The Pilgrimage Museum, which belongs to the state and whose administration was transferred to the Xunta de Galicia, was created in 1951 thanks to Manuel Chamoso Lamas. However, it was not opened permanently until February 1996.
It is housed in the building known as the Gothic House, with construction features from the 14th century, including, however, important remodelling from later dates.
The exhibition is divided into the following eight rooms, which highlight the importance, for European culture and Hispanic America, of the pilgrimage and worship of St. James:
Room I.- The pilgrimage: a ritual pilgrimage route.
Room II.- Origins of Jacobean Worship: The transfer of St. James' body.
Room III.- Santiago, cathedral and city: The role of the Apostle's tomb in promoting the city of Compostela.
Room IV.- Santiago's Pilgrims: Routes and Rites.
Room V.- Iconography of St. James: The image of St. James throughout history / (rest area and old kitchen).
Room VI.- Guilds and craft traditions in Compostela.
Room VII.- Compostela engravings.
Room VIII.- The harmony of the Universe: The musicality of the Porch.
The tour begins by showing the pilgrimage as a religious phenomenon common to different peoples and cultures. This is followed by an evocation of the archaeological 'topography' related to the 'transfer' of the apostolic body from Jaffa to Libredón.
The room dedicated to Compostela's Cathedral highlights the idea of its development and the city's birth, centred on the apostolic tomb. It is illustrated with elements from the old cloister, stone choir, etc, as well as important models.
The pilgrimage routes and ritual are shown by means of a series of documents and different elements of Jacobean clothing, travel books and images of pilgrim saints.
The iconographic repertoire of St. James is very varied; he is thus represented as an apostle, pilgrim and Moor-slayer. Masterpieces stand out, such as Juan de Juanes' painting 'St. James the Pilgrim' and several sculptures made of different materials from the 16th-19th centuries.
As the city evolved, and as a direct and indirect consequence of the pilgrimages, different artistic activities were promoted. Jet workers, silversmiths and engravers, among others, created pieces to supply the local and external demand.
The tour ends with an allusion to the music inspired by the Way of St. James and the worship of the Apostle; it is worth mentioning the reproduction of some musical instruments based on the models represented in the Porch of Glory of Compostela's Cathedral.