On Day 2 of Travel in Spain I opened the window on another hot day.
We drove out of Baiona and stopped as the road turned south to watch the waves and breathe in the sea air – wonderful.
We were heading for the Cistercian Monastery of Santa Maria at Oia. The Cistercians, or White Friars, were founded by Abbot Robert of Molesme when he left his monastery in Burgundy in 1098 to live a more austere religious life at Citeaux, turning to a life of self-sufficiency through manual labour, solitude, and isolation as originally ordered by . In 1112 the group were joined by Bernard of Fontaines, the founder of the great abbey at Clairvaux in 1150s. The order spread rapidly throughout Europe; other Cistercian Monasteries in Galicia are here. (Just look at the setting!)
The exact date of the building is not clear, but the monastery at Oia was affiliated to the Cistercian order by 1185 – only c.85 years after the start of the movement. The King bestowed the title ‘Royal’ to the monastery in 1625 when the monks beat off an attack by Turkish pirates. The state forced the Cistercian community to leave in 1836, and in 1932 the church was given to the Mayor of Oia for the community. (For full information and photographs visit this site.) Sadly the Church was closed on our visit; I note there are plans to develop the site as a hotel, and residences.
I can’t find information about the small town of Oia but notice one or two interesting sights in the main street.
On to Guarda.
You may be interested in
The Monastery of Oia
The Royal Monastery of Oia
The Cistercians – an introduction