Banks of the Miño Route
Discover the Romanesque gems hidden along the Banks of the Miño. You can start out from a place as special as the Bernardine monastery in Ferreira de Pantón: the only active monastery in the Ribeira Sacra region.
Starting from Monforte, we take the old N-120 road towards Ferreira de Pantón, where we can visit the Bernardine monastery,
after admiring San Miguel de Eiré church, barely three kilometres away. Continuing in the direction of Escairón (O Saviñao), we turn off to visit San Martiño da Cova church, set in a beautiful spot.
From there, we continue towards Escairón, before taking the Expressway towards Chantada.
When we reach the Miño, we should look out for a sign directing us to Belesar, from where we can take a catamaran and then carry on to Chantada.
After walking around Chantada’s old town, we return to Monforte along the same expressway, stopping off along the way at the Romanesque churches of Santo Estevo de Ribas de Miño and San Paio de Diomondi and taking in the beautiful views on the first of Diomondi’s lush mountains.
These are just some of the many churches and monasteries to be found in these municipalities in the southern part of the province of Lugo.
To visit them, we should take the well-indicated detours which won’t lead us far from the main road, returning more or less directly to Monforte.
This is the only active monastery in the Ribeira Sacra and, moreover, its function has remained the same since its founding. It is currently home to a community of Bernadine nuns, who devote their lives to prayer, repose and work.
One of the most interesting examples of the Romanesque of the Ribeira Sacra and of Galicia is, without a doubt, the Church of San Miguel, commonly known as "O Mosteiro".
Currently only the Romanesque church is kept. It was a monastery of regular canons of St. Augustine, between the 13th century and 14th century. It was as a Priory dependent on the Cathedral of Lugo, abolished in 1824 and subsequently relegated to the current church after auctioning their goods with the confiscation of Mendizábal.
Between the Miño Canyon and the Dorsal Galega range, with Mount Faro as its summit, the town's beautiful old quarter and numerous examples of Romanesque architecture are particularly striking.
The first sources which are known about this former monastery refer to an inventory of the bishopric of Lugo of the 12th century, being a donation by Mrs Urraca Fernández.
An inscription inside the tympanum of the main door shows the date of 1170. The earliest documentary sources refer to the 8th century and the bishop Odoario. Ferdinand II and Alfonso IX also benefited from donations and privileges to the monastery, being confirmed by Popes as Alejandro III and Lucio III. Now it depends on the bishopric of Lugo and serves as parish church, after being restored to the bishopric on one occasion by King Fernando III in 1231. The early 13th century is the date when it was finished.
Did you know that the so-called Galician Escorial is in Monforte? This is just one of the many surprises awaiting you here, because Monforte is a city full of important monuments, museums, services and centres of interest.