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THE SANCTUARY OF SAINT MICHAEL OF BREAMO

THE SANCTUARY OF SAINT MICHAEL OF BREAMO

If we stray off for some 3km we will arrive at the sanctuary of Saint Michael of Breamo, situated on the top of the hill of the same name.

It was a monastery of Saint Augustin Monks until the end of the 16th century. Construction of the temple began around 1187. It is one of the few examples of a Roman Galician church that has a floor plan of a Latin cross with three apses, with the peculiarity that the central nave is narrower than the transversal. The vault that covers the centre of the transept is considered to be one of the first of Galician apse vaulting; the bases of the columns and capitals are richly decorated. In its interior stands an image of Saint Michael, stepping on souls (psychostasis). Outside there is an image of strength owed to its buttresses, including in the facades.

Nowadays, it is a sanctuary which the neighbours in Pontedueme go to twice a year, the 8th of May and the 29th of September, in order to celebrate the pilgrimage of Saint Michael since the start of the 20th century. It is traditional to hike to it in order to spend the whole day at the sanctuary, leaving from Pontedueme by the stairs named “Monumento”, a narrow path between the walls of the vegetable patches. In the sanctuary they walk around the temple (odd number) in order to strike malevolence from their bodies. During the procession an image of Saint Michael stepping on a demon is used.

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