Altar Maior of Xelmírez


Bishop of Santiago, Diego Gelmírez, a fundamental figure for the cathedral and, among other things, a great promoter of the construction of the Romanesque Cathedral and patron of the arts, was consecrated on April 22, 1101. Five years later, also on April 22, the liturgical furniture was placed on the main altar of the cathedral; a project in which Gelmírez was particularly involved in his eagerness to turn Compostela into a second Rome.
The hypothetical virtual reconstruction carried out in 2010 under the direction of M. Castiñeiras and V. Nodar is particularly illustrative of the appearance of this new altar that allowed the Romanesque Cathedral to function at the time. The silver altar and retroaltar were behind the bars that closed the presbytery, except at certain times of the day, and under a large canopy. The most important pieces of the Cathedral Treasure were kept there, such as the missing Cross of Compostela, an offering of King Alfonso III, among others.
Surrounding the main chapel, pilgrims found the confessio, with an altar dedicated to Magdalene, which was then the closest point to the apostolic tomb that one could reach to pray in the Romanesque Cathedral. Time later, coinciding with the consecration ceremony of the cathedral, on April 21, 1211, Master Mateo would place on the Gelmírez altar a stone image of Saint James the Apostle, thus creating a point of reference and proximity for the faithful.




Promote: Fundación Catedral de Santiago
Collaborate: S. A. de Xestión do Plan Xacobeo – Xunta de Galicia

Project Manager: Ramón Yzquierdo Peiró
Scanning and image processing: Margen /
Graphic Design: La Cosa Gráfica


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