Santiago de Compostela’s 11th-century cathedral is the destination for a 1,000-year-old pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James, which attracts more than 100,000 pilgrims annually. The legend of St. James is one of a number of early traditions concerning the missionary activities and final resting places of the Twelve Apostles. The old quarter of Santiago contains a glorious array of Romanesque, Baroque and neoclassical buildings. Santiago has a lively atmosphere, attributable in part to the thousands of students who attend the 16th-century university. The prevailing winds from the Atlantic and the surrounding mountains combine to give the city a high annual rainfall.
Delicious and Casual Eateries
Just down the street from the Parador de Santiago, Casa Marcelo (Rúa Hortas 1. Tel. (34) 981-558-580) is a small, casual restaurant that is a perfect choice for lunch. An ever-changing menu offers Spanish- and Asian-inspired small plates, like beef tartare, gyozas, razor shell clams, and sea urchins with imaginative garnishes. It is run by a friendly young team who are proud of Galicia’s superb produce. Taberna Abastos 2.0 (Rúa das Ameas, Casetas 13-18. Tel. (34) 654-015-937) is a popular, market-driven restaurant on the edge of Santiago’s wonderful old granite food halls. When the weather permits, they serve outside, with dishes like octopus with spinach and potatoes, and sautéed clams.
Jet Stone Jewelry
The production of jet stone jewelry is one of the traditional handicrafts of Santiago de Compostela. The city’s best jewelers are Ámboa (Rúa Nova 44) and Baraka Joyas (Rúa do Vilar 78) for modern designs and Joyería Ramón González Orfebrería (Plaza de Feixoo) for more-traditional pieces made with the highest-quality jet, which is called azabache in Spanish.