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El banco dos namorados de Santiago: A place where lovers whispered their love

In the middle of the Alameda Park, there is the banco dos namorados, where 14 meters are not enough to make the whispers reach

Although all the pilgrims arrive at Santiago de Compostela attracted by the Cathedral of Santiago, there are many emblematic places located in the Galician capital. Adjacent to the cathedral we can find points of interest such as the Convent of San Francisco, the Pazo de Fonseca and the Puerta Santa, which will be open for 2 years due to the Xacobeo 2021-2022, and while in areas near the historic center of Santiago we find others like the bank of whispers.

The Banco dos Namorados de Santiago: An emblematic place of Santiago

Although many pilgrims walk and enjoy the Alameda park to have a unique view of the Cathedral of Santiago, in this park they can also enjoy other important points such as the side of the whispers. Also known as the banco dos Namorados, this is a large stone bench that has the particularity of allowing two people to talk from both ends.

Designed in the form of a semicircle, this bench stands out for its large size as it consists of 14 meters in diameter by five meters deep. On its sides it has two decorative columns next to which people are placed to be able to whisper to each other. 

The Banco dos Namorados de Santiago is a work of the municipal architect Mariano Fernández Rangel, which was finished in 1916, after an expansion plan of the Alameda Park was approved in 1914. The cost of the bank was 900 pesetas at the time and it took a total of 2 years to build. Its main purpose would be to house the municipal band, the Quiosco da Música, during its performances however over time it became a meeting place for lovers.

How does the bank of whispers of Santiago work?

The fact that two people can communicate from both ends of the bench, has to do directly with the shape of the bench. It has a concave shape that allows the sound to flow easily, something that becomes more effective thanks to its construction material. This effect is known as the gallery of whispers and there are many tourists who test its operation when they arrive at the Alameda Park.

This effect produces that the sound is bouncing through the concave shape of the bench every few meters. This causes the message to be reproduced almost perfectly on the other end of the bench and in practically the same tone. The message in question can only be heard if a person is at the other end of the bench, so it is perfect for whispering things without the rest of the passers-by knowing. 

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