A tour of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela: the library and the chapter house (part 8)

Leaving the cloister of the Cathedral, we are about to visit the library and the chapter house.

The library was built in the 18th century and contains numerous incunabula. The funds of this library were donated by Canon Pedro Acuña y Malvar and Diego Juan de Ulloa.


To the left of the room, in the corners, there are two botafumeiros. The first one (silver) was a donation of the provisional alféreces, who gave it to the Cathedral in the Holy Year of 1971. The one in the background dates from 1851 and replaced the one taken by the French in 1809.


The botafumeiro is a large censer used in religious ceremonies. Its origin seems to go back to the origins of the pilgrimages, when it was used to perfume the naves of the Cathedral, due to the bad smell given off by the pilgrims who arrived at Compostela after walking the Camino. In its vast pendulum it reaches to caress the vaults of the transept naves, to the astonishment of the people.

In the center of the room we see a large 18th century lectern with parchment books. On the ceiling, a series of frescoes depicting the life, martyrdom and miracles of St. James the Greater.

After visiting the library, we will stop in the chapter house. It has a granite vault and was built in 1751 by Lucas Ferro Caaveiro, following the rococo art style. It was also decorated and stuccoed by Tomás Aguiar.


In the left altar we see an image of Santiago pilgrim, work of Gambino. The tapestries that decorate this room represent scenes from the life of Achilles and Scipio and were made in the 16th century.

On the right there are two urns made of palo santo, inlaid wood, mother-of-pearl and ivory. On the floor, a 17th century brazier, decorated with Jacobean motifs

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