estado do tempo
Today is saturday 20 september, it is 18ºC and partly cloudy in Santiago

The City

Since Santiago is a municipality with an important centre of population, its territory is experiencing intense and growing humanisation. Thus, its registered population has grown from 45,198 to 94,057 inhabitants between 1945 and the present. However, this figure rises considerably during the academic year due to the influx of university students, taking the city’s population to around 115,000.

In relation to the total registered population, 13,000 inhabitants live in the countryside. The city, for its part, is divided into three zones: the “Ensanche” (urban expansion area), with 13,000 registered inhabitants and around 9,000 non-residents; the old town, with 12,000 registered inhabitants and 4,000 non-residents; and the housing estates and neighbourhoods, such as Fontiñas, Vite, Meixonfrío or Pontepedriña, account for the rest of the population with figures oscillating between 2,500 and 11,000 inhabitants.

Santiago de Compostela is, above all, a monumental city, a stone wonder that has gradually been shaped throughout the centuries around the tomb of St. James the Greater, resulting in one of the world’s most magnificent and harmonious architectural sites.


Considered one of Christendom’s three spiritual capitals along with Rome and Jerusalem, it has been the final destination of religious pilgrimages since the Middle Ages. This phenomenon led to the creation of the Way of St. James, a genuine backbone of art and thinking that, according to the Romantic German poet Goethe, gave rise to the idea of Europe. The Way of St. James became a two-way link between Europe and Compostela, with cultural tendencies travelling in both directions.

Santiago is privileged to have its own Holy Year or Jubilee, which is held when the feast of St. James’ Day (July 25th) falls on a Sunday, i.e. every 6, 5, 6 and 11 years. During holy years, the Church grants plenary indulgence, which involves the remission of the entire temporary punishment for sin. The next Compostela Jubilees will take place in 2010, 2021 and 2027.

Compostela has also been an important cultural centre since the distant past. Its five-hundred-year-old University has around 30,000 students, which gives the city a young and dynamic atmosphere. This means that the city enjoys countless cultural and festive events throughout the year, which make good use of its important and modern infrastructures. However, Compostela’s cultural life extends beyond its official programmes: hundreds of concerts, theatre plays, exhibitions and all kinds of activities are held in alternative theatre halls, galleries and establishments, where the city’s lively night life takes place.


Santiago de Compostela is the political and administrative capital of the Autonomous Region of Galicia, a historical region that has its own language, Galician, and a characteristic culture. Due to this capital status, the city houses the seat of the Regional Administration, as well as numerous entities and services related to it.

Today, Compostela is still an open city that functions as a large meeting place. In addition to being a pilgrimage destination, it is also a first-rate tourist centre with an annual average of three million visitors, which is trebled during holy years. Moreover, it is the venue of numerous congresses thanks to its magnificent communication links, including an international airport, as well as modern and varied hotel and catering services.

Due to its matchless architectural and cultural heritage, the city of Santiago de Compostela was declared a Historical-Artistic Site and National Monument in the mid-20th century. Then, in 1984, it was declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO. It has received numerous prizes and awards in recognition of its work in preserving and restoring its rich heritage. Furthermore, the Way of St. James was declared the First European Cultural Itinerary by the Council of Europe and a World Heritage Route by UNESCO.


The architectural miracle that is Compostela is the result of a historical process, in which each period’s artists completed and perfected the existing heritage, in a continuous dialogue between the old and the new, between the sacred and the secular. The result is a unique city that displays the different layers of its formation in a calculated and harmonious way, in which each piece fits in with the rest, giving a choral dimension to the whole. Santiago’s fertile history is present in each street, square and monument..

Santiago de Compostela is located near the centre of Galicia, in the south of A Coruña province. Its territory is bathed by the Sar and Sarela rivers, both tributaries of the River Ulla and the Tambre, with its affluent the Sionlla. The city is surrounded by a series of medium-sized hills called Vite, Almáciga, Gozo, Milladoiro and Pedroso. It is strategically and geographically situated between Galician’s two main poles of economic development: A Coruña to the north and Vigo to the south.

Reaching Santiago Santiago de Compostela...

Santiago is 260 metres above sea level, at a latitude of 42o 52’...

Shops and businesses are closed to the public on Sundays and Public...

Origins. Until the 9th century, the city of Santiago did not exist as...

As in the rest of Galicia and Spain, Santiago’s main religion is ...

Territorially, the Spanish State is divided into 17 autonomous regions....

Santiago, as the final destination of the Way of St. James, has a ...

One of Santiago’s main attractions is undoubtedly its gastronomy. ...

LICENSED VICTUALLERS’ ASSOCIATION OF SANTIAGO   ...

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