Rúa do Franco
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Rúa do Franco

Leaving Plaza del Obradoiro towards Rúa do Franco, we come across Colegio de Fonseca, which may be considered the first real building belonging to the University of Santiago de Compostela, since it was founded in 1522 by the archbishop Alonso Fonseca III. It belongs to the Renaissance style, with an altarpiece-like façade depicting James the Less, the patron saint of this school that housed students of privileged birth during centuries. Inside there is one of Compostela´s most beautiful cloisters and a `Sala de Grados´ (Graduation Hall) with an impressive coffered ceiling of fine wood. It used to house the `Padre Sarmiento´ Seminar of Galician Studies (whose members wrote the first draft of Galicia´s Autonomy Statute) and the first democratic parliament in 1982. It now houses the valuable University Library, with more than 300,000 volumes and 150 incunabula.

Near Colegio de Fonseca there is the Chapel and Fountain of El Apóstol, miraculous waters that, according to tradition, rose when the oxen taking the Apostle´s remains to his burial place passed by.

Rúa do Franco is the old town´s gastronomic street par excellence. Its restaurants continue the tradition of the medieval innkeepers who came here to cater to pilgrims (Franks, a term used to denote any pilgrim from beyond the Pyrenees, `free men´ or the `Frankish Nation´), after whom the street is called. Many of the houses still have, carved in stone, symbols such as the shell, which identified them as belonging to the Compostela Chapter, the tree (symbol of San Martiño Pinario) or the five stars of the University of Compostela´s coat of arms. In relation to nightlife, this is where university students started the `Paris-Dakar Rally´ -a legendary pub-crawl that began and finished in the bars called Paris and Dakar (in each tavern you had to drink a glass of wine and tell a joke).




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Rúa do Franco

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Rúa do Franco, Santiago de Compostela, 15702