The monastery of San Martiño Pinario is the second largest monastery in Spain after San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Little remains of the original medieval buildings (founded around 899 AD), as the monastery has been largely rebuilt since the sixteenth century.
Throughout the Middle Ages the monastery grew so that by the end of the fifteenth century the monastery became the richest and most powerful of Galicia. This brought about the almost complete reconstruction starting in 1587.
The facade of the church, oriented to the west and open to the square of San Martín, presents a cover with structure of great altarpiece of stone divided in three bodies and three streets separated by fluted columns and is dedicated to the exaltation of the Virgin Mary and of The Benedictine order.
The fronton finish has a relief of Saint Martin on horseback distributing his coat with a poor, patron of the convent.
Its present aspect is due, in addition to the initial design of Mateo López, to subsequent interventions. Thus, in the 17th century Peña del Toro enlarged it adding two towers to the sides, which did not rise above the church by the opposition of the cathedral chapter, and opening two side windows, adorned with the first fruit strings of the Baroque Compostelan, antecedent of what would later be used profusely by Domingo de Andrade in the Clock Tower of the cathedral and in the Casa de la Parra of the plaza de la Quintana.
With the seizure in the year 1835 was devoted to various functions and since 1868 it became the seat of the seminar most of the Archdiocese of Santiago.
Today it continues as seminary Compostela and site of the Department of Theology and Social Work. Formerly a part of the building was used as a residence hall, but at the end of the academic year 2007-2008 was closed in order to carry out structural reforms, which topped and give way to reopen for the 2011-2012 academic year RUSMP.References:
Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.
King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.
The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.
It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.