Monastery San Paio de Antealtares Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain


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The monastery Saint Paio of Antealtares is one of the oldest monasteries in Spain

In the east zone of the square is the endless wall of the benedictine monastery of Saint Paio de Antealtares. Paio is galician and in spanish is Pelayo, the man who discovered the grave of the apostle Santiago. It was founded in the 11th century by the king Alfonso the 2nd with the mission of watching over the hermitage that kept the mortal remains of the Apostle and his disciples. The wall, with its 48 windows with bars, suffered changes during the 17th century. Its design is very sober and the walls as a whole do not have any decoration. In the centre of the wall there is a stone plaque mentioning the Lliterary Batallion. The Lliterary Batallion was organized by a group of university students in order to defend Galicia against the troops of Napoleón. The rest of the wall consists of a cross and the long bench along the bottom of the wall. The monastery was left in 1499 by the Benedictine monks and was occupied by the nuns and, at this moment, the church and the convent were dedicated to Saint Paio who was a behead martyr in Cordoba when he was only a child. Nowadays, the building is a convent and the museum of holy art. Under the square there was a graveyard and an unusual number of niches for children.

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