Cathedral of Santiago books
Cathedral of Santiago books
With more than eight centuries of history, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is one of the most important monuments in the world. Designed in the Middle Ages to hold the remains of James the Apostle, the temple is not only one of the main centres of pilgrimage of Christianity, but is also considered an architectural masterpiece owing to its singular design and careful ornamentation.
These books on the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela published by Dosde allow the reader to find out everything about this architectural work of art. Its pages explore the origins of Jacobean worship and follow the architectonic evolution of the temple, a space with a heavy symbolic load which gathers elements from some of the most representative trends of western art.
History of the Cathedral of Santiago
The initiative to build a temple dedicated to Saint James (Santiago) was based on the tradition that situated the apostle's tomb in the northwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula, a territory far from the main centres of political and religious power.
The most popular story, one of many written about Santiago Cathedral, says James was laid to rest a few kilometres from the Galician coast, in the mausoleum of a Roman woman named Atia Moheta. His disciples, Athanasius and Theodorus, were also buried there, whose graves flanked the apostle's. Hidden by vegetation, the tomb went unnoticed until the early ninth century, when it was discovered by the bishop of the diocese of Iria Flavia, Teodomirus. Following the discovery, a church was then built on top of the burial site which, in the time of the Asturian King Alfonso III, was then replaced by a larger temple.
The cathedral's construction
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela started to be built in the year 1075, coinciding with the consolidation of the Camino de Santiago. Designed according to the rules of Romanesque architecture, the medieval temple was the result of a long construction process in which diverse masterbuilders participated, amongst whom were Master Mateo, the creator of the Portico of Glory, a landmark in medieval art that exalted the triumph of Jesus Christ by means of a complex iconographic programme, which is analysed in detail by these books on Santiago Cathedral.
Between the 17th and 18th centuries, Santiago Cathedral was subject to diverse refurbishments that meant new elements could be introduced that were in tune with new aesthetic tastes, such as the Obradoiro Façade, which converted into the most recognised image of the Compostela temple, as is reflected in books on museums and monuments published by Dosde.
By means of these refurbishments, erratically developed and with no unique global plan, the cathedral incorporated into its medieval structure characteristics typical of the Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical styles, which contributed to highlighting the symbolic importance of the site that holds the remains of Saint James the Apostle.
The perfect temple
Just for its sheer size, the Cathedral of Santiago outperforms the majority of its European contemporaries. As is demonstrated in Dosde's books on Santiago Cathedral, the sheer breadth of the church is largely due to the dimensions of the central nave and the naves of the crossing, unusual in the Romanesque period, but also thanks to a number of architectural solutions that were designed to create a harmonious and spacious atmosphere.
To create a capacious interior, various resources were created such as the opening up of the central nave to the side naves by means of ten semi-circular arches supported by pillars (comprised of attached half-columns) or the construction on the lateral nave of a gallery that went right around the perimeter of the temple and which overlooks the interior due to a series of double-arch arcades.
Over time, the cathedral's many refurbishments changed its outer appearance and brought new ornamental and architectural elements to the interior, but respected the medieval structure.