If You Stand Here: A Pilgrim's Tour of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela


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2021 Independent Press Award: Designated Favorite in Travel Writing! IF YOU STAND HERE... Pilgrims have been coming from all over the world to Spain for over 12 centuries to venerate the remains of the Apostle St. James the Greater and his two followers, Atanasio and Teodoro. The relics are housed in the crypt of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. It is the largest Romanesque cathedral in Spain.

This book will not focus on the exact size of the building or all the dates of all the various building programs. It will place you on the very spot in the Cathedral where something marvellous happened in the history of this extraordinary space. It will invite you to imagine the new archbishop saying Mass for the first time, the music director playing new music at the organ, or a local poet who stops in one late afternoon to say some prayers.

If you stand here, you will be standing…

  • where the Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon watched the Botafumeiro swing in 1499
  • where the Italian prince, Cosimo de Medici III entered the Cathedral in 1669,
  • where the poet Federico García Lorca visited with his classmates from the University of Granada in 1916
  • where American writer Edith Wharton gazed at the Pórtico de la Gloria sculpture at sunset in 1925, or where the archbishop ran for his life when an angry mob set fire to the Cathedral roof in 1117.

Each of these events still reverberates in the air in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela – and all you have to do to experience it is to stand here. 

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