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Date: 05 Aug 2008 22:05:00
Title: Cathedral

 
The Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela is well worth its own blog page.
 
       
 
First sight of the Cathedral, Big Bear and again with the facade.
 
It really depends if you believe St James the Apostle is buried here or you think it is Priscillian, Bishop of Avila who died in three hundred and eighty five.
 
However, the majority believe. Therefore this Cathedral is third only behind Rome and The Holy Land in terms of pilgrimage.
So many have laid their hands on the door to the Cathedral they have worn a groove.
Since the ninth century pilgrims have followed the Way of St James seen in the programme "The Naked Pilgrim" made by Brian Sewell.
The official long route is five hundred miles, if you are not up to that then the short one is ninety. We found a dental hospital, I wanted to know where the foot one was.
Of course the tacky tourist shops sold tee shirts that said "no pain, no glory" depicting sore feet.
                 
 
The vaulted ceiling, Bear and the "swinger" as he called the Botafumeiro, the largest incense burner in the world. It weighs one hundred and sixty pounds
and takes several burly men to pull on one very thick rope to get it swinging, I pinched the last photo from the internet just to show it in action.
 
        
 
This is St James depicted as The Moor Slayer. Bear wanted to know "who the little fella in the glass case was" I put him right about it being Our Lord just down from the cross to which
he replied "well he shouldn't be in a back room like this", it was in a quiet chapel of prayer but Bear felt he should been in a more prominent position near the gold, not in a dingy back room.
I did point out that there was a stunningly beautiful alter to him on the left of "the gold" but gave up at this point and we lit the candle to our grandchildren, no candle fat here just computerised
lights that shine when the right offering has been put in. We did both agree that this is a lovely alter to Our Lady of Lourdes.
 
                     
 
The main alter to St James very heavily covered in gold. The tomb of St James and a picture of a Pilgrims Passport.
You can start the way of St James from anywhere in the world as it is said that all roads can lead to Santiago de Compostela, but it began in France.
The passport can be bought for a few euros in any Spanish information bureau or through the St James Organisation in your own country.
The Pilgrim Passport allows you to stay in some of the refugios for free and once stamped and full proves your route. Then you get presented with The Compostela Certificate.
 
There is a tradition to this day in Flanders of one prisoner per year being released providing he walks the route with a heavy backpack accompanied by one prison guard.
 
 
 
This is a great shot of two pilgrims, note her clean socks hanging on pegs, I wanted to say not far. We knew they had walked a long way, the dog was absolutely Kn--kered.
 
After thought. The Milky Way in Spanish is El Camino de Santiago, it is said to be formed from the dust of the pilgrims.

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