Main Entrance of the Cathedral at "Plaza del Obradoiro . Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, Galicia, Spain. The cathedral is the reputed burial-place of Saint James the Great, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ.
Construction of the present cathedral began in 1075 under the reign of Alfonso VI of Castile (1040-1109) and the patronage of bishop Diego Peláez. It was built mostly in granite. Construction was halted several times and, according to the Liber Sancti Iacobi, the last stone was laid in 1122. But by then, the construction of the cathedral was certainly not finished. The cathedral was consecrated in 1128 in the presence of king Alfonso IX of Leon.
According to the Codex Calixtinus the architects were "Bernard the elder, a wonderful master", his assistant Rotbertus and, later possibly, "Esteban, master of the cathedral works". In the last stage "Bernard, the younger" was in charge of the building. He also constructed a monumental fountain in front of the north portal in 1122.
The church became an episcopal see in 1075 and, due to its growing importance as a place of pilgrimage, it was soon raised to an archiepiscopal see by pope Urban II in 1100. A university was added in 1495.
The cathedral has been embellished and expanded between the 16th and the 18th century.
It is the destination of the Way of St. James (popularly known by its local denominations: Galician Camiño de Santiago, Portuguese Caminho de Santiago, Spanish Camino de Santiago, French Chemin de St. Jacques, German Jakobsweg, and so on), a major historical pilgrimage route since the Middle Ages.
According to legend, the apostle Saint James the Great brought the Message of Christ to the Celts in the Iberian Peninsula. In 44 AD he was beheaded in Jerusalem. His remains were later brought back to Galicia, Spain.