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The Tomb Of St. James: The View From The Other Side

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Chapter Summary

The need to discover the tomb at the end of the nineteenth century may seem surprising if it was the Apostolic tomb that drew the legions of pilgrims since the ninth century. The result was the exposure beneath the choir of the actual cathedral of the basement storey of a structure whose ashlar masonry is arguably compatible with a Roman date and which was identified as the original tomb of St. James. Despite López Ferreiro?s efforts, the disjunction between form and function at the outset? the relative neglect of the tomb in the average experience of the site? persists: lines seldom form to visit the crypt/shrine, but almost always one must wait to ascend the stairs nearby to accomplish a popular act of devotion, kissing the head of the figure of an enthroned James that perches above the altar.

Keywords: López Ferreiro; pre-Romanesque architecture; tomb of St.James



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