Day 46 + 4

Another day spent wandering around this beautiful city, and still at every turn there is another sight to to see.

This the Santiago university campus…….

And this a lovely mosaic in the dining room of our hotel…..

And this a wonderful display of sweet chestnuts on a stall in the street….

A view of one of the courtyards of the monastery at night…..

And some snaps here of the courtyards in the daytime…..

It’s the most beautiful, peaceful environment imaginable, but has had a chequered history…..

Built in 1499 to provide shelter and restore the battered bodies of the Pilgrims arriving in Santiago who had survived the dangerous journey on the Way of St James. Over the years it took on more functions, it was a hospital for the poor and was also a home for foundlings.

The building was a miniature city, with its own corps of Priests, health workers, apothecaries, accountants and servants, all answerable to one administrator. It had animal pens, storerooms, a jail, wine cellar, stables, medical garden and a large number of attached dwellings where the staff were housed.

Over the centuries, generations of physicians were trained in its rooms, and its thick walls bore witness to the art of pharmacy and chemistry, always with the aim of providing greater wellbeing for the sick;in this place both the body and the soul were nurtured….

Pilgrimage in the 15th century and for many centuries beyond was a dangerous undertaking, often pilgrims were set upon by bandits, attacked by wild animals or became embroiled in bloody brawls with other travellers, the hospital was there to care for their many wounds, both physical and spiritual.

There are almost one hundred corbels supporting the wooden roofs over the arcades. They represent the vices that most tempt sinners and the virtues that were to govern their existence….

At the entrance to the foundling door, there was a window with a bell and a revolving compartment like those in cloistered convents. A mother would ring the bell and wait to hear “Ave Maria, gratis plena” and then leave her newborn child to the care of the orphanage…….

One of the pictures that hangs in the cloisters…..

And last, but by no means least, Miss Eva Rose Jesse Campbell. Light of my life, posing with her new doll in the monastery garden….

And as you see the weather has again been kind, the sun shone, even though there was a chill in the air……

Love Susan x

This entry was posted in Architecture, children, churches, death, HIstory, strangers, The Camino de Compostela, the way of St James, walking and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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