My husband’s dream is to walk the Camino de Santiago or the Way of Saint James. St. James or Santiago went on a missionary trip from the Holy Land to the Northwest of Spain to spread the word of God. It is said that his remains were found in Santiago de Compostela in 813. The ultimate pilgrimage route of St. James ends in Santiago Compostela.
Since I cannot take off from work long enough to walk the Camino de Santiago, my husband settled for a day trip from Madrid to Santiago de Compostela. He hopes to walk the route when he retires.
Santiago is about 6 hours drive from Madrid. To save time, we booked a flight with Ryan Air, a budget airlines that offers domestic flights within Spain as well as flights all over Europe. We got to Santiago in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
With only a day in Santiago, we spent our morning at the historic center.
Praza do Obradoiro
In the middle of the huge square is a marker with a scallop shell. It is where pilgrims celebrate the completion of their pilgrimage.
The cathedral holds the tomb of St. James. Visitors line up to hug the statue of the saint from behind in spiritual celebration.
The museum houses collections from the treasury and artifacts relating to the cathedral. No photography is allowed.
Hospital of the Catholic Monarchs
Now a hotel, Hospital dos Reis Catolicos was built by Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand to give pilgrims a place to recover after their challenging journey. Access is for hotel guests only, so no photos from inside.
The city hall was an 18th century palace, Pazo de Raxoi.
Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
With roots starting in 1495, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela is one of the oldest universities, and one of the most prestigious in Spain.
Church of St. Francis the Pilgrim
This is the first church we saw as soon as we stepped out of the parking garage. We had to check it out.
There are so much more to see in the historic center of Santiago, but my husband wanted to go to the last stop of the Camino de Santiago which is a little over an hour’s drive. We had to move on.