Ourense Cathedral, dedicated to St Martin, was founded in 550. The first structure was restored by Alonso el Casto. The present mainly Gothic building was raised with the support of Bishop Lorenzo in 1220. Its local patroness is Saint Euphemia. There is a silver-plated shrine, and others of St Facundus and St Primitivus. The Christ's Chapel (Capilla del Cristo Crucificado) was added in 1567 by Bishop San Francisco Triccio. It contains an image of Christ, which was brought in 1330 from a small church on Cape Finisterre. John the Baptist's Chapel (Capilla de San Juan Bautista) was created in 1468 by the Conde de Benavente.
The Portal of Paradise is sculptured and enriched with figures of angels and saints, while the antique cloisters were erected in 1204 by Bishop Ederonio. The Capilla de la Maria Madre was restored in 1722, and connected by the cloisters with the cathedral. The eight canons were called Cardenales, as at Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, and they alone did services before the altar; this custom was recognised as 'immemorial' by Pope Innocent III, in 1209. The cathedral, which has undergone an impressive transition of architectural styles of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical, was built to a Latin Cross plan. It has been a functional basilica since 1887. The cathedral has a crucifix that is held in great reverence all over Galicia.
The cathedral museum is accessed through the Romanesque door leading to the Gothic cloisters known as Claustra Nova. Artifacts include El Incunable de Monterrey, the first book published in Galicia in 1494, Enrique de Arfe's processional cross, 13th-century enamels from Limoges, the so-called Treasure of San Rosendo and the oldest Christian tombstone in Galicia from Baños de Bande.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.