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This photo reflects the windy and rainy weather which pervaded Compostela for much of our stay there in May 2005.  Not all the time though, and Compostela is a small place in which it is easy to re-emerge from shelter when the sun looks like appearing.  The Palacio de Rajoy, which faces the Cathedral, dates from the late 1700s and has performed as a Palace for the builder, Archbishop Bartolomé de Rajoy y Losada, a choirboy residence, a seminary and a prison.  It is now the Town Hall.  Just below the right hand end of the Palacio (and not shown here) is the church of San Fructuoso, whose facade appears to be crowned by symbols of the four playing card suites.  The symbols actually represent the four Cardinal Virtues - Prudence, Justice, Strength (Fortitude) and Temperance.






Saint James Moor Slayer rears above a pediment portraying the Battle of Clavijo.






Bordering the plaza to the left of the town hall is a building housing the officers of the University of Compostela - this is the "Vice Rector's Door".





The great plaza in front of the cathedral is called the Praza (sic) do Obradoiro.  In the photo above the cathedral facade is to the right, the Palacio de Rajoy to the left, and in the middle is the Hostal dos Reis Católicos, established by Fernando and Isabella in the aftermath of the fall of Granada in 1492 to be a hostel and hospital for pilgrims, and added to several times since (and now a Parador Hotel).  The facade (below and below below) dates from 1519 and  is regarded as one of the the best examples of the Plateresque style in Spain.  







The Hostal is now a very fully priced Parador Hotel (a brand whose old reputation for offering value for money in well restored historic buildings has long since disappeared).





The main entry point to the plaza for walkers and pilgrims, some of whom have been on the Camino and dreaming of this moment for three or four weeks, is the gap to the right of the Hostal. 




A sense of awe and achievement




"Hello Mum - I made it!"














A lung-cleansing reward




Holding the Compostela






Team Paradox's scallop shell - courtesy of la Casa del Buen Pulpo






No prizes for guessing how far (not) this group has walked (that's the door of the Parador Hotel on the left)















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