College of Nosa Señora da Antiga

Monforte de Lemos, Spain

Built in the Herreriano style, the College of Nosa Señora da Antigais often known as El Escorial of Galicia, being of the few manifestations of this style in this community.

It is forever linked to the figure of its founder, Cardinal Rodrigo de Castro, perhaps the last great ecclesiastical prince of the Renaissance in Spain, Archbishop of Seville, great benefactor of Monforte, and patron of the arts.

The college was a Seminary until 1773 and later a University, displaying up to seven chairs in a time when it was not yet established in the province. Originally run by the Jesuits, their order was expelled from Spain, through the Pragmatic Sanction of 1767 led to the elimination of any existing symbol to remember their existence in the country.

The church has an altar of wood carved by Francisco de Moure which could not be completed in his life and was completed by his son. On one side of the altar it is possible to observe a statue of Cardinal Rodrigo de Castro praying. This was created by John of Bologna and is highly regarded for its perfection and uniqueness. The statue, located above the remains of Cardinal, is confronted with a picture of Our Lady of Antigua. Behind the painting was another tomb which various studies revealed was for the mother of the Cardinal.

The school has two cloisters, and appears to be incomplete in its west wing. The monumental staircase, built from 1594 to 1603, is located in the east wing; its design is built on three arches, without apparent support, that support thirteen, nine thirteen steps each. The ladder is held because of a carefully calculated play of forces. The steps are carved from a single piece of high-quality granite. On the ground, drawing of the projection of the staircase can be seen, drawn for its construction.

An art gallery is also located there highlighting several works by El Greco. Foremost among these is a masterly painting of Francis of Assisi holding a skull. According to critics and experts, it is a work of such high quality that it matches or even exceeds that of the known works of the artist, constituting one of his crowning achievements. His San Lorenzo (Lawrence of Rome) is also a very popular work, being one of the few devotional paintings done by the painter on his arrival in Toledo, where it was purchased by Rodrigo de Castro during his time in the Inquisition.



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Founded: 1593
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Spain

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Juan Nieto (13 months ago)
A spectacular building with unique spaces such as its cantilevered staircase and its cloister. Admirable how they strive to improve it little by little. The entrance, with a cost of five euros, is worth it, without a doubt. The church has a spectacular non-polychrome walnut altarpiece by Francisco de Moure (and son) and a copy (which requires cleaning) of the Monforte Altar by Hugo van der Goes, sadly sold (and now in Berlin). The lighting of the praying funerary sculpture made by Juan de Bolonia, almost unique in Spain, could be improved. Its small but rich art gallery is highly recommended, with two fantastic canvases by El Grego: "San Francisco and Brother Leon in meditation" and "San Lorenzo" and especially the 5 amazing panels by Andrea del Sarto, although some need a consolidation of the layer pictorial. The guide, Maria, made a very pleasant visit.
Rosendo Bugarín González (15 months ago)
Magnificent building, called the Galician Escorial, it is majestic, everything is worth visiting. Three essential details: the art gallery (two Greeks: San Francisco and San Lorenzo), the delicate balance of the staircase and an image that represents the circumcision of Jesus. The school of the PP is located in its facilities. Piarists
arifin hadi (16 months ago)
Gabi Dimaria (20 months ago)
On this site you can also visit an art gallery that has works by El Greco, in an incredible architectural setting. Imposing. To think that a large part of the children of Monforte attend classes surrounded by so much history moves me.
Susana Pérez González (2 years ago)
It is worth paying for the guided tour, a fantastic site, with a fascinating history and the guide who took us did a magnificent job.
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