If you are in the center of the historic old town of Toledo, you will not miss the Cathedral of Santa Maria. The impressive church is not only the symbol of the capital of the central Spanish autonomous region of Castile-La Mancha, but also one of the largest and most famous cathedrals in the world. The cathedral of Toledo, built between the 13th and 15th centuries, whose basic structure consists of five naves and a transept, impresses with its fascinating architectural history, among other things.
Three styles offer a fascinating mix of architecture
Due to the long construction period, in addition to the dominant Spanish Gothic style, the influences of the Baroque and the Renaissance are clearly visible, especially in the extensions and conversions. These three architectural styles offer a fascinating mix. The interior of the church is characterized by magnificent furnishings with countless art treasures. In total, more than 20 chapels can be visited in the Cathedral of Santa Maria. More than 750 ornate stained glass windows from the 15th and 16th centuries provide a very special light inside the church, which has a total of eight entrances.
The Toledo Cathedral can be visited Monday through Saturday from 10.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. The church can be visited on Sundays and public holidays from 4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. Admission is 4.95 euros.
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is located in Spain’s Galicia region and is – next to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem – one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Christendom. Today it is the final destination of the Camino de Santiago, which has gained more fame again for some time and was able to claim enthusiastic pilgrims – be it on foot, by bike or by bus.
The Camino de Santiago runs right across Europe and stops at various stations where James stayed. The main route can be traced back to the routes of the 11th century, which, according to a pilgrim guide, were marked with the help of the “Jacob’s Book”. This main route and the cathedral have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1993.
At many points on the hiking trail you can find the sign of the Way of St. James: the scallop shell.
The Cathedral de Compostela
Many pilgrims follow in the footsteps of James, on the one hand to experience spirituality, faith and community and on the other hand to find a way to find themselves. The highlight is a visit to the Cathedral de Compostela, which is ideal for study trips.
The Cathedral de Compostela is a remarkable building that dates from the 11th and 12th centuries. She keeps the bones of the apostle James, who was one of the first called disciples of Jesus.
Due to the many extensions over the centuries, the cathedral has different architectural styles, including the classicist north facade, the baroque west portal and the Gothic interior. It covers an area of more than 23,000 m², which is a sight to see in amazement.
In the interior is the magnificent altar; under it is a tomb, which is said to contain the bones of James and a splinter of the cross of Jesus.
Especially on festive days, the 1.60 m high and universally popular censer, the so-called “botafumeiro”, is swung through the air, which has to be set in motion by at least eight men.
So if you want to be in the footsteps of James, you should pay a visit to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Not only the Way of St. James and the cathedral make traveling to the north of Spain so interesting, but also the wonderful old town, the numerous old and modern buildings on the promenade and the enormous variety of cultural offers.