Sail the Iberian Peninsula - 2019

The Holy Door

However, today’s arriving pilgrim will be accorded a visit to the Portico of Glory which has only recently been open to tourists. Its 10 year restoration has just been completed in the last weeks. This fantastic carving of heaven, earth and hell is simply spellbinding. Original colors have been discovered under years of dust, neglect and sometimes even deliberate damage. The beauty that has emerged is definitely worth the hours and hours of work in restoration. The video that precedes the chance to see the carvings is a must since it documents the painstaking work. Among the wonders of the Portico is the delicacy of the carvings which have been executed in granite, a much more difficult stone to work than marble. Actually, the only piece of marble in the entire piece is section depicting Christ’s mother, Mary! The portico was originally the main entry into the cathedral and it was commissioned to Master Mateo who worked on his masterpiece from 1168 to 1188. It is considered to be the finest piece of Renaissance architecture in Spain. Quite modern for its period, the tableau was meant to teach the largely illiterate Spanish population the stories of the Bible, particularly the New Testament

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