Church of Santa María de Proendos


For some historians, the mythical Proentia of the Romans is located in this place. It was found many Roman remains from the settlement and reused in different places.

The Church was established as a parish in the 12th century. From Romanesque origin only the rectangular presbytery is preserved. The rest of the Church is heavily modified.

Inside, we can see the moulding of the triumphal arch to the presbytery decorated with chess motifs. It has a barrel vault, with semicircular arches that rest on thick columns. Two of its four capitals are sketched. In the other two, the capital of the left has vegetal decoration with balls. For some authors, it is a grain of cereal, an Eucharistic symbol. The capital of the right rests on a monolithic marble column that surely comes from the Roman settlement. In the capital we can see a vegetal decoration for some authors. Others, on the other hand, believe the mitres and staffs of the bishops are represented, the highest hierarchy within the Church after the Pope.

The wall paintings of the 16th century are preserved in the vault of the presbytery. They were discovered by the parish priest in the 1970s and restored in 2002 (they were only cleaned and damaged holes were filled with watercolour). The technique used is the fresh mezzo, which differs from the fresco painting in the thickness of the mortar. They have features of Renaissance painting, as an attempt to achieve the perspective, the treatment of cloths or introduce architectural elements in the scenes. If we look at the front and starting with the left we find the following scenes: Adoration of the Magi (the King that appears in his knees first might be a representation of Philip II); Flight into Egypt, scene taken from the apocryphal Gospels that tells that the Virgin is hungry and the child requests Palms down to bring them the fruits (we highlight the fruit that the child carries in his hand, which looks like a chestnut rather than a date); The Annunciation, at the top, in the most outstanding place from the presbytery; The Visitation; Saint Blaise; The Adoration of the Shepherds, where we highlight the symbol of the shepherds, in this case musicians and blond, and one of them cross-eyed. Surely the artist was inspired by real people.

The Church of Santa María is in the parish of Proendos. To reach, at the square of the town hall of Sober we have to take the road towards Doade. A couple of kilometers away we will turn left. A paved road will lead us to the Church.

Santa María de Proendos Church

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