El Monasterio de Santa Maria de Sobrado dos Monxes

IMG04169-20130317-1553

The Monastery of Santa Maria of Sobrado dos Monxes, is located in the area of Melide in the province of A Caruna in the town named Sobrado dos Monxes which means Monks.  Founded in the tenth century by counts of the family Presaras. In the twelfth century, in the times of Alfonso VII the Emperor who was the true champion of the Cistercian Order and became apart of the white monks. Later it became a part of the Congregation of Castile XXXX and averted destruction when it was purchased by Cardinal Paya.

IMG04121-20130317-1512

It is a dramatic structure with cloisters and is situated in a beautiful valley – a perfect peaceful setting. It interior is almost empty which makes for a truly unique experience.

IMG04122-20130317-1513

Walls covered with green moss and wind blowing outside makes for some interesting sounds inside adding to the mystical experience as we made our way inside to explore.

IMG04122-20130317-1513

A solitary medieval tomb lays inside – on our next visit will be interesting to learn more of who this is and why it still remains.

IMG04123-20130317-1513

The church of the Monastery is a magnificent Baroque building (XVII century) style with Romanesque form.

IMG04125-20130317-1515

The monastery contains three cloister areas; The Pilgrims Hospice or the Processional, and finally the so-called Great Cloister.

IMG04129-20130317-1517

Having visited quite a few cathedrals, monasteries and churches this was an incredibly unique adventure – the setting was just right with sunshine and the heavy winds made for the experience of sound that we captured on video (maybe another post for you to experience personally)

IMG04145-20130317-1529

We were given a private tour by a pilgrim who had been staying there helping at the monastery for a week.  Next time we visit it will be for vespers to hear the singing as I imagine it is quite magical in this setting to experience Gregorian Chants in just such a place.

IMG04168-20130317-1550

Our tour included visiting the historic kitchen – what was interesting is that not only was it one total room but in this case the center contained one massive area for an open fire – the largest I have ever seen.

IMG04163-20130317-1545

At one time there were 80 – 100 monks who lived here – now there are approximately 20. It can support up to 200 pilgrims during the busy camino season when the weather invites all the enjoy nature, walking, making new friends and discovering history and secret treasures of Galicia.

IMG04164-20130317-1547

It is an incredible setting to enjoy – next time a picnic on the grounds watching the cows graze I think will make for a perfect afternoon and more exploring!

IMG04172-20130317-1606

More fascinating history, culture, legends and myths to be discovered as we continue our travels in Galicia – hope you will join us!

IMG04171-20130317-1606

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: