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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. In the 18th century it was decided to build the current Baroque façade, designed by Fernando de Casas Novoa. It has large glazed windows that illuminate the ancient Romanesque façade and is located between the towers of the Bells and of the Ratchet. In the middle of the central body is St. James and one level below his two disciples Athanasius and Theodore, all dressed as pilgrims. In between, the urn (representing the found tomb) and the star (representing the lights he saw the Hermit Pelagius) between angels and clouds. The tower on the right depicts Mary Salome, mother of St. James, and the tower on the left depicts his father Zebedee. The balustrade on the left side depicts St. Susanna and St. John and the one on the right depicts St. Barbara and James the Less.
A stair allows reaching the entrance of the façade. The stair was made in the 17th century by Ginés Martínez and it is of Renaissance style inspired by Giacomo Vignola of Palazzo Farnese. It is diamond-shaped with two ramps that surround the entrance to the old 12th century Romanesque crypt of the Master Mateo, popularly called the "Old Cathedral".
Between the existing plane of the façade of the Obradoiro and the old Romanesque portal (Pórtico da Gloria) there is a covered narthex.
This façade has become a symbol of the cathedral and the city of Santiago de Compostela. As such, it is the engraving on the back of the Spanish euro coins of 1, 2 and 5 cents.
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Categories & Keywords
Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory:Europe
Subcategory Detail:Spain
Keywords:Camino, Galicië, Obradoiro, Patrimonio de la Humanidad, Praza do Obradoiro, Route of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Spanien, Spanje, St James, The Way, Unesco, Way of St James, Weltculturerbe, Welterbe, Werelderfgoed, World Heritage, botafumeiro, finish, pelerins, pelgrim, peregrino, peregrino, pilger, relics, santiago, santiago de compostela