The stunning entrance to an 800-year-old cathedral has been restored to its
former glory and is set to be reopened by Queen Sofia of Spain.
The Santiago de Compostela Cathedral was completed in 1211 and consecrated
in the presence of Alfonso IX, king of Leon and Galicia in present day
The famous cathedral is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santiago
de Compostela and an integral part of the Santiago de Compostela World
Heritage Site in Galicia.
The Portico de la Glorica (Portal of Glory), the Romanesque portico and
cathedral's main gate, has been restored to how it looked eight centuries
ago following extensive works.
Local media were allowed inside for a glimpse before Queen Sofia of Spain
opens the restored Portal of Glory on 2nd July, however it will not be open
to the public until the 25th.
The project took place thanks to investment from the Barrie Foundation, the
Cathedral Foundation and the Cultural Heritage Institute.
After extensive research, restorers decided that the portico, completed by
architect and sculptor Master Mateo in 1188, had a layer comprised of four
As part of the portico is exposed to the elements, the polychromy (the art
of painting in several colours) had been serious affected over time.
A skilled team of architects, sculptors, geologists, IT experts and 12
restorers spent over 50,000 hours carrying out the restoration.
The project reportedly cost around 6.2 million EUR (5.5 million GBP).
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has a full-scale unpolychromed
replica of the Portal of Glory.