The cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is surrounded by squares; between them, there are other passages, arches, and stairs.
The end of the Way
Plaza do Obradoiro is the stage of the daily ritual of the arrival of the pilgrims, who followed the Way of Saint James, and finally – after a hundred and hundred miles on foot – turn around the last corner and are in front of the Baroque façade of the Cathedral.
On the left, there is an arch where usually street artists find shelter from wind rain or (rarely!) sun. Bagpipes, flute or guitar players, mimes and other artists. There is music almost everywhere around the square.
If you turn the corner on the opposite side of the arc, you go towards Praza da Quintana. It’s another suggestive scenery made of stone between a fountain and a beautiful staircase.
Here usually the atmosphere is more peaceful and quiet. But surprises do happen.
Music in the square
On a June afternoon that promises rain, from that side of the cathedral comes a piece of music that seems quite different from the bagpipes and guitars buzzing around. A few steps and I prove to myself I was right: it is classical music played by an orchestra. A whole orchestra that has found its place in Quintana dos Vivos and is playing: all the musicians and the conductor with the wand right in face of the steps of the Quintana, where tourists, enthusiasts and music lovers throng. The performance is good and engaging; just the acoustic could be better.
Baroque music bounces between the baroque façades of the square, and all around an interested crowd of pilgrims, tourists and residents, all with their colourful waterproof, because soon it will rain. But the weather forecast just seems the least interest of the musicians, who continue undeterred to play under the stormy sky.
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