The Ourense Provincial Archaeological Museum occupies the building that was the Bishop’s Palace. It is one of the best preserved civil monumental ensembles in Romanesque style, and was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1931. Its structure is a faithful testimony of the development of the city, with Roman, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and modern elements. Its construction began in the 12th century and played an important role in the medieval urban organization.
The site was already occupied in Roman times, as evidenced by the discovered building remains, and subsequently by a high-medieval necropolis.
The present building was built in the 12th century, and its main façade is now, after many reforms in the surroundings, a Romanesque courtyard. Over the centuries it underwent modifications and extensions that altered its general appearance. So, the added elements are Gothic (tower of Santa Maria), Renaissance (garden galleries), Baroque (the main entrance) and modern (arcades in Bispo Carrascosa street).
The Archaeological Museum, founded in 1895, finally settled in this building in 1951, undergoing a restoration, according to a project by Pons Sorolla in 1960-1968.
The Church of St Eustace was built between 1532-1632. St Eustace"s is considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The church’s reputation was strong enough of the time for it to be chosen as the location for a young Louis XIV to receive communion. Mozart also chose the sanctuary as the location for his mother’s funeral. Among those baptised here as children were Richelieu, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, future Madame de Pompadour and Molière, who was also married here in the 17th century. The last rites for Anne of Austria, Turenne and Mirabeau were pronounced within its walls. Marie de Gournay is buried there.
The origins of Saint Eustache date back to 13th century. The church became a parish church in 1223, thanks to a man named Jean Alais who achieved this by taxing the baskets of fish sold nearby, as granted by King Philip Augustus. To thank such divine generosity, Alais constructed a chapel dedicated to Sainte-Agnès, a Roman martyr.