By TammyWhite
2 years ago

Monastery of Santa Cristina, Orense

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The Benedictine monastery of Santa Cristina de Ribas de Sil is a catholic monastic complex, now in disuse, located in the municipality of Parada de Sil, in Galicia, Spain. It is located in a spot on the bank of the River Sil, in the chestnut grove of Merilán, below Mount Varona, in the parish of Caxide. Its temple, one of the best examples of Galician rural Romanesque, was made between the XII and XIII centuries.


Of imprecise origin, the first written testimonies date back to the late tenth century. As in other monastic centers founded under the shelter of the embankments of the final course of the River Sil, dotted with the remains of ancient religious settlements of an ascetic nature, it was initially considered as a hermit center, later transforming into a monastery. Although no architectural or epigraphic vestige of the original building survives, there are certain testimonies of the presence of the monastery in pre-Romanesque times. It was one of the most important of the Ribeira Sacra in the Middle Ages, as attested by the remains of communication roads that converge in that place.

The jurisdictional reserve of the Santa Cristina monastery reached the Cabeza de Meda reserve, with dominion over a wide stretch of the Sil river. The characteristics of the geographic space of the domain conditioned the economic foundations and the foundations of the material life of the monastery; the altitude and steepness of many of its terrains, unfit for an optimal development of agriculture, would be compensated by the exploitation of uncultivated spaces dedicated to different products, such as the vine or the chestnut trees (which still today shape the incomparable landscape of the environment monastic) as well as the use of the rich fluvial resources. The mention in the medieval documentation of the existence of numerous farms and harvest collection centers, where all the incomes and tithes were received, evidences the economic bonanza of the monastery, which began in the 12th century. In the middle of the same century it passed into the hands of the Benedictine order, with letters of appropriation of cession of lands and properties to the peasantry in exchange for the payment of rents, while the monastery received the concession of important royal privileges and papal protection.


With the course of history, and after centuries of decline, in 1508 the monastery of Santa Cristina becomes dependent, as a priory, the monastery of San Esteban de Ribas de Sil (in Galician Santo Estevo), after the monastic reform of the fifteenth century. This circumstance is determinant of its decline, although in the 16th century the cloister is reconstructed and paintings are made in the apse of the church. The decline culminates in the nineteenth century with the confiscation of Mendizabal, in 1835, and its passage into the hands of private individuals who assign it to farm work.

At present, the Romanesque church, the tower and a part of the cloister and convent buildings, minimally restored and open to the public remain standing.

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2 years
SHOHANA wow nice photograph
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neha nyc
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Lucia5 Super post
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soncee Beautiful
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LiaF7 @TammyWhite Tuetego shared this article on facebook :)
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LisaSteinmetz69 What a beautiful photo and history!
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Deliana Interesting article! 💘
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