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CATEDRALES. Catedral de Santiago

  • Issue date: 14/06/2012
  • Printing Process: Calcografía y Offset
  • Paper: Estucado, engomado, fosforescente
  • Size of stamp: 28,8 x 40,9 mm (vertical)
  • Size of block sheet: 79,2 x 105,6 mm (vertical)
  • Postal value of the stamps: 2,90 €
  • Print run: 280.000 hojas bloque
  • Dented: 13 ¾

Since the Middle Ages the Cathedral of Santiago is the final destination of the Way of St. James, a major historical pilgrimage route ending in the burial place of the apostle, according to legend. It is considered a jewel of Spanish Romanesque with later Gothic and Baroque additions. Building began in 1075 on the remains of a small basilica destroyed by Almanzor. Most of the cathedral was completed in the late 12th century and was extended between the XVI and XVIII.


Its construction took as a reference point the tomb of the Apostle in the Main Chapel, over which is built the ambulatory. The interior consists of a nave 100 meters long, two lateral aisles, a wide transept and a choir with radiating chapels. The central nave receives its lighting from the triforium that runs throughout the church and whose nearly semicircular arches shelter windows. The arches of the temple are supported by strong pillars adorned with sculptures on the capitals.

Inside the cathedral and over the crypt of the Apostle stands the Main Chapel, with its silver altar, bronze pulpits and a Baroque altarpiece with an image of St. James on horseback. It has a niche in which the Apostle is dressed as a pilgrim wearing a silver tippet and jewelled ornaments and which is accessed by a ladder to give the saint the traditional embrace.

The temple is surrounded by façades from different eras; Platerías, in Romanesque style and embellished with all sorts of details in the tympanums and jambs, the Azabachería or northern façade and the eastern façade or Quintana. Jewels of the cathedral are also the Puerta Real and the Holy Door of Forgiveness, which only opens when the saint’s day falls on a Sunday. But without doubt the most monumental of them all is the main façade or Obradoiro, a masterpiece of 18th century Spanish Baroque. It is situated at the famous Portico de la Gloria, built from 1168 to 1188 by Master Mateo. It is Romanesque and is divided into three arches, the central one being the only one who has a tympanum. giving us an image of Christ in Majesty as Judge and Redeemer surrounded on both sides by a retinue of angels and the four evangelists. In the archivolt are represented the 24 Elders of the Apocalypse who are tuning their musical instruments.

The souvenir sheet depicts the Obradoiro façade, a symbol of the cathedral, and in the stamp features the Apostle with the pilgrim's staff and a scroll in his hand.

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