Santa María of Melide

  • melide

The town of Melide, in La Coruña, was an important stop along the Santiago pilgrim route. The French route and the one from Oviedo converged at Melide. The number of monuments that can be found in the town are a testimony to its former relevance. The Abbey of Sancti Spiritus, now a parish church, contains some lordly sepulchres from the Middle Ages which are worthy of note. The church of San Pedro has a remarkable front. 

There is also a 14 C transept -next to the Chapel of San Roque- which was considered as the oldest transept in Galicia for a long time. But the most outstanding of the historical monuments is the Romanesque church of Santa María de Melide, on the side of the Santiago Route. It was built in the 12 C. It has a single aisle with a semicircular apse and two beautiful fronts. Frescoes from the 15 C decorate the apse, illustrating the Holy Father among the symbols of the evangelists on the vault. On the wall are busts of the six apostles, housed in niches. The bays are curiously decorated with cubes in perspective.

The interior of the temple contains a magnificent presbitery, which is entered through a semicircular triumphal arch with remarkable capitals. The one on the right represents the prophet Daniel in the lions´s den. Santa María de Melide also treasures some Medieval sepulchres.

This small town also offers a walk round the old city and a visit to the Terra de Melide Museum, which houses many artistic and etnographic pieces from the region.