VENUES
San Martiño Cathedral

Catedral-de-San-Martino

Although there is no agreement on the date it was started, it is known that the main altar was consecrated in 1188, as stated in the document which, along with the relics of St. Martin brought from Tours, was kept in one of the five columns that supported it. There seems to be less controversy about the date it was finished, around 1218-1248. Although Romanesque in structure, the Cathedral grows with the history of the city, and reaches up to four consecrations, the last one in 1966.

There are three areas the visitor cannot miss: Santo Cristo chapel, built between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, contains a canopy with a crucifix venerated throughout Galicia. This is a gothic image that, according to tradition, is one of the copies Nicodemus made when he saw dead Jesus on the Cross. The chapel is like a jeweler, covered with decorative plants in polychromed wood, twisted columns and reliefs of Christ Passion.

The Door of Paradise (13th century) also deserves special attention for being one of the most beautiful works in the cathedral. Unfortunately it was compared with the Door of Glory in Santiago de Compostela, but it has its own values of idealization and serenity similar to the French Gothic style. It is a stone transcription of the Doomsday, explained in a very meticulous way.

The altarpiece, by Cornielis de Holanda, is from the sixteenth century, and it is decorated with scenes from the life of Jesus, the Virgin and St. Martin. The 36 small size statues placed between the columns are exceptional. They are painted white and represent saints and Old Testament characters dressed in 1500 Flemish costumes.

Igrexa de Santa María de Gracia do Castelo de Monterrei

Do século X son as primeiras noticias que se teñen dunha fortificación sobre un outeiro que daba ao val do Támega. O conxunto, entón castro de Baronceli, atopábase dentro das terras que pertencían ao mosteiro de Celanova. O castro era unha peza chave na estratexia defensiva na fronteira meridional de Galicia e xa aparece en documentos do século XIV como castelo militar.

A igrexa foi construída a finais do XIII por privilexio de Alfonso X ao mosteiro de Celanova. O templo consta dunha sola nave con cuberta de madeira rematada nunha ábsida rectangular con bóveda de cruzaría. A través dun arco gótico e polo lateral sur accédese á chamada Capela dos Condes de Monterrei, cuberta cunha bóveda nervada que se asenta sobre cuatro columnas. As imaxes da Anunciación que van encima dos capiteis son de pedra policromada como o retablo de finais do XIII ou principios do XIV que preside o espazo e que representa a un Cristo sedente mostrando as cinco chagas e rodeado por esceas da Paixón baixo un doselete gótico.

A portada oeste e a torre campanario son do XVII, pero aínda se conserva unha interesante fachada románica na cara que dá ao patio do pazo. Baixo un arco apuntado e tres arquivoltas adornadas con motivos xeométricos, a imaxe de Cristo preside o tímpano. Rodeando á figura, os relevos dunha ave devorando un animal, un boi e o Agnus Dei.

Durante séculos o castelo é testemuña de loitas polo poder, revoltas e ata unha ocupación portuguesa. No 1474, cando Sancho Sánchez de Ulloa recibe o título de conde de Monterrei, as obras que se emprenden non ocultan a pretensión de converter o condado no máis importante de Galicia aproveitando a decadencia da casa de Lemos. A Torre da Homenaxe e o pazo son os grandes proxectos edificativos destes anos e unha mostra da riqueza da propiedade. A primeira imprenta de Galicia instálase en Monterrei e dela sae, no 1494, o Misal Auriense o libro galego máis antigo editado.

A partir da desamortización todo o conxunto se abandonou ata que en 1931 foi declarado Monumento Nacional. Na actualidade, o pazo forma parte da rede de Paradores de España.

Pazo Dos Oca Sarmiento – Liceo de Ourense

No século XVI a cidade de Ourense comeza a desenvolverse. O cabido e o corrixidor patrocinan a construción de edificios administrativos que se engaden ás novas edificacións residenciais da xerarquía eclesiástica e familias importantes. Estas novas casas-pazo érguense nas proximidades da catedral, principalmente ao norte da vila. Os Oca Sarmiento aséntanse en Ourense a finais do século XV e constrúen, entre o 1500 e o 1525, a súa casa na rúa Nova, que era unha das vías polas que a cidade medieval empezaba a se desbordar.

No ano 1863 neste edificio instálase o Liceo Recreo Orensano. Unha nacente sociedade urbana está xurdindo nun Ourense que na primeira metade do século XIX aínda carecía de luz eléctrica. Unha burguesía con inquedanzas promove a creación de asociacións culturais que pretenden impulsar o desevolvemento urbano e educar a poboación. Neste contexto un grupo de artesáns e profesores funda no ano 1850 o Recreo de Artesanos de Orense. Tras diferentes localizacións, establécense neste inmoble en 1870.

Da antiga distribución do pazo pouco queda. En sucesivas ampliacións elimináronse os cuartos, a cociña, a bodega e todos os elementos propios dunha vivenda do século XVI. Queda da edificación orixinal a fachada de dúas plantas con portada sinxela e catro balcóns que dan á rúa. Tamén se mantén do pazo primitivo o patio renacentista, antigamente sen cubrir, que articula o espazo ao seu arredor e que é o protagonista da construción. Os dous pisos orixiniais están separados por unha arquitrabe sostida por columnas poligonais na parte baixa, que no primeiro corpo son de fuste cilíndrico. Os capiteis son xeométricos e, a xeito de decoración, colócanse nos ángulos escudos coas armas da familia e unha pétrea cadea labrada que percorre todo o patio á maneira de friso. Os murais que decoran a planta inferior son do século XIX de gusto folclorista e rexionalista propio da época.
O Liceo foi ata ben entrado o século XX o centro vital do Ourense cultural e social. Ciclos de conferencias, lecturas poéticas, concertos; personaxes da cultura ourensá, galega, española; acontecementos e recordos que contribúen a crear a atmosfera cálida que aínda conserva o inquedo espírito alentador daquela época.
Archeological Museum

Museo-Arqueoloxico-Provincial

Some authors such as Ferro Couselo claim that on the site now occupied by the Archaeological Museum, for centuries known as “pazo, torres e curral do bispo”, existed in Roman times a praetorium and that it always was the center of power in the early city of Ourense. However, just based on the remains found and due to the reuse of the building elements and the successive renovations, we cannot determine with certainty the function and character of the building that was here.

A foundation appeared in Plaza da Madalena belongs to the Germanic period and could coincide with a building, possibly fortress or episcopal see in the time Ourense was converted to Christianity by the suevos.

The central role that would have in the history of the city could be seen already in the eleventh century. When the city did not have some effective defensive walls, the manor became a reliable fortress. During the following years, and since 1122 the bishop moves into the lordship of the city, the building reaches up to six defensive towers and a series of courtyards and interior fields. Already a symbolic and real power becomes an important hub on the border between the ancient Roman town in the South and the medieval city that was growing Northward.

The Irmandiñas revolts during the XV century broke down the towers giving on Barreira street and the people held a commercial space in the open air remaining territory. Throughout the XVI century the bishop’s domain began to wane in favor of the civil authority, and in 1628 he gave up the lordship over Ourense.

The baroque reform in the XVIII century suppresses the defensive aspect of the building to make it an open and palatial construction. On the side facing the Plaza Mayor, a balcony on corbels above a monumental episcopal coat of arms replaces the old arcades.

The building was acquired to become an Archaeological Museum in 1951 and in 2002 closed its doors for a remodeling that continues 13 years later.

Igrexa de Santa Eufemia A Real do Norte

En Potosí, e no ano 1607, o indiano celanovés Domingo de Araújo outorga no seu testamento parte dos seus bens para que a orde dos dominicanos se estableza na súa terra. Ata 1645, ano da súa chegada, o convento dos franciscanos era o único que existía na cidade e os irmáns do santo de Asís non facilitaron o seu asentamento na vila.

A nova comunidade enriqueceu a vida cultural e relixiosa de Ourense albergando unha cátedra de moral e outra de filosofía, ademáis dunha importante biblioteca. Os frades ocuparon un soar cara á parte norte, preto dunha das portas da cidade, na rúa chamada da Corredoira, hoxe rúa Santo Domingo.

A traza da igrexa é obra de Melchor de Velasco de planta de cruz latina e con claras influencias, na organización dos espazos interiores, do modelo xesuítico. A disposición das capelas, entre as pilastras da nave, servía ás necesidades de congregación de fieis no novo culto contrarreformista e era a máis idónea para as necesidades litúrxicas que xurdiron no Concilio de Trento. O interior e o exterior do templo destacan pola sobriedade, que acredita a crenza de que está inacabado debido ás limitacións económicas na construción.

O paso dos anos enriqueceu o interior que se foi cubrindo, a partir do século XVIII, con obras e retablos de notable valor. Destaca o da capela maior, adicado á nosa señora do Rosario, obra do escultor Francisco de Castro Canseco co seu gusto barroco polas columnas salomónicas, a decoración de follas de palmeiras e as cabezas de querubíns.

Desde a Idade Media tiña sé na catedral a parroquia de santa Eufemia. No século XVIII a nova localización será no templo dos xesuítas logo da expulsión da compañía da cidade. Cando a igrexa de San Domingos perde o carácter conventual, despois da desamortización, decídese dividir a antiga parroquia. O templo dominicano acolle unha delas no século XIX e pasa a chamarse de santa Eufemia a Real do Norte.

O edificio conventual foi derrubado a principios do século XX logo de ser empregado para diferentes usos. No seu lugar álzase actualmente a Delegación Provincial de Facenda.

  • Lamas Carvajal 11 – 32005  Ourense – Ourense
Santa María la Real de Xunqueira de Ambía

The old Monastery of Xunqueira de Ambía was founded in the year 955. In the 12th century it was donated to the regular canons of St- Augustine, with the church being built in transition Romanesque style. It achieved the rank of Collegiate in 1164, and came under the Archbishopric of Valladolid.

Artistically, it shows the typical characteristics of Galician Romanesque, together with those that the Order itself designed for their residence. A church in clear Romanesque style (12th century). The main facade is noteworthy, divided by two buttresses corresponding to the church´s three interior aisles. Romanesque doorway with three archivolts, and capitals decorated with interwoven and leaf designs.

Over the door, there is an arched awning over corbels. There are three notable Romanesque apses. The cloister is Ogival, with semi-circular arcades, showing perforated tympanum. Interior on a Latin-cross ground plan, with three aisles separated by stilted Ogival arches. Plateresque choir and Renaissance stone pulpits.

It is worth mentioning the originality of the organ made by Manuel González Maldonado, recently restored and one of the finest in Europe . Designated a National Monument in 1931.

Teatro Principal

teatro-principal

In the 1830s Mr. Pastor Santiago Saez decided to build this theater in La Paz street, former Shoemakers street. It was apparently a kind of revenge because someone had sold the box he had booked in the old theater.

He built the new one in the site where he had his home and his business, a bank. The result was a small Italian style theater, with a pit on the ground floor, three floors of boxes and a stage. The ceiling with geometric and plant motifs.

For many years it was the only public theater in the city. It was also the center of social and cultural life, with concerts, operettas, plays, or meetings. Zorrilla read his poems at the Principal, Concepción Arenal and Emilia Pardo Bazan participated in a literary contest and politicians such as Calvo Sotelo or Gil Robles organized their political meetings here. In 1912 cinema arrives in Ourense and three years later the first film is projected at the Principal.

During the 1970s it was closed and about to disappear. „LetÂ’s save the Principal” was the slogan of a group led by artists, teachers, architects and people from Ourense public life, who managed to get it repaired during the 1980s. The Teatro Principal was reopened in 1992.