BEFORE LEAVING Santiago de Compostela your journey ahead might be enhanced by a visit to the following historical buildings, all of which have information and artifacts related to Galicia and the route Westward.
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Convent of Saint Domingo of Bonaval (Convento de Santo Domingo de Bonaval). On one side it houses the Galician Museum (Museodo Pobo Galego). Imposingly situated overlooking the Porta Do Camino and the Rua do San Pedro (the main pilgrim entrance to the city 600 metres due East of the cathedral). The convent is a ‘living museum and portrays something of both past and present in its excellent displays and artifacts. The museum captures both the profundity and simplicity of life in Galicia which is centred primarily around fishing and agriculture – the twin pillars of its survival through the ages.
Inside the equally impressive edifice of the adjoining convent church is the burial place of illustrious sons and daughters of Galicia including the poetess Rosalia de Castro, whose writings so beautifully capture the mournful soul of Galicia. Here also lies the body of Alfonso Castelao that tireless fighter for Galician independence. His tomb tells so much in its simple inscription Rian.xo 1886 -Bos Aires 1950. Born in the heartland of Galicia and died, like many of his compatriots, in exile in South America.
To the rear of the above buildings are the delightful grounds of the Parque Santo Domingo de Bonaval. There are some shaded areas and the surroundings are much quieter than the Alameda (Santa Susanna). A good place for (relatively) quiet reflection or meditation.
The Pilgrimages Museum /Gothic House (Casa Gotica). Centrally located on Rua do San Miguel (300 metres North East of the cathedral). Approached either via the Praza de Cervantes (Rua Algalia de Arriba) or the Praza de San Martin Pinario (behind the monastery of the same name). A little visited gem of information on the Camino de Santiago and its spiritual significance.
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