Monday, September 12, 2022

Parador de Santiago de Compostela - Spain

A combination destination, hotel and restaurant, in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, provided one of my favorite experiences ever. 

James and John, sons of Zebedee, and their fisherman partner, Peter, became disciples of Jesus of Nazareth. Acts 12:1-2 says that James was later beheaded by order of King Agrippa in Jerusalem. According to legend, James was a missionary to Spain and after his martyrdom, his disciples took his body by sea to Padron and then carried it inland where it was buried at Santiago de Compostela (the English translation of Santiago is St. James). His body was discovered during the time of King Alfonso, between 791 to 842 and eventually a church was built over the tomb of St. James. 
The western side of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

The Cathedral from the side of the Parador.

The scallop shell is a symbol of St. James and of the pilgrimage. 

The tomb and later the cathedral became a pilgrimage site and currently over 300,000 pilgrims arrive there each year after traveling as far as 500 mile.

Pilgrims in the Plaza del Obrodoiro (viewed from the cathedral)
In 1499 a Royal Hospital was built for pilgrims making the pilgrimage along the Way of St. James next to the cathedral. It has been converted to a five star hotel and is considered the oldest hotel in the world. The west side of the cathedral and the Parador each take a side of Obradoiro Plaza, where many of the pilgrims stop and rest following their pilgrimage. 
The Parador viewed from the cathedral. 

Our bedroom at the Parador.

A scallop shell pattern on the back of a chair.

In a courtyard.

The hotel also has a restaurant, the Parador de Santiago, located in the cellar, which serves Galician food. We ate there twice and had some wonderful food. 

Bread and olive oil. 

Borscht with sheep cheese and oil.

Stewed broad beans with octopus and cockles.

Baked suckling lamb shoulder with fried peppers. I got it one meal and Judy got it at our next meal. 

Hake and mussels stewed Galician style.

I don't recall what this dish was. 

Galician claims sautéed in their juice. 

Roasted suckling pig with baked potatoes.

Roasted suckling pig.


  1. One day I want to hike part of the Camino and see some of my family's ancestral lands.

  2. I've actually considered it as something I would like to do. I love the sense of purpose, of camaraderie with people with a shared purpose. I loved just being around the people as they arrived, so happy, so jubilant. The pilgrims were my favorite part, followed by the amazing food.

  3. I loved this experience too. It's rare for us to stay in a hotel like this one, and it was fun to be right in the center of all the fun. I also agree with both comments above. I'd love to walk some of the Camino.