On the Way of St. James


Parish: Barbadelo (Santiago)

27616  Sarria - Lugo

42º 45' 54.0" N - 7º 27' 02.0" W

The Ways of St. James

The French Camino

Milestones of the Camino

Found in a beautiful location near the Barbadelo river, a double monastery was built between the 10th and 11th century. It would later come under the jurisdiction of Samos, where it remained until 1835. In the second half of the 12th century, the church was built on the site of the former priory. Traces of the monastic construction are still preserved to this day. Next to the church there is a building still known as "the monastery", which became private property after the ecclesiastical confiscations by the Spanish government.

The Romanesque church, with a single nave, underwent numerous modifications. In the 18th century, the original apse was replaced by a quadrangular apse with an adjoining sacristy. Preserved are what is believed to be the remains of the old hospital for pilgrims, a high-ceilinged kitchen and a French chimney. The west and north façades maintain their Romanesque doorways, in which the decoration of their capitals stands out with its zoomorphic, anthropomorphic and phytomorphic motifs; on the north door’s chambranle rope moulding can be observed The west doorway is decorated with geometric shapes, chequered corbel table and chambranle, and bezants on the central archivolt, but what makes it unique is the symbolic figurative ornamentation of the tympanum and lintel. An image with open arms, which seems to invite to prayer, centres the tympanum and is flanked by two blocks in which two star-shaped geometric figures appear.

Another outstanding element of the main façade is the Romanesque tower located in the northwest corner. It is divided into three sections and its unusual interior architecture truly stands out. Inside the church, the tower is a structure that adds lightness and beauty to the walls: lightness, due to the openings in the east and south walls, thus losing its solid character, and beauty, due to the decoration of the column's capitals on which the semicircular arches of these openings rest.

It was declared a National Monument in 1976.




Good of Cultural Interest
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