One could argue that the martyrdom of this saint began at the beautiful Historic-Artistic site of Santa Mariña de Aguas Santas, a unique environment worth visiting where architecture, history, nature, and legend converge. Tradition tells of the persecution and torture of Mariña who, during the time of Emperor Hadrian, was chained, burned and finally beheaded, resulting in the three Fontes de Augas Santas.
A pastoral environment surrounds the sanctuary, which shelters the image of the martyr, at the place where the legend claims she is buried. The popular architecture, only six kilometers from Allariz, displays valuable details from 12th century Romanesque, including the false triforium, the finely carved capitals and the rose windows. Its vast size testifies to the massive influx of pilgrims who came to worship the relics.
It is said to have been built on top of a previous temple, from the 8th- or 9th-century, when the tomb of the Camarín da Santa, which now lies inside, was discovered. It was expanded during the Reconquest, rebuilt at the end of the 12th-century and completed by the Templars in the 13th-century. Its final construction reflects a Romanesque temple of Compostela and Orense influence, with Gothic contributions and many similarities with the nearby Xunquería de Ambía.
The triumphal arch, slightly pointed, is surrounded by Forman and Saxon arches that support the roof. From the attached columns that separate the three interior aisles, its archway emerges, topped with capitals beautifully ornamented with plant carvings. The bell tower, where the clock and the belfry are located, and the atrium are of Baroque style (16th-17th century).
A must are the Fontes, located at the back of the temple. Tradition says its crystalline waters contain miraculous properties. One is located inside the Capela de Santo Tomé, next to the Pazo de Verán do Bispo -s. XVIII-, today a parish house in the vicinity of the sanctuary.
Adjacent to the vicinity of the church is the Via XVIII of Antonino’s itinerary, an old Roman road that offers a relaxing walk through its leafy plant vault. The visual poetry of the trail is hardly interrupted by the rustling of leaves as the travelers pass by. During the Middle Ages, it was used by pilgrims to reach Santiago.
Monastery of San Salvador de Celanova
Very close to Allariz is the church of the Monastery of San Salvador de Celanova, a perfect Baroque work by the master Melchior de Velasco. The low baroque style choir, attributed to Castro Canseco, is in the center of the main nave. Its high choir is older, of plateresque-ojivalent style from the end of the 15th-century, unique in Galicia. In the monastery, one of the most interesting pieces is the old convent or the Processions, from the 16th-century, topped with Baroque ornamentation and gigantic gargoyles.
San Miguel de Celanova Church
This small Mozarabic temple does not exceed 9 meters in length. It was built by St. Rosendo in the garden of the Monastery of San Salvador and is the only early medieval Spanish monument that has not been modified since it was built in the tenth century. It was declared a National Monument in 1923.
If you are looking to enjoy nature, in the heart of the Ribeira Sacra, you can find the Parador de Santo Estevo.
The beauty and monumentality of the building resulted in its being declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1923.
If you are seduced by the temptation of a typically Galician Pazo, the Parador de Verín awaits you in front of an imposing medieval fortress in Monterrei.
If you prefer a hotel with history, the Parador de Monterrei awaits you in the largest Galician acropolis.
A defensive enclosure with the best essence of Paradors.
Once in Lugo, the Parador de Monforte, located in the monumental complex of San Vicente do Pino, formed by the Homage Tower, the Monastery of San Vicente do Pino and the Palace of the Counts of Lemos.
And in all four of them, the visitor can enjoy the authentic Galician cuisine.
Indeed, it is said that the best octopus in the world is prepared in this part of Galicia. Ask for grilled octopus with stir-fried grelos. You won’t regret it!