Master Mateo, Pórtico de la Gloria from the cathedral at Santiago della Compostela

Master Mateo, Pórtico de la Gloria from the cathedral at Santiago della Compostela

This is the cast of the Pórtico de la Gloria, which is one of the main doors of the cathedral of Santiago de la Compostela in northern Spain. The cathedral, dedicated to the apostle St James the Greater, is an important pilgrimage centre and second only to Rome in attracting visitors. It was modelled on French pilgrimage churches and erected in 1075-1211. The door is an important late Romanesque design by Master Mateo dating from 1188.

The Pórtico de la Gloria is the west door and portrays Christ in Majesty with apostles, saints and angels. The structure of the door consists of three arches, based on Roman triumphal arches and symbolising the triumph of heaven. The vertical bar dividing the central arch has an image of St James at the top and the Tree of Jesse, a visualisation of Christ's ancestry, at the bottom.

At the back of this column is the kneeling figure of Master Mateo (facing towards the altar). He is popularly known as the Santo dos Croques (Saint of the Bumps) since traditionally visitors have hit their head against the figure in order to receive some of his wisdom.