The birth of this town, its fame as a landmark on the Jacobean route and a colourful example of Moorish architecture is directly linked to the Monastery of San Benito. Among its rich artistic heritage it treasures four monuments declared of Cultural Interest.
Hikers reach Sahagún via Ronda de la Estación Station, leaving on the right hand side the bullring. Shortly after they will arrive at Travesía El Arco and the adjacent street where the former Trinity Church was situated, a building that now serves as an auditorium, a hostel for pilgrims and a municipal tourism office.
Next to it stands the church of San Juan de Sahagun, built on the birthplace of the saint (XVII century), similar in appearance to neo-classical colonial buildings. In its interior, among other pieces, an image of the saint attributed to Gregorio Fernández and a coffin with relics of the martyrs San Facundo and Primitivo stand out. The urban route then proceeds down the Calle Herrería and the long road of Antonio Nicolás, which crosses the Plaza de Santiago and takes the pilgrims to the most monumental area. On the right hand side the Benedictine Monastery of Santa Cruz is located, it also functions as a museum. Founded in the XVI century, visitors can see a revered Baroque carving of the Virgin dressed as a pilgrim, great works of jewellery and a unique piece of a XVI century English fireplace.
In the convent church, a the former Benedictine abbey which gave prominence to the place, there is an exhibit of two graves containing the remains of Alfonso VI, a great benefactor of the Camino of Santiago-buried in the town as a personal desire-and Four of his six wives. Museum opening hours, in the morning are from 10.00 to 12.30 and, in the afternoon, from 16.00 to 18.30 hours. Along with the remains of the former Benedictine abbey is the church of San Tirso, an emblem of the town with its beautiful brick tower of three parts and in varied dimensions in accordance to its facade. Constructed in the first half of the XII century, it is one of the finest examples of Moorish architecture.
It can be visited from October to March, Wednesday to Saturday from 10.40 to 14.00 and from 15.00 to 17.50 hours and, on Sundays from 10.40 to 14.00. During the summer it opens Wednesday to Saturday from 10.15 to 14.00 and, from 16.30 to 20.00 and, on Sundays from 10.15 to 14.00. Next to it is also located the famous Clock Tower-San Mancio, the only tower that remains standing from the Abbey of San Benito. The monument illustrates a variety of styles-Moorish, Romanesque and baroque, the result of reforms carried out over the centuries. Another monument conserved from the grand old Benedictine abbey is the Arch of San Benito, a symbol of power treasured by the monastery and evidence of its royal foundation status. In the first section there are two niches with the images of the patron saints (Facundo and Primitivo).
The pilgrims then move towards the exit of the enclave, leaving on the left, although off the Jacobean route, the Santuario de la Peregrina, a church founded in 1257 which contains the statue of the Virgin Pilgrim, Currently kept in the Benedictine convent. Before leaving the enclave the walkers cross the river Cea via the Puente Canto, a solid bridge consisting of five, barrel medieval vaults it was commissioned in 1085 by Alfonso VI.
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© Copyright LA VOZ DE GALICIA S.A. Polígono de Sabón, Arteixo, A CORUÑA (ESPAÑA) Inscrita en el Registro Mercantil de A Coruña en el Tomo 2438 del Archivo, Sección General, a los folios 91 y siguientes, hoja C-2141. CIF: A-15000649