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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    User Reviews

    Costa Laviana (9 months ago)
    Beautiful and enjoyable experience in which time flew by thanks to the interest of the visit itself and the passion that Paula puts into her work. Thanks to her we had a great afternoon.
    Fina corredoira prieto (9 months ago)
    Excellent guided tour by Paula. Thank you.
    Felicidad Lopez Monge (10 months ago)
    A unique visit and highly recommended Paula with her professionalism and her sympathy made it possible. It shows that he enjoys his work
    NICOLAS HERAS LAZARO (2 years ago)
    A success to visit it! The guide, spectacular ...... !!! There are true pictorial works, very well explained, and many relics ... The school is worth seeing. They tell you why, how, and who had it built ... and the use for which it was built. A guided hour. Cool!!!!
    Manuel Rodriguez (2 years ago)
    Beautiful sightseen of the center of monforte de lemos, impresive XIIX century building that now its a school
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