June 2: Sarria

Today we walked about 25 kilometers from Triacastela to Sarria in the Galicia region of Spain. Sarria was a pre-Roman settlement, first documented in the 6th century. King

Alphonse IX of León died in Sarria in 1230 while making a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. King Alphonse sponsored many different building projects during his time in Sarria, one of which was the construction of a medieval castle. Only one reconstructed tower remains, of which can be seen from some of the churches. Sarria is one of, if not the, most populous town on The Way, and is known for its artistic history and delicious food.


We stopped along the way at the Samos monastery; this monastery was once owned by Benedictine monks, was founded in the 6th century, and has included a pilgrim hospital since the 11th century. The monastery has been looted and burned twice in its history. It was home to Benedictine orders in the early 19th century and produced 7 bishops. The monastic and cloistered churches of Sarria and Samos are constructed in Gothic, Baroque, and Mozarabic styles. Mozarabic art is characteristic of art constructed in areas conquered by Muslims in 8th-11th centuries, and the implementation of columns adorned with Corinthian style capitals and inclusion of alfiz adornment and panneling is indicative of this type of architecture. Additionally, the monastery’s facade is reflective of Baroque style architecture in the 18th century.


The O Salvador Church (Iglesia San Salvador de Sarria) was constructed in the early 13th century, constructed through Gothic architecture and artistic frescoes.


Sarria conserves the Convent of A Madalena, presently belonging to the Mercedarian Fathers, founded at the beginning of the 13th century as a pilgrim hospital by Italian monks of the Order of the Blessed Martyrs of Jesus, who were also pilgrims. The present day building, which houses a small, but lovely cloister and an interesting church, is a mixture of different styles of construction ranging from the 15th to the 18th centuries.


We are having a lovely time and loving each place we stop. 5 days to Santiago!