Whenever we do the Camino de Santiago with one of our fun groups, at the entrance to Santiago de Compostela from the east they always ask us “what is that strange construction on that hill? They are referring, and I’m sure you’ve guessed it, to Monte Gaiás and its City of Culture, a meeting place for all the culture in Galicia. Well, in this double Holy Year 2021-2022 the Gaiás dresses up as a winter and Christmas pilgrim, because we will have the opportunity to know better the unknown Winter Way in the exhibition “O marabilloso Camiño de Invierno”.
With this name we refer to the Gaiás mountain, located southeast of the city of Santiago de Compostela, which welcomes pilgrims arriving by The French Way of Saint James. In it stands an architectural complex, built by the architect Peter Eisenman, which houses the City of Culture, a tool and space for culture in Galicia, designed in 1999 and inaugurated in 2011. In the City of Culture there is room for everything and everyone: culture, economy and society in Galicia. There is a rich cultural program in which artistic and informative events, etc. are held. It also has a coworking space, an entrepreneurship centre and a business incubator. It has, among other spaces, one dedicated to technological innovation in Galicia.
The exhibition “O marabilloso Camiño de Invierno”.
Presented in the Hall de Tirantes room, on Floor 0 of the Gaiás Centre Museum, it was inaugurated last December 17th with the presence of the Regional Minister of Culture, Education and University of the Xunta de Galicia, Román Rodríguez, and can be visited this Christmas from December 18, 2021 to January 6, 2022.
Designed by Galician artist and set designer Ana Inés Jabares-Pita, well known in the world of opera, dance and theatre, on this occasion invites us to perform the Winter Way of St. James ” crossing a forest of light populated by giant and small snow globes that treasure in their interior landscapes, monuments and emblematic cities of the Way”, explain the spokesmen of the museum.
The magic of Christmas and the Winter Way hand in hand on pilgrimage
The basic concept was to merge Christmas and the Way of St. James, and what better way than this route as a natural and cultural space that brings together both elements. The idea is to encourage the whole family to go on pilgrimage sharing the Christmas illusion and the emotion of the Camino, taking advantage of this way to spread and discover the Winter Way. This route, a more comfortable alternative to the French route in winter, as it avoids the hard ascent of the O Cebreiro, starts from Ponferrada and continues parallel to the natural course of the river Sil through the region of Valdeorras, the southern part of the province of Lugo and the river Deza until reaching Santiago de Compostela.
Interacting with the museum, the installation and the Trail
The designer confesses that the greatest difficulty she encountered when devising this project was the container itself, that is to say, the architecture of the Gaiás. Accustomed to theatres and auditoriums, she had to adapt to this innovative and grandiose space, as if it were a game of interaction between work and space. She, satisfied, grateful and happy for this opportunity, also invites us to decipher the enigma of guessing which stage of the Winter Way corresponds to each balloon, with landscapes and heritage elements of this route.
Shall we go to Gaiás?
Open from now until January 6, 2022, admission is free and it can be visited every day between 10:00 am and 8:00 pm. However, on the following dates it will close to the public earlier so as not to interfere with the rest of the activities of the Gaiás Centre Museum:
18 December, at 19:00;
27 December, at 17:00;
January 3rd, at 5:30 pm.
Of course, the health safety measures derived from covid-19 must be followed: use of hydroalcoholic gel at the entrance and exit, mandatory use of masks throughout the visit and safety distance of 1.5 meters between visitors who are not living together.
Todos los viajes para hacer el Camino de Santiago con tu perro
Yes, dear pilgrim audience, this Christmas we have an opportunity to do the Winter Way in a very pleasant way and, above all, sheltered from the cold. You will get to know this route in depth and you will be amazed by the magic of its landscapes in this winter that has just begun. Who knows, maybe you will dare to walk it like a real pilgrim later on. As always, we can offer you this magical experience.