Monastery of San Toribio near Potes

The Monastery of San Toribio near Potes is apparently only one of five sites in Christianity that can issue a perpetual indulgence.

History of the Monastery

The original monastery is very old and dates from before 6C. It houses the largest piece of the true cross in a silver reliquary which is in a chapel reserved for prayer. Photographs are forbidden! The Church, the most important part of the monastery, was started in 1256. Like many similar institutions, the buildings have of course been updated several times over the years.

The Monastery of San Toribio
The Monastery of San Toribio
The Coat of Arms above the monastery door
The Coat of Arms above the monastery door
The Church of the Monastery of San Toribio
The Church of the Monastery of San Toribio
The entrance to the Cloister at San Toribio
The entrance to the Cloister at San Toribio

Inside the Church of San Toribio

The interior of the Church is austere, dark, and very quiet. People came and went while we were there; some lingered, just sitting quietly.

The interior of the Church at the Monastery of San Toribio
The interior of the Church at the Monastery of San Toribio
The interior of the Church at the Monastery of San Toribio
Inside the Church at the Monastery of San Toribio
The tomb of San Toribio
San Toribio’s tomb

Cloister of the Monastery

The Cloister in the Monastery of San Toribio is peaceful and pretty, with only the sound of the water. Beautiful hydrangeas, geraniums, and roses filled the space.

Hydrangeas in the Cloister of San Toribio
Hydrangeas in the Cloister of San Toribio
Pot of geraniums in the Cloister of San Toribio
Pot of geraniums in the Cloister of San Toribio

Hermitages at the Monastery

On the hillside just outside the Monastery there are two hermitages. The lower one overlooks Potes to one side, and up into Fuente Dé on the other side. This is the Hermitage of San Miguel (St Michael). There is a second hermitage, on top of the hill overlooking the Monastery but we didn’t visit it.

The Hermitage of San Miguel
The Hermitage of San Miguel
The view towards Fuente De
The view towards Potes

Beato of Liebana

Béato of Liébana was a monk at the Monastery of San Toribio and there was an exhibition of his work in the Infantado Tower in Potes. His best-known work is a Commentary on the Book of Revelations by St John, written in 8C. There are apparently many copies of the work, illustrated, in libraries throughout Europe. The illustrations are breathtakingly beautiful! I want to see more of these illustrations and will hunt out similar volumes in the British Library and British Museum when I return to London.

The Tower of the Inrantado in Potes
The Tower of the Infantado in Potes
Illustrated copies of the Commentary in the exhibition
Illustrated copies of the Commentary in the exhibition
Beatus in the University of Manchester, showing (R) Noah’s Ark
The Gerona copy of the Beatus with the 12 disciples

The Monastery of San Toribio near Potes is a ‘must-visit’ in this area, and one of the sights which ensure you can enjoy a wonderful day in the Picos de Europa!