' after eight years as a building site.



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