Santiago Cathedral Museum & Cloister

Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Kirker Holidays

Located in the historic city centre, Santiago’s Cathedral Museum spreads over four floors and incorporates the cathedral's large 16th-century cloister built by Renaissance architect Enrique Egas.

The exhibits include sculpture, painting, precious metalwork, rugs, liturgical robes, ceramics and furniture. There is also a notable collection of tapestries based on cartoons by Ginés de Aguirre, Teniers, Rubens, Van Tulden, Bayeu and Goya. The lavish 18th-century sala capitular (chapter house) is a room purely dedicated to Goya, with twelve tapestries on display from the Royal Santa Bárbara Factory in Madrid. Two of them are the only ones of their kind: Children with a Cart and The Fountain. Additionally, there is a sizeable section of Maestro Mateo’s original carved-stone choir on display, destroyed in 1604 but pieced back together in 1999.

You can see priceless volumes in the second-floor library, such as the Calixtinus CodexLiber Sancti JacobiLos Tumbos and La Historia Compostelana, as well as an impressive collection of religious art including the botafumeiro, the cathedral’s famous giant censer. If you visit the Cathedral on Friday at 19:30, you will be able to see the botafumeiro in action.

The cloister of Santiago Cathedral, one of the largest in Spain, displays the original Berenguela bell from the Clock Tower. When you reach the north side, it is well worth stopping to take a look at the Alba Chapel, which contains an 18th-century altarpiece including a Transfiguration of Jesus.

Access to the Cathedral Museum is via the Plaza del Obradoiro square, located in the westernmost part of the cathedral’s cloister. While admission to the cathedral is free of charge, museum tickets are sold at the entrance and on the cathedral website, and there is also the option of a guided tour. As well as entry to the museums, a full visit includes climbing the roofs, the cloister, the Portico of Glory, the library and the Treasure Room. It is important to note that at the ticket office, you can only buy tickets to visit the Cathedral’s museum and roof on the same day.

The Cathedral is open from 07:00-20:30 and the busiest time is usually mid-morning when larger groups of pilgrims tend to arrive.


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