Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos
OK. Now that you’ve walked hundreds of kilometers, for a month or 2, you finally arrived at the Cathedral in Santiago, and you need a shower and some rest. Well, one of the options is the Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos, the hotel of the catholic kings, just next door to the cathedral. You’ll probably very well treated there, as it is, according to many, one of Europe’s best hotels, with 5 stars.
Here is a close-up of the entrance.
It is claimed to be the world’s first hotel and has housed a hospital. It is now one of Spain’s sumptuous state-run paradors.
The hotel is a “stand alone” example of Galician architecture. It has a decorative facade designed by Enrique Egas which includes sculptures, coats of arms and a series of narrow windows, but it is the internal features of the building and its geometry that really make it special.
The hotel has four colonnaded and interconnected courtyards within its walls. Two of these piazzas date from the eighteen hundreds, but the two earlier squares are from the sixteenth century and feature water fountains at their hearts. The later courtyards are of a baroque design and were constructed during extensive remodelling and renovation.
The building was commissioned by the Spanish king in the fifteenth century as a hostal and hospital for Santiago’s visiting pilgrims.