Santa María of Neda and the Christ of the Chain
In Neda, in the middle of the English Way, we can visit the church of Santa María. It was built in the eighteenth century, but in this place there is another ancient temple called Santa María del Puerto. People can go around the church to see it, and it has a very spacious atrium in front of it.
The church is baroque but we can see some neoclassicism aspects on it, like the different volumetric constructions or its cornices. In the alcove over the rose window we can see the typical decoration of the Galician baroque. The installation of a bell tower with two floors gave a greater height to the church and the top of this tower has a little cupola.
The temple has a latin cross plan with only one nave divided into three sections with a impressive quadrangular transept. Inside the church we can see an important baroque altarpiece with Solomonic columns. In this altarpiece it is situated the famous sculpture Cristo de la Cadena, a gothic wooden figure of Tudor style (fourteenth century) which has a marked anatomy. This carving comes from England and it was brought by the Captain John Dutton when he escaped from the Anglican persecution in his country.
The legend says that the sculpture come to Neda floating and once it was placed into the church, it always tried to go back to the sea again, so the people of Neda tied the Christ to the main altar with a chain.
Nearby to the church, you can also find a fountain made of stone and a beautiful cruceiro (stone cross) made in the nineteenth century.
Photo courtesy of Marta González Felgueiras