Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Vilar Donas

This 12th century Romanesque church is just outside Palas de Rei. It was in the newspapers last summer due to the deteriorating condition of the gothic frescoes.

We just drove over one afternoon on the way from somewhere else and found the doors firmly locked. But a delightful little old guy who lives next door showed up and opened the place so we could see it. No pictures allowed inside, so this shot is taken through a hole in the door.

He had memorized an incredible amount of information about the history of the place - originally founded by the monjes sanjuanistas irlandeses or Irish monks of St. John. It later became a burial spot for Knights of the Order of Santiago (Templars charged with protection of the prilgrims) and there are several sepulchres.

He was careful to point out the celtic motifs in the carved arch - including clover, thistle supporting the celtic connection, as well as the detailing on the figures on the capitals, one of which was sporting a celtic tonsure (frankly - a medieval mullet). He told us there were several similar doorways in Germany as well.

It´s quite tiny and doesn´t take a lot of time to take in. An additional photo here by Miguel Vila, along with some absolutely stunning images of Galicia in the rest of the gallery.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately that was one we missed, maybe if we come back on holiday we will get to see it.