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Praza de Obradoiro

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Praza de Obradoiro

The other buildings on the Praza do Obradoiro are also interesting. To the left as you face the cathedral is the massive Pilgrims’ Hospital, built by Fernando and Isabel, the Catholic Monarchs. Now a parador, pilgrims still have the right to three days’ worth of free meals here if they are among the first ten that day to queue for their compostela. The meals are served in a canteen around the back, but the food’s still pretty nice. The hotel has four pretty courtyards named after the evangelists and several elegant halls. Access is limited if you aren’t a guest, but the bits you are allowed to wander around are worthwhile.

Opposite the cathedral, the Ayuntamiento is housed in an attractive neoclassical building, while the fourth side, opposite the parador, is partly taken up by the Colegio de San Jerónimo, a 15th-century structure now part of the university, with a nice little patio and a portal that looks distinctly Romanesque; perhaps the architects didn’t want to clash with the Pórtico de la Gloria of the cathedral. Next to it, the Colegio de Santiago Alfeo is a Renaissance construction used by the local government.

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