Baiona Town, Galicia

posted in: Home, Spain, Travel | 2

The Tourist Office is very helpful and provided the map below. The town was interesting but did not seem particularly concerned about its past, although several buildings were being renovated. People were friendly and I found a jeweller who replaced my watch battery (it stopped the moment I landed in Porto!) for a tiny fraction of what it would have cost in London.

Map of Baiona (Tourist Office)

There were many religious buildings in the town: a Dominican Convent (an order founded to preach the Gospel and also referred to as Black Friars), a Collegiate Church, i.e. non-monastic, with priests who lived a communal life, a sanctuary (was this a particularly Holy place?), a Brotherhood devoted to community care, and a religious hospital. Why so many, I wonder.

The Dominican Convent of 1547 (no.2) was firmly closed and it was difficult to get a sense of a religious building. The Convent had a Chapel, farm and orchard, and an aerial view on Google shows a large open space behind the walls.

The Mercy Chapel (no.4) was originally inside the fortress but moved into the town in 1656, and on our visit was firmly ‘under renovation’. The Chapel was the headquarters of the Brotherhood of the House of Peace and Mercy founded in 1574.

The Mercy Chapel
The Mercy Chapel

Lorenzo Correa was the Mayor of Cuernavaca, Mexico, and he built his house (no.5) in Baiona in 1757 (why?) The coats of arms represent the Correa, Sotomayor (The 1st Count of Gondomar‘s father was a Sotomayor), and Troncoso de Lira families. It is now the City Hall.

The Sancti Spiritus Hospital (no.7) dates from the 16C. (Was this meant for Pilgrims?)

St Liberata’s Sanctuary (1695) (no.9) is situated at one of the three gates into the town, and has some interesting shields on the front of the building. (Stories about St Liberata are not consistent, except that she was the first Christian woman to be martyred through crucifixion.)

St Liberata's Sanctuary
St Liberata’s Sanctuary
TheSantuary of St Liberata
The Sanctuary of St Liberata

Opposite the Sanctuary is the Collegiate Church of St Mary (no.10) which dates from 12C-14C. The church was built with assistance from the Cistercian Monks from Oia and must have been one of the earliest buildings in the town, together with the fortress.

The Collegiate Church of St Mary
The Collegiate Church of St Mary
The Collegiate Church of St Mary
The Collegiate Church of St Mary

Down the hill the 17C Chapel of St John (no.8) is closed all year apart from Easter and St John’s Feast Day.

The Chapel of St John
The Chapel of St John

The Holy Trinity Stone Cross, (no.11) on the opposite side of the town, stands at another gate, and on a Roman Road. However, it was firmly under wraps. (Photograph from here.)

 Dean Mendoza’s House (no.12) was built in 1768 and is now a hotel.

Dean Mendoza's House
Dean Mendoza’s House

And a last book at the town across the marina.


You may be interested in
Interesting buildings in Baiona
The Portuguese Coastal Path from Porto to Santiago
Information about some of the buildings in Baiona

2 Responses

  1. Candy Blackham

    Ah that is interesting. The next post will visit a monastery which I think was affected by a ‘clampdown’. The Pilgrim routes are much travelled, but I am not sure how much is off the tarred road, which rather spoils the fun. Having said that, the link to the chap who did the Portuguese route seems to indicate considerable pleasure. I still have the New River to complete before the end of the year!

  2. Laura Bloomsbury

    Spain had several religious clampdowns with their equivalent of the dissolution of monasters in 1800s – this post illustrates how much religious life dominated (will not argue about the balance of give or take). Am enjoying your Spanish tour immensely (the Portuguese Coastal Path from Porto to Santiago would tempt a younger,fitter me)

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