The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is an integral component of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Galicia, Spain. The cathedral is the reputed burial place of Saint James the Great, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ. The cathedral has historically been a place of pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago since the early Middle Ages, and marks the traditional end of the pilgrimage route.
The building is a Romanesque structure, with later Gothic and Baroque additions. Each of the façades along with their adjoining squares constitute a magnificent urban square.
Façade of the Obradoiro - The Obradoiro square in front of the façade alludes to the workshop (obradoiro, in Galician) of stonemasons who worked on the square during the construction of the cathedral. In order to protect the Pórtico da Gloria from deterioration caused by weather, this façade and towers have had several reforms since the 16th century.
South façade or das Pratarías - The façade of the Silverware (Pratarías in Galician) is the southern façade of the transept of the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and is the only Romanesque façade that is preserved in the cathedral. It was built between 1103 and 1117 and elements from other parts of the cathedral have been added in subsequent years. The square is bound by the cathedral and cloister on two sides.
North façade or da Acibecharía - The façade "da Acibecharía" (Galician name derived from the jet gemstone) is in the Praza da Inmaculada or Acibecharía, directing the last section of the Caminos Francés, Norte, Primitivo and Inglés through the old gate Franxígena or Paradise door.
East façade or da Quintana - The façade of the cathedral that overlooks the Quintana Square has two entrances: the Porta Real (royal gate) and the Porta Santa (holy gate). The Holy Door (Porta Santa) or Door of Forgiveness (Porta do Perdón) is the closest to the steps and is usually closed with a fence and opened only in Jubilee Years (years when St James's Day (25 July) falls on a Sunday).