The “Holy Door” and the “Holy Years”

The “Holy Door” And The “Holy Years”

The “Holy Door” and the “Holy Years”

The Holy Door is located in the rear area of ​​the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, at the Quintana Square. This door is also called the “forgiveness door”, and the main goal for all the pilgrims arriving in Santiago is to enter through it to earn the Jubilee.Tour Camino de Santiago

This door remains generally closed and it only opens during the “Holy Years”, those in which July 25th falls on a Sunday.

On the afternoon of each New Year’s Eve before the beginning of a “Holy Year”, the “Holy Door” is unlocked: During the ritual, the Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela leaves the interior of the Cathedral and goes to the Quintana square, just in front of the “Holy Door”. Once there, he approaches the Door and calls three times with a silver hammer, asking permission to the Apostle Santiago to enter.

After he enters, a stone wall placed exclusively for this ceremony is knocked down by the hammer blow. It is then when the lintel of the door is blessed with an olive branch. The Archbishop is the first person to cross the Door and enter the Cathedral on that “Holy Year”.

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The “Holy Year” is thus inaugurated and the “Holy Door” of the Cathedral is ready to welcome all the faithful and sinners who want to be forgiven by the Lord.


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