Romanesque: Santiago de Compostela


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Romanesque: Santiago de Compostela

  1. 1. Whose symbol was the scallopshell?Think for 1 min what today’slesson could be about.
  2. 2. Santiago de Compostela Galicia, Spain1075 AD (date of the present cathedral) Scallop shell, symbol of St. James
  3. 3. Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, Galicia, Spain. 1075 AD.
  4. 4. Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is acathedral in Galicia, Spain.The cathedral is the believed burial-placeof Saint James the Greater, one of theapostles of Jesus Christ.It is the destination of the Way of St.James (Camino de Santiago), a majorhistorical pilgrimage route since the EarlyMiddle Ages.Pilgrimages to the tomb of St. Jamesbegan as early as the 9th century, and bythe 11th century, the cathedral was evendrawing pilgrims from England.The building is a Romanesque structure- with later Gothic and Baroqueadditions.There is a statue of St. James at the altar,and his relics lie beneath the cathedralshigh altar in a silver coffer; they can beviewed from the crypt.In the cathedrals Capilla del Relicario(Chapel of the Reliquary) is a goldcrucifix, dated 874, containing a piece ofthe true Cross.
  5. 5. 1. portal 6. transept Santiago de Compostela: floor plan2. tower 7. choir3. nave 8. apse4. aisle 9. radiating chapels5. crossing 10. ambulatory 6 2 4 9 1 3 5 7 8 10 4 2 9West East endend 6
  6. 6. Entrance to the cathedral is through the Pórtico de la Gloria, carved in 1188 by MaestroMateo. Originally the exterior west door, it now stands just inside, behind the newer Baroque(Obradoiro) facade. The shafts, tympana and archivolts of the three doorways are a mass ofsculpture depicting the Last Judgement.
  7. 7. 1 4 3 2 31. Tympanum usually depicts Last Judgement scene (Christ is symmetrically central, often in an oval, mandorla shape, flanked by the 4 Evangelists and the 24 Elders of the Apocalypse)2. Trumeau, reserved for Christ, the Virgin or important Saints3. Jamb figures, usually Saints and Apostles4. Capitals are decorated with vegetation or Biblical narrativesSculpture is a simple narrative, aimed at educating illiterate believers. Naturalism is less important than the religious content.
  8. 8. On either side of the portal are Prophets of the Old Testament, including Daniel, who seems to be smiling.The arches over the side doors represent Purgatory and the Last Judgment, with Christ in glory presiding inthe centre. He is flanked by the Four Evangelists and surrounded by the 24 Elders of the Apocalypseplaying medieval musical instruments.Below the Christ figure on the central column is a statue of St. James and, at the bottom, a self-portrait ofMaestro Mateo.Since the Middle Ages it has been the custom of pilgrims to pray with their fingers pressed into the roots ofthe Tree of Jesse below Saint James, and five deep indentations have been worn into the marble as aresult. Finally, pilgrims touch foreheads with Mateo for wisdom.
  9. 9. Sources and extra (optional) reading: (CondeNastTraveller) (Columbia Uni) (exterior & interior) (article in the Guardian) (Ask Jeeves) (Reliquary chapel)