Plaza del Obradoiro, Santiago de Compostela

The Plaza del Obradoiro is the monumental center of Santiago de Compostela and one of its most emblematic places. For this reason, today in ALBERGUES DEL CAMINO we’ re going to tell you some curiosities of this famous square that every day welcomes hundreds of pilgrims and tourists. Let’s go there!

Symbol of the Camino de Santiago

Plaza del Obradoiro, located in the heart of Santiago de Compostela, is the end point of the Camino de Santiago for many pilgrims. Entering the Plaza del Obradoiro after having traveled hundreds of kilometers is one of the most anticipated experiences by tireless walkers. It is a ritual that has been performed every day for hundreds of years by pilgrims who arrive from different parts of the world.

El Obradoiro is, without a doubt, a place that gives off joy and good emotions, both from the pilgrims who reach their goal and from the people who come to Santiago to visit the city and discover its impressive heritage.

Origin of his name

Obradoiro is a Galician word that means workshop. The name of the square came from the “obrairos” or workshops of the stonemasons who worked in this place during the construction of the facade of the Cathedral of Santiago, which used the wide space of the square to store the materials for its construction.

Surely this is one of the great curiosities of the Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago de Compostela for those people who did not know the origin of its name.

Main features

The main characteristics of the Plaza del Obradoiro are worth mentioning. The Romanesque temple that we can visit today was built in 1075 and its last stone was placed in 1122, although the Pórtico de la Gloria was not built until 46 years later.

Buildings surrounding the square

If we talk about the Praza do Obradoiro the first thing that comes to mind, logically, is its great Cathedral of Santiago, but the buildings that surround it are also very emblematic.

The buildings that precisely delimit this Plaza del Obradoiro are the Santiago Cathedral, the Palacio de Rajoy, which closes it on the western side just in front of the main facade of the Cathedral of Santiago (the most photographed image of the city); the Hotel Hostal de los Reyes Católicos and, finally, the  San Jerónimo School, current headquarters of the Rector’s Office of the University of Santiago.

The four buildings in this square have a meaning that transcends time and is still in full force today. They are based on the four pillars of the Galician capital: religion, care for the pilgrim, public administration and university education.

All this makes the Plaza del Obradoiro a place full of feelings and emotions, which unites thousands of people every year.

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