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:
The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.
At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.
During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.
In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.
In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.
The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.