Monastery of Santa María de Aciveiro is a gem of Romanesque architecture, built in 1135 under the patronage of Galician King Alfonso VII and incorporated into the Cistercian Order around 1170. It was carefully restored with full respect to the original structure. Following the Cistercian layout, all rooms are organised around a cloister combining impeccable history, warmth and functionality: kitchen, refectory, scriptorium, chapter house, stables and monks’ cells.It was one of the first seven monasteries of the thirty-eight that belonged to the Diocese of Compostela. It is now a historic hotel, declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1931 and considered a Site of Cultural Interest.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.