The Santiago Cathedral Museum allows the visitor to look into the history and art of the Cathedral, through different spaces and temporary exhibitions.
The variety of tour options are available at the Visitor Reception Centre, situated in the crypt of the Pórtico de la Gloria - accessible from the Obradoiro square.
Permanent collection. The visit covers the history and art of the Cathedral of Santiago, through its best artistic pieces. The visitor can make a journey back in time and learn about the construction of the cathedral, which revolved around the tomb of the Apostle. Throughout the centuries, the city and Jacobean theme gained importance, especially thanks to the Saint James Way - which played a key role in consolidating the European identity. In 1985 the Santiago's Old Town was listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Site.
Ground floor: origins of the Cathedral, the Master Mateo, the construction of the Romanesque cathedral. First floor: art in the Cathedral of 13th and 14th centuries; art in the Cathedral of 16th, 17th and 18th centuries and the Apostle Saint James. Second floor: the Renaissance cloister; the Chapel of Relics; the Royal Pantheon; the Treasury of the Cathedral; the Library; the Botafumeiro and the Chapterhouse. Third floor: textile arts collection; tapestries by Rubens, Teniers, Josédel Castillo or Goya and the balcony toward the Obradoiro.
The Pazo de Xelmírez houses the temporary exhibitions of the museum. The Pazo is a civil Romanesque building adjoining the Cathedral called after Diego Xelmírez, first Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, and main promoter of its construction. The outstanding medieval architectonic building houses the Arms' Hall, the Manrique Hall, the Kitchen and the remarkable Ceremony Hall. This last stunning room is beautifully decorated with corbels representing a royal medieval feast.
Pórtico da Gloria. The portico is the western entrance of the Romanesque cathedral, designed by the Master Mateo. The stonemason’s workshop carved passages of the Book of Revelation. It is considered as a pinnacle work of universal art. The visit shows the current restoration works, carried out under the patronage of the Barrié Foundation.
Covers. The stony cover of the Cathedral of Santiago is on terraces and walkable offering spectacular sights both of the basilica and the city of Santiago.
Archaeological excavations. Under the Cathedral's ground, the archaeological excavations carried out in different periods exposed numerous remains of the origins of the basilica and the city. Below the surface, the intricate network of a necropolis is hidden. The ancient cemetery fluctuates from the Roman era to the construction of the Romanesque cathedral, along with remains of primitive basilicas and part of the very first line of defence in Santiago de Compostela.