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Discovering the Cathedral

The Cathedral of Santiago is a living temple that welcomes hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and helps them assert or discover themselves as spiritual beings, from the point of reference of the Catholic religion but opening up to other experiences and beliefs as well.

The Cathedral is also a wonder of universal art. It encompasses highly valuable creations that were made since the beginning of the construction works at the height of the Romanesque period, 900 years ago, until the emergence of Neoclassicism in the second half of the 18th century, including also exceptional Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque contributions.

Such a complex temple requires permanent restorative care, which in the 20th century was impossible to provide to the extent and with the efficiency that would have been desirable. As a result, a need was seen in the early 21st century to take care of the cathedral and leave it in such a state that it could show its spiritual and aesthetic value in all its glory.

This is why we have launched this programme we call DISCOVERING THE CATHEDRAL – because the works that have been undertaken do restore but also allow you to discover the hidden treasures of this stunning building.

The programme started with a rigorous technical task, the Master Plan, dated 2010. This was the base for a number of construction interventions financed by the Spanish Ministry of Public Works, the Autonomous Government of Galicia, the Consorcio de Santiago and the body in charge of the Cathedral itself. This sort of intervention has now been given a boost thanks to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Government of Galicia, and complemented by another agreement between the Autonomous Government and the Fundación Catedral to build on the previous agreement and implement investments worth 17 million euros up to 2020.

Prior to that, twelve years ago now, the Fundación Barrié de la Maza started financing the restoration of the Portico of Glory as part of its Cathedral Programme, which serves to complete the enormous task that is being carried out.

With the intent of showing the works performed and informing of the alterations in the use of the temple that those works will cause as well as the alternatives that will be made available to the faithful, pilgrims and visitors, and with a view to allowing you to discover the cathedral’s hidden beauties that this programme is going to unveil, this space for information, spirituality and culture has been created: DISCOVER THE CATHEDRAL WITH US.



These works will be carried out under the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Government of Galicia, and the agreement to implement the investments financed under the former agreement which was entered into by the Government of Galicia and the Fundación Catedral. This section gives you an account of the state of these actions.


The roof (main nave and cruise) (1): renovation of the covers, introducing new solutions that favor ventilation and waterproofing.

North side of the cloister (2): lifting of the roof and the terrace that covers the north side of the cloister, for its renovation, executing a wooden structure and tile roof and a flat terrace with granite slabs.


Acibechería façade: restoration of the architectural ensemble (2009).

Quintana façade: restoration of the Royal Portico in 2010 and actions on the Holy Door (patio and railing) in 2015.

Clock Tower: restoration of the architectural ensemble in its outer part and partially on the inside.

Main chapel: first phase of restoration of the marble sheets delimiting it in the ambulatory.

Obradoiro façade: full restoration of the ensemble of the façade in three phases: north tower, south tower and central body, terrace and crypt.

Dome: restoration of the architectural ensemble, including both the medieval and the Baroque stonework as well as the rehabilitation of the large original ogival windows.

Eastern façade of the cloister, Treasury Tower and roofs of the eastern side of the cloister: cleaning and restoration of facades, cleaning of the roof, executing a new wooden structure and renewing the tile roof. Restoration of wooden carpentry and special elements such as crests, shields, medallions and Renaissance bars.

Main Chapel: restoration of the paintings in the vault, baldachin, silver altar and railings.

Façade of the Quintana and courtyards of the Holy Door and Puerta de Abades: cleaning and restoration of the walls and interventions on the terrace on the ambulatory stand, balustrade and pinnacles.

Vertical walls of the ambulatory and parapets and vaults inside the basilica.