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:
The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.
The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).
With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).
Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.
The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.
The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.