Botafumeiro: The Most Famous Thurible in The World

In the Santiago de Compostela Archcathedral Basilica in Galicia, Spain, hangs a very special thurible. It is so special that it has a name of its own— Botafumeiro, and people come from around the world to watch it operate.

What is a thurible?

A thurible (from the Latin word thuribulum) is a metal incense burner, or censer, that is used in some Christian churches during worship services. It consist of a metal or ceramic crucible where charcoal is burned along with incense to create a sweet-smelling aroma. The thurible is then hung by metal chains from a high enough point inside the church and swung through the air so that the smell of burning incense is adequately spread.

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Botafumeiro in the Santiago de Compostela Archcathedral Basilica. Photo credit: JOSE LUIS HEREDIA/Flickr


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