The church of San Martin de Elines is located in the valley of Valderredible. Initially part of a monastery, St Martin's later became a collegiate church under the jurisdiction of the diocese of Burgos.
The existing church was built in the early 12th century in the Romanesque style. Surviving remains of some mozarabic arches and windows located on the northern wall of the cloister suggest an earlier foundation, probably around the 10th century.
The building follows the standard Romanesque style with a single rounded apse on the eastern side and a basilical nave of remarkable height. The exterior of the apse is divided into three panels by two decorative columns. The cornice is decorated with a set of corbels carved with animal heads, human figures and abstract motifs.
The entrance to the church is placed on the western façade. It is decorated with a semi-circular arch which is supported on columns with capitals carved with vegetal motifs. The bell tower is of circular shape and is attached to the southern wall of the building.
The apse is decorated with blind arcades on two levels. The lower arcade is composed of four semi-circular arches while the upper one has been decorated with five arches, also semi-circular. The capitals are all sculpted but have suffered damage.
The apse retains traces of Romanesque paintings, where two figures looking frontally, probably apostles, can be identified; the only surviving example in the province of Cantabria.
The large rounded capitals that sit on top of the four columns supporting the cupola are decorated with carvings of remarkable quality. One of the capitals represents Daniel among the lions and a second capital seems to depict Samson fighting a lion. A third capital displays passages of the Adoration of the Magi and the Massacre of the Innocents. A fourth one is decorated with cone pines and another scene shows lions devouring human figures.
The cloister is located west of the church and was built in the 16th century in a simple Renaissance style. It houses a collection of medieval sarcophagus, some richly decorated.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.