Monastery of Santa María de Oseira became a monastery of the Cistercian order in 1141, an order of French monks sent by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. The monks left in 1835 forced to leave by the government policies, abandoning it. They returned in 1929, this time being a community of Cistercians of the Strict Reform - commonly called Trappists. The monastery is popular stopping point on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella.
The church was built between c.1200 and c.1239 AD. It is considered a landmark of Romanesque architecture in the Spanish peninsula. Its design was inspired by other pilgrimage churches. The main chamber is known as the 'palm tree room' and boasts a dome which is supported by four columns. It also possesses a Lapidarium: a collection of stone pieces obtained during the restorations and excavations. The buildings are in process of restoration by the state & monastic community. The monastery is a major state monument, and open to visitors.References:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.