Religious sites in Spain

Convent of San Francisco

In the 14th century, after the fire that destroyed the first Franciscan convent in Ourense (located in the current Mayor’s Square), the order moved to this place on the side of Montealegre Hill, where they remained until the 19th century. In 1843 the old convent was transformed into infantry headquarters (until its closure in 1984), producing numerous reforms. The most significant of them was the move of the apse and fr ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Ourense, Spain

San Lorenzo Church

San Lorenzo was one of the twelve religious buildings commissioned by king Ferdinand III of Castile in the city after its conquest in the early 13th century. The church occupies the site of a pre-existing Islamic mosque, which in turn had been built above a Visigothic church. It was built between around 1244 and 1300, in a transitional style between Romanesque and Gothic architecture. It has the typical structure of ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Santa María da Armenteira Monastery

Santa María da Armenteira Monastery belongs to the Cistercian order and was founded by the knight Ero de Armenteira in 1168. It has a square cloister, a kitchen, and a tower, all in the 18th-century Baroque style. The monastery was abandoned after the sale of church lands in 1835. The church has a floor plan in the shape of a Latin cross, three naves and three semicircular apses. The central nave is crowned with a pointe ...
Founded: 1168 | Location: Meis, Spain

Santa María de Baiona Church

The fortified-looking church of Santa María of Baiona, with a Ogival Romanesque style, was built in the 13th century and had the category of collegiate church from 1482 to 1850. It is divide up in three naves with their respective rectangular apses. The main nave resembles the Cistercian style of Santa María de Oia monastery. Two buttresses flanked the front door in the main façade: three pairs of columns, flat tympan ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Baiona, Spain

Church of Santa María a Real do Sar

Church of Santa María a Real do Sar was built in the 12th century on the outskirts of the city. Interesting elements on the exterior are the small tower on the façade and the sturdy flying buttresses built between the 17th and 18th centuries. It has a basilical floor plan with three naves, separated by composite pillars decorated with plant motifs. It is covered with barrel vaults reinforced by rib arches. The sanctuary ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Collegiate Church of San Pedro de Cervatos

The Collegiate church of San Pedro de Cervatos was built around 1129. The main entrance of the church is framed by a series of archivolts. The tympanum is profusely carved with vegetal motifs that are reminiscent of Al-Andalus art. The tympanum is supported by two superposed lintels. The one above is decorated with six lions while the one below with a vegetable motif. The archivolts are plain and stand on capitals decorat ...
Founded: 1129 | Location: Campoo de Enmedio, Spain

San Juan de Ortega Monastery

San Juan de Ortega Monastery was probably built by Saint John of Ortega himself, with the help of his friend and fellow saint, Domingo de la Calzada, around 1142 as a help point to the pilgrims who walked to Santiago de Compostela along the Way of Saint James. The monastery was originally staffed by a community of Augustinian canons. The monastery belonged to the Order of Los Jerónimos from 1432 until the 1835, when the ...
Founded: 1142 | Location: Barrios de Colina, Spain

Monastery of Santa Cristina de Ribas de Sil

The Benedictine monastery of Santa Cristina de Ribas de Sil has its origin in the 10th century. It was first an independent monastery and after the improvements in the 16th century, it remains today as a priory dependent on the monastery of San Esteban de Ribas de Sil. At this time the cloister was improved and the paintings in the church were made. It was one of the most important monasteries of the Ribeira Sacra during ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Parada de Sil, Spain

Monastery of El Paular

The Monasterio de Santa María de El Paular is a former Carthusian monastery. Construction is believed to have begun in 1390 by orders of Henry II of Castile, and construction proceeded for fifty years under his son, John I of Castile. It was sited where an old chapel stood. Supposedly he was spurred to this project due to his plundering of a chartreuse during a campaign in France. This was the first chartreuse i ...
Founded: 1390 | Location: Rascafría, Spain

Carracedo Monastery

The Monastery of Saint Mary of Carracedo is an inactive abbey and palace complex, now in semi-restored state near the town of Carracedelo. Founded in the tenth century by the Benedictine order, it lies near the Way of Santiago in Northern Spain. The first cenobitic community, the Monastery of San Salvador, was founded here around the year 990 by Bermudo II, King of the Kingdom of León and the Kingdom of Galic ...
Founded: c. 990 AD | Location: Carracedelo, Spain

Ferrol Co-Cathedral

Ferrol Co-Cathedral was erected in the 18th-century, designed by Julián Sánchez Bort, who based his Neoclassical design on the church of Sant"Andrea delle Fratte in Rome. The church was made co-cathedral along with the Cathedral of Mondoñedo in 1959.
Founded: 1766-1772 | Location: Ferrol, Spain

Santo Sepulcro Church

Santo Sepulcro Church has one nave and semicircular apse. The church construction reflects the transition from Romanesque to Gothic art.It has a noteworthy Gothic facade.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Estella, Spain

Santa María de Piasca

The first documentary reference to Santa María de Piasca is a donation from 930 making reference to a basilica just founded on the site. Little over a decade later, in 941, an agreement was recorded between 36 nuns and an unknown number of monks under an abbess Aylo, telling us that the monastery housed a community of both sexes. The monastery"s dual character faced several oscillations, with the nuns leaving and re ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Cabezón de Liébana, Spain

Monastery of San Pedro de Villanueva

The Monastery of San Pedro de Villanueva is a Romanesque monastery previously owned by the order of Benedictines. A church here supposedly was founded by Alfonso I the Catholic, son in law of Pelagius of Asturias. The remaining structures now date from later periods. In the 12th century, the monastery was built adjacent to the church. The buildings underwent substantial rebuilding after the 17th century. In 1835, the ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Villanueva, Spain

Santa Eulàlia Church

The Santa Eulàlia church in Alaior is built atop a hill. The village formed around it from the 14th century onwards. There was apparently an earlier church, of which the vaulted arches of the main facade and a part of the side wall may remain. The parish was founded in the early 14th century, and is mentioned as early as the Pariatge of 1301 signed by James II of Majorca. The current building was erected between approxi ...
Founded: 1630-1690 | Location: Alaior, Spain

San Miguel Church

The Church of Saint Michael started its life in the end of the 15th century. A plaque at the door of its Gothic facade is dated 1484. It is believed that the church was commissioned by the Catholic Monarchs when they visited the city in 1484. Previously, the area was served by an old hermitage. Its construction, however, would last several centuries resulting in an excellent cathedral-like set where latest gothic elem ...
Founded: 1484 | Location: Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Santa Paula Convent

Seville has many enclosed religious complexes, but few are accessible. This is one of them, a convent set up in 1475 and still home to 40 nuns. The public is welcome to enter through two different doors in the Calle Santa Paula. Knock on the brown one, marked number 11 to look at the convent museum. Steps lead to two galleries, crammed with religious paintings and artifacts. The windows of the second look onto the nuns&qu ...
Founded: 1475 | Location: Seville, Spain

San Miguel de Bouzas Church

The church of San Miguel de Bouzas is one of the examples of Vigo’s religious architecture with the most history: in 1542, the neighbours of Bouzas told the prelate Don Diego Muñoz that they were so many they needed their own church, so as to avoid having to travel to the neighbouring Coia parish. This was the origin of the current Church of San Miguel, which was first a small chapel, was expanded years later, and was ...
Founded: 1697 | Location: Vigo, Spain

Monastery of San Antón

There were formerly a palace and garden of King Pedro I of Castile as well as the ruins of the old monastery of San Antón. It was dedicated to taking care of the sick people on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. At present, only the arch remains standing.
Founded: 1146 | Location: Castrojeriz, Spain

Monastery of Santa María la Real

From the 12th century the Monastery of Santa María la Real was the home of a Premonstratensian community. The architecture is in a transitional style between Romanesque and Gothic. The monastery was closed in the 19th century as a result of the Ecclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizábal. The buildings fell into ruin and in 1871 various capitals (dated circa 1200) were removed to the National Archaeological Museum ...
Founded: 1169 | Location: Aguilar de Campoo, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Roman Walls of Lugo

Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.

Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.

The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.

Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.

Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.

The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.