During the 10th and 11th centuries, a period during which Galician nobility become related to the royal family, Galicia was at times headed by its own native kings , while Vikings locally known as Leodemanes or Lordomanes occasionally raided the coasts. The Towers of Catoira  Pontevedra were built as a system of fortifications to prevent and stop the Viking raids on Santiago de Compostela.
In the 13th century Alfonso X of Castile standardized the Castilian language and made it the language of court and government. Nevertheless, in his Kingdom of Galicia the Galician language was the only language spoken, and the most used in government and legal uses, as well as in literature. During the 14th and 15th centuries, the progressive distancing of the kings from Galician affairs left the kingdom in the hands of the local knights, counts and bishops, who frequently fought each other to increase their fiefs, or simply to plunder the lands of others.
At the same time, the deputies of the Kingdom in the Cortes stopped being called. The Kingdom of Galicia, slipping away from the control of the King, responded with a century of fiscal insubordination. Soon after, in the late 15th century, in the dynastic conflict between Isabella I of Castile and Joanna La Beltraneja , part of the Galician aristocracy supported Joanna. After Isabella's victory, she initiated an administrative and political reform which the chronicler Jeronimo Zurita defined as "doma del Reino de Galicia": These reforms, while establishing a local government and tribunal the Real Audiencia del Reino de Galicia and bringing the nobleman under submission, also brought most Galician monasteries and institutions under Castilian control, in what has been criticized as a process of centralisation.
At the same time the kings began to call the Xunta or Cortes of the Kingdom of Galicia , an assembly of deputies or representatives of the cities of the Kingdom, to ask for monetary and military contributions. This assembly soon developed into the voice and legal representation of the Kingdom, and the depositary of its will and laws.
Isabella I of Castile , considered a usurper by many Galician nobles, eradicated all armed resistance and definitively established the royal power of the Castilian monarchy. The establishment of the Santa Hermandad in , and of the Real Audiencia del Reino de Galicia in —a tribunal and executive body directed by the Governor - Captain General as a direct representative of the King—implied initially the submission of the Kingdom to the Crown,  after a century of unrest and fiscal insubordination.
From that moment Galicia, which participated to a minor extent in the American expansion of the Spanish Empire , found itself at the center of the Atlantic wars fought by Spain against the French and the Protestant powers of England and the Netherlands, whose privateers attacked the coastal areas, but major assaults were not common as the coastline was difficult and the harbors easily defended.
Galicia also suffered occasional slave raids by Barbary pirates , but not as frequently as the Mediterranean coastal areas. The most famous Barbary attack was the bloody sack of the town of Cangas in After the rupture of the wars with Portugal and Catalonia , the Junta changed its attitude, this time due to the exhaustion of Galicia, now involved not just in naval or oversea operations, but also in an exhausting war with the Portuguese, war which produced thousands of casualties and refugees and was heavily disturbing to the local economy and commerce.
So, in the second half of the 17th century the Junta frequently denied or considerably reduced the initial petitions of the monarch, and though the tension didn't rise to the levels experienced in Portugal or Catalonia, there were frequent urban mutinies and some voices even asked for the secession of the Kingdom of Galicia.
During the Peninsular War the successful uprising of the local people against the new French authorities, together with the support of the British Army , limited the occupation to a six-month period in During the pre-war period the Supreme Council of the Kingdom of Galicia Junta Suprema del Reino de Galicia , auto-proclaimed interim sovereign in , was the sole government of the country and mobilized near 40, men against the invaders.
The territorial division of Spain put a formal end to the Kingdom of Galicia, unifying Spain into a single centralized monarchy. Instead of seven provinces and a regional administration, Galicia was reorganized into the current four provinces. Although it was recognized as a "historical region", that status was strictly honorific. In reaction, nationalist and federalist movements arose. They have taken their place in Galician memory as the Martyrs of Carral or simply the Martyrs of Liberty.
Defeated on the military front, Galicians turned to culture. The Rexurdimento focused on recovery of the Galician language as a vehicle of social and cultural expression. In the early 20th century came another turn toward nationalist politics with Solidaridad Gallega — modeled on Solidaritat Catalana in Catalonia. Solidaridad Gallega failed, but in Irmandades da Fala Brotherhood of the Language developed first as a cultural association but soon as a full-blown nationalist movement.
The Second Spanish Republic was declared in During the republic, the Partido Galeguista PG was the most important of a shifting collection of Galician nationalist parties. Following a referendum on a Galician Statute of Autonomy , Galicia was granted the status of an autonomous region. Galicia was spared the worst of the fighting in that war: While there were no pitched battles, there was repression and death: Galicia's statute of autonomy was annulled as were those of Catalonia and the Basque provinces once those were conquered.
Many others were forced to escape into exile, or were victims of other reprisals and removed from their jobs and positions. General Francisco Franco — himself a Galician from Ferrol — ruled as dictator from the civil war until his death in Franco's centralizing regime suppressed any official use of the Galician language, including the use of Galician names for newborns, although its everyday oral use was not forbidden.
However, for decades Galicia was largely confined to the role of a supplier of raw materials and energy to the rest of Spain, causing environmental havoc and leading to a wave of migration to Venezuela and to various parts of Europe. Fenosa , the monopolistic supplier of electricity, built hydroelectric dams, flooding many Galician river valleys. During the last decade of Franco's rule, there was a renewal of nationalist feeling in Galicia. The early s were a time of unrest among university students, workers, and farmers.
As part of the transition to democracy upon the death of Franco in , Galicia regained its status as an autonomous region within Spain with the Statute of Autonomy of , which begins, "Galicia, historical nationality, is constituted as an Autonomous Community to access to its self-government, in agreement with the Spanish Constitution and with the present Statute Varying degrees of nationalist or independentist sentiment are evident at the political level.
The Bloque Nacionalista Galego or BNG, is a conglomerate of left-wing parties and individuals that claims Galician political status as a nation. From to , Manuel Fraga, former minister and ambassador in the Franco dictature, presided over the Galician autonomous government, the Xunta de Galicia. Fraga was associated with the Partido Popular 'People's Party', Spain's main national conservative party since its founding.
In , when the oil tanker Prestige sank and covered the Galician coast in oil, Fraga was accused by the grassroots movement Nunca Mais "Never again" of having been unwilling to react. In several parties and individuals abandoned the BNG. Topographically, a remarkable feature of Galicia is the presence of many firth -like inlets along the coast, estuaries that were drowned with rising sea levels after the ice age. Erosion by the Atlantic Ocean has contributed to the great number of capes.
These archipelagos provide protected deepwater harbors and also provide habitat for seagoing birds. A inventory estimates that the Galician coast has archipelagos, islets, and freestanding rocks. Other significant islands are Islas Malveiras, Islas Sisargas, and, the largest and holding the largest population, Arousa Island. Galicia is quite mountainous , a fact which has contributed to isolate the rural areas, hampering communications, most notably in the inland.
Other  tall peaks are Pena Survia 2, metres or 6, feet in the Serra do Eixe, O Mustallar 1, metres or 6, feet in Os Ancares , and Cabeza de Manzaneda 1, metres or 5, feet in Serra de Queixa, where there is a ski resort. Other rivers run directly into the Atlantic Ocean or the Cantabrian Sea , most of them having short courses. Galicia's many hydroelectric dams take advantage of the steep, deep, narrow rivers and their canyons. Some rivers are navigable by small boats in their lower reaches: Galicia has preserved some of its dense forests.
It is relatively unpolluted, and its landscapes composed of green hills, cliffs and rias are generally different from what is commonly understood as Spanish landscape. Nevertheless, Galicia has some important environmental problems. Deforestation and forest fires are a problem in many areas, as is the continual spread of the eucalyptus tree, a species imported from Australia, actively promoted by the paper industry since the midth century.
Galicia is one of the more forested areas of Spain, but the majority of Galicia's plantations, usually growing eucalyptus or pine, lack any formal management. Wood products figure significantly in Galicia's economy. Apart from tree plantations Galicia is also notable for the extensive surface occupied by meadows used for animal husbandry, especially cattle , an important activity. Hydroelectric development in most rivers has been a serious concern for local conservationists during the last decades.
Fauna, most notably the European wolf , has suffered because of the actions of livestock owners and farmers, and because of the loss of habitats, whilst the native deer species have declined because of hunting and development. Oil spills are a major issue. The Prestige oil spill in spilt more oil than the Exxon Valdez in Alaska. Galicia has more than 2, plant species.
Plant endemics are represented by 31 taxons. Galicia has inventoried species of vertebrates , including 12 species of freshwater fish, 15 amphibians , 24 reptiles , birds, and 59 mammals. The animals most often thought of as being "typical" of Galicia are the livestock raised there. The last is an endangered species , although it is showing signs of a comeback since From a domestic point of view, Galicia has been credited for author Manuel Rivas as the "land of one million cows".
Galician Blond and Holstein cattle coexist on meadows and farms. Being located on the Atlantic coastline, Galicia has a very mild climate for the latitude and the marine influence affects most of the province to various degrees.
In comparison to similar latitudes on the other side of the Atlantic, winters are exceptionally mild, with consistently heavy rainfall. At sea level, snow is exceptional due to temperatures just occasionally dropping below freezing. The warmest coastal station of Pontevedra has a yearly mean temperature of The lands of Galicia are ascribed to two different areas in the Köppen climate classification: As an example, Santiago de Compostela , the political capital city, has an average  of rainy days and 1, millimetres The more mountainous parts of the provinces of Ourense and Lugo receive significant snowfall during the winter months.
The sunniest city is Pontevedra with 2, sunny hours per year. Climate data for some locations in Galicia average — Galicia has partial self-governance, in the form of a devolved government , established on 16 March and reinforced by the Galician Statute of Autonomy , ratified on 28 April There are three branches of government: The Xunta de Galicia is a collective entity with executive and administrative power.
It consists of the President , a vice president, and twelve councillors. Administrative power is largely delegated to dependent bodies. The Xunta also coordinates the activities of the provincial councils Galician: The President of the Xunta directs and coordinates the actions of the Xunta. He or she is simultaneously the representative of the autonomous community and of the Spanish state in Galicia.
He or she is a member of the parliament and is elected by its deputies and then formally named by the monarch of Spain. The Galician Parliament  consists of 75 deputies elected by universal adult suffrage under a system of proportional representation. The franchise includes even Galicians who reside abroad.
Elections occur every four years. The last elections, held 25 September , resulted in the following distribution of seats: There are municipalities Galician: There are nine of these in Galicia: Galicia's interests are represented at national level by 25 elected deputies in the Congress of Deputies and 19 senators in the Senate - of these, 16 are elected and 3 are appointed by the Galician parliament. Prior to the territorial division of Spain Galicia was divided into seven administrative provinces: Municipalities are divided into parishes, which may be further divided into aldeas "hamlets" or lugares "places".
This traditional breakdown into such small areas is unusual when compared to the rest of Spain. Roughly half of the named population entities of Spain are in Galicia, which occupies only 5. It is estimated that Galicia has over a million named places, over 40, of them being communities.
In comparison to the other regions of Spain, the major economic benefit of Galicia is its fishing Industry. Galicia is a land of economic contrast. While the western coast, with its major population centers and its fishing and manufacturing industries, is prosperous and increasing in population, the rural hinterland—the provinces of Ourense and Lugo —is economically dependent on traditional agriculture, based on small landholdings called minifundios.
However, the rise of tourism, sustainable forestry and organic and traditional agriculture are bringing other possibilities to the Galician economy without compromising the preservation of the natural resources and the local culture. Traditionally, Galicia depended mainly on agriculture and fishing. Reflecting that history, the European Fisheries Control Agency , which coordinates fishing controls in European Union waters, is based in Vigo. Nonetheless, today the tertiary sector of the economy the service sector is the largest, with , workers out of a regional total of 1,, as of Of their eight brands, Zara is the best-known; indeed, it is the best-known Spanish brand of any sort on an international basis.
Galicia's principal airport is the Santiago de Compostela Airport. With 2,, passengers in , it connects to cities in Spain as well as several major European cities. This originally formed part of the the Franciscan convent of San Antonio. Built between and , it has an outstanding baroque retablo from the first half of the 18th century. Built over Roman and Swavian remains, this church dates from the 11th century and was built as a basilica, highlighting its historical capitals of rude primitivism.
Its old monastery was the Episcopal seat in the early Middle Ages. The Convent of Santo Domingo. The convent's church , built in the Gothic style characteristic of the Dominican order, is blessed with two magnificent baroque retablos.
The larger one is the work of Antonio de Villar, of nearby Redondela, and dates from the 18th century and is outstandingly magnificent. The crucifix on the retablo of the Virgen del Rosario features a curious representation of the battle of Lepanto on its upper half.
This church and convent - of which little remain - was the burial place of the local nobility from Tui, Soutomaior, Correas, Ozores, etc. The Chapel of San Telmo. The only example of Portuguese Baroque in Galicia, built over the remains of the house where this Dominican saint died in the 13th century. The chapel was begun in but not completed until Outstanding features are its circular floor, its This was built between the 17th and 18th centuries on the remains of the old Episcopal palaces of Oliveira.
The church, in the classical style, is integrated with the convent buildings , which are outstanding in their size and solidity. The city retains parts of the two walls built for its defence. One is from the medieval period and was built in the 12th and 13th centuries. It forms a large, irregular trapezium, featuring several defensive towers. Of its original entrances, we still have the Porta da Pia, where you can still see its gate, the base of the tower and various pieces of the wall.
During the wars with Portugal of the 17th and 18th centuries, a larger defensive wall was built and the main remains of this can be seen near the Paseo Fluvial, down by the river.
Wisely, they decided to evacuate, and dig in at a stronger position further south. On June 2 nd they withdrew. Santiago had shown itself a hostile city, and it was now to pay for the offence.
All churches, chapels, convents and monasteries were indiscriminately sacked. At the monastery of Saint Augustine — the only one of which a report has survived - the soldiers accused the monks of having taken pot-shots at them from the windows during their retreat in May — something which is not wholly unthinkable given the patriotic hatred of the times and the robust nature of Galician friars.
In retaliation, they mistreated the monks, destroyed the furniture, broke up the altars, the statues, the glass windows and everything else sufficiently fragile, burned the library, robbed the remaining jewellery from chapels and treasuries, and even stripped the gold leaf off the woodwork of the altarpiece.
It seems similar scenes took place at the other great temples and monastic institutions. What little church plate the French had allowed to remain in the churches for the saying of mass — and such pieces which the clerics had managed to hide! Then, on June 6 th , Ney marched his men southwards. With foresight, the Spanish commander, Don Pablo Morillo, had fortified the spot weeks in advance, and the Alarmas were perfectly dug in. Ney, however, had no choice but charge.
If he ever wanted to join up with Soult and keep hold of Galicia for France, he had to break through at this point. On the morning of the 8 th , he ordered a kamikaze style assault. Time after time the French columns charged over the bridge. Just as often they were thrown back before they could reach the opposite bank. The position proved simply impregnable and at the end of the day the French had to give up.
And to add insult to injury: On June 11 th Ney returned to Santiago disheartened and began to prepare for a definite evacuation. The soldiers are either doomed to perish from pure want or from assault by the peasants, who, through a system of incessant pestering and the evasion of all open battle, would succeed in wiping out even the strongest army; and unless that army be constantly replenished anew with fresh men, [these peasants] would.
With less than 20, men left to them out of the splendid 70, with which they had marched in, the two marshals abandoned Galicia in the final week of June, burning and sacking as they went, and being ambushed in return by the Alarmas. On July 1 st not one French soldier remained in the province.
The Maragatos put up in the Rua de San Pedro. They go to Valladolid in about 12, and to Madrid in 15 days; and those who, having landed at Vigo, propose a riding tour, may safely trust them with the conveyance of any heavy baggage. Rey Romero King Pilgrim , 16, C e. The town of Santiago is so named after St. Those who wish at once to hurry to sight-seeing may pass on to p. George of the Peninsula, which has never been fully detailed to English readers.
The Spanish legend of St. James the Elder, or of "Santiago, as," says Southey, "he may more properly be called in his mythological history ," when not purely Pagan, is Mahomedan. The Gotho-Spanish clergy adapted these matters from the ancients and the Moslem, just as Mahomet formed his creed from the Old and New Testament, making such alterations as best suited the peculiar character and climate of their people and country; hence the success, and their still existing hold over their followers.
The Spaniards contend, without a shadow of real evidence, that St. James, came all three to the Peninsula immediately after the crucifixion. Rome, however having monopolized the two former for her tutelars, Spain was obliged to take the latter. The making his burial-place a place of pilgrimage was next borrowed from the East, and was one of the results of S a. Helena's invention and a rare one it was of the cross at Jerusalem in The principle of visiting a sacred spot was too inspiring to be overlooked by Mahomet, when he adapted Christianity to Arabian habits, and pilgrimage became one of the four precepts of his new creed, Mecca being selected in order to favour his native town by this rich influx.
The ill-usage of the Christian pilgrims led to the crusades, in which Spaniards took little part; nay, they were forbidden to do so by the Pope, because they had the infidel actually on their own soil. Yet Spaniard and Moor felt the spirit-stirring effect of a particular holy spot, and determined on having a counterpart Jerusalem and Mecca in the Peninsula itself.
The Spanish Moors were accordingly absolved by their clergy from the necessity of going to Mecca, which being in possession of the Kalif of the East, was inaccessible to the subjects of his rival in the West; and Cordova being the capital of his new state was chosen by Abdu-r-rahman, who, like Mahomet, wished to enrich his new city; and a visit to the Ceca , where some of the bones of Mahomet were pretended to be preserved, was declared to be in every respect equivalent to a pilgrimage to Mecca.
Thereupon the imitating Spaniards, who could not go to Jerusalem, set up their local substitute; they chose their mountain capital, where they, too, said their prophet was buried: The Arragonese, whose kingdom was then independent, chose for their Ceca their capital Zaragoza, where they said the Virgin descended from heaven on a visit to Santiago; and the religious duty and saving merits of pilgrimage became as much a parcel of the orthodox Spaniard's creed as it was of the infidels, whom they always fought against with a weapon borrowed from their own armoury.
Founded in by Fernando II. When Granada was conquered their assistance was no longer needed, and Isabella, by bestowing the grand-mastership on Ferdinand, absorbed the dreaded wealth and power of the order into the crown, without having recourse to the perfidy and murders by which Philippe le Bel suppressed the Templars in France. This was now accomplished without difficulty, for these corporate bodies lacked the security of private properties, which every one is interested in upholding.
They were hated by the clergy , because rivals and independent brotherhoods, half priest, half soldier, without being either one or the other, although assuming the most offensive privileges of both. The people also stood aloof, for they saw in the members only proud knights, who scorned to interchange with them the kindly offices of the poor monks; while the statesman , from knowing that the substance was no longer wanted, held the order to be both obsolete and dangerous.
All parties, therefore, aided Ferdinand, who was greedy of gold, and Isabella, who was determined to be really a queen, and the order virtually ceased to exist, save as conferring a badge on nobles and courtiers. Proud towards men, these warriors bowed to the priest, in whom they saw the ministers of their tutelar, and their faith sanctified and ennobled such obedience: All this is classical and Oriental: Castor and Pollux fought visibly for the Romans at Regillum Cic.
There was no mention of Santiago, or his visit to Spain, or his patronage, in the time of the Goths S n. The conferring military rank spoke the spirit of the age and people when bishops rode in armour and knights in cowls, and a nation of caballeros never would have respected a footman tutelar.
Froissart felt the full rank of this chief of a religious chivalry, and of a church-militant, and, therefore, like Dante, he calls St. James a Baron— Varon , Vir, a gentleman , a man emphatically, in contradiction to Homo, Hombre , or a mere mortal clod of earth. So Don Quixote speaks of him as " Don Diego," the Moor-killer, and one of the most valiant of saints. The Cids and Alonzos of Spain's dark ages at least had the common sense to choose a male tutelar to lead their armies to victory; it was left to the enlightened Cortes of Cadiz in to nominate S a.
Teresa, the crazy nun of Avila, to be the fit commandress of the Cuestas, Blakes, and suchlike spoilt children of defeat. According to church-authorised legends, St. James was beheaded at Jerusalem in 42, but his body was taken to Joppa, where a boat appeared " nutu dei ," into which the corpse embarked itself, and sailed to Padron, which lies 4 L. It first made for Barcelona, then coasted Spain, and avoiding the delicious S. The body rested on a stone at Padron, which hollowed itself out, wax to receive, and marble to retain, although some contend that this stone was the vessel in which it sailed.
The corpse was then removed to a cave sacred to Bacchus, and the whole affair was forgotten for nearly years, when, says Florez, "Spain breathed again by the discovery of the body, which occurred after this wise: It was examined, and a tomb found which contained a body, but how it was ascertained to be that of the apostle is not stated: Thereupon Alonzo el Casto built a church on the spot, and granted all the rich land round for three miles to the good bishop.
In the body was removed for greater security to the stronger town of Santiago, wild bulls coming by "divine inspiration," Toros guiados divinamente , to draw the carriage, as a delicate compliment to the tutelar of the land of Tauromachia. Riches now poured in, especially the corn-rent, said to be granted in by Ramiro, to repay Santiago's services at Clavijo, where he killed single-handed 60, Moors to a fraction.
This grant was a bushel of corn from every acre in Spain, and was called el Voto and el Morion , the votive offering of the quantity which the Capt. The deed, dated Calahorra , convicts itself of forgery see however Mariana, vii. This roguery in grain recalls that in oil of Hinckmar, who, years after the right date, forged the story of the Sainte Ampoule being brought down by a dove from Heaven for St. Remy in to baptize Clovis at Rheims. This corn-rent, estimated at , l. The jokes in Spain on these and other corn-collectors were many: Quien pide por Dios, pide por dos; anda con alforjas de fraile, predicando por el saco.
This tax was abolished in When corn-rents were given to discoverers of bones, revelations never were wanting if the land was good; hence every district had its high place and palladium, which however tended indirectly to advance civilization, for the convents became asylums in a rude age, since in them the lamp of learning, of the arts and religion, flickered.
The duty of visiting Compostella, which, like that of a pilgrimage to Mecca, was absolutely necessary in many cases to take up an inheritance, led to the construction of roads, bridges, and hospitals,—to armed associations, which put down robbers and maintained order: These star-indicated spots were always consecrated.
Thus when the gods struck with lightning the sacred hill, gold not bones was sought for Justin, xliv. But ancient avarice was straightforward and unblushing: As to marvellous transportations by sea in miraculously sent ships, Lucian, de D.
But it would be mere pedantry to multiply instances extracted from Pagan mythology, and for every one a parallel might be found in papal practice in Spain. That rocks soften on these occasions, all geologists know well. Thus the stone at Delphi, on which the Sibyl Herophile sat down, received the full impression, second only in basso-relievo to that grand stone on which Silenus reposed, and which Pausanias i. Such a saxeous metamorphosis was an old story even in skeptical Ovid's times Met.
Some antiquarians, with sad want of faith, have pronounced this stone to be only a Roman sarcophagus; if, however, people can once believe that Santiago ever came to Spain at all, all the rest is plain sailing; yet this legend, the emphatic one of Spain, is not yet disbelieved, for see Mellado's Guide, , p.
As the inventive powers of man are limited, an old story comes round and round like the same tune in a barrel organ. The Pontifex maximus of old and modern Rome have alike fathomed the depths of human credulity, which loves to be deceived, and will have it so, "and the priests bear rule by their means: He advanced by Coria, and was met at Zamora by many Spanish counts, or local petty sheikhs, who with true Iberian selfishness and disunion sided with the invader, in order to secure their own safety and share in the spoil see 'E.
The learned Jesuit, however, dismisses this humiliating conquest in a few lines, and these contain every possible mistake in names, dates, and localities. Thus he fixes the period A. The shrine was frequented even by those Christians who lived among the Moors, and the pilgrims brought back minute reports. His great object was to destroy the idols of the polytheist Spaniards, as the uncompromising Deism of the Hebrew, and his abhorrence for graven images, formed the essence of Islamism.
Thus, by a strange fate, the followers of the false prophet trod in the steps of both Testaments, while Christianity, corrupted by Rome, was remodelling and renewing those very Pagan abominations which the old and new law equally forbade.
The bells of the cathedral of Santiago were conveyed to Cordova on the shoulders of Christian captives, and hung up reversed as lamps in the Great Mezquita, where they remained until , when St. Possibly, coming from Cordova, the change of diet had affected his condition, and certainly we ourselves nearly lost our superb haca Cordovesa from the "hay and oats" of Gallicia.
It is said that Gelmirez built them into the foundations of his new cathedral, in order that they never might be pried into by the impertinente curioso , or removed by the enemy. Thus it was forbidden among the Romans to reveal even the name of Rome's tutelar, lest the foe, by greater bribes, or by violence, might induce the patron to prove false. The remains of Hercules were also said to be buried in his temple at Gades, but no one knew where.
However, Santiago lies somewhere, for he was heard clashing his arms when Buonaparte invaded Spain; so, before the battle of Leuctra, Herculis fano arma sonuerunt Cic. The Captain-General, valiant at Clavijo, had already given up active service in , and it could not be expected that such an invalided veteran should put on, like old Priam, arma diu senior desueta, and turn out of his comfortable resting-place to oppose Soult years afterwards. Sernin at Toulouse, among 7 bodies of the 12 apostles, said that Santiago's was one; and when we remember the triumph of Soult at Santiago and his trouncing at Toulouse, it is difficult not to think that the real Simon Pure is buried at S t.
Sernin, and helped our Duke. Be this as it may, for non nobis talem est componere litem, all Spanish divines lose temper whenever this legend is questioned; volumes of controversy have been written, and the evidence thus summed up: Secundo , If the Virgin descended from Heaven at Zaragoza to visit Santiago, of which there can be no doubt, it follows that Santiago must have been at Zaragoza. However the honest Jesuit Mariana vii.
Peter, and were pretty much as unfounded. The Pontiff was assailed with such irresistible arguments, that his virtue, like Danäe's, gave way, and the affair was thus compromised in the Papal record: The see, now an archbishopric, was formerly suffragan to the metropolitan Merida, at that time in partibus infidelium. It was elevated in by the management of Diego Gelmirez, a partisan of Queen Urraca, who prevailed on her husband Ramon to intercede with his brother Pope Calixtus II.
Diego, the first primate, presided 39 years, and was the true founder of the cathedral; and although the people rose against him and Urraca, he was the real king during that troubled period when Urraca was false to him and to every one else. There is a curious Latin contemporary history, called ' La Compostellana ,' which was written by two of his canons, Munio Hugo and Giraldo; it is given at length in 'E. A relic or shrine attracted rich strangers, while its sanctity awed robbers, and shed security over wealthy merchants; hence an eternal bickering between places of established holiness and commerce, and any upstart competitors: But Gelmirez was a cunning prelate, and well knew how to carry his point; he put Santiago's images and plate into the crucible, and sent the ingots to the Pope.
He remitted the cash to Rome where no heresy ever was more abominable than the non-payment of Peter's pence, for, no penny no paternoster , by means of pilgrims, who received from his Holiness a number of indulgences proportioned to the sums which they smuggled through Arragon and Catalonia, then independent and hostile kingdoms, and the "dens," say these historians, "not of thieves, but of devils," for Spain in those unhappy times resembled the Oriental insecurity of Deborah's age, "when the highways were unoccupied, and travellers walked through the byways.
Following the example of the Pagan priests of the temple of Hercules at Gades, Gelmirez now extolled the virtues of making a visit and an offering to the new tutelar at Santiago.
The patron saint became el santo, the saint par excellence, as Antonio at Padua is il santo. He never turned a deaf ear to those pilgrims who came with money in their sacks: Thus all the capital expended by Gelmirez at Rome in establishing the machinery was reimbursed, and a clear income obtained; the roads of Christendom were so thronged, that Dante exclaims Par.
At the marriage of our Edward I. The capture of Santiago by John of Gaunt increased the difficulties, by rousing the suspicions of Spain also. The numbers in the 15th century were also great. But the pilgrimage to Compostella began to fall off after the Reformation; then, according to Molina, "the damned doctrines of the accursed Luther diminished the numbers of Germans and wealthy English.
It was at last prohibited in Spain, except under regulations. But smaller pilgrimages in Spain, as among the Moslems, are still universally prevalent; every district has its miracle-shrine and high place. These combine, in an uncommercial and unsocial country, a little amusement with devotion and business. The pilgrims, like beggars in an Irish cabin, were once welcome to a "bite and sup," as they were itinerant gossips, who brought news in an age when there were no post-offices and broad sheets; now they are unpopular even at Santiago, since they bring no grist to the mill, but take everything, and contribute nothing; they are particularly hated in Ventas , those unchristian places, from whence even the rich are sent away empty; hence the proverb, Los peregrinos, muchas posadas y pocos amigos.
A residence in holy places has a tendency to materialize the spiritual, and to render the ceremonial professional and mechanical. Thus at Santiago, as at Mecca, the citizens are less solicitous about their "lord of the apostles," than those are who come from afar; as at Rome, those who live on the spot have been let behind the scenes, and familiarity breeds contempt. They are, as at all places of periodical visit ancient or modern, chiefly thinking how they can make the best of the " season ," how they can profit most from the fresh enthusiasm of the stranger; and as he never will come back again, they covet his cash more than his favourable recollections.
Accordingly the callous indigines turn a deaf ear to the beggar who requests a copper for Santiago's sake, he gets nothing from the natives but a dry— perdone V md. Therefore the shrewd mendicant tribe avoid them, and smell a strange pilgrim, for whom even the blind are on a look-out, ere he descends the hill of S n. Santiago , although much shorn of its former religious and civil dignities, is still the see of an archbishop, with a cathedral, 2 collegiate, and 15 parish churches.
Its numerous convents were plundered and desecrated by the invaders in , and since have been suppressed: No wonder that the two cities hate each other with more than the usual Spanish detestation or a neighbour.
The university alone remains, which has a good library, and is much frequented by Gallician students. Santiago is built on an uneven, irregular site, thus the convent of San Francisco lies almost in a hole: Santiago itself is damp, cold, and gloomy-looking.
It is full of arcades, fountains, and scallop shells, and has a sombre look, from the effect of humidity on its granite materials. The rivulets Sar and Sarela, better known as the toad streams, Los rios de los Sapos , flow to the N.
The best streets run parallel to each other, such as La rua nueva and La rua del villar. The wet weather, however disagreeable to those coming from the adust Castiles, is favourable to vegetable productions, and the clouds drop fatness; in consequence the town is cheap and well supplied with fruit, among which the Urraca pear is delicious; the sea and river fish, especially trout, is excellent, and here we find fresh butter, a luxury rare in the central and warmer provinces.
The situation of Santiago is very picturesque: Clara , it commands a noble view; saunter also to the Alameda de S a. Susana , going out at the Puerta Fajera , on to the Campo de Feria , and thence to the Crucero del Gayo , and if you have time up to the Monte Pedroso , from whence the panorama is as extensive as beautiful.
Of course the cathedral is the grand object of every pilgrim to Compostella: Cresonio restored it, and erected strong towers against the Moors and Normans. Gelmirez in rebuilt the pile, which was completed in The primitive character has been injured by subsequent alterations; one singularity is, that most of these have been built up against the original walls; thus the old edifice is as it were encased, and accordingly is well preserved from the effects of weather in this damp climate.
These grand cloisters, simple and serious in the inside, were built in by Fonseca, afterwards Archb p. This was one of the finest establishments of the age, and Molina mentions in , that there were seldom less than patients; hardships on journey, contagious disease, and religious madness peopled these dwellings, which, unknown to the ancients, were first founded in by Godfrey of Bouillon, for the use of pilgrims to Jerusalem. Many infirm persons went purposely to Santiago, in order to die there with comfort, just as the Hindoos do to Benares, believing that the patron would take them to heaven with him at the resurrection.
The hospital is a grand building, but badly conducted, as since the appropriation of church revenues, it was much impoverished by losing a revenue of tithes.
It is square in form, and divided into four quadrangles, with a chapel in the centre, and so contrived that the patients in the different stories can all see the service performed. The elaborate portal is enriched with saints, pilgrims, chainwork under the cornice, and the badges of Ferd. Two of the patios have arches and delicate Gothic work: The chapel is plain, but the portion within the railing is unequalled in Santiago for delicacy and richness of work; the roof springs from four arches with Gothic niches and statues.
The other two patios are of later date, and in the Doric style; in the entrance hall are bad portraits of Ferd. Rasoy in , for the education of young priests; in the celibate system of Rome those destined for the altar are instructed apart from the sons of laymen, in order, as at ladies' schools, that they may be brought up in certain sexual ignorances, which is not always the case in either.
In this fine palace the captain-general used to reside and the audiencia sat; it is now partly assigned to the Ayuntamiento ; the now suppressed S n. Jeronimo lies to the S. The front is ancient, but the interior has little worth notice. Some idea of this assemblage of architectural piles may be formed from the charming view which our good friend Roberts made from a drawing by the author of these humble pages Landscape Annual, , p.
On the noble plaza the bull-fights take place, and fire-works are let off on San Juan, June 24, and Santiago, July So among the Hindoos the inventors of all superstitions pyrotechnics are a favourite act of devotion, especially to their female goddess Kali.
Reform and church appropriation have put out many of these meritorious squibs, but still, among the Cofradias and rich and pious laity, money seldom is wanting for them.
Santiago being a Levitical town which depended on the church for amusement, indulgences, and expenditure, now must decay like Toledo. Hence it is not over-pleased with the progreso , or march of intellect; so when the Cortes abolished the Inquisition, and wished to appropriate the church revenues, "it depended," said the Duke, "on the Archbp.
Leaving the Plaza by the S. This is the most ancient front; observe the Torre del Reloj , one of the original towers, into which Gelmirez and Urraca fled from the populace. The mob tried to burn them out—a very Oriental and Spanish custom. Thus Abimelech destroyed those who fled to the tower of their "captain-general" Berith Judges ix. Formerly the tower was called Torre de Francia , as the long street is still del Franco. The French then supported and enriched the shrine, and Louis le Jeune came here in person as a pilgrim; but La Jeune or revolutionary France has since laboured to undo what her forefathers contributed to adorn, for Ney was sent by Soult on one of the usual plunder expeditions; he arrived here Jan.
Bory, bored church plate first, and if solid , then, and only then , stole it Cic. The chapter thus took in both the intelligent French and the pious pilgrims, by imitating their pagan predecessors see Baruch vi. Possibly the plundering of Santiago's altars may have been forced on the French officers, since Foy i. Thus Alexander the coppersmith of Ephesus, and Demetrius the silversmith, called together their operatives, "Sirs, ye know that by this craft we get our wealth;" and they became the bitter opponents of St.
Paul, who preached against image and female worship. Thus the Agrigentines rose against Verres to whom Toreno compares Soult , when he attempted to steal their golden tutelar Hercules. The Plateros , like those at Zaragoza, are loud in the praises of their images, phylacteries, and preservative talismans, and swear that they keep these shops solely for the benefit of their customers' souls; they assert that a silver Santiago on horseback is an infallible security against ague and robbers; and certainly as such a Santito only costs a few shillings, the insurance is not an unsafe speculation, as it is like a waterman's protection badge.
We appended such a medallion to our Zamarra , and travelled hundreds of leagues over every part of Spain, without sickness, sorrow, or ever being robbed except by innkeepers; all which was attributed by an excellent canon of Seville to the special intervention of the "Captain-General of the Spains;" and certain it is that very few Gallician soldiers ever omit to stow away in their Petos , or linen gorget waddings, a Santiagito and rosary which ought to turn aside bullets and bayonets.
In the Plaza de los Plateros , observe a gushing fountain supported on Triton horses. To the left is the Quintana de los Muertos , the former cemetery of the canons. The very ancient portal of the cathedral on this side is only opened in the Jubilee year; over it is Santiago in pilgrim attire, and below in square-niched compartments are 12 saints, 6 on each side. This is the door by which pilgrims enter.
The altar is said to be the identical one on which Santiago offered, but Morales Viage, discovered, to his horror, that it was only a Roman tomb converted to this new office. He obtained the effacing of the Latin and Pagan inscription, to the indignation of the Gallicians, who contended that D. Diis manibus sacrum, meant Deo maximo sacrum: The ground on which the cathedral is built is far from being level on this side, hence the steps; and here yet remains a circular portion of the first building.
The fourth and last side opens to the N. The former term is derived from Azabache , jet, of which vast quantities of rosaries used to be made and sold on this spot to the pilgrims as they entered, just as is done at Jerusalem, and in the Great Court of Mecca. The whole thing is borrowed from the Oriental: They presented these holy beads as a great favour to those who put money into their purses, and the counting them affords an occupation to the indolence of devout Spaniards,—so the pious Moors are always telling their Twer.
The modern Egyptian Mahomedan's chaplet, the Seb'hhah , Soob'hhah , consists of 99 small beads, with marks of divisions between them Lane i.
At each of these beads the Moslem repeats an epithet in praise of God, whose name is reserved as a climax for the last and largest. In the jealous worship of one God, the Mahomedan contrasts with the Marian Spaniard, who, having borrowed the Rosario from him, has adapted it to his female worship. Few Spanish females ever go to church without this Oriental appendage; and there devotion is.
The Dominicans were the managers and great preachers of its virtues and miraculous properties, the Virgin having given her own chaplet of beads to St. Dominic, which was called a rosary from the sweet perfume which it emitted. It is carried in the hand, or tied round the neck, while the excellent rope of St. Francis is only worn round the waist. The hands of many Spanish monks have been observed after death to be perfumed with attar, from their constantly holding the rosary , and never washing off its fragrance, just as the cigar has the same effect on profaner fingers.
The illiterate, both Moors, Chinese, and Spaniards, find these beads to be a convenient help in the difficult arithmetical operations of counting the "long prayers" and frequent repetitions which Christianity especially condemns, and the Pope and Mahomet especially require, since such mere repetitions have in both creeds an actual saving virtue of themselves, where forms have been substituted for spiritual essentials.
The Rosario ought to contain beads, in which only one Paternoster , one Lord's prayer, is allowed for every ten Ave-Marias ; "but one halfpenny-worth of bread to this intolerable deal of sack!
Santiago, and Seville, were the great cities of the Rosario. The peculiar chaunt re-appears here, but the hymn sounds harshly, sung by sore-throated Gallicians, who howl in their catch-cold climate as barbarously as in the days of their ancestors: Nor are these jet chaplets less gloomy when compared to those made in the bright south.
Few, however, of the Rosarios of the golden age of Spain have escaped the sacrilegious melting-pot. Those of Cordovese and Mexican manufacture are exquisitely wrought in pure gold filigree, and studded with precious stones, but the virtues of the rosary would form a handbook of themselves. The second name of this N. Plaza de S n. San Martin is honoured at Santiago next to Santiago; and in fact, as among mortal captains-general in Spain, he is el Segundo Cabo de la Provincia , the deputy lord lieutenant: San Martin, if the whole of Christendom were polled, would be found to be more universally worshipped than Santiago, whose influence is a thing of local isolated Spain,—for where, indeed, is there a city in Europe without its Saint Martin?
He was the great raiser of convents in the fourth century, whose monks naturally elevated shrines to their champion and benefactor, thus the first Christian church built in England was dedicated to him.
As he was the great iconoclast, and destroyer of graven images and idols of the Pagan, how he would now be pained, could he revisit Santiago and the Peninsula, where more statues are now erected to his own worship when dead, than ever he brake down while alive. Tours is his real Compostella, where the mere exhibition of his relics scared away the Normans. This ancient covent has been almost entirely modernised.
It is on an enormous scale; a portion hangs over a ravine; it has a fine garden, and commands noble views from its magnificent long corridor upstairs. Formerly it was one of the most wealthy of the Benedictine establishments, now it is a barrack. The heavy modern Doric entrance is the work of Casas y Noboa, in The grand patio was rebuilt in , and finished in , as the dates over the arches indicate.
This was the vile period of bad taste, when models were afforded to our half-convent, half-bastile, half-barrack, new poor-law Unions, by which the sweet country of England is disfigured; but cheapness and accomodation of numbers was the principle.
Observe, however, the handsome fountain with three falls and satyrs' heads. The interior is commensurate with the exterior, as one corridor is paces long. The library was superb. The Benedictines were a learned order, and promoters of schools and antiquarian research. The chapel, now a parish church, is in bad taste, with a heavy tesselated trunk-headed roof. The pulpits are composed of rich marbles: From the Azabacheria to the opposite great Plaza there is an arched communication under the archbishop's palace.
Now enter the cathedral from the Azabacheria , first looking at the modern encasement, which, with its Doric and Corinthian tiers, its heavy pediment, supported by caryatides of Moorish slaves, with Santiago above dressed as a pilgrim, etc. Lois Monteagudo, a Gallician, i.
The interior has escaped much better, and is very striking. It has purposely been kept somewhat dark in order to increase the effect of the illuminations at the high altar, thus rendering the image of the tutelar the emphatic feature. The cathedral forms a beautiful cross, of which the lateral chapels do not injure the general effect.
The three grand naves are narrow in proportion to their height and length, the central being the highest. The piers are light and elegant, and contrast with the enormous thickness of the outer walls.
Low galleries are carried round the Coro, and above, with an open arcade of double-rounded arches. The two transept ends of the ancient cathedral remain as they were, and the new fronts built outside them add to the strange effect. The dark side aisles, which almost look like corridors , are filled with confessional boxes, dedicated to different saints, while on those destined for foreign pilgrims are inscribed the languages which the priest in them is supposed to understand.
This once was necessary when strangers came from all countries, but now the Gallego confessors can only speak strange tongues "comme des vaches Espagnoles. Near the Capilla de los Reyes is the grand confessional, in which the Penitenciario alone may sit; and in order that he may do so, this great dignitary is excused attendance in coro: He pardoned, through the merits and intercession of Santiago, les forfaits, que le courroux des dieux ne pardonne jamais. The confessors, it must be confessed, for we looked at them all, will disappoint most readers of Mrs.
Radcliffe; they have little of the unearthly Schidoni scowl which rends the soul; they are mostly fat and well-fed, with a dormouse look of bore, especially when subjected to the communications of a garrulous aged woman, and the pleasing prospect of coveys of similar hags, squatting around waiting their turn, like patients at a doctor's door who gives advice gratis; the confessors, like hospital nurses, soon become callous from long habit, and like Spanish Sangrados, they doubt in the efficacy of their own remedies.
A desire to confess, and a belief in the magical effect produced by a tap of a white wand, through which the penitent is spiritually whitewashed, is daily diminishing among male Spaniards, who would gladly see their wives and womankind rescued from this abominable private cross-examination, by which the priest pries into the innermost arcana of every family; thus he can apply a moral screw to the weaker sex, who under the most favourable circumstances seldom keep any secret except that of their age.
The confessional is a most awful police and inquisition, from whose polluting scrutiny no Spanish man or woman is safe. Dens and his filth is untrodden snow. Starkes ; thus, in the earliest English Handbook for Spain , full details—fuller, indeed, than ours—are given of the power of "Confessourez," confessors, to absolve and name penance, and to "assoyle thee of all thinge. The base is composed of richly polished marbles, enclosed by gilt pillars, adorned with foliage and grapes, possibly in remembrance of the cave of Bacchus.
But every sentiment of antiquity and veneration is marred by the abominable, immense, and lofty canopy, or Baldaquino, which is reared above and behind the image, instead of the usual Retablo ; this Hojarasca , carved and gilt in the worst churriguerismo , is a mixture of the Pagan, classical, and Salominic styles, and anything indeed but Christian, while the heavy supporting angels savour nothing of heaven.
The image was graven by Mateo for Gelmirez, out "of a stone good for nothing, by an ancient hand" Wis. In his left hand he holds the Bordon , or pilgrim's staff, with a gilt gourd, Calabaza , fastened to it: Reverence was then merged in artistical admiration, and the altars, as at Rome, were visited as picture-galleries, and the siren beauty seduced the pilgrim and anchorite.
Thus, when Leo X. Great importance is attached to the hood worn by the image, the Esclavina , which resembles those worn by policemen in London, and Cardinals at Rome. It indeed is also called Dengue , from a sort of mantilla worn by women, or a modern " Cardinal. Ney secured, thinking, like the tyrant Dionisius, when he stole the golden mantle of Jupiter, that a woollen hood would be more comfortable in this damp Gallicia. The present Esclavina is studded with such ornaments as become a saint and a captain-general, to wit, with canons and shells , both scallop, veneras , and projectiles, bombas ; possibly artillery might have been miraculously used at Clavijo in the year , as Spanish was spoken by San Cecilio.
Mass can only be said before this image by bishops, or by canons of a dignity called Cardenales , of which there were seven on grand occasions. Then the altar is decorated with the exquisite silver Custodia by Antonio d'Arphe, , and with the small gilt figure of Santiago, whose glory, Aureola , is composed of rubies and emeralds bright as a peacock's tail.
Most of the silver lamps disappeared in ; but under the Cimborio still hangs the large Incensario, which is swung backwards and forwards by an iron chain, filling the Crucero with perfumed wreaths. The tabernacle is also cased with silver. Through the influence of a friend in the chapter, we, Protestantism notwithstanding, were conducted through the ceremonial of the pilgrimage.
The newly-arrived ascends some steps behind the image, places his hands on the shoulders, and kisses the hood. This is called el fin del Romaje , the end, the object of the pilgrimage. This osculation is the essential homage; thus the people of Agrigentum kissed their idol of Hercules Cic. All kiss; some the toe, some the shoulders, for the part kissed is a matter of local convention: After this osculation the pilgrim proceeds to one of the "Confessourez," makes a clean breast of it, and is "assoyled," or scoured from all moral dirt, like a dyspeptic after a course at Kissingen.
He next communicates, and receives his certificate, or, as it is called, his " Compostella. This Compostella was often deposited with the family title-deeds as a voucher of the visit, as otherwise lands under certain entails could not be inherited.
Observe the 6 exquisite gilt alto-relievos, carved with battles and sacred subjects, for here the strong restoration of Paganism struggles with Catholicity, and mermaids and battles mingle with holy subjects. The pictures of St. Behind the apostle is a small room which contains what has escaped of the church plate.
Observe two very ancient gilt pixes , a Saviour seated under a Gothic niche with two angels, and some ewers and basins in the shape of scallops. The relics are pointed out by a clergyman with a long stick, who goes through the marvels with the rote and apathy of a wearied showman.
Tacitus calls the legion Galbiana , to distinguish it from the old Legio VII Claudia , but this appellation is not found on any inscriptions. It appears to have received the appellation of Gemina  on account of its amalgamation by Vespasian with one of the German legions, probably the Legio I Germanica.
After serving in Pannonia, and in the civil wars, it was settled by Vespasian in Hispania Tarraconensis, to supply the place of the Legio VI Victrix and Legio X Gemina , two of the three legions ordinarily stationed in the province, but which had been withdrawn to Germany.
The station of the legion in the territory of the Astures grew into an important city, which resisted the attacks of the Visigoths until AD , when it was taken by Leovigild ; and it was one of the few cities which the Visigoths allowed to retain their fortifications. The same fortress, which the Romans had built to protect the plain from the incursions of the mountaineers, became the advanced post which covered the mountain, as the last refuge of Cisastur Tribes.
However, there is no notice of resistance whatsoever. An attempt was made by the invaders to settle the strongholds with Berbers came in a military capacity, but the scheme was abandoned when the Berbers of northern Iberia rebelled against the Arabs and gave up their positions to join the revolt around Towards the year , a group of Mozarabs Christians who did not flee from the Muslims and lived under the Muslim regime tried to repopulate the city, but a Muslim attack prevented that initiative.
Sacked by Almanzor in about , the city was reconstructed and repopulated by Alfonso V , whose Decree of regulated its economic life, including the functioning of its markets. His son, Alfonso X divided the kingdom again in his testament, but it was not accepted by the King of Castile, who rejoined both crowns. From to Suburbs for traders and artisans sprang up, who, after the 13th century, began to influence the municipal government. During the early Middle Ages , the livestock industry produced a period of prosperity for the city.
In the 16th century, economic and demographic decline set in and continued until the 19th century. A popular and local political movement was opposed to being ruled from.
Leonese customs include the Semana Santa " Holy Week " , featuring numerous processions through the centre of the city. One of them is the so-called "Procession of the Meeting", which acts out the meeting of three groups representing Saint John , the Virgin Mary and Christ , in the esplanade in front of the old council.
During these days several concerts and festivals take place and the whole city is occupied by terraces and street markets where Leonese people celebrate the beginning of the summer, especially on San Juan's night June 23 when beautiful fireworks and bonfires take place. Frost is common in the early hours of the morning before the dawn during the coldest days of the winter, but normally melts after sunrise.
Snowfalls are not rare in the city 9 days a year , however heavy snowfalls are extremely rare. With about sunshine hours, the city enjoys a considerable amount of sunshine throughout the year.