The City Hall of Santiago de Compostela is situated on Plaza de Raxoi, also often referred to as Plaza do Obradoiro, and it is one of the most impressive historic buildings in the city. It’s a building in the Neoclassical style that was commissioned by the Archbishop of Santiago, Bartolomé Rajoy Losada, in 1766 to serve as a seminary for confessors, and was designed by the French engineer Charles Lemaur. Today, the building is the seat of Santiago city council and the Xunta de Galicia, the autonomous regional government.
Since it was built it has been a city hall and a residence for confessors who administered penitence to pilgrims. The ground floor of the back section was also used as the city gaol. It continued to be used as a residence for the clergy until well into the 20th century.
The city hall is a very horizontal and symmetrical building. The inside is not open to the public but its façade has a remarkable colonnade of arches and a central section that is crowned by a statue of Santiago (Saint James) on horseback. This equestrian Santiago on the façade is the work of the sculptor José Ferreiro. Underneath it, visitors will see a frontispiece with a relief depicting the battle of Clavijo, by José Gambino. The façade is almost 90 metres long in total, only broken up by the acroteria and frontispieces at the top, creating a contrast with the verticality of the cathedral façade.
The square on which the City Hall of Santiago de Compostela sits is busy almost every day of the year, with tourists, groups of school children, families, etc., because it is also lined by the façade of the cathedral that is visited by numerous tourists and pilgrims.
To enjoy your time in the historic city centre of Santiago de Compostela, admiring its architectural wonders, we recommend that you park your car in our Saba car park at Santiago de Compostela Train Station, number 75A Calle Hórreo.