One of the most interesting examples of the Romanesque of the Ribeira Sacra and of Galicia is, without a doubt, the Church of San Miguel, commonly known as O Mosteiro.
It belonged to a former Benedictine monastery founded by Escladia Ordoñez in the 12th century, but it lost its independence in 1507, when the Catholic Monarchs ordered alterations in the Galician monasteries. Their incomes went to the Royal Hospital of Santiago and the nuns there were confined to the monastery of San Paio de Antealtares in Santiago de Compostela.
From the old monastery only the Romanesque church is kept, which is dated from the second half of the 12th century.
The church´s layout is very simple: a single nave with a semicircular apse. Between the nave and the apse there is another cross nave, on which is located a rectangular tower, covered the four sides, that makes the collection one of the most original examples of the Galician Romanesque.
The northern gate is one of the most interesting parts of the church. It is made up of a small semicircular arch. The moulding is decorated with chess motifs. It has twelve voussoirs, eleven of them are decorated with a few rosettes, unusual decoration in Galicia, and the keystone is an Agnus Dei. The tympanum is very simple and is geometric decorated with intertwined circles.
If something draws our attention in this gate is their quoins, decorated with an original tetramorph. On the right, there are two figures with human head and animal body. That to the inside has hooves and horns and on his head 'LU' is written. At his side, the human head has animal body with claws, and 'MA' is written on his head. It would represent the evangelists Luke (with his ox attribute) and Marcus (with its attribute the Lion). Opposite, there is a curious representation of John and Matthew. We can see a human head with wings (John and its attribute the Eagle) and a hand is placed on the chin of that head to represent Matthew (human). Inside, we find interesting pieces, such as a mullioned window with horseshoe arches, which tell us about a previous temple, or its baptismal font. It preserves remains of wall paintings from the 16th century, representing a Final Judgement.
In addition, it keeps a wide range of capitals and corbels with interesting iconography, which have given rise to many interpretations.
To reach the church of San Miguel from Ferreira de Pantón, we must take the road towards Escairón. In just five minutes we will turn right at a road that will take us directly to the Church.References:
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.