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The relics of the Apostle James and his disciples lie below the main altar. When you enter, you have to keep still since it is a very small and very old mausoleum. The oldest part of the Cathedral, from Roman times!

But don’t think that St. James’ sacred remains have always been here… In the 16th century, they had to be hidden because Galicia was being attacked by English pirates; the most famous of all, Francis Drake, had sworn that he would reach Compostela and take the relics to England. The Cathedral canons were not going to let that happen and they hid the urns! But they hid them so well that nobody knew very well where they were. Finally, they were found in the 19th century, by archaeologists who were investigating the cemetery below the Cathedral. And from then on, the Apostle James has at last been resting in his silver urn.

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Well-guarded relics
Well-guarded relics