Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James (Galician: Camiño de Santiago, Spanish: Camino de Santiago).
According to legend, the apostle Saint James the Greater brought the Message of Christ to the Celts in the Iberian Peninsula. In 44 AD he was beheaded in Jerusalem. His remains were later brought back to Galicia, Spain. Still according to legend, this tomb was rediscovered in 814 AD by Pelayo, a hermit, after witnessing strange lights in the night sky. Bishop Theodemir of Iria recognized this as a miracle and informed the Asturian king Alfonso II (791-842). The king ordered the construction of a chapel on the site. Legend has it that the king became the first pilgrim to this shrine. Construction of the present cathedral began in 1075 under the reign of Alfonso VI of Castile (1040-1109) and the patronage of bishop Diego Peláez. The cathedral was consecrated in 1128 in the presence of king Alfonso IX of Leon. (Wikipedia)