Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela (säntyäˈgō ħā kōmpōstāˈlä) [key] or Santiago, city (1990 pop. 91,419), A Coruña prov., NW Spain, in Galicia, on the Sar River. The city is one of the chief shrines of Christendom. There in the early 9th cent. the supposed tomb of the apostle St. James the Greater was reputedly discovered by a miracle, and Alfonso II of Asturias had a sanctuary built. The city grew around the shrine and became, after Jerusalem and Rome, the most famous Christian place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages. It still thrives as a pilgrimage and tourist center. It is an archiepiscopal see and has a university (founded 1501). Its economy is based on tourism, agriculture, and the manufacture of linen and paper. Its most remarkable building is the cathedral, which replaced the earlier sanctuary after its destruction (10th cent.) by the Moors. Built (11th–13th cent.) in Romanesque style, the cathedral has had baroque and plateresque additions and restorations. Other historic buildings include the Hospital Real (1501–11), built by Ferdinand and Isabella to accommodate poor pilgrims, and the Colegio Fonseca (16th cent.), a part of the university.

See E. F. Stanton, Road of Stars to Santiago (1994).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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