The Treasury and Archives of the Jacobean Basilica began with the 'Discovery' of the Apostle's Tomb, in 'Arcis Marmóricis', in the old 'Asseconia', present-day Compostela, the successor of the episcopal see of Iria Flavia.
The centuries-old cultural, artistic and documental heritage has been enhanced by the results of the excavations carried out at the end of the 19th century and during the 20th century, covering the long centuries (1st-11th) of the 'Locus Sancti Iacobi': the famous burial place of James the Greater, Christ's favourite disciple along with his brother Juan, the apostle and evangelist.
The Museum was founded in 1930 and its exhibits reflect the extraordinary history of the Sanctuary, which houses the 'Apostle's Tomb'. It is a 'Pilgrimage Memorial', with a pleasant sequence of pieces in the Treasury.
Today, a tour of the Museum includes three areas that are accessed independently, all of which are situated in different parts of Compostela's Cathedral. This gives visitors a complete picture of the history and artistic importance of one of humanity's essential centres of worship and culture
Crypt of the Porch of Glory
Situated below the stairway of the Obradoiro façade, it was built by Master Mateo as part of the Porch's complete iconographic programme, thereby overcoming the important difference in ground level between the Cathedral and Plaza del Obradoiro; this is thoroughly explained by the existing panels. Sculptural works and the reconstruction of the Porch of Glory instruments are likewise exhibited.
Sacred Area Chapel of Relics-Royal Pantheon and Treasury
This area is situated in one side of Compostela's Cathedral and was recently connected with the Cloister by reopening the so-called 'Fonseca Door'. The Chapel of Relics-Royal Pantheon houses the tombs of the monarchs of Galicia and their relatives, as well as the Altarpiece of Relics, with important gold and silver pieces.
The Treasury houses collections of gold and silver articles, liturgical elements, ivory, crystal, etc; Antonio de Arfe's Processional Monstrance is worth mentioning.
They occupy floors of the Cathedral Cloister's western wall, with an access on one side of the Obradoiro façade..
The Cathedral's history and artistic testimonies are thoroughly explored, from the first basilicas and archaeological remains, the Romanesque period, the work of Master Mateo, with the reconstruction of the Cathedral's Stone Choir; sculpture in the Cathedral between the 13th and 18th centuries, a tour of the Mannerist Cloister, Library, where the Botafumeiro censer is exhibited and the Chapterhouse, ending on the top floor with an important tapestry collection, which includes a room dedicated to Goya, and the spectacular continuous balcony that dominates Plaza del Obradoiro and the streets of historical Santiago.
“Pórtico de la Gloria” Information Space
Starting in January 2015, the Barrié Foundation and the Santiago Cathedral Foundation have promoted a new “Pórtico de la Gloria” Information Space in the Armoury of “Pazo de Xelmírez.” This permanent space deals with the history, iconography and restoration programme of Maestro Mateo’s masterpiece. Interactive applications, large photographs and information panels highlight the high degree of deterioration and the urgency of the restoration, as well as the work carried out between 2008 and 2012 by multidisciplinary teams of experts from Germany, Italy and Spain.