Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Santiago de Compostela

The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. THE cathedral. Said to hold the remains of the apostle, St James.

Odd that I, an atheist, have now visited the top three sites in the Catholic world (St Peter's, Jerusalem & Santiago de Compostela.). The town is full of pilgrims who have walked here, a tradition going back centuries.

The cathedral itself is almost unbelievably ugly. Built in fits and starts over the centuries, it is a dog's breakfast of architectural styles. The highlight was a mass (no, I came in near the end) where a 50+kg incense burner is swung across the transept on a long rope. Quite theatrical.

1 comment:

  1. Atheists are welcome to walk el camino Lee! You should give it a go sometime.
    There is a medieval prayer (from about 1078) read at Roncesvalles in the Pyrenees:

    Its doors are open to the sick and the well
    to Catholics as well as to pagans
    to Jews, heretics, beggars and the indigent,
    and it embraces all like brothers.

    From a non-theist Santiago and Rome pilgrim.


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