Restoration of the monastery of Oseira

Oseira, Orense, Galicia.
Medal/Award in the category Conservation in the year 1989.

Dating of the building: 12th century.

Applicant: Government Delegation in Orense.

Reason for the award :

For the enormous restoration work of the monastery.

The restoration work in Santa María la Real, a monastery of enormous dimensions in the town of Oseira, phases over more than five decades.

The importance of the monastery of Santa María la Real became so great that, in the 16th century, when it had reached an area of ​​46,000 square meters, it was known as the Galician Escorial. Founded in 1137 by King Alfonso VII, it was one of the first Cistercian monasteries in Spain. Its church, with three naves, is Romanesque Transition, and its chapter house, with original columns that resemble palm trees, an excellent example of flamboyant Gothic from the 15th century. The exterior of both the monastery and the temple stand out for their characteristic Galician Baroque carved towers.

The ruin of the monastery begins with the first great Spanish confiscation of Mendizábal (1836). With the arrival from France of a community of Cistercian monks in 1930, slow recovery work began that would last decades. In 1950 the community was installed.  Between 1950 and 1959, the bell towers, tower, chapter house, and staircase of honour were rebuilt. Since 1966, subsidies from the General Directorate of Fine Arts and other public administrations have begun to arrive, which have resulted in the final restoration of the three cloisters, refectory, library, bishops’ staircase, hostal, bedroom for the elderly, and in the opening of the Stone Museum.

Others awards in Galicia: