Santa María de Sobrado monastery
In the Northern Way, between Lugo and A Coruña we find the biggest monastery of the central area of Galicia, Santa María de Sobrado. It is in the middle of the vertex of the artistic triangle formed by Compostela with the cathedral and its towers, Lugo with its Roman wall and A Coruña with the tower of Hercules. The origin of this complex begins in the year 925 and afterwards, in 1142 the monastery becomes Cistercian, being the first Cistercian Monastery of Spain. Most of the buildings which are preserved nowadays begin to be built in the fifteenth century. During the nineteenth century it was almost in ruins, but in the middle of the past century a reconstruction is made, which gives it again the importance and beauty deserved, with a new community of Benedictine monks settling in.
The monastery church is dedicated to the Ascension of Maria to Heaven, it was built by the architect Pedro de Monteagudo and its construction ended in the year 1676. The main view of its façade is characterized for its classicism and the typical decoration of the first Galician Baroque, and for its big wish of achieve a big vertical position in relation with the Ascension of Maria to Heaven. Inside the church, two magnificent enclosures stand out for its beauty, the Sacristy and the Rosario chapel.
Inside the monastic complex several rooms stand out: The gothic kitchen from the thirteenth century, the Chapterhouse room from the thirteenth century with great brightness and elegance. A cloisters from the seventeenth century, which hosts the guest quarters for the pilgrims, the cloisters of the processions decorated with Renaissance medallions, where are represented leading figures that made the history of the monastery, and the third cloisters, named Big cloisters.
The monastery can be visited, and it even offers guided tours by a monk of the community.
Photos courtesy of Ignacio Varela