Santiago de Compostela and the Spatial Articulation of Power: From the Cathedral to the Cidade da Cultura


  • Silvia Bermúdez University of California-Santa Barbara



Camiño de Santiago (Way of Saint James), cathedral, branding, material space, global destination, Disneyfication, Cidade da Cultura (City of Culture)


To examine the notion of «Glocal Galicia» this essay focuses on the series of architectural, political, and economic enterprises carried out to transform the remote site known as Campus Stellae first into a sacred pan-European journey’s end in the Middle Ages—via the Camiño de Santiago (Way of St. James)—and then into a 21st century global destination that works within Disneyfication processes. Particular attention is paid to two distinct productions of material space—the securing in the 12st century of metropolitan status for Santiago de Compostela, and the inauguration on January 2011 of the incomplete Cidade da Cultura de Galicia (City of Culture of Galicia). In both instances, each architectural endeavor sought to supersede its locality while exposing the manners in which space, place, and capital are intertwined.