Ellisroger Photos

By Ellisroger

Cidade da Cultura de Galicia

On our last day in Santiago, I set out to visit a church to the South of the City - Santa Maria La Real de Sar - which was built in the 12th century  and badly damaged in an earthquake in 1755, which left its columns leaning at precarious angles. The church has been preserved by the addition of enormous buttresses.

From there I could just see part of a modern building on a hill so I climbed to investigate.  What I found was astonishing: a group of huge, modern buildings, designed to look like geological features, together forming the City of Culture of Galicia. A massive campus of stunning structures - and almost no people. I looked into the lofty entrance hall of the Museum of Galicia - not a single visitor and just one bored member of staff. The Library had plenty of books but no readers.

Researching it afterwards, I find that the project was a controversial vanity project by a former premier of Galicia, which cost four times its original budget.  Two more buildings were cancelled and the place is now  regarded as an embarrassing white elephant.  No publicity and so no visitors. Photographers who like modern buildings, stunning views of the nearby old city and a dystopian empty landscape would love it.

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