Visitors to Santiago Cathedral come across a ritual that pilgrims have been carrying out for almost a thousand years.
The itinerary begins by facing the Portico of Glory, one of the most remarkable Romanesque sculptures, by the MasterSculptor Mateo, erected in a perlod of twenty years and finished in 1188. A sculpture of the Apostle James stands on top of a column, which rises up like the trunk of a tree.
Portico of Glory involves making one’s way to the main altar and facing the gold image of St. James. In front of this, the pilgrim must carry a memento for all those who have helped him or her on their journey along St. James’Way. Then he or she must go behind the altar, up several steps, until they come on a level with the Apostle’s back, and embrace him round one or both shouiders.
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