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Lights and Stars in the Quintana
Lights and Stars in the Quintana
01/12/2023 - 07/01/2024
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Lights and Stars in the Quintana

Campus Stellae is the Latin toponymic form used to refer to Compostela. Its literal translation is 'field of the star', so that, in a free version, the name of the city would be 'Santiago del Campo de la Estrella'. It alludes to the miraculous lights that the first accounts (11th-12th centuries) of the discovery of the sepulchre of St. James pointed to that indicated its location. It is the most popular etymological form referring to the origin of the term 'Compostela', undoubtedly because of its evocative power. 

On the other hand, popular culture maintained a constant relationship between the Jacobean world and the stellar universe, and made the Milky Way the starry road to Santiago de Compostela.

Although almost all current scholars reject the etymological validity of this toponym, the fact is that the shape of the star was a great success in iconography, becoming one of the symbols of St. James and, consequently, of this city.

It is common for pilgrims and visitors to ask about the meaning of the star they see in many prominent places.The star of Compostela, almost always represented as an eight-pointed star, is present on the city's coat of arms, on the façade of the Cathedral's Treasury, on the top of the Casa del Cabido, on the top of the fountain of the Caballos de la praza das Praterías, on the coat of arms of the University of Santiago and by extension on the coat of arms of the many historic buildings it owned.And also, of course, in the interior of the Cathedral, where the most notable presence is in the crypt, above the ark containing the remains of the Apostle St. James.

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Lights and Stars in the Quintana
Lights and Stars in the Quintana

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Quintana Square
Plaza de la Quintana, Santiago de Compostela, 15782
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Lights and Stars in the Quintana
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