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– Visit the cathedral: The cathedral is open every day of the year, from 7 am to 9 pm. The entrance is free, except the museum areas (crypt, Chapel of Relics, Royal Pantheon, Treasury, cloister and archeology rooms).
– Embrace the Saint and access the Crypt: Every day, 9.30 am – 1.30 pm, 4 – 7.30 pm. Visit the relics of the Apostle James and his disciples, Athanasius and Theodorus below the Cathedral of Santiago’s high altar. They are housed in a 19th Century silver urn, whose shape imitates a Romanesque sarcophagus. The itinerary begins at the apostle’s alcove, at the top of the high altar, where it is customary to embrace the saint, represented by a 13th Century Romanesque statue, after that you can go down to the mausoleum and briefly visit the urn.
– Visit the rooftops: Commented tour of the Cathedral´s stone roofs with wonderful panoramic views of the entire city and surroundings.
– Visit the Cathedral Museum, open: Every day in the year, except January 1 and 6, July 25, August 15, December 25; afternoon/evening of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Shrove Tuesday, March 19, November 1, December 8, 24 and 31.
Hours: October-May: Monday-Saturday: 10 am-1.30 pm; 4-6.30 pm. Sunday and public holidays: 10 am-1.30 pm. June-September: Monday-Saturday: 10 am-2 pm; 4-8 pm. Sunday and public holidays: 10 am-2 pm.
Tel: (+34) 981 569 327.
Ticket price: Under-12s: Admission free. Over-18s: € 5. Students: € 3. Pilgrims: € 3. Groups: € 3. School groups with pupils under 18: € 1.
Includes: Cloister and archaeology rooms, Library, Chapterhouse, tapestry collection, Chapel of Relics, Royal Pantheon, Treasury, crypt.
Access: Plaza del Obradoiro (cloister and crypt) and inside Cathedral (Chapel of Relics, Royal Pantheon and Treasury).
– Visit the archaeological excavations in the church’s subsoil. In these narrow spaces, previously accessible only to researchers, visitors will find a Roman cemetery and Swabian necropolis with dozens of tombs, as well as gravestones 13 to 19 centuries old.
Schedule: Monday-Friday, except public holidays and eves of public holidays 4 pm.
TPrice: 10 euros, discount ticket: 8 euros.
Starting point: Palacio de Xelmírez.
Booking required: Tel: (+34) 981 552 985
– See the “Botafumeiro” in action: The botafumeiro is a famous thurible found in the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral (in the past similar devices were used in large churches in Galicia, nowadays sometimes is used in the Tui Cathedral). Incense is burned in this swinging metal container, or “incensory”. The name “Botafumeiro” means “smoke expeller” in Galician. The Botafumeiro is suspended from a pulley mechanism in the dome on the roof of the church. The Santiago de Compostela Botafumeiro is one of the largest censers in the world, weighing 80 kg and measuring 1.60 m in height. It is normally on exhibition in the library of the cathedral, but during certain important religious occasions it is brought to the floor of the cathedral and attached to ropes hung from the pulley mechanism.
When can you see it in action?
The “Botafumeiro” censer follows a calendar of liturgical celebrations, during which it operates as part of the mass. Apart from these occasions, it has to be requested beforehand and paid for by individuals (around 300Euros).
January 6: Epiphany
Easter Sunday: in 2012, April 8
Ascension of Our Lord: in 2012, May 17 (Botafumeiro on May 20)
May 23: Anniversary of the Battle of Clavijo
Pentecost (50 days after Easter): in 2012, May 27
July 25: Feast of St. James
August 15: Assumption
November 1: All Saints’ Day
Feast of Christ the King (Sunday before the first Sunday of Advent): in 2012, November 25
December 8: Immaculate Conception
December 25: Christmas
December 30: Arrival of the Holy Apostle
Requesting and booking the “Botafumeiro” censer
Requests for seeing the censer in action should be addressed to:
Oficina de Acogida de Peregrinos (Pilgrim Office)
Rúa do Vilar, 1
15705 Santiago de Compostela
Tel: (+34) 981 568 846
More information in the official http://www.santiagoturismo.com/