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Title: Galicia, the Switzerland of Spain
Author: Meakin, Anette M. B.
Language: English
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                          BY THE SAME AUTHOR

            A RIBBON OF IRON (The Great Siberian Railway)



                       THE SWITZERLAND OF SPAIN


                         ANNETTE M. B. MEAKIN

                           “Lugar mais hermoso
                       No mundo n’hachara
                       Qu’aquel de Galicia
                           Galicia encantada.”
                                 ROSALIA CASTRO

                   WITH 105 ILLUSTRATIONS AND A MAP

                             METHUEN & CO.
                         36 ESSEX STREET W.C.

                       _First Published in 1909_

                              THIS VOLUME

                       IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED


                              HER MAJESTY

                           VICTORIA EUGENIA

                            GALICIA’S QUEEN


CHAP.                                                               PAGE

I. ANCIENT GALICIA                                                     1

II. THE GEOGRAPHY OF GALICIA                                          17

III. THE FIRST GOLDEN AGE                                             24

IV. THE SALVE REGINA                                                  39

V. THE LANGUAGE OF GALICIA                                            49

VI. PILGRIMS TO SANTIAGO                                              60

VII. THE ARCHITECTURE OF GALICIA                                      78

VIII. THE CATHEDRAL OF SANTIAGO                                       94

IX. THE PÓRTICO DE GLORIA                                            107

X. SCULPTURED CAPITALS                                               126

XI. THE ROYAL HOSPITAL                                               136

XII. THE COLEGIATA DE SAR                                            145

XIII. LA CORUÑA                                                      152

XIV. EMIGRATION                                                      172

XV. ROSALIA CASTRO                                                   182

XVI. SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA                                          190

XVII. GALICIA’S LIVESTOCK                                            210

XVIII. PADRON                                                        222

XIX. LA BELLÍSIMA NOYA                                               231

XX. PONTEVEDRA                                                       254

XXI. VIGO AND TUY                                                    276

XXII. ORENSE                                                         286

XXIII. MONFORTE AND LUGO                                             297

XXIV. BETANZOS AND FERROL                                            308

XXV. THE GREAT MONASTERIES OF GALICIA                                317

XXVI. TREES, FRUITS, AND FLOWERS                                     343

XXVII. DIVES CALLAECIA                                               352

BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                         359

INDEX                                                                363



                                                             FACING PACE

MAP OF GALICIA                                                         1

THE RIVER SIL, ORENSE                                                 22

WHERE THE SIL JOINS THE CABE                                          57

A MOUNTAIN VINEYARD                                                   57

THE TREASURY, SANTIAGO CATHEDRAL                                     102


PUERTA SANTA, SANTIAGO CATHEDRAL                                     102


WHEN SIR FRANCIS DRAKE ATTACKED CORUÑA                               104

WINDOW IN THE PALACE OF GELMIREZ                                     127

ARCHWAY IN THE PALACE OF GELMIREZ                                    127



SCULPTURE IN THE CHAPEL                                              130

SCULPTURED PILLAR IN THE CHAPEL                                      130



THE PALACE OF GELMIREZ                                               132

ENTRANCE TO THE ROYAL HOSPITAL AT SANTIAGO                           136

VESTIBULE OF THE ROYAL HOSPITAL                                      140

CLOISTER IN THE ROYAL HOSPITAL                                       140

KITCHEN AND A MAID TO WAIT ON HER                                    142

ROYAL HOSPITAL, SANTIAGO                                             142




INTERIOR OF THE COLEGIATA DE SAR                                     147

CLOISTER OF THE COLEGIATA DE SAR                                     147

PEASANTS IN COSTUMES PECULIAR TO GALICIA                             154

A NATIVE CART                                                        158

A STREET IN LA CORUÑA                                                158

A WATER-CARRIER                                                      158

KEEPING MAY DAY                                                      158

THE TOWER OF HERCULES                                                159


PADRON                                                               228


NOYA                                                                 234

THE BED OF SAN MAMED, NOYA                                           236

CLOISTER OF SAN JUSTO DE TOJOSUTOS                                   236



RUINED CHURCH OF CAMBADOS                                            256

INTERIOR OF SANTA MARIA LA GRANDE                                    256

INHABITED BY MERCHANT FISHERMEN                                      256

OLD JEWISH QUARTER, PONTEVEDRA                                       260

MUSEUM, PONTEVEDRA                                                   260


OF SANTA DOMINGO, PONTEVEDRA                                         262

THE VILLAGE OF COMBARRO, PONTEVEDRA                                  267

A NATIVE DOVECOT                                                     267

DE LA VEGA DE ARMIJO, PONTEVEDRA                                     272

TOWN OF PONTEVEDRA IN 1907                                           274

(_From a Drawing by E. Campo_)

BELL TOWER OF THE CATHEDRAL, TUY                                     282

THE CATHEDRAL AT TUY                                                 282

PORCH OF TUY CATHEDRAL                                               284

APSE OF THE PARISH CHURCH AT ALLARIZ                                 289

FAÇADE OF THE CHURCH OF EL MOSTEIRO                                  289

ENTRANCE TO ORENSE CATHEDRAL                                         289



NORTHERN ENTRANCE TO ORENSE CATHEDRAL                                292




TOWER NEAR MONTERREY                                                 294

CHURCH OF AQUASANTAS                                                 294

APSE OF THE CHURCH OF EL MOSTEIRO                                    294

APSE OF A CHURCH NEAR ORENSE                                         296


PART OF THE APSE OF THE CHURCH OF AQUASANTAS                         296

THE MARKET-PLACE, LUGO                                               312

FOR SALE IN A STREET OF SANTIAGO                                     312


TOMB OF ANDRADA, BETANZOS                                            312

THE MONASTERY OF OSERA, ORENSE                                       321



CLOISTER IN THE MONASTERY OF CELANOVA                                329

SANTA COMBA DE BANDE                                                 332

HORSESHOE ARCH IN SANTA COMBA DE BANDE                               332


MONASTERY AND CHURCH OF CELANOVA                                     332

THE RIVER CABE                                                       335





PRIMITIVE MAIZE BARN IN VILLAGE NEAR OSERA                           345


[Illustration: MAP OF





     Ancient Galicia--Never conquered by the Moors--The cradle of
     Spanish nobility--A goal for pilgrims--Modern writers on Galicia--A
     rich literature--National traditions--Martial genius--No
     Basques--Iberian words--Ligurians in Spain--Barrows and
     tumuli--Druidical stones--Celtic Spain--Derivation of
     “Galicia”--Scotch and Irish traditions--Julius Cæsar--Phœnician
     colonies--The Cassiterides--Plato’s theory--Iron
     implements--Quintus Fabius--Brutus in Galicia--The theatre of
     Cæsar’s battles--The Roman Legions--The most ancient of all the
     Spanish kingdoms

Galicia is the least known and the least written about of all the little
kingdoms that go to the making of Spain. Her boundaries have been
greatly reduced since the days when the Romans divided the Peninsula
into five provinces and called one of them Galicia. In the fourth and
fifth centuries, when the Sueves and the Vandals poured into Spain, they
made Galicia their centre, and their kingdom extended into what is now
the kingdom of Portugal, while Braga, now a Portuguese town, was for a
long time the residential city of their kings. At the end of the seventh
century King Witiza resided in Galicia, not as its king, but as the
companion of his father in the kingdom of the Goths, whose seat was
Toledo; it was as governor of Galicia that he resided at Tuy. In the
days of the historian Mariana part of his palace was still to be seen
there. His father died in 706, and he then became king of the Goths. The
irruption of the Saracens in 713 again changed the aspect of the
Peninsula, and the limits of Galicia were contracted; but Spanish
geographers to this day call her a _reino_, or kingdom, and divide her
into four little provinces--Coruña, Pontevedra, Orense, and Lugo. Like
our Wales, Galicia once had kings of her own, and at a later date the
title “king of Galicia” was given to the heir to the Spanish throne,
just as that of “Prince of Asturias” is given now. It is an interesting
fact that Moorish historians speak of that part of the Peninsula which
retained the Christian faith during their occupation as “Galicia,” and
of all the rest of the territory as “Spain.” Just as Novgorod proudly
boasts of never having been conquered by the Tartars when the rest of
Russia was subjected to their sway, so Galicia is proud to remember that
she, at least, was never conquered by the Moors.

Galicia may justly be called the cradle of the Spanish nobility, for
almost all Spain’s proudest families have their roots in Gallegan soil,
their titles having been given to their ancestors as a reward for the
heroic resistance they offered to the Moors.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Galicia seems to have
been left out of count, and to have gradually sunk into oblivion. Even
the Spaniards themselves know very little about her to-day. Yet in the
Middle Ages her fame as a goal of pilgrims rivalled that of Palestine,
not only throughout Spain, but throughout the length and breadth of
Christendom; while earlier still, when she bravely resisted Julius
Cæsar’s attempt at conquest, she won for herself no little glory.

The small amount of information relative to Galicia which is to be
obtained from English and French books is distinctly unfavourable. We
are told that her climate is damp and rainy, and that her inhabitants
are dull, stubborn, and stupid; while her wonderful history, her
exquisite scenery, and her fascinating architecture are barely alluded
to, if not passed over in absolute silence. It is to Spanish writers
that we must turn for information that is neither superficial nor

There exists in the Spanish language a rich literature relating to
Galicia, but a good history of this province has yet to be written.
Aguiar began to write one in the thirties of the nineteenth century, but
death frustrated the completion of his design, as it did those of
several other competent men who had planned a similar task.[1] Aguiar
explained in his first volume that he had been led to undertake the work
by finding how unjustly and incorrectly Galicia had been treated by
earlier writers, and how little she was known to the rest of Spain, in
spite of her being one of the most important, one of the most beautiful,
and one of the most cultured of the Spanish provinces. He further
complained that no historians had ever taken the trouble to visit
Galicia, except Ambrosio Morales,[2] whose sole object in doing so was
to search for antiquities for the Escurial collection.

Galicia was the province that suffered most from the political
unification of Spain; she was the one most sacrificed to the
centralisation of political administration, partially, no doubt, in
consequence of her position being the most distant and the most isolated
one. There are many devoted Gallegans who compare their beloved
territory to Finland, to Ireland and Hungary, and are never tired of
saying that self-government alone could restore to her the prosperity
that has forsaken her shores. They feel that as long as she is governed
at a distance and by strangers she can never hope to raise her head.

Less troubled by invaders, less influenced by the Moors than the rest of
Spain, Galicia at one time became the centre in which was propagated the
purest of Spain’s lyric poetry; she constituted a neo-Gothic society the
hearth on which were kindled the earliest flames of Peninsular
civilisation;[3] hither came even kings to complete their education, and
the language of Galicia--“O crown of fame!”--was the medium chosen by
Spain’s greatest troubadours in which to express their poetic thoughts.
But Galicia lost her political existence, and with it her culture was
also extinguished.

But neither unification nor centralisation have the power to destroy
national traditions, and Galicia is still, as one of her children has
expressed it, “the land of glorious recollections.” The songs of her
bards are still in the hearts of her people, and a passionate love for
her mountains, vales, and rivers is perhaps the most marked of all the
interesting traits to be found in the Gallegan character.

We were all taught at school, if not in the nursery, that Spain was
conquered by the Romans, and later on by the Moors,--all Spain, except
one little corner to the north-west,--and some of us have wondered how
it came to pass that one little corner of the Peninsula should have
succeeded in resisting so stoutly, not only Julius Cæsar, but the
Moorish hosts who for eight long centuries held sway over the rest of
the land. We have wondered what sort of people the Gallegans were, and
whence came their martial genius, and, above all, their unconquerable
love of liberty.

Every group of human beings, every town, every nation, leaves to
posterity some record of its civil life and of its customs, according to
the degree of civilisation in which it lived. These records come down to
us preserved in rocks and stones, in hieroglyphics, in Runic characters
and in Greek and Latin inscriptions, in lines upon parchment and in
rustic dwellings. Such is the book in which our past is written, the
book in which every generation has written a page. Some British
ethnologists still think that the Basques are the oldest inhabitants of
Spain, and that they once spread all over the Peninsula, but, as Barros
Sivelo[4] and others have pointed out, that is impossible, for there is
no trace of the Basques in the whole of Galicia. On the other hand, it
has been proved many times and beyond all doubt that Celtic tribes
inhabited that part of Spain for a considerable period. Borrow, after
translating the Bible into Basque, strongly opposed the theory that this
language was of Celtic origin. As this gifted student of languages spoke
Erse, the native language of Ireland, fluently as well as that of the
Basques, I think we may consider him a competent judge when he tells us
that “perhaps in the whole of Europe it would be difficult to discover
two languages which exhibit fewer points of mutual resemblance than the
Basque and the Irish.”[5]

The oldest-known inhabitants of Spain were called Iberians. There are
many theories about these people as to who they really were and whence
they came, the most interesting and probable theory being that of Marcus
Varro (who was about ten years older than Cicero), that conscientious
historians believed that they were originally Scythian Iberians, and
that they made their way from the neighbourhood of Armenia by way of
northern Africa to Spain.[6] It is, at any rate, an interesting fact
that Georgia also bore the name of Iberia in olden days, and that the
hemispheric writing found among the Georgians of the present day is
brought to our memory by the appearance of the wonderful hemispheric
writing still to be distinctly traced upon the boulders of Galicia.
Furthermore, we learn from the chronicle of Idatius, written in the
fifth century, that the Roman Emperor Theodosius was born in the town of
Cauca, in the province of Galicia.[7] No one can say with certainty
where the town of Cauca was situated, but it is thought to have been
somewhere between Braga and the river Miño. Now the word _cauca_ in the
language of the ancient Scythians meant “white,” and the name of the
mountains of Georgia which divide Europe from Asia is “Caucasus,” said
to have been given to them on account of their peaks being eternally
“white” with snow.[8] So here we have at least one Asiatic Iberian name
given to a town of Galicia, and we should in all probability find others
were we to begin to search for them.[9]

The Iberians of the Caucasus are believed to have established themselves
on the banks of the Caucasian rivers as far back as 3000 B.C. They
multiplied so fast, we are told, that four hundred years after their
arrival numbers of them wandered forth to seek a new home. They hurried
along the northern coast of Africa and entered Spain by what was then
the Isthmus of Hercules. But when the Celts came to Spain there were two
other peoples already there besides the Iberians--the Ligurians and the
Phœnicians. Jubainville assures us that the presence of Ligurians in
Spain is attested by the presence of twenty-one names ending in _asco_,
_asca_, _ascon_, and _usco_, and three of these names are found in
Galicia. The Phœnicians never conquered Spain, they were only her
masters as far as commerce was concerned. From the first to the last the
Spanish Peninsula has never been completely conquered by any of its
invaders except the Romans.

I have not had an opportunity of following the more recent
anthropological studies of Señor Anton Ferrandez in connection with the
subject of the first inhabitants of Spain, but in some of his lectures
in the Athenæum of Madrid he has propounded a theory that the two
primitive races of Spain were that of the Cro-Magnon and that of the
Celto-Slav. His conviction had been supported, moreover, by the recent
discovery of prehistoric antiquities in Egypt analogous to those that
have been found in Spain such as stone instruments, ornamental vases,
and pictorial engravings upon rocks, representations of men and animals.
In certain cases the signs discovered on Egyptian rocks have been found
to be identical with those found in central Spain (Fuencaliente, Cueva
di los Letreros, etc.); even the red colour with which some of them were
engraved appeared to be the same. It is also anticipated that the recent
discoveries made by Evans in the island of Crete may throw more light
upon this problem.[10] I saw recently in the Archæological Museum at
Madrid some cases of glazed terra-cotta fragments from the neighbourhood
of Cordova exactly similar to those that have been found at Arezzo in
Italy, and which are considered to be Etruscan; in another room I found
some remarkable stone figures of women with peaked head-dresses, said to
be Phœnician antiquities, but which bore an unmistakable resemblance to
the stone _babus_ found on the plains of Russia, and attributed to the
Huns.[11] The Spanish ones were, it is true, very much smaller, but the
attitude and the position of the hands was identical. Another recent
discovery is that of fragments of pottery in various parts of Spain
bearing the zigzag ornamentation--supposed to represent the running of
water--which is so often found upon Egyptian pottery.[12] Señor Melida
considers this a fresh testimony to the Libian origin of the primitive
inhabitants of Spain.

So far no comparative study has been made of the barrows and tumuli of
Spain, but it has at least been ascertained that there are none in the
east and only a few in the centre, while in the north, west, and south
they are frequently to be met with--a fact that has been supposed by
some to indicate the isolation in which their constructors lived. There
are two distinct kinds of dolmen: some are square in form, notably those
in Cataluña and Andalusia; others are circular, with walls arranged in a
conical form--the latter being the type most frequent in Galicia and in

In Galicia, barrows, locally known as _castros_, are very numerous. On
one occasion four were pointed out to me during an hour’s drive. As
Señor Villa Amil has remarked, they are too well fortified to be
temples, and too numerous and too near together to be war camps. During
the Middle Ages the Gallegans used them as forts; and earlier still,
when defending themselves against the Romans, they made them their chief
strongholds. These _castros_ are frequently mentioned in the _Historia
Compostelana_, and always as fortresses. Señor Villa Amil concludes that
they must have originally been, at one and the same time, both
fortresses and towns. Strabo’s statement that the Celts lived in little
villages close to one another supports this view. Some authors, taking
the accessary for the principal, have called these _castros_, _mamoas_,
or _modorras_; but _mamoas_ are, in fact, what archæologists have agreed
to call _tumuli_. In the old Latin documents of Galicia these last are
called _mamulas_ and _mamonas_. The most important articles found in
these _mamoas_ are the so-called torcs, or torques, of massive gold,
with coarse workmanship and very little ornamentation. Señor Villa Amil
explains the paucity of iron instruments by the climatic conditions of
the country, which he thinks lead to the total decomposition of iron
weapons. Handmills of two pieces of granite have been found, very
similar to those discovered in French caves. Though he has found many
fragments of pottery, Señor Villa Amil has never come across a whole
vase, and he takes this as a proof that the people who formed these
tumuli could not have used funeral urns; the fragments are in almost
every case of a material which gives them an undoubtedly historic
character--they are of clay mixed with sand and scattered over with
mica. Some iron instruments and some bronze jewellery, more finely
worked than the gold torques, were found with these. Our friend
concludes that the tumuli must be prehistoric citadels which continued
to be used as fastnesses right down to the end of the Middle Ages.
Melida states that on all the _mamoas_ of Galicia there have been found
indications of the cremation of the dead. Señor Macineira has prepared a
map of the _castros_ in the neighbourhood of Ortigueira (Galicia),
showing which of them he considers to be of ante-Roman and which of
Roman origin,[13] those of Roman origin being similar to our “Cæsar’s
camps.” Many of them served as defences of the coast. They are oblong or
circular in shape with double parapets, often showing that much thought
must have been expended upon their construction. It is supposed that the
ante-Roman ones were used as the residences of tribal chiefs as well as
for sepulchres, while Druidical stones resembling those of Stonehenge
are to be seen in several wild and mountainous spots, and huge heaps of
stones like the cairns of Scotland and Ireland also testify to Celtic
customs. Galicia certainly rivals the British Isles in her megalithic
remains; she can also boast of “rocking” boulders[14] such as those that
were formerly used as tests of female virtue in Brittany. That Celts
inhabited Galicia at a very early period in the history of the human
race is certain, but they were not her earliest inhabitants. Barros
Sivelo was convinced, after years of study, that the earliest
inhabitants of Galicia were neither Celts nor Iberians. To discover who
were the forerunners of these two races will be the business of
archæology, and in archæology the words “prehistoric” and “historic”
cease to have any value, for every object that comes down to us from
the earliest times is itself a historical document, which, if properly
interpreted, will help to throw light upon the past.

Jubainville,[15] who has devoted years of patient study to the ancient
history of the Celtic race, tells us in his latest work that the Britons
reached Great Britain from the continent in the eleventh century B.C.,
and that their language is represented to-day by two of their living
daughters, the Welsh-speaking people in Britain and the Breton-speaking
people of Brittany in France. He also believes that the Celts penetrated
into Spain from France before Druidism had reached Gaul from its
birthplace, Britain. When the Celts and the Iberians had, in certain
parts of Spain, amalgamated into one race, they began to be called
Celtiberians; but in the corner of Spain with which we have now to do a
small group of Celtic tribes kept themselves quite distinct from the
Iberians. The Celts of Galicia were still Celts pure and simple when the
Romans, under Decimus Brutus, conquered that province in B.C. 136, and
it is from them that the present inhabitants of Galicia have inherited
their Celtic place-names, their Celtic bagpipe, their Celtic dances,
their Celtic temperament, and many other things Celtic which they share
with their neighbours of Scotland, Ireland, and Brittany to-day.

Celtic Spain is thought to have embraced part of Lusitania (now the
north of Portugal), the whole of the territory now called Galicia,
Asturias, and all the other northern kingdoms of the Peninsula. Paul
Orosius, a local writer of the fourth century, is one of our authorities
here, but Manuel de la Huerta y Vega was somewhat doubtful on this

With regard to the derivation of the word “Galicia” there are still many
contested opinions. Florez[16] tells us that the ancients spelt it both
with a C and a G. Martial speaks of “Oceano Callaico,” and Brutus was
called “Callaicus” when he returned to Rome for his “triumph.” St.
Isidore of Seville derived the word “Galicia” from γαλα, the
Greek word for milk, thinking that the inhabitants had received the name
on account of their milky-white complexions. Julius Cæsar begins his
_Commentaries_ by saying that they called themselves Celts in their own
language[17] and that the Roman equivalent was “Galli,” but Florez
argues that as the Celts had relations with the Greeks long before they
had any with Rome, we must take the name _Galatos_ to be much more
ancient than that of Galli, the former having been used by the Greeks,
and the latter by the Romans. St. Isidore says that the Gallegos were
also called Galos, and that both these names originated in the fairness
of their complexions; but again Florez demurs, assuring us that he has
never seen in any document the name of Gallos applied to the Gallegans.
“We know,” he adds, “that the Celts entered Galicia, but the territory
they occupied was called ‘_celtico_,’ not ‘galico’ nor ‘galiciense.’”
Mela and others thought, on the other hand, that the term _Calaicos_ was
derived from the name of a town called Cale. Florez says that it is
certain, from the writings of Sallust, that there once existed a town of
the name of Cale to the north of the Duero, and that at the mouth of
that river there was a Portus Cale, from which the name of Portugal is
derived; but he concludes his chapter on this subject by declaring that
it is impossible to say what is the true derivation of the word

The question as to how and whence the Celts entered Galicia has become
of late years a thorny subject to Spanish students of Gallegan history,
and a foreigner who has followed their discussions can hardly approach
it without feeling that he is treading upon dangerous ground. I shall
avoid taking it upon myself to decide which of the many theories put
before the Spanish public is nearest to the truth. There are some who
think that Galicia, Ireland, and America were once connected by land,
and there are many who maintain that in prehistoric times there must
have been a close maritime intercourse between Ireland and Galicia.

Both the Scotch and the Irish have traditions to the effect that the
native races of Scotland and Ireland are descended from Spaniards.
Curiously enough, I came across a proof of the freshness of such
traditions in the minds of the Irish of my own day just as I was
starting for Galicia in 1907. An Irish maid who was assisting me to
prepare for my departure, on hearing that Spain was the destination of
my journey, remarked, “That is the country my people came from. All the
Irish came from Spain a long time ago.” “Are you quite sure?” I asked.
“Yes,” she replied, “quite sure. Everybody in Ireland knows that; even
the poor people know it.”

Some Spanish writers believe that the Celts, passing from Galicia to
Ireland, crossed thence to England. “But if it is true,” says Aguiar,
“that the English Celts came to France from England, how comes it that
Julius Cæsar tells us that the Galli went to England to be instructed in
the sciences?” Others are of the opinion that the earliest inhabitants
of Galicia entered Spain at a much earlier date than that which the
Gauls settled in France--Herodotus having written about Spanish Celts,
but not about French ones. They believe that the Spanish Celts are a
branch of the Cimmerians described by Herodotus as dwelling in the
Crimea,[18] who disappeared completely from the neighbourhood of the
Black Sea, and were thought to have settled in Wales under the name of
Cimbri.[19] There have come down to our own times many geographical
names, not only in Britain, but also in Galicia, containing the roots
Cam, Camb, Cambr, Cim, and Cimbr.

The earliest documentary information about Galicia comes to us from the
Romans, from the writings of Julius Cæsar, Strabo, and Pliny the
Younger, from Justin, Silicus Italicus, and Asclepiades. The last-named
writer speaks of Greek colonies in Galicia and Lusitania, but many
Spanish writers have discredited their existence, and Barros Sivelo
affirms that there is not a single monument in Galicia testifying to the
Greeks having settled there. Recent writers have devoted much time to
the extraction of imaginary Greek roots from words in daily use among
the Gallegan peasantry, but, as far as I can judge, too much free play
has been allowed to their imagination; and when one remembers how
distinct are the traces left by Greek colonies in other parts of the
world, one naturally looks for more substantial proof than that which is
afforded by a page or two of strained philological comparisons.[20] The
tradition has, however, been handed down to us that several Gallegan
towns, notably those of Tuy and Pontevedra, owe their origin to Greek
settlers, and certain Greek customs are said to be still extant there.

There were Phœnician colonies in Galicia in the twentieth century B.C.
In Pontevedra I came across an interesting little Spanish book with the
title, “A Critical Dissertation, undertaken to prove that William
Cambden was wrong in stating that the islands to which the Phœnicians
came for tin were the Scilly Islands, and that these islands (known to
the ancients as the Cassiterides) are those which are situated on the
coast of the kingdom of Galicia”[21] (opposite Vigo harbour). Ptolemy
wrote of them as being ten in number, and all inhabited, except one, by
a people who clad themselves in long black tunics with a girdle round
their waist, who walked staff in hand and wore beards like goats.

Pliny, quoting Herodotus, owned that he knew nothing about the islands
in question, “_Nec Cassiterides novi insulas, unde ad nos venit
stanum._” The first writer to mention these islands is Herodotus.
Himilcon’s expedition is supposed by the Spanish historian Velazquez to
have taken place in 400 B.C. Cornide quotes many Spanish writers who
believed the Cassiterides to have been situated on the coast of Galicia;
he then complains that Cambden only quoted that part of Diodorus Siculus
which was favourable to his theory, and passed over in silence the words
“_supra Lusitanorum provinciam multum stannei est metalli in insulis
videlicet occidentalibus Oceano Iberico adjacentibus quas idcirco
Cassiterides nuncuparit_.” How could this passage possibly refer to the
Scilly Islands? Then, too, if the Scilly Islands were once so rich in
tin, it surely is strange that they now show traces of nothing but
granite and quartz. But what islands are these on the Gallegan coast
that may once have contained so rich a supply of tin? Only a group of
minute ones opposite the harbour of Vigo. “Perhaps,” say some, “the
group contained larger islands once; they may have been swallowed by the

The Phœnicians had long held sway over the empire of the sea, and to
this they owed their immense wealth. In the Bible they are alluded to as
merchant princes. They visited India for their own private interests,
and fetched thence gold, precious stones, valuable woods, ivory,
monkeys, and peacocks’ feathers. Herodotus tells us that to satisfy the
curiosity of Necho, king of Egypt, they sailed round Africa, starting
from the Red Sea and taking three years for the voyage. When they
explored the coast of Africa they brought away as trophies the skins of
some Ethiopian women who had refused to be taken captive alive. The
Carthaginians and the Phœnicians were both from the same Semitic stock
as the Hebrews. Aguiar, quoting Pliny, says that Midacritus made a
voyage to the Cassiterides in 1600 B.C., thus initiating commerce in the
famed tin of these islands, and he goes on to say that without doubt the
Cassiterides, if they were not on the coast of Galicia, were the British
Isles. The Phœnicians even visited Ireland and brought information to
the Romans about far-off Thule. If these navigators reached Britain,
where vestiges of their language still remain, they must of a certainty
have been acquainted with the coast of Galicia, whose mountains
contained tin of so fine a quality that where English tin contained six
parts per hundred of lead these contained thirty. According to
Jubainville, it was from the Phœnicians that the Celts (after their
establishment in Gaul) heard of the rich mines in Spain which induced
them to conquer that country. The power of the Phœnicians was already in
its decline when they came under the sway of Persia about the year 537
B.C. Jubainville believes that the word Cassiterides is derived through
the Greek χασσιτερος, from a Celtic root _cassi_, meaning
agreeable--whence also he derives the Irish word _caise_, meaning
esteem, love. He believes that the Celts from what is now
Hesse-Darmstadt, being pleased with Great Britain, gave it that name,
and he agrees with Reinach’s suggestion that tin came to be called
χασσιτερος, because it was found in the country known by that

Galicia has traditions reaching back into the remotest antiquity. The
name of the famous tower of Hercules, at the entrance to the harbour of
Coruña, proves the presence of Phœnicians in Galicia. It was they who
named the Straits of Gibraltar the Pillars of Hercules, and they who
gave the name of Hercules to a tower they erected in the harbour of

Local archæologists are, as we have seen, convinced that some other race
dwelt in Galicia before it was invaded by the Celts, but they tell us
that, so far, no very distinct vestige of such people has been traced,
there is nothing sufficiently definite to prove their identity.

The fact that no iron implements from their time had been discovered
till quite recently, leads to the conclusion that they were in absolute
ignorance of the use of metals, but I speak with hesitation on this
point, awaiting the final decision of Señor Villa Amil at the
conclusion of the interesting studies he is engaged in with respect to
the iron instruments he has himself excavated in Galicia. Barros Sivelo,
quoting Italicus, says that the ancient Celts wore their hair flowing
down their backs, and semicircular caps upon their heads, while their
women wore high peaked head-dresses covered with black veils which
drooped over their foreheads. These people had a strange custom of
exposing their sick upon the public highways in order that those who had
suffered from the same malady might recommend a cure.

Florez says that Galicia sent forth the flower of her youth to fight
under Hannibal, and he quotes Silius Italicus, “_Misit dives Gallaecia
pubes_,” etc.

For twenty-four years Rome and Carthage had fought over Sicily. After
the Sicilian defeat the Carthaginians, who were (like the Phœnicians) of
Semitic extraction, landed at Cadiz with the flower of their army that
they might gain in Spain what they had lost in Sicily.[23] Their leader
was Hamilcar Barca, whose ambition it was to conquer Italy as well as
Spain. Carthage had exploited Spain for four hundred years when, after
the second Punic war, Rome took up the cause of the inhabitants of Spain
against their Carthaginian oppressors, and Hamilcar found a worthy
opponent in Scipio Africanus. The people of Spain, after fighting on the
side of Scipio, were also crushed by the Romans in their turn, but they
cost Rome every year an army and a consul. The cruelty of Lucullus and
Galba made the name of Rome hateful to Spanish ears. Spanish bandits
continually attacked the Roman legions; Rome feared insurrection more
and more, and at last was not ashamed to buy with gold the life of her

When Quintus Fabius had subjugated the greater part of Lusitania,[24]
now northern Portugal, the tribes dwelling in Galicia came down against
the Roman cities, continually raiding them in flying columns, and
fleeing to the mountains for refuge when the Romans gave them chase.
Brutus, when he crossed the river Limia, was the leader of an expedition
sent out to follow and punish them. In all these skirmishes the Gallegan
women played a prominent part, taking the field beside their husbands
and brothers, and employing their weapons with the greatest courage and
determination. They received their wounds with silent fortitude, and no
cry of pain ever escaped their lips, even when the wounds which laid
them low were mortal. Both sexes preferred death to loss of liberty, and
when taken prisoners they put themselves and their little ones to death
that they might not fall into slavery.

In the year 131 B.C., Brutus, entering Rome in triumph, received the
name of Calaicus[25] in honour of his successes in Galicia.
Nevertheless, he had not succeeded in penetrating into Galicia farther
than the river Miño. Valerius Maximus tells us that Brutus found one
city in Lusitania--Cinania or Cinninia--so hard to conquer that at last
he sent legates to offer them money, to which the citizens replied that
their ancestors had left them iron in order that they might defend their
city, not gold with which to buy liberty from an avaricious emperor--“A
speech,” adds Valerius Maximus, “that would have sounded better in the
_mouths_ of the Romans than in their ears.” The name of this city is not
mentioned by other writers, and no trace of its site has remained.

The inscription relating to the Triumph of Brutus shows that Galicia as
well as Lusitania belonged to “Further Spain.” But in the time of Julius
Cæsar historians spoke of that general’s having made Galicia and
Lusitania equally the goal of his campaigns. “Further Spain” was the
theatre of his battles from first to last. It was there that he set the
seal to his triumph over the sons of Pompey, and there that he did the
deeds of prowess that won him, first the title of Quæstor, and at length
that of Prætor of Spain. It was when he received the last-mentioned
title that his head began to be filled with the idea of a universal
empire, and that he added ten Cohorts to the twenty he had already.[26]
For one of his expeditions in these parts he caused ships full of troops
to be sent round the coast from Cadiz. Doubling Cape Finisterre, he
arrived with his fleet before Coruña (Brigantium), and terrifying the
nations who had never before set eyes on such an Armada. Galicia was
peopled at that time with many different tribes and races.

Strabo, writing in the reign of the Emperor Tiberius, stated that
between the Tagus and Cape Finisterre there dwelt as many as thirty
different races, most of whom bore such strange names that the Greeks
and Romans found them difficult to pronounce, and Mela remarks that some
of these names could not be fitted to the Roman tongue. Plutarch tells
us that Julius Cæsar then conquered not only the Lusitanians and
Gallegans, but also many peoples till then unheard of at Rome. It was
then that, proud of their general, his soldiers for the first time
proclaimed Cæsar _Imperator_ (they being intoxicated with the booty with
which he had enriched them). It was in Galicia that Julius Cæsar first
dreamed of becoming an emperor.

When the Gallegans fled for refuge to their mountains, these seemed
inaccessible to the Roman legions. In fact, so much importance did
Augustus attach to their complete subjugation, that, rather than trust
the task to one of his generals, he prepared to command in person; but
in spite of all his efforts he was so continually repulsed that he fell
ill from sheer worry, and was obliged to retire from the field and leave
his generals in command. At last the Romans gained the upper hand, and
Augustus made Galicia into a province. It was then that Galicia was
separated from Lusitania by the river Duero. She was not separated from
Taraconensis till the reign of Constantine the Great, in the year 330.

The Emperor Theodocius, we have already observed, was born in Galicia in
346. It is thought that his son Arcadius was also born there. The mother
of the latter, Flacila, was herself a native of Galicia; the poet
Claudia praises her beauty in a poem in honour of the marriage of the
Emperor Honorius. It was in the reign of Theodocius that the heresy of
Priscillian spread throughout Galicia.[27]

From the year 411 the northern barbarians who had invaded Spain, the
Sueves and Vandals, began to hold sway over Galicia. As these two tribes
could not manage to agree, it ended in the Vandals vacating that
territory and passing southward to Bætica: thence they passed over to
Africa in the year 429. The Sueves, who were one of the bravest of the
German tribes, then spread all over Galicia, the Gallegans defending
themselves in the mountain fastnesses with great bravery, and often
forcing the Sueves to make treaties with them.

Very little is known about the doings of the Sueves during the century
and a half of their power, before they were finally overthrown by
Theodoricus, king of the Goths. But certain recent Spanish historians
have filled in that part of their narrative with original legends, and
made as much as they could out of the historical fact of the conversion
of the king of the Sueves to Christianity through the instrumentality of
St. Martin Dumiensis. In the year 585, Leovigild, king of the Goths,
finally destroyed the kingdom of the Sueves, and made himself lord of
all the territory within and around Galicia which had come under their
rule. Although St. Martin was the means of the conversion of King Miro,
his people were not brought into the fold of the Church till the reign
of Recaredo, son of Leovigild.

Florez impresses upon his readers that the kingdom of Galicia is the
most ancient of all the Spanish kingdoms; that not only is it older than
that of the Goths, but also than that of the Franks in Gaul, seeing that
it existed in the year 411, and never from that date did it cease to be
a kingdom. So wide did its boundaries become at one time, that
Archbishop Rodrigo spoke, in his _History of the Barbarians_, of the
king of the Sueves as practically the sole monarch in Spain. Leovigild
did not destroy it, he incorporated it into the kingdom of the Goths.
“Therefore,” says Florez, “the Spanish monarchy clearly dates from the
year 411, when the Sueves established the kingdom of Galicia, that being
quite independent of the Roman Empire.”



     Boundaries of Galicia--Spurs of the Pyrenees--The Rias--Exuberant
     vegetation--Herds of cattle--Rivers--The “River of Oblivion”--The
     Miño and the Sil--Sword-making--Ptolemy--The first map--France and
     geographical literature--The finest harbours in Europe--Columbus
     and Galicia--Rich in relics of the past

Galicia is bounded on the north by the Bay of Biscay, on the south by
Portugal, and on the east by the provinces of Asturias and Leon. This
province is the most westerly and at the same time the most northerly
part of Spain, and her cape--Finisterre--was once the uttermost part of
the Roman Empire. It was from the Romans that Finisterre received its
name, “the End of the Earth.” The Pyrenees, which extend along the whole
of northern Spain, have their last ramifications in Galicia, meeting the
Atlantic Ocean at Cape Finisterre.[28] If we place our hand flat upon a
table with palm downward and fingers and thumb outstretched, the thumb
pointing northwards and the middle finger due west, we have before us a
rough idea of the configuration of Galicia. The back of the hand, the
highest part, represents the mountains of moderate altitude which form
the centre of the province, while the outstretched thumb and fingers
represent the ridges into which these mountains divide as the Atlantic
Ocean is approached. The waters of the Ocean run inland between each
finger of the Pyrenees, forming a wide and beautiful _Ria_, such as in
Scotland we should call a loch, and in Norway a fjord. But here the
similitude to the human hand ends, for the beautiful bends and curves of
the rias, their snake-like insinuations landward among the mountain
slopes, bear no likeness to the straight lines of the human finger. The
four principal inlets are called _Rias bajas_; they are the Ria de
Muros, the Ria de Arosa, the Ria de Pontevedra, and the Ria de Vigo. The
seacoast formed by these Rias and the smaller inlets to the north of
them is so dangerous to ships that sailors call it “the coast of
death.” Many an English vessel has been lost on that coast--indeed, two
ships from our shores met with disaster there in the year 1907. But a
reform which has long been demanded by England seems at last about to be
carried out. Señor Besada, Minister of Public Works, and one of the most
eminent men in the Conservative party, is, we are told, about to give
instructions for the provision of luminous buoys and fog-signals at the
points of danger. A Commission of Engineers has already been nominated
to study the question. It is here that the furious waves, working like
yeast, break against the half-hidden rocks, and, rising to a stupendous
height, swoop down upon them with thundering noise even in the most
smiling weather. It is here that corpses of unfortunate fishermen are so
constantly washed ashore that the local papers announce such events
almost without comment. It is truly most appropriate that San Telmo, the
patron saint of all Spaniards who go down to the sea in ships, should
have had his birthplace in Galicia,[29] Spain’s breakwater against the

The last outposts of the Pyrenees advance a considerable distance into
the sea. The Atlantic Ocean alone checks the spread of “the great dorsal
chain which comes down from Tartary and Asia,”[31] whose highest peak
within the boundaries of Galicia is the peak of Guina, in the Sierra de
Ancares, which is only a little over two thousand metres high:[32] many
winters pass without its once becoming covered with snow. A glance at
the map of Galicia will show the reader that this province is entirely
composed of alternating peaks, hills, and valleys. It has often been
called on this account “the Switzerland of Spain.” The rock of which the
mountains and boulders are formed is almost entirely of granite. In
fact, all the higher levels of the province of Pontevedra are so covered
with granite that it is impossible to tell what other formation this
stone has replaced. The rocky soil possesses all the ingredients most
favourable to rich vegetation. Galicia has many different climates,
resulting from the varied heights of the different zones above
sea-level. The differences in temperature and in the humidity of the air
are very considerable. Central Galicia is in the same latitude as
Russian Turkestan, as part of Albania, and as Pennsylvania, but her
climate is infinitely more humid than that of these countries. Heavy and
continuous rains soak through the earth and replenish the innumerable
mountain springs which are the great cause of Galicia’s wonderful
fertility; the springs, themselves perennial, feed in their turn the
countless streamlets, each of which is again a fresh centre of
evaporation. The vigorous vegetation which responds to these extremely
favourable conditions helps to preserve, by the cool moisture of its
rich and abundant foliage, the dampness of the atmosphere, and to the
reunion of these three causes may be traced the remarkable humidity of
the province.

The vegetation varies with the height; wheat, maize, and rye thrive in
the basins of the valleys and in all the spots on a level with the sea.
The peasants raise two crops a year on the same ground, but many writers
who have studied the question say that these double harvests often
result in more harm than good--the blind ambition of the ignorant
peasants leading them to dry their rye too soon in their hurry to get
the maize planted.

Right down to the seashore the ground is remarkable for its spontaneous
vegetation, which is in itself a cause of the richness of the soil.
Every kind of fruit tree known to Europe thrives upon the lower slopes
of the ever-verdant valleys, the fruit upon the higher slopes ripening
twenty days later than that upon the sea-level. Woods of oak and
chestnut cover the hillsides, and pines dominate the loftiest crags of
the mountain peaks. Within a radius of ten miles my eyes have rested
upon pine-clad mountain scenery wild and beautiful as that of Norway,
and upon a riviera of vegetation like that of Mentone, embracing the
orange, the cactus, the olive, the fig, and even the lemon tree laden
with its ripening fruit. The sides of the narrow and undulating valleys
are often entirely vine-clad; the steeper slopes, cut into terraces, are
planted with potatoes, cabbages, or bristle-pointed oats. Sometimes a
mountain-side appears as if it were provided with a majestic flight of
verdant steps cut in its side from base to summit.

High up among the mountains the peasants breed large herds of cattle,
which graze upon the fertile plains and slake their thirst in the
crystal water of the running brooks. “As one travels through Galicia,”
wrote a monk of Osera in the seventeenth century, “one experiences at
every mile--nay, at every step, let me say--a change of air, a change of
sky, and a change of scene sufficient to create the impression that one
has entered another country. Every kind of fruit, every kind of
vegetable will thrive in Galicia; and if any particular kind is wanting,
its absence must not be put down to any fault of the soil and climate,
but to the laziness of the inhabitants in failing to cultivate it. It is
true that one country may excel another in the quality of one
particular fruit, but it is nevertheless certain that, not only in all
Spain, but, without any exaggeration, in all Europe, there is not a
province that equals Galicia in the fertility of its soil.” I may add
that all who have studied the subject from that day to this have added
their testimony to that of this monk of Osera as to the extraordinary
capabilities of the Gallegan soil.

The principal rivers of Galicia have kept the names given to them by the
ancients--because the land through which they flow was never, like the
rest of Spain, conquered by the Moors. Galicia is the best-watered
territory in the Peninsula. The river Limia, known to the ancients as
Lethes, or Oblivionis, was mentioned by Pliny as running between the
Miño and the Duero, and Silius Italicus said of it--

    “Inique super gravios lucentes volvit arenas,
     Infernae populis referens oblivia Lethes.”[33]

The name of Limia was thought by Florez to be derived from the Greek
word λιμνη, a lake; Pliny called it Limæa, and said that some
called it _Flumen oblivionis_--“river of forgetfulness.” This river
rises in the lake of Antela in the province of Orense, and, after
flowing through a fertile valley to which it has given its name, and
receiving the waters of two smaller streams, the Ginzo and the Salas,
enters Portugal at Landoso, and at length flows into the Atlantic Ocean
at Vianna de Castello.[34] The Greeks and Romans seem to have persuaded
themselves that this river had the power of making people forget, in a
moment and for ever, everything connected with the past; they
consequently regarded it with positive terror--

    “Formidatumque militibus flumen oblivionis.”[35]

Strabo tells how an allied army of Celts and Bætians who had joined
forces for some particular expedition quarrelled after passing the
Limia, and killed in the fray their common leader, after which they one
and all, forgetting what was the object of their expedition and whither
they were bound, became scattered, and each man returned home
independently of the others.[36] Decimus Junius Brutus was the first
Roman who dared to cross the river, and Livy relates that when Brutus
ordered his soldiers to cross it they refused to do so, in fear lest by
so doing they might lose all memory of their country; whereupon Brutus,
seizing the flag from his standard-bearer, waded into the river alone,
and, having reached the opposite bank, returned to his soldiers and
entreated them to follow him across, which they, overcoming their
superstition, eventually did. More than one Portuguese poet, charmed by
the beauty of the Limia’s winding banks and by the gentle flow of its
limpid waters, and above all by its historic name--“river of
forgetfulness”--has crystallised the legend of its miraculous power in
musical verse, such as--

    “O’ que inveja vos hei a esse correr,
     Pola praia de Lima abaixo e’ arriba
     Que tem tanta virtute de esquecer!”

Limia, in Portuguese, is spelt Lima, and the Lima of Peru was named
after this river. Another point of interest in connection with this
river of classic fame is the discovery that has recently been made by
Dr. Marcelo Macias of the exact site upon which there once stood a great
city, mentioned by Ptolemy as φορος λιμιχῶν and by later Roman
writers as _Civitas Limicorum_.

Another of Galicia’s rivers, the Miño, is one of the six largest rivers
in Spain. Its present name was given to it by the Romans; it is a Latin
word meaning vermilion,[37] and was chosen on account of the metallic
yellow its waters left upon their banks. St. Isidore and Justin both
give this explanation of the name. Pliny says its mouth was four (Roman)
miles wide, and Strabo adds that it was navigable for a distance of
about eight hundred stadia. In the present day it is not navigable for
even half that distance--“a great loss,” remarks Florez, “to commerce.”
Florez, however, is convinced that the ancients called by the name of
Miño the river that is now called the Sil--because the Sil is the river
whose banks receive the vermilion. Orosius, moreover, speaks of Monte
Medulio as situated above the Miño, whereas it is now above the Sil, at
the point where that river enters Galicia, and the earth there is said
to be of a reddish hue. Besides, the Sil runs into the sea, receiving
the waters of many other streams, but it does not flow into any river.
Molina, however, whose description of Galicia was first published in
1550, goes still further, and says he is sure the Gallegans changed the
names of the two rivers because the Sil was a foreign river, rising
outside Galicia, whereas the Miño was a native! Molina believed that the
Miño got its name from Miñan, the spring which is its source. The Miño
rises near the town of Lugo, flows through the province of Orense, and,
while forming the natural boundary between Galicia and Portugal, flows
into the Atlantic a little beyond the town of Tuy. The beauty of the
scenery through which the Miño passes after it has left the town of
Orense is hardly to be surpassed in the whole of Spain.

Two other important rivers are the Sar and the Tambre, called by the
ancients “Sars” and “Tamaris.” Both of these rivers are historically
famous. Pliny mentions only two rivers in Spain as possessing the
properties that temper iron--the Bibilis and the Turrafo. But Silius
Italicus mentions the river Calybe as one whose waters were used to
temper the metal of Spanish arms, and immediately afterwards he refers
to the arms made in Galicia, and to their excellent quality. He supports
the opinion of Justin, that Gallegan arms were alone found worthy to be
used by the great Hannibal, whom the Spaniards presented with a complete
suit of armour ornamented with tiny pictures of Dido and Æneas, of which
each piece had been tempered by the waters of the Calybe and decorated
with gold from the sands of the Tagus.

The river Calybe now bears the name of Cabe: it rises in the hills of
Cebrero and flows into the Sil at the foot of the vine-clad mountain on
which stands the ruined monastery of San Esteban. St. Isidore thought
that this river gave the name of Calybis to iron, but the ancient
Calybes of the east (afterwards called Chaldeans, according to Strabo)
are said to have been the first people to employ iron; so the Gallegan
river must surely have derived its name from them.

Another important river is the Eo, which, rising in Galicia above
Salvatierra, divides this province from that of Asturias, and is the
natural boundary line between Lugo and Oviedo. Galicia has upon her
coast some of the finest harbours in Europe. Vigo, for one, has often
been described as the finest natural harbour in the world; while Ferrol,
once so famous as the Arsenal of Spain, is likely to become ere long, in
the hands of English shipbuilders, one of the world’s greatest
dockyards, and to supply ironclads to all the nations. One of the ships
with which Columbus set sail to discover America was called _La
Gallega_, and a book has been written to prove that not only did the
great discoverer set sail from the harbour of Pontevedra, but his ship,
_La Gallega_, was built in her dockyards with the wood of Gallegan

Many of the beautiful trees and shrubs that help to make Galicia’s
gardens so beautiful in our day were imported by Jesuits who had gone as
missionaries to the New World. In

[Illustration: THE RIVER SIL, ORENSE]

short, if the traveller really wishes to understand and appreciate
Galicia or any other part of Spain, it is imperative that, side by side
with the objects of interest that present themselves to his view, he
should become acquainted with the story of Spain’s glorious past. All
who have studied Galicia are unanimous in their opinion that she
contains more relics of that past and more trophies of antiquity than
any other part of the Peninsula.



     Galicia’s first golden age--From Galicia to Palestine--The father
     of Spanish historians--His birthplace--_Civitas Limicorum_--An
     amusing story--Early life of Idatius--Arianism--St. Jerome--Paul
     Orosius--King Alfred’s translation--St. Augustine and
     Orosius--Orosius travels to Jerusalem--Roman pilgrims--Etheria--A
     plucky abbess--Her visit to the holy places--Gamurrini discovers
     the manuscript--Not Silvia but Etheria--A curious
     coincidence--Unpublished manuscripts

It was in the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries of the Christian era
that Galicia reached her first zenith as a centre of learning and
literary fame. During this period her intellectual development and
culture far exceeded that of the whole of the rest of Spain: she was
freely acknowledged to be the _Magistra Litterarum_. The writings of the
men who made her famous are many of them preserved intact to this day;
they are all, without exception, the work of monks or church
dignitaries. Outside the Church learning was practically non-existent.
But the monks and bishops of those days were anything but mere
bookworms, mystics, or recluses; they were men who helped to make
history as well as to chronicle and record it. Many a Spanish bishop had
earned a name for bravery on the field of battle before his elevation to
a See, and was, as Lopez Ferreiro has remarked, a soldier at heart, and,
what is also worthy of notice, a married man--with a large family. Many
a monk in those days was a bold and fearless traveller, who had seen
many peoples and many lands, and enlarged his mental horizon by much and
wide observation. We moderns are apt to think that travelling for
purposes of education is a comparatively recent invention, but that is
not the case. From Galicia in the fourth century young men of spirit and
religious zeal--ay, and even young women--started forth to visit
far-distant lands and gather for themselves the flowers of learning and
piety from their native meadows.

Jerusalem was a great meeting-place for leaders of religious thought at
that date, so that it had a double attraction for young Gallegans fired
with spiritual ambition and a Celtic love of enterprise. Many found
their way thither, and each on his return to Galicia became in himself
an influence of culture in his diocese or monastery as the case might
be. The journey from Galicia to Palestine, in spite of its difficulties
and dangers, seems to have been undertaken by the pious as readily in
those days as a journey from London to Rome is in our own. Monasteries,
which were in reality schools of higher culture, had already become
numerous throughout the province. Most of the parochial churches had
already been established before the end of the first half of the fourth
century; they were almost all dedicated to martyrs, and erected over
some spot sanctified by the presence of holy relics.[39] Young men of
noble family invariably took up the profession of arms or entered the
Church; consequently, clergy and monks abounded in the land. “Fifteen
centuries separate us from that epoch,” says Ferreiro, “and twice has
the chain which connects with our own time been broken, first by the
invasion of barbarians, and then by that of the Saracens. Yet the stars
of that period still shine.” Perhaps the brightest of these stars is
Idatius, the father of Spanish historians.

Bishop Idatius, the celebrated author of the earliest chronicles of
Spanish history, was born in Galicia, in a town, now non-existent, which
took its name from the river Limia, and was called _civitas Limicorum_,
or “the city of the Limicos.” Very little was known about this city till
an eminent local archæologist, Dr. Marcelo Macias, began to devote time
and study to the deciphering of some inscriptions that had been found
upon certain stones on the shores of the lake of Antela close to the
spot where the Limia rises. Dr. Macias has recently found the site of
the city, and is now convinced that it was once populous and wealthy,
not a Roman but a Gallegan town, and the birthplace of eminent men--a
city respected and feared during the later centuries of the Roman
Empire.[40] Until Dr. Macias discovered the site, the Portuguese were in
the habit of claiming that Portuguese soil had given birth to the famous
Idatius, who in his youth had visited Jerusalem and knew St. Jerome, and
who in his old age wrote the famous _Chronicles_--a priceless treasure
as regards the early history not only of Spain but also of Spanish
Catholicism. Ptolemy mentions this city as φορος λιμιχῶν, and
the _Ravenate_ calls it Limia or Limæa, and mentions it as the first
halting-place on the road leading from Braga to Lugo, by way of Tuy. Dr.
Macias has satisfactorily proved that this city once stood in the
province of Orense, near what are now the little towns of Lodoselo and
Nocela de Pena, two miles to the south-east of Ginzo de Limia; he has
proved this from inscriptions discovered in that neighbourhood in the
middle of the eighteenth century, which are dedications, the one to
Hadrian and the other to Antoninus Pius, by the city of the Limicos
(_Civitas Limicorum_). Till now, most Spanish writers, confounding the
Forum Limicorum of Ptolemy with the Limia of the Itinerary, have
asserted erroneously that it was the Ponte de Lima in the neighbouring
kingdom of Portugal. Florez and Hübner both helped to make the
inscriptions known, but it was left to Dr. Macias to interpret their
significance to students of Spanish history. They now stand in the
museum of local antiquities at Orense.

The story of their arrival there is amusing. These stones had been
employed in the building of a hermitage erected on the spot where they
had been found[41] in honour of St. Peter; they had been built into the
porch in such a manner that their inscriptions could be read by those
who entered the church, and it was here that a neighbouring abbot
noticed them, and, about the year 1775, drew the attention of Florez to
them. In 1835, at the taking down of the hermitage, another abbot
brought them into the town with several other Roman tablets. He had a
stone cross made of them and placed in the open space before the church.
As time went on the ignorant peasants got the idea that the cross
protected them and their cattle from hailstones, and so strong was their
superstition that they did not like strangers to approach the cross even
to copy the inscription. The stones were at length presented to the
Orense Museum by the bishop of the diocese, and in November 1897 three
of the leading members of the Orense Archæological Society--Dr. Macias,
the late Arturo Vazquez, and Señor Benito F. Alonso--started out to
fetch them. Although the Abbot of Nocela had assured them that the
peasants of the neighbourhood would offer no objection to their taking
the stones,--adding that he had continually preached to them on the
folly of their superstition,--these gentlemen thought it prudent to be
ready for all emergencies, and took along with them some half-dozen
policemen from Ginzo. Thanks to this precaution, they did not return
home with battered skulls and broken noses, nor were they stoned to
death on the road; yet one or the other fate would certainly have
befallen them had they ventured on that expedition unprotected, for the
men and boys of Nocela, having got wind of their purpose, gathered
together before the porch of the little church and protested against the
removal of the stones, while their womenfolk set up an outrageous
hullabaloo at the corners of the village streets; and one urchin,
thinking to get the better of the policemen, climbed the church tower
that he might deliver a surprise attack upon the common enemy. No effort
on the part of the archæologists to bring the people to reason met with
the least success. “_As pedras son nosas_,” they cried (“The stones are
ours”), and even tried to offer bodily resistance. When at length the
stones had been taken possession of, there was not a single yoke of oxen
to be found in the village, and a cart had to be brought from the
neighbouring town of Lodoselo; but even then the peasant driver,
terrified by the threats of the people standing round, begged with tears
that he might be released from his bargain, and there was nothing for it
but to let him go. Finally, the policemen themselves fetched a pair of
oxen from the fields and harnessed them to a cart; the stones were put
into it, and an old man was persuaded to drive it. Thus, at nightfall
the party set out for Ginzo, the wife and daughter of the driver
following the cart and tearfully entreat him to return. The rest of the
people, who would have thrown stones but for their fear of the police,
accompanied their departure with prolonged howls and hisses. Dr. Macias
relates this story in order, he explains, to warn future archæologists
that the modern citizens of the Forum Limicorum are as superstitious as
were the Romans who refused to cross the river Limia at the command of

In the prologue of the chronicle of Idatius we read these words:
“Idatius Provinciae Gallaeciae natus in Lemica Civitate,[42] mage divino
munerequam proprio merito summi Praesul creatus officii,” etc. “Neither
in his prologue nor in the years 431 and 462 of his chronicle,” says Dr.
Macias, “where he speaks of himself as a bishop, does he once mention
the name of his diocese; neither is it given us by St. Isidore or by
Rodrigo, Archbishop of Toledo, when they speak of Idatius.” Dr. Macias
reminds his readers that the fact of Idatius’s having been a native of
Limica in no way proves that he was ever a bishop of that city. He is
generally mentioned as “a bishop of Galicia” simply.

Idatius gives no clue in his chronicle as to the date of his own birth,
but we know that it was towards the close of his life that he
sorrowfully wrote, _lacrymabile propriae et vita tempus_--and _ut
extremus plagae, ita extremus et vitae_. These words were written by him
in connection with the events of the year 469, the last year of those
included in the chronicle. Dr. Macias adds that if he was about eighty
years of age when he finished his chronicle, he must have been born
about the year 390. The Portuguese writer Jorge Cardoso states in his
_Hagiologio_ that Idatius was of the race of the Sueves; but, as it
happens, these people did not invade the Peninsula till twenty years
later. Dr. Macias is sure, moreover, that the fact of the name being
foreign to the Latin tongue indicates that he was not a Roman but a
_Limico_ of the Hispano-Galaic race.

While still young--_adhuc infantulus_, or, as he says in another place,
_et infantulus et pupillus_--he was taken to the East, either by his
father or some other member of his family, and there he met St. Jerome,
St. John, St. Eulogius, and St. Theophilus (bishops respectively of
Jerusalem and Alexandria). His pilgrimage, as he calls it, could not
have lasted longer than the year 402, when he was about twelve or
fourteen years old, for he says he cannot give the dates of the deaths
of St. Jerome and the other Fathers--among whom he mentions St.
Epiphanius, who, we know, died in 402.

In his shorter chronicle, _Cronicon pequeño_, we read that Idatius was
converted to Christianity in the year 416,--“Idatii ad Dominum conversio
peccatoris,”--and that eleven years afterwards he was elected bishop.
Macias, like Florez, explains that the words _conversio ad Dominum_ do
not mean that he was converted from heathendom to Christianity, but
that, till then a layman, he now entered the Church.

The stipulated peace between the natives of Galicia and the Sueves[43]
having been broken, the former commissioned Idatius to represent their
case to the general Aecius. He set out for Gaul upon this errand in the
year 431, and returned to Galicia the following year, accompanied by
Count Censorius, the ambassador sent by Aecius to try and induce
Hermanricus II to make a fresh peace. But Censorius being called to Rome
by the Empress Placidia before this had been accomplished, the
negotiations were left in the hands of Idatius and several other
bishops. “Great,” says Dr. Macias, “were the services which upon this
critical occasion Idatius rendered to his country”, but this is not by
any means his only title to honour. Galicia was at that juncture not
only overrun by barbarians but perturbed by heretics, and Idatius played
no mean part in the struggle that was sustained between Arianism[44] and
the Sueves, and which was more serious against the doctrines of
Priscillian, which had by that time taken such deep root in Galicia, “a
struggle obscure but heroic,” said Menendez y Pelayo, “which must have
left some records behind it; but the torments endured by human thought
and by the conscience are those which are the least reflected in the
pages of history. What long accounts of conquests and battles, what
innumerable catalogues of dynasties would we not gladly relinquish that
we might know when and how the heresy of Priscillian disappeared from
among the people of Galicia!”[45] But we will leave the subject of the
persecution of the Priscillianists to another volume, and turn our
attention at present to the writings of Idatius. The greatness of his
name is due to the chronicles he left behind him,[46] and not to his
religious zeal. Historians have pronounced them to be a literary
production of the greatest importance, not only because they are the
oldest historical documents possessed by Spain and because they testify
to Spain’s having been one of the earliest among the nations to
cultivate history, but also on account of the quality of the facts
recorded. Florez calls them “an original source from which we may learn
the events connected with the entrance of the Vandals, the Alanes, and
the Sueves into Spain.” The fifth century would indeed be, historically,
almost blank but for the light that is thrown upon its events by the
chronicles of Idatius. St. Jerome, the translator and continuer of the
history begun by Eusebius of Cæsarea, did not get farther than the year
378, everything having been thrown into confusion by the invasion of the
barbarians. This, says Macias, was the point at which Idatius took up
the thread. His chronicles begin with the following year, 379, the first
year of the reign of Theodosius, and end in the year 469, thus embracing
the events of ninety-one years. Idatius witnessed and took part in many
of the events he recorded. Being, as he himself said, cognisant of all
the calamities of his unfortunate epoch, he relates with truthfulness
the invasion of Galicia by the Sueves, and paints their methods of
raiding the country with the most lively colours. But for him the
Spaniards would to-day be in ignorance of many of the facts which later
historians--St. Isidore, and Rodrigo, Archbishop of Toledo, and
others--have handed down, for they constantly copied word for word from
the chronicles of Idatius.

Until the year 1615, historians possessed only fragmentary editions of
the chronicle, bearing the title _Chronographia ex Idatio collectore
quodem Caroli Maequali_. But about that date a more complete and a more
correct parchment copy was discovered in a monastery at Metz, and from
this editions appeared in Rome, Paris, Leyden, Amsterdam, Frankfort, and
other places. There is also his second chronicle, called _Cronicon
pequeño de Idacio_, because it is practically an extract, or _résumé_,
of the first. It begins twenty-six years later and terminates a hundred
years later. In spite of its brevity, it contains several facts that are
not included in the larger one, as, for instance, the conversion of
Idatius above alluded to. Another document, _Fastos Consulares_ (from
the year 45 B.C. to A.D. 468), has been called, by the Jesuit Sirmondo,
_Idacianos_, though it bears no author’s name; but Florez has proved in
his _España Sagrada_ that Idatius was not the author, and that it must
have been penned by some Spaniard of the sixth century. “Truth to say,”
concludes Dr. Macias, “Idatius can dispense with this new mark of
literary fame. Great enough is the honour due to him as a writer for
having traced, in the midst of such calamitous times, the first page of
our mediæval history, a gloomy picture indeed, but one of rugged
grandeur, in which his own venerable personality stands clearly forth, a
glory to Galicia and an honour to the city of the Limicos.”

Another Gallegan star of the fourth century was Paul Orosius, also an
historian. In the time of King Alfred Orosius was so well known that his
name was commonly used instead of the title of his work. This is evident
from the first sentence of Alfred’s translation--“Here beginneth the
book which men call Orosius.” Joseph Bosworth, whose literal translation
of King Alfred’s Anglo-Saxon version appeared in 1854, said in his
preface, “The compendious history of the world from the creation to the
year A.D. 116, written by Orosius, continued to be held in high esteem
from the days of Alfred till the invention of printing, for it was
selected as one of the first works to be committed to the press. The
first edition appeared in Germany as early as 1471. After this numerous
editions were published by the most celebrated printers”; and this
writer adds, “It must be interesting to know the origin of a work that
has attracted so much attention and been highly valued for so many
ages,--a work chosen by the first man of his age, our glorious King
Alfred, as a book worthy to be translated by him into Anglo-Saxon,--the
English of his day--to teach his people history.”

For centuries it was erroneously believed that Orosius was a native of
Tarragona, on the shores of the Mediterranean, but Florez and others
have now satisfactorily proved that he was a native of Braga in Galicia.
Orosius himself stated that his _patria_ was _ab oceani littore_ (on the
ocean shore), and that it was overrun by barbarians. He was born before
the year 395, in which Arcadius and Honorius ascended the throne. It
seems that he received his education and was ordained to the priesthood
at Braga, for he was already a presbyter[47] when he started on his

It appears from the testimony of both St. Augustine and Orosius that the
latter left Braga by ship, without any definite intention of going to
see St. Augustine, but that, on finding that his ship touched upon the
African coast, he felt himself impelled by some hidden power to break
his journey there and visit St. Augustine at Hippo. Priscillian’s heresy
was then widely spread throughout Galicia; our historian’s own writings
tell us that he was still in Spain at the time of the entrance of the
Sueves and the Vandals,[48] and that he was far more afflicted by the
heresies that had crept into his beloved church than by the invasions of
the cruellest enemy. “Dilacerati gravius a doctoribus pravis quam a
cruentissemis hostibus sumus,”[49] and it is probable that he was glad
of an opportunity to seek Augustine’s advice and counsel as to the best
means of bringing about the extirpation of the above-mentioned heresy.
He also consulted St. Augustine “on several abstruse points of
doctrine,” and discussed with him the nature and origin of the reasoning
mind. He wrote, about that time, his _Consultatio sive commonitorium ad
Augustinum de errore Priscillianistarium et Origenistarium_, in answer
to which Augustine published his _Ad Orosium contra Priscillianistas et
Origenistas_. These are both included in the works of St. Augustine.
About A.D. 414, St. Augustine advised Orosius to proceed to Palestine to
study the heresy of Origen on the spot, and at the same time to consult
St. Jerome on some of his difficulties as to the origin of the soul. St.
Jerome was then living at Bethlehem, engaged in translating the
Scriptures into Latin from the Hebrew and Greek originals. That
translation is the present Vulgate or Authorised Version of the Roman
Catholics, which is now (1909) being revised with the sanction of the
Pope. Orosius was not himself acquainted with the Greek language.

He carried with him to Palestine a letter of introduction to St. Jerome,
in which St. Augustine wrote of him as follows: “Behold there has come
to me a religious young man in Catholic peace, a brother,--in age, a
son; in rank, a co-presbyter,--Orosius; of active talents, ready
eloquence, ardent application, etc.” While Orosius was in Palestine,
Pelagius was disseminating his new doctrine with great zeal, and our
historian was called on to oppose him before a synod held at Jerusalem
in July A.D. 415, and presided over by John, the bishop of that city. It
was then that Orosius wrote his celebrated treatise, which he modestly
called _Apologia contra Pelagium de arbitrii libertate_. It is appended
to his History.

The sacking of Rome had afforded the Romans a pretence for accusing
Christianity of being the cause of the ruin which had befallen the
Empire, and for asserting that Christianity had been injurious to
mankind. St. Augustine wrote his celebrated treatise to show the
absurdity of this assertion, “and to prove, by historical facts, how
much the world had been ameliorated by revelation.” Orosius wished to
prove, from the history of the world, what Augustine had proved from the
history of the Church, and the result was the great work for which he is
famous. It is written on Christian lines and is in reality a defence of
the Christian religion. Orosius undertook the work at the request of St.
Augustine, to whom it is dedicated. King Alfred, in translating it into
Anglo-Saxon, introduced much new matter. Here is a paragraph relating to
the history of our own land:--

“The Romans gave Caius Julius (Cæsar) seven legions, to the end that he
might wage war four years on the Gauls. When he had overcome them, he
went into the island of Britain, and fought against the Britons, and
was routed in the land, which was called Kentland, and they were routed.
Their third battle was near the river, which is called Thames, near the
ford called Wallingford.

“After that battle the king came into his hands, and the townspeople
that were in Cirencester, and afterwards all that were in the

Another remarkable traveller who started out from Galicia was a woman.
“Jerome had been the leader,” says Montalembert, “of that permanent
emigration which, during the last years of the fourth century, drew so
many noble Romans and Christians of the West towards Palestine and
Egypt.” “In proportion,” he adds, “as souls were more penetrated with
the truths of the faith, and gave themselves to the practice of
Christian virtues, they experienced an attraction more and more
irresistible towards the countries which were at once the cradle of the
Christian religion and of monastic life. Then were seen beginning those
pilgrimages which ended in the Crusades.” The writer has given us an
account of many Romans, both men and women, who undertook pilgrimages to
Palestine in the fourth century, but the story of Etheria--the
illustrious Spanish lady who travelled to the Holy Land from distant
Galicia about 385 A.D.,[51] and who wrote a book about her journey, the
original manuscript of which is still in existence, quite escaped his
notice. Florez, writing towards the end of the eighteenth century,
believed that of this interesting lady no other record had been
preserved than that which he found in the works of the Abbot Valerius,
and which he published for the first time. Florez devoted several pages
of his volume on Galicia to this plucky abbess, or nun, whichever she
might be, because he felt sure that she was a native of that province.
Long after his day the discovery of her own writings (in 1883), and the
research of which she has since been the subject, has proved beyond all
doubt that she was indeed a native of Galicia. Florez begins his account
by a disquisition upon her name; he tells us that Morales spoke of her
as Echeria, that Tamazo called her Eucheria, and that the Toledo
manuscripts have her name as Egeria and Etheria. Florez had the same
manuscript to go by as Morales had had two centuries earlier--that of
the Cistercian Monastery of Carracedo in Bierzo, so he decided to adopt
the name Echeria in writing of her. As, however, it is now agreed that
her right name was Etheria, we will adopt that in preference.

A certain monk, Valerius, wrote a letter in Latin, in the second half of
the seventh century, to the monks of the Bergidensis, telling them about
the pilgrimage of Etheria, and holding her up to them as a model of
fortitude and perseverance. He spoke of her as “the most blessed
Etheria,” and related how, fired with religious enthusiasm, she had
undertaken a perilous journey to the East, in order that she might see
for herself the sacred land where her Saviour had lived and suffered for
the redemption of the world. He told of the difficulties she had faced
and the risks she had encountered in that long and fatiguing journey
over sea and land, over river and mountain, to Palestine and Egypt. She
felt that, like Abraham, she had received a call, and neither the
weakness of her body nor the love of her home could hinder her from
answering it, that is, from setting out on what, in those days, was, for
a woman, an unheard-of journey. Etheria crossed seas and ascended
mountains, no obstacle, no difficulty, no hardship could stop her till
she reached at length that holy spot where Christ was born, suffered,
and rose again. On her way Etheria visited the tombs of many martyrs and
prayed beside them, often going considerably out of her way to do so.
She carried with her as her guide both the Old and the New Testaments.
To reach the places mentioned in the Bible, she boldly crossed the most
dangerous deserts, and travelled by the most perilous roads; she visited
many isolated monasteries, and conversed with the most inaccessible
hermits in their cells.[52] She refreshed her soul, says Valerius, with
the sweet teachings of these seraphic beings. She also studied with
particular care the Book of Exodus, and followed the very road that the
Children of Israel took when they set out for the Land of Promise. She
reached at length the spot where Moses drew water from the rock, and
there she refreshed herself with the Water of Life. She came to the
desert, where the manna fell and where the foolish multitudes had sighed
for the flesh-pots of Egypt, being weary of their celestial food; here
she fed her spirit with the precious word of God. The pillar of cloud
by day and of fire by night which led the Israelites through the desert
did not prevent them from remembering all that they had left behind them
in Egypt. But Etheria had but one desire, to reach Mount Sinai. On
arriving at the foot of that mountain, she mounted to its summit, and
stood where Moses had stood to view the Promised Land, and then she fell
upon her knees, offering up her heart in praise and fervent prayer.
Thence she passed to Mount Tabor, whence Moses viewed the Promised Land,
and the mountain on which Christ Himself had prayed.

Etheria took several years to accomplish this pilgrimage, and all the
time she thought with longing of her far-off home. “It is marvellous,”
cries Valerius, “how much she endured and how much she went through”; it
is a story to confound the proud, a story to show how God chooses His
weakest vessels, passing by the strong, to show what the human breast
can endure when filled with the love of Christ. The world itself was the
theatre of her undertaking; seas, rivers, and mountains were the steps
she trod. “What,” he asks, “must have been the force of that love which
so many waters failed to quench? with what firm hope did Etheria pass
through all those different countries with their different races and
different customs, and many of them barbarians! What must have been the
faith that could have preserved her intrepid to the end!” “_Usque in
finem irrevocabili audacia procul dubio perpetravit._” This, according
to Florez, was Etheria’s greatest triumph, and Valerius said in his day
that, not desiring to have rest in this world, but rather to enter into
eternity palm in hand, she even maltreated her own body that she might
prepare her soul for heaven and make it spotless. She made herself “a
pilgrim upon earth, that she might rest in heaven and stand with the
choir of virgins round their glorious Queen.” Valerius does not say
where she died, but he adds that she reached her house in safety. He
related all this to the monks, that, at the thought of such heroic
virtue on the part of one of the weaker sex, they might be ashamed of
their own half-heartedness and shortcomings, and beware lest, at the
coming of the Bridegroom, Etheria’s lamp might be found brightly trimmed
and their own be extinguished for lack of oil.

Florez based his conjecture, as to Etheria having been a native of
Galicia, on Valerius’s statement that she was a native of territory in
the west bordering upon the Ocean. “_Extremo occidui maris Oceani
littore exorta._” But nearly a hundred years after the death of Florez,
an Italian, M. Gamurrini,[53] made a very interesting discovery. He
found in the year 1883, in an Arezzo manuscript, part of a long account
of Etheria’s pilgrimage written by herself. Three years later he
published it in book form under the title of _Sanctae Silvae Acquitanae
peregrinatio ad loca sancta_. This manuscript, written in the second
half of the fourth century, had till that moment remained unknown to any
but a small circle of devotees to early Christian literature.

In 1888, M. Gamurrini published a second and more carefully prepared
edition. A year later a translation of this appeared in Russian at St.
Petersburg, accompanied by the Latin text. It was not till the year
1891, that the Palestine Pilgrims Tract Society published, in London,
the original text, accompanied by an English version made by John H.
Bernard, an introduction and notes. The English title was as follows,
“The Pilgrimage of St. Silvia of Acquitaine to the Holy Places about 385
A.D.” In 1898 a learned edition was published at Vienna by Herr Paul

The manuscript of Arezzo is incomplete,--having neither beginning nor
end, and it has no author’s name. Now the question that naturally arises
in our minds is, How did M. Gamurrini know that the writer was Silvia of
Acquitaine? What autobiographical details did the manuscript reveal? It
certainly revealed that its author was a lady of distinction, and that
she was a native of a western province of the Roman Empire, bordered by
the ocean. After the discovery of the manuscript there was a great deal
of discussion as to who could have been its author. Some thought she
must be Silvia, sister of Rufinus; Kohler thought she was Galla
Placidia, daughter of Theodosius;--it will be remembered that this
emperor was born in Galicia; but now the date of the pilgrimage is known
to have been much earlier than that of the birth of Theodosius, so that
the pilgrim could not have been his daughter. In October 1903, Father
Marius Férotin, a learned French monk of the Benedictine Order,
published an article in the _Revue des Questions Historiques_, entitled
“Le Véritable auteur de la _Peregrinatio Silvae_. La vierge Espagnole
Etheria.”[55] This student says that the first sentence of the
manuscript shows us the intrepid lady traveller already far from her
native land--at the foot of Mount Sinai. “Dans un Latin vulgaire plein
de simplicité, j’allais dire de bonhomie, mais qui ne manque pas de
charme et où déborde à chaque page un saint enthusiasme pour les
souvenirs bibliques.” She tells her readers that she is in haste to see
everything. “Ego, ut satis curiosa” (_satis_ is here used for _valde_),
and the number of questions she asks prove that she has not exaggerated.
When she came to where the city of Sodom once stood, she wrote: “The
place where there was once an inscription about Lot’s wife was shown to
us, which place we read of in the Scriptures. But, believe me, venerable
ladies (the nuns of her convent in Galicia), the pillar itself is not
visible, only the place is shown. The pillar is said to be covered up in
the Dead Sea. We certainly saw the place, but we saw no pillar; I cannot
deceive you about this matter. The bishop of the place, that is, of
Segor, told us that it is now some years since the pillar was

It is evident that it was Etheria’s own account of her journey which
gave rise to Valerius’s letter to the monks. The date, as well as the
departure and the various stages of the journey, all tally with those
given by Valerius, and he even makes use at times of the identical
expressions used by Etheria. As Father Férotin truly remarks, although
history is known to repeat itself, it has never done so to such an
extent as to give us two such women and two such journeys to Palestine!
Greek names were rare in Spain in the fourth century. Etheria is the
Greek equivalent for Céleste. The name of Etheria in its masculine form
is found in Spain in the eighth century,--it was the name of a
bishop--St. Etherius. “La liturgie wisegothique faisait grand usage de
l’épéthète etheria.”[57] Férotin gives the whole of the Latin from the
original manuscript, the _Codex Escurialensis_ of Valerius’s letter to
the monks, which ends with the exhortation: “_Ideo fratres dilectissimi,
cui non erubescimus, qui uribus corporis et integretate salutes
consistimus, mulierem patriarchi Abrahe sanctum complesse exemplum, qui
femineum fragile sexum_,” etc., of which I have given Florez’s free
translation above.

Férotin reminds his readers that the greater part of this interesting
and important manuscript has yet to be discovered, but that we now know
for certain the name, the native land, and the rank of this illustrious
lady of Galicia, which a short time since were supposed to have been
lost for ever. Father Férotin does not think, like Gamurrini, that she
was an abbess, though the catalogue of Limoges gives her that title.

It has fallen, then, to the lot of a Frenchman to discover that the
manuscript published by an Italian (Gamurrini) is the original from
which the Spanish abbot Valerius drew the account of Etheria’s journey
which he sent in his letter to the Bergidensian monks. But perhaps the
most interesting point in connection with that discovery is the fact
that in Lemberg another monk, of yet another nationality, made the same
discovery at the very same time, and would have published it had not he
accidentally learned that Férotin had anticipated him by a few days.
Father Férotin tells us that while his article was in the press he
received a letter from Father A. Lambert of Lemberg, dated 8th July
1903, in which the latter informed him that he too had made the same
discovery, and had been on the point of publishing it when he saw that
of Férotin announced in the _Review_ in which it afterwards appeared;
and he adds: “La découverte de la lettre de l’abbé Valerius ad monarchos
Bergidenses m’avait amené sur l’origine de la _Peregrinatio_ a une
resultat identique, mais par une route differente.” “I found it,” he
adds, “by noticing a sentence that occurs in three of the catalogues of
the manuscripts of St. Martial, J. Limoges (thirteenth century). I found
that mention was made of a journey made by the Abbess Etheria,
_Itinerarium Egeriae Abbatissae_, the identification of which with that
of the account above mentioned is beyond all doubt.” Father Férotin
published the whole of the letter at the close of his article, that his
readers might see for themselves how two persons quite unknown to one
another had made the discovery simultaneously.

Etheria wrote, as we have seen, the story of her travels for the
religious edification of the nuns of her convent. It was of quite a
private nature, and this probably accounts for the fact that no other
writer besides Valerius seems to have had his attention drawn to it.[58]
The archives of Spain’s convents and churches teem with unread and
unpublished manuscripts which await the student of the future. Among
them may perhaps, some day, be discovered the lost part of Etheria’s
_Journey to Jerusalem_, or possibly it may lie hidden in some dusty
parchment roll at Florence, or in the Vatican.



     Avitus I. and Avitus II.--St. Isidore--The story of St.
     Fructuosus--The origin of duplex monasteries in Spain--One of the
     favourite saints of Galicia--Almanzor comes to Santiago de
     Compostela--San Pedro de Mezonzo--Almanzor returns to Cordova--The
     _Salve Regina_--Who wrote the _Salve Regina_?--Alfonso _el
     Sabio_--His Cantiga--The Mariner’s prayer--St. Gregory--Foreign
     authorities--How the _Salve_ reached France and Italy--Dr. Oviedo’s
     Thesis--A startling article--The Dogma of the Immaculate
     Conception--_De Consolatione Rationis_--An allegory--Eadmer and
     Pedro Compostelano

In our cursory survey of Galicia’s first golden age we have not
attempted to give a full and complete account of all the strong souls
who helped to make that age a golden one; we have been obliged to
content ourselves with giving a few meagre particulars about those whose
life and work have impressed us the most, and refer briefly often only
to the names of those who loom less distinctly out of that distant past;
such men, for instance, as the monk Bacchiarius, as Avitus I., and
Avitus II., as the poet Prudentius and the saint Fructuosus. Of these we
know for certain that the first three visited the East. Florez tells
very fully the story of Bacchiarius, and how he came to wander forth
from his monastery in search of that knowledge which he could not
extract from books alone. As for the two Aviti, they were both in
Jerusalem when Orosius was there, and one of them has been charged with
having become infected with gnostic errors during his stay in Palestine,
and having disseminated them in Galicia on his return thither. As for
the poet Prudentius, he is to-day known to Spanish writers as “the
Horace of the fourth century.” He was born in Galicia, in or near the
town of Braga, about the year 368, during the reign of Constantine the
Great. Two volumes of his lyric poetry have come down to us, both
bearing Greek names, _Kathemerion_ (Songs for Every Day) and
_Peristephanon_ (The Book of Garlands). Critics tell us that the lyrics
contained in the former bear distinct traces of the literary influence
of St. Ambrose; those contained in the latter, fourteen in number, are
dedicated to the glorious sufferings of the early martyrs. Boissier
calls Prudentius “un véritable Espagnol,” a poet who expressed the
thoughts and feelings of his own people, and he adds, “c’est là le
principal verité de la poèsie lyrique: jamais elle n’est plus grande que
quand elle traduit ainsi les sentiments populaires.”

St. Isidore, bishop of Seville, who was the most illustrious
representative of intellectual Spain at the close of Galicia’s first
golden age, and who earned for himself the title of “the oracle of the
Spanish Church,” died in 636. “God created at this time,” says a
contemporary monk, “two great suns to light these western shores with
the rays of that flaming truth which shone from the Apostolic See; the
one, Isidore of Seville, relighted among us, by his eloquence, his
writings, his wisdom, and active industry, the great light of dogmatic
truth issued by the Supreme Chair of Rome; the other, Fructuosus, by the
immaculate innocence of his life, by the spiritual fire of his
contemplations, made the virtues of the first fathers of the desert and
the prodigies of the Thebaid shine into our hearts.”[59]

St. Fructuosus was a son of a general of the Gothic army. We read that
when, as a boy, he was taken by his father into one of his estates upon
the frontiers of Galicia, to number his flocks, “he secretly noted in
his soul a site for a future monastery in that wild country.” Later on,
when he had become his own master, he retired to the spot he had chosen
as a child, and built a monastery, which he endowed with all he had.
Montalembert tells us how he was shortly joined by a numerous band of
monks, but that he himself, flying from the renown of his virtue, took
refuge in the woods and most precipitous rocks, that he might be
forgotten by all. One day, while he was at prayer in the forest, a
labourer passing by took him for a fugitive slave, questioned him, and,
dissatisfied with his answers, overwhelmed him with blows and led him
with a rope round his neck to a place where he was recognised. Another
time, like St. Bernard, he was taken for a wild beast. A hunter, seeing
him covered merely with a goat-skin, and prostrated upon the summit of a
rock, had aimed an arrow at him, when he perceived, by seeing him lift
his hands to heaven, that it was a man occupied in prayer.[60]

Eventually the example of Fructuosus became so contagious that he had to
build other monasteries to shelter his crowds of followers. Their number
became so great that the duke of one of the provinces wrote to the king
to warn him that if some obstacle were not interposed the country would
be so depopulated that there would be no men to fill up the ranks of the
army. The women imitated the men. A young girl of noble family, who was
about to be married to an officer of the Visigothic Court, fled from her
father’s house and hid in the woods near the monastery of Fructuosus, to
whom she wrote, begging him to have pity upon her as upon a sheep which
he must snatch from the fangs of the wolf. He received her, and built
her a little cell in the forest, which soon became the centre of a
community of eighty nuns. The officer endeavoured in vain to recover his
betrothed. He compelled the superior of the new monastery to bring her
to him; she came, but refused to look at him, and he remained mute in
her presence. Then the royal judge said: “Leave her to serve the Lord,
and find for yourself another wife.” Thus it was that Fructuosus
originated the system of duplex monasteries in Spain.

Fructuosus cultivated literature sedulously, and led his monks to do
likewise. He also wrote poetry, some of which is still extant; it is
quoted by Florez. His monks kept great flocks of sheep, the profit of
which they spent in charity. Some years before his death he was made
archbishop of Braga, but he did not cease to practise the rule of
monastic life, and he built many new monasteries. He surveyed all the
coasts of Spain from Cape Finisterre to Cape St. Vincent, crossed the
rivers Duero and Guadalquivir, reaching the promontories and islands,
even to the spot where Cadiz now stands, and seeking everywhere asylums
for prayer and solitude. “Thanks to him,” continues Montalembert, in a
prophetic strain, “the extreme frontiers of the West become guarded by a
line of monastic garrisons. The great waves of the ocean rushing from
the shores of another hemisphere, from that half of the world still
unknown to Christians, is met by the gaze and the prayers of the monks
from the lofty cliffs of the Iberian Peninsula. There they stand firm,
awaiting the Mohammedan invasion; there they endure and survive it;
there they preserve a nucleus of faith and Christian virtue, for those
incomparable days, when, from those shores freed by unwearied heroism,
Spain and Portugal shall spring forth to discover a new world and to
plant the Cross in Africa, in Asia, and in America.”

St. Fructuosus is still one of the favourite saints of Galicia. The
cathedral of Santiago has a chapel dedicated to him, built in 1696,[61]
and his day is honoured by every peasant in the land.

Galicia has some valuable archæological monuments of the eighth century,
to which we shall refer in a later chapter, but she produced no great
literary character whose history need detain us here. It was in this
century that the Moors first invaded the Peninsula; and Galicia, though
not then invaded, began from this time to send the flower of her youth
to fight the Saracens. In the ninth century there took place the
discovery of the tomb of the apostle St. James on the spot where the
cathedral of Santiago now stands, a discovery which led to the
concentration of the reverential love of all medieval Christendom upon
that distant corner of Spain, and eventually caused Santiago to rival
Jerusalem as a centre for holy pilgrimage from all parts of the known

In the tenth century, in 997, the Moor Almanzor, a celebrated minister
of the Moorish Court, arrived with his devastating army at the gates of
Santiago, having reduced thirty monasteries and palaces to ruin on his
way. Troops of Moors had come over from Cordova to join forces with
Almanzor’s hosts. San Pedro de Mezonzo, the author of the _Salve
Regina_, was then archbishop. When the Moorish army reached Santiago,
they found to their surprise that its towers and its walls were
deserted, and that no resistance was being offered to their advance.
Penetrating into the heart of the city, they found stillness and
solitude everywhere; they found the doors of the cathedral open, but
there was only one living person inside it--an aged monk prostrate in

“What are you doing here?” demanded Almanzor.

“I am praying before the sepulchre of St. James,” replied the monk.

“Pray as much as you wish,” replied Almanzor, and he thereupon gave
orders that none should molest him; after which, according to some, the
Moor stationed himself before the altar to protect it from desecration
at the hands of his followers.

St. Pedro de Mezonzo had fled to a neighbouring stronghold, bearing with
him as much of the treasure of the cathedral as he could manage to
carry.[62] It is clear that he at least was not one of the fighting
prelates for which Galicia has been famous. Ferreiro tells us that when
excavations were made in the cathedral of Santiago in 1878, traces of
fire were certainly found. He argues from this that the Moors must have
used fire in their attempt to destroy the building. Almanzor returned to
Cordova laden with booty, and driving before him four thousand Christian
captives, bearing on their shoulders the gates of Santiago Cathedral and
its smaller bells, which, according to Fernandez Sandez, served as lamps
in the great mosque of Cordova until the day when Ferdinand took the
capital of the Calyphate, and caused captive Moors to bear them back to
Santiago on their shoulders and restore them to the cathedral.
Almanzor’s triumph was merely that of a successful expedition into the
heart of Galicia, for the Moors never conquered that province.

San Pedro de Mezonzo was a monk of the Benedictine Order before he was
raised to the archbishopric. The fact of his having been archbishop of
Santiago at the time of Almanzor’s entry is not the only one that
contributes to his fame. He is illustrious in the annals of Spanish
history as being the supposed author of that beautiful prayer to the
Virgin so universally revered throughout Catholic countries, the _Salve
Regina_,[63] a prayer which every Catholic child lisps at its mother’s
knee, and which has been translated into every language:--

     “_Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae; vita, dulcedo et spes nostra,
     salve. Ad te clamamus, exules filii Evae; ad te suspiramus gementes
     et flentes in hac lacrymarum valle. Eia, ergo, advocata nostra,
     illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte, et Jesum,
     benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exilium ostende: O
     clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria._”

Of late years there has been much discussion among students of
ecclesiastical literature as to who was really the author of that
prayer. At a recent Catholic Congress held at Munich this question was
raised by a Benedictine monk. Florez devoted many pages to his argument
that St. Bernard was its author.[64] In 1892 a book on the subject was
published at Karlsruhe, in which W. Brambach tried to prove that
Hermanus Contractus, a Benedictine monk born in 1013 in Suabia, had
composed the _Salve_. There are French writers who support the claims of
a French priest, Ademar de Monteil, bishop of Puy-en-Velay about 1087,
said to have been one of the most active organisers of the first
European crusade. But the most recent as well as the most learned and
scholarly thesis[65] on this question is that of Dr. Eladio Oviedo,
professor of Ecclesiastical History and Archæology at the Pontifical
University of Santiago. Dr. Oviedo has spared no pains in his search for
the real author of the _Salve_; he has weighed every atom of available
evidence, and patiently searched through the religious literature of
centuries for traces of its influence, with the result that he is
convinced that--not St. Bernard, not Hermanus Contractus, not Ademar de
Monteil, but Pedro de Mezonzo of Galicia was the author of this prayer
so dear to the Catholic heart.

The idea is not a new one. I have met with it in several old works on
Galicia, but the proofs brought forward by Dr. Oviedo are more
convincing than any others that have as yet appeared in print. He shows,
and I think conclusively, that the _Salve_ was known in Spain long
before any allusion to it or sign of its influence appeared in French,
German, or Italian literature. Gonzalo de Berceo, in the thirteenth
century, introduced it into his _Milagros de Nuestra Señora_. Alfonso
_el Sabio_ relates in his Cantiga 262 a legend of how an old woman, who
was deaf and dumb, was cured by the Holy Virgin, and straightway taught
her townspeople the memorable _Salve_, which she, in her turn, had been
taught by the angels. According to Alfonso _el Sabio_, it was sung for
the first time in the church of Santa Maria del Puy.

In the sixteenth century the _Salve_ was known to the fisherfolk on the
Spanish coast as “The mariner’s prayer.” In the sixteenth century it had
already become popular in France, Portugal, and Italy. It is mentioned
in the Legends of St. Francis of Assisi by St. Buenaventura in 1274.

Dr. Oviedo points out that the melody of the _Salve_ is written in the
purest Gregorian style, and evidently composed at a date anterior to the
musical innovation which first showed itself at the beginning of the
eleventh century, and was fully consummated in the first half of the
twelfth. In order to perceive the archaic character of the musical style
of the _Salve_, Dr. Oviedo observes, it is sufficient to compare it with
the melodies of the first period of liturgic song, which begins with its
creator, St. Gregory,[66] and terminates with the tenth century. Our
friend has made the comparison, he has noted the beauty, the freshness,
the spontaneity of the ancient melodies that sprang from the musical
vein of St. Gregory, Charlemagne, Paul Varnefried, and others, and he
has decided that this is the school in which the _Salve_ must be
classed; he has studied it also from a paleographical point of view, and
made himself acquainted with its primitive form and with the various
changes through which it has passed. Those who wish to follow these
interesting investigations step by step can do so by perusing Dr.
Oviedo’s own account of them.

A set of homilies preached upon the _Salve Regina_ in the thirteenth
century has been attributed by many, but without any foundation, to St.
Bernard. It was in the sixteenth century that this prayer became
crystallised into its present form. The first instance of its
translation into a romance language occurs in the Cantiga 262 of Alfonso
_el Sabio_. Yepes, the first Spaniard to claim for Spain the glory of
being the birthplace of the _Salve_, wrote: “It has been usual for
Germans and other authors to say that a Benedictine monk called Herman
Contractus was the composer of this impassioned _antiphona_ so
celebrated in the Church. But Claudio de Rota, Antonio de Mocares, and
Durando think that St. Pedro Mezonzo (or Mozonzo) composed the _Salve_;
and I do not see why we Spaniards need let our hands be tied and assent
unquestioningly to the statement that a German was its author.” Dr.
Oviedo laughs to scorn the absurd theory that it was originally composed
in Greek by one of the Apostles, and only translated by Pedro de

Having fixed, then, the period within which the _Salve_ must have first
appeared, namely, the eleventh century, Dr. Oviedo goes on to search for
the precise moment in that century at which the prayer became a
historical fact. St. Pedro de Mezonzo died in 1003, Herman Contractus in
1054, and Ademar de Monteil in 1098. One of these three must have been
the author of the _Salve_. In the eighteenth century the famous
poet-priest of Fruime, in Galicia,[67] published a little work entitled
_Who Wrote the Salve?_ and he brought all his erudition, all his power
of literary criticism, to bear upon the subject, with the result that he
was able to successfully combat the theory upheld by Florez, that St.
Bernard was its author, as well as to prove that it was not written by
Contractus or by Monteil. His judgment has been upheld by the most
eminent writers of Galicia in our own time, including Lopez
Ferreiro.[68] Among foreign authorities who have held this view may be
mentioned Mabillon, Du Cange, and Pope Benedict XIV. Dr. Oviedo in his
recent thesis brings forward two important witnesses. The first is
Guillermo Durando, a canon of the school of Bologna, who became bishop
of Menda in 1285, best known as the author of a book on ancient
ecclesiastical institutions, entitled _Rationale Divinorum Officeorum_.
The second is Ricobaldo de Ferrara, canon of the cathedral of Ravenna,
who was a contemporary of Durando, and who is best known as the author
of a Universal History. Both these writers clearly affirm that St. Pedro
de Mezonzo was the author of the _Salve Regina_. Dr. Oviedo has copied
out their words on the subject with full contexts. I have them before me
as I write. “If anyone should ask,” says Dr. Oviedo, “how it comes that
the _Salve_ was known in France and Italy in those remote times, I reply
that it was from Provence in the eleventh and twelfth centuries that the
greater number of the pilgrims who visited Galicia came. Thence also
there came those pious caravans who, attracted by the throngs of French,
Belgians, Germans, Hungarians, Poles, juglares and troubadours, who
animated the streets and palaces of Compostela, the Holy City of the
West, the emporium and centre of a powerful movement which carried
multitudes of clever men from Galicia to occupy the professional chairs
of the most celebrated schools of the Middle Ages, and multitudes of
inspired Gallegan poets to sing before the most splendid courts of
Europe. Who doubts that by means of these troubadours, of these
scholars, the glorious traditions which join the name of _Salve_ to that
of St. Pedro de Mezonzo should have been spread far and wide?”

The _Salve Regina_ made its first appearance in history as the product
of Galician soil. We have seen that that royal troubadour of the
thirteenth century, King Alfonso _el Sabio_, introduced a legend of the
origin of the _Salve_ into his _Cantigas_.[69] “Where,” asks Dr. Oviedo,
“did he get that legend?” It is precisely those of his cantigas which
have to do with this legend that give us the most difficulty, and whose
source we are to-day unable to trace.[70] The fact is, that the source
of all _Canciones_ of the _Salve_, no matter whose name they bear, is
popular tradition, which had its rise in Santiago, at the tomb of St.
James, at the sepulchre of St. Pedro de Mezonzo. From this source the
story spread, first all over Galicia and then all over Spain. In the
last decade of the eleventh century the _Salve_--carried by the
pilgrims--was being intoned in countries far from the land of its birth.
But it gained such an early popularity in Spain as to be reflected in
Spanish lyric poetry in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, at which
time it had not yet begun to influence the poetry of France.

The reader cannot fail to be struck, while perusing the pages of Dr.
Oviedo’s thesis, with the patient perseverance and the stubborn
determination with which these battles over the authorship of the
_Salve_ has been carried on by French, German, and Spanish patriots
wishing to claim the glory for their own respective lands. But now, if
fresh combatants enter the lists, their efforts will have to be
superhuman indeed if they are to refute the proofs brought forward by
this valiant Gallegan to show that Galicia rightfully claims the
authorship of the _Salve Regina_.

In the summer of 1906 there appeared a startling article in the
newspapers of Galicia,[71] entitled “The Dogma of the Immaculate
Conception.” It began with the question, “Who was the first Western
Theologian to Defend the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception?” “Dr.
Eladio Oviedo,” it continued, “has brought about quite a revolution in
history by affirming that before Eadmer must be mentioned Pedro de
Compostela.” “Eadmer,” wrote Dr. Oviedo, “was an English monk of the
twelfth century, educated under the rule of St. Anselm in the celebrated
school of philosophy at Canterbury. He wrote about the year 1151 _De
Conceptione Sanctae Mariae_--in which he argued, against all the most
learned doctors of his time, that the Virgin Mary was born immaculate.
Not only England, but France, Belgium, Germany, and even Spain believed
till now that Eadmer was the first to defend this theory. But they were
all wrong. About the year 1140, Pedro Compostelano (Petrus Micha,
according to Lopez Ferreiro) wrote a treatise entitled _De Consolatione
Rationis_, of which a manuscript, possibly the original, is still
preserved in the Escurial Library, but, alas, unpublished. In this
treatise Pedro presents, in the form of an allegory to Catholic Reason,
the questions which occupied his mind, and, among them, that of the
Immaculate Conception of the Virgin. It is in the form of a dialogue,
and begins thus--

“_Compostellanus._--One doubt occupies my mind. Tell me, Was she who
merited the honour of becoming the mother of Christ conceived without
original sin, or with it? Truly, the former appears the most likely,
because I think that to the glorious Virgin Mother of our Lord were
granted all the virtues it was possible for Her to have; from this I
infer that Mary was sanctified in Her conception, and thus immune from
original sin.

“_Reason._--No one can deny that the Virgin was given every virtue, and
this is a sufficient answer to thy question. Further, it is evident that
before life she could not be sanctified, as she was not yet a rational
being, which alone is capable of receiving Divine grace, but I do not
vacillate an inch in affirming the fortunate Mary was enriched with the
plenitude of sanctity in the precise instant that her soul had its
birth, _in ipsa animae infusione omnium gratiarum plenitudine Eam beari
non ambigo_.”

“It was the seed sown,” wrote Dr. Oviedo, “by Pedro Compostelano, of the
Galician school of the twelfth century, that produced Cantiga 5 of the
_Festas de Sancta Maria_, which begins thus--

    “E logo que foi viva (Maria),
     no corpo de sa madre
     foi quida do pecado,

lines which appear to be a romanced version of part of the book _De
Consolatione Rationis_, which was written in Galicia by Pedro before he
became a priest, and at least ten years before Eadmer in England took up
his pen to defend an opinion which was subsequently upheld by a host of
eminent Catholic writers, including Feijoó, and which has since been
incorporated among the unalterable dogmas of the Catholic Church.”



     A Romance language--The universal language of Spain--A provincial
     dialect--George Ticknor--The _Cantigas_ of Alfonso el
     Sabio--Comparison between the languages of Galicia and Portugal--A
     Celtic trait--The wing of the tongue--The native poets of
     Galicia--_Trovadors_--The Marquis de Valmar--Latinised
     forms--Amador de los Rios--The young Italian language--French takes
     the precedence--Romance poetry in England--The troubadours of
     Aquitaine--Alfonso the royal trovador--The poet of true love--The
     martyr to Cupid--The story of Macias--His tragic end

With the production of the _Salve Regina_, and with the origination of
the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, Galicia may be said to have
entered triumphantly upon her second golden age, an age which extended
from the eleventh to the sixteenth century, and in which is comprised
the period which witnessed the most glorious triumphs of lyric poetry in

It must be remembered that for a hundred and seventy years previous to
the year 585, when the Visigoths became the sole masters of Spain, the
present province of Galicia, united to what is now the northern half of
Portugal, had formed one united kingdom--that of the Sueves. As an
independent nation, this portion of Spain, with a language of its own,
and kings of its own, had more pronounced characteristics and traditions
than any other part of Spain. Its language, originally Latin, had
become, under the Sueves, a distinct Romance language, just as the Latin
of central Spain became by degrees a Romance tongue, and finally
developed into the Spanish language, as it is spoken in Madrid to-day.
The language of Galicia during its second age of gold, the language of
its lyric poetry was, like the Spanish language, a child of the Latin
tongue; they were, we may say, twin branches from the same stem. But
while the one became the universal language of Spain, the other split
into two smaller branches, of which one became the national language of
Portugal,[72] and the other--while it remained the purest of all the
Latin dialects except the Italian--eventually sank to the level of a
provincial dialect--that spoken by the peasants of Galicia to-day, a
dialect which not even the historians of Spain and Portugal professed to
understand till the close of the nineteenth century.

It was as recently as the last decade of the nineteenth century that
students of Spanish history became conscious of the fact that a true
knowledge of the history of Spanish civilisation in the twelfth and
thirteenth centuries could only be attained by careful study of the
literature produced in the Galician tongue during Galicia’s second age
of gold. An American writer, George Ticknor, whose work is still
considered an authority on Spanish literature, erroneously attributed to
flattery the words of the marquis of Santillana in his famous letter to
the Constable of Portugal, “_non ha mucho tiempo, cualesquier deçidores
e trovadores destas partes, agora fuesen castellanos anduluces o de la
Estremadura, todas sus obras componian en lengua Gallega o
portuguesca_”[73]; but we know now that it was the simple truth, the
language universally chosen by the famous _trovadores_ of Spain, no
matter which might be their native province, and by all Spain’s greatest
poets of the Middle Ages was that of Galicia. “Ticknor thought it an
insoluble mystery,” says Valmar, “why King Alfonso _el Sabio_ should
have left in his will a command that the poetry of Galicia should be
sung over his tomb, seeing that he was buried in Murcia, where that
tongue was not spoken; but if he had studied the Spanish poetry of that
time, if he had read the beautiful _Cantigas_ written by Alfonso
himself, he would not have called the idiom spoken in Galicia in the
thirteenth century a dialect, nor would he have been surprised that
Alfonso should wish Gallegan poetry to be sung over his tomb.”

As we have seen, northern Portugal was once part of Galicia. When
Portugal became a separate kingdom, she retained her original (the
Gallegan) language. Towards the end of the eighteenth century, Feijoó
pointed out that it was an error to suppose that there only existed
three dialects derived from the Latin language, namely, Spanish,
Italian, and French: there was a fourth--the Lusitanian language, that
is, the language of Galicia, which was once identical with that of
Portugal. The chief difference between the two is the pronunciation, and
this is not sufficient to prevent individuals of the two countries
respectively from understanding one another. Feijoó went on to insist
that the Gallegan idiom was not, as generally supposed, a sub-dialect of
Latin nor a corruption of the Spanish tongue, but an independent branch
from the Latin tree, a branch more closely connected with the parent
stem than even the language of Castille. “No one denies,” he says, “that
Latin words have degenerated less in the Portuguese and Gallegan idioms
than they have in Spanish: this could not be the case if they were
sub-dialects of the Spanish language--the nearer the fountain the purer
the stream. Italian is the purest of the Latin dialects; Portuguese
comes next.”

The Gallegans have been a poetic people from the very earliest times,
and this fact tallies with the traditions of their Celtic origin. Like
the Irish, they have preserved even to our own day the Celtic
predilection for spontaneous wit. The poetical contests indulged in by
the _trovadores_ of the Middle Ages were only an elaboration of the
Celtic contests of wit so popular among the ancient Irish, and which are
still part of the programme connected with a Gallegan peasant’s wedding.
On the eve of her wedding-day the peasant girl in Galicia hears before
her window the witty and often sarcastic couplet flung by the friends of
a disappointed rival at the successful suitor and his friends who have
come to serenade her, and then, as quickly as an echo, it is answered by
the triumphant couplet of the happy bridegroom. Verse comes as readily
as prose to the lips of these people, and the peasant bride may listen
half through the night to their poetic banter.[74] Where the
disappointment of the rival is very great, not only is the sentiment
confessed in his spontaneous couplets very bitter, it is sometimes even
cruel. French critics in Feijoó’s day complained that Italian and
Spanish poets put too much enthusiasm (poetic frenzy) into their poetry,
and to this charge Feijoó replied that he who wishes to turn the poets
into prudent, discreet, and sensible beings, wishes to do away with them
altogether, for enthusiasm is the soul of poetry, the ecstasy of the
mind is the wing of the pen. In Galicia it is the wing of the tongue.
“_Impetus ille sacer, qui vatum pectora nutrit._”

The fact that Portugal and Galicia had for several centuries one common
language accounts for the other fact that both have more than once laid
claim to the honour of having produced the same great poet or literary
man. Hence it comes that the _trovador Macías el Enamorado_ appears as a
Portuguese poet in the works of Portuguese writers, and as a Gallegan
poet in the works of Spanish writers. The same apparent contradiction
occurs with regard to the _Cantigas_ of Alfonso _el Sabio_.[75] Great
was the importance of Galicia in the Middle Ages. Constantly was she
visited by royalty, by princes, and by the flower of chivalry, attracted
to the sepulchre of St. James. The greatest and noblest families of
Spain had their senorial estates in Galicia. It was there that they
founded the “Order of the Knights of Spain,” and later the _Hermandad de
Cambiadores_, institutions which lent their powerful protection to the
pilgrims who passed to and from Santiago on the French road (_Camino

Not only did the nobles speak the language of Galicia, that tongue was
also the language of the court. It was in those days that a taste for
_la poesia provenzal_ penetrated into Galicia from France (brought by
French pilgrims of aristocratic birth), and was imitated by the nobles
of Galicia. “This persistence of the sentiment of love,” says the
marquis of Fegueroa, “the chief argument of provençal lyric poetry,
necessarily influenced our Knights of the Order of Spain, as it did the
knights of northern France, Theobald IV, Count Champagne, and Charles of
Orleans.” King Alfonso deliberately chose the language of Galicia in
which to compose his hymns to the Virgin (_Cantigas de Santa Maria_); he
chose it because it was so much more poetical than the language of
Castille, so much more expressive, so much more tender; and for the same
reason it became the favourite medium of all the poets of Spain. The
native poets of Galicia were among the most famous of their age. It is
now known that the curious book of poetry so long preserved in the
Vatican library under the title of _Cancionero de la Vaticana_, was
composed almost entirely by Gallegan poets, and not by Portuguese--as
was believed until about twenty years ago.[76]

The _trovadores_ of Galicia were great travellers, as well as musicians
and poets. Not only did they visit and sing before the most powerful
courts of Europe, but they studied at the _schola mimorum_ of the
countries they visited, and brought back with them to Santiago the most
famous musical compositions of France and Italy. The music of Santiago
Cathedral was for several centuries unsurpassed in Europe.

The Marquis de Valmar, in his fascinating work on the _Cantigas_ of
Alfonso _el Sabio_, describes their language as spirited, flexible,
impressive, and of rich variety. It was a language found ready for his
use by the royal _trovador_; he did not improvise his happy expressions,
they were already current among his people. The old idea that the modern
languages of Europe were a result of the amalgamation of Latin with the
barbaric idiom of the invaders of the Roman Empire is now completely
abandoned. The philologists of to-day do not believe that the
substantial changes introduced by the neo-Latin languages into the Latin
tongue came from the Northern invaders except in very extreme cases. The
transcendental transformations were a natural and inevitable result of
the presence of Roman social life in Western countries.

The separation between the official and aristocratic language and that
of the lower classes in such distinct regions, became the more palpable
and determined, as the traditional glory of Imperial Rome waned. One
Imperial Latin was spoken in the laws, tribunals, and schools, in the
forum, the temple, and the palace; a common idiom bound together the
educated classes of the vast Roman Empire; but in the business houses
and the workshops, among the slaves and the lower classes, there was no
common tongue; each country had its local expressions and its dialects,
of which--though Latin was the foundation--a great part consisted of
Latinised forms, and words of diverse origin--sometimes native,
sometimes exotic--here Celtic, there Iberic, yonder Breton or Arabic, as
the case might be. Later, when Roman fame and influence had declined
still further, when the old Roman families had sunk to a plebeian level,
and their place had been taken by a new, locally produced aristocracy,
then it was that, along with the toga and the sword, the grand old
Latin language disappeared for ever, leaving in its place a mixed
dialect, which we call “Romance.”[77] The various provinces of the Roman
Empire during its last period were, without doubt, bi-lingual. The
conquerors adopted, as is invariably the case, the language and customs
of the conquered, and forgot their own.

Valmar remarks that Amador de los Rios was right in saying that the
common idiom of the peninsula was already completely formed at the
beginning of the twelfth century. There are popular couplets written in
the language of Galicia which can be traced back to the year 1110,
namely the couplets that were sung on the occasion of the enthusiastic
welcome given by the townspeople of Santiago to Bishop Gelmirez, who in
1105 had founded there a school for the cultivation of oratory, letters,
_and the Latin tongue_. It is true, as Valmar points out, that the
formation of the languages of Castille and Galicia must have required
centuries, but that formation reached its completion towards the middle
of the twelfth century. When new dialects came into existence, the
synthetic beauty so remarkable in the Latin language was lost, but in
its place animation and ease of expression were gained. “Marriages,”
says Valmar, “also helped on the triumph of the Romance languages; but
perhaps the most powerful influence was Christ’s religion of charity and

Even in Italy Latin gradually became an unknown tongue to the lower
classes. Pope Boniface VIII. translated the _Stabat Mater_ into the
young Italian language that the people might be able to appreciate it.

Alfonso x. indicates in _Cantiga_ viii. that in his day a young man
needed the help of the Holy Spirit before he could learn to speak Latin.
To help on the propagation of the Christian religion, even Arabic was
sometimes resorted to. Juan, Bishop of Seville, wrote sermons in Arabic
at the beginning of the tenth century,[78] “a proof,” says Valmar, “that
Latin was little known, as also the Romance language which was not yet

French, owing to the influence of the parish schools, took the
precedence of all the neo-Latin languages, and had a powerful influence
over other nations. There was a sudden flowering of Romance poetry in
England just after the Norman conquest in 1066, and this spread to all
the neo-Latin peoples--the story of Tristam and Iseult, the Arthurian
legends, penetrated more deeply than the provençal lyrics. St. Francis
of Assisi went about reciting French songs. Sir John Mandeville was the
precursor of the famous Portuguese Ferñao Mendes Pinto, wrote in French
the story of his travels in Asia (published by Lynn just after the
invention of printing in 1480). Marco Polo also wrote, or rather
dictated, his book of travel in French.

Alfonso _el Sabio_ did not write in a vulgar dialect, but in the
cultivated and polished language used by the aristocracy of Galicia.
“The popular Gallegan dialect remained in the land of its birth, and
kept the characteristic of a euphonic dialect,” says Valmar; but the
language of learning ‘el Gallego erudito,’ so skilfully used by Alfonso
and those innumerable Portuguese Spanish poets whose work is preserved
in the Cancionero of the Vatican, acquired (without losing the essence
of the primitive dialect) the character of a refined literary language.
This language it was which became the mother of Portuguese.

The trouvadores of Aquitaine came in such numbers to Santiago, that it
is no wonder they founded a centre of poetical unification, as Theophile
Braga has called it. It was a school of national lyric poetry in the
language which has been called Galaico-Portuguese. French influence was
strongly reflected in it. It reached its highest point of resplendence
in the reign of Alfonso X., and at that time even the lower classes
understood and appreciated its poetry; so historians need be surprised
no longer that the poet king chose to write in the language of Galicia.

Valmar has made a critical study of the versification of the
_Cantigas_.[79] “In vain,” he says, “philologists have sought a
connecting link between Latin prosody and the prosody of the Romance
languages.” To write Hexameters in the language of Galicia would be
impossible. The origin of the _Cantigas_ is undoubtedly the popular and
religious poetry of Latin decadence, at the moment when there was added
to it a rhythmic element. There were, in Roman days, two Latin
versifications, rhythmic and metric, corresponding to the two idioms
_sermo plebius_ and _sermo patricius_. The rhythmic versification used
in popular poetry existed from the earliest days of Rome. It is
mentioned by Livy, Cicero, Horace, and many other literary Romans. In
the primitive hymns used by the Christian Church, the metric and
rhythmic principles were curiously mixed. The earliest of these were
composed by St. Ambrose and sung in Milan in 386. Léon Gautier has
remarked that the poetry of France originated with the verses sung in
the churches.

The fact that Alfonso X. wrote many hymns of devotion to the Virgin does
not prevent his morals from having been very shady. Dante went so far as
to class him among princes unfit to reign,[80] and Valmar, unable to
truthfully contradict the Italian poet, devotes pages to proving that
Dante himself was not a better man. It is clear, however, that morals
were everywhere very lax in those days, and one need not be surprised
that the _trovadores_ of Galicia were infected by the “_audacias de la
musa provenzal_.” The poets of those days often seem to forget the moral
dignity of humanity; they would attack the honour even of princes in
their bold and bitter satyrs. “Alfonso,” says Valmar, “ever expressed
real tenderness in his love songs.” But one or two of them have shocked
even Valmar by their naked naturalism. “All this,” he says, “shows the
relaxation of morals in his day, and the evil influences that came from

One of the most singular legends contained in the _Cantigas_ is that in
which a rich and gallant gentleman, who has fallen blindly and immorally
in love with a lady, prays with obstinate fervour two hundred _Ave
Marias_ to the Virgin every day for a whole year, entreating her that
she would touch the lady’s heart. At length the Virgin appears to him in
the church, and says, “Look at me well, and then choose between me and
that other woman, the one who pleases you best (_a que te mais praz_).”
The gallant gentleman instantly consecrated himself wholly to the
adoration of the Virgin, and a year later she took him up with her to

In another _Cantiga_, the nun who acts as sacristan of the convent of
Fontebras is in love with a knight, and is on the point of fleeing with
him. She goes and prostrates herself before the Crucifix to take leave
of Christ. Suddenly the holy effigy gives her such a blow in the face
that it leaves a mark for ever on her cheek.

In yet another _Cantiga_ (xciv.) a nun who acts as treasurer of a
convent escapes from the cloisters with a lover, after having left the
keys of the treasury before the altar of the Virgin with a prayer. The
Virgin, in pity, takes her place,




and when the repentant nun returns after many years to the convent, she
finds the keys where she had left them, and learned with astonishment
and gratitude that no one had noticed her absence.

There are three hundred and fifty-nine _Cantigas_ in Alfonso’s

Macías (“O Namorado,” the infatuated lover) flourished in the last half
of the fourteenth century, in the reign of Peter the Cruel (1350-69). Of
all the _trovadores_ of Galicia, Macías is the most popular. His fame is
due to his tragic end, rather than to his merits as a poet. Professor
Rennert,[81] who has recently published a monograph of Macías, does not
find enough merit in his poems to account for his extraordinary fame.
Macías has been extravagantly glorified alike by all the Portuguese and
Spanish poets as a perfect model of true love, of love faithful even
unto death. “Love alone was the cause of his death,” says Gregorio

    “El fino amante es Macías
     Que con solo amor murió.”

Macías is one of the most romantic figures in Spanish literature.
Rennert has spared no pains in hunting for every scrap of information
obtainable with regard to this pattern lover. He has perused the _Satira
de Felice e’ Infelice Vida_, by Pedro, Constable of Portugal, written
between 1453 and 1455; also the writings of Fernan Nuñez of Toledo,
which appeared in 1499, and he assures his readers that all later
writers who have made Macías their subject have drawn their inspiration
from these two authorities.

From the pen of Macías himself, “the martyr to Cupid,” we have only four
poems that can be authenticated. Rennert has examined these with extreme
care, and says that the dialect (or language) in which they are written
differs in no particular from the language of the early Portuguese

As we have seen, the language of Galicia separated itself gradually from
that of Portugal, as a result of the union of Galicia with the rest of
Spain. Each of the four poems of Macías contains a sprinkling of
Castillian words.

“His story fired the popular imagination,” says Fitzmaurice Kelly, “and
enters into literature in Lope de Vega’s ‘Porfiar hasta morir,’ and in
Larra’s ‘El Doncel de Don Enrique el Doliente.’”

There are two versions of the poet’s life story. The one taken up by
Argote de Molina, and, in the words of Rennert, embellished with
additional touches of romance,[83] is the most popular: “Macías was born
in Galicia, and was a great and virtuous martyr to love, who, being
enamoured of a gentle and beautiful lady, it happened that, riding one
day over a bridge together, fortune so willed it that the mule upon
which the lady was riding, becoming restive, threw her into the deep
water. And as that constant lover, no less determined than fired by
love, and fearless of death, saw what had happened, he quickly leapt
into the deep waters: and he, whose infinite longing the great height of
the bridge in nowise checked, nor whom the black and angry waters made
forgetful of her in whose thrall he lived, seized her, already half
dead, and bore her to the white sands safe and sound, and afterwards
despairing of the reward that is not denied in the end to all true and
faithful lovers, she was married to another. But that constant and
gentle soul, that knew no change, loved her being married as he had
loved her a maid, and as the faithful lover was journeying along one
day, he met the cause of his undoing, for there came towards him his
lady, and in requital of his great services to her he asked her to
descend from her palfry. Thereupon Macías thanked her for her bounty,
and bade her remount and ride on, so that her husband might not find her
there, and she having departed, her husband arrived, and seeing him whom
he did not much love standing in the middle of the road, he asked him
what he was doing there, and Macías replied, ‘Here did my lady set her
feet, and in these footprints I intend to remain, and end my sad life.’
And her husband, wanting in every feeling of courtesy or nobility, more
actuated by jealousy than by mercy, dealt him a mortal blow with his
lance. There, stretched upon the ground, his eyes turned in the
direction in which his lady had departed, he uttered the following
words: ‘O my only lady and for ever! Wherever thou mayest be, I entreat
thee to remember me, thy unworthy servant’; and, having uttered these
words with a deep sigh, his blissful soul passed away.”

Macías wrote a poem in which he upbraided Love. Here is the first verse
of it--

    “Amor cruel e briosa
     Mal aia a ta alteza,
     Pois non fazes iqualeza
     Seendo tal poderoso.”

And here is the fifth and last verse--

    “Ves, Amor por que o digo,
     Ser que es cruel e forte,
     Adversario ou enemigo
     Desamador de ta corte:
     Al vil deitas en tal sorte
     Que por prez lle das vileza!
     Quen te serve en gentileza
     Por galardon lle das morte.”

No doubt if he could but have foreseen his own tragic end, he would have
reproached Cupid with even greater bitterness.



     St. James’s Road--The legend of St. James--Landing at Padron--Abbot
     Ildefred--Alfonso el Casto--The town of Santiago--Diego
     Gelmirez--The _Historia Compostelana_--Another famous
     manuscript--The Codex of Calistus II.--Basque words--Origin of the
     Basques--Molina’s list of pilgrims--In the cathedral--Hymn of the
     Flemings--Relics of St. James--The scallop shell--Images of St.
     James--Jet workers--Money-changers--St. Bridget--Philip II--William
     of Rubruquis--Queen Matilda--An irreparable loss--A book on
     Galicia--Why the pilgrims wear a scallop shell--Crowding of
     pilgrims to the Mass--Beds in the cathedral--Incense in Christian
     worship--The great censer--Early references to the
     _botafumeiro_--The censer swings too far--Candlemas--An impressive
     ceremony--The _Chirimias_--English pilgrims to Santiago--An English
     hospital--The monastery of Sobrado

“The mediæval Spanish roads were the work of the clergy,” wrote Ford,
“and the long-bearded monks, here as elsewhere, were the pioneers of
civilisation.... In other provinces of Spain, the star-paved milky way
in the heavens is called _El Camino de Santiago_ (“the road of St.
James”); but the Galicians, who know what their roads really are,
namely, the worst on earth, call the milky way _El Camino de Jerusalem_
(“the road to Jerusalem”).” And here is a passage that we find among the
poetic writings of Daudet: A shepherdess has asked a young shepherd if
he knows the names of all the stars, and he begins his reply with, “Why,
yes, mistress. Look, straight above our heads. That is St. James’s Road.
It runs from France straight over Spain. It was St. James of Galicia who
traced it there, to show the brave Charlemagne his way when he was
making war upon the Saracens.”

The actual road which brought pilgrims and troubadours from France,
across northern Spain to the town of Santiago in Galicia, was known as
_el camino francés_, or the French Road. Ford says that the Spaniards
made Santiago a centre for their pilgrimages, because, as every one
knows, the Pope had forbidden them to take part in the Crusades as long
as they had infidels on their own soil.

The legend of how St. James came to be the patron saint of Spain--the
legend as it is authorised by the Catholic Church in the twentieth
century, is as follows:--St. James, eleven years after the crucifixion
of Christ, was decapitated by the order of King Herod, because he
preached the Gospel to the Jews. The disciples took possession of his
holy body by night, and, accompanied by the Angel of the Lord, arrived
at Joppa, on the seashore. While they were hesitating as to what they
should do next, a ship, provided with all that they could require during
a long voyage, appeared before them. The disciples, filled with joy,
entered the ship, and, singing hymns of praise to God, sailed with
favourable breezes and a calm voyage, till they came to the harbour of
Iria, on the Gallegan coast. There, full of happiness, they sang a psalm
of David.

Having landed near what is now the town of Padron, the disciples
deposited the holy body in a little enclosure, which is venerated to
this day under the name of Libredon--about eight miles distant from the
town of Iria. There they found a great stone idol that had been erected
by the pagans,--this they hacked to pieces with the aid of some iron
tools they had discovered in a cave close by. Having reduced the idol to
dust, they made of it a very firm cement, and with this they made a
stone (or marble) sepulchre, and a little oratory supported by arches.
Having enclosed the holy body in the sepulchre and placed it in the
oratory, they built over it a tiny church with an altar for the use of
the people of the neighbourhood. Then they sang two more psalms (which
are still given in the guide-books). The people of the place were very
soon converted to the true faith through the preaching of the disciples,
and it was at length decided that two of them, Athanasius and
Theodosius, should remain at Iria to watch over the sepulchre of St.
James and strengthen the new converts in their new religion, while the
rest departed to carry the Gospel to other parts of Spain. Athanasius
and Theodosius kept reverent watch over the sepulchre, and commanded
their converts that after their death they two should be buried one on
either side of St. James. In due time they died peacefully and happily,
and entered into heaven. Later on a small community of monks, twelve in
all, established itself near the spot; they were presided over by the
venerable Abbot Ildefred, and it was their business to offer up solemn
prayers to the glorious apostle to whom Spain owes her faith, and by
whose valiant championship that nation considers itself to have been
freed from the Mussalman yoke.

For eight hundred years the holy body remained where the disciples had
placed it, forgotten by all. Then in the year 812 “some men of
authority” went to Teodomirus, who was then bishop of Iria Flavia
(Padron), and informed him that they had seen on many occasions strange
lights flickering at night-time in a neighbouring wood, and angels
hovering near them. The bishop hurried to the spot indicated, and,
seeing the lights with his own eyes, at once ordered the wood to be
carefully searched. Very soon, amongst the trees, a little oratory was
discovered, and in it a marble sarcophagus. The king, Alfonso _el Casto_
(Alfonso II.) was at once informed of the marvellous discovery; he came
in person to see the sepulchre, and immediately decided to transfer the
Episcopal See from Iria to this sacred spot, which henceforth bore the
name of Compostela (from _campos_ “a field,” and _stella_ “a star”). A
solemn procession of bishops, priests, nobles, and citizens inaugurated
the foundation of the new city (which became known to all the Spanish
world as Santiago de Compostela). This (the translation of the Episcopal
See) took place, we are told, in the reign of Charlemagne. From that
moment “Spanish heroism sought, as was natural, in the sepulchre of the
holy Apostle the strength and enthusiasm which saved Europe from the
barbarism of Islam, and the roads leading to Santiago were the wide
highways that were trodden by nobility and virtue, by science and
valour, during the centuries of the Reconquest.”

Santiago soon became one of the most celebrated cities of Christendom.
The modest church built by Alfonso _el Casto_ was too small to
accommodate the pilgrims who flocked to it, so it was replaced by a
beautiful cathedral. The whole Christian world is said to have
contributed towards the building of this edifice, pious alms poured in
from every part of Europe, the pilgrims themselves took part, with their
own hands, in the laying of its stones,--young men and old, women of all
ages, rich and poor, learned and ignorant, popes and prelates, emperors
and kings, all lent their aid.

Diego Gelmirez was at that time the prelate of Santiago. This remarkable
man is famed not only for the zeal with which he superintended the
building of the cathedral, but also for the many agricultural
improvements which he introduced and encouraged, and for the works of
art with which he beautified the city; he also erected many churches,
both within and without it, among which may be noted that of Sar, that
of Conjo, and that of St. Susanna. He performed the part of bishop and
mayor combined in one. So much did literature flourish under his
patronage, that he has been called “the Mæcenas of Galicia.” The
_Historia Compostelana_, preserved in the archives of the cathedral,
from which I have taken my account of the finding of St. James, was
written at his bidding. The first part of it is the work of two authors,
and the last of one. The first two were chosen by Gelmirez as the most
learned of his canons, Don Munio (or Nunio) a Spaniard, and Don Hugo a
Frenchman by birth. Both, according to Florez, had the full confidence
of the prelate, who confided to them without reserve his most important
secrets. Gelmirez set them to work upon this book as soon as he became
bishop, in 1100. In 1112, both canons became bishops in their turn,
Munio of Mondoñedo, and Hugo of Porto. After their departure from
Santiago the work of writing the book was carried on by Girardo. The
work is without doubt one of the most precious literary monuments of the
twelfth century. Florez brought it before the public after it had lain
dead for six hundred years, by publishing it in his _España Sagrada_.

In the _Historia Compostelana_ there is no allusion to St. James beyond
the finding of the sepulchre in the first chapter, and some have thought
this fact a proof that the legend about the apostle has no foundation,
but Florez points out that this book was written solely to perpetuate
the memory of Gelmirez, as the title, _Registro del Venerable Obispo_,
shows. The early history of Santiago is only touched upon in the first
three chapters, and the work does not pretend to be a church register.

Another famous manuscript preserved in the archives of Santiago
Cathedral since the twelfth century is the priceless Codex of Calistus
II., the date of which is supposed to be a few years later than that of
the _Historia Compostelana_ (about 1140). This document, of which the
capitals are illuminated, contains some curious miniatures, one having
for its subject the departure of Charlemagne for Spain. Here there is a
description of the principal roads by which pilgrims were wont to reach
Santiago. Pope Calistus II. was one of the most illustrious of all the
pilgrims who visited Santiago. He undertook the pilgrimage when he was
an archbishop in France, about 1109. There are in existence three
examples of this manuscript which bears his name: one is in the Royal
Library at Madrid, and another, preserved in one of the other libraries,
is a Gallegan translation dating from the first half of the fifteenth
century. At the end of the twelfth century there was in existence a
French translation.

In the year 1173, Arnaldo del Monte, a monk of the celebrated monastery
of Ripoll in the province of Gerona, went on a pilgrimage to Santiago.
He handled, described, and made extracts from the precious Codex; his
dedication of it is still preserved in the library of Ripoll, and there
is also said to be a copy in the Paris library.

The Codex of Calistus III., supposed to have been partly written by his
chancellor, Aimerico Picard, is in five books. The first contains four
homilies of Calistus on the three great festivals of Santiago, and the
Mass, with a dramatic liturgy set to music composed by Fulbert de
Chartres, retouched by the hand of Calistus or some other personage;
some of the writings of Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome, and, we are told, of
Bede, _per totum annum legenda_. The second contains “The Miracles of
the Apostles”; the third gives an account of the translation of St.
James from Jerusalem to Spain; the fourth, “How Charlemagne brought
Spain under the yoke of Christ”; and the fifth, various writings.

According to the written testimony of Pope Calistus II., the most
wonderful cures were effected at the shrine of St. James. “The sick come
and are cured, the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the dumb
speak, the possessed are set free, the sad find consolation, and, what
is more important, the prayers of the faithful reach to heaven, the
heavy weight of sins is removed, the chains of sin are broken, thither
come all the nations of the earth,” and here follows a list of some
eighty tribes and nations. These pilgrims travelled across Europe in
companies, and in companies they placed themselves beside the sepulchre,
the Italians on this side, the Germans on that, as the case might be;
every one holding a wax taper is his hand, there they remained to
worship the whole night long, and the light from the innumerable tapers
made the night like day. Some sang to the accompaniment of the cithara,
others to that of the lyre, some to the timbrel, others the flute,
others to the fife, others to the trumpet, others to the harp, others to
the viola, others to the British and Welsh harp and crouth, others to
the psaltery, and others to many other musical instruments. Some weep
for their sins, some read psalms, and some give alms to the priests.
There does not exist a language or a dialect that is not heard in that
cathedral. If any one enters sad, he goes out happy; there is celebrated
one continuous festival, people come and go, but the service is not
interrupted by day or by night. The doors of the sacred edifice are
never closed, lamps and tapers fill it at midnight with the splendour of
midday. Thither all wend their way, rich and poor, prince and peasant,
governor and abbot. Some travel at their own expense; others depend upon
charity. Some come with chains for the mortification of their flesh;
others, like the Greeks, with the sign of the cross in their hands. Some
carry in their hands iron and lead for the building of the basilica of
the Apostle. Many whom the Apostle has delivered from prison carry with
them their manacles and the bolts of their prison doors, and do penance
for their sins.

“The many thousands of miracles,” says Calistus, “that were worked daily
through the intercession of the Apostle in the happy city of his
glorious tomb increased the legions of pilgrims, who carried back with
them to the utmost confines of the world the name of Compostela!” “And
how the highways of Asia and Europe must have resounded in those days,”
cries Sanchez, “with hymns of praise sung by the pious pilgrims to St.
James!” Every nation had its own special hymns, a mixture of Latin and
the local idiom. One of the most beautiful of these compositions was,
according to Fita, that sung by the Flemmings, “que es de lo mas selecto
de la poesia del siglo xii.” In each verse the name of St. James appears
in a different case of the Latin declension.

As we have seen, special roads were built in Italy, France, and Spain to
facilitate the pilgrimages. Bridges were thrown across ravines and
rivers; inns and monasteries sprang up at the chief halting-places, such
as St. Marks at Leon and the monastery of Roncevalles, and in the lonely
and dangerous places where they were most needed. The fame of St. James
impressed even Rome. In the beginning of the tenth century, Pope John X.
(915-928) sent a priest named Zanelo to Santiago to find out if it was
really true that so many pilgrims went there and so many miracles were
wrought. Book ii. of the Codex of Calistus II. tells of many wondrous

The most glorious days of the pilgrimages were those in which Diego
Gelmirez was archbishop. It is difficult for the uninitiated to see why
the tomb of St. James should have been considered to be the most
glorious of all the saints’ tombs in the world; but so it was, according
to St. Buenaventura.[84] There constantly occurred such frightful
crushes and stampedes in the fourteen gateways leading to the sacred
edifice, that a great many accidents happened even to the members of the
best-regulated pilgrim bands, and free fights ensuing, complaints went
up even to the Pope at Rome! For very often the prelate of Compostela
was absent from his post, and there was no other to take his place.

There is still preserved among the ancient constitutions of the
cathedral a description of the ceremonies prescribed in connection with
the pilgrims, and carried out by Archbishop Juan Arias 1282, 1266. The
custodian of the altar and a priest standing erect with rods in their
hands called up the bands of pilgrims in turn according to their
nationality and in their own language, and told them to group themselves
round the priest who was to hand them the indulgences they had gained by
their pilgrimages. Each pilgrim received a sharp rap from the rod as he
passed. As soon as divine worship was over (that is, the portion which
they attended), the pilgrims proceeded to lay their offerings before the
altar, and then went to venerate the _chain_. Sanchez thinks this was
the chain by which the Jews secured their prisoners. After the chain
came the _crown_, the _hat_, the _staff_, the _knife_, and the _stone_.
It seems that even the _hatchet_ with which St. James was beheaded lay
upon the altar when Baron de Rozmilal made his pilgrimage in 1465. The
staff is the only one of these sacred relics that has survived to our

Most of the pilgrims, after they had done with Santiago, went on to
Padron to see the spot where the Holy Body had been landed by the
Disciples. But there was a great deal to be done in Santiago.
Money-changers sat with little heaps of coin close to the entrance of
the church, and did a lively business with the foreigners.
Scallop-shells had to be purchased, for the pilgrim who returned home
without his shell would not get his friends to believe he had got as far
as Santiago. This shell, the _pecten Veneris_ or _ostra Jacobea_
(Linn.), was called in Galicia _ó Jacobea_ (the shell of St. James). It
received the first of these names because it resembled in its form the
comb employed by the ancients, and Aphrodite was supposed to comb her
hair with one of these shells when rising from the sea. It is the common
convex bivalve so familiar to English eyes, white inside, and the fish
of which somewhat resembles an oyster, though it is less delicate in
flavour and odour. This sacred shell was offered for sale to the
pilgrims in all sizes, and made of many different materials: there were
shells in black jet, in porcelain, in silver, in copper and in brass, in
tin and lead. Traders called _los conchiarii_, _concheiros_, or
_latoneros_, sold shells, images of the Apostle, crosses, medals, and
other _objêts de religion_ to the pilgrims. The insignia of St. James
consisted chiefly in the metal scallop-shells which the pilgrims
attached to their robes and broad-brimmed pilgrim’s hats. Villa-Amil,
quoting Lopez Ferreiro,[85] tells us that in virtue of an edict of
Gregory IX. about 1228, in answer to a petition from the Archbishop and
Corporation, the manufacture of these shells in any place except
Compostela was strictly prohibited. In 1224 any one found falsifying
them was threatened with the anathema of Pope Alexander IV., and in 1266
Pope Clement IV. went even so far as to publish an edict excommunicating
those pilgrims who purchased or wore any other shells than those
manufactured in Compostela. Alfonso X., also, in 1260 forbade the
pilgrims to wear any insignia of St. James that had not been
manufactured on the spot, because by so doing they caused the Cathedral
of Santiago to suffer loss both in honour and revenue. Later on, in
1581, confiscation of the article and a fine were imposed on those who
dared to falsify the insignia of the Apostle or gilded them with saffron
that would not wear. The inns of the town of Santiago at which the
pilgrims put up had the sacred sign of the scallop-shells over the
central porch. Many of these, now turned into private houses, may still
be seen by the traveller. “But how,” the reader will ask, “did the
scallop-shell come to be chosen as the chief emblem of St. James?”

Next, perhaps, to the scallop-shells in popularity among the pilgrims
were the images of St. James, also manufactured for them at Santiago, a
favourite material being black jet (_azabache_). Dr. Fernando Keller, an
antiquarian of Zurich, published in 1868 a description of two jet
figures of St. James found in Switzerland, near the chapel for leprous
pilgrims at Einsiedeln; and a similar one found in Scotland has been
described by a Scotch antiquary as the _signaculum_ of a pilgrim to
Santiago, blessed at the shrine before it was carried away. The poorer
pilgrims who could not afford a jet image contented themselves with a
pewter one. But Villa-Amil says there is plenty of evidence that the
sale of the images had nothing to do with the Cathedral, and that the
workers in jet were in the habit of besieging the pilgrims and worrying
them into the purchase of their images. A few years ago, according to
Villa-Amil, not a single specimen of the ancient Santiago jet-worker’s
art was known (except to a few persons) to be in existence. Yet the
confraternity of jet-workers flourished up to the close of the sixteenth
century. They are mentioned in a curious notice in a memorial dated
August 8, 1570, which Villa-Amil gives at length. In the Ordinances of
the Confraternity there are some interesting technical details, such,
for instance, as the statement that jet from the Asturias was preferred
to Portuguese jet “because it took the straw,” _i.e._ had the power of
attraction. With regard to the jet images--the bearded image of St.
James, with pilgrim’s hat, robe, and staff, usually had two smaller
images kneeling on either side of it, but sometimes there was only one.
On the upturned brim of his hat there is the conventional shell, and in
his left hand he holds an open book. A rosary is suspended from his
girdle. He is usually barefooted and barelegged. From the hook of his
staff is suspended the leathern bag which was part of every pilgrim’s
staff. The kneeling figures are attired in pilgrim’s garb, also with
rosaries. The figure of St. James is never more than seven inches high.
The more ancient ones bear traces of gilding. Examples are to be seen in
the Kirker Museum at Rome, in the British Museum, in the Museum at
Perugia, in the Cluny Museum, and in many other places. Mr. Joseph
Anderson, according to Villa-Amil, was long under the impression that
the only piece of jet workmanship in the United Kingdom was the little
figure of St. James in the Museum of the Society of Antiquaries of
Scotland. A very rare and interesting specimen is the one of which Señor
Villa-Amil has kindly presented me with an illustration, and which is in
the possession of Guillermo de Osma.

The jet-workers (_azabacheros_) gave their name to the street in which
they carried on their trade, which led up to the principal entrance of
the cathedral, the façade of which is still known as _la Azabacheria_.

Señor Villa-Amil[86] has devoted a most interesting chapter to the
subject of the Santiago money-changers. He is convinced that there is
absolutely no foundation for the popular fallacy which attributed to
these money-changers the functions of a noble corporation, and wrapped
them in a romantic halo, as though they were something like “Knights of
the Round Table.” It is not true that, while they spent their days in
changing the pilgrims’ money, they guarded by night the sepulchre of St.
James. On the contrary, it is now quite certain that, according to the
earliest mention that has been found of them, their position was neither
a high nor a remarkably honourable one. They are mentioned in reference
to a statute passed in the year 1133 to prevent them from using false
weights. And Mauro Castella Ferrer, in his _History of St. James_,
informs us that a man who had been a money-changer, or the master of
such, was prohibited from wearing the garb of St. James! Far from being
looked upon as honourable knights, men of this trade were constantly
being upbraided all through the Middle Ages for the abuses of which they
were the originators. This was the case not only in Santiago, but all
over Spain. One charge against them was that they knowingly received and
circulated coins that they knew to be worthless.

The Confraternity of Money-Changers of Santiago was in existence in the
middle of the fifteenth century--for in 1450 Juan II. conceded to them
certain privileges. Money-changers, silversmiths, and jet-workers
represented the most important industries in Santiago in the Middle
Ages, and all these were established in quarters close to the Cathedral.
The money-changers, according to Aimerico, carried on their trade in the
Azabacheria in company with the jet-workers. In the fourteenth and
fifteenth centuries these money-changers were no longer simple
money-changers seated on the ground with heaps of coin piled around
them; they had risen to the rank of respectable bankers, and many of
them were men of considerable standing and wealth. Villa-Amil thinks
that Francisco Trevino, whose tomb and effigy may still be seen in the
_capilla del Salvador_ of the cathedral, and who was secretary to
Archbishop Fonseca in the sixteenth century, was one of these

Among the saints who came as pilgrims to Santiago are the great names of
St. Frances from Italy and St. Bridget from Ireland. Warlike princes
journeyed thither that they might obtain the protection of the Apostle
against the enemies they were to meet in the field of battle. Philip II.
visited the sepulchre of St. James before embarking with the Armada for
the British coast. Among the queenly pilgrims to Santiago were Isabel,
queen of Portugal, and Catherine of Aragon, the unhappy wife of our
Henry VIII. The Cid and the Gran Capitan both came to Santiago. William
X., Count of Portiers and Duke of Aquitaine, expired in 1137 in the nave
of the Cathedral while joining in the Divine service. Louis VII. of
France came here on his return with the French army from the Second
Crusade. It was thought a blessed thing to die on the road to or from
Santiago. In the thirteenth century, Juan de Briena, King of Jerusalem
and Emperor of Constantinople, was among the pilgrims. The Franciscan
monk William de Rubruquis, who was sent by Louis IX. to convert the
Mongols of Siberia, found among the Tartars a Nestorian monk who
intended to make a pilgrimage to St. James of Galicia. Queen Matilda,
the daughter of Henry I. of England and wife of the Emperor Henry V. of
Germany, on returning to her old home as a widow in 1124, carried with
her the bones of one of the hands of St. James. Contemporary annalists
regarded this as an irreparable loss to the Kingdom.

Pilgrims continued to flock to Galicia in thousands up to and throughout
the sixteenth century.

In the year 1550 the first edition of a book entitled _Descripcion del
Reyno de Galicia_ was printed at Mondoñedo. Its author was Francisco
Molina, a native of Malaga and a canon of the Cathedral of Mondoñedo.
There is a copy of the first edition in the library of Santiago
University. This is one of the most curious and at the same time most
valuable of all the old works upon Galicia that are still extant. This
“Description of the Kingdom of Galicia” is written in verse, with
explanatory footnotes on every page. Here we read that of all the
cathedrals of the world that of Santiago was the most visited. “It is
venerated by all nations,” says the writer, “especially by the Slavs. A
Slav who makes a pilgrimage to Santiago is, on his return to his native
country, considered free from all his sins and escapes many of the
annoyances to which the others (who had not been to Santiago) are
subjected. Every year we see, on the 1st of May, processions of Slavs
with offerings, with thick and long wax candles. Having shown themselves
to their friends at home, they return the next year, in May, till they
have been three times, and on the occasion of the third procession they
wear three crowns. They then return to Esclavonia, where they henceforth
enjoy great liberty.” This is certainly very like the journey of
Mohammedans to Mecca! “The number of pilgrims is a marvellous thing!”
exclaims Molina. “The only other cathedrals where there is a concourse
of pilgrims anything like that at Santiago are St. Peter’s at Rome and
St. John’s at Ephesus. More pilgrims come to Santiago than to these two,
especially in Jubilee year (every seven years); but since Luther arose
with his dangerous views, the number of German, French, English and
Bohemian pilgrims has somewhat decreased.” Molina owns that the people
who take the least part in these pilgrimages are the Spaniards, “perhaps
because they are contented to know that they have the Cathedral and
relics of St. James in their own land, or perhaps because they prefer
seeing foreign lands to travelling in their own country.”

Molina tells his readers that the relics are shown to the pilgrims on
certain days of the week by a man specially appointed for the purpose on
account of his linguistic talents. He is called _lenguagero_ (linguist).
The head of the glorious Apostle is carried round the Cathedral on all
feast days in solemn procession. “One of the relics is a drop of milk
from the breast of the Virgin in a vase as fresh and perfect as if of
to-day. There is also a precious lock of her hair, and a thorn from
Christ’s crown which turns the colour of blood every Good Friday.”

“St. James brought nine disciples with him to Spain,” writes Molina. We
will leave his account of the great hospital erected for the pilgrims
till another chapter. He devotes many pages to a careful description of
the arms of the great families of Galicia, and with them of the arms of
St. James. “The reason why the pilgrims wear a scallop-shell as the
insignum of St. James,” he explains, “is that a certain nobleman, who
wished to accompany the body of the Apostle to Galicia, not finding a
passage in the ship, entered the sea on horseback, and thus reached
Galicia. As he came out of the water it was found that his body and that
of his horse were covered with scallop-shells. And now, the pilgrim who
does not bring scallop-shells back with him is not believed to have been
to Santiago at all.”

The crowding of the pilgrims to Mass was so great in the early years of
the seventeenth century, that the priest, after administering the Holy
Communion in the Chapel of the King of France, administered it in the
nave, in the transept, in the cloisters, and even in the large square
which is now called _Plaza de los Literarios_, but which was then called
the _La Quintana_. All these places were tightly packed with pilgrims.
As late as the year 1706, altars were temporarily erected in the
cloister for the priest to say Mass. In 1794, D. Miguel Ferro, Architect
of the Cathedral, wrote: “The crowd of pilgrims on the great feast days
is so large, that only two-thirds of them can get into the Cathedral,
apart from the families who live in the town.”[87] “Since then,” wrote
Sanchez in 1888, “the revolutions which inaugurated the present epoch,
and the spirit of religious indifference which has unfortunately
affected modern minds, have influenced the decadence of pilgrimages to
Santiago; they are now only the shadow of what they were.... To-day,
nevertheless, we feel the fervour and enthusiasm of bygone days is once
more growing.... With the discovery of the Sacred Relics of the Apostle,
Santiago appears at certain epochs to recover her former appearance.
Never shall we forget the 29th of June 1883, on which, staff in hand,
and on foot, and chanting hymns, there arrived at the sacred portal of
the Cathedral a company of Augustine friars, who had been unjustly
forced to leave France, their mother country. Shortly after their
arrival we witnessed that of another band of pilgrims, composed of
students from the Catholic University of Paris, and most of whom
belonged to the noblest families of France.”

It has been seen that the portals of the Cathedral were kept open day
and night for the convenience of the pilgrims; those who had been unable
to receive shelter in the overcrowded inns often passed entire nights
within the precincts of the Cathedral, sleeping on the stones of the
cloister and even in the Cathedral itself, using the galleries as if the
sacred edifice had been an inn. If we may trust Quintela Naya, it was
not till the thirteenth century that the making up of beds in the
Cathedral was forbidden. In order that the atmosphere of the edifice
might be purified for the relays of pilgrims, recourse was had to
incense-burning, and there eventually came into use, history cannot tell
us when, the wonderful _botafumeiro_, or giant censer, which is to this
very day one of the glories of the Cathedral.

There seems to be no trace of the use of incense in Christian worship
during the first three centuries. St. Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 192)
said, when contrasting the Christian service with pagan rites, “the
truly holy altar is the just soul, and its perfume is holy prayer.”[88]
Only when great crowds of unwashed pilgrims began to make the air of the
churches intolerable was the use of incense, as a disinfectant,
introduced into Divine Service.[89] Its use as a part of the ritual
dates from about the end of the fifth century. It is supposed that all
the side chapels of Santiago Cathedral had at first their own
incense-burners, but that when the pilgrims took to sleeping round the
altar and in the gallery which encircles the nave and transept, these
being found insufficient to purify the air of the entire building, their
place was taken by a huge silver casket filled with incense and
suspended by iron chains and by ropes and pulleys from the triangle of
the cupola. This great _incensario_ was solemnly swung the whole length
of the nave backwards and forwards above the heads of the pilgrims.

Whether the _botafumeiro_, which may still be seen to swing in Santiago
Cathedral is the original one which was in use there in the thirteenth
century, is not known. Señor Villa-Amil was not able for many years to
find any earlier allusion to this one than a passage discovered by
Zepedano in Oscea’s _Historia del glorioso Apostol Santiago_ (1615),
which says that in 1602 an order was given for the old beams from which
the great incense-burner was suspended to be replaced by new ones, and
new pulleys to be provided from the Biscay iron-works. The censer is
described as resembling a great silver cauldron, into which were put
from four to six pounds of perfume, and which, suspended by a long rope,
was swung to and fro by five or six men during the principal festivals
so as to fumigate the entire edifice. Recently, with the help of Señor
Lopez Ferreiro, a passage dating from the fourteenth century has been
found, in the Codex of Calixtus II., where the great annual festival in
honour of St. James is described. It runs thus: “Nunc decoretur cum
Capite beati Jacobi alphei mire magnitudinis in testis argenti deaurati
cum multis et magnis lapidibus pretiosis in testis et maxime cum magno
turibulo argenteo, a sumitate ecclesie et funibus suspensum per rotas
currendo a portale septentrionali usque a portali meridiano pleno
carbonibus incensis cum ture feriendo in utraque parte sumitatis
ecclesie, estante antistite in pontificale cum tota procesine ut supra.”
With regard to the form of the incense-burner here mentioned, Villa-Amil
says that it was fashioned like a turret, because in a Bull of Nicholas
V., which was dispatched from Rome on September 27, 1447, there is
promulgated a sentence of excommunication against the person who should
steal from the Cathedral of Santiago “_quoddam jocale argenteum in modum
bastitie artificis ingenio fabricatum, valoris mille ducatorum vel

In yet another passage in an old volume in the Library of Seville
Cathedral, Señor Villa-Amil has found the following: “In the year 1499
the Infanta Catalina was about to be married to the Prince of Wales, the
son and heir of the king of England, and she, the daughter of King
Fernando and Queen Isabella, before she embarked at Coruña (it was the
Jubilee year), attended Mass in the Cathedral at Santiago, which was so
full that it seemed as if it would be impossible, without the greatest
difficulty, to get another person into the transept. A censer swung
above the people as large as a great cauldron, suspended by very thick
iron chains. It was filled with live charcoal, upon which had been
heaped incense and other perfumes. And it swung so far as to reach
almost from one door of the transept to the other. Suddenly, while it
was swinging, the chains upon which it was swinging broke with a sound
like the report of a gun, and, without dropping a single ash, the censer
swung out of the door of the Cathedral, where it was smashed to atoms,
and dispersed all its red-hot coals without any one being hurt.”[90]

Villa-Amil’s article was published in 1889. His book, from which I have
translated the above incident, was not published until May 1907, but the
story appears to have been handed down from generation to generation
among the townspeople of Santiago; it was related to me by a Santiago
shopkeeper in February 1907. “Once,” he said solemnly, “in ages past,
the rope by which the censer was swinging broke, and the censer flew out
of the window over the gate of the _Platerias_, right over to the
fountain.” “And killed a lady,” put in his son, who was listening. “No;
it did not hurt any one,” said the shopkeeper, shaking his head. “It was
before my time and before my father’s time but it can’t happen again,
for ever since that day the master carpenter of the Cathedral is always
present to watch. He is one of those who pull the rope, and it is he who
stops the censer at the conclusion of the ceremony.”

It was on February 2, 1907, that I had the good fortune to assist at the
celebration of Candlemas, one of the four principal festivals of the
year, at Santiago Cathedral; and on that occasion the “king of censers,”
as Victor Hugo called it in his poem, swung before my admiring eyes. The
service began at 9.30. The Archbishop with his red cap (for he is now a
Cardinal) and ermine cape, presided. Standing in the transept close to
the choir in the midst of a large congregation, all standing or
kneeling, I saw two men come forward bearing “the largest incense-burner
in the world” suspended by its chains to a horizontal pole. They placed
it on the pavement, exactly under the central cupola, from the triangle
of which hung the two ends of a rope worked by a pulley. The chains of
the great silver censer were now attached to one end of the rope, while
seven strong men clutched the other end, and, pulling it, caused the
cauldron to rise in the air above our heads till it was about ten feet
from the ground. Then it began to swing gently. Every eye was fixed on
it, and there was for a moment the perfect silence of universal
expectation, but only for a moment, for then the silver tones of a
couple of clarions (_chirimias_) fell upon our ears.[91] At length the
great censer, as if taking courage at the sound of the music, swung
boldly out across the transept. It swung higher and higher, and the
clear voice of the silver-voiced clarions sounded more and more
triumphant. At last it swung so high that I thought it must turn a
somersault, and pour its glowing charcoal upon our upturned faces. We
saw its perforated top filled with tongue-like flames fanned by the
wind. And, in the midst of it all, the sight of those hundreds of eager,
upturned faces. What a study! When Borrow visited Galicia he heard of
“the mighty censers, which are at times swung so high by machinery as to
smite the vaulted roof of the Cathedral,” but he did not have the
privilege of assisting at one of those extraordinary ceremonies. “It is
one of the things to see,” said a professor of the University to whom I
mentioned it. “It is one of the sights of Santiago.” I do not know for
how long the censer swung above our heads, covering at each gigantic
swing the whole length of the transept,--perhaps ten minutes, perhaps
fifteen,--but at last it began to swing more gently and to rise less
high, and then it gradually subsided till it ceased swinging altogether.
While the five men were detaching it from its rope the congregation
began to press into the central nave, where a large ring had been formed
by the priests. Here the ecclesiastical musicians had taken their stand,
and here they gave us a (violins and ’cellos) repertoire of church
music, to which the congregation listened with rapture. The two
clarionets or _chirimias_ are only heard while the censer swings. It is
their sacred privilege to accompany its flight, and give by their clear
tones the final touch to one of the most dramatic scenes ever witnessed
in a Christian church. It reminded me of the moment when I saw the aged
Pope Leo X. carried to his throne in St. Peter’s at Rome (on the
occasion of his Jubilee), while clarion music imitated the singing of
angels in the great cupola of Michael Angelo.

Señor Villa-Amil has discovered that Sergius I. (687-701) provided a
censer, according to the biography of this pope quoted by Anastasius the
librarian: “_Thymiamaterium aureum columnis, ... quod suspendit arte
eandum imaginum S. Petri, in quo incensum et odor suavitatis festis
diebus missarum solemnia celebrantur omnipotenti Deo opulentius
mittitur_.” Villa-Amil believes, with Ferreiro, that of this class of
suspended censers that of Santiago was probably one of the first. For
many years the swinging censer of Santiago was thought to be the only
example of the kind, but Señor Benito Alonso has published the following
paragraph, which he recently discovered among the Proceedings of the
Corporation of Orense, by Inocencio Portabales: “On December 21, 1503,
the Corporation of Orense appointed Juan Diaz, a citizen of the town, to
the office of administrating and swinging the censer (_botafumeiro_),
which was provided with ropes and enormous cords. It was swung in the
transept of the Cathedral suspended from the roof of the lantern on
Christmas Day, at Easter, Pentecost, Ascension, Corpus, St. John the
Baptist’s Day, St. Peter’s Day, etc.”[92] It is clear, then, that in the
Cathedral of Orense, as well as in that of Santiago, there was a
swinging censer in use during the Middle Ages.

But to return to the pilgrims: the roads of Christendom were so crowded
with them that Dante exclaims--

    “Mira mira ecco il Barone
     Per cui laggiu si visita Galizia.”

“At the marriage of our Edward I., in 1254, with Leonora, sister of
Alfonso _el Sabio_, a special bodyguard for English pilgrims was
demanded; but they came in such numbers that the French took alarm, and
when Enrique II. was enabled by the aid of France to dethrone Don Pedro,
he was compelled to prevent any English whatever from entering Spain
without the French king’s permission. The capture of Santiago by John of
Gaunt increased the difficulties.... Rymer mentions 916 licences granted
to English in 1428, and 2460 in 1434. In the Middle Ages the duty of a
pilgrimage to Compostela was absolutely necessary in many cases to take
up an inheritance.”[93] A guide-book for the use of English pilgrims was
published in the fourteenth century, entitled _The Way from the Lond of
Engelond unto Sent Jamez in Galiz_.[94]

Lopez Ferreiro tells us in his great work on Santiago Cathedral that the
English had both a hospital and a church for the use of their pilgrims
near Cebrero in the province of Lugo. Pope Alexander III. mentions it
in his Bull conferring upon them all the privileges of Santiago. English
pilgrims used to come by sea for a long time, but when they became
masters of Aquitaine most of them came by land. Henry II. sent
ambassadors to Ferdinand II. with a message that for some time he had
been intending to visit the Cathedral of Santiago, and asking him to
provide a safe escort for his ambassadors. Pilgrims from England were
kindly received at the Gallegan monasteries, which they passed on their
way from the coast, especially at Sobrado,[95] of which the picturesque
ruins are still standing.



     The beginnings of archæology--Caumont--The power of the Church in
     the Middle Ages--Montalembert--A despot who never dies--The age of
     cathedral-building--The architecture of Galicia--_Mudejar_
     architecture--Byzantine art--The horseshoe arch--Tombstones with
     Roman inscriptions--The ruins of Segobriga--The Mosque of
     Cordova--The Puente de Pinos--San Juan de Baños--Santa Comba de
     Bande--The circular arch--French students of Spanish
     architecture--Moorish architects--St. Isidore and the Visigoth
     kings--Two streams of influence--Moorish relief work--Transformers,
     not originators--The immense power of the monasteries--Traces of
     the Moors in Galicia--The rise of Gothic
     architecture--Viollet-le-Duc--The origin of cathedrals--Gothic art
     in Galicia--The Byzantine cupola--Michael Angelo--A
     transition--Origin of the term “plateresque”--Origin of the term
     “churrigueresque”--The façade of Santiago Cathedral

Archæology is a comparatively modern branch of study; it can hardly be
said to have existed as such before the third decade of the nineteenth
century, when Caumont,[96] the first real archæologist, began to awaken
the interest of his countrymen in the architecture of past ages and in
the science and customs of antiquity. Since Caumont there have been many
workers in the field, not only in France but in every civilised country,
and splendid have been the results of their earnest and conscientious
labours. Among the most brilliant of these may be reckoned the strong,
clear light which has dissipated the darkness that so effectually hid
from our eyes the degree of civilisation attained in the Middle Ages. It
is only during the last thirty years that we have become aware that the
ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries were not a stagnant period
in the world’s progress. Buckle would not have written as he did about
the Middle Ages had he come into the world a couple of decades later;
or, putting it in another way, had he lived a few years longer and not
been suddenly cut off in his early manhood, he would certainly have
modified his caustic strictures upon the times which so nearly preceded
our own.

Like Buckle, many other writers of his day believed implicitly that the
power of the Church during the Middle Ages was such that it destroyed
all individual liberty; but now we know that though religion governed
all, she stifled nothing.[97] Our ancestors were religious, they were
even superstitious to a very high degree, but they loved their
individual liberty with a passion that the bulk of our socialistic
contemporaries would be puzzled to understand. “Our proud ancestors
ignored the very idea of that unlimited power of the State which is now
so ardently appealed to,” wrote Montalembert, one of the greatest
students of the Middle Ages, after twenty-five years of study. “A dead
level has been regarded (in the nineteenth century) as a mark of
progress, and identity of yoke as a guarantee. God forbid that we should
assert equality to be incompatible with liberty; but up to the present
time the art of making them live together has not been discovered in any
of the great countries of the great European continent.... I remain
sadly impressed by the spectacle of the debasement, feebleness, and
growing impotence of each individual man in modern society. Does not
this stupid and servile apotheosis of the wisdom and power of the masses
menace us with the extinction, at once, of every personal initiative and
all strong originality, and with the annihilation, at the same time, of
all the proud susceptibilities of the soul and the genius of public

The study of archæology did not cease with Montalembert; since his day
it has made enormous strides. We know now that he was right. The men who
lived in the Middle Ages did not recognise, as we do now, the
“omnipotence of numbers,” hence the glorious originality shown in their
architecture, its dignity, its liberty, and its nobility. We have only
to look a little way to note that “in those countries where the
sovereignty of the State is most absolute, the originality of art is
nearest to its vanishing point, diminished by the State, that despot who
never dies, who already extends everywhere his irresistible and pitiless
level, over prostrate human dust.” The music, poetry and painting,
sculpture, as well as the architecture of the Middle Ages, all point
with unerring finger to the individuality of the Middle Ages. The songs
of the Gallegan _trovadors_, the _Cancionero Gallego_, are full of tales
that bear witness to the liberties taken by individuals in those days
even with their religion. Have we not already repeated in this very
volume tales in which nuns and gallants freely appealed to the Virgin
for her assistance in designs which they knew to be immoral!

The age of cathedral-building is not over. We see new cathedrals rising
in Russia, in England, in America. Huge and massive and costly they are,
but have they the spiritual and subtle beauty of the Gothic or the charm
of the Renaissant architecture? Can they be judged by the same standard?
No; for, to use the words of Spain’s great architect, artistic
collectivism has succeeded personal art, just as personal art once
succeeded symbolic art.[98] And architecture, according to the eternal
laws of its being essentially an interpretative, not an imitative art,
it interprets the soul-language of the human beings amongst whom it
rises into existence.

Galicia of the twentieth century has inherited from Galicia of the
Middle Ages poetry, sculpture, and architecture, each of which, in its
own line, is absolutely unrivalled. These offer a wide and fascinating
field of research to all those who seek to understand the civilisation
of that period in the world’s history. The architecture of Galicia can
be said to be exclusively Christian, for Moorish influence, which,
penetrating into every other part of Spain, mingled itself with
Christian art and produced what Spaniards cell _el estilo mudejar_,
never gained any footing in this province. Perhaps it may be well to say
a word about this style in passing, in spite of the fact that Galicia is
not the province in which to study it. The Moors, it will be remembered,
began to invade Spain in the year 712, and they remained in the
Peninsula for the space of four hundred years. As Señor Lamperez has
remarked in his interesting series of lectures, this branch of the art
was the natural outcome of the mingling of two distinct civilisations,
the civilisation of Spanish Christendom and that of the Oriental
followers of Islam, during the eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh
centuries of the Christian era. It resulted from a fusion of the art of
two distinct races, and the highest point of development was reached
during the period which began with the reign of Ferdinand I. and ended
with that of Alfonso X. (the eleventh to the thirteenth century), and
that which began with Alfonso X., and ended with Ferdinand and Isabella
in the fifteenth century; it had its birth and development in the first
of these periods, reached its climax, and declined in the second.
_Mudejar_ architecture, according to Lamperez, was the work of Moorish
architects employed in the service of Christians: it exhibited the
elements of both peoples. In some instances, indeed, it has been the
work of Christian artisans superintended by Moorish architects. There
still exist churches in Spain whose plan is Christian (basilical), whose
structure is of the simplest, showing avoidance of all the difficult
problems of equilibrium, and whose materials are of the smaller order
(tiles, etc.), with much plaster gypsum and excessive subdivision of
excessive and artificial ornamentation dominated by geometrical ideas.
The Ordinances showing how the corporations of artisans were formed and
what specifications were required of the men who took the position of
_alarif_ (skilled) and _maestro-al-arif_ (Arabic) are still preserved at

_Mudejar_ architecture was no mushroom style--on the contrary, it had
its slow rise and fall, and it evinces a state of constant and continual
transformation. The oldest edifice now in existence is perhaps the
church of San Roman at Toledo. Those who would study the manner in which
the _mudejar_ architecture has been modified in turn by Roman,
Byzantine, and Gothic influences, would do well to follow the advice of
Lamperez, and group their researches on geographical lines. Catalonia,
Castille, Andalusia, Aragon and Toledo, and so on. In Aragon are to be
found the strongest and most splendid Mohammedan influences that Spain
can show; while in Galicia these influences are, as it were, but
momentary. Even Granada can show nothing to compare with the glories of
Aragon, with its towers of Teruel, Daroca, and Saragossa, and with its
churches of Calatayred.

But before Spain gave birth to her _mudejar_ architecture, and long
before the Moors set foot upon her shores, her Christian art owed more
to the East than to the West, for it was as much Byzantine as Roman.
Byzantine art dates its origin from the year 330, when Constantine moved
his court from Rome to Constantinople, to a town on the borders of Asia
and Europe. Constantinople, by its geographical position, was the
natural meeting-point of Persians, Indians, Armenians, and Syrians. All
these influences, as well as those of Asia Minor, were now brought to
bear upon the Christianised pagan art of Rome. The result was the birth
of Byzantine art.

How Byzantine art was carried to the furthest corners of the Christian
world it is not difficult to see. Constantinople had become the centre
of the Roman Empire. From her shores there poured forth warriors,
traders, missionaries to every part of the earth.

Byzantine architecture borrowed her massive cupolas, supported by square
pillars over a square edifice, from Persia, and from Syria she borrowed
her floral ornamentation; while her love of colour, of brasses and
mosaics, is traceable to the influence of all the Oriental centres where
wealth and ostentation abounded. The greatest monument of Byzantine art
is, of course, St. Sophia’s (now a mosque) at Constantinople, which the
Emperor Justinian erected between 527 and 565. Here we see the decadent
art of classic Rome transformed and vivified by Asiatic influences. In
the seventh century, the agitation against the Iconoclasts (destroyers
of images), in the reign of the Emperor Leo the Isaurian[99] (813-821),
resulted in a wide diffusion of Byzantine influences throughout the
western provinces of the great Roman Empire. Spain, herself a province,
became affected.[100]

There are numerous indications that between the decadence of Roman
architecture and the invasion of the Moors, Spain produced a phase of
architecture quite her own,[101] of which the most striking
characteristic was the horseshoe arch. It has been suggested that this
kind of arch was introduced from Constantinople; but students of Spanish
architecture have long tried in vain to ascertain with certainty either
the date of its appearance or the source of its introduction. It is
known to have existed centuries before the Christian era in Persia,
India, and other parts of Asia, without, however, characterising any
special style of architecture.

Almost until the close of the nineteenth century it was erroneously
believed that the horseshoe arch entered Spain for the first time with
her Moorish invaders. We now know for a certainty that Spain had it long
before--that she had it already in the second century. Tombstones with
Roman inscriptions have been found with horseshoe arches sculptured
upon them,[102] and it has even been found sculptured on pagan
tombstones whose inscriptions point unerringly to the second
century.[103] As Christian architecture began to rise on Spanish soil,
with it there _reappeared_ the horseshoe arch. It is visible upon the
sepulchral tomb, in Mértola, of a man named Andrew, which bears these
words, “_Princeps cantorum sacrosancte aeclisae Mertillane_,” and the
date 525. This arch has also been found in two white marble windows, the
one, now in the Museum of Merida, has barbaric ornamentations; the
other, with three horseshoe arches more pronounced, exists in the church
of St. Martin de Nieble.[104] A church discovered in 1789, close to the
ruins of Segobriga, and which contains the epitaph of Bishop Sephronius,
who died in 550, has four somewhat oval horseshoe arches in its chancel.
It was thought until quite lately that there were no traces of this arch
having existed in Andalusia before the arrival of the Moors, but Señor
Gomez-Morenno believes he has discovered three edifices in which it was
used: one of these is the western entrance of the town of Cordova, which
the Moors called _Bibalatarin_. The Arab historian relates that the
Visigothic nobility and garrison escaped by it in 711 A.D., to take
refuge in the church of San Acisclo; and this circumstance alone is
sufficient to verify its antiquity.

“Everybody believes,” says Señor Gomez-Morreno, “that the Grand Mosque
at Cordova was the work of Abderrahmen I., with successive
amplifications, and that in order to build it the Moors completely
destroyed the church of St. Vincent. I do not think this is correct.” He
then points out how, to begin with, the Mosque of Abderrahmen was
constructed in a single year, between 169 and 170 of the Hegira (786
A.D.). Now to have built that edifice as it stands in one year would
have been an utter impossibility; but to have transformed the Christian
cathedral already there into a mosque within that time would be quite
feasible. The western wall and façade with horseshoe arch of the old
Christian church is still visible; its style is pure Byzantine. “I
believe,” says Gomez-Morreno, “that this façade is a remnant of the
basilica of San Vincent, and that it dates from the middle of the sixth
century.” Another proof of the anteriority of the horseshoe arch to the
Moors is the Bridge of the Pines, _Puente de Pinos_, in Granada, over
the river Cubillas; this bridge, which the Moors found there on their
arrival, has three horseshoe arches. The Moors, admiring it, called it
by its Latin name, _Ponte-Pinos_.

When, in the sixth century, the entire nation of the Visigoths had been
bodily converted from Arianism to Catholicism under Recared, son of
Leovigild, Christian churches began to rise in all parts of Spain; and
in these the horseshoe arch once more appeared. One of the most ancient
of these is supposed to have been St. Roman de Hornija (Valladolid),
mentioned by Morales. Then there is the famous little church, St. Juan
de Baños (Palencia), within ten minutes’ walk of the important railway
junction Venta de Baños, which we all pass through on our journey from
Paris to Madrid. There are French archæologists who refuse to believe
that St. Juan de Baños really dates from the seventh century; and I have
even heard a great Spanish authority suggest that the name of King
Recesvinto, and the date 661, may have been added later. For years this
church, first discovered by Quadrado, was thought to be the only
Visigoth church preserved in Spain;[105] but now there are known to be
others, as we shall see in due course, for one of the most unique
specimens of this kind of architecture is standing to-day in Galicia,
and in a state of remarkably good preservation. I allude to the little
church of Santa Comba de Bande, in the province of Orense.

The circular arch, which the Spaniards claim to have received from the
East at least five centuries before the invasion of the Moors, and which
is supposed to have had its origin in the bending of twigs and branches,
differs somewhat from the genuine Moorish arch, its curves being less
pronounced. The earliest example of the Mussalman arch is thought to be
that of the Grand Mosque of Cairuan.[106] It is extremely interesting
to trace the changes through which this Spanish Mussalman arch passed
during the four centuries of Moorish supremacy in the Peninsula. Those
of my readers who have watched the evening sun gradually disappear
behind the horizon of the sea, can easily picture to themselves the
curves of this arch in its early stages. As the golden ball first dips
itself, as it were, into the water, its outline forms a circular arch;
but one which is neither the Roman arch nor the later horseshoe arch,
but what may be called the _archaic circular arch_. Then, as it dips
deeper and deeper, the curves gradually disappear, till exactly half of
the ball is hidden: at that moment the outline is that of what is
usually styled _a Roman arch_ (early Norman). About the beginning of the
eleventh century, Moorish architecture showed a tendency to lengthen the
curves of its circular arch, and at the same time began to make it
pointed instead of circular. That is to say, the circular arch and the
pointed arch were fused into a new kind of arch, a _pointed horseshoe

It is the first of these, the _archaic_ circular arch, which we find on
the pagan tombstones of the second century preserved in various Spanish
museums, which we find traced in the illumination of ancient Spanish
parchments, which we find in the bridge over the river Cubillas, and,
finally, which we find in the extremely rare relics of Visigothic
architecture, of which two of the most interesting are in the province
of Galicia.[107]

The foreigners who have devoted the most careful study to Spanish
architecture are the French; but they have all without exception
approached the subject with the preconceived idea that all the best
architecture in Spain is the work of French architects; and, under this
unfortunate delusion, they have misled almost every one, even Spaniards!
Street is still the best English authority on Spanish architecture,
though, of course, his work is somewhat antiquated;[108] but he saw
comparatively little--too little to enable him to be a competent judge
of Spanish national art.

The Moorish architects who constructed the Great Mosque at Cordova, as
we see it to-day, adopted and improved the style of architecture which
the Visigothic Christians had employed there before their arrival. It
must be remembered that the Visigoths were the most cultured of all the
barbarians of the north, and they were Arians long before they became
Roman Catholics.

Until quite recently, even English and French historians fell into the
common error of believing that Spain lay buried in uncivilised darkness
during the whole dominion of the Visigothic kings.[109] Yet there has
existed all the time, from their day to ours, irrefutable documentary
evidence to the contrary, the writings of St. Isidore of Seville. This
illustrious bishop, to whom we have already alluded in a former chapter,
and who died in 636, wrote a treatise on _Etymology, or The Origin of
Things_, and _A History of the Gothic Kings_. Montalembert calls him
“the last philosopher of the ancient world, and the first Christian who
arranged for Christians the knowledge of antiquity.” The Visigothic
kings had their seat in Toledo, and the writings of St. Isidore bear
incontrovertible testimony to the degree of culture to which Spain
attained under their rule. There is also plenty of proof that many
beautiful buildings were erected in Toledo under the Visigoth monarchy.
The Moors, according to their own historian, looked with admiration on
the churches, palaces, and mansions which greeted their eyes on their
entrance into Toledo. There they found sumptuous palaces, with
magnificent porticoes (St. Isidore calls them _aulas regias_).[110] Not
only were these buildings beautiful, but their appointments, and the
treasures they contained, were equally dazzling to the eyes of the
invaders. One of the palaces had twenty-four strong rooms for storing
articles of priceless value, among which were certain mysterious amulets
and magic figures upon whose safe custody the safety of Ataulf’s
kingdom[111] was superstitiously believed to depend. The palaces, too,
of the Metropolitan bishops were most sumptuous. The Visigothic kings
showed a strong predisposition to adopt the civilisation of decadent
Rome, and to break for ever with their own past; they freely adopted
Roman customs and usages, and even their architecture was not pure
Visigothic, but Gotho-Roman: it had two distinct sources, one Roman, one
Byzantine. Art entered Spain for the first time after the conquests of
Julius Cæsar, while Byzantine art was brought from Constantinople in the
train of the Christian religion.

While characteristics of the real Visigothic art became more and more
indistinct, those of Roman and Byzantine art gradually amalgamated and
formed a style of architecture which the Spaniards have called
Latino-Byzantine. The Visigoths, enchained by the prestige of the
ancient civilisation, and dominated by the irresistible force of the
Catholic religion, offered no resistance to the development of the new
art; their gold work,[112] as well as their architecture and their
literature, became Latino-Byzantine. The Courts of Recared and the other
Gothic kings were in constant commercial communication with
Constantinople. The two streams of Roman and Byzantine influence thus
flowed together, and became the channel by which the Renaissance[113]
was eventually reached.

The Moors in their earlier buildings in Spain show traces of Roman
influence, and even of Byzantine influence; for, as we have seen, they
admired the handiwork of the Visigoths, and often adapted it to their
own uses. The art of Granada is in reality the result of a fusion of
Roman, Byzantine, and Arab influences. Moorish relief work is much
deeper than that of Rome or Constantinople; that is to say, their
sculptured designs project much farther from their base. The Moors, in
the words of Lamperez, did not bring a new style of architecture with
them into Spain, but, by the peculiar way in which they adapted to their
own temperament the art which they found waiting there, a new style was
produced.[114] Neither under the Visigoths nor under the Moors can
Spanish soil be said to have produced a national architecture. The
Spaniards of the Middle Ages were great transformers, but they were not
originators or inventors. Lamperez seems to think that Spain would have
produced from the days of the Visigoths onward a distinctly original and
national style of architecture had she been allowed sufficient time. A
glance at her history is enough to show us that this was not permitted
to her.

As we have said, the Moors did not conquer Galicia; her examples of the
Latino-Byzantine and Romanesque styles are consequently free from
Moorish influences;[115] but they are nevertheless hybrid in character,
as all art which is nothing but a combination of several foreign styles
must necessarily be. The widespread belief that the world would come to
an end in the year 1000, having been proved erroneous, the building of
churches and monasteries suddenly increased, and a period of remarkable
architectural development was the result.[116] The monasteries
represented a sort of reaction against the brutality of feudalism, by
offering refuge to the oppressed, and to those who sought a safe retreat
in which to dedicate themselves to intellectual pursuits. The immense
power to which the monasteries afterwards attained began in this way.
Cluny became, as it were, the focus of that power, and from its
sheltering walls there poured forth armies of monks, who propagated
their arts along with their religion in all parts of Europe. Thus the
Latino-Byzantine or the Romanic styles of architecture reached from Rome
to Scandinavia and from Palestine to Galicia. It is to Galicia that we
must bend our steps if we wish to look upon the chief monument of
Romanic architecture in Spain, for that monument is no other than the
Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

The rise of Gothic architecture began in the early part of the eleventh
century, which forms one of the most important epochs in the annals of
the Roman Catholic Church; it began at a time when civilisation, fleeing
from the brutalities of feudalism, had taken refuge in the
cloister.[117] It was then that the sap of a new life began to rise in
the old tree,--a life thirsting for liberty, and open to all development
and progress. It was between the beginning of the last decade of the
thirteenth century and the end of the first part of the fourteenth that
the sap rose highest. The work of civilisation passed from the hands of
the monks to the hands of the newly formed middle classes. Before that
time all the architects and even stone-masons were monks. Montalembert
tells us how our own English monk of the seventh century, St. Wilfrid,
brought stone-masons (_coementarii_) from Rome to build his beautiful
conventual church at Ripon.

The king, formerly only a figurehead, now recovered his regal
power;[118] the bishop, formerly subject to the abbot, now stood above
that dignitary; the city became a municipal community, struggled for its
rights and privileges, erected its own municipal buildings; the
artisans, no longer feudal serfs, formed themselves into guilds,
corporations and fraternities so exclusive, that none might be initiated
into the secrets of their trade without undergoing long years of

With all these changes, architecture kept pace. “It felt in its soul a
burning life which urged it to the most daring conceptions.”[120] Gothic
architecture represents not a revolution in art, but an evolution. The
sap rose in the old trunk, and the buds burst forth from the old
branches. It is a mistake to think that Gothic architecture was
introduced into Europe from the East by the Crusaders; these soldiers
did not, as Viollet le Duc has remarked, bring back art in their
knapsacks--they had other things to think of.[121] The constructors of
Romanesque art had struggled with a double problem--how to support wide
vaultings, and how to let light in upon dark naves. Merchants of the
ninth century, pilgrims of the tenth and eleventh, Crusaders of the
twelfth, all had their influence. Larger churches with wider vaultings
became urgently needed. The new cathedrals were to play a civil as well
as religious part--quite different from that which had been played by
the conventual churches. These are some of the elements which
contributed to the development of Gothic architecture.

Just as the cathedrals were the expansions of the conventual churches,
the universities were expansions of the monastic schools; and, as
Preissig has observed, this transformation was due in the main to the
great reputation for learning enjoyed by the schoolmen, “who attracted
such multitudes of students that it was found necessary to recognise the
schools on a broader basis.”[122] Our own oldest university, that of
Oxford, owes its foundation to a mandate from the Holy See. The first
university to be founded in Europe was that of Paris. The second was
that of Bologna.

Though Spain possesses some of the finest specimens of Gothic
architecture in the world, she has never made that style her own. Her
grandest Gothic cathedrals were designed by foreign architects; and in
her remote corners, like Galicia, that style never reached perfection.
We will tell our readers at once that there is no example of pure Gothic
art in the whole of Galicia, in spite of the fact that it struggled hard
to find a footing.

In the fifteenth century, when the rules of Gothic architecture were
being followed by all the greatest architects of Europe (except the
Italians), it had already passed its highest stage of development, and
its glories were beginning to decline. Italy was already turning to the
past for fresh inspiration. Nicolas of Pisa was already copying the
sculpture of pagan sarcophagi; Petrarch was unearthing the classic
literature of Greece and Rome; Giotto was appropriating the pictorial
art of the Byzantine Church, and Brunelleschi was replacing the Gothic
pillar by a classical column. Sculpture had opened the way, literature
and painting had followed in her footsteps, and it only remained for
architecture to do likewise. The Renaissance originated in Italy, and in
Italy it attained to its highest development.[123]

Gothic architecture had been the work of men who only valued their
handiwork as an expression of religious faith, it was nothing if not
symbolic; but with the Renaissance the spirit of faith, reverence,
superstition, or whatever we may choose to call it, was changed into
something quite different. In the Renaissance, as Lamperez has forcibly
expressed it, men began to value their work intrinsically, and
individuals began to claim their personal rights. Buildings began to be
admired for the grandeur of their conception, the delicacy of their
form; the amount of labour they had cost, and their symbolism were
forgotten. In the age of St. Bernard, cathedrals were raised for the
glory of God; during the Renaissance, they were raised to enhance human

The architects of the Renaissance retained the Byzantine cupola, the
basilical plan, and the plan of the Greek cross; they also retained the
gallery over the naves, the two towers of the façade and the portico
(_narthex liturgico_) of the Gothic style; but the sublime in
architecture had disappeared, the magnitude of the mass, the imposing
length of the line, the grandeur and simplicity of the conception, were
gone for ever.[124] Florence was the cradle of Renaissance architecture,
and Brunelleschi the first of its architects; he constructed, in 1425,
the cupola of the Duomo at Florence, where ornamentation plays so great
a part. It was not till the sixteenth century that the new style
appeared in France, under the name of “Francis I.,” in Spain as
“Plateresco,” and in England as “the style of Queen Isabella.” St.
Peter’s at Rome (begun as a basilica and completed as a Greek cross) is
looked upon as the great model of this style.

But the Gothic style of architecture died hard in France, Germany,
England, and Spain; for Christianity still clung to its mystic ideals.
The change, to Italy, was merely a change of dress; but to those
countries where the Gothic style had taken deeper root, it was a much
more serious affair. That is why they did not begin to build their
churches in the Renaissance style till the second half of the sixteenth
century. “Gothic architecture was the child of the Romanesque style,
from which it gently evolved; but that of the Renaissance was
revolutionary, it despised the past, to which it did not feel itself a
successor. The architect of the Middle Ages worked anonymously for the
general good; the architect of the Renaissance was a personage, and his
name has always been preserved along with his work.” We never forget
Michael Angelo when we speak of St. Peter’s at Rome,--St. Peter’s the
grand prototype of Renaissance architecture--the most perfect copy of
which is perhaps our own St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was Michael Angelo who
said, “Trifles make perfection, and perfection is not a trifle.” Neither
the architect of Seville Cathedral nor the architect of Canterbury would
have said that. But who will deny that the perfection of the Duomo, to
take only one example, is the result of patient and trifling detail?

It is important to remember that architecture is a science in which each
style must be studied geographically. To understand the history of
Gothic architecture in England, for instance, is not necessary, though
helpful, to understand the history of its development in Spain, France,
or Italy. Each of these countries has produced varieties peculiar to
itself for which special names have been found; such, for instance, as
the “Perpendicular” style peculiar to England. We may even say that
architecture should in some cases be studied provincially, and certainly
in the case of Galicia. “To understand the architecture of Galicia is
not an easy thing,” is a remark I have heard from the lips of some of
Spain’s most distinguished architects as well as from her archæologists.
Professor Lamperez, whom I have quoted so often in this chapter, tells
me he has dealt very fully with the subject of Gallegan architecture in
his great work on Christian architecture in Spain; but, unfortunately,
it has not yet been given to the public.

Our readers must bear in mind the fact that the Middle Ages embraced two
great architectural epochs, the Romanesque and the Gothic. The
Romanesque epoch, in which the Latino-Byzantine style predominated, may
be divided into three periods, the first from about the year 400 A.D. to
the year 1000,--the second from 1000 to 1100,--and the third--commonly
known in Spain as the Transition Period--from 1100 to 1200. The Gothic
epoch may also be roughly divided into three periods, the first, that of
the Lancet Window, from the year 1200 to the year 1300; the second, that
of the Circular Window, from 1300 to 1400; and the third the Ornamental
Gothic, from 1400 to about 1520.[125] Then followed the Renaissance.

Galicia was very slow to adopt Gothic architecture, and it will be found
that nearly all her churches, even when the influence of Gothic
architecture is very decided, partake more of the Latino-Byzantine than
of the Gothic style. Another noticeable point with regard to Galicia is
that she continued to build in a particular style even after it had
become quite antiquated in other parts of the Peninsula; consequently
many of her churches look at first sight much older than they really
are. In Spain, more perhaps than in any other country, the Renaissance
began with a Transition--a Transition, to quote Lamperez, in which the
_spirit_ was Gothic still, though the _details_ were classic. After a
while the classic details took the name of _plateresco_; then, after the
great mathematical architect, Herrero, had introduced a mathematical
precision in the detail of ornamentation, _plateresco_ gave place to, or
rather, was transformed into _churrigueresco_, which in due course
brought about a reaction which resulted in the _neo-clasica_. These are
the three principal periods of the Spanish Renaissance.

The word _plateresco_, or plateresque (from plata silver), is derived
from the idea of silver filigree. The stone lacework of the Burgos
cathedral, to take a well-known example, is _plateresque_. The word
_churrigueresque_ is derived from the name of José Churriguera, though
Churriguera was not the first to introduce it, Pedro Ribera and Narciso
Tomé having been before him. Between the middle of the seventeenth
century and the middle of the eighteenth, the Churrigueresque style of
decoration was looked upon as the most perfect in creation.

“Along with all the contradiction, all the praise and the censure with
which this style of architectural decoration has been heaped,” says
Lamperez, “we must consider what are the eternal and unchanging laws of
architecture; we must remember that this art is not one of initiation,
but of interpretation. Its form must be judged in relation to the end it
has in view; it has both active and passive elements. It may seem hard,
but we are compelled to pronounce the verdict that the so-called
_churrigueresco_ style does not meet these requirements of true
architecture. It may do honour to the man who executed it, but it does
not bring honour to the architect who designed it.”

The period during which the Churrigueresque style predominated was that
which began with the year 1669 and closed about the middle of the
eighteenth century. José Churriguera was born and educated at Salamanca.
He made his name by work on the tomb of Queen Maria of Savoy, who died
in 1489. Pedro Ribera exaggerated the defects of his master in the
fountain of Anton Martin; so also did Narciso Tomé, who let the light
through the roof of Toledo Cathedral by inserting an architectural
filigree of Churrigueresque work. “The idea,” remarks Lamperez, “was
bold in the extreme, and the conception grandiose; but--it produces
optical illusions, a panoramic, not an architectural effect.” No art
should ever be permitted to overstep its limits, and the architecture of
Spain commits this crime in its most excellent examples of the
Churrigueresque style. The examples of this style in Spain are very
numerous, but of them all the most beautiful and sumptuous, the most
truly magnificent and monumental, example in the whole of the Peninsula
may be seen in the façade of the Cathedral of Santiago in Galicia, which
was the work of Casas y Novea in 1737.



     The original church--Compared with St. Sernin of Toulouse--A great
     resemblance--Notable differences--The respective architects--The
     monks of Cluny--Two master builders--The cupola--The
     naves--Street’s description--Seven gates--The _Puerta de los
     Platerias_--Sculptured figures--Defects of the age--Street’s
     admiration--The windows--The horseshoe arch--Sculpture and
     statuary--The dramatic sentiment--The clock tower--The deep-toned
     bell--The _Puerta Santa_--The _Quintana_--The _Azabacheria_--The
     _Obradoiro_--The Italian staircase--The cloister

The central point both of archæological and of architectural interest in
Galicia is, without a doubt, the beautiful cathedral of Santiago.
Tradition tells us that this majestic edifice covers the spot where the
body of St. James was discovered by the guiding light of a star, in the
year 812.[126] The original church erected there having been destroyed,
the first stone of the present one was thought until recently to have
been laid by Alphonso VI., king of Castille and Leon, on July 11th,
1078, because, on a jamb of the _Puerta de los Platerias_ there is an
inscription to the effect that the work was done in the year 1116 of the
Spanish era.[127] There is nothing, however, to show whether that date
refers to the commencement or to the conclusion of the façade.[128] The
Codex of Calixtus II. (Bk. v.) gives this date as that of its
commencement; but it also gives the length of time which elapsed between
the beginning of the work and the death of Alfonso I. of Aragon as
fifty-nine years, and between the beginning of the work and the death of
our Henry I. as seventy-two years--and again, between that date and the
death of Louis VI. of France as seventy-three years. The building must
then have been begun in 1074 or 1075. Another indication of this is the
fact that in the writings of St. Fagildo the work is spoken of on August
17th, 1077, as already begun. The exact date of the building of this
cathedral is of considerable interest to students of architecture,
because, when once it is proved that it was begun before the French
cathedral of S. Sernin of Toulouse, the repeated assertion that the
cathedral of Santiago is a copy of that of St. Sernin will no longer
hold good.[129]

It cannot be denied that the two cathedrals in question bear a strong
resemblance to one another. Nevertheless, their plan of construction is
far from being identical. Both have the form of a Latin cross, but St.
Sernin has five naves, Santiago only three. The proportions of the
Spanish edifice are more harmonious than are those of the French one.
The naves of St. Sernin are too long in proportion to the length of her
transept. The transepts of the two cathedrals are very much alike; each
has one wide central nave, and a surrounding collateral one. St. Sernin
has two small apse-chapels opening on the southern side of each arm of
the transept, and Santiago must have originally had the same, though
only one exists to-day. The principal nave in each case is headed by a
semicircular apse fringed with five apse chapels. Fernandez Casanova,
after careful and minute study of both edifices, has pointed out two
other radical differences, beside that of the number of naves, and the
disproportionately long naves of St. Sernin. Firstly, the cathedral of
Santiago has its two lofty central naves entirely surrounded by a
collateral one without any interruption, whereas that of St. Sernin has
two distinct collateral naves on either side of the principal nave; but
these verge into one on reaching the transept, with a result that is far
less symmetrical: secondly, the spaces into which the collateral naves
of St. Sernin are divided are square, while in the case of Santiago
cathedral they are rectangular. Then, too, the towers of Santiago are
placed to the north and south of the west front, not to the west of it,
as is the case with that of St. Sernin. Besides, according to the
description given by Americus in the Codex of Calixtus II., the
cathedral of Santiago could originally boast of no less than nine
towers, and traces of some of them are still discernible in spite of the
countless alterations and mutilations to which the building has fallen a

In the construction of the triforium galleries of these respective
cathedrals there is also a notable difference: in that of Santiago one
uninterrupted gallery runs round the whole edifice. Ascending by the
broad tower staircase, I was able to pass round the inner side of the
outer walls of the entire building. The galleries of St. Sernin only
surround the body of the church. Both cathedrals have their central
naves covered with barrel vaults,[130] and their side naves with
quadripartite ones. Beside the differences I have pointed out, there are
also many minor ones, which will be found conscientiously described by
Fernandez Casanova.

The cathedral of Santiago is constructed of sparkling grey granite; that
of St. Sernin is of brick and mortar. Not only the cathedral, but
practically the whole town of Santiago, is built, like Aberdeen, of
granite, that material being exceedingly abundant in Galicia. Travellers
used in former times to complain of the sombre look of the houses on
that account. But now almost every dwelling is well whitewashed, and
presents, with its green shutters, quite a cheerful appearance. And the
grey cathedral itself lights up beautifully under the golden rays of the
afternoon sun. Many a time have I seen its sparkling stones resembling
rather burnished bronze than sombre grey granite.

Lopez Ferreiro points out that one of the singularities of the cathedral
of Santiago is the length of its transept, which is almost as long as
the body of the edifice. And well I remember how, on entering for the
first time, I for a moment mistook the wide and lofty transept for the
central nave. In the whole of Europe there are only five other
cathedrals which share this peculiarity--Pisa, Salisbury, Conques, St.
Sernin of Toulouse, and St. Petronius of Bologna. Ferreiro firmly
believes that the cathedral of St. Sernin is a copy of that of Santiago.
This writer has also drawn attention to the ingenious and original form
of the buttresses[131] which surround the body of the cathedral. They
are all joined together and strengthened by arches; they thus form, as
it were, one great buttress. There seem to be only two other examples of
this--that of Poictiers and that of Celles (Belgium).

It is not known who were the respective architects of the cathedrals of
St. Sernin and Santiago, so that when French writers claim for their
country the honour of having produced both these works of art, they have
no real foundation to go upon. Still one cannot deny that they have an
appearance of great probability on their side, especially when we find
that Dalmatius, the bishop of Compostela under whose guidance so much of
the work was carried on, had himself issued from the cloisters of
Cluny.[132] It was the monks of Cluny who designed the beautiful porch
(_narthex_) of the church of Vézelay which is permeated with the
Greco-Roman art of Syria. In 1150 they constructed the capitular chapel
of the same edifice, of which the sculpture is so remarkably Byzantine,
and, as we shall see, there is a strong Byzantine element in the design
and sculpture of the Cathedral of Santiago. But then Byzantine influence
made itself felt in Spain as far back as the first century of the
Christian Era, through commercial intercourse with the Mediterranean. In
the eighth century, too, Spain was filled with Byzantine Christians
fleeing from the Iconoclast persecution.[133]

When we consider how far the monks of Cluny travelled and how wide was
their influence upon the architecture of other countries besides their
own, including England, it would not be surprising to find that after
crossing the Pyrenees they had found their way even to Galicia, and left
traces of their influence in the architecture of that province.
Nevertheless, feeling on this disputed point runs very high between
Frenchman and Spaniard, and the latter is leaving no stone unturned in
his efforts to prove that the Cathedral of Santiago owes less to foreign
artists than the French have hitherto claimed.

The Cathedral of Santiago was built just at the period when the
architecture of Europe was beginning to change from Romanesque to
Gothic; it belongs, therefore, to a period of transition. Enough of the
original structure remains for it to rank as the chief monument of the
Romanesque style in Spain and one of the most famous cathedrals of that
architecture in the world. The importance of the pilgrimages to the
tomb of St. James in the eleventh century created a demand for a great
cathedral. Begun, as we have seen, about the year 1074, it was completed
in 1128. Lamperez describes it as being more noble, more magnificent,
and more perfect than either of those so nearly resembling it in the
south of France. “Was it a copy of these?” he asks, “or was it the
pattern from which they were taken?” “But where,” he adds, “if the
Cathedral of Santiago was the original model, where, in Spain, are the
edifices--the _attempts_ at perfection--which must have preceded and led
up to it?”[134]

In the _Historia Compostelana_ we read that the cathedral was set on
fire in 1170, and Ferreiro says that in 1878, when excavations were made
within the precincts of the building, traces of fire were certainly
found. He takes this as an indication that the Moors must have used fire
in their attempts to destroy the cathedral. Aimerico[135] says that in
spite of the fire the structure was completed in 1122. He remarks
enthusiastically that every one who ascends to the gallery, even if he
be sad at heart, must become joyful in contemplating from thence the
beauty of the cathedral. In those days it was much better lighted than
it is at present, for the upper windows had not been closed up, and the
light of heaven streamed in on every side. Clearly its present gloom,
though not unpleasing, was never intended by the architect. The names of
two master-builders who superintended the building have been
preserved--Bernardo and Rotberto: the latter had fifty masons to work
under him, and the former is characterised by Aimerico as _mirabilis
magister_. I have already described the eagerness with which pilgrims of
all ranks, ages, and sexes assisted the workmen. In the year 1124 two
canons of Santiago were engaged in collecting money for the completion
of the cathedral in places as far away as Sicily and Apulia. Money
continued to flow in from all parts of Spain. “After St. James’s body
had been removed to Santiago,” writes Ford, “riches poured in,
especially the corn-rent, said to have been granted in 846 by Ramiro,
to repay Santiago’s services at Clavijo, where he (the Apostle) killed
single-handed 60,000 Moors--more or less. This grant was a bushel of
corn from every acre in Spain, and was called _el voto_ and _el morion_,
the votive offering of the quantity which St. James’s spacious helmet
contained.... This corn-rent, estimated at £200,000 a year, used to be
collected by agents.... This tax was abolished in 1835.”

Where the cupola now rises over the centre of the cross which the
building forms there once stood one of the original nine towers: it was
destroyed in 1384. The cupola is Gothic and polygonal in form, and
should have eight elegantly pointed Gothic windows, separated from one
another by Byzantine columns, but, according to Fernandez Sanchez, some
architect of the seventeenth century substituted ugly rectangular
windows here and there, while he blocked up some of the old ones, and so
firmly were they closed that it was found impossible to restore them to
their original form when the restoration of the edifice was put in hand
towards the end of the nineteenth century. This cupola, according to
Sanchez, is the first piece of work put in by the later generations who
subsequently did so much to ruin the harmonious unity, the exquisite
symmetry of the original cathedral.

The naves of this cathedral are, as Ford noticed more than fifty years
ago, narrow in proportion to their height and length--the height of the
central nave being a little more than seventy feet. “The light and
elegant piers contrast with the enormous thickness of the outer walls.”
For my own part, I know of no cathedral whose interior proportions are
so simple in their perfection and so restful to the eye. Street
describes them in these words: “Engaged columns run up from the floor to
the vault, and carry transverse ribs or arches below the great
waggon-vault. The triforium opens to the nave with a round arch
subdivided with two arches carried on a detached shaft.” The
gloom-filled side naves are still lined with confessional boxes
dedicated to various saints, where pilgrims of every nationality can
find a priest who understands something of their language.

This cathedral once had seven gates,[136] most of them open day and
night to pilgrims. Aimerico gives all their names: the Porta-Santa is
the only one remaining. There are three façades which merit our careful
attention. Let us leave for awhile the beauties of the interior and
devote ourselves now to those of the exterior. The edifice is built on
ground by no means level, hence the necessity for the handsome flight of
steps that lead to the _Puerta de las Platerias_ which constitutes the
southern façade of the cathedral, and is thus named because it faces the
Street of the Silversmiths. This façade is of extreme interest for many
reasons. To begin with, it is the oldest part of the cathedral, and the
only one of the original façades that has been preserved, the only one
left to give us a true idea of what the exterior must have been like in
the days of its pristine beauty. This façade is decorated with no less
than a hundred sculptured figures, most of them of white marble. The
sculpture of the façade itself is remarkable. In most countries where
granite abounds sculpture is coarse and rude, but here the reverse is
the case, in spite of the fact that it is the work of the eleventh
century. All the statues are semi-relief, the white marble being
encrusted as it were upon the granite walls. Although these statues
exhibit some of the defects of their age,--rigidity of limb, unnatural
posture, and other faults,[137]--yet they are indisputably an example of
the best sculpture of the last quarter of the eleventh century. Upon the
tunics of some of the statues Ferreiro has noted a suspicion of the
corded fringe seen upon statues of the ancient Romans.

Street could not speak too highly of the beauties of this façade. He
wrote: “The detail of the front is of great interest, inasmuch as it is
clearly by another and an earlier workman than that of the western
porch. There are three shafts in each jamb of the doors, whereof the
outer are of marble, the rest of stone. These marble shafts are carved
with extreme delicacy, with a series of figures in niches, the niches
having round arches, which rest upon columns separating the figures. The
work is so characteristic as to deserve illustration. It is executed
almost everywhere with that admirable delicacy so conspicuous in early
Romanesque sculpture. The other shafts are twisted in very bold
fashion.... Figures on either side support the ends of the lintels of
the doors, but the tympana and the wall above for some feet are covered
with pieces of sculpture evidently taken down and refixed where they are
now seen. They are arranged, in short, like the casts of the Crystal
Palace, as if the wall were part of a museum. One of the stones of the
tympanum of the eastern door has the ‘Crowning with Thorns’ and the
‘Scourging,’ and on the other stones above are portions of a ‘Descent
into Hades,’ in which asses with wings are kneeling to our Lord. Asses
and other beasts are carved elsewhere, and altogether the work has a
rude barbaric splendour characteristic of its age.”

Street was also much struck with the windows above the double entrance
of this façade, and he wrote: “Their shafts and archivolts are richly
twisted and carved, and the cusping of the inner arch is of a rare kind.
It consists of five complete foils, so that the points of the lower cusp
rest on the capital, and, to a certain extent, _the effect of a
horseshoe arch is produced_. This might be hastily assumed to be a
feature borrowed from the Moors; but the curious fact is that this very
rare form of cusping is seen in many, if not most, of the churches of
the Auvergnal type ... and it must be regarded here, therefore, as
another proof of the foreign origin of most of the work of Santiago
rather than of any Moorish influence.” This allusion to the horseshoe
arch is of particular interest in connection with the remarks we have
already made upon that form of architecture in a previous chapter.
Fernandez Casanova and Lopez Ferreiro would describe the form of the
arches of this façade as Byzantine, and argue that such a form has
existed in Spain since the sixth century.

The statues of this façade--the birds, the flowers, and the beasts--are
all part of a mystic and profound symbolism. Ferreiro calls them a
compendium in stone of Divine Revelation,[138] remarking that they offer
sufficient material to fill a book; he then quotes a different text of
Scripture to explain each figure. In the space between the figures of
Christ and St. James are sculptured vertically the letters--

                               ANF  REX

meaning King Alfonso VI., in whose reign this portico was constructed.

In this portico, as Ferreiro rightly observes, we must distinguish the
sculpture from the statuary. The former is rich and varied and its
execution and composition are above praise, especially as seen in the
sculpture of the capitals. But the age of iconography was only just
dawning, and the statues show a sad want of proportion and are too
monotonously alike to be really lifelike. The dramatic sentiment is here
interpreted by means of contortions of the limbs and exaggerated facial
movement. Yet among these hundred figures there are at least two
statues that stand out as far superior and more lifelike than any of the
others--namely, those of Christ and of Abraham, whose faces are very
beautiful, and might take their place even beside those of the _Pórtico
de Gloria_, with which we shall occupy ourselves later on.

The tympana of this façade exhibit certain peculiarities which may be
said to be specialities of Gallegan architecture. In other schools the
tympanum is divided into two parts, but here it is not divided.[139] The
tympanum of each gate rests upon the heads of monsters sculptured with
remarkable energy.

Standing with our backs to this façade, we have to our right the offices
of the cathedral chapter and the treasury with its plateresque or
filigree stone-work of the Renaissance style, and in the corner where
the treasury runs into or joins the façade is the gigantic and
much-talked-of Shell of St. James, which supports almost the entire
weight of the wide treasury staircase, and is considered a marvel of
engineering skill. Above the southern end of the treasury building rises
one of the original towers, still in good preservation. It reminds one
somewhat of a Japanese tower, and contrasts strangely with the more
modern ones. There is a tradition among the townspeople that a lady left
a large sum of money to be spent in honour of this tower. Priests in
gorgeous mitres purchased with this money were to make annual
processions beneath its shadow scattering the fumes of incense and
chanting. There is a couplet composed by some local wag, which alludes
to the mitres and incense somewhat mockingly.

On the other side of the _Puerta de las Platerias_ rises the beautiful
clock tower which was begun in the Gothic style in 1463. “We cannot
understand,” writes Sanchez, “how the architects of the seventeenth
century could possibly prefer those great pointed windows (which they
added) to the beautifully shaped Gothic ones of the lower part with
their elegant columns and pilastres!” Here were formerly hung the two
great bells whose metal was presented by Louis XI. of France, and which
were cast in Santiago in 1483. This was one of the first cathedrals to
possess a clock tower, and its example was soon followed by Milan and
Padua. The original clock was the work of a clever mechanic named
Guillen. In 1522 he put up the first one, and ten years later he
replaced it by one of better make. The machinery was most complicated
and curious. This remarkable clock,





according to Lopez Ferreiro, struck not only the hours, but also the
days, the months, the movable feast days, the course of the sun, and
even the changes of the moon! The last was at the special command of
Cardinal Maldonado. Guillen was also a skilled artist in ornamental
metal work; several specimens of his work are still preserved in the
cathedral, including a candelabra, and the railings of the _Capilla
Mayor_, which he made in conjunction with Pedro Flamenco between 1535
and 1540. The authorities granted him and his wife Constance a house in
the town in 1467. Guillen’s clock having been destroyed, another,
manufactured in London, was put up in its place. The present clock was
paid for by Archbishop Velez and constructed by Andreo Antelo, a skilled
artist of Ferrol, in 1831. There is a long Latin inscription round the
pedestal.[140] The bell which strikes the hours is said to be one of the
best in the world. It was hung towards the close of the eighteenth
century; Villa-Amil gives the date as 1779. Such is the richness and
body of its tone that on calm days it can be heard in the surrounding
valleys at a distance of seven miles. For three months I resided within
a stone’s throw of the cathedral, and never did I listen to the mellow
and sonorous tones of that bell without experiencing a thrill of
pleasure. Galicia’s poetess, Rosalia de Castro, loved to hear it, and
mentions it in one of her poems.

As we have seen, the only one of the seven minor entrances to the
cathedral is the _Puerta Santa_, or, as it is sometimes called, _la
Puerta de los Perdones_; it opens upon the _Plaza de los Literarios_, to
the west of the cathedral. This is the Jubilee door, and is only opened
once in every seven years, on the occasions when the feast of Santiago
falls upon a Sunday; the archbishop himself performs the ceremony. The
Jubilee is celebrated in accordance with the privilege conceded by
Calixtus II. in the year 1122. The _Puerta Santa_, of which the original
sculpture has disappeared, is now adorned with twenty-four Byzantine
statues, whose inscriptions have gone: there are twelve of these in
twelve niches on either side, which have been utilised from the _débris_
of the older parts. Above the door is a large statue of St. James in
pilgrim’s garb with staff in hand; and on either side of him, also in
niches but some three sizes smaller, are the two disciples who were
buried with him. On the tympanum of the inner door are inscribed the
words: “_Haec est Domus Dei et porta Coeli_.” Every Jubilee year for
many a century a choir of blind peasants has stood by this door and
sung to those who entered the simple folk-songs of their native land.

Another entrance on the same side of the cathedral, and the one by which
pilgrims have been wont to enter the sacred precincts from time
immemorial, is called _la Façade y Puerta del Reloj_, or the façade and
door of the clock. It is also called the _Quintana_; because the square
upon which it opens was once the _Quintana de los Muertos_, or the
cemetery of the canons. This square is one of the finest in the town:
its name was changed in honour of those brave students of the University
who formed themselves into a battalion at the time of Napoleon’s
invasion, and fell fighting for the deliverance of their country. A
white marble tablet on the fortress-like wall of the convent of San
Payo, which forms the side of the square opposite to the cathedral,
bears an inscription to their memory. Another side of the square is
formed by a huge monastic pile--the convent of Antealtares--and on the
south the handsome granite building with Doric columns now used as post
and telegraph offices. Many a time have I stood in front of the post
office, sometimes to take a photo of the cathedral, and sometimes to
admire the winding granite balustrades upon the battlement-like towers
and cupola which rise majestically behind the western front. This
façade, with its four stout Doric columns, replaced the original
Romanesque entrance towards the end of the seventeenth century. The
heads of many of the statues on either side of the entrance have long
since disappeared.

We now turn our steps northwards that we may examine the Façade of the
Azabacheria, which faces to the north, and is so called because the
street of the jet-workers[141] leads up to it. Fernandez Sanchez
describes this façade as “without a doubt the best of the modern works
which surround the cathedral.” It was planned by the celebrated Spanish
architect Ventura Rodriguez, and finished under the supervision of a
local genius, Domingo Antonio Luis Montenegro, in 1758. It consists of
two storeys: the lower one is of the Ionic order, the upper of the
Doric. Each has four columns, while the lower one has a pillar in the
centre, separating the two entrances and serving as a basement for a
statue of Faith which is seen in the centre of the upper storey. The
doors and windows have semicircular lintels of the pattern seen in
hundreds of Italian churches of that period. Above these are the arms of
the archbishops, medallions, and other military trophies. To crown all,
there rises the figure of St. James



in pilgrim garb, with a king kneeling on either side of him. Alas,
indeed, that so ordinary and uninteresting a piece of work should have
replaced a façade that must have rivalled that of the _Platerias_ in its
beauty and elegance!

There still remains one more façade for us to study--the western one,
called the Façade of the Obradoira, after the workshops of the
goldsmiths that were once situated in the building to the right. Here we
have what may be called the grand entrance to the cathedral.
Eighteenth-century Italian steps in two winding flights with stone
balustrades lead up to the double doorway, behind which is concealed the
crowning glory of Galicia, the world-famed _Pórtico de Gloria_. On
either side rise the great twin steeples, the lower portions of which
date from the eleventh century and were part of the original Romanesque
towers. “The only peculiarity about them,” wrote Street, “is the
planning of the staircases. The steps are carried all round the steeples
in the thickness of the walls, and the central space is made use of for
a succession of small chambers one above the other. These staircases are
unusually wide and good, and their mode of construction obviously very

We stand in the centre of the chief square in the town, the _Plaza de
Alfonso XII._, to study the workmanship of the façade of which the twin
steeples seem to form a part. The general effect of the whole is really
very fine, but we feel as we gaze upon this façade that, to say the
least, it is monotonous even in its grandeur. Yet, for all that, we are
now contemplating a piece of work which is universally acknowledged to
be the most beautiful, the most sumptuous, the most truly magnificent
example of the Churrigueresque style[142] of architecture in the whole
of Spain. So monumental is it that in looking at it we fail to perceive
the details. It is indeed “a perfect example of monumental exuberance.”
As we have remarked in the preceding chapter, the style of Churriguera
is in reality a prolongation and exaggeration of the style which in
Spain is called plateresque; it is a decadent, a _fin du siècle_ style
even at its best, and we have a lurking sensation of sympathy with the
traveller who wickedly designated the style of this façade as _vile_.
However, as the work is unquestionably monumental, it is of interest to
the student of Galicia to learn that its author was a native of that
province, a Gallegan--Fernando de Casas y Novoa.

This façade is composed of three storeys, with columns of the mixed
order and covered profusely with bas-relief twists and curls of granite,
which do not show up at all clearly in any photograph that has come
under my notice. Those, therefore, who wish to form a correct opinion of
it should suspend their judgment until they have had an opportunity of
examining the original.

The doors of this entrance to the cathedral are of cedar wood and
studded with handsome bronze nails, with elaborate plates and knockers
from the workshops of Cordova, so celebrated at the commencement of the
seventeenth century. Below, on a level with the _Plaza de Alfonso XII._,
is the entrance to the so-called _Catedral Vieja_, the little crypt-like
chapel of which we shall have much to say in another chapter.

Let us now find our way to the cathedral cloister, which is described by
Fernandez Sanchez as “a perfect example of the plateresque style,” with
its beautiful bas-reliefs, saints and busts, and the arms of Archbishop
Fonseca, under whose auspices it was built at the same date as the
neighbouring sacristy. The original cloister, erected by Gelmirez, was
destroyed by fire towards the end of the eleventh century; the present
cloister was begun in 1521 and finished fifty-nine years later. It is in
the Renaissance style, and was designed by a Flemish architect; above
its arches, some of which are slightly pointed, the sloping roofs
terminate with a lace-like border of elegant stone filigree work, and
there are graceful pinnacles between the arches. The joins and angles of
the Gothic vaulting of this cloister are groined with simple fan tracery
which springs from its own capitals supported by the graceful and
elegantly moulded pillars which divide the arches on the outer side and
spring from the bas-relief border on the wall side. The graceful
Renaissance windows in the walls give light to the neighbouring sacristy
and other offices of the cathedral.

The inner walls of the cloister are decorated with bands of bas-relief
sculpture in the purest Greco-Roman style of the Renaissance. The
pavement is composed partly of tombstones of priests with interesting
inscriptions and heraldic emblems. Standing in the patio of this
cloister and looking to the south we get a fine view of the two steeple
towers that rise behind the Churrigueresque façade.



     A wonderful portico--The triple archway--Origin of Western
     Christian art--A system of symbols--“Bible of the Poor”--Mosaic
     gives place to statuary--A magnificent design--The focus of the
     world--The figure of Christ--The Four Evangelists--The
     four-and-twenty elders--Musical instruments--Jews and Gentiles--The
     Man Christ Jesus--The central pillar--The seated figure of St.
     James--The Stem of Jesse--Custom and superstition--Judith--The
     prophets--The bases of the pillars--Mateo represents
     himself--Another superstition--“The saint with the curls”--The
     capitals--A lifelike effect--A great thought--Didron--The
     drapery--The portico at South Kensington--Colouring--Mateo’s
     inscription--Mateo’s birthplace

The Cathedral of Santiago di Compostella is celebrated all the world
over for the exquisite beauty of its sculpture not only as regards its
statuary but also for its ornamentation generally. Here at least the
Cathedral of St. Sernin, or St. Saturnine, as it is sometimes called,
does not attempt to compete with it: here it stands absolutely alone and

Facing due west, and concealed by the Churrigueresque façade, is the
most wonderfully sculptured portico that human eye has yet seen. This
portico, or _narthex_,[143] was originally part of the exterior; now it
is part of the interior of the cathedral. It was once an open façade;
the pillars which supported its front on either side stood far apart,
and pilgrims caught sight of its beauty even before they entered the
building, and rain and wind as well as daylight and sunlight played
freely upon the flesh-coloured and lifelike features of the sculptured
saints. But in our day the brickwork of the modern façade so darkens the
portico that even when the doors are flung open it is never seen at its

A triple archway gives entrance to the three naves of the cathedral; the
central arch fronts the principal nave, and the smaller arches (to the
north and south), the two collateral naves, or, as some would call
them, the side aisles. These three arches and their tympana are covered
with statues which have been adapted to the architecture with such skill
that at a little distance they appear to be carved out of the actual
material of which the arches are composed. Examined closely, every
statue, every ornament is a masterpiece of delicate sculpture. The whole
is intended to represent the Christian Church--the entrance to the House
of God, of which Christ is “the chief Corner-Stone.”[144]

It is to the walls of the catacombs that we must turn for the origin of
Western Christian art. In the West, as Didron has pointed out, the
Christian painters limited themselves to a small cycle of subjects.
Setting history and chronology aside, they treated their subjects solely
with reference to some hidden moral or devotional truth which they were
known to signify. Thus the events recorded were represented by symbols.
A system of such symbols was developed which illustrated the most
salient points in the Christian faith. A hieratic cycle of subjects came
into use, not necessarily for doctrinal purposes, but as expressive of
religious facts.[145] In the days when few, even among the rich, could
read, outside the monasteries, pictures and statues were the most potent
medium by which the contents of the Bible could be explained to the
general public. Even in our day pictures represent words to the
illiterate Russian peasant; when he goes to the neighbouring town to
purchase an agricultural implement or a new coat, he enters such shops
as have similar articles painted in brilliant colours above their
respective doors. Gregory of Tours, writing towards the close of the
sixth century, tells a pretty story of how Namatea, the aged widow of
Namatius, bishop of Auvergne (A.D. 423), reads to the painter decorating
the walls of the church she has raised over her husband’s tomb the
scenes he is to depict with his brush: “She used to sit with a book upon
her knees reading thereout stories of the deeds of the men of old.”[146]
One of the manuals so used was known as the “Bible of the Poor.” Many
legends drawn from pagan mythology were included in these manuals[147]
as types of events in the life of Christ. As Didron says, the
iconography of the pagans dovetailed into that of the Christians.

The architect of the _Pórtico de Gloria_ drew his inspiration not from
manuals, not from popular legends, but purely and simply from the Bible
alone. “Protestants,” says Ferreiro, “accuse Catholics of not letting
the people have the Bible, but Mateo, in the twelfth century, certainly
knew it as well as any Reformer ever did, and what is more, he wished to
put it before the eyes of the ignorant.” Yes, the _Pórtico de Gloria_
was begun in the twelfth century, twenty years earlier than the façade
of Notre Dame de Paris. The façades of Rheims, Chartres, Amiens had not
yet come into existence, and Italy still gave the preference to mosaic
rather than to statuary, and, as Ferreiro adds, she had not yet grasped
the way to adapt statuary to architecture. Even if Mateo had prepared
himself by studying the two façades which were already in existence,
Repoll and Vézelay, he must have felt dissatisfied with them.

The pervading idea in Christian art as seen in the sculpture of the
primitive sarcophagi was the Fall and the Redemption. Every epoch[148]
had its own ideal: in the early ages of Christianity the martyrdom of
the saints was the favourite subject; then followed a period when
asceticism came into vogue; and after the beginning of the thirteenth
century the struggle against the temptations of the world, and
especially against sensuality, became the principal topic. In the
_Pórtico de Gloria_ all these are represented. My first thought on
seeing it was instinctively, “How did the architect manage to get that
wealth of statuary into so small a space without giving the slightest
impression of overcrowding, or in any way disturbing the grand
architectural outlines of his magnificent design?” He not only succeeded
in getting them in, he did more: he succeeded in producing a piece of
work in which architecture and sculpture were interwoven and
inseparable. M. Roulin, a French Benedictine, who studied this
masterpiece from a printed plan (being unable to go and see the
original), published a critical article on it, in which he stated that
the archivolts of the lateral arches were _overcrowded_ with
statues.[149] When he looks at the real thing he will retract this

The tympanum of the central arch has three times the diameter of the
side ones: its centre is occupied by a colossal figure of Christ with a
crown and a cruciform nimbus, seated upon a throne with His feet upon
two sculptured fern leaves curled like ostrich feathers. Christ serves
as the centre towards which all the lines converge--“the focus of the
whole world in the splendour of His glory. He attracts and absorbs
everything, as the ocean absorbs the rivers. But Christ was also the
Victim, the Scapegoat: there are marks on His hands, His feet, His side.
He is the victim who has burst asunder the bars of Hell and has opened
the gates of Heaven to all Believers.”[150] Mateo chiefly follows the
words of St. Paul, but in the disposition of the figures on the tympanum
he follows the description given in Rev. iv. and v.:--

“_And there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an

“_And round about the throne were four-and-twenty seats: and upon the
seats I saw four-and-twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment;
and they had on their heads crowns of gold._ ...

“ ... _The four beasts and four-and-twenty elders fell down before the
Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours,
which are the prayers of the saints._

“_And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book,
and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us
to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and

The figure of Christ, as Ferreiro observes, is the only statue of
hieratic form; all the others are human to a remarkable degree.[151] The
seated statue of Christ measures nearly five yards in height; His arms
are outspread, and He is raised six yards from the ground. His features
are serene, with a broad forehead and somewhat protruding eyes and thin
lips. His beard reaches to His shoulders. The throne is a Roman
_curule_, the faldesterium of the Middle Ages. It was a rule among the
Greeks that the larger the statue the more they must sacrifice detail to
important points, and Mateo followed this rule most strictly. Much
detail is left out altogether in this statue of Christ.

Grouped round the throne are the Four Evangelists writing on the
respective animals that accompanied each: John, a youth with an eagle;
Luke with a bull; Mark with a lion, whose front paws rest upon his knee;
Matthew, a beardless young man, writes on his knee. St. Luke writes:
“_Facit in Diebus Herodis_.” Some of the words on the open page of
John’s book are also still readable: “_Initium Sancti evangelii secundum
Joannem_.”[152] These evangelists represent the interpreters of the
Word. In the base of the pediment there are four angels on either side
carrying trophies of the Passion. One, kneeling, presents the column to
which Christ was bound; two others carry the cross; a third bears the
crown of thorns; a fourth, four keys; a fifth, Pilate’s sentence (on a
scroll); a sixth, a pitcher; a seventh, the leathern thongs; an eighth,
the cane and sponge with a scroll which is now illegible. The feet of
these angels rest upon clumps of sculptured foliage.

The four-and-twenty elders are placed like a fringe round the inner side
of the arch; the tympanum describes a perfect semi-circle. Each has a
stringed instrument and a little vessel, and each has a kind of ducal
crown upon his head. The crowns were gilded originally, and their tunics
were white bordered with gold. Some of them have short mantles fastened
on the left shoulder. All are seated on a kind of Oriental divan, and
are conversing together two and two, like people at an entertainment
whose thoughts are engrossed in what they are saying and who are
careless of what others are doing. Their musical instruments are a study
in themselves: some think they are copied from the instruments that were
used by the troubadours and other minstrels of the day, but Dr. Eladio
Oviedo, who has made a special study of the subject, believes they are
intended to represent the musical instruments of the Old Testament. They
all have three strings, though there are five screws; some of them
resemble the violins of our day. “Strange,” says Ferreiro, “that there
is not a viola among them, especially as there is a viola in the hands
of King David on the _Puerta de Los Platerias_. Perhaps it is because, a
bow being needed, it would be difficult to get it in.”

A crowd of little human figures take the space round the figure of
Christ. All are crowned, and most of them are carrying books or scrolls,
but all have their eyes fixed upon Christ. These represent the citizens
of the Holy City, of Isaiah, who have been redeemed by Christ; or the
Ten Thousand times ten thousand, who are singing a new song. Their
crowns are symbols of glory.

On either extreme of the tympanum are two angels, lifting in their arms
and presenting to Christ each a little naked figure representing a human
soul, which holds in its little hands its “title clear to mansions in
the skies.” The faces of the angels are full of tender and passionate
sympathy. Those to the left are bringing in the Jews, those to the right
the Gentiles, an illustration of the words, “And He shall give His
angels charge concerning thee.” The number of figures on the Gentile
side is double that on the side of the Jews, according to Isaiah’s
prophecy that the barren woman should have more children than she who
had a husband. The archivolt or face of this marvellous arch is
decorated with exquisitely sculptured foliage, which forms a graceful
background to the heads of the four-and-twenty elders.

The lateral arch to the right has also a statue of Christ, but a very
small one, on the keystone of its archivolt. In His left hand he holds a
sealed book representing Eternal Truth. Eve is seen to His right and
Adam to His left; then in the next semi-circle come Abraham, Isaac,
Jacob, and Judah on the right, and Moses, Aaron, Samuel, and David on
the left. A thick and exuberant foliage partially conceals these
figures; the upper band of sculpture in this arch also appears, at the
first glance, to represent nothing more than a semi-circle of foliage
behind a tore or large round moulding such as is commonly used in the
bases of columns. Looking more closely, however, and with the aid of an
opera-glass, we clearly distinguish the arms and heads of little naked
human beings at intervals between the foliage peeping over the tore,
with their legs and feet on the lower side of it. Lopez Ferreiro and
Eladio Oviedo believe that the tore represents the old Jewish Divorce
Law, and the figures--the Jews who are still bound by it (they nearly
all hold scrolls in their hands stretched over the tore)--Bills of
Divorce; the thick foliage represents sin. The Jews are being rescued,
two and two, naked (so that no sin may remain on them), by tender
angels. The first angel, with a cloth, bears them in his arms, and the
second hands them still naked into the Christian Church (which is
represented by the tympanum of the central arch already described).

The sculpture on the side arch to the south is supposed by the
above-quoted authorities to represent the conversion of the Gentile or
pagan world, as that to the north represents that of the Jews. The
keystone of the southern arch is occupied by two busts--the upper, with
a beard, represents “the man Christ Jesus,” and the lower, a beardless
youth, also Christ, but this time “the God-Christ.” To the right of
these busts are sculptured horizontally four angels bearing little human
figures, round which they have wrapped their flowing mantles, towards
Paradise (_i.e._ the central arch). To the left, also placed
horizontally, are four hideous demons--the nearest one to the keystone
of the lower archivolt is crouching down, and has the limbs of two
little human beings hanging from his jaws; the second, with the feet of
an ox, is also maltreating human beings; the third, who has claws
instead of feet, has four little figures suspended from his neck; the
fourth, with human feet, is munching human beings, two at a time. These
demons, in the opinion of Lopez Ferreiro, represent _not devils_ but
violence, cruelty, rapine, and gluttony. Serpents are seen entwining
some of the little figures; they are the passions which tyrannise over
the unconverted.

As I have said, Lopez Ferreiro was the first writer to interpret the
symbolism of the _Pórtico de Gloria_ in this way. The fact that four
angels blowing trumpets are sculptured at the four corners of the
narthex led some critics to believe that the whole was nothing more nor
less than the hackneyed theme of the Last Judgment; they took the
beardless bust of Christ to represent St. Michael, though they were
obliged to admit that his scales were not visible. Some have thought
that the monsters represented purgatory, but this is not likely, as
purgatory was not represented either in painting or sculpture until the
fifteenth century, except metaphorically (which it was from the earliest
times).[153] Roulin strongly opposes the interpretation of Lopez
Ferreiro, and remarks that the theme of the _Pórtico de Gloria_ is well
known to iconography, and that it is the same as that found in many
other cathedrals. He is convinced that the angels carrying the
instruments of the Passion, or of Christ showing His wounds, are never
represented, except when the subject is the Last Judgment. With regard
to the Jews behind the tore he remarks: “Il faut convenir que pareille
representation est insolite,” but adds that there are various ways in
which it might be interpreted, one being Death and the Resurrection; the
tore would then be the emblem of death, and the green foliage that of
the green pastures of Paradise. As for the beardless bust on the other
arch representing Christ--a bust with neither beard nor nimbus is, in
his opinion, a thing unheard of after the middle of the eleventh
century! The extension of the theme of the Last Judgment to three arches
is, he owns, the point which distinguishes the _Pórtico de Gloria_ of
Santiago from analogous works,--he knows of no other such; the whole
subject is usually limited to the tympanum of one arch.[154] He also
points out that Lopez Ferreiro is mistaken in thinking that the Christ
in the cathedral of Autun has wounded hands outstretched in blessing,
and a bare breast showing a wound,--the arms of that statue are not
raised, and the breast is covered, so that no wounds are seen.

A clustered pillar composed of six granite columns, with a richly carved
capital, separates the two entrances beneath the tympanum of the central
arch. This pillar rests its base on the back of the figure of a man
lying on his stomach with head and shoulders raised above a scroll, the
writing upon which has been effaced. His arms are extended over the
backs of two lions with huge gaping jaws. Beneath the capital of this
column is a large seated figure of St. James, the “Son of Thunder,” the
patron saint of Santiago di Compostela, and in fact the patron saint of
the Spanish Peninsula. St. James, larger than life, is seated in an
armchair, the feet of which are supported by two little lions. Round the
saint’s head is a nimbus studded with crystals and other stones,--very
Byzantine in appearance, and supposed to be of much more recent date
than the sculpture. St. James holds in his left hand a staff the handle
of which is shaped like the letter T,[155] and in his right he holds a
parchment scroll on which we read “Misit me Dominus.” The lions, and the
chair in which St. James is seated, rest upon the beautifully carved
capital of a slender marble[156] column, the whole fust, or shaft, of
which is covered with delicate bas-reliefs illustrating the Stem of
Jesse. The idea was first suggested by Jerome in the fourth century: in
this representation of it there are seven human figures. Jesse lies at
the foot, while out of the heart there grows a tree which wraps in its
foliage the seated figure of King David, with his crown and musical
instrument, and between his knees the stem passes; above him is King
Solomon, also enfolded in the leaves, and above King Solomon is seated
the Virgin Mary, not concealed or shaded by any leaves, but rising out
of the tree, as though she (who was believed to be born without sin)
were its perfect flower. Above her delicate profile on the capital of
the same marble column is sculptured a representation of the Holy
Trinity. The Holy Spirit in the form of a dove is appearing from a
cloud; below is seated the Almighty with a mantle round His shoulders
and a royal crown upon His head, pointing to His Divine Son, whose arms
are extended on a cross. Four angels, two on either side, are engaged in
adoration of the Holy Trinity. This way of representing the Trinity,
according to Sanchez, is very ancient: it fell into disuse centuries
ago, because the ignorant crowd used to mistake it for the Coronation of
the Virgin.

For centuries poor women from all parts of Spain and Portugal have
implicitly believed that by placing their right hand where the branches
of the Tree of Jesse are thickest, and praying at the same time that God
will grant them children, they will receive the desired end. At the spot
where so many thousands of hands have been placed the marble is
literally worn away, like the toe of St. Peter at Rome. Priests shake
their heads at this superstition, but the women’s faith is not shaken,
and the custom continues to be practised.

The Tree of Jesse has often been used to represent the genealogy of
Christ. Parker tells us that it was by no means an uncommon subject for
sculpture, painting, and embroidery. At Dorchester Church, Oxfordshire,
it is curiously formed in the stone-work of one of the chancel windows.
At Christchurch, near Bournemouth, it is chiselled in stone on the
reredos of the altar; the figure of Jesse is here much larger than life
size, and the whole thing is larger in proportion; in this case the tree
springs from the loins of Jesse, not from his heart, as at Santiago. The
same subject is introduced in a painted window at Chartres; also in one
at Rouen.[157]

In a line with the statue of St. James, and the same height from the
ground, upon other sculptured columns with their backs to the great
piers which support the arches of the narthex, are grouped the
startlingly life-like figures of a number of evangelists and prophets,
each of which deserves the most careful study. The names of most of them
are indicated by the writing on their scrolls, or by some unmistakable
token. St. Peter, for instance, holds the keys, and is the only one
wearing pontifical dress; he represents the Head of the Church. St. Paul
holds a book, in which we can read the opening words of the Epistle to
the Hebrews. St. James the Elder, again represented, holds a scroll on
which we read, “_Deus autem incrementum dedit in hac regione_.” St.
John, the brother of St. James, is known by his sweet juvenile face, and
by the eagle which supports him. He has the Apocalypse open at the page
_Vidi civitatem sanctam_, etc., and appears to be reading it. There is
some doubt as to who the four next to him are meant to represent; after
them, on the eastern side, comes _St. John the Baptist_ holding in his
hands the _Agnus Dei_. Next is the figure of a woman with a crown, whom
some take for Queen Urraca, niece of Pope Calixtus II., and others for
Catherine of Leon. The most modern theory about this figure is that she
is intended to represent Judith; Judith’s appearance among the prophets
and evangelists in the _Pórtico de Gloria_ is taken to be a proof that
in the twelfth century the Book of Judith was included amongst the
canonical books of the Old Testament. Dr. Eladio Oviedo tells me,
moreover, that this belief is supported by many passages in the books of
the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries. There is also a
quotation from the Book of Judith in one of the poems of Prudentius, the
Gallegan poet of the fourth century, of whom we have already spoken. Not
having seen any of these passages, I am not myself competent to give an
opinion on the matter. All the representations of Judith that I remember
noticing in Italy and elsewhere represent Judith striding along with the
head of Holophernes in one hand and a sword in the other, such, for
instance, as the famous picture by Botticelli in Florence. Next in order
comes another female figure wrapped in a mantle, who was long thought to
represent “la sibille annoncaatrice du Jugement dernier,” but is now
believed to be Queen Esther; she carries a parchment scroll, but its
words have been obliterated. The next is a bearded statue with a staff
in _tau_, who has not been identified; then follows another unknown
statue. One of these is probably _Ezekiel_; and then we come to
_Jeremiah_, whose name is on his scroll; this prophet is communicating
something of great interest to _Daniel_, who stands next him, a handsome
young man who smiles as he listens with his eyes on the ground. Daniel’s
amused smile is so real that it is quite infectious, the spectator finds
himself smiling too as he looks at him. According to Lopez Ferreiro,
“Daniel cannot hide his joy at some news which Jeremiah has just
imparted to him.” At any rate, no traveller contemplating the Pórtico
will ever have the least difficulty in finding out Daniel, as his broad
smile is sufficient to mark him out amongst a thousand statues. For many
decades there was a legend among the people of Santiago to the effect
that he is laughing at the disproportionately fat figure of the crowned
lady opposite (Judith), and such a hold did this idea take upon the mind
of the crowd that at length the archbishop had that lady relieved of
some of her corpulence by means of the sculptor’s knife; one can see
that she has been trimmed a bit. Daniel’s name is still visible on the
scroll he carries.

_Isaiah_, standing next to Daniel, has a curious turban on his head; he
is the only one not bare-headed; his name is also readable on his
scroll. Moses, standing next to Isaiah (beneath the angel in the corner
of the right entrance under the central arch), is dressed in a blue
tunic with a gold mantle. He has a benign and venerable face, with
parted hair and a long flowing beard. In his hands he holds the two
Tables of Stone on which we can still decipher one word, “Honra.” All
these statues are above praise, not only as works of art, but as
representative of the sculpture of their epoch. Their wonderful anatomy,
the perfectly natural folds of their drapery, are marvellous when we
consider the age in which they were executed. High up above the southern
arch we see two unfinished and unsculptured stones, where the wings of
the angels should be represented to match the one above the northern
arch. This unfinished piece of work was pointed out to me by Dr. Eladio
Oviedo. No other archæologist seems to have noticed it. Did the sculptor
die before his work was finished? we wonder. In former days the four
angels with trumpets placed at the four angles of the rectangular
portico were taken to be the four archangels sounding the trumpets of
the Last Judgment. In the more modern interpretations they are celestial
servants of the Great King, whose duty it is to show Him honour.

The bases of all the pillars supporting the _Pórtico de Gloria_ rest
upon groups of extraordinary animals, about the symbolism of which there
has been much dispute. These creatures, which take the place of
pedestals, have been thought by some to represent the vices which
corrupt humanity, but surely if such were the case they would be more
varied in type! whereas one cluster is composed entirely of eagles and
another of lions. Eagles are not found anywhere else in Galicia, but
lions are quite common. The lion is used as an emblem of Justice, the
eagle represents Faith. Lions at the entrance of a church, one on either
side, are constantly met with in old Gallegan churches. The magistrate
used to sit between them on one of the steps, and judge cases in the
open air. It was quite public, and any one who liked might hear the
whole proceedings. The Moors have a similar custom to this day. Many a
time have I seen the judge with his white turban seated tailor-fashion
between the columns of the white building on the _Kashab_ hill at
Tangier, to try cases in the open air, while a triple ring of Moorish
spectators listened to his words. Those who considered the theme of the
_Pórtico de Gloria_ to be that of the Last Judgment believed that every
one of the monsters on which its piers rest represented a different
vice--Pride, avarice, sloth, envy, etc. By their crushed position,
beneath the whole weight of the whole portico, they were supposed to
represent the vices of man triumphed over by the Church of Christ. The
fact that in Assyrian ruins we meet with strikingly similar monsters
supporting the piers of ancient buildings has led some archæologists to
suppose that the idea of placing such creatures beneath this portico
reached Galicia through Eastern channels.

Behind the central pillar of the portico and facing the altar is the
figure of a man upon his knees with his hands together as if in prayer;
he is so placed as to appear as if supporting the weight of the whole
pillar upon his back. This is Mateo, the architect, who evidently did
not intend to be forgotten by those who came to admire his work. The
face is supposed to be a true portrait. It is virile, with a good
forehead clustered with crisp curls; their granite locks show signs of
wear. Here we see where another superstition has had its hold for
centuries. Mothers have from time immemorial rested their babies’ heads
against that stone head, because “Mateo was a clever man, and baby must
be clever too.” In the language of Galicia, this figure of Mateo is
sometimes called _el santo dos croques_, the saint with the curls (lit.
“of the curls”). Mateo has represented himself as a humble supplicant
whose eyes are directed towards the holy altar, and whose knees are bent
in adoration. He is clad in a tunic with wide sleeves, probably the
every-day garb of a Gallegan citizen of the twelfth century. Over the
tunic he wears a mantle fastened at the neck with a broach. His right
hand is laid upon his breast, as a sign of penitence, and in his left he
holds a scroll, which is said to have originally shown the word

One of the small shafts which ornament the pier supporting the right
side of the central arch (the one exactly beneath the statue of Isaiah)
is also of marble, like that on which is represented the stem of Jesse:
it is banded with spiral and exquisitely carved bas-relief. Here we at
once recognise Abraham being stopped by the angel just as, knife in
hand, he is about to offer up his son Isaac. Every atom of space has
been utilised with consummate skill. Abraham is not easily dissuaded by
the angel; there is a hand-to-hand struggle, and a determined look on
the face of the angel, who has actually grasped the blade of Abraham’s
outstretched knife. We note the wonderful play of muscle in this
speaking bit of marble. It is better sculpture of the human form than
anything to be found in French churches of the twelfth century. It
reminds us of the most perfect of Pisan sculpture, but it is of earlier
date than any of the French or Pisan work. The moulding at the base of
the shaft, like that of its fellows, is elliptic (oval), a sign, says
Lopez Ferreiro, of the transition from the Roman-Byzantine style to the
Gothic; the elaborate moulding of the square pedestal or plinth beneath
is also a sure sign of transition, for Greek and Roman pedestals were
plain blocks of stone. We remember that the Early French style had in
many instances plinths ornamented with fluting, or otherwise enriched.

One of the marble columns was evidently replaced, some hundreds of years
ago, by another of inferior marble, which has stood the test of time
very badly; it is much worn, but its sculpture is very interesting. Here
we see a real old tournament of the Middle Ages; two knights clad in
full chain armour, tunic and helmets entirely chain, and the latter
decorated with flowing plumes. The shields are splendid, and the anatomy
of the fighting warriors worthy of Rubens. On this column we also
discern some strange monsters such as we read of in “Geoffery the
Knight” when we were children.

All the capitals of the _Pórtico de Gloria_ are covered with rich
sculpture; that above the seated figure of St. James is decorated with a
representation of the Temptation in the Wilderness, to the north we see
Satan tempting our Saviour to turn stone into bread, to the west we see
Christ on the pinnacle of the temple, to the south is Satan showing
Christ all the glories of the world, and holding in his hands a scroll
with the words _Haec omnia Tibi dabo, si cadens adoraveris me_, and
Christ holds His scroll with the words _bade Satana_; on the fourth and
eastern side, facing the interior of the cathedral, we see angels
ministering unto Christ.

Lopez Ferreiro[158] has devoted a most interesting chapter to the
execution of the work in the _Pórtico de Gloria_. He shows how Mateo,
the architect, subordinated everything else to the one grand principle
of unity; thus following the supreme law in artistic production. We do
not see anywhere in Greek or Roman sculpture, as Viollet le Duc has
pointed out, a tympanum covered with statues the attitudes and size of
which are adapted to its shape. The façade of _Notre Dame de Paris_ has
a tympanum crowded with statues, but there the tympanum is divided into
four distinct parts; that of Santiago is unbroken. But unity alone is
not enough to constitute an aesthetic work of art; variety is also
needed in order to exclude monotony. In the _Pórtico de Gloria_ there
are hardly two figures to be found in the same attitude. Let us look at
the four-and-twenty elders. Each of the old men has his feet in a
different attitude; he has his own way, too, of handling his musical
instrument. Mateo had the art of making his statues look perfectly easy
and natural even when represented in the most difficult postures. There
is a look of spontaneity about the placement of their limbs. Ferreiro
has noted the capricious manner in which the legs of the fifth old man
are covered; we feel instinctively that he has only just this minute
crossed them, and that a moment ago he had them in quite another
position! We see the same variety in the flow or curl of the hair, in
the shape and size of the beard. All bear witness to the zeal with which
Mateo worked to produce a natural and lifelike effect, and to evade the
least suspicion of convention or routine. We have seen how the artist of
the _Puerta de las Platerias_ attempted to do this, but in his day no
one thought of attending to the position of a statue’s _feet_. In the
façade in question all the feet are arranged with the most rigorous

No human being can remain with comfort in any one position for more than
a given time; for the sake of ease our posture is continually changing.
Mateo must have studied every position possible to the human frame. But
his genius shows itself still more distinctly in the heads of his
statues,--each is a portrait taken from life, the features are all in
harmony. As you contemplate them you feel that you can almost read the
character of the person represented. With what diligence must this
artist have sought out his models; how peasants and tradesmen and nobles
must have posed for him in turn. In the _Pórtico de Gloria_ we see the
very people who walked about the streets of Santiago while the work was
being done.

Though the sculpture of the Middle Ages is in many respects inferior to
that of the best period of ancient Greece (in actual form it is
generally less perfect), it has in it a new element, it portrays, as
Greek statuary never attempted to do, the intellectual element in the
human being.[159] The artists of the Middle Ages did not consider only
of the exterior; they tried to represent the thinking mind. Every one of
Mateo’s statues has “a mind of its own.” As Lopez Ferreiro has put it,
the statuary of the Greeks was the sister of poetry, that of the Middle
Ages was the sister of psychology and philosophy.

The whole masterpiece of Mateo may be described as an attempt at the
interpretation of one great thought, or rather of a series of thoughts
“toute une ordre d’idées,” which “is engaging the attention of all
humanity.” Lopez Ferreiro notes how daringly Mateo made his attempt to
push his art into the road along which two centuries later it was
carried by Italy’s most celebrated artists.

The statues of the _Pórtico de Gloria_ are most of them engaged in
animated conversation; each face wears an expression in accordance with
the particular turn his conversation is taking, “yet each at the same
time wears a look of repose, such as could only arise from a pure mind
and a tranquil conscience.” The whole, the combined effect of this
astonishing piece of work, is powerfully dramatic; a series of deeply
interesting events is depicted; each statue is a human being whose
entire mind is concentrated upon these events; on one face there is a
look of wonder, on another a look of joy, on another a look of
contentment. “The dramatic element,” says the above-mentioned writer,
“is introduced in exactly the right proportion. In Christian artists of
greater note than Mateo--even in Nicolas of Pisa, there is something
earthly, frivolous, profane; but in Mateo all is serious, spiritual,
without any loss of the human element. As we contemplate the _Pórtico_
the figures almost seem to move, to sit, to talk. You seem to hear the
murmur of their lips. The same discreet realism manifested in the heads
is shown also in the limbs. The arms, the hands, and even the fingers
seem to move with flexibility and delicacy.” This writer goes on to
point out that the heads of the apostles are rather large, and in
accordance with the rule of the Greek monk Dionisius,[160] who laid it
down as a law that the head must be as large as a tenth part of the
whole statue. The heads of Mateo’s apostles are equal to one-seventh
part of the entire height, but the position of these statues must be
remembered; they are raised more than three yards from the ground,
consequently the heads diminish in size and reach exactly the right

Didron has written much about the influence of the drama on iconography.
He thinks that in the early Middle Ages as well as in the twelfth and
thirteenth centuries the art of statuary may have gained much from
Mystery and other plays of the time which had been pressed into the
cause of religion. The “Mirror of Human Salvation” was the framework of
the Divine Comedy, and of all the Mystery plays. “When examining as to
what were the influences at work that aroused Italian art ... from the
death-sleep of Byzantine formalism, may we not,” he asks, “attribute
much of the inspiration of the thirteenth and following centuries to the
drama?” Mute and motionless stood the Christian drama, and its long
lines of angels and saints and martyrs had for centuries looked out with
their fixed gaze from the walls and domes of solemn basilicas, till at
last a vivifying and invigorating influence was brought to bear upon
them.[161] Some large churches in France, such as Chartres, Rheims,
Paris, Amiens, are adorned with no fewer than three or four thousand
stone statues. In the Greek Church statues of every kind are strictly
forbidden. The interior of the Greek churches of Russia are often
covered with fresco paintings, but never do we find a single statue. St.
John Damascenus in the eighth century spoke in defence of images:
“Images speak, they are neither mute nor lifeless blocks, like the idols
of the pagans. Images open the heart and awake the intellect, and in a
marvellous and indescribable manner engage us to imitate the person they
represent.”[162] And Bishop Paulinus of Nola said: “A sculptured arch in
the porch of a church, or an historical glass painting in the nave,
presented the ignorant with a lesson, the believer with a sermon.” We
are tempted to hope that the Catholic Church in Spain may one day clear
away from its sacred altars all the miserable, tawdry, and draggled
objects that are called images, and confine itself to the glorious work
of its inspired artists in glass and stone.

But to return to our _Pórtico_. The hang of the drapery, the pose of the
limbs, have all been the subject of the minutest care and of the
profoundest study. We do not here see garments flying, as though blown
by a rough wind, as if “in a frenzy,” as Taine remarked when he looked
at some of the statues in St. Peter’s at Rome. Every bit of drapery here
falls naturally into place.

With the exception of the slender marble columns already described, the
entire _Pórtico de Gloria_ and its sculpture is of solid granite; but
the granite of the sculptures was not intended to show. The whole was
most delicately coloured, capitals and fusts as well as statues. Time
has carried away most of the colouring, but there is still enough left
to give us some idea of what it was once like. The effect must have
defied description. Christ’s mantle was saffron, bordered with green and
gold, the tunic beneath being also saffron coloured, and bordered with
purple and gold. The four evangelists were also in yellow; the dresses
of the angels varied, some were pink, some blue, some white. Spanish
painters have admired the soft blending of the colours both in the faces
and in the garments of these statues. When our English architect, the
above-quoted Street, had succeeded in getting a special commission sent
out from England to take a plaster cast of the _Pórtico de Gloria_ for
South Kensington[163] he certainly deserved the gratitude of the English
public, but the people of Santiago complained that a little of its
beautiful colouring was taken off in the process. This colouring was not
Moorish, as some have suggested, but Byzantine. There is a great
similarity between the colouring of ancient Byzantine frescoes and icons
and that of this _Pórtico_; the flesh tints were brown almost to a
chocolate shade. The face of Judith is flushed with quite a rosy tint,
but that of one of the four-and-twenty elders, the one to the left of
the keystone of the arch, is still almost a chocolate colour, and
several of the others indicate a similar colouring. The capitals of the
marble pillars still show traces of a warm, rich red. The art of
colouring stone in such a manner that the colours will remain intact for
centuries is quite lost. It is one of the many lost arts. Possibly the
architects of the seventeenth century feared that continued exposure
might lead to deterioration of the sculpture, and for that reason closed
it in.

On the inner side of the lintel of the central arch of the _Pórtico_ is
an inscription, which is believed to have been placed there by _Maestro
Mateo_, the architect and sculptor to whom we owe this beautiful
creation. It reads thus--

     “Anno ab Incarnatione Domini, MCLXXXVIII, Era MCCXXVI, die
     kalendarum Apriles, super liminaria principalium
     portalium--Ecclesiae Beati Jacobi sunt collocata per Magistrum
     Mathaeum, qui a fundamentis ipsorum portalium gessit magisterium.”

     (In the year of the Incarnation of our Lord 1188, era 1226, on the
     calends of April, the lintels of the principal portico of the
     Cathedral of the Blessed St. James were put up by Master Matthew,
     who superintended the said work from its foundations.)

Perhaps this date, of which none have doubted the correctness, is the
most astonishing part of the whole thing.

A masterpiece like the _Pórtico de Gloria_, dating a century, or even
half a century, later would cause less surprise, but how it comes about
that such a finished and perfect _chef d’œuvre_ could have been
accomplished at so early a date and in such an out-of-the-way part of
the civilised world--is a puzzle.[164] Frenchmen ply their pens with
vigour to prove that Master Matthew was a native of _la belle France_.
Spaniards are equally energetic in their assertions that he was a native
of Spain, and some even go so far as to say that he must have been a
native of Galicia. “There is as yet nothing to prove that Mateo was not
a Gallegan,” writes Lopez Ferreiro. “He lived at Santiago, or at least
in Galicia, from 1161 to 1217, to say the very least; and it is thought
that he was born and educated in Galicia. He was a layman, with a wife
and children.”--And as this writer is one of Spain’s greatest living
historians as well as a famous archæologist, his opinion has weight. He
tells us that from the end of the eleventh century there flourished in
Santiago a school of artists for all branches of art--an institution
which was the means of producing marvellous results. To begin with, it
produced the cathedral itself, and at the same time it produced the most
exquisite specimens of silver and copper workmanship. This school was
enriched, in 1135, by Alfonso VII., with many privileges, which were
also enjoyed by later generations of artists. There still exists a
diploma given to Mateo by Ferdinand, King of Leon, on 23rd February
1168. This king, on the occasion of a royal pilgrimage to the sepulchre
of St. James, granted Mateo a pension of 4200 pesetas (or francs) a
year. It seems that Mateo started the work at once, and took twenty
years to accomplish it; during those twenty years the Gothic style of
architecture had been slowly gaining ground. We see it in the elegant
vaulting of the _Pórtico_ and in its graceful groining.

_The Historia Compostelana_ contains not a single allusion to the
Pórtico de Gloria, which does not seem to have been even planned at the
time that manuscript was written.



     Favourite subjects--Plain capitals in English cathedrals--The
     foliage--The trumpet pattern--Capitals in the gallery--New
     elements--The arcades at Vézelay--Original but not realistic--The
     zenith of ornamental sculpture--Lay schools--Art becomes a dead
     language--The abacas--Norman sculpture in England--The palace of
     Gelmirez--St. Joseph’s Day--The crypt church--Its form and
     architecture--Sculpture of its capitals--Stone flowers--Celtic
     dances--The Capilla de Gelmirez--Sculptured scenes from daily
     life--The Sala capitular

The capital of every shaft introduced into the design of the _Pórtico de
Gloria_ is, as we have already remarked, exquisitely sculptured. We have
tried to describe some of the more noticeable ones, but there are also
interesting subjects depicted on many of the smaller and less prominent
capitals. On the capital of a pillar attached to the eastern wall of the
narthex, near the statue of Esther, we find little monsters, winged
dragons with horses’ feet. Others again have exuberant foliage, amongst
which there sometimes appears the profile of a beautiful female head. A
favourite subject is a couple of harpies with women’s heads (a band
across the forehead and flowing hair), the bodies are those of birds
varying in size and type. On a capital opposite the southern or “Pagan”
arch is depicted a poor unfortunate mortal with a tormenting monster on
either side of him; one of these is engaged in pulling out his tongue
with a long pair of tongs, and the other is trying to strangle him with
a rope, one end of which he has strung round the victim’s neck. Though
the theme of the _Pórtico_ may not be the Last Judgment, it must, I
think, be admitted that these creatures have a very infernal appearance.
On another capital are depicted two hideous harpies with equine heads,
and serpents’ tails which coil round their carrion-like feet. These
horrid animals glare down upon the spectator with the most fiendish
expression imaginable.

In some of our finest cathedrals the capitals are often very little
carved, or not carved at all. At Winchester we




find in the north transept (1079-93 A.D.) the so-called cushion capital,
which Parker describes as a “plain cubicle mass with the lower angles
rounded off, forming a sort of rude cushion shape.” There are plain
capitals in the arcade of Canterbury, and in the crypt, but these last
were evidently intended to be sculptured after they had been put into
place, for some are finished and others are half-finished. At
Westminster too we also find plain capitals, but it is evident that the
artist who superintended the sculpture of Santiago Cathedral meant to
have every one sculptured. As Lopez Ferreiro has remarked, it is very
rare to find a church with such a variety of carved capitals. Counting
those of the windows and side chapels, there are nearly a thousand, all
completed with the most perfect work and finish. In the interior of the
cathedral the capitals are almost all of the best granite, but they look
like sculptured marble; some of the figures in them have eyes of jet.
The foliage of many is as fine and delicate as lace work. “No epoch of
architecture,” wrote Viollet le Duc, “has produced such a variety of
capitals as the twelfth century.” The sculptors truly seem to have
looked upon their work as a labour of love and devotion.

Lopez Ferreiro believes that the capitals of Santiago Cathedral were
completed before the close of the eleventh century, and therefore before
the epoch at which the French capitals attained to their fullest
perfection.[165] Some of them certainly were, but I am a little
sceptical about the best ones. Those which resemble the early capitals
with rude volutes, such as one sees in the White Tower, London (1081
A.D.), might well date from the eleventh century, and those in the
_Puerta de los Platerias_ may be of the same date. But this question is
worthy of more careful study than has yet been devoted to it. Some of
the capitals of the _Pórtico de Gloria_ are very Byzantine in their
execution, as are those of the _Puerta de los Platerias_. Here we see
interlacings, a sort of basket work ornamented with dots like pearl
_passementérie_ and the trumpet pattern, which are certainly indicative
of the sculpture of the Eastern Empire. There is a great deal of this
work in Ireland, and for a long time patriotic Irish archæologists clung
to the belief that these twistings and plaitings and spirals were of
purely Celtic origin and typical of Celtic art,[166] but that idea is
now exploded. “There is no doubt,” writes Miss Stoke,[167] “that in the
history of Christian art in Ireland we see two currents meeting, one
Byzantine the other Latin,” and she then points out that similar
designs, “like regularly plaited twigs,” are to be found in the church
of St. Clement in Rome, which dates from 650 A.D.; where these twigs are
plaited together (a case rare in Ireland) they are intended as a symbol
of the Holy Trinity, the Three in One, as the inscription
_Unitas--Trinitas_ found with it in France indicates.

To any one who is fond of beautiful sculpture a walk round the gallery
which encircles the cathedral of Santiago is nothing short of a delight.
The arches of windows through which we look down into the naves are
supported by carved capitals of the most perfect workmanship; there are
many hundreds of them, and there are not two alike.

Frenchmen claim that all this beautiful work was done under the
supervision of monks from Cluny; if not, indeed, by them, they argue
that the same class of finely sculptured foliage is to be found at
Toulouse and elsewhere in Southern France. Yet, according to Viollet le
Duc, it was after 1130 that the monks of Cluny began to turn to Nature
for fresh ideas. They then sought for new elements, and these they found
in the vegetation of their own fields, and it occurred to them that,
instead of arranging canthus leaves stiffly and conventionally, like
those on the friezes and capitals of Syria, each sculptor should be at
liberty to gather such foliage as grew in his own neighbourhood, and
arrange it as his own taste should dictate. It was towards 1160 that
these monks completed their arcades at Vézelay, and displayed their
capitals sculptured with an elegant suppleness that nothing has ever
equalled. The general form of these capitals, like those at Santiago,
was Roman, but the grouping and adjustment of the flowers of the fields
are managed with such grace and skill that the cleverest of modern
sculptors would find it hard to compete with them.

As at Vézelay, so at Santiago, there is such varied grouping of the
foliage as could only have been arrived at by each individual sculptor
drawing his inspiration from the tender sprays themselves and working
out his own fancy. Towards the close of the twelfth century the mass of



ornamentation such as interlacings, and billets, began to disappear and
their place was filled by local vegetation. There is plenty of this new
decorative sculpture in the choir of _Notre Dame de Paris_, which was
begun in 1163 and finished before 1190, the work of the lay-school,
_l’Isle de France_. The sculptors went out into the fields to search for
the leaves and buds that would best suit their purpose. Every man wished
his block of stone to become a capital whose beauty distinguished it
from all the rest.[168] The work of this period is wonderfully original,
but it is far from being realistic.

The general composition of the Paris capitals resembles that of those of
Santiago Cathedral, but is not nearly so beautiful. The foliage, too,
that grew in the neighbourhood of Paris, and was adapted by the
sculptors there, is quite different from the foliage of the Santiago
capitals, which seem to have been copied from the cabbages which form
the staple food of the Gallegan peasants. These cabbages shoot up with
long thick stems more than a yard above ground before they spread out
their long, curling leaves, and more nearly resemble wild bracken than
English cabbages. The fact that the leaves on the Santiago capitals seem
to be full of sap and lifelike, must likewise be due to the sculptor’s
keen observation and study of the original plant as it grew in its
native soil. Viollet le Duc says that it was in _Notre Dame de Paris_
that this stone vegetation first unfolded its leaves, and that other
sculptors of northern France took thence their ideas; but it was not
till some years later that they learned to represent the leaves as they
grew. It needed consummate art to form, out of many parts, one combined
whole which should resemble an individual and real plant or animal; even
the imaginary and fantastic animals that twelfth-century artists
represented as creeping out from between the foliage looked real and
lifelike. The zenith of ornamental sculpture, in the opinion of Viollet
le Duc, was reached at that moment when Roman tradition had disappeared,
and when the search after reality had not yet imposed its exigencies
upon the sculptor. This was the most brilliant period of the French
school, and it lasted for about twenty-five years, between 1199 and
1215. The new school spread its influence into every province of France
and even into foreign countries, but at the same time the work of each
province preserved a certain individuality of its own. In Bourgogne
there was a tendency even to exaggerate nature.

When the lay schools were formed, when art had come forth from the
monasteries and taken its place in the family and in the workshop of the
artisan, the members of each corporation were free to do as they pleased
with their blocks of marble or stone, they had no written rules to
follow; the father taught his son, and the master explained his method
to his disciple or apprentice. It seems to have been their first care to
break with the past, and to study nature in the woods and fields in
search of fresh inspiration. “Alas,” cries Viollet le Duc, “that in Art
progress should lead us to a zenith and then force us to descend!”
Sculpture falls at last through her very zeal for reality.

The capitals of Santiago like those in France were sculptured before the
mason lifted them to their place. Each workman was responsible for the
work of his own capital, and we often find the name of the proud
sculptor cut into the stone.

But how did such perfect sculpture spring up in this remote town of
Galicia, contemporaneously with, if not earlier than, the best French
work? “Pour former l’artiste,” says the writer we have been quoting, “il
est besoin d’un public appréciateur, pénétrable au langage de l’art;
pour former le public, il faut un art comprehensible, en harmonie âvec
les idées du moment.” And what sort of a public had Santiago in those
days. Was it not one of the most brilliant of the world’s intellectual
centres? All this exquisite sculpture was produced during Galicia’s
second Golden Age. In the Middle Ages there was a far stronger tie
between the artist and the public than there is in our day. “Le moyen
age n’aurait pas fait un si grand nombre de sculpteurs pour plaire a’
une coterie, l’art s’était democratisé autant qu’il pent l’être.” In our
day art speaks only to the few, the chosen and the cultivated few, with
money in their pockets. It is a dead language to four-fifths of the
world, not because the people have rejected it, but because it has
neglected the people.

One of the glories of the lay schools of the thirteenth century, remarks
Viollet le Duc, is the way in which they helped to spread art among the
people. From the moment that you begin to teach the people that art is
only for a caste, a select few, you cannot continue to spread it abroad.
You cannot command taste. Art is a tree which can only spread and grow
when it is given fair play. “Le régime féodal n’avait ni Acadèmies ni
conseils de batiments civils, ni comités protecteurs des Arts.” In the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries





there were no prizes, no medals to strive for, but art lived and
flourished everywhere.

Many of the capitals in Santiago Cathedral are decorated with groups of
animals, birds, harpies, dragons, in endless variety, while a few,
especially those in the gallery above the apse, are true to the old
Byzantine design of plaits and bands and dots; some again of the later
style have pods full of peas or beans instead of foliage, and in others
the foliage is curling daintily at the tip like ostrich feathers. The
scalloped capital, the most common of all in England in the first half
of the twelfth century, is not to be found in Santiago. The abacas is
always square in Galicia; as far as I remember, it is also square in
French Gothic capitals as well as in Norman, but in English Gothic it is
generally round.[169] In England, too, there has been much discussion as
to how the use of this sculpture was first introduced. Sir Gilbert Scott
thought he could trace it from Byzantium through the south of France;
and Parker attributes its introduction into England to the Crusaders in
the latter half of the twelfth century, but Viollet le Duc scoffs at the
idea. “Soldiers,” he says, “do not usually find a place for art in their
knapsacks.” “We have seen,” writes Parker, “by the testimony of Gervase,
that the chisel was not used in the “Glorious choir of Conrad” at
Canterbury, which was built between 1096 and 1130, and an examination of
the old work proves the exactness of the statement; all the sculptured
ornament on the old work is shallow, and such as could well be executed
with an axe, which is not a bad tool in the hands of a skilful workman,
and is still commonly used in many parts of England and France.... The
chisel is only required for deep-cutting, and especially under-cutting,
and that we do not find on any buildings of ascertained date before
1120.” Parker speaks of some very rich Norman sculpture on the capitals
of the little old church of Shobdon in Herefordshire, built about 1150
by Oliver de Merlemond: the founder went on a pilgrimage to the shrine
of St. James of Compostella in Spain while this church was being built.
Parker thinks he must have brought home with him some drawings, or a
remembrance of what he had seen on his way through France, and applied
this knowledge to the new building. He adds, “It would be a curious
matter of research to ascertain where he found it.” It is much more
likely, in my opinion, that he got his ideas from the sculpture of St.
James, _i.e._ Santiago, though I do not remember seeing anything exactly
like the illustration given in Parker’s book. The sculpture of the
Santiago[170] capitals bears close inspection, like those of St. Sernin,
in France, but at the same time it is of a kind that looks well from a
distance, which is not the case with those of St. Sernin.

Mateo did not erect the _Pórtico de Gloria_ until after he had completed
the so-called “Palace of Gelmirez” adjoining the cathedral, and also the
little church which has been erroneously called “_la Catedral Vieja_”
(the old cathedral). In both of these there is contemporary sculpture of
great interest and merit. Underneath the principal entrance to the
cathedral, and below the flight of steps by which the principal entrance
is reached, there is another entrance in the western wall, that of the
little church, or crypt, beneath the _Pórtico de Gloria_, which is now
called the chapel of St. Joseph. An eighteenth-century circular arch,
broken by a coat of arms, forms the head of the doorway, on either side
of which, on pedestals, stand the figures of two knights in armour work
of the fifteenth century. As soon as we have entered we perceive that
the little church and the portico above are the work of the same
architect, and, consequently, of the same period.

On St. Joseph’s Day this little church stands open from early morning
till late at night, and on the Eve of St. Joseph’s Day it is also open;
but throughout the rest of the year travellers invariably find it
closed. Even now it is very seldom visited by travellers as in the days
of Street, who discovered its existence by a mere accident.

On entering the door the visitor confronts a relief figure, somewhat
under life size, of St. James the Less, the garments of which are highly
coloured, red and blue. St. James holds in his hand a scroll on which
his name is written. In front of the statue is a very ancient baptismal
font with a thick stem. Sanchez calls this statue Byzantine, but some
think it to be Mateo’s work. Opposite the entrance, at the end of a
modern passage, about three yards in length, is a stout clustered pier
(A) from which spring three arches, one to the north, one to the south,
and one to the east; the first two give entrance as it were to twin
naves leading to the high altar, the third arch joins the clustered pier
(A) to another and yet more robust clustered pier (B), an elephantine
one, in fact, which in its turn also throws out three arches to north,
south, and east. A third and smaller clustered pier (C) is joined to the
second (B) by the last mentioned arch. An aisle running round the third
clustered pier forms a





circular apse in which are the chief altar, and an altar to the Virgin
and to St. James on either side.

The form of the little church is that of a Latin cross; but the three
stout piers, A, B, and C, taking up so much room that, being planted in
a line with one another in the centre, they prevent the church from
having any central nave; they give it instead a couple of twin naves,
and make it look like two churches. Street remarked with regard to this
church that its arrangement was very peculiar. The fact of the matter
is, that Mateo had to build strong and lasting foundations for his
_portico_ to rest on; and the crypt church had to be adapted to them as
best it might. From the clustered pier (C) springs the arches which form
a vaulting to the aisle which encircles it, tores spring out over the
aisle like branches from a weeping ash. The inner side of the arches are
decorated with sculpture from the hand of Mateo, as also are the
capitals of the shafts which adorn the clustered piers. The capitals
round the central pier (B) are marvellously beautiful, and those round
the outer walls of the edifice are every one of them worthy of careful
inspection. It is so dark that without good artificial light the work
cannot be satisfactorily examined, and even with a good light a couple
of hours are required to see all properly.

The vaulting of the inner sides of the arches has large rosettes to join
the tores together, but the most remarkable of all the rosettes are
those which line the inner side of the arches over the twin naves. Never
have I seen such a variety of stone flowers in so small a space. The
accompanying photograph taken by limelight will give my readers only a
slight idea of these wonderful rows of flowers plucked from the stalks,
but the pen here is helpless. We have nothing like this in England; our
ball-flower, our four-leaved flower, our trefoil are hideous in
comparison. The photograph, though it only shows a part of one wall,
shows twelve flowers, every one different, every one perfected with
scrupulous care.

Now let us turn to the capitals; the variety of foliage they represent
is simply endless. They are remarkable for the energy, the vigour of
their design. Here on a side capital is a man up in a vine, cutting down
the grapes with a crescent-shaped sickle: there are the real vine-leaves
of Galicia, and the sickle in the man’s hand is the very one still used
by the Gallegan peasants. On another side of the same capital are two
persons with large bunches of grapes at their feet. On another is a man
grasping a wild beast by the throat; the man’s head, which has gone,
should form a corner of the capital. But perhaps the most interesting
capital of all is that with the two maidens gracefully dancing with
raised arms an old Spanish dance. Some have thought this represented the
daughter of Herodias, and that subject has been depicted on a capital;
there is one in the Toulouse Museum,[171] but others believe it to be a
scene taken from the life of the day. That very kind of dancing still
takes place on the village greens of Galicia.

In a niche over the chief altar is a very old stone image, supposed to
have belonged to the original church built over the body of St. James.
The two slender marble shafts to the left and right of the niche have
capitals with Byzantine sculpture; their style is simple and elegant,
and quite distinct from any of the other work. On either side of these
plain shafts are a couple of shafts covered with carving in spiral
bands; ugly modern capitals replace their original ones, but the
pedestals are intact and worthy of note. Some think these four shafts
are among the earliest sculptures in Galicia, and date from the end of
the tenth or beginning of the eleventh century. The frontal of the altar
is covered with a geometrical design, a kind of diaper pattern; some of
its original red and gold colouring is still preserved. The design
consists of a red braid with dots (pearls and a gold border arranged
geometrically on a white background), and joined by stone rosettes with
gold centres. It has been suggested that this altar is a sculptured
sarcophagus adapted, but it is rather too deep for a sarcophagus.

The so-called Palace of Gelmirez was not built till the end of the
twelfth century, or perhaps the beginning of the thirteenth, but the
style of its architecture is the same as that of Mateo’s school. It is
built on to the cathedral to the right of the western façade. We entered
it, by special permit, by way of the modern archiepiscopal library, and
descended to the _capilla de Gelmirez_. The banded imposts on which the
arches and early Gothic vaulting of this chapel rest are ornamented with
remarkable sculpture, quite different from any we have noticed in the
cathedral. Musicians with various quaint instruments are represented as
singing the praises of the Most High: angels, birds, and rosettes adorn
the groined vaults. In the adjoining refectory, separated from the
chapel by a huge pier, the sculptures represent scenes from the everyday
life of Santiago in the twelfth century. Here a Gallegan lady is seated
at dinner with a young girl on either side of her: a servant stands
close by with a dish of eatables in her hand. We see people carrying all
manner of viands, bread, fruits, etc. As Sanchez has remarked, this must
be the refectory, it could be nothing else with so many eatables about.
All the faces wear a look of placid contentment, which centuries have
not been able to obliterate. The musical instruments we see in the
capilla are supposed to be representations of the ones that were used by
the minstrels of the twelfth century. They are quite different from
those of the four-and-twenty elders in the _Pórtico de Gloria_.

There has been some dispute as to the original plan of the archbishop’s
palace, and an architect of my acquaintance is devoting a good deal of
study to the subject. With him I went upstairs to look through the
windows of the notary’s office at the now sealed up old windows of one
of the original lateral façades. These windows are in the Romanesque
style, very like those in the transept of Winchester Cathedral, which
are also eleventh-century work, only that the latter have two windows
under each arch. The arches here are double, the inner arch resting on
slender shafts. It is a simple and at the same time a noble style of
window. We then went down into the basement to look at the long vaulted
room below the capilla--probably an old Sala Capitular--and numerous
bits of stone ornament, archwayed passages, all dating from the eleventh
century. It was down here that Gelmirez established his mint, by the
special permission of Alfonso VI. (1107)[172] in order that money might
be forthcoming to meet the expense of completing the cathedral.



     Ferdinand and Isabella--Levying a tribute--Foundation of the
     hospital--Molina’s description--The principal
     entrance--Iconographic decoration--Gargoyles--A mural painting--The
     railing--The four patios--The north-west cloister--The chapel--A
     graceful font--The sculptured altars--Lace-like canopies--The
     statues--The Flemish Gothic style--The sacristy--Historical
     chasubles--The belfry--A palace for royal visitors--Decadence of
     the hospital--The revenues--A twentieth-century staff--Twenty-six
     wards--The kitchen--Milk and eggs--The Sisters--The medical
     school--King Alfonso XIII. shows his appreciation--Röntgen
     rays--The best in Spain.

During the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, pilgrims still flocked in
hundreds of thousands to the tomb of St. James in Galicia; and the king
and queen, knowing how poor was the accommodation provided for pilgrims
at Santiago, commanded that a commodious inn should be constructed close
to the cathedral, where pious pilgrims might find shelter and the sick
be nursed. It was just after their conquest of Granada that Ferdinand
and Isabella, in 1492, decreed that an annual sum of money should be
devoted as a thankoffering, one-third for commemoration services to be
held at Santiago Cathedral, one-third for the building expenses of the
cathedral, and one-third for the relief of the poor, who would be cared
for in the hospital they had commanded to be built. The sum of money in
question was to be raised by levying a tribute of a bushel of grain on
every pair of oxen, horses, mules, or asses used in agriculture by the
Moors or Christians.[173] The foundation of the hospital may be said to
date from that year, so pregnant with consequences, in which Columbus
discovered the New World, and in which Spain not only became for the
first time in her history a single and united kingdom, but laid the
foundations of her widespread empire to which historians have given the
name of Greater Spain. It was not, however, till 1499 that Ferdinand and
Isabella authorised the Dean of Santiago, Don Diego de Muros, to start
the building of the hospital.[174]


The work began in good earnest in the year 1501, and the building was
ready to receive the first inmates within ten years from that date. At
the time of its completion the _Hospital Real_ was the finest
establishment of its kind in the world, and it is still regarded as an
important example of the Renaissance style of architecture.

Molina, writing in 1550, said, “I believe that the hospital is so well
known in every part of the world, that all I can say about it will be
readily credited. In the three large wards there are few days when there
are less than two hundred sick people, especially in Jubilee years, and
every patient is treated with as much care as if the hospital had only
been erected for his particular benefit. This hospital is one of the
great things of the earth. Apart from its sumptuousness and the regal
grandeur of its architecture, it is a marvellous thing to feel its size,
the multitude of its officials, their diligence, the zeal of the
attendants, the cleanliness of the linen, the care taken about the
cooking, the perfect order of the routine ... the assiduity of the
doctors--in short, one may with reason regard it as a crowning glory of

The _Hospital Real_ is, after the cathedral, the most interesting
edifice in Santiago. Its front forms the northern side of the chief
square of the town, the _Plaza de Alfonso XII_. The iconographic
decoration of its principal entrance at once attracts the eye of every
stranger who enters the square. Between the rectangular window and the
two rows of statues over the entrance are inscribed the following words:
“_Magnus Fernandus et grandis Helisabeth: peregrinis: divi Jacobi
construi: jussere: anno salutis: M: D: I: opus: inchoaturn: decennio:
absolutum_.” This entrance is an example of the most perfect style of
the Renaissance in Spain. In the triangles formed by the principal arch
are the busts, in bas-relief, of Ferdinand and Isabella, and in two
straight rows above the arch are the twelve apostles, each
distinguishable by his dress and other characteristic traits. On either
side of the window above them are nude statues of Adam and Eve, with St.
Catherine and St. John the Baptist to the left, and St. Elizabeth, Mary
Magdalene, and Salomé, the mother of St. James the Greater, to the
right. In the tympanum of the window are the arms of the hospital--the
cross beneath a crown, and with a lion on either side. The other statues
represent the Virgin and Child, St. John and St. Paul in the niches to
the left, and Christ, St. James in pilgrim garb, and St. Peter to the
right. Six winged angels hover above with various musical instruments.
Two eagles, resting on the graceful Ionic columns on either side of the
window, support the escutcheon with their claws. The four pillars which
adorn this entrance and the multitude of little statues all blend
together with such exquisite proportion that the effect is extremely
beautiful, even at a considerable distance. In the wall on either side
are the arms of Castille and the Imperial Eagles, which carry our
thoughts back to the days of Greater Spain.

But for this wonderful entrance the long low front of the hospital, with
its little windows and slanting tile roof, might be taken any day for
soldiers’ barracks, or even a prison. There are, however, sixteen
remarkable stone gargoyles on the cornice beneath the roof, and the
thirty-eight corbels or projecting stones supporting the balcony are
curiously sculptured. The Churrigueresque decoration of the four large
windows giving entrance to the balcony is eighteenth-century work.

We enter the building and find ourselves standing in a portico with our
faces towards an altar enclosed behind a high iron railing. The altar is
placed beneath a walled-up arch which formerly served as an entrance to
the chapel. The arch itself is richly moulded, and ornamented in the
_plateresque_ style; it is without pilasters, its moulded archivolts
descending to the base in a manner that is markedly Gothic.

A mural painting of “The Last Judgment” covers part of the wall, and two
youthful portraits of Ferdinand and Isabella are placed on either side
of the altar. The whole interior of this portico was once covered with
frescoes, but a thick covering of whitewash has destroyed the greater
part of them. The graceful railing of wrought iron which encloses the
altar is the work of Master Guillen, the clever artist of whom we have
already spoken; its design is Gothic. The bas-reliefs of the altar,
divided into seven niches, are interesting, but the painting above is of
no value. The framed placard suspended from the railing, which is seen
in my photograph, is an announcement that certain indulgences will be
granted to those of the faithful who visit the hospital chapel, and
thither we will now repair.

On our way we will take a look at the four _patios_, or, rather,
cloisters which the four quadrangles of the hospital enclose. These
cloisters, as well as the chapel, were designed by Enrique Egas, the
famous architect of the beautiful _Colegio de Santa Cruz_ in Toledo
which was completed in 1514. Villa-Amil, quoting Cean Bermúdez, calls
Egas “one of the best architects of Spain.”[175] The first one, to our
left, is the south-western cloister, a precious jewel of the Renaissance
style. We note its slender columns, each cut from a single block, its
elegant pointed Gothic arches supporting the stone galleries, its coats
of arms, its curiously sculptured corbels, and the wonderful and weird
gargoyles springing forth as if alive from its cornices, each
representing the head, shoulders, and two front feet of a different
animal--a bear here, a fox there, and so on. And, last but not least, we
admire the doorways, with their very original _plateresque_
(_conopiada_) tracery, the most striking of these being the doorway at
the foot of the steps leading to the _Sala de San Louis_, of which I was
fortunate in securing a photograph. In the centre of this cloister is a
fountain whose water flows through extraordinary gargoyles, representing
fantastic animals, into the large basin below; some of these gargoyles
have human faces. The capitals in this cloister are really _plateresque_
in style, though their resemblance to those in the cathedral suggest
that their sculptor must have had Mateo’s work in his mind’s eye. This
is by far the most beautiful of the four cloisters.

The north-west cloister and the north-east cloister are both adorned
with Doric columns, but in the case of the upper storey it is of later
date and does not correspond with the lower. Both these cloisters have
fountains enclosed in elegant Gothic miniature temples, _templetes_ with
arches, columns, and pinnacles. We passed on to the south-east cloister
through a small passage with elegantly decorated doors: this one is
separated from the last by the eastern transept of the chapel; it is
more like the first cloister than the other two, with its fountain, its
bronze statue, and its handsome granite basin, all of which attracted
our attention. We noticed its pretty doorways leading to the kitchen and
the dispensary, and the smaller doorway leading to the vestry, all of
these were ornamented with _plateresque_ tracery.

The chapel occupies the centre of the building, and is in the form of a
Latin cross, with a shortened head, so often found in churches of the
last decade of the fifteenth and in the early years of the sixteenth
century; the shortened head is the sacristy. The most interesting
portion of this chapel is its transept, which is separated from the nave
by a strikingly artistic railing of beaten iron which, like the one in
the portico of the hospital, is the work of Master Guillen: on it we
distinguish the Arms of Spain, the Imperial Eagle, and the scallop shell
of St. James. Sanchez says of the transept: “It is in the Gothic style
peculiar to the architecture of Galicia”; and then he complains bitterly
of the barbaric coating of whitewash which covers the beautiful granite
vaulting, the balustrades, and the finely sculptured columns. Spanish
architects divide the Gothic style into three periods, and it is to the
third or last of these that the architecture of this chapel belongs,
while its ornamentation is _plateresque_. In all its lines and in all
its component parts there exists the most perfect harmony and the most
correct composition imaginable; it is consequently a very beautiful
example of the transition epoch, in which the florid elements of the
Gothic style mingled with those of the _plateresque_ to form, as it
were, a new style of architecture. In describing it thus I am not
venturing to give a new and unauthorised opinion, I am simply repeating
a truth that has been endorsed by every _connoisseur_ who has had the
privilege of visiting this beautiful little chapel.

Entering the chapel by the door from the first cloister we note a
graceful font for consecrated water, very shallow, and supported by a
slender pedestal--it is enriched with Gothic moulding. Ancient fonts
were always large enough to allow for the immersion of infants; this one
probably dates from the end of the fifteenth century, and its sculpture
is of the same class as that of other parts of the chapel. The beaten
iron candelabra is also good work, though gilded and silvered in a
tasteless manner.

The beautifully sculptured and decorated altars at the four angles of
the central square of the transept are considered to be the greatest
glory of the hospital; their sculpture is in the Flemish Gothic style,
and rivals even that of Toledo in its perfect grace and finish. So
finely chiselled are the lace-like canopies of white stone which adorn
the niches in which the statues are placed, that at first sight the
traveller may be pardoned for mistaking them for stucco, though in
reality they are carved from the same white Portuguese stone as that of
which the new cathedral in Madrid is being constructed. To appreciate
the work here we must have ample leisure at our disposal; we must look
closely and spy out for ourselves the innumerable beauties, the
sculptured idyls, the pictorial poems, the doves, fruits, and foliage
that are interwoven with the pedestals on which the little statues





stand, and introduced into the stone filigree which covers the spaces
like a spider’s web. Here we see stone moulded as if it were soft wax or
potter’s clay. Every statue here is in itself a perfect work of art, the
drapery, the serene and often majestic expression on the beautiful
faces, the restful pose of the limbs, all combine to fascinate the most
satiated eye. The statues on the two northern altars which face to the
south are, on the right, St. Benedict, the founder of the Benedictine
Order, St. Maurus, of early French fame, and St. Francisco; on the left,
St. Vincent and St. Lawrence. The statues on the other two altars facing
east and west respectively are, on the right, St. Peter, St. John, St.
James, and two anchorites, supposed to represent St. Anthony (the first
anchorite) and St. Paul; and on the left, the Virgin Mary, Mary
Magdalene, and Maria Salomé, mother of St. James, with St. Catherine and
Santa Lucia.

Above the graceful Gothic arches over the transept there runs round it
the elegant cornice decorated also in the Flemish Gothic style; the
wooden galleries are modern, but the groined vaulting, not unlike that
of our Tudor roofs, above the windows of coloured glass is very fine,
and in keeping with the rest of the transept.

The modern altar in the centre of the transept is dedicated to the
Virgin Mary; it has her statue and those of the four evangelists. Here
also are kept the relics of St. Heliodorus, which were the gifts of Pope
Pius VIII. in 1839. There is another altar placed on a level with the
dormitories (in 1828) in order that the sick might be able to hear the
voice of the priest. Another altar in the Churrigueresque style, erected
in the eastern arm of the transept at the beginning of the eighteenth
century, has behind it some bad examples of the painting of that period.
On the northern wall are some better paintings, representing St. Gregory
the Great, St. Ambrose of Milan, St. Jerome, whose translation of the
Bible is still the only one authorised by the Catholic Church, and St.
Augustine of Hippo. Above the door of the sacristy is a painting that
represents the Father Eternal.

The sacristy, though its walls and vaulting are still disfigured by
whitewash, is worthy of a visit, for it, too, is a good example of the
later Gothic style. Happily, during the year 1507 some of the whitewash
which covered its stone work was removed at the earnest request of a
local archæologist. It is left in an undeservedly neglected condition,
and contains much rubbish, out of which a very old stone statue of St.
James has recently been extracted; the rescued figure now stands in a
niche in the wall. This sacristy also has a curious painted glass window
on which St. James is represented with very good colouring; he wears a
green tunic, a pink robe, and there is a rich blue background; his hair
and beard are white, and in his hand he carries his pilgrim’s staff; the
face is very good work. The sacristan brought forth some interesting and
historical chasubles, and unfolded them that we might examine their
designs. They were of rich velvet embroidered with silver and gold
thread, and dated, some from the beginning of the sixteenth, and some
from the seventeenth century. On one of them was St. James with pilgrim
garb, hat, shells, and staff. The soft green and delicate turquoise
blues of the velvets were very beautiful. The various kinds of
architecture introduced into the embroidery gave us a clue to the period
of each. The walnut chests in which these priestly garments and other
valuables are kept are both old; one bears the date 1606, the other

Above the roof of the transept rises the low belfry decorated with four
chaste Gothic pinnacles and a handsome cornice. The bells hang beneath
them, and are reached by a spiral stone stairway.

It appears that, annexed to the hospital, there was, in 1521, an
accessory building, intended for the accommodation of royalty, and
called _palacio de fuera_, or the outside palace. Juan Nuño, a scribe,
wrote of it (in 1554) that Pedro de Leon, looking at it with his own
eyes and measuring it with his own feet, found it to have a _patio_
forty-seven feet square surrounded by corridors, large reception-rooms
with fireplaces, and twenty-six rooms in all.

The decadence of this magnificent hospital dates from Napoleon’s
invasion of Spain at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The
hospital lost its rich revenues when the Peninsula was overrun by its
enemies, and from being a national, it sank to the position of a
provincial hospital. It was as recently as 29th July 1880 that the nuns
of the Convent of St. Vincent de Paul took up their residence within its
walls and became its nursing staff. The governor of the province, the
archbishop, and many of the neighbouring prelates took part in the
ceremony of their installation, and the event was a memorable one for
the people of Galicia. Ever since then those gentle, self-forgetting,
and self-sacrificing Sisters have shown themselves the guardian angels
of the sick and the needy, as well as of the helpless foundlings who are
reared within those charitable walls.

A hospital, with practically no revenues and built at the





beginning of the sixteenth century, cannot be expected to meet with all
the requirements of a twentieth-century medical staff, but its bright
and busy interior presents nevertheless a pleasing sight to the visitor
who does not go too closely into details. The “Belen Ward,” in which I
spent a pleasant afternoon chatting with nurses and patients, is a long,
cheerful room with four big windows on either side and another large
window at the end facing the door, from which there is a glorious view
of the neighbouring hills and valleys. The buxom Sister in charge, in a
spreading white cap, was preparing chocolate for the patients. When
ready it was handed round to them in coffee-cups; some dipped bread into
it, while others took it with a spoon, as it was too thick to drink
straight off. Each bed had a neat curtain on a rail to screen it from
the rest. The floors were of stone; by each bed there was a piece of
plank for the invalid to stand on, and all who required them had
hot-water bottles for their feet. There are twenty-six wards in all; the
largest is the “Santiago Ward” at the top of the central portion of the
building; it contains twenty-five beds, all far apart so that medical
students can get near enough to watch the operations. The Sister told me
that the upper wards being near the roof got very hot in summer, but
that the lower ones were always deliciously cool and fresh.

The hospital kitchen is also a sight worthy of inspection. One hundred
and eight litres of milk enter its doors daily, with some eighty kilos
of beef, three hundred and eighty eggs, and three hundred and fifty-two
kilos of bread, besides chickens. There is not a chair in this lofty
kitchen, for no one there has time to think of sitting down even for a
minute; a man-cook presides over a large stove in the centre, and four
or five Sisters move briskly round it. One thousand eggs were brought to
the outer kitchen while we were there; they had come from the
neighbouring villages, neatly packed in layers with straw. The Sisters
rise at four o’clock even in winter, and those who are not on night duty
retire at nine. I was struck with their peaceful contented faces, and
their gentle and refined manners. The Gallegan poor are indeed fortunate
to have such women as these to care for them.

The hospital is in close connection with the Medical School of the
University, and has some clever surgeons among its staff, whose
successful operations have earned them a good deal of fame. Röntgen rays
have been installed there since 1901, the electricity being supplied
from a factory on the river Tambre, fourteen kilometres from Santiago.
In 1903, in token of his appreciation of the work done by Dr. Miguel
Gil Casares, King Alfonso XIII. made a handsome contribution towards the
expenses of this department of the hospital, and the _Gabinete de
Radiologia_ has recently been fitted up with the latest improvements,
including the apparatus of Dr. Albeis, and is now considered to be the
best of its class in Spain.

[Illustration: A CORNER OF A CLOISTER]




[Illustration: A SCULPTURED ALTAR]



     Peculiar architecture--An expedition to Sar--The river Sar--Eight
     square pillars--The first impulse--Seven and a half centuries--The
     present Gothic vaulting--A feat of architectural skill--The wooden
     floor--Odd ideas--Foreign admirals visit Sar--Archbishop
     Bernard--Opening his tomb--The inscription--The original
     cloister--Rebuilding the monastery--A hospital for canons

Amongst some photographs that were offered me for sale on the day after
my arrival in Santiago I noticed one, the interior of a church, of which
the perspective seemed to be quite wrong. “The man who took this one
cannot be a good photographer,” I remarked. “No photographer who
understood his business could take such a picture as that.”

“Excuse me,” replied the salesman, smiling. “It is the fault of the
building, or rather, it is the peculiarity of the architecture; the
photographer did his work right enough.” Then, seeing my astonishment,
he added, “I see you are quite a stranger here. You have not even heard
of our _Santa Maria la Real de Sar_, which is one of the wonders of
Galicia, nay, of the whole world. It is like the Leaning Tower of Pisa,
only much more remarkable. It was built crooked on purpose, and the
greatest architects in Spain are unable to explain how it was done. It
is the only example of its kind in the history of architecture.”

“I must go and see it,” I replied, greatly puzzled. “Is it far from the

“Oh yes; it’s down in the valley to the south-east of the town,” replied
my informant. “You know Santiago is on a hill. It’s a steep road
down--too steep for a carriage--so you will have to go on foot.”

Not many days after the above conversation I found myself, one sunny
afternoon, the 23rd of January, descending the hill in question with a
young Spanish boy as my guide, the son of my hostess, who, with all the
other school children of Spain, had been given a holiday in honour of
King Alfonso’s birthday.

On the outskirts of the town we passed, on the left, the entrance to an
immense barrack-like convent for women, all of granite, and saw another
no less sombre and of equally imposing dimensions at a little distance
and quite outside the town.

The narrow street by which we descended was abominably paved, and my
ankles were twisted unmercifully. The houses on either side grew poorer
and more dilapidated at every step; they were mostly whitewashed, with
rotten doors, which were cut in half, so that the lower half could be
kept shut,--a precaution against the toddling children, long-legged
pigs, and poultry which swarmed in every direction. We passed an old
woman seated in the midst of a crowd of hens who were pecking corn from
her outstretched hand. Out of the next house ran a pig followed by a
tiny girl of about six, with a stick in her hand to fetch it back. A
woman now met us with a couple of great hams balanced on her head, one
on top of the other; and a little farther on we passed a young mother
teaching her baby girl, who could only just walk, to carry a little
bundle on her head. The child screamed every time it felt the weight
upon its little cranium, but its mother persisted with the lesson.

At the foot of the hill an old bridge crossed the river Sar, and a
little below it women were busy washing their linen in the clear stream.
I stopped to photograph them as I passed. On the other side of the
valley the sloping fields were green as in summer.

At last we found ourselves approaching the famous _Colegiata de Sar_, a
little old church in a green field formed by a bend in the river. The
church itself was surrounded by modern buildings, and looked remarkably
insignificant in consideration of the fact that it had recently been
proclaimed a “National Monument.” Its outer walls were almost hidden by
elliptical arches or arched buttresses, but its fine Romanesque apse was
still unenclosed, though the windows had been blocked up. To enter the
lateral door on the north side we had to pass through the parish

The church of _Santa Maria de Sar_ is rectangular in form and the walls
and windows are Romanesque, while most of the present vaulting, added in
the fifteenth century, is Gothic. There are eight square piers, four on
either side of the central nave, each ornamented with elegant Byzantine
shafts, supporting the toral arches which divide the church into three
vaulted naves; at the end of each nave is an apse. “As we enter the
church, our first impulse,” says Sanchez, “is to



draw back precipitately. The pillars appear to be bulging, the arches
are about to crash to the ground, the beautiful columns are reeling upon
their bases, the walls are tottering and about to crumble, and the roof
is just going to fall with a crash. Is it an earthquake, or are we
seized by sudden giddiness?” Neither the one nor the other; the whole
thing is an illusion--a complete illusion. And when the traveller has
overcome his first surprise, he is struck with wonder at this marvellous
feat of architecture, and his thoughts are carried to Pisa or to

“But are you sure that these slanting walls and their sloping columns
have always been awry like this?” we ask.

“Yes,” reply the archæologists and the architects who have visited Sar
during the nineteenth century, including such authorities as Lopez
Ferreiro and Fernandez Sanchez. “For seven and a half centuries this
building has stood thus. Thirty generations of men have come to gaze at
it, and we still marvel at the temerity of the man who designed it. If,”
they say, “this had all been the effect of sinking ground and not the
result of calculation, how could the church have remained thus intact?
Would it not in that case have fallen in ruins long ago?”

The arches outside prove nothing, for they do not date farther back than
the middle of the seventeenth century. If this leaning had been the
result of sinking foundations, the vaulting would have cracked, and the
pillars would have been broken to pieces. But the present Gothic
vaulting is not so old as the walls; it was added in 1485-1504, when
Gomez Gonzalez was its prior, as the inscription and coat of arms near
the keystone of the arch next to the _Capilla Mayor_ testify. Is it
likely that any architect would have added such vaulting had the walls
really been falling? Besides, in none of the manuscripts preserved for
so many centuries in the archives of the _Colegiata_ is there any
mention of this extraordinary inclination nor of any catastrophe
connected with it. This silence favours the belief that the whole thing
is intentional, and a feat of architectural skill. Then, too, if the
sinking had been accidental, the inclination of the walls and pillars
would have been inwards, not, as is the case, outwards. So much for the
accepted theory.

The word “bandy-legged” is not, admittedly, an architectural term, yet
it is the most appropriate epithet I can find to bring before my readers
the peculiar inward inclination of the piers and walls of this church.
The man who fetched the keys and showed me round may have been an
ignorant fellow, but he at least saw no mystery about the structure of
his parish church: he pointed out to me that the river Sar not only ran
very close to the edifice, but filtered into the ground beneath it. The
wooden floor which I beheld was six feet higher than the original floor;
it had been raised on account of the water, and completely hid the bases
of the piers. Had the whole depth of the pillars been visible, their
inclination, or, rather, the bow in their legs, would have been much
more striking even than it is at present. “The foundations could be
drained,” said the man, “but it would cost lots of money”; and so
saying, he opened a trap door in the central nave and let me look down.
It was like the dungeon floor in the Doge’s Palace at Venice. “You see,
with all that water, it’s quite natural that the building should get
shunted a bit,” he continued.

I discussed all this on my return with one of the local archæologists of
a younger generation than those I have quoted. “I have seen,” said he,
“documents preserved in the archives of the _Colegiata_ which speak of
the falling-in of the original roof, and of its being replaced by the
present one. For eight years I too believed this church to be an
architectural marvel. I imbibed with enthusiasm all the odd ideas about
it, but after a time my enthusiasm began to cool and my certainty to
waver, and then, after a long and gradual process, my mind became free
of all belief about the matter, and was at last able to think for
itself. I thought, and thought, and thought, till at length I determined
to go and make a fresh and careful examination of the whole church stone
for stone, and I reasoned thus: ‘If it was originally intended that the
walls and pillars should slant as they do now, surely the blocks of
stone would have been made to slant too; but if, on the contrary, it was
intended to stand straight in the ordinary way, the blocks of stone
would not have been made to slant.’ I then examined the stones, and
finding that there was not the least suspicion of a slant in any of
them, came to the conclusion that the inclination of the church must
have taken place since its construction, and must be due to natural
causes. Then, too, the fact that the original roof fell in, indicated
some bulging; and I finally came to the conclusion arrived at by your
guide, that the water underneath might account for a great deal.”

Every architect who visits Santiago, every engineer hurries out to see
the _Colegiata de Sar_, thinking that he perhaps might be able to solve
the mystery. Foreign admirals, when they bring their fleets to the
neighbouring harbour of Villagarcia, hasten to pay a visit to Sar, not
because they have a predilection for old churches, but because they have
heard tell of its extraordinary architectural peculiarity.

This _Colegiata_ was founded by Muñio, Bishop of Mondoñedo, one of the
authors of the _Historia Compostelana_, who in his old age wished to
retire with a few aged companions (canons of the cathedral) to some
peaceful spot where he might end his days in prayer and meditation. He
built a church and hermitages for himself and his companions, and lived
there quietly for some years; then, when he felt death approaching, he
handed the whole property over to Archbishop Gelmirez, that it might be
made into an Augustine monastery. The whole story may be read in the
ancient documents still preserved. The letter signed by Diego Gelmirez
on September 1, Era 1174 (1137), and confirmed by Alfonso VII., is one
of the most interesting of the diplomatic documents contained in the
rich archives of the monastery. When in 1235, a century later,
Archbishop Bernard renounced his mitre, he retired to end his days in
the monastery of Sar, where his roughly hewn sarcophagus and his
recumbent stone statue are still to be seen; the traveller will find it
by the wall between the right apse and the door of the sacristy. The
statue has a long beard,[176] which is rather unusual, a mitre, a long
staff decorated with scallop-shells, with a _tau_ handle. In 1711 this
sarcophagus was opened by order of Archbishop Monroy, and the body was
found well preserved and the garment on it in good condition, according
to Zepedano, whom Villa-Amil quotes as a reliable authority. On the
outer side of the sarcophagus are carved the following leonine verses,
in two lines, one above the other:--

    “Transit ab hoc vita Bernaldus Metropolita
     Post hoc vile solum scandire posse polum.”[177]

Bernard died on November 20, 1240, as we learn from an inscription in
five lines on the head of the sarcophagus (the date of the era is
given). Such was the odour of sanctity in which he died that when the
sarcophagus was opened several of his teeth were extracted as relics,
also part of his staff and some fragments of his dress. Villa-Amil has
carefully examined these last and compared them with others of the same
epoch preserved in the Cluny Museum. He concludes that the material of
one of St. Bernard’s garments was Moorish in design and texture.

At the other end of the church is another granite tomb, that of Don
Gomez Gonzalez, the prior in whose day the greater part of the present
vaulting was added. The body of his successor and cousin, Jacome
Alvarez, lies between two of the columns that support the eastern
vaults, in a sarcophagus which Alvarez had prepared for himself during
his lifetime and mentioned in his will. Sanchez gives the whole clause
in his description of the _Colegiata_. There are also many interesting
inscriptions on the old pavement stones of the aisles, now mostly
covered with water.

Part of the original cloister of the monastery is still standing, the
northern front. Nine delicate and richly sculptured Romanesque arches
and two keystones of the vaulting are still in their place; they rest
upon piers ornamented with pairs of slender columns whose capitals are
decorated with sculptured foliage, very full and natural, and every one
different. The bases of the columns rest upon plinths. This remnant of
the cloister is considered to be one of the most perfect bits of
mediæval architecture in Galicia. The rest of it is modern, and dates
from about the end of the eighteenth century. In the north-east angle is
a fine granite sarcophagus of another prior, whose recumbent statue in
full sacerdotal robes has both hands holding a book upon his breast; it
dates from the year 1368.

The monastery, which was entirely rebuilt in the eighteenth century, is
now the home of the parish priest, as the church is now the parish
church of Sar. The Churrigueresque belfry was put up when the original
façade of the church was spoiled by the addition of the elliptical
arches. My guide pointed out to me two slender columns, evidently part
of the old cloister, which are now placed on either side of the rectory
door. He also showed me, in the church, an old wooden bench, eaten with
age, with the Arms of the Inquisition stamped upon it, a cross with a
palm leaf on its right and a sword on its left.

A hospital, chiefly for canons afflicted with elephantiasis, _Hospital
de San Lazaro_, was founded in connection with this monastery in 1149,
and had dwelling-houses attached to it, _sustentari possint elefantiosi
canonici_.[178] The prior of Sar was expected to take the inmates of
this hospital under his spiritual care. There is in Santiago to this
day a special hospital for that class of disease, and it attracts
patients from all parts of the province. I have heard it remarked that
on this account visitors should be careful in their selection of inns
and boarding-houses.



     Sir John Moore--The province of Coruña--The town of Coruña--By sea
     to Coruña--Our steamer--The other passengers--A dangerous
     harbour--Fear of stowaways--Glass-covered galleries--Beggars--The
     Customs--No fireplaces--Our drive to the ramparts--The Lion and the
     Unicorn--A British hero--Borrow and the tomb of Sir John Moore--The
     gardens of San Carlos--Moore’s lack of confidence in himself--His
     reputation as a general--Wellington’s opinion of him--“The Burial
     of Sir John Moore”--Situation of Coruña--The cemetery--The tower of
     Hercules--Originally erected by Phœnicians--Its outer
     staircase--Sir Francis Drake--A Spanish heroine--In honour of Maria
     Pita--The chief industry--An ice factory--Sardines--Corpulence of
     Spanish ladies--Chocolate factories--How the poor live--A home for
     the aged--Tobacco factories--The streets of Coruña--A fashionable
     summer resort--One of the best harbours in Europe

Who has not heard of Coruña, and the “Burial of Sir John Moore”?

The province of Coruña--or La Coruña, as it is usually called--covers
7902 square kilometres, and its population in the year 1905 amounted to
683,915 souls. Coruña is the dampest province in the whole of Spain, and
it has more misty days in the year than any other part; but, on the
other hand, it is never troubled with those dry hot winds that cross to
Spain from Africa: it is decidedly healthy, and its women and children
have very beautiful complexions.

The town of Coruña, with its 50,000 inhabitants, is situated on a
diminutive peninsula at the point of the angle which forms the
north-west corner of Spain, and the distance between it and Madrid is
830 kilometres. Coruña is one of the oldest towns in Spain. Orosius
wrote about it in the fifth century, calling it _Brigantia_. He related
that it had a very high tower built for looking out over the sea as far
as Britain.[179] It was to Coruña that Julius Cæsar brought his fleet
from Cadiz, and it was the natives of Coruña who were so terribly
frightened at the sight of that fleet, having never seen anything like
it before. The name of _Brigantia_ is derived from the Celtic word
_Briga_, which we have already discussed in these pages.

Both English and German passenger steamers constantly touch at the ports
of Coruña and Vigo on their way to Lisbon and South America, and the sea
route to Galicia is by far the shortest and quickest for English

We left Southampton just before midnight on January 10, boarding the
Hamburg-American liner of 11,000 tons, the _König Fredrick August_, with
the aid of a steam tender. The night was pitchy dark, and the only
lights visible after we had left the shore were those that shone from
the deck and port-holes of the _König Fredrick August_. Many of the best
boats running between Europe and South America are German, and there is
no doubt that Germany has begun to take, during recent years, a very
lively interest in the development of Argentina and her sister
Republics. Germans are wresting from the hands of enervated and
self-satisfied Englishmen the trade of which we once thought we had the
monopoly by divine right, and it is chiefly by German vessels that
Spaniards are emigrating in shoals from their native land to Buenos
Ayres, to Uruguay, and to Chili. I do not think I entered a single town
in Galicia upon the walls of which I did not see placards denoting the
speedy departure of some German liner from Europe to South America.

All the passengers we found on board the _König Fredrick August_ were
bound for Buenos Ayres or the neighbouring States. We alone were bound
for Spain. Ours was a journey of two,[180] theirs of twenty-two, days.
We were the only English; every one else was either German or Spanish
South American. Here was a favourable opportunity of comparing Teuton
and Latin types. As we paced the deck in brilliant sunshine the
following day, I noticed that the Spanish were decidedly short and
slight of stature, with sallow, almost bilious complexions, black hair,
and large and brilliant dark eyes; while the Germans were tall and
thick-set, with florid complexions, light sandy hair, and blue eyes. The
cooking on board was quite German, so we subsisted for those two days
principally upon apples and grapes, both being abundant and excellent in
quality. A German band performed lively airs during dinner each evening,
and enabled us to forget somewhat the motion of the vessel. Our cheerful
and airy cabin was fitted up regardless of expense with every possible
convenience, including an air-fan, a telephone, and an electric
hair-curling apparatus; and, in addition, an amiable stewardess flew to
execute our every wish. The dreadful Bay of Biscay behaved like a lamb,
and the vessel carried us from Southampton to Coruña as steadily as if
she had run on rails. Yet, though the sun was shining and the weather
calm, we could see great foaming waves dash steeple-high against the
rocks of Brest as we passed well out to sea. Only a few days before
there had blown a terrible gale in that very corner of the Bay, and a
fishing smack had been wrecked near San Sebastian. We slept both nights
with our port-holes open, but repented of this when, at about 10 a.m. on
the second morning, a great wave washed in upon us, flooding the floor
and drenching all our belongings, including the clothes in which we were
to land. Pails of water were taken up from the floor by an angry steward
after our soaking carpet had been removed, and we had to remain in our
berths till lunch time, when our apparel was brought back to us from the
drying-room. Traces of rust on our keys and on the fittings of our
travelling-bags, which were filled with water when the wave entered,
still remind us that sleeping with open port-holes in the Bay of Biscay
is a dangerous pleasure.

At 3 p.m. on January 12 we steamed into the horseshoe harbour of Coruña,
our band playing a lively march. To our right we passed the majestic
lighthouse known as the Pillar of Hercules, a sight to rivet every eye;
and there before us was the town upon whose ramparts the brave Sir John
Moore was buried by his comrades.

Coruña is a dangerous harbour to enter, even in calm weather, on account
of its islands and its many rocks. The whole coast as far as Vigo is
treacherous and unfriendly; it has, in fact, so bad a name that it is
called the “Coast of Death.” Even in calm weather waves dash with fury
against the jagged reefs, and the surf rises to such a height that it
may easily be mistaken for whales spouting. I put a question or two to
the sailors who stood amongst the passengers with eyes fixed upon the
harbour, but they told me they knew no more than I did about the coast,
as neither they nor any of their line of steamers had ever entered that
harbour before; till now they had always made straight for Vigo. Even
the captain, they added, had never seen Coruña till that day! A pilot
had come on board to take us to a spot where we could anchor, and a
couple of Spanish soldiers, who had come with the doctor, now took their
places on either side of the lowered gangway to examine the papers of
all who left the ship or came on board. Little boats laden with fruit
and vegetables soon approached us from the shore, to the great amusement
of a fat German who was looking


over the side. “They evidently think,” he remarked, “that we have
nothing to eat on board.”

“Set a watch all round the ship,” cried the blue-eyed captain to the
first mate. “We must be sure that no stowaways creep on board.” And as
the mate went aft to carry out the captain’s instructions, we descended
the ladder and took our places in the tender, which rose and fell with
the dancing water.

All the houses that face the harbour of Coruña are entirely fronted with
glass-covered galleries or verandahs, which present a novel appearance
to the unaccustomed eye. The town looked like a line of conservatories,
and I remembered the proverb about people who dwell in glass houses, and
wondered whether it had originated in Coruña. These glass fronts are sun
traps; they take the place of fireplaces in cold weather. The bright,
genial Spanish sun shines through the glass and fills the rooms with
pleasant warmth even on the coldest days, when the ground outside is
covered with frost. There glass is the only heating apparatus with which
the houses of Galicia are supplied.

Upon landing we were immediately surrounded by a crowd of
miserable-looking beggars of all ages and descriptions. Most of the
children squinted, and many were blind in one eye; several were blind in
both. Many were terribly maimed, and had difficulty in following us upon
their remaining limbs--but follow us they would and did, some on all
fours, till we drove off to an hotel and left them behind. It was some
time, however, before we could drive off, as we had the misfortune to
arrive at four o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. The Custom-House officer
had gone off for his week-end, and we were gravely informed by the
assistant that we must leave all our luggage on the quay, and return to
have it examined on the following Monday morning, when the head
Custom-House official would attend in person. “What!” we cried, “may we
not at least take a valise to the hotel with our night apparel?” “No,
you can take nothing till Monday,” was the stolid reply. At this we
became desperate, and assured the official that it would be an
unheard-of thing to force English people to sleep for two nights in
their travelling clothes simply because they had landed on Saturday. For
a long time they continued to shake their heads; but finding at last
that we were quite determined not to budge without the valise, they
reluctantly handed it into our cab, and we drove off to an hotel.

Our room at _Hotel Francia_ had the usual glass-fronted verandah, the
glass consisting of small panes let into a wooded framework which was
painted white. Our host told us that if we kept the verandah windows
open when the sun shone, closing them about four o’clock, we should find
the room as warm in the evening as if we had a fire. To a certain extent
this was correct; but on one occasion we forgot to shut the windows at
sunset, and all the warmth that the glass had gathered during the day
fled the way it had come, and in the evening the atmosphere of our room
was that of a refrigerator. From that verandah we took our first survey
of the Coruña thoroughfares. Cabs, whose tops consisted of canvas
awnings, passed continually below us, and donkeys were so numerous as
beasts of burden that they gave the place quite an Eastern touch. The
trams and most of the carts were drawn by mules, and nearly every woman
carried some burden on her head.

Our first drive was to the ramparts, to visit the tomb of England’s
hero, Sir John Moore. It was the 14th of January, a beautiful day, with
such hot and brilliant sunshine that the ladies were using parasols as
freely as if it were July. There had been a touch of frost in the night,
but as we drove through the public gardens, named after Admiral Mendez
Nuñez, with their waving palm trees and camellias full of handsome white
and red blossom, there was little to remind us of winter. The clear blue
sky was reflected in the sea, and the view of the rocky coast was very
fine as our road mounted behind the ramparts of the old town. A glaring
British Lion and Unicorn decorated the stone gateway leading to the
Gardens of San Carlos, which covered the top of the batteries. I wished
them away, for their appearance in such a spot bordered on the
aggressive, and jarred somewhat. Modesty becomes the great as well as
the brave. And, after all, it was the Spaniards who collected the money
for Moore’s monument.

We now alighted from our awning-covered vehicle and entered. There,
straight before us in the centre of the gardens, was the tomb we had
come to see, a marble sarcophagus, on which we read the following

     “In memory of General Sir John Moore, who fell at the battle of
     Elvina while covering the embarkation of the British troops, 16th
     January 1809.”

The marble tomb stood on a square plot surrounded by a five-foot granite
wall with a granite vase at each corner filled with pink cyclamen; the
wall was surrounded by green grass, and the grass, in its turn, was
bordered by sunflowers.

In the grass at the four corners grew four palm trees. The rest of the
gardens consisted of winding paths between flower beds bordered with
box. The whole was enclosed between the rampart walls, which were
partially hidden by tall cacti covered with white blossom which had the
appearance of rosebuds.

When Borrow visited Coruña in 1836 he found the tomb of Sir John Moore
on the spot where he was buried by his soldiers “at dead of night,” on a
small battery of the old town, whose wall was washed by the waters of
the Bay. “It is a sweet spot,” he wrote, “and the prospect which opens
before it is extensive. The battery itself may be about eighty yards
square. In the centre of the battery stands the tomb of Moore, built by
the chivalrous French in commemoration of the fall of their heroic
antagonist. It is oblong and surrounded by a slab, and on either side
bears one of the simple and sublime epitaphs for which our rivals are
celebrated, and which stands in such powerful contrast with the bloated
and bombastic inscriptions which deform the walls of Westminster Abbey--

                              ‘JOHN MOORE
                     LEADER OF THE ENGLISH ARMIES
                            SLAIN IN BATTLE

... close to each corner (of the granite wall) rises from the earth the
breach of an immense brass cannon, intended to keep the wall compact and
close. These outer erections are, however, not the work of the French,
but of the English Government.”[181]

The Gardens of San Carlos are a favourite resort of the Coruña
townspeople. The photographer whom I commissioned the following day to
take a photograph of the tomb informed me that the gardens stood on the
most ancient bit of Coruña, and that all the new part of the town was
built upon land that had been retrieved from the sea in comparatively
recent times. “Yes, there lies the hero almost within sight of the
glorious hill where he turned upon his pursuers like a lion at bay.
Many acquire immortality without seeking it, and die before its first
ray has gilded their name: of these was Moore. The harassed general,
flying through Castile with his dispirited troops before a fierce and
terrible enemy, little dreamed that he was on the point of obtaining
that for which many a better and greater, though certainly not braver,
man had sighed in vain. His very misfortunes were the means which
secured him immortal fame: his disastrous rout, his bloody death, and,
finally, his tomb on a foreign strand, far from kin and friends. There
is scarcely a Spaniard but has heard of his tomb, and speaks of it with
a strange kind of awe. Immense treasures are said to have been buried
with the heretic general, though for what purpose no one pretends to
guess. Yes, even in Spain immortality has already crowned the head of
Moore--Spain, the land of oblivion, where the Guadalete flows.”[182]

“Never,” writes Maxwell,[183] “was the ordeal to which an unfortunate
commander was subjected so gently exercised--no man obtained a larger
share of sympathy from his countrymen, and none deserved it better.
Misfortunes and mistakes were half forgotten--and the failure of Moore’s
campaign was attributed to that evil influence exercised by individuals
at home and on the Peninsula by whom he was misguided in the
commencement and abandoned in the end. On the living, popular
disapprobation descended with unsparing severity, while the faults of
the departed soldier seemed buried in his warrior grave.... To claim
equality as a commander for Moore with Wellington, Napoleon, and Soult”
(it was in defending himself against Soult that Moore fell) “no
circumstances will warrant. Sir John was a first-rate officer--but he
never could have been a great commander. He was an able
tactician--understood thoroughly the economy of an army--handled troops
well--had a sound discretion and a clear head--but a constitutional
defect in some degree neutralised these admirable qualities. Moore
lacked confidence in himself--he was haunted by a fear of
responsibility--and a constant dread of doing that which was wrong, of
running himself and his troops into difficulties from which they might
not be able to extricate themselves.... Sir John Moore had earned the
highest reputation as a general of division; he was aware of

[Illustration: A NATIVE CART]

[Illustration: A STREET IN CORUÑA]






this, and perhaps felt no inclination to risk it; at all events, _he was
clearly incapable of despising partial obstacles in the pursuit of some
great ultimate advantage_.” The Italics are my own.

Wellington said of Moore: “I can see but one error; when he advanced to
Sahagun, he should have considered it a movement of retreat, and sent
officers to the rear to mark and prepare the halting-places for every
brigade.” Napoleon asserted that to the talents and firmness of their
leader the deliverance of the British army was to be ascribed, and that,
if he committed a few trifling errors, they were to be attributed to the
peculiarity of his situation. A brother officer said of Moore: “The
British army has produced some able men, and many in point of military
talent were and are quite his equals; but it cannot, and perhaps never
could, boast of one more beloved, not by his personal friends alone, but
by every individual that served under him.” And after all it is only
just that Moore should receive honour from Spain and from the people of
Coruña, for the first purpose of his presence in the Peninsula was to
aid the Spaniards in regaining their soil from the great
invader--Napoleon. Local writers speak to-day of Moore as one who met
with his death while defending Coruña,[184] and the townsfolk delight to
stroll with their little ones around the hero’s tomb on cool, fresh
summer evenings.

There was one thing that puzzled me as I stood beside Sir John Moore’s
tomb. How could those wonderful lines on his burial, every one of which
throbs with personal feeling, reality, and detail, have been composed
years after the event by a young Irish clergyman, who had never left the
British Isles? But it was not till just as this chapter was going to the
press that I could find any possible solution to the problem. At last
light is thrown upon the subject by Mr. R. C. Newick. “There is no poem
in the English language,” he writes, “more often quoted in speech or
printed in books, no poem about whose authorship there has been more
controversy, none which grips more firmly both the mind of a child and
the intellect of a cultivated scholar, than the immortal threnody, ‘The
Burial of Sir John Moore.’” But who wrote it? Was its author the Rev.
Charles Wolfe, as the text-books of English literature inform us? No, it
appears to have been composed by a soldier who was present at Coruña,
and an eye-witness of all that is related in the poem. Mr. Newick
claims to have discovered a book which tells us all about the
composition of the poem--namely, the _Memoirs of Sergeant Paul
Swanston_, published by B. D. Cousins, 18 Duke Street, Lincoln’s Inn,
with no date, but about 1850.

I will take the liberty of quoting the poem as it stands in Mr. Newick’s
pamphlet (from the original MS. of the Author, as given to his friend
Swanston in February 1809):--

    “Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
       As his corpse to the ramparts we hurried;
     Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot,
       O’er the grave where our hero was buried.

     We buried him darkly; at dead of night,
       The sods with our bayonets turning,
     By the twinkling of the pale starlight,
       And the lantern dimly burning.

     No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
       Nor in sheet nor in shroud we wound him;
     But he lay--like a warrior taking his rest--
       With his martial cloak around him!

     Few and short were the prayers we said,
       And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
     But we steadfastly gazed on the face of the dead,
       And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

     We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed
       And smoothed down his lonely pillow,
     How the foe and the stranger would tread o’er his head,
       And we far away on the billow!

     Lightly they’ll talk of the spirit that’s gone,
       And o’er his cold ashes upbraid him;
     But nothing he’ll reck, if they let him sleep on,
       In the grave where a Briton has laid him.

     But half of our heavy task was done,
       When the clock toll’d the hour for retiring,
     And we heard by the outpost signal gun
       That the foe was sullenly firing.

     Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
       From the field of his fame, fresh and gory;
     We carved not a line, we raised not a stone,
       But we left him--alone with his glory.”[185]

The town of Coruña is built, as we have seen, on a peninsula, upon whose
rocky sea-washed point there stands the famous _Tower of Hercules_, a
monument of remote antiquity with modern restorations. After bidding
adieu to the tomb of Sir John Moore, we told our coachman to drive us to
this lighthouse, whose majestic proportions had aroused our admiration
as our steamer entered the Coruña harbour. On the way thither we visited
the _Campo Santo_, a large cemetery, with many handsome marble
monuments. There was a high white wall round the cemetery, and inside it
were some tall and leafy eucalyptus trees; on the outer side of the wall
there were geranium hedges, six and seven feet high, and in full flower.
A priest was standing at the entrance to the cemetery, and seeing that
we were foreigners, he kindly volunteered a few explanatory remarks.
“Those niches in the catacombs which you see lining the cemetery wall,”
he observed, “are the graves of rich people, whose friends can afford to
pay a considerable sum for the privilege; the graves you see in the
centre, under the grass, are those of poor people, who could not pay for
more than the plain ground.” The cemetery was a very large one; it
covered the whole hillside and stretched right down to the sea, which
formed an azure background to the gleaming white marble. The descending
path had handsome monuments on either side of it, all bearing the
letters R.I.P.; they were separated from one another by handsome palm

“These monuments were all sculptured in Italy,” explained the priest,
“where Carrara marble and sculpture are comparatively cheap: it is easy
to bring them here by sea from Genoa.” One of the pantheons was like a
chapel. We looked through its glass doors, protected by a strong iron
gateway, and saw an altar with four high candles, flowers, and crucifix
at the farther end; each candle had a big black ribbon bow with long
ends hanging down; in front of the altar were two _prie-dieu_ chairs,
which had the appearance of being in constant use. To our left as we had
entered we had noticed a round edifice lighted with high oval windows.
The priest told us this was the mortuary, that all unclaimed corpses
were brought here and laid on the marble slab in the centre, and that
this was the spot where inquests were held. A little below, there was a
sort of inner cemetery where--so said the priest--all the children who
died under seven years of age were buried. We read the inscriptions over
several of these little graves, and noticed that nearly all had the
words “ascended into heaven on----” and then followed the date.[186]
And we were reminded of the fact that “early death is held in Spain to
be rather a matter of congratulation than of grief.”[187]

We now returned to our carriage, and drove to the Tower of Hercules.
Between the rocks that ran into the sea and were at every moment being
covered by its white foam and the great square tower, were stretches of
green cornfields, which, to our surprise, were covered with waving oats
ready for cutting, and actually being cut before our very eyes by
peasant women with small prehistoric crescent-shaped hand
sickles--another sight strange to English eyes in the middle of January!
But a cold wind was blowing from the sea, and we were glad that the hot
sunshine had not tempted us to leave our warm wraps at home: we now drew
them well round us, and proceeded on foot to examine the tower. To walk
round its square base, I had to take eighty good steps. The original
construction of this tower is attributed to the Phœnicians, who have
been called the first civilisers of Spain, and who also erected a Tower
of Hercules in the neighbourhood of Cadiz. The material of which this
tower is built consists of small stones about a foot square, cemented
together with pebbles in the gaps. It has three storeys, and the roof is
of the same material as the vaults. The storeys, connected with one
another by a wooden stair, are said to date from the time of
Captain-General Uceda. On the stones is the following inscription:[188]--

                         LVPVS CONSTRVXIT EMV
                        LASVS MIRACVLA MEMPHIS
                         GRADIBVS STRAVIT YLAM
                        LVSTRANS CACVMENE NAVES
                             .....S XDDVO

In olden days the tower was surrounded on the outside by a wide spiral
stair supported at each corner by a stone pillar. On November 17, 1684,
the English, Dutch, and Flemish consuls pointed out to the
Captain-General, the Duke of Uceda, the great convenience that would
result were he to turn the Tower of Hercules into a lighthouse. The
three consuls stated further that all the expenses could be easily
defrayed if a small contribution were levied on each vessel that entered
the harbour during the space of ten years. The outer staircase must have
ceased to exist before the year 1549, since at that date the monk
Francisco Molina of Malaga stated in his _History of Galicia_ that it
had been taken down, he did not know by whom. Molina also stated that
this tower was so famous that few authors omitted to mention it. “Some
say,” he added, “that it once had a great mirror in which could be seen
the ships at sea, no matter how far away they might be sailing,” but he
explains that all this was a fable, and that what the tower really had
was “a light, which it ought to have still, to guide the ships that
would enter the port by night. This tower,” he continues, “is close to
the town, on the seashore: it is of such great height and of such
antiquity that it is truly a marvel, and its winding stone stair, which
once formed part of the tower, was the most remarkable thing about it; a
cart drawn by two oxen could mount to the top.” This last sentence gives
one the idea that there must have been ramps, not steps. As for the
mirror mentioned above, it may perhaps have been a metal camera obscura
something after the style of that to be seen in our day in the
Observatory on Clifton Downs.

Florez looked upon the story of the mirror as a fable, and thought it
must have originated from the fact that Orosius speaks of a very lofty
lighthouse in Galicia called a _Specula_. Florez also states that the
present tower cannot be traced farther back than to the Romans;
moreover, the material of which it is built is the same as that of other
Roman structures. The historical notices of this tower differ so much
from one another that the exact truth regarding its erection seems
unobtainable, but the most trustworthy reference is thought to be the
one which indicates that it was the work of the Emperor Trajan, because
no geographer before his date makes mention of the existence of such a
colossal monument. The following inscription has been found on one of
the rocks which form its foundations:--

                               AUG. SACR
                               G. SEVIVS
                          LVSITANVS. EX. Vº.

Sir John Moore is not the only Englishman with whose name Coruña is
closely connected in the minds of the Spaniards. In the year 1589, Sir
Francis Drake came with sixty ships, landed English troops at Coruña,
and took possession of the convent of Santo Domingo, which was situated
on the highest point in the town. He fortified the building, manned it
with English soldiers, and built batteries around it, intending to
subdue the town; but all his attempts to do so were frustrated by the
courage and patriotism of a woman--Maria Pita. Drake was eventually
compelled to retire with a loss of fifteen thousand men, but he set fire
to the convent before evacuating it, and it was burned to the ground.
Ever since that time Coruña has celebrated yearly, in the month of
August, a popular festival of a religious character which is called
_Fiestas de Maria Pita_.

Maria Pita, sometimes called Maria Fernandez de Pita, was a poor woman
from the street, who, seizing the sword of a dead soldier, gathered the
people of Coruña together and inspired them with courage to resist
Drake. In fact, it was she who, sword in hand, led the attack which
forced Drake and the troops under General Henry Noris to abandon their
position and quit the town. In her honour the chief square in Coruña is
called _Plaza de Maria Pita_. Every year the best preacher obtainable is
invited to preach a carefully prepared sermon to the people of Coruña in
the church of St. George (the largest church in the town) on the subject
of Maria Pita’s victory over Sir Francis Drake. There is not a child in
the province who has not heard of the courage and dauntless bravery of
Maria Pita. She is one of Spain’s heroines. Five years after Drake’s
departure, in the reign of Philip II., a new convent was begun upon the
site of the one that had been destroyed. It was completed in the reign
of Philip III. It is dedicated to the Virgin of the Rosary, the patron
saint of the town.[189]

Fishing is the most important industry in Coruña, and excellent ice
factories recently planted in the neighbourhood have given the trade a
wonderful impetus. Formerly, for want of ice to keep the fish cool, a
great deal was spoiled, and it was almost impossible to make use of the
fish caught, or to send it to any great distance, in a country where the
sun is so powerful. But now ice factories supply the fishing-smacks with
ice, and they can go out and fish four days consecutively, the ice they
take with them keeping the fish cool and fresh. Ice is also used in
great quantities for packing the fish destined for Madrid, where the
demand is still greater than the supply. Every evening a special fish
train leaves Coruña at 6 p.m. for Madrid. There is tremendous bustle and
excitement among the fisher-folk before the train starts. We stood on
the wharf one afternoon and watched the smacks come in, their decks
piled high with silvery sardines. Women and children helped to carry the
sardines up the gangway in baskets balanced on their heads, and,
depositing them in the warehouse, proceeded to wash them in the running
water and place them with lightning speed in the wooden boxes ready to
receive them. The sardines were thrown into the boxes in handfuls,
spread out, and sprinkled with salt, till the boxes were almost full,
and then a carefully assorted row was laid on top. Each basket that was
filled with sardines from the newly arrived boat was so heavy that it
took four persons to lift it on to a woman’s head! Since the latest
appliances for the production of ice have reached Coruña, that commodity
has become cheap and plentiful, and consequently the price that the
inhabitants have to pay for fish for their own tables has risen
tremendously. Before there was ice available for packing fish and
preserving it, sardines were so cheap that they were almost given away,
and the poor made them their principal food. They are now a delicacy
which the very poor cannot afford to buy.

We visited an important ice factory, and watched the ice being made with
the help of liquid ammonia. By expansion of the liquid the necessary
cold is produced, the ammonia is pumped into the congealer and then
compressed and cooled by water, after which it again becomes liquid; and
so the process is repeated. Sea water is pumped into the factory at the
rate of fourteen tons an hour, by means of electricity. We saw the pipe
running along the beach; it was two hundred yards long. The water enters
the pipe at a depth of seven yards below the surface. As I have said, we
watched the ice being made. Fresh water filled great tin moulds; these
were then let down into a tank containing salt water rendered very cold
by means of pipes beneath, filled with the ammonia which had been
expanded from its liquid state into gas. The degree of cold which is
sufficient to freeze fresh water does not freeze salt water, so only the
water in the moulds was turned to ice. When the water in the moulds had
become ice, they were raised out of the salt water and tipped up so that
the ice blocks could slide out; each block weighed twenty kilos. That
the blocks might slip out easily, the moulds were dipped for an instant
into hot water. If the heat is too great, the ice sticks; but if it is
exactly the right temperature, the ice blocks slip out easily, like
puddings out of a pudding mould. The blocks of ice are kept in an
ice-house with pipes of ammonia running over the ceiling to keep the
temperature at freezing-point. The windows of the ice-house were made of
prisms, like bottles filled with air; they let the light of the sun
enter, but not its heat.

The sardines are caught in draughts.[190] They shun very cold water, and
are most plentiful on the Galician coast at periods when the Gulf Stream
flows nearest to the shore. Fishermen can tell when the sardines are
coming. As many as four hundred deal boxes (as large as petroleum cases)
are sent to Madrid every day from one factory during the sardine season.
The packing is almost all done by women. The women work with far more
energy than the men. This fact was pointed out to me by the manager of
the principal factory, and I saw for myself that it was correct. Strange
to say, it is only among the poorer classes that the women of Galicia
are remarkable for their energy.

“Our ladies are too fat, because life is too easy; they have not enough
work either for mind or body,” said a Spanish gentleman. “Even our men
are lazy,” he added. “In Spain a man waits to inherit his father’s
worldly goods, and as long as his father lives he remains the son, and
nothing else; he only gets responsibility and independence at his
father’s death. In England, on the contrary, a father gives his son
responsibility, educates him, and then expects him to make a position
for himself.”

Coruña has not so many chocolate factories as formerly. When Cuba
belonged to Spain, the Cubans exported large quantities of cocoa nibs to
the mother country, but, since the war, that branch of commerce has been
interfered with to such an extent that many manufacturers have left
Spain to settle in Cuba and start factories over there instead, so that
Coruña has lost much of her chocolate-making industry. I visited a
Coruña chocolate factory and saw cocoa nibs put into a machine and
ground to powder; in another machine the powder was being mixed with
cane sugar; and in a third the blocks of chocolate, weighing a
hundredweight, were being cut up into half-pound strips; a fourth
machine kept the little tin moulds into which the melted chocolate was
poured continuously shaking, so that the chocolate might not stick. In
the next department we watched a number of women rolling up chocolate
cigarettes in silver paper.

The poor of Coruña subsist chiefly upon vegetables. I devoted some of my
time to visiting them, that I might get a correct idea of their
circumstances and the kind of life they led. One woman who earned her
daily bread as a charwoman took me up to her room on the fourth storey
of a house that appeared to be built almost entirely of wood. The room,
which she shared with her little daughter, contained two beds, a table,
and a chair. It had neither windows nor fireplace--in fact, no opening
of any kind but the door, and was so dark even with the door open that
she had to light a candle in order to show me the size of the room and
the prints and photographs with which the walls were adorned. For this
abode the woman paid three pesetas (half a crown) a month. There were
several such rooms on the same floor, tenanted in a similar manner, and
a general kitchen with charcoal cooking hearth was at the service of
all. These poor people take a cup of coffee or chocolate for their early
breakfast, and their dinner consists of a bread-and-vegetable soup,
called Gallegan broth (_kaldo Gallego_), which is famed all over Spain,
and a sardine, or other fish, on the days that they can afford it. More
coffee is drunk than chocolate; they find that it is a greater
stimulant. The best chocolate in Coruña costs four pesetas (three
shillings and fourpence) a pound, but that used by the poor costs them
only one peseta (tenpence) a pound. On leaving the house, I asked the
poor woman if she was not afraid of the house taking fire, seeing that
it was all of wood and that they used candles so constantly. “Oh no,”
she replied, smiling; “I have never heard of a house in Coruña being
burnt, and I have lived here all my life.” Coming out of the door, I met
a woman with a market gardener’s heavy basket on her head filled with
cabbages and potatoes; in her arms she carried a little baby.

My next visit was to a large building which served as a home for the
aged poor, and was managed entirely by _Hermanitas de Caridad_, “Little
Sisters of Charity.” All was spotlessly clean. A Sister showed us round.
Each dormitory contained some twenty beds, with red coverlets and snowy
sheets and pillows; one could hardly believe they had ever been slept
in. There was a lavatory with six washing-stands attached to each
dormitory. The old men lived quite apart from the old women. We found
one old lady in a bed that she had never left for seven years; she
appeared well cared for, and quite comfortable. The building is modern,
having only been completed fifteen years ago. It stands in its own
grounds, where it has its own laundry and drying-ground. In the garden
there is a pleasant summer-house, where the old people can sit almost
every fine day in the year.

As is usual in such institutions, no servants were kept; the Sisters did
everything, with the help of the sturdiest of the inmates, who were
employed in scrubbing the floors, etc. The linen closets, with their
tastefully folded linen, were a sight to see; glass cupboards full of
linen reached to the ceiling and covered the walls. The air in all the
apartments and corridors was fresh and pure, and the sun shone in at the
windows, from which there was a pleasant view of the seashore. On the
upper storey were a number of rooms destined for single or widow ladies
who had no homes of their own, and were glad to have a cheap and quiet
retreat. I saw one of them standing at her door as we passed along the
corridor; she was in _negligé_ attire, and was evidently surprised to
see visitors. We bowed, and seeing her inclined, entered into
conversation with her. She was a woman about fifty-five years of age,
with powdered cheeks and grey hair frizzed over her forehead. My
charwoman-guide then pulling me aside, informed me in an excited whisper
that the lady was the Contessa de P. “I have worked for her as cook,”
she added, “and I can assure you she smokes like a man.” The Sister who
stood by, a nun, with black hood and white bib, overheard the last
words, and said severely, “She does not smoke here.” The wide
glass-covered verandah was brilliant with the January sunshine: here the
inmates could take the sun, as they say, and can truly say, in Spain.
The chapel, which we inspected next, had a gallery for the nuns, with
fretwork-covered windows looking down upon the pauper congregation. When
there is a great function, all the chairs are taken away, and the people
stand. There was also a neat dispensary, and an infirmary. The
dining-rooms were cheerful and spacious, with marble-topped tables. The
kitchen was a fine, airy room, with a great stove in the centre. In all
the public institutions that I visited in Galicia the stove invariably
stood in the middle of the room, thus making it possible for a number of
persons to stand round it and cook without interfering with one another.
The house is in the hands of twenty Sisters, under a Mother Superior. In
my conversation with the lady boarder I learned that the poor there are
always discontented, and never cease to long for their liberty and for
the old life of begging at the street corners--where they had neither
shelter nor warm clothing nor food to eat. I really thought, after
seeing them huddled together in groups in the great, cheerful, but
_monotonous_ rooms, that while I had a spark of vitality and endurance
left in me I should feel as they did, and prefer the life of the street
with all its risks and privations to that deathly sameness. Monotony is
a slow and sure poison; it can undermine even the constitution of a
pauper. As for the poor of Coruña, they are chiefly fisher-folk, and
the coast being, as I have said, the most dangerous in Spain, cases of
drowning occur with painful frequency, so that the industry is a very
precarious one, and the number of the destitute is continually
increasing. Corpses of fishermen are constantly being washed ashore, and
there is nearly always a body lying in the mortuary to be identified.

There are only eleven tobacco factories in Spain. These are most of them
palatial; they all belong to the Government. The one at Coruña, like the
rest, is managed for the Government by a private Company, which is
allowed to appropriate 10 per cent. of the net profits. It was once a
very large factory, with six thousand women workers, mostly the wives,
widows, and daughters of fishermen, or men who have emigrated to South
America.[191] On the occasion of my visit, I found three thousand women
at work. Besides these, there were forty men employed in carrying the
heavy cases to the warehouse. The tobacco was supplied from various
places, chiefly from Kentucky, Mexico, Brazil, St. Domingo, Cuba, and
the Philippine Islands. In Ford’s day, an enormous amount of tobacco was
smuggled into Spain from Gibraltar, but that is not the case now.

Common cigars sell at about three a penny. Some of the workers have very
nimble fingers, and can prepare nine bundles, of forty cigars each, in a
day, while the slowest workers only manage about five bundles. They
begin work at 7 a.m., and continue till 8 p.m., bringing their dinner
with them, and leaving it in a neighbouring house, where it can be
warmed up if they wish. The women with whom it is left bring it in
baskets to the workers, who eat it where they sit, without leaving their
seats. In the factory at Seville they have a separate dining-room, but
none is provided at Coruña. Every fortnight the women are paid according
to the quality and quantity of the work they have done. We walked among
them as they worked, sixteen at a table, with coloured handkerchiefs
over their heads and tied tightly under the chin, with a three-cornered
shawl crossed over the breast.

The manager told me that the work was not unhealthy, because it was all
done by hand, and there was none of that fine powdery dust which is so
injurious to the health of workers in factories run by machinery. At the
entrance of each workshop we saw a candle burning in front of a

It has been reckoned that every adult male inhabitant of Madrid smokes
on the average twenty pesetas’ (sixteen shillings) worth of tobacco in a
year; but in Barcelona each man smokes nineteen pesetas’ worth. The
smallest quantity is consumed in the Balearic Islands, where the tobacco
consumed by each male values three pesetas and a half. The richer the
town, the better the quality of the tobacco consumed. The wood for
making the cases in which the cigars are packed is of a special kind,
and is sent for the purpose from Cuba. The best cigars manufactured at
Coruña are the _Farios_. Pipes are seldom used, except by a few sailors.

The streets of Coruña have much that is Oriental about them. Men walk
about carrying skins of water, just as they do in the East. I found a
woman cook with all her cooking apparatus neatly arranged around her at
the street corner, and cooking away as unconcernedly as if in her own
kitchen. I asked of the people standing near what she was cooking, and
learned that she was making cakes for the approaching Carnival. We saw
that the men were riding on Moorish saddles; these have been in use in
Spain ever since the Moors introduced them. We also saw many sacks of
pine cones that had been brought in from the villages to be sold as fuel
for kitchen fires. People store their cellars with them as we should
store ours with coal.

Many of the houses in Coruña are built with an air shaft in their
centre; this has a glass top, and the light that descends the shaft
lights four rooms on each landing. Those on the third floor get a fair
amount of light, but those on the first fare badly. This is certainly a
degree better than having no daylight except that which can penetrate
into the room from an open door, as is often the case in Spanish houses.

Coruña is a fashionable seaside resort in summer; its hillsides are
dotted with villas belonging to the wealthy of Madrid and other big
towns. Three bull-fights take place there every year, and an occasional
carousal is held in the bull ring. Families who have not a villa of
their own hire flats for the season. There is no hotel life, and what
hotels the town has are only suited to meet the requirements of business
men and commercial travellers. Donkey picnics are a favourite amusement
with summer visitors, and delightful excursions are made upon
pack-saddle into the wooded valleys and the picturesque hills with which
the town is surrounded on all sides, except where the sea washes its

Like our Oxford, Coruña can boast of having afforded a refuge to the
National Assembly of her country, when it was forced to leave the
capital. In July 1706, when Madrid was crowded with English and German
soldiers who threatened to burn her to the ground, and the Court and the
Royal Family had established themselves at Burgos, a _Junta del Reino_
was called to discuss the calamitous state of the country, and that
Assembly was held in Coruña. Letters were sent on that occasion to
Santiago, Lugo, and Tuy, asking the citizens to supply forage for the
new battalions that were to be formed in Galicia, and it was mainly
through the bravery of Gallegan soldiers that the invaders were driven
out of the land.[192]

Coruña has one of the best harbours in Europe, and since the remotest
times this town has been considered one of the principal strongholds of
the Peninsula; its present fortifications are, it is true, very
antiquated, but there are projects on foot for once more converting it
into a stronghold of the first order. The town was fortified for the
first time in the reign of Henry III., but it was not till 1602 that the
work of strengthening it was seriously undertaken. The key to the port
is the fort of San Anton, on a small and rocky island which we passed at
the mouth of the harbour; but this fort, which was built in 1779, is now
little more than a ruin.

The most interesting church in Coruña is that of the _Colegiata de Santa
Maria del Campo_. It is a very small Gothic edifice with three naves. An
inscription on a column near the right pulpit bears the date Era 1340,
which is equivalent to the year 1302. The parish church of St. James
(Santiago) is also Gothic, but does not date farther back than the
sixteenth century. The largest church in the town is that of St. George;
the original one was rebuilt after Sir Francis Drake’s visit, but the
present one is the conventual church of the suppressed convent of St.

Coruña possesses a good Public Library, containing four thousand
volumes, with rooms devoted to Physical Science, Chemistry, and Natural
History. There is also a Meteorological Observatory, where candidates
for the post of pilot are examined.



     An Agricultural Syndicate--The only flourishing industry--The
     flower of Galicia’s youth--Monopolisation and subdivision of the
     land--The lesser evil--The Argentine Republic--Free passages to
     Chili and Valparaiso--Every peasant a proprietor--Socialism rare in
     Galicia--Causes of Spanish indolence--Bad government--Railways
     before roads--Nomadic instinct derived from Celtic
     ancestors--Reputed stupidity of Gallegans--A story--Fields worked
     by women--Usury--Need of wholesome literature--The potato
     disease--Cattle breeding--Mules--The long rains encourage
     idleness--Demand for factories--No wine-making industry--Failde
     suggests a solution to the problem of emigration

During my stay in Coruña I read an article in one of the local
papers[193] on a new Agricultural Syndicate that was being formed there
with the object of improving the methods of agriculture employed by the
peasants, and of teaching the ignorant how to get more profit out of
their soil; in short, with the object of making the people happier and
more prosperous upon their own little farms, and putting an end to “the
bleeding of that terrible wound that is exhausting Galicia”--emigration.
The writer of the article pointed out that the priests did no good by
going round to the villages and telling the people to work harder; what
was wanted was education, a practical training, and an intelligent
appreciation of the possibilities of their wonderfully fertile soil.

Week after week I read in the papers and heard on all sides that young
men were emigrating in numbers to South America from every part of the
province. Local writers alluded bitterly to this emigration as “the only
flourishing industry in the province.”

But emigration is not a new, if it is a flourishing industry. Galicia
has been steadily drained of the flower of its youth for many a long
year. In 1885, Señor Ricardo Mella y Cea quoted statistics to the effect
that twenty thousand Gallegans emigrated annually to South America, and
that of these no less than three-fourths emigrated clandestinely,
because their age subjected them otherwise to compulsory military
service. In those days Gallegans were also emigrating to other parts of
Spain, and to Portugal as well. Señor Mella y Cea attributed this
emigration, in the first place, to an excess of population, and to an
excessive taxation of the land owned by the peasants. Many emigrated to
escape conscription. Others who would gladly buy a strip of land and
settle down at home were met by insurmountable difficulties. It was
then, as it is now, almost impossible to buy small plots of land in
Galicia; monopolisation and subdivision of the plots were ruining all
but the wealthy.

Twenty-two years have passed since Señor Mella y Cea took up his pen on
behalf of the peasants of Galicia, but their condition can hardly be
said to have improved. Heavy taxes still ruin those who are powerless to
pay them. State loans to agriculturists are as yet unknown, and
co-operative credit societies are only a dream of the future. Capital is
monopolised by the few, and in the absence of credit banks the
production of the soil is checked. The difficulty is, as Prudhon pointed
out, to know how to enable the greatest possible number of people to
produce and consume the greatest possible amount. Señor Mella y Cea did
not think that emigration could be truly beneficial to any country in
the long run, because, by its very existence, it reveals a state of
things that is not satisfactory; it reveals, but it in no way helps to
correct or remedy, what is wrong. Many emigrate because they find
themselves forced to choose between death and emigration. And who has a
right to decide for such people which of the two evils they shall

Every man has a perfect right to abandon the country in which his means
of existence cannot be guaranteed. Emigration is, after all, a lesser
evil than starvation; but, alas! it is not as a rule the most
necessitous who emigrate, but the most energetic, the most ambitious,
the most capable. We have only to turn our eyes in the direction of
Ireland to see this truth exemplified. Norway is another country that
complains bitterly of the emigration of her most stalwart sons.[194] The
man who is worth his salt does not leave without regret, without sorrow,
the land of his birth; nearly all who go cherish the hope that they may
some day return. It is not _en masse_, like the Tartars described by De
Quincey, but drop by drop, that the country’s life-blood ebbs away.
“Emigration is a poison which prolongs our life upon the borders of the
tomb.” No, it can never be favourable to Galicia, it can never be
anything better than a harmful alternative. “At any rate,” wrote the
above-quoted writer, “if Gallegans must emigrate, let them choose South
America--a country where men are wanted, where there is room for all.
When they emigrated to other parts of Spain, they only took the bread
from other mouths to put it in their own. South America is the land of
the future; it will leave Europe behind as surely as Europe did Asia.”

And truly the economical progress that has been made during recent years
by the Argentine Republic alone is more than surprising. Prodigious
progress has been made in that country,[195] which, with its two
inhabitants to the square mile, occupies the first rank among all the
South American nations as regards its economic activity. The greater
part of the Republic is situated within the temperate zone _à
l’extrémeté méridional de l’Amérique du Sud_. It is divided into
fourteen provinces and ten territories, an extent of 2,950,520 square
kilometres, with a total population of 5,672,191. With the same density
as that with which Germany is populated, the Argentine Republic could
accommodate three hundred million inhabitants. The emigrants thither in

    1857 = 4,951;
    1905 = 221,622.

The cultivable lands can be cultivated as soon as the emigrants take
possession of them. There are 104,300,000 hectares available. Railways
are in course of construction. Wool and frozen mutton are two of the
principal exports.

Of every twenty-five Gallegans who emigrate to South America, twenty are
usually simple villagers from mountain villages, and the remaining five
are young men from the towns who have received a fairly good education.
The twenty villagers will live in South America as simply as they have
been accustomed to live from their childhood, earning, let us say, five
pesetas a day; they will put by four, and live on one, and at the end of
each year they invest the little sum which has accrued, and it brings
them in some fifty per cent.: thus, after a few years, they find
themselves in comfortable circumstances, and soon they are comparatively
rich men. But the five town-bred youths, on the contrary, having been
accustomed to more expensive living and better clothes at home, continue
to require the same luxuries abroad: they find themselves compelled to
use up every penny of the five pesetas they earn in a day, and, having
nothing to put by, they do not grow rich. The twenty villagers are quite
content with vegetable soups, maize bread, no beverage but water, and
simple pleasures that cost them nothing, but the five town-bred men
would be miserable on such fare.

Land is given to the emigrants on their arrival, and all the necessary
implements are supplied to them by Government on a five years’ hire
system. The soil is so rich that no manuring is wanted, and it can be
sown fourteen years in succession without need of rest. The Government
of Chili is so desirous of increasing its industrial and agricultural
population, that it gives the peasants of Galicia their passages free to
Valparaiso, and in order to get the people to go it employs agents to
talk to them and persuade them to embark. The agents get a commission on
every passenger they book. Formerly it was only the men who emigrated,
but now it is becoming quite a common thing for their wives and children
to accompany them.

One morning I took a walk outside the town of Santiago beside a stream
where several women were washing clothes at a public wash-shelter, with
stone slabs along the banks, on which to rub their clothes. They were on
their knees, and with sleeves up above the elbow, energetically kneading
away at the linen they had brought with them. I stood beside them,
silently listening to their conversation.

_First Woman_: “Yes, he went to Buenos Ayres.”

_Second Woman_: “How did he like it?”

_First Woman_: “Oh, he found that if you wanted to eat you had to work,
just the same as here.”

_Second Woman_: “Clearly.”

_First Woman_: “And he felt dreadfully lonely so far away from all his
people. Yes, he found that what was bad here is bad there, and so he
made up his mind to come back here again.”

_Second Woman_: “Of course.”

_First Woman_: “Of course.”

Among five thousand Gallegan peasants it would be difficult to find one
who was not a proprietor--who did not own a little cottage and a little
plot of ground. One result of this is that Socialists are also extremely
rare in Galicia. In Andalusia, on the contrary, the land is all owned by
a few rich landlords, and that province consequently swarms with
Socialists. Many Italians also emigrate to South America, and there are
spots there where the population is an equal mixture of Italians and
Spaniards. This is particularly the case in Ecuador, where the mixture
of the two peoples has already produced a new dialect, and the
inhabitants are unconscious that the words they use are drawn from two
languages. As I have said, in every town I visited in Galicia, without
an exception, I saw notices on the street walls tempting the people to
emigrate. During a drive from Noya to Santiago we passed on the road
more than two hundred youths who had come down from the mountain
villages to seek for work; each carried a hoe across his shoulder, and
on it was slung a handkerchief containing his worldly goods. Here and
there we saw a young man resting beneath some shady tree, a sort of Dick
Whittington who, if he does not find work in Galicia, will emigrate,
make a fortune, and perhaps return to buy ground and settle in Galicia,
and become eventually a public benefactor to his native land. But, as a
poor woman in the neighbourhood of Pontevedra told me, though they do
make money quicker in South America than in Galicia, a large proportion
of them suffer from the change of climate, and, what is more, they too
often acquire the expensive habits and extravagant ways which
counterbalance other advantages. “Many who have come back,” the woman
told me, “say that, after all, there is no country in the world like
Spain, for health and good climate and productiveness of the soil.”

Although the climate and soil of Galicia are the best in Spain, it is
mainly from Galicia that the emigration takes place. A small proportion
of Spaniards from south of the Peninsula emigrate annually to Morocco,
where most of them keep the idle habits of their old home, standing
about at street corners from morning to night. Some travellers attribute
the innate laziness of the Spaniards to the effect of their brilliant
sunshine. Even the energetic Borrow, when he was in Seville, wrote: “I
lived in the greatest retirement during the whole time that I passed at
Seville, spending the greater part of each day in study, or in that
half-dreaming state of inactivity which is the natural effect of the
influence of a warm climate.”

It has sometimes been stated that the Spaniard is too proud a fellow to
work hard in his own country among his own people, but that once he
finds himself in a new country in the midst of strangers he will work as
well as any fellow in the world. However that may be, it is undoubtedly
a fact that the Gallegan wakes up wonderfully in South America, and when
he returns home in comfortable circumstances he is loud in his
expressions of dissatisfaction at the stagnation and lack of progress so
patent in Galicia. Ford, writing in the fifties of the nineteenth
century, said, with regard to emigration: “They have ascribed the
depopulation of Estremadura (the province to the south of Galicia) to
the swarm of colonist adventurers and emigrants who departed from this
province of Cortes and Pizarro to seek for fortune in the new world of
gold and silver; and have attributed the similar want of inhabitants in
Andalusia to the similar outpourings from Cadiz which, with Seville,
engrossed the traffic of the Americas. But colonisation never thins a
vigorous, well-conditioned mother-state--witness the rapid and daily
increase of population in our own island, which, like Tyre of old, is
ever sending forth her outpouring myriads.... The real permanent and
standing cause of Spain’s thinly peopled state, want of cultivation, and
abomination of desolation, is bad government, civil and religious....
But Spain, if the anecdote her children love to tell be true, will never
be able to remove the incubus of this fertile origin of every evil. When
Ferdinand III., captured Seville and died, being a saint he escaped
purgatory, and Santiago (St. James) presented him to the Virgin, who
forthwith desired him to ask any favours for his beloved Spain. The
monarch petitioned for oil, wine, and corn--conceded;--for sunny skies,
brave men, and pretty women--allowed;--for cigars, relics, garlic, and
bulls--by all means;--for a _good government_;--‘Nay, nay,’ said the
Virgin, ‘that never can be granted; for, were it bestowed, not an angel
would remain a day longer in heaven.’”

Galicia is a province where railways have preceded roads, and where
automobiles have preceded railways. There are towns in Galicia that are
decaying for want of roads by which they can carry on commerce with
their neighbours. All the water used in Coruña has to be carried by
women from the fountains, and the town waterworks are only now in course
of construction.

Aguiar speaks of the strong nomadic instinct of the ancient Celts as
being inherited by the Gallegan people--and certainly the Irish Celts
are addicted to emigration. As regards education--of the various
provinces in Spain, Galicia can boast of having the best educated lower
classes. Recently, when soldiers were being levied for the Spanish army,
it was found that ninety per cent. of the Gallegans could read, that
five per cent. could read but not write, and five could do neither;
whereas in Castille, fifty per cent. could read and write, and fifty
could do neither; and in Andalusia only ten per cent. could read and
write, while ninety could do neither.

Yet almost every writer on Galicia from Strabo onward speaks of the
stupidity of its inhabitants! Yes, the idea that the Gallegans are a
stupid people is quite classic. “The Romans,” says Señor Eladio Oviedo,
“thought them stupid because they would not submit, and were the
stubbornest of all the barbarians that Rome attempted to conquer. Even
Lope de Vega repeated this classic error--and we have it direct from the
classic writers of the sixteenth century.” Aguiar indignantly refutes
the belief, which was very widespread all over Spain in his day. He is
indignant with Morales for saying that one reason why the body of St.
James was lost for seven hundred years was the crass stupidity of the
Gallegans--calling it an atrocious insult, and remarking that the page
in question ought to be publicly burned.

Aguiar relates the following story which was current all over Spain in
1836, as an example of Gallegan dulness. “A sick man died, and the
doctor who had been attending him having pronounced him to be dead, he
was carried by his comrades in an open coffin to the cemetery. On the
way the corpse moved and showed unmistakable signs of life, then, to the
astonishment of the coffin bearers, sat up and cried, ‘Good heavens,
where on earth are you taking me?’

“‘To the cemetery,’ replied his friends.

“‘But if I am not dead?’ cried the poor fellow.

“‘You must be dead, because the doctor says so,’ was the reply, and on
went the procession.”

There appeared in the year 1902 a little book on the subject of Gallegan
emigration by Señor Valdes Failde, with a preface by Don Antonio
Cerviño, a Canon of Tuy, whose acquaintance I made during my stay in
that town. Both these gentlemen are confident that the emigration which
is going on is seriously debilitating the country, and if not checked
will be disastrous for the State. “Galicia,” says Cerviño, “is losing
every year the healthiest and most robust of her children.”

The sad spectacle which so many of the Gallegan villages offer to those
who see below the surface, and have an eye to the future, is indeed a
sad one. The fields are worked by women, the carts are driven by women,
the seed is sown by women,--everything, in short, is done by women. But
where are the men? They have gone to seek their fortunes on the other
side of the Atlantic. Some say it is a spirit of adventure inherent in
their Celtic blood which carries the men away; others, we have seen,
put it down to the density of the population. But if you ask the women,
they will tell you, as they told me, that it is the multitude of taxes.

Certainly all these things have to do with the increase of emigration,
but there are other causes which must also receive our consideration.
The people do not know how to deal with what they have, they are wofully
ignorant of the most elementary rules of agriculture, and they have no
one to teach them. If Galicia were a province of Japan, it would soon
have a thriving agricultural college in its midst, and the men, however
poor, would have a chance of learning what they need so much to know.
There would be a free library from which books could be borrowed by all
who could read, and fresh hope and energy would stir the people’s minds.

Señor Failde complains of the absolute disunion of agriculture from the
home industries, of the evil effect of usury, of the immorality of the
people, and of the excessive division of territorial property. He
suggests that usury might be suppressed by law, and urges that the taxes
on food stuffs should be removed. He also wishes to see those heartless
agents, who, to fill their own pockets, tempt the people to emigrate
prosecuted and punished. Further, he would like to see wholesome
literature that would show the people the evils of emigration widely
distributed among them. This writer says that density of population is
not one of the causes of Gallegan emigration, for the population of
Galicia is not dense: this he proceeds to prove by statistics. Finally
he tells us that we shall find in a volume of poems by Rosalia Castro,
called _Follas Novas_, a masterly study of the principal causes of
Gallegan emigration.

The potato disease in 1845 led to the emigration of a million Irish to
the United States within the space of five years. Potatoes are also a
staple food in Galicia. Yet when they were first introduced, the people,
in their ignorance, refused point blank to grow them. There is hardly a
family in Galicia, however poor, that does not possess at least one cow.
When the animal begins to grow old they fatten it with maize and
potatoes, and sell it to the butcher. The extreme humidity of the
climate produces such abundant pasture that the keep of cattle amounts
to very little. The people of Galicia have been cattle breeders from
time immemorial,--in fact, this was until the last century the popular
industry of the province, and many hundred head of cattle were annually
exported from Coruña to London. The Count of Campomanes, in a lecture on
the subject in the thirties of last century, spoke of the Gallegans as
model cattle breeders.[196] Why has this industry died out? Failde
attributes its decline to the fact that the United States now export
such fabulous quantities of fresh, salted, and tinned meat into Great
Britain, and sell them at the lowest possible prices, that British
industries of that class are no longer a paying concern. It is more than
probable that if the British Government were to put a small tax on all
American imports of that nature, England would again preserve her own
beef, and be glad once more to trade in live cattle with Galicia. Why
should Chicago workmen pickle beef for English tables, while Englishmen
parade our streets for want of employment, and Gallegan cattle breeders
emigrate to South America to evade starvation? Portugal has recently put
a prohibitive tax of fourteen pesetas per head on all cattle imported
into that country from Spain, and a period of renewed depression has
resulted in Galicia, for even half that sum would exclude the poor
Gallegan peasants from the market.

In central Galicia it is customary for all the peasants to breed mules.
At the age of a year and a half they used, formerly, to sell the female
for about 12,000 reals, and the male for half that price. But mules are
now being introduced from France, and they are also being extensively
bred in Andalusia and Estremadura, so that this industry has been killed
in Galicia.

The long rains of this most rainy province impose long hours of idleness
on peasant labourers, and Señor Failde suggests that these hours might
be usefully and beneficially employed in factories, but there are none:
there are practically no factories in Galicia beyond a few small ones
for salting fish and tanning leather. The land being divided into very
small holdings, numerous families are out of work half the year, and the
products of their other half-year’s work stagnates for want of proper
roads and means of transport to favourable markets. Many of the peasants
actually feed their pigs with milk, when they might be making butter to
rival that of Holland, Switzerland, or Denmark!

Galicia is a province peculiarly adapted to the cultivation of the vine,
but each peasant makes his own wine from his own grapes, and there is no
wine-making industry. Beetroot grows there to perfection, but there are
no sugar factories. Salmon trout are so plentiful in many parts that
they are almost given away, and cartloads of sardines are used by the
peasants as manure for their fields.

A close union of agriculture and industrial labour would, in the opinion
of Señor Failde, form a solution to the whole problem of Gallegan
emigration. This is not a new suggestion; Le Play put it forward long
ago in his study of the working classes of Europe.

Señor Failde has a sorry tale to unfold as to the immorality of Gallegan
peasants, but I have heard equally serious allegations brought against
the Presbyterian crofters of western Scotland by people dwelling among
them. Illegitimate births are, we hear, on the increase in Galicia.
Señor Failde assures us that quite fifty per cent of the young men who
emigrate from Galicia to South America are illegitimate children, and
youths who go to hide their dishonour beyond the sea. The village
festivals and country fairs are centres of corruption, however
poetically they may present themselves to foreigners.

Usury is almost as rampant among the Gallegans as it is among the
peasants of Russia, and it hides itself under the most varied forms. Not
only does this evil despoil the poor at home, it even accompanies them
in their emigration, for the very agents who make a living out of
enticing the wretched fellows to embark are usurers of the worst kind;
their agents make special efforts to persuade those who are liable to
military service to escape the duty that their country imposes upon
them, because they know that for every man persuaded to emigrate they
will be well remunerated.



     A sweet singer--A drop of Galicia’s life-blood--Rosalia’s
     lyrics--Home-sickness--_Cantares Gallegas_--_Follas Novas_--The
     ancient Britons--A star of the first magnitude--The outpourings of
     a poetic soul--A harp of two strings--Why the poetry of Galicia
     cannot be translated--Rosalia’s remains transferred to Santo
     Domingo--The procession--The poetry of Galicia

Galicia has had many sweet singers since the “days of Macìas, the poet
of true love, but none have poured forth a more moving or a more
plaintive song than Rosalia Castro. This poetess loved her beautiful
Galicia with a passionate love that could not be surpassed. Her tender
woman’s heart ached with the pain of her country’s ever-bleeding wound,
and she realised only too well that every bright and promising youth who
left those shores to seek his fortune in a distant land represented a
drop of Galicia’s life-blood. She wept for the old people whose children
were torn from them in the first bloom of their manhood; she sorrowed
for the lonely young wife left behind, and for the helpless babe that
never knew its father; tears filled her eyes at the sight of those
luxuriant hills and valleys with no peasants to cultivate their rich and
fertile soil--

    “Now this one goes, then that one,
       And all, all will go;
     Galicia is left without a man
       Her fruitful fields to plough.

     Her little ones are orphans,
       Her valleys desolate;
     Her mothers mourn their children gone,
       Her fathers emigrate.

     True hearts are worn with waiting
       Through long and weary years;
     Widow and wife together weep,
       And none can dry their tears.”

A strain of exalted sadness runs through all the poetry of Rosalia
Castro, and its nature is essentially elegiac. Rosalia suffers with
those who are afflicted, and speaks for those who are dumb. Rich and
poor alike repeat her verses to express their deepest and most tender
thoughts; there is not a Gallegan who does not quote her, not a peasant
girl who does not love her name. All Galicia’s sorrows find an echo in
her poems, and her sorrow of sorrows, the pain of parting, the anguish
of absence, the throb of home-sickness--the sorrow of emigration, is
felt in almost every line.[197]

Rosalia’s lyrics are sweet and simple idyls of Galicia’s pastoral life.
As we read them we wander among the green valleys and beside the clear
waters of her myriad brooks; we hear the singing of the wooden cart
wheels in the country lanes, and feel the humidity of the mist-laden
air. We rejoice with her in the warm spring sunshine, and when the
summer comes we share with her the aroma of the abundant fruits and
flowers; we hear the peasant boy singing to the accompaniment of his
beloved _gaita_; we watch the white sails of the boats as they glide
upon the calm blue surface of her glorious rias; we see the ocean foam
dash mountain high against her rocky coast, and through all we feel the
throbbing presence of Galicia’s pain and sorrow.

The beautiful hills and valleys of Galicia inspire her children with
such a wild and passionate love of home as I have never met with
elsewhere. Emigrants from all countries suffer more or less from
home-sickness, but it is only the emigrants of Galicia who die of it.
Yes, many and many a Gallegan peasant has died of sadness because he
could not return to his native land. This home-sickness is a real
malady, it has a special name in the Gallegan language; it is called
_morriña_.[198] It is not surprising, then, that Galicia’s sons far away
in Cuba should have collected money to raise a monument to the memory of
a poetess who expressed their woes with such idyllic sweetness, and in
the melodious dialect of their dear native province that they had
learned as children at their mother’s knee. And this fervent
appreciation of the poetess is no mere local cult; it goes wherever a
Gallegan goes, it accompanies the emigrants as they embark for other
shores, and the name of Rosalia Castro is honoured wherever Gallegans
are to be found.

Rosalia Castro was brought up at Padron, and it was there that she
breathed her last; a tablet on the house that she lived in bears the
date of her death, 15th July 1885. Her earliest work, and perhaps her
best, was a small volume of popular poems entitled _Cantares Gallegas_:
she also wrote a book entitled _As Viudas d’os vivos e as viudas d’os
mortos_ (“The Widows of the Living and the Widows of the Dead”). Rosalia
began to write poetry at the age of eleven. At the age of twenty she was
married to Señor Murguia. Her death occurred in her forty-eighth year.
She published several novels, and wrote a great deal more poetry than
was ever published, but before her death she expressed a wish that all
her unpublished writings might be burned--and her friends respected this

_Follas Novas_ is perhaps her most popular volume; it consists of a
collection of short lyrics. I tried hard to buy a copy, but it has long
been out of print, and was not to be had even in Madrid. Failde[199]
relates that a man who possessed a copy, being asked to sell it, replied
that he would not part with it for its weight in gold. The only one of
Rosalia’s books which reached a second edition is her first, _Cantares
Gallegas_, but that, too, is now out of print. Both of these volumes
were, however, lent to me during my stay in Galicia, and from them I
copied a few of the lyrics that pleased me most.

So well are the _Cantares_ known in Galicia, that every one of them has
become a part of the folklore of the province. “We hear them sung,”
writes Failde, “in the most lonely villages on the most distant heights,
and in the largest towns.” Yet Rosalia was not Galicia’s only poetess;
contemporary with her were Sofia Casanova, who is still living, Narcisa
Perez de Reoyo, “whose life was that of a flower,” Avelina Valladares,
and Filomena Dato Muruáis, whose acquaintance I had the pleasure of
making during my visit to Orense.

Failde speaks of Rosalia as “an Æolian harp made of Celtic oak,” and
“Galicia’s nightingale,” and he tells us in his little biography of the
poetess that she was a model daughter, wife, and mother. She came of an
old and noble Gallegan family, a family that had already produced many
poets. Rosalia was born at Santiago on 21st February 1837. She was
always “very delicate,” and the greater part of her life was a martyrdom
through ill-health. In some of her poems she complains of the damp and
cold of the long Santiago winters.

Rosalia’s poems are not in sympathy with the socialistic agrarianism
that is spreading so fast in Andalusia; she liked to think that there
was not a family in Galicia, however poor, that did not possess its own
home and its own bit of land.

    “Miña cariña, meu lar,”

were words breathed from her very soul, and we English can translate
them by our own equivalent--

    “Home, sweet, sweet home.”

Thierry said of the Ancient Britons that they lived upon poetry, and
their poets had but one theme, the destiny of their country, its sorrows
and its hopes. The Gallegans come of the same Celtic stock, and their
love of poetry and their passion for home are quite as intense. “A
Gallegan sticks to his native land,” says Failde, “like meat to the

Rosalia’s poetry, though full of majestic sadness, is by no means
pessimistic; she is full of Christian resignation, but she is not devoid
of Christian hope. “Rosalia,” wrote Emilio Castelar, “by her Gallegan
lyrics has become a star of the first magnitude in the vast horizon of
Spanish art.” There is nothing more tender or more full of feeling to be
found in Spanish poetry than her lyric, “Padron, Padron.” One of the
most striking characteristics of this poetess was her insight into the
relationship between the exterior and the interior world. To her the
earthly horizon was an emblem of the horizon that spreads before the
human mind, the light of the stars spoke to her of the light of the
eyes; a shower of rain reminded her of human tears, electricity in the
clouds brought to her poetic mind the electric current of human
sympathy. Nature spoke to her, and she listened. There is no effort
about her verses; they are the outpourings of a poetic soul, candid and
pure and simple and sparkling as the limpid waters of her native
streams. “I have only had a village education,” she says naïvely in one
of her prefaces, and in another she says, “We women are like a harp with
only two strings, imagination and sentiment”;[200] and she adds that if
a woman touches science she impregnates it with her innate debility.(!!)
Rosalia writes because she cannot help writing; she is like a musical
instrument that sounds because the strings are touched.

    “Aimer, prier, chanter, voilá’ toute sa vie ...”

As de Voguë said of the Russian poets, “Les poetes Russes no sont et ne
seront jamais traduits,” so it is with the poetry of Galicia. Both the
Russian and the Gallegan are full of sweet and tender and untranslatable
diminutives infinitely musical and vividly expressive.[201] When we try
to interpret them into a foreign tongue their music dies and their soul
evaporates, leaving nothing behind but a dry husk of words.

Here is one of Rosalia’s shorter lyrics:

        “Un-ha vez tiven un cravo
        Cravande ne corazon
    Y eu non m’acordo ẍa s’era aquel cravo,
        D’ouro, de ferro, ou d’amor
    Soyo sei que me fiẍo un mal tan fondo,
        Que tanto m’atormentou
    Qu’ eu dia e noite sin cesar choraba
    Cal chorou Madanela n’a pasion.
      --Señor, que todo o’ podedes,
        Pedinele un-ha vez á Dios,
    Daime valor par’ arrincar d’ un golpe
        Cravo de tal condicion
        E doumo Dios e arrinqueino,
        Mais ... quen pensara?... Despois
        Ẍ non sentin mais tormentos
        Nis soupen soupen qu’ era dolor
    Soupen sô, que non sei que me faltaba
        En donde o cravo faltou,
    E seica, seica tivan soidades
        D’aquela pena.... Bon Dios!
    Este barro mortal qu envolve o esprito
            Que-o entendera, Señor?”

I have translated it as literally as possible for those of my readers
who may not be able to read the original--

    “A nail had once been driven
       Into my very heart;
     But whether of gold, or iron, or love?--
       I only remember its smart.

     I only know the anguish
       And the torment that it gave:
     All day, all night, it made me weep,
       Like Mary at the grave.

     ‘My God!’ I cried, ‘give courage
       That I may tear away
     That cruel nail.’ My prayer was heard,
       I tore it out that day.

     But oh, who will believe me?
       I did not know ’twas pain;
     I felt an aching, aching void,
       And a longing to have it again!

     What? Was I really yearning
       For the anguish I had lost?
     Good God! Who understands it--
       Our spirit’s mortal crust!”

On 25th May 1891, the earthly remains of Rosalia Castro were transferred
to the church of Santo Domingo, “the Gallegan Pantheon.” The whole town
of Santiago took part in the ceremony, and a procession followed the
bier,--a procession in which all the societies, the university, the
colleges, the professors, the students, the employers of the telegraph,
of the banks,--in fact everybody took part. Long rows of children
bearing lighted candles preceded the hearse, which was followed by men
bearing the standards of Galicia; Cuba was also represented.

All the shops were shut, and the whole town presented an appearance of
mourning. The townspeople walked two and two in perfect silence from the
station outside the town to the entrance of the church, drawing up
before the steps of the university, where a local orator gave a short
address, upon the close of which a student recited one of Rosalia’s
poems to the listening multitude. Then the students showered a rain of
laurel wreaths upon the coffin, while the musicians played Shadello’s
“Pieta Signor,” and tears flowed on every side.

As the procession arrived at the church of Santo Domingo, an unusual
spectacle presented itself. The students of the university awaited with
lighted torches the arrival of the bier, and carried it into the church
upon their own shoulders. “I never saw anything more touching,” writes
Failde, “than the sight of so many young faces streaming with tears, and
I do not know whether those tears flowed more for their poetess or for
their country.”

      “Lugar mais hermoso
    No mundo n’ hachara
    Qu’ aquel de Galicia
      Galicia encantada.”

It has been said that only those regions which have a peculiar and
individual vitality can produce a literature of their own. The very fact
that Galicia possessed--in the early Middle Ages--both prose and poetry
composed and written in her particular dialect is a sign in itself that
she was once full of life and energy. As we have seen in a previous
chapter, the language of Galicia has justly been called the mother of
Portuguese. “Great is the excellence of the Gallegan tongue,” wrote the
Marquis of Figueroa,[202] “not only because it adapts itself so easily
to poetic expression, but also on account of its great and noble past.”
Galicia is rich in legends, which, to the ignorant peasants, are gospel
truths; she is rich in historic ruins; in every town the escutcheons on
her houses tell of noble families that flourished in her midst. Once one
of the most important and influential parts of the kingdom, she gave her
language to the court, and it was through Galicia that the poetry of
Provence passed into Castille and Portugal.[203] But after the fifteenth
century, when her autonomy had been taken from her, and when she had
sunk to the level of an abandoned and almost forgotten province, there
was no vitality left in her, and the stream of her literature was dried.
Her political decadence had brought with it literary decay. Her best
families left her to settle in Madrid and the rising towns of Spain, and
the interests of the province paled before those of the capital and the
Court. Even her poets abandoned the language of Galicia in favour of
that of Castille.[204]

For several centuries the poetry of Galicia lay as dead; there was
practically no sign of life, and even her glorious past seemed to have
sunk into oblivion. People even wondered, in the early years of the
nineteenth century, how it could ever have come about that the
_trovadors_ of the Middle Ages should have chosen her archaic dialect
for their medium. But there was a sudden and wonderful change a few
years later. Galicia woke out of her long sleep; she had found a poetess
in Rosalia Castro.

Rosalia’s sensitive and poetic mind was admirably adapted to interpret
the beauties of Galicia; “her refined faculties surprise, by means of
the secrets of language, the secrets of the soul.” Sometimes her verses
are full of tender melancholy, at others they are penetrated with gentle
irony, and now and again they reflect the innocent hilarity of
childhood. As one of Rosalia’s own countrywomen has said, “If her tears
are softened by smiles, her smiles in their turn are tempered by tears,
and the one and the other are mingled to the sound of the _gaita_.”[205]

By virtue of her selection and her delicate talent, Rosalia purged the
Gallegan tongue of certain prosaic vulgarities which her precursor, the
Cura de Fruime, and one or two of that poet’s contemporaries, had
allowed to creep into it, and so her name has come to stand as a symbol
of the renaissance of Galicia’s poetry, and she will always be regarded
as the first poet to open a new era in the annals of her native
province.[206] So far no other Gallegan poet of the nineteenth or
twentieth centuries has approached Rosalia in individuality. Clear and
distinct her poetic personality stands out from amongst all the rest;
she has given the impulse, and others are already following in the path
her genius has so clearly indicated, and a literary movement has been
set on foot which may possibly terminate in a third Golden Age for

Is it necessary for the complete nationalisation of France that the
language of Provence should die? Is it indispensable for the welfare of
Belgium that the Flemish tongue should disappear? Must Great Britain
drive her Welshmen to Patagonia if she hears them speak the language of
their fathers? No; a thousand times, no. It is base and cowardly to fear
a language. Rather, it is the bounden duty of Civilisation to do all in
her power to preserve every tongue which has produced a literature. If
we destroy individuality, we weaken nationality at the same time. It was
during the war with Napoleon that the Gallegan spirit began to awake
once more. Local writers made great efforts in the year 1808 to arouse
the dormant patriotism of their province;[207] it was in 1813 that a
native of Galicia living in London published a pamphlet, “_Os rogos d’un
Gallago_,” addressed to his Gallegan compatriots with the intention of
stirring them to action. When Ferdinand came to the throne the awakening
country fell back into its former apathy, and progress was once more at
a standstill. When Maria Christina succeeded Ferdinand, the dry bones
again began to stir; and more books appeared in the Gallegan dialect,
but matters moved very slowly. It was not till the year 1863 that
Rosalia Castro published her first volume of poetry, _Cantares



     A walled city--Beautiful views--A _Casa de
     Huespedes_--Chocolate--Partridges and trout--Bearing the
     cold--Rainy months--Damp in the air--The university--The medical
     college--The modern university building--Treasures of the
     library--The most ancient writing preserved in Spain--The
     reading-room--The natural history museum--Government of the
     university--Pharmacy--Cases of accidental poisoning--Unruly
     students--_Capilla de las Animas_--The Alameda--_Santa Susana_--The
     finest view of Santiago--A church of refuge--_San Felix de
     Solovio_--The Plaza de Alonso XII.--The Pepys of Galicia--A bull
     fight--Fountains--Water-carriers--A Gallegan wedding--The
     Carnival--A superfluity of chimneys--The nuns of San Payo--The
     Convent of Santa Clara--A private museum--Señor Cicerons’
     collection of coins--His valuable torques--The use of torques--The
     Dublin collection--Prehistoric gold jewellery--Iberian inscriptions

The name of Santiago has been given to one of the judicial departments
of the province of Coruña, which contains ninety-nine parishes, with a
total population of nearly eighty-two thousand souls. The town of
Santiago de Compostela has a population of about twenty-five thousand,
just about half that of Coruña; it is still the seat of an archbishopric
and a university town; it has never been without an archbishop since the
year 1120. In the Middle Ages Santiago was a walled city, but the walls
have almost entirely disappeared, and the houses now cover the hill and
even spread down its steep slopes into the surrounding valley. As we
have seen, the hill on which Santiago stands was covered with pine trees
until the discovery of the Apostle’s tomb in the ninth century, and the
cathedral, built upon the spot where the tomb was found, is practically
the centre and heart of the town, which, as far as its situation is
concerned, might well be called the Perugia of Spain. All round it are
beautiful valleys, covered, summer and winter alike, with verdant green;
and encircling the valleys are picturesque mountains, spurs of the
Pyrenees, between whose peaks other vistas open out, so that on clear
days the eye can travel as far as it will, over hill and dale, for many
a mile. Like Perugia, Santiago has beautiful views on every side, and
its air is mountain air. Here automobiles have preceded railways, just
as in Siberia railways have preceded roads. There is no railway between
Coruña and Santiago, and until 1906 the only means of transport were
hired carriages and a coach drawn by six horses. The coach does the
journey in seven hours, but now there is a regular service of motor cars
which take you there in less than four hours. The road, which passes
through the little town of Ordenes, is good, and the scenery fine; it is
practically uphill all the way, for Coruña is on the sea-level, while
Santiago is perched on a hill at a height of 500 feet, and surrounded by
mountains. In winter Santiago is many degrees colder than Coruña, while
in summer it is very much cooler. Although the days of pilgrimages to
the sepulchre of St. James are practically over, the hotels and
boarding-houses are always full of Spanish travellers during the summer

We stayed at a _Casa de Huespedes_ which was famed for its liberal table
and good cooking, and where some forty students from the university and
a number of commercial travellers sat down to dinner every day. The
mistress of the house superintended the cooking, while the master
himself waited on the guests. Every one was well cared for, and all were
satisfied. I never heard a complaint during the three months that I was
there. I am sorry to say that the good lady died a short time after our
departure, at the early age of forty-two. For breakfast most of the
guests took a small cup of boiling-hot chocolate, so thick that a spoon
would stand up in it, and into this they dipped their bread or biscuit,
finishing up with a glass of cold milk, which was always served with
chocolate. A popular proverb referring to Santiago, says, “Where there
are many canons, there is the best chocolate.” And Santiago is indeed
famous for its chocolate.

During the months of January and February we dined and supped, at least
five days out of seven, upon plump partridges and delicately flavoured
trout. Both were cooked in oil, and the fish was invariably served after
the meat, according to the Spanish custom. Local red wine was liberally
supplied with every meal, and _olla podrida_ took the place of the
partridges on Fridays. Butter we never saw, except on one occasion when
we had asked for that luxury. We took care not to repeat the request.

There are no fireplaces in the houses of Santiago. Sometimes, when snow
was falling and it was freezing hard, the students would gather round a
charcoal brazier while waiting for their dinner, but most of us, fearing
the headachy effects of charcoal fumes, kept away from them, contenting
ourselves with foot warmers and double clothing. The amount of clothing
one can bear in a stone house without a fire in the middle of January is
wonderful. One lady told me she seldom went out in cold weather on
account of the weight of her clothes. Spaniards bear cold very well, and
I think they must be healthier than people who sit all the winter in
heated rooms. The men are great smokers, and, as Ford remarked, more
smoke issues from labial than from house chimneys.

January and February are rainy months as a rule, and as there is not
much sun, the washerwomen do as little laundry work as possible till
March, when they can spread their linen on the green hillsides and get
it bleached to a spotless white by the strong sunshine. In early spring,
mountain mists cover the town for days together, and at such times it is
useless to hang anything out to dry, for the water refuses to evaporate.
I tried for four days in succession to dry a hand towel, and found it
damper on the fourth day than on the first, in spite of the fact that
the sun shone brightly each day.

Santiago University draws students from all parts of Spain, but mostly
from Galicia and the neighbouring provinces. The youths who come from
Andalusia do little work and much talking. I found their gaiety quite
entertaining, but a cynical Gallegan informed me that if you cut out
their tongues there would be nothing left! The Basque students are very
quiet, sober, and plodding, and their general character is much more
reliable than that of the southerners: they are the Scotch of Spain.

The present University was founded in 1582 by Archbishop Fonseca, but,
before that date, the town possessed several important colleges, chiefly
for the study of theology and letters, and these institutions produced
many noted men. Murguia reminds us that the two Bernardos and Don Pedro
Muñez, named the _nigromantico_ for his great learning, were all
educated at the _Colegiata de Sar_, and that the _Estudio Viejo_ was the
real beginning of the University; it lacked only the Law Faculty. There
are only three other universities in Spain that have a Faculty for
Pharmacy, namely, Barcelona, Granada, and Madrid. The Faculties of Law
and Medicine were not established at Santiago till the year 1648. In
1772, in consequence of reforms introduced in the reign of Charles III.,
the number of professors was raised to thirty-three, but this university
has passed through many vicissitudes. Sanchez tells a woful tale of
colleges opened and colleges closed. “A few years ago,” he wrote, in
1885, “we had six Theological Faculties at Compostela, besides
Philosophy, Letters, Sciences, Law, Medicine, and Pharmacy, but now, in
spite of an imperative need for a fully-equipped centre of learning, our
Faculties are reduced to three.”

The priests’ colleges wished at first to have the university under their
control, but the lay professors objected, and there was a good deal of
dispute, until at length the university shook itself free from the
Church in 1769; its professors at that period were world-famed. Bedoza
lectured there on Anatomy and Lorenzo Montes on Medicine.[208]

The Medical College of Fonseca, with its interesting Renaissance façade,
was founded by Archbishop Fonseca in 1544, above the foundations of the
house in which he was born. Its elegant Renaissance façade consists of
two storeys with four handsome fluted columns; between the columns are
Gothic statues, resting on brackets, and _templetes_ (miniature
temples). Between the lower and upper columns are six beautifully
sculptured Gothic statues in arched niches, and beneath the central
window of the upper storey is an escutcheon with the armorial bearings
of the Fonseca family. The two lowest statues on either side of the
entrance represent the Virgin and Child, and St. Maurus the hermit.
Sanchez tells us that until about the middle of the nineteenth century a
lamp burned in front of the former, and poor pilgrims were wont to
deposit before the two statues ears of corn and other simple offerings.
Passing through the doorway we find ourselves in a square vestibule with
richly ribbed Gothic vaulting; the door to our right leads to a pretty
little college chapel, with lofty Gothic vaulting. The reredos behind
the chief altar has its niches filled with sculptured statues, all of
unpainted chestnut wood. It is a beautiful old college, with a very fine
cloister much after the style of our Oxford and Cambridge colleges of
the same date, but which has now, like the whole interior, a dirty,
abandoned appearance. A long inscription, stating by whom and when the
college was built, runs round the cornice between the two storeys of the
cloister; it begins on the western side, and concludes with the
following hexameters:--

    “Nunc magis atque magis Gallæcia fulget alumno,
     Qui dedit hunc patriæ tantum generosus honorem.
     Sanctius ipse Lupus propria de stirpe creatus,
     Ut musis gratum faceret, tenebrasque fulgaret,
     Omnibus hoc breviter complevit amabile munus,
     Quo populus merito, proceres et concio tota
     Innumeras tanto grates pro lumine reddunt.”

For many years the spacious dining-hall, with the handsome carved
ceiling, was used as a dissecting-room, but now that branch of study is
carried on elsewhere, and the medical students do most of their work at
the _Hospital Real_. Yet in spite of the absolutely neglected appearance
of this college, the porter informed me that three hundred students work
there every day. Over the general staircase there is a ceiling covered
with _mudijar_ work (stalactite woodwork), the only example of its kind
in Santiago. Behind the building are some picturesque but neglected
Botanical Gardens for the use of the students.

The modern university building, which was designed by José Machado, is
entirely of granite, and looks very important with its sculptured
pediment supported by four Ionic columns, and its triple flight of
steps. It has three storeys and a handsome marble staircase, and a
central patio in which there stands a great two-faced clock, on a
pedestal so tall that it can only be reached by a long ladder, and is
therefore seldom wound up and not to be trusted. On the ground floor
there are six spacious and well-lighted lecture halls, but the finest
thing in the University is its splendid Library of more than seventy
thousand printed volumes and some six hundred manuscripts, many of them
“the sweepings of convents.” The books are arranged in cases, with wire
in place of glass, round a spacious reading-room that will accommodate a
hundred readers. Over the entrance is written--

    “Deum domus alma silescit.”

In glass cases, placed in the centre of the reading-room, are some
highly-prized literary treasures; among which I saw a beautifully
preserved Commentary on Dante’s _Inferno_, by Landino, published at
Florence, and bearing the date 1485; also an illustrated volume
published by Schectel and Hartmann at Nuremberg in 1493, and other fine
specimens of early printing. I also saw and handled an illuminated
_Diurno_ or Book of Daily Prayer that had belonged to Ferdinand I., and
bore the date 1055; in it I saw a miniature in which the copyist is
presenting the book to the king and queen; all the capitals are
illuminated, and all different. There is also some eleventh century
musical notation in it, the notes are represented by dots
(pentagrammic) over the words, and without any lines. The book itself
tells us that it was written by Pedro and painted by Fructuoso. In the
opinion of M. Macìus Férotin,[209] this _Diurno_ is the most precious
document in the university of Compostela; its chronology, written in
gold letters, fixes the chronology of the last three kings of Leon.
Férotin thinks that the lines in honour of King Bermudo III. were
dictated by the queen herself. Bermudo died in battle. Sanchez believed
this treasure to have been among the “sweepings” of the monastery of
_San Martin Pinario_. A beautifully bound volume of the writings of St.
Thomas Aquinas, with an exquisitely stamped leather cover, was also
shown to me. In another case I found what is said to be one of the
oldest, if not the very oldest, specimens of handwriting in Spain--a bit
of brown parchment about eight inches long and four deep, representing a
bill of sale of a little village called Nogueira, near Lalin. The date
on it is Era 826 (A.D. 788), and the language used is Latin: it is from
the great monastery of Carboeiro, in the province of Pontevedra. Another
document was shown to me bearing the date 1504, it was the last will and
testament of Don Alfonso de Fonseca, the founder of the university.
Another parchment bore the seal of Alfonso VII.; this was a charter
conferring certain privileges on a monastery. There were also two
manuscript Bibles of the fifteenth century, written and illuminated by
monks of the neighbouring convents; the text was in Latin, the pages
were like silk, and the colours wonderfully preserved.

The librarian, Señor B----, took me into his private room, adjoining the
Library, to see the flag that was carried by the Santiago students, who,
to the number of twelve thousand, formed themselves together into a
volunteer battalion, and fell defending Galicia against the troops of
Napoleon in 1808. The student chosen by his companions as their leader,
Don José Ramon Rodil, became in later years both Minister of War and
President of the Ministerial Council. In honour of his services, his
country raised him to the rank of a marquis. Aguiar, writing in 1836,
waxed eloquent over the heroes of Santiago university. “The University
of Santiago,” he wrote, “has given us three Ministers for our
Government, and four Generals for our Army, all from its battalion of
student cadets who immortalised themselves in the defence of our
country.” On another wall was the portrait of Don Diego de Muros, and
that of Filippo de Castro, a famous Gallegan sculptor of whom we shall
have occasion to speak again later on. There was also a portrait of
Emmanuel Bonaventuræ Figueroa, who founded the Library, and left estates
the revenues of which were to be employed in starting all his
descendants in life: if men, they are entitled to a university education
or a share in some business; if women, to a dowry! What a fine old
fellow he must have been. I hear that his estates have increased in
value, and the librarian told me that quite poor people keep
unexpectedly turning up and claiming relationship--even a nephew seven
times removed can claim his share. Another portrait was that of
Archbishop Fonseca, whose Will I had seen in the glass case.

The Reading Room is divided into two by a passage, and one half of it is
reserved for distinguished readers who might not care to sit among the
general public; the other is open to the students and to the public
during the hours of daylight. The books round the walls are all arranged
according to their size, in order to economise space; each volume is
numbered, and by means of a corresponding card it may be easily found by
the attendant. The method is similar to that adopted by our Geographical
Society, boxes of cards taking the place of catalogue volumes. A subject
catalogue is in course of preparation, and Señor B---- is determined
that no pains shall be spared to make the Library one of the most
perfect of its kind. Underneath the Reading Room is another room of the
same size, also lined with books; its ceiling and bookcases are
decorated with the white-and-gold Louis XVI. decorations that once
adorned the monastic library of San Martin Pinario, and many of its most
precious volumes have come from the same place; others were bequeathed
by private collectors.

Every department of this university is being energetically overhauled
and rearranged, so that it may be quite up to date, but a melancholy
mistake made by the architect in planning the Natural History Museum
cannot, unfortunately, be rectified. Wishing to give plenty of room for
the cases containing stuffed animals, birds, and such like, he built it
in a square, with an open space reaching from the ground floor to the
roof of the building, and covered the walls with glass cases which could
be reached by two spiral iron staircases, and a gallery running round on
a level with each floor. The result is that the glass cases not
immediately on a level with the galleries are utterly useless, for they
cannot be reached without the help of a long ladder and a climb to a
dizzy height! The student who could study specimens under these
difficulties must be endowed with considerable nerve. To walk round the
top gallery and look down was enough to make me feel giddy. I found
Professor Varela, a naturalist newly arrived from Madrid, busy
rearranging the specimens. He was a comparative stranger to Galicia, and
had a hard task before him. I pitied him for having such a stupidly
constructed museum, and wondered how he would eventually utilise all
those inaccessible glass cases. Professor Varela showed me a valuable
collection of the many kinds of wood to be found in Galicia, but
lamented over the ridiculous mistake that had been made in polishing and
varnishing each block, instead of leaving them in their natural state.
He also attracted my attention to an interesting collection of skulls
from Mindanao, the largest of the Philippine Islands, which he was
engaged in measuring. He had already discovered that they belonged to
two distinct races: his measuring instrument was a simple compass, which
he preferred to any of the recent inventions. He spoke of the wonderful
influence that climate has upon the shape of the human skull, and of the
short time it had taken for the skulls of Anglo-Saxons of North America
to become quite different from that of the Anglo-Saxons in Britain.
Professor Varela hopes eventually to devote a large section of his
museum to local specimens.

The University of Santiago is under the management of a _Rector_ and a
General Secretary, assisted by thirty-eight professors and from forty to
fifty assistant professors, all of whom have taken their Doctor’s degree
at Madrid. In all the larger town there are _Institutos_ or Grammar
Schools, which take boys at the age of ten and prepare them for the
university, which they enter at the age of seventeen. The official
course lasts six years, but it is not obligatory. Those who pass the
examination at the end of their six years become _Licenciados_, they
then have to put in a year at the Madrid university if they wish to
obtain their Doctor’s degree. The Academic year begins about October
9th, and ends about May 20th, this is called the _Calendario_. The
vacations, including Sundays, Feast Days, and local Holidays, cover
seventy days of the year. The Law Faculty has its own library of legal
literature quite separate from the general library.

As I have said, Santiago is one of the four Spanish universities which
have a Faculty for pharmacy. In Spain, all chemists, until 1907, had to
be university men, and no man, however thoroughly he might have studied
his subject, was allowed to open a chemist’s shop and dispense medicines
if he had not passed through the university. This arrangement had
deplorable results, for chemists’ assistants and druggists who wished to
open chemists’ shops on their own account took to bribing university men
to allow their names to be put up above the shops. In such cases, if any
one was accidentally poisoned through a mistake on the part of the
dispenser, the university chemist whose name was over the shop had to
bear all the responsibility. At length the Spanish public became alarmed
at the idea that the men who dispensed for them would get off scot-free
no matter how many people they poisoned, and as the result of a general
agitation the Government issued a proclamation on 7th April 1907, that,
in future, chemists’ assistants who had practised for a certain period,
I think three years, should be eligible as candidates for a chemists’
diploma. This reform was a most necessary and rational one, and all the
university chemists rejoiced that they would no longer be liable when
their assistants poisoned their customers by mistake; but the silly
young students looked at the matter from a different standpoint. Longing
to find an excuse for a riot, they persuaded themselves that by allowing
chemists’ assistants to gain diplomas without having passed through the
university the Government had grievously insulted that venerable
institution. Accordingly, at eleven o’clock in the morning they poured
forth into the streets of Santiago in unruly crowds, hooting and
shouting and leaping in the air. Drawn to my window by their hissing and
hooting, I saw some two hundred of them pass down the street in the
wildest state of excitement, while the townspeople watched them from
their balconies and smiled at their folly.

Besides the important edifices to which I have devoted several of my
earlier chapters, Santiago possesses a good many interesting churches,
and is rich in convents for women, which also deserve a brief notice.
The _Capilla de Las Animas_ is a church dedicated to prayer for souls
passing through purgatory; it was built towards the end of the
eighteenth century, and is in the Greco-Roman style. Four tall Doric
columns support its pediment, which is crowned with a cross and a statue
of an adoring angel on either side. But the most striking thing about
this façade is the alto-relief group of souls wrapt in purgatorial
flames above the entrance. The interior of this church is lined with
remarkable alto-relief, life-size, brightly painted wooden figures in
groups, representing the principal scenes connected with the
Crucifixion. They are the work of Prado, a Gallegan sculptor. This
church has always had immense attractions for pilgrims, both rich and
poor. More masses are said there than in any church in the town except
the Cathedral; they begin at five in winter and at four in summer. Close
to the church is the _Plaza de Cervantes_, with a bust of the author of
_Don Quixote_ on a column above a fountain from which hundreds of women
and girls come to fill their buckets every morning. To the east is the
little church of _San Benito_, now considered to be the oldest in
Santiago, which has recently been restored under the auspices of a
clever archæologist.

Santiago has a pleasant Alameda lined with four rows of camellias and
many fine trees. Here a band plays on fine afternoons, and here the
ladies of the town, who seldom appear in the streets before four in the
afternoon, may be seen sauntering under enormous hats. I had been three
weeks in Santiago before I saw a woman in a hat, for the ladies who go
to early Mass always appeared in black mantillas, and the poor women
wore handkerchiefs. The Alameda winds round a hill planted with oak
trees, in the centre of which stands a tiny church, _Santa Susana_. The
original edifice was built by Gelmirez in 1105, and bore the name of
_Santo Sepulcro_ until the remains of Santa Susana were brought to
Santiago from Braga three years later. Santa Susana is one of the patron
saints of Santiago. Sanchez states that the present portico of the
church is the one built by Gelmirez, and that some of the arches also
date from his day; but as it was always closed when I tried to enter it
I can give no opinion. The finest view obtainable of Santiago and its
Cathedral is from this Alameda, and no visitor should miss it.

Another little church that interested me was that of _Santa Maria
Salomé_, in the Rua Nueva, named after the Mother of St. James the
Greater. As Sanchez has remarked, “its portico attracts the attention of
intelligent persons”; it is a quaint, Romanesque portico, of which the
central arch is Gothic, covering a part of the footway and forming a
useful shelter to foot passengers on a rainy day. The arch above the
entrance to the church is semicircular, and supported on two columns
with richly sculptured capitals. The statue of the Virgin seated on a
throne, with a crown on her head and the Child Jesus in her arms, is
also worthy of attention. Just above it is a row of remarkable corbels.
On either side of the entrance there are two quaint statues, one is the
angel Gabriel, and the other the Virgin receiving his message. In one
of the triangles of the arch is the inscription _Iglesia reservada para
refugio_. At one time all the churches of Santiago were churches of
refuge, but in the eighteenth century an outcry was raised because they
harboured too many criminals, and the result was that eventually only
the church of Maria Salomé was allowed to be used as a refuge. In the
present day the whole custom has been quite done away with. The church
dates from the twelfth, and its portico from the end of the fifteenth

Another small church of considerable antiquity is that of _San Felix de
Solovio_, or, as the Gallegans call it, _San Fins de Lovio_. Sanchez
thought this edifice older than San Benito; in fact he speaks of it as
the oldest church in Santiago. The truth is that it was built on the
ruins of an older church of the same name, which had been reduced to
ashes by Almanzor and his followers. The present edifice has a graceful
entrance, with four Byzantine columns supporting its two arches, the
interior of which is in the shape of a horse-shoe, while the outer one
is semicircular and decorated with diminutive arches also of the
horse-shoe form; the whole being a curious mixture of the Romanesque and
the Arabic styles. In the church, in a niche in the southern nave, is a
sculptured group representing the Adoration of the Magi, which, like the
entrance, dates from the twelfth century; it is quite Byzantine. The
whole building underwent restoration at the beginning of the eighteenth

I have already alluded to the fine Square called _Plaza de Alonso XII._,
of which the façade of the _Hospital Real_ and the Churrigueresque
façade of the cathedral form two sides. Its other two sides are formed
by the handsome _Consistorio_, which faces the Cathedral, and the façade
of the _Colegio de San Jerónimo_. This last-named building dates from
the first or second decade of the sixteenth century, and its striking
façade is a mixture of the Romanesque and the Græco-Roman styles. At
present the principal entrance is in the _Calle del Franco_, not far
from that of the adjoining _Colegio de Fonseca_, and it is used as a
normal school for boys, but it was formerly a college for poor students.
An inscription on the southern wall of the Doric cloister tells us that
in the year 1652 the ancient college of San Gerónimo (St. Jerome) was
moved to this building. That was at the time when the monks of _San
Martin Pinario_ were buying up the buildings round their monastery in
order that the latter might be enlarged.

When Philip II. was negotiating with England for the hand of our Queen
Mary, he awaited in Santiago the return of his ambassadors, and was
entertained at the _Hospital Real_ in the suite of rooms set apart for
the reception of royalty. A curious account of Philip’s visit has just
come to light in the pages of a diary kept by a village priest of that
period. The document was accidentally discovered in a country rectory
and handed to Dr. Eladio Oviedo, who, it is to be hoped, will shortly
publish it, with valuable annotations. The writer, Amaro Gonzalez, was a
_cura_ of Carril, in Galicia, and his entries in his diary remind us of
those of Pepys. “In the year of our Lord fifteen hundred and
fifty-four,” he writes, “on the twenty-second of June, King Philip
entered the city of Santiago....” and he goes on to tell how on the
following day the whole company attended Mass in the Cathedral, and how,
after dinner, they were entertained by a bull fight in the _Plaza de
Alonso XII._, the King watching from one of the lower windows of the
Hospital. Three days later the Royal party embarked at Coruña and set
sail for England with a great fleet.[210] In an earlier entry he tells
how “a corsair coming from England, under the command of Drake, did much
damage,” which he says he cannot attempt to describe. “Drake came with
seventy ships, I believe he wants to intercept the king’s ships that are
coming with gold from America.” And later on he writes: “An Armada is
being fitted out against Lutheran England and against that Lutheran ----
Isabel” (our good Queen Bess!). The word he uses is too insulting to be
translated. In another place he describes a very hard winter, followed
by a remarkably cold summer, “so cold that in the hottest days of the
year it was too cold to walk to church.” He adds naïvely that all the
things he writes about happened in his own days, and, as it were, before
his very eyes, and that he writes them down because (unlike Pepys) he
thinks their perusal will give pleasure to those who come after him, and
he begs the Rectors who succeed him to continue the diary, “because, as
wise men have pointed out, written records keep the memory of the past
fresh before us, and connect the days that are gone with the actual
present.” In the year 1586 he records the arrival at the little town of
Rianjo of an Irish bishop, “a man of about forty-five years of age, good
looking, and very devout, he came, on behalf of the Archbishop, to
confirm and visit in his name, because the Archbishop of Santiago, Don
Alonso Velazquez, had renounced his office on account of illness. The
bishop confirmed many in these parts, both young and old; his name was
Don Tomas (Thomas), he had fled from his Irish bishopric, in company
with many others, through fear of the Lutherans.”

Santiago is particularly rich in fountains; we might almost say there is
one at the end of every street, and as there is no other water supply,
all the water used in the houses has to be fetched in buckets on the
heads of women employed for the purpose. My hostess, having a large
household, kept a servant whose whole duty consisted in fetching water
from the fountain; during the winter she fetched about fifty buckets a
day, but in hot summer weather she often fetches as many as seventy. The
grace and ease with which these handsome girls balanced their buckets
upon their heads, without the aid of their hands, called forth my
unceasing admiration throughout my stay in Galicia. I never tired of
watching them as they passed along the narrow, uneven, and badly paved
streets, with their rapid and swinging gait; it was an art they had
learned in their babyhood. Women going and coming from the market make
use of their heads, where their husbands and brothers would of their
shoulders. If a girl has the smallest parcel to carry, up it goes to her
head, and her hands are left free. It would be difficult for me to say
what movables I have not seen upon the head of a Gallegan woman. I have
seen there every object imaginable, from a table to a child’s coffin.
When a fire breaks out in a Gallegan town, the women water-carriers are
among the first on the scene. There was a fire at Pontevedra a few days
before my arrival there, and it was entirely due to the energy and
spirit of the water-carriers that half of the burning house was saved,
and the fire prevented from spreading; these girls, as my friends who
looked on afterwards related to me, not only fetched water in their
buckets, but poured it on the flames like veritable firemen.

In February a party of well-to-do Gallegan peasants came to stay for a
few days at our _Casa de Huespedes_, in order that a wedding, which was
to take place between their two families, might be celebrated in the
Cathedral. The wedding took place on a Sunday, and I gladly accepted an
invitation to be present at the ceremony. The whole party walked to the
church, the streets in that part being too narrow for carriages. The
bride, who wore her hair in a simple plait down her back, as is
customary in Galicia, was neatly dressed in black, with a simple blue
silk handkerchief over her head; her sisters wore coloured dresses and
blue handkerchiefs. It is the custom throughout Spain for women of the
better classes to wear black on most important occasions, secular as
well as religious, but among the upper classes a bride is usually
dressed in white as in other European countries. The bridegroom had on a
neat black suit and brown shoes. It was a very simple ceremony,
performed in a small side chapel. When the priest had asked the consent,
first of the woman and then of the man, the couple exchanged rings. As
the bridegroom handed his ring to the bride the priest passed him a tray
on which were piled thirteen[211] silver dollars, and motioned to him to
hand that also to the bride. The priest then told the bride to wrap the
coins in her handkerchief and put them in her pocket, which she did. The
whole service was much shorter than it is with us. After it was over the
wedding party joined in the Mass which was being said in one of the
larger chapels, and then returned to partake of the wedding breakfast.

During the carnival a band of musicians paraded the town in garments of
many colours, decked out with streaming ribbons; and in spite of pelting
rain a large crowd of men, women, and children followed them, mostly
under umbrellas. People came in from all the neighbouring villages, and
among them were peasants wearing straw hats and capes, _capas de junco_,
which I have described elsewhere as very like those that are worn by
Japanese peasants who work during rainy weather in the rice-fields.

My windows looked out upon the high and sombre wall which enclosed the
women’s convent of San Payo. Curious to see beyond that wall, I ascended
into the attics and looked down upon it from the highest window in the
house, but even then I could see nothing but the garden wall, a foot and
a half in breadth. San Payo was originally a monastery founded by King
Castro on the occasion of his pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James in
813, and dedicated to St. Peter. As it faced the altar of the cathedral
it received the name of _San Pedro de Autealtares_. Its first inmates
were the holy Abbot Ildefrede and his monks, to whom had been entrusted
the care of the Apostle’s sepulchre. St. Pedro de Mozonzo was its Abbot
between 974 and 988, and for several centuries after that its abbots
and monks were honoured and respected all over Galicia. The present
building dates from the last years of the seventeenth century; its
church was consecrated in the year 1707. Sanchez devotes pages to a
description of the interior of this edifice, and of the marble _ara_
supposed to have stood upon the original sepulchre of St. James, but the
convent itself, which now encloses women, interested me far more. From
the attic window I had noted its superfluity of chimneys, and I
afterwards learned that when the building became a nunnery it was
inhabited by nuns from rich families, and that each had her own servant
and her own kitchen, until the archbishop, looking into the matter,
decided that one kitchen ought to be enough for them all, and that the
nuns ought to wait upon themselves. I was allowed to enter the great
door, and ascend the broad flight of steps to the wooden window where
visitors are allowed on certain days to speak with, but not to see, the
nuns, and on the landing I met the priest whose duty it was to minister
to their spiritual wants. After a little conversation, I asked him how
the nuns who had grown old in the convent managed without servants. He
smiled at my question, and replied that the younger nuns waited on the
older ones and did the housework for them. “But,” I persisted, “they
must all grow old in time?” To which he answered that new ones were
continually entering the convent and taking the place of the old ones.
Only three men ever enter those doors, the priest, the sacristan of the
conventual church, and the carpenter who nails the dead nuns into their
coffins and carries them out. There is a legend among the townspeople to
the effect that, a long time ago, one of the more youthful of the nuns,
getting heartily tired of her life of seclusion within those gloomy
walls, let herself down, by a rope made of twisted sheets, from one of
the windows into the Quintana, or what is now the _Plaza de los
Literarios_, intending to escape with a lover who had won her heart
before she had taken the veil; but she inadvertently hung herself, and
remained suspended till her corpse was discovered the following day. I
often thought of that story when I looked up at those high, prison-like
windows, and also of the report that there must be rats in the disused
kitchens “as large as men.” At six o’clock every evening I used to hear
the bells of St. Payo (or Pelayo) summoning the nuns to Mass, and so
close they sounded it seemed almost as if they were pealing for me as

Santiago is rich in fortress-like convents for women. On the road to
Coruña, in a street of the same name, is situated the convent of Santa
Clara, founded in 1260 by Queen Violante, the wife of Alfonso el Sabio
(the royal _trovador_), but its present construction only dates from the
latter years of the sixteenth century, and the façade of its church is
the work of the eighteenth century, and extremely ugly. In this church
there is an elegant Gothic pulpit, which attracts the attention of
visitors, and the tomb of the Abbess Isabel of Granada, who is reputed
to have been a granddaughter of the Moorish warrior Boabdil, the last
Mohammedan king of Granada. There is another theory to the effect that
she was a granddaughter of Abul Hasan Ali, whose son Naser (her father)
entered the Catholic Church, and received the baptismal name of Juan de

Opposite the convent of Santa Clara is the convent of (barefooted)
Carmelite Nuns, established in the eighteenth century; it has a large
church called _La Virgen del Carmen_. Close by is the _Hospital de San
Roque_, established in 1577 for the treatment of venereal diseases; it
has attached to it a modern penitentiary. The hospital was rebuilt in
1818 with funds bequeathed for the purpose by a wealthy merchant of
Villagarcia. Patients come to this hospital from all parts of the

Santiago possesses a very small Archæological Museum in the _Sociedad
Economica_, or School of Art, which is a modern building in the street
of San Clements, facing the Alameda. Here are stored some old statues
thought to have once decorated the original façades of the cathedral,
one of which represents King David, and is brightly coloured. Here also
is preserved the great statue of Minerva, which once stood above the
columns of the university façade.

Remembering the valuable and interesting private museums I had
discovered in some of the remotest of the Russian towns, I inquired if
there were no private collections in Santiago. “Yes, we have one,” was
the reply, “it is in the house of Señor Ricardo Blanco Ciceron”; and
through the kindness of Señor Cabeza Leon I soon received an invitation
from Señor Ciceron to inspect the treasures which he had gathered
together during some forty years. Señor Ciceron is a wealthy Santiago
merchant, his comfortable house is filled with antique furniture and
other _objêts d’art_, but besides these he has a couple of rooms filled
with curios of every description and of every period of Galicia’s
history. Here I saw some fine specimens of Roman mosaic, Roman pottery,
and Roman metal work. I was struck with a beautifully preserved glass
vase, which had been discovered in a brick-tomb three feet beneath the
surface of the ground, by railway navvies, near Astorga. But the real
value of this museum lies in the collections of ancient coins, and the
collection of _torques_. Among the coins I saw a great many Phœnician,
and a still larger number of Visigothic coins (very small, and as thin
as wafers). Numismatologists tell us it is an ascertained fact that the
Carthaginians did not begin to mint for themselves until three or four
years later than their Greek neighbours.[212] Dr. Macdonald remarks that
among the ancients themselves there was a difference of opinion as to
where the first coins were struck. Herodotus thought that the Lydians
were the first people to strike and use gold and silver coins. There
seems to be no proof that they were in circulation earlier than 700
B.C.[213] Before the introduction of a metallic standard the universal
unit of value was the ox, and it is the opinion of some students that
when the primitive system of currency was superseded by a metallic one,
a picture of the article that had formerly served as money was very
naturally impressed upon the coins. There have been found in Galicia a
number of coins with an ox or other animal represented.

Among the Celtiberic coins I noticed one on which was depicted a man on
a galloping horse; on its reverse was the head of a man wearing a
helmet. There were also a goodly number of Roman coins from the time of
Augustus to that of Nero. All these had been coined at Rome, but we have
already seen that several of the Roman colonies in Galicia were
permitted to strike their own money until about the middle of the first
century A.D., when the privilege was withdrawn both from Gaul and Spain.

It seems very probable that long before coins were current in Galicia
the natives used their jewellery as money. Señor Ciceron is the happy
possessor of the finest collection of golden torques in existence, and
every one of these was dug up in Galicia. Their great weight, and the
purity of their metal, indicate that they were used for more purposes
than that of ornament alone.

There are eleven torques in Señor Ciceron’s unique collection, and eight
of them are of gold. That gentleman assured me that he might have had
many more had the little shepherd boys who stumble across them in the
neighbouring hills better understood their value. Some think that these
torques date from the days of the ancient Iberians, and that they were
worn as necklaces by the chiefs of tribes. But their great weight and
their enormous size make me somewhat doubtful of this theory. Some of
them have been pronounced by Señor Villa-Amil to be very like the
Gallo-Roman specimens in the Louvre collection. Those in the Dublin
Museum are much thinner, and altogether less massive. The two in the
_Kunsthistorisches Museum_ at Vienna are yoke-shaped, they are laid one
inside the other; both are silver bordered. It is curious that the
ancient Irish should have had torques of gold so similar to those that
are now being found in Galicia. Joyce tells us that in a legend in the
_Book of Leinster_, Credrie, the great artificer, was drowned _while
bringing golden ore from Spain_; and a poem in the same book speaks of
“torques of gold from foreign lands.”

Geraldus reported in the thirteenth century that the Irish were too idle
to work their own gold mines. “Even gold, of which they require large
quantities, and which they desire so eagerly as to indicate their
Spanish origin, is brought hither by merchants.”[214] Torcs or Muntorcs
(necktorcs) seem to have been much in vogue with the ancient Irish; they
were often mentioned in their literature. Joyce describes them thus:
“The torque was formed of a single square or triangular bar of gold,
from which the metal had been hollowed out along the flat sides, so as
to leave four or three ribbons along the corners, after which it was
twisted into a spiral shape, something like a screw with four or three
threads. There is one in the museum only half made, having three leaves
or ribbons the whole length untwisted....” This writer says of those in
the Dublin Museum, that some are barely the size of the neck, others so
large that when worn they extended over the breast almost to the
shoulders, and he reminds his readers that the Dying Gladiator has a
torque round his neck (a fact first noticed, he says, by Robert Ball,

In various documents of the Middle Ages, preserved in the archives of
Santiago, mention is made of certain gifts made by Royal personages to
the Cathedral under the name of _limace_ or _lunace_. These objects were
usually of gold, and of great value; sometimes they were studded with
pearls and precious stones.[215] Señor Villa-Amil pointed this out to
me when I was in Madrid in the spring of 1907, and said that possibly
these objects, of which all trace seems to have disappeared, were
nothing more nor less than torques. Now I find that besides their
torques the Irish had golden crescents, or neck-circlets, which they
called _munices_, and Mr. Joyce says that the word seems to have applied
to almost every kind of neck ornament; he describes three main types,
and gives illustrations of them, adding that Sir W. Wilde thought some
of them must have been diadems, to be worn on the head. The definition
of the word torque given by Chambers is “a necklace of metal rings
interlaced,” and there is no doubt that the word is derived from the
Latin _torqueo_, to twist. Some of those in Señor Ciceron’s collection
are like thick cord twisted into a rope, but others are not twisted at
all. Señor Villa-Amil has recently been engaged in writing a very full
and learned description of all the torque collections in Spain, and he
begins with the remark that Señor Ciceron’s collection, taken together
with those of the late Señor Arteago, his own, and those of the
Archæological and Historical Museums of Madrid, would form the finest
collection of torques in the world. Many of the objects labelled as
torques in the museums are not torques. Señor Villa-Amil has seen eight
gold ones in the museum at Toulouse, but not one of them can be compared
to those he has mentioned; they look more like work of Louis XIV.’s

Besides his torques, Señor Ciceron has a most valuable collection of
prehistoric gold jewellery, amongst which I saw a deep neckband of solid
gold, some gold beads on a gold thread, a spiral ring, and a wide
bracelet which has no join in it, and must have been hammered out of a
solid lump of the precious metal; experts who have examined it say that
is the only way in which it could have been made. Another curious object
was a necklace formed of hand-made gold fillets, which Señor Ciceron had
bought of some peasants who had found it in the sand of the River Sil,
which has been known to contain grains of gold since the days of Strabo.
Señor Ciceron informed me that he had recently received letters both
from England and America asking if he would be willing to sell his
unique collection, and although he had no intention of parting with his
treasures at the time of my visit, I think it is more than likely that
the torques, at least, will eventually find their way to the United

Amongst other things I saw in this museum were some gold signet rings
with Iberian characters, two very ancient bronze statues, a Mercury; a
Hercules excavated in Galicia; and about twenty sharp bronze hatchets;
also a number of stone arrow-heads. Every age is represented in that
little museum. I was shown Greek crosses; Byzantine pictures; some
Limoges vessels (enamelled) of the sixteenth century; a splendid
collection of French Imperial medals, and a watch made entirely of wood,
from Lugo.

After we had seen everything indoors, Señor Ciceron took me out into his
garden to see some statues that had formed part of one of the original
façades of the Cathedral. He had saved them from some rubbish heap, and
used them to ornament his garden wall.

     _Note._--I have been obliged, from lack of space, to omit two
     chapters describing the monasteries of _San Martin Pinario_, _San
     Lorenzo_, _San Francisco_, and _Santo Domingo_--four remarkable
     relics of the Middle Ages which no visitor to Santiago should fail
     to see.--AUTHOR.



     The pig market--Pigs in every family--Laws relating to pigs and
     goats--Poultry--Oxen--The ancient plough--Gallegan carts--The music
     of the cartwheels--Excellent milk--No dairy
     farms--Horses--Wolves--Foxes--Bears--Hares--Rabbits--Owls and
     bats--Musk-rats--Wild cats--Partridges--Pheasants--Pigeons--Facts
     about sardines--Neither a mackerel nor a herring--Dried cod--Trade
     between Norway and Spain--A heated controversy--The Lamprey--The
     turbot--The oyster--Eels--Cod--Salmon--Red mullet--Trout

One of the most entertaining sights in Santiago is its weekly pig market
in the Alameda. Every Thursday morning, women and boys may be seen
wending their way thither, each with a young pig in their arms, or--if
it is too big to carry--on a string. Every pig so conveyed is a member
of some peasant family; it has grown up amongst the children, and often
slept in the same room. By eleven o’clock most of the pigs have arrived,
and the space allotted to them presents a lively spectacle: a fearful
squeaking and squealing prevails. Proud mother pigs stand surrounded by
enormous litters. I photographed a group of thirty little squeakers, all
wedged tightly together back to back, and then measured a parent pig
with my umbrella. Gallegan pigs are not well bred; their legs are far
too long, the backs of several were exactly the height of my umbrella,
they were like plants that had run to seed, not fat and round like the
English commodity. The Gallegan pig is a melancholy example of the crass
ignorance of the peasants; they invariably kill off those that would
make the best breeders, and _vice versa_. English pigs have, however,
been occasionally imported. On the road to Coruña I once pointed to a
group of pigs, and asked the woman to whom they belonged what she called
them. “_Cerdos_,” she replied; “but in your country you call them
_Chinas_.” She knew something about English pigs, and the word she had
got hold of was our word “Chine,” and corresponded to “porker.” On
another occasion I happened to make a remark to the municipal architect
on Santiago’s wealth of pigs.

“This abundance of pigs is a peculiarity of Santiago,” was the reply.
“You will find it nowhere else; they live amongst us, even in our best
streets; there are two pigs living now in a family on the second floor
in the principal street in the town close to our finest shops; a thin
partition is all that separates them at night from the children’s
bedroom. Our streets are full of pigs; it is dreadful.”

On my mentioning the matter to my hostess, she replied, “Yes, it is
quite true; but we have other animals besides pigs--on the second floor
of the house you can see from your window there are two young goats
being brought up as members of the family.”

But pigs and goats must have been plentiful in the town of Orense as far
back as the first decade of the sixteenth century, for one of that
city’s most erudite archæologists tells us that among the By-Laws of
Orense in the year 1509 he has found the following:--

“That pigs shall not walk in the streets, and that those which are found
doing so shall be given to the poor, and their owners be fined.

“That no one shall keep a female pig in his house, nor in the city. That
no one shall feed any pig in the streets, and that any one may put to
death on the spot persons so doing.

“That no person shall keep sheep or goats in the city. Persons found
guilty shall be exposed to the vengeance of the public in the _picota_
or _pelouryno_ of the city.”[216]

The churches of villages and small towns are carefully surrounded by
walls or fences, enclosing sometimes a churchyard and sometimes merely a
small plot of grass; and, in order that the pigs of the neighbourhood
may not enter that enclosed space by the gate, a trench is kept open in
front of the gate, a kind of diminutive moat about five feet in depth.
On first noticing this arrangement I put it down to quite another cause,
and thought that the “drains were up,” but after a time I began to
consider the phenomenon more closely, as it seemed incredible that
“drains” could explain the presence of so many open trenches. “It is a
custom peculiar to Galicia,” explained a lady resident, “because of the
pigs.” A pig would never jump a trench.

My readers will not be surprised to learn that bacon is an important
staple of food in Galicia. The national broth, _Caldo Gallego_, as
known to the well-to-do, could hardly be made without it, neither could
the _olla podrida_.

    “No hay olla sin tocino
     Ni sermon sin Augustino.”[217]

“In Spain,” says Ford, “pigs are more numerous even than asses, since
they pervade the province.” In parts of Galicia, as in the adjoining
province of Extremadura, pigs are fattened upon mast and acorns, which
are larger than those of English oaks, but in many districts they live
upon chestnuts, which give a very fine flavour to the bacon. “The
acorns,” says Ford, “formed the original diet of the aboriginal Iberian,
as well as of his pigs; when dry, the acorns were ground, say the
classical authors, into bread, and when fresh, they were served up as
the second course. Ladies of high rank constantly ate acorns at the
opera and elsewhere; they were the presents sent by Sancho Panza’s wife
to the Duchess, and formed the text on which Don Quixote preached so
eloquently to the goat-herds, on the joys and innocence of the golden
age and pastoral happiness.”

Poultry and pigs grow up together in the villages. Eggs were sold at the
rate of fivepence a dozen in Santiago a few years ago, but in the last
decade their price and that of chickens has doubled. The villagers send
all their chickens, and everything else they have to sell, to Santiago
for the festival of St. James in July, when the town overflows with
visitors; and as the supply is greater than the demand, living there
becomes very cheap.

The gentle-eyed, long-horned oxen, which take the place of cart-horses,
are another feature both of town and country life in Galicia. In
northern Italy, in the month of November, I have often counted as many
as fourteen and even fifteen pairs of oxen in front of one plough; that
is a sight not met with in Galicia, where I have never seen two pairs of
oxen pulling the same plough; but in Italy they have modern ploughs,
whereas here the plough of Virgil’s day is still in use. It is the
identical plough that we see sculptured on Etruscan tombs, and on the
Celtiberic coins. The ancients used them also as weapons: Pausanius
fought with a plough at Marathon. Hesiod mentions in his _Works and
Days_ the ἀροτρον αὐτογυον, which was a stout piece bent like a
hook, with beams and share beams all in one piece. When driving along
the country roads of Galicia, we used to meet many a ploughman wending
homeward his weary way and carrying his plough upon his shoulder, while
his oxen walked on either side; and I have often seen a couple of
stalwart women engaged in tilling a field, one holding the end of the
long handle of the plough, and the other in front guiding the oxen. Why
has the modern plough not been long since introduced into this corner of
Spain?[218] Are the Gallegan peasants as inimical to improvements in the
plough as our Lancashire weavers were to the spinning jenny? By no
means: the answer is to be found in their ignorance and poverty.

The carts used by the peasants are almost as archaic as the ploughs;
their shape is that of a small boat, and their walnut wheels make a
strange screaming sound as they turn on their walnut axles, which can be
heard at a considerable distance. There is a special word to denote this
sound in the Gallegan language (_v. chirriar_; _n. chirrio_). I examined
the axles of several, and found them twice the thickness of a man’s
wrist and as smooth as satin. This “singing” of the cartwheels is not
allowed in the towns, so the peasants soap the axles when they come into
the streets; but the louder their carts sing in the fields and on the
country roads the better pleased are they, for they believe that the
oxen like the sound and will not work well without it. They also find it
convenient in narrow lanes where there is not room for two carts to pass
each other, because it warns them in good time that they are approaching
each other, and that one must halt or turn back. They say, too, that in
olden days, when the mountains abounded in wolves and bears, the singing
cartwheels frightened and kept them from attacking the oxen and their
drivers. Not only the peasants, but everybody likes to hear the
cartwheels in the quiet summer evenings; it is like the sound of the
scythe in England, and its associations are much the same. Rosalia
Castro speaks of it as one of the things she missed when she went to
live in Castille:

    “Chirrar d’ os carros d’ a Ponte,
       Tristes campanas d’ Herbon,
     Cando vos ozo partidesme
       As cordas d’ a corazon.”

The long horns of the oxen often carried my thoughts to the Highlands of
Scotland. The horns of a couple of them as they stood yoked to a cart in
one of the narrow streets of Santiago would span the entire
thoroughfare, but they never frightened even the smallest child, and
their large, gentle eyes more than counteracted the ferocious appearance
of their horns. They are very strong, and draw loads that would break
the back of many an English cart-horse. In Coruña I saw them drawing a
couple of huge iron pipes many yards in length. Seoane,[219] writing on
the bulls of Galicia, says that these animals were found wild in Central
Europe up to the sixteenth century, and that the Spaniards imported them
into South America, and thus brought into existence the immense herds
now to be found between the Andes and the Atlantic coast, and called
_toros cimarrones_.

The milk of Gallegan cows is excellent, and nothing but their ignorance
prevents the peasants from becoming prosperous dairy farmers. As we have
seen, the breeding of herds of cattle was one of the chief industries of
Galicia in the eighteenth century, and an authority on the subject has
assured me that there is no reason why the finest cattle in the world
should not be produced there. Nature has furnished an abundance of pure
water and an unusually exuberant vegetation, but so great is the
ignorance of the peasants that they actually employ their oxen to draw
the plough before selling them for butcher’s meat. This is why the beef
is so tough.

The horses of Galicia are sorry creatures; they are still in their
primitive state, and have not improved since the days of the Celts. The
typical village horse is badly proportioned, ugly, and absolutely
untrained; its gait is awkward, and, in fact, it is a mere apology for a
horse. Herds of wild horses frequent the mountainous districts; the
males defend the females from the attacks of wild animals, and they
breed their young without any assistance from man--a proof, as Seoane
has observed, that the climate of Galicia is favourable to
horse-breeding. And, going back to classical times, we find that Pliny
has a good deal to say in favour of the horses of Galicia and Asturias.
He says they were much in demand for their powers of resistance and
their velocity, adding, “Their ardour gives them wings to devour space.”
He also speaks highly of their pleasing and gentle trot. Silicus
Italicus mentions the remarkable fecundity of the mares, but Justin is
less enthusiastic.[220] Mules and even asses are preferred by the lower
classes all over Spain to horses--they require less attention and are
more surefooted. “The mule,” says Ford, “performs in Spain the functions
of the camel in the East.” I have spoken in a former chapter of the way
in which the breeding of Gallegan mules has decreased of late years in
Galicia, owing to the free importation of French mules.

Goats are plentiful but poor. I have seen a poor woman come into
Santiago with a couple of live kids tucked under one arm and offer them
for sale to every person she met. On market days in the spring-time
there are always plenty of women with kids to sell. Mountain goats are
rare in Galicia. Deer are also rare.

Wolves were, till quite recently, found all over Galicia, and the
peasants were mortally afraid of them; they live in the mountains,
chiefly of Lugo, Orense, and Tuy; the peasants declare that many of
their dogs are of a mixed parentage, the fathers being wolves, and the
mothers dogs. A wolf never attacks a man unless driven by hunger or in
self-defence. The Gallegan wolves attack the flocks, but seldom come off
as victors when they attack the bulls, on account of the latters’
splendid horns. In 1861, Seoane wrote that wolves came into the Gallegan
villages in the middle of the day to steal chickens, that a case had
occurred of a wolf seizing and carrying off a child that was playing
before a cottage door, and that the combined efforts of all the
villagers were powerless to save the child.

Foxes are very common. When a fox is caught by a peasant, he takes it to
the town officials and receives a reward; he is allowed to keep its tail
and ears.[221] The wild boar is scarce in Galicia--so is the jackal.

Bears are disappearing from the mountains both of Asturias and Galicia,
but they are still to be found in certain wild districts; the _urrus
pyraenaicus_ (Linn.) is still to be met with in Galicia, one was caught
a few miles from Santiago in the year 1848. The bear skins of Galicia
are, however, very inferior to those of the Alps.

Hares are plentiful in the lower slopes of the mountains, and in the
valleys. Great virtue was attributed to the skin of the hare in
antiquity. The Emperor Heliogabulus never sat, we are told, on any seat
that was not covered with one. The Gallegans use them for making hats;
the peasants catch them with traps made of large stones placed in front
of their holes.

Rabbits are also very plentiful,--in fact, there are, as usual, too
many. Spanish naturalists believe that the rabbit originated in Spain
and passed thence to the rest of Europe. They are not found in Sweden or
in any very cold countries. In Pontevedra and Orense rabbits do a great
deal of harm. The Gallegan word for them is _coello_, or _cocullo_.
Pliny says that rabbits did so much harm in the Balearic Islands in the
time of Augustus, that the inhabitants petitioned the Emperor to send
soldiers to assist them in driving them off, and thus prevent a famine.

Owls and bats are plentiful, they frequent the vaults of the churches.
The owls, _rhinolophus_, do not build nests, but make use of holes in
walls; they are called _lechuzas_ or sucklings, because they come out at
night and suck the oil out of the lamps. In the neighbourhood of
Santiago Cathedral they are especially troublesome. Moles are plentiful
in every part, and prove themselves great enemies to agriculture,
perhaps the greatest that the Gallegan peasants have to contend with:
the ancients made hats of their skin, but no use is made of them here.
The musk-rat, _musaraña_ (fetid shrew-mouse), _Ginera sorex_, is also
found in these parts; it has glands along the outside of its stomach,
under its fur, which give out a strong odour of musk. Seoane says these
are the smallest mammals known; some think them poisonous; there are
many fables about them. The Spanish word for musk is _almizcle_; it is
derived from the Arabic.

The common musk-rat, _sorex araneus_ (Linn.), abounds in all parts of
Galicia; and the peasants have an invincible horror of it; they declare
that it is poisonous, and that it bites their cattle and kills them,
though in reality it is much too timid. Cats kill them, but never eat
them on account of their smell. The water rat, _sorex fodum_, is
plentiful on the banks of rivers and lakes; its claws are not joined by
any membrane. Hedgehogs are also numerous; the peasants erroneously
believe that they climb apple and chestnut trees to get the fruit and
nuts. Pliny also had this notion. Hedgehogs swim well, however, if they
do not climb; snakes have a great horror of them. Pliny says that the
ancients used their skins and bristles for carding wool.

Martin Sarmiento says there is a species of cat in Galicia, which, on
account of its size and the colouring of its skin, is called by the
peasants _tigre gallego_. Seoane thinks this must be the common lynx,
which is found in these parts, but very seldom. The wild cat is also
rare; it hunts partridges.

Partridges are extremely plentiful all round Santiago, and during
certain months of the year they form quite a _pièce de résistance_ in
the daily menu.

Pheasants are said to have been found in the wood of Cebrero in the
province of Lugo, but they have not, as far as I can ascertain, been
seen in any other part of Galicia. Pigeons are plentiful everywhere, and
the round pigeon-house and dovecots which the Gallegans build for them
are both characteristic and picturesque. The pigeon is not considered
sacred in Spain, as is the case in Russia; among the Gallegans this bird
is quite an ordinary article of food.

But it is for her abundant supply and large variety of both river and
salt water fish that Galicia is especially famed. I have already
described my visit to the fishermen’s wharf at Coruña, and the way in
which ice is specially manufactured to preserve the fish that has to
travel to Madrid and other distant towns. The most typical fish of
Galicia is the sardine. More than a hundred years ago, on the occasion
of the erection of a lighthouse on the coast for the benefit of
fishermen, Señor Joseph Cornide[222] published a monograph on the
sardine; in 1788 he published a larger work, embracing an account of all
the fish caught on the coast of Galicia. The reader must bear in mind
that Galicia is bounded on two sides by the sea, and that not only is
her coast-line very extensive in proportion to her size, but there are
also her wide lochs or rias which run to a considerable distance inland,
and meet the rivers that flow down from the mountain outposts of the
Pyrenees. The chief capes to north and west are Cape Finisterre and Cape

The sardine, erroneously termed _arengus minor_ (smaller herring), is,
as we have seen, the chief source of wealth to the fishermen. Shoals of
this fish enter the rias every year from the month of July onward; it
resembles more closely the North Sea herring than any other fish, but it
is quite distinct. Linnæus classed it amongst the mackerel family. The
weeds and other substances that the rivers wash down from the mountains
into the rias are just the food that sardines require, and as the mouths
of the ria are very wide, and at the same time sheltered from the
Atlantic winds, they prove a favourable shelter for these little fish,
who, unable to thrive where there is wind and severe cold, come
southwards every year in the months of December and January; in stormy
weather they leave the surface and cling to the bottom for protection.
The Gallegans use cod’s roe as a bait with which to attract them.

There are two sizes of sardines caught on this coast; the smaller ones
look very like anchovies, and are called _parrochas_ by the Gallegan
fishermen, but if the two are carefully compared it will be found that
the anchovy is narrower and has a more pointed head than the sardine; it
is covered, moreover, with irregular black spots, and the head, if
eaten, leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. The anchovy is frequently
eaten raw, and it is also preserved in oil like the sardine.

One result of the increased facilities for exporting fish to other parts
of Spain has been a rise in the price of sardines. Whereas they could
formerly be bought in Santiago at the rate of a hundred for a penny,
they now sell at about a penny a dozen. In 1835, Aquiar wrote that fish
was selling by its bulk and not by its weight; and even now, cartloads
of sardines are used by the ignorant peasants as manure for their

The Spaniards as a nation consume an enormous amount of dried and salted
cod: it is a staple food on fast days. This, then, is another industry
in which the Gallegans might make fortunes, but at present even Galicia,
where cod is so plentiful, gets her dried cod, _bacalao_, from Norway.
Two millions of dried cod are annually imported to the north coast of
Spain; and a Norwegian Consul, who was stationed at Bilbao for several
years, tells me that a shipload of Norwegian cod unloads at Bilbao every
week. I see that Señor A. Florez has been lecturing in Madrid on the
enormous imports from Norway to Spain and their effect upon the latter

Señor Francisco Ribas has found in the library of the Marquis de Mos at
Tuy a most interesting manuscript book dating from the reign of Carlos
III. (eighteenth century), and describing a heated controversy that went
on between the Gallegan fishermen and some Catalonians, who had come to
Galicia to start fishing industries there and were using a new kind of
net, _xeito_, with which far more fish could be caught than was possible
with the antiquated ones used by the natives. In this book there was a
copy of the memorial that was sent to the King in the name of all the
fishermen on the Gallegan coast, entreating His Majesty to put a stop to
the use of the new net, as it was calculated to kill the spawn and
ultimately ruin the trade. The Government gathered the opinion of
experts on the subject, and came to the conclusion that the fears of the
Gallegan fishermen were groundless; so it ended in the universal
adoption of the net. I hear that a similar objection was recently raised
to the introduction of English and French trawling nets.

Among the various kinds of fish that are caught on the Gallegan coast,
the lamprey is especially worthy of mention. The name _lamprea_,
signifying “rock licker,” Latin, _lambo_, to stick, and _petra_, a rock,
has been given to this fish because it has a habit of attaching itself
to rocks and stones by its mouth; it is a cartilaginous fish, and
somewhat resembles the eel; its flesh is very indigestible, but the
flavour is considered by gourmets to be exquisite. And we all learned at
school how our King Henry loved that flavour, not wisely but too well.
Spaniards cook them in their own blood, with the addition of a little
wine and oil. The best in Galicia come from the neighbourhood of Tuy,
Noya, and Padron, but very fine ones are also to be found in many other
parts in the months of June and July. Lampreys were regularly sent to
Rome from Galicia in the days when Spain was a Roman province; they were
a delicacy that was much appreciated by the wealthy patricians, and
indeed they are still considered as such even in Galicia. While I was at
Santiago, four lampreys caught near Padron were sold in the fishmarket
one Sunday morning for ten dollars; they are becoming much more rare
than formerly; their skins are exceedingly ugly to look at; they abound
in the Bay of Biscay, and from thence enter the wide rias and rivers of
Galicia. There is also a river lamprey, a foot long; this fish has
remarkably strong teeth; on its tongue are two rows of objects that
resemble teeth, and it moves its tongue backwards and forwards like the
sucker of a pump when imbibing other fish as food.

The turbot is fairly plentiful. Oysters from Carril, which are the
largest, sell in Santiago at the rate of twenty shillings per hundred,
while smaller ones may be had for about seven shillings per hundred, and
a very small kind called _morunchos_ may be had at three shillings per
hundred. My hostess informed me that she liked these last best of all,
and that they were _muy ricititos_ (very rich little things). Molina,
writing in the middle of the sixteenth century, speaks of Carril as
famous for its oysters. “They fill ships with them,” he writes, “and
supply all Castille, and the greater part of Spain. The oyster,” he adds
naïvely, “is an article which is prized wherever it is sent.” Oysters
abound in all the rias of Vigo, Arosa, and Ferrol. Cornide reminds us
that the ancients prized those caught on the coast of Britain above all
others. Apacius, the celebrated glutton, possessed the art of keeping
them a very long time, and when Trajan was in Persia he was supplied
with oysters from Italy; they appear to have been kept in barrels, as
in our day, so closely packed that the shells could not open. The
Spaniards considered them more wholesome when eaten raw, but they
constantly fry them in oil, and serve them up in a “James” shell.

I have written at length in another chapter about the famous scallop
shells, _pecten veneris_, called _vieira_ in Galicia, and worn by
pilgrims returning from the sepulchre of St. James, and put up over the
doors of the inns at which they lodged in Santiago. Scallops are not too
sacred to be eaten even in Galicia, and, but for their strong fishy
smell, they would make a fair substitute for oysters.

Eels are very plentiful in all the Gallegan rivers, and, above all, in
the Miño; they are bred in the fresh water and go down to the sea when
full grown. The monks of Sobrado had an artificial lake, the eels of
which were greatly prized. Conger-eels are also abundant; the black ones
are the most esteemed. A tradition says there are some so large that a
man could not carry them on his shoulders, but would have to employ a
cart. Cornide says that the largest ever found in Galicia did not weigh
more than 100 lbs.

The common cod, _merluza_, which on the Mediterranean coast is called
_merlan_, is one of the most voracious and destructive of fishes, and,
as the Gallegans have discovered, it has a special predilection for
sardines, which it devours greedily. A certain amount of cod is dried on
this coast and taken into the interior; but the industry is anything but
brisk. Soles, _lenguado_, which the French call sea-partridges, _perdrix
de mer_, are very common, especially where the rias have a sandy bottom.

Salmon, _salmo salar_, are plentiful in the most northern rias, and
found throughout Galicia; they are best in hot weather, at which time
they are less prized in other parts. They were unknown to the Greeks,
according to Cornide, so have no Greek name. These fish enter the rivers
of Galicia from the month of January, lay their eggs in the sandy
places, and return to the sea until the next season, when they repeat
the journey. The Gallegans seldom catch more than can be disposed of
while fresh, but now and again there is an unusually large supply, and
then they are sold for next to nothing. Cornide tells of a priest who
salted a hundred and fifty salmon in one season.

A red mullet, Lat. _mullus barbatus_, is plentiful in the rias, but it
often tastes of the mud on which it feeds, and is not so choice as that
found in the rivers. Pliny and other classic writers thought that
people who ate too heartily of this fish injured their sight and nerves:
Gallegans call it _salmonete_, and are very fond of it. I have several
times seen it baked in pastry, like jam in an open tart. Trout,
_truchas_, are, as we have seen, remarkably plentiful and cheap in
spring; they abound in all the rivers, and would furnish plenty of sport
for British anglers.



     An emporium of Phœnician trade--From Padron to London--Iria
     Flavia--Landing of St. James--Drive from Santiago to Padron--A
     sacred mountain--_La Virgen de la Esclavitud_--Santa Maria de
     Iria--A Byzantine statue--The rock beneath the altar--Where St.
     James preached--The monastery of Herbon--Statue of St. Francis of
     Assisi--Cæsar’s bridge--The Ulla mentioned by Ptolemy--An
     interesting conversation--The house where Rosalia Castro
     died--Changing scenery--The towers of Augustus--A village festival

Very few of the pilgrims who journeyed to Santiago de Compostela during
the Middle Ages failed to include in their pilgrimage a visit to Padron.
There is an ancient refrain which says--

    “Quien va á Santiago
     E non va al Padrón
     O faz romeriá ó non.”

Padron, _Iria Flavia_, is a town with a long history. Not only can she
boast of having been a flourishing Roman settlement in the days of
Augustus, but she is believed by Spanish archæologists to have been the
site of one of the great emporiums of Phœnician trade.[223] The town is
situated on the right bank of the river Ulla and on the left bank of the
river Sar, nineteen kilometres from Santiago and sixteen from the sea,
with which it is connected by a ria (loch). In 1836, Borrow found it a
flourishing little port, with rather an extensive commerce, “some of its
tiny barks occasionally finding their way across the Bay of Biscay, and
even as far as the Thames and London.” A story was in circulation that
some twenty years before Borrow’s visit, certain Padron fishermen, who
had found their way to England, had been converted to Protestantism
during their stay there, and not only brought Bibles back with them, but
actually began to speak with irreverence of the bones of St. James, with
a result that a commission was despatched to punish them and burn their
books. We often speak of separation caused by the sea, but in reality it
has always been a far closer link than land.

The Roman name for Padron was _Iria Flavia_, and it belonged to the
_Convento Lucense_; it was raised to the rank of a municipal town by the
Emperor Vespasian in the year 69. Flavia was Vespasian’s family name; it
occurs a number of times in Galicia. Iria is mentioned in the Itinerary
of the Emperor Antoninus, and Ptolemy also speaks of it; there is also a
reference to this town in the _Ravenate_, the anonymous manuscript of
Ravenna. Pliny mentions a river and a town of the name of Iria in
Italy.[224] Several interesting Roman inscriptions have been found in
the neighbourhood of Padron; there is one which tells that a senator of
Iria died at the age of fifty.[225] A stone with an inscription to the
Emperor Gratian (375-379) has also been discovered, and another bearing
the name of Sulpicius Severus.[226] Coins of the reigns of Augustus and
Constantine have recently been turned up with the soil; it is more than
probable that extremely interesting excavations might be made

Iria was, without doubt, one of the most flourishing and important
of the towns which existed before the days of Christianity in the
territory which we now call Galicia. One of Spain’s most noted
archæologists--Fita--thought that the so-called _castro de la Rocha_, or
rock fortress, where St. James is supposed to have resided, was in the
old capitol of Iria, and therefore the most suitable spot for the
commencement of excavations. Villa-Amil points out that the tradition of
St. James’s having preached from the _Rocha de Padron_ is a very old
one. Castella Ferrar thought that the original cathedral of Iria had
stood within this _castro_, and believed that he had discovered some of
the ruins of its eastern wall; and others have thought that this was the
site of the episcopal palaces of the diocese. There are numerous
references to _la Rocha Blanca del Padron_ in historical documents of
the Middle Ages. All that remains of it to-day is a trench eight or nine
yards long enclosing a circle of about fifty yards in diameter, most of
which is now planted with potatoes and other garden produce.

We have seen in a preceding chapter how popular is the belief that the
boat which brought the body of St. James from Joppa to Spain landed it
at Padron. To this event is attributed the fact that one of the first
bishoprics in Galicia was founded at Iria. The arms of Padron are a
boat, with the body of the Apostle, and two disciples, one at the prow
and the other at the stern.

It takes about an hour to go by train from Santiago to Padron, but we
preferred to drive, as the road is excellent and the scenery delightful.
It was the last week in March, and many of the trees were still in bud,
but the furze (_ulex europæus_), which covered great stretches of the
undulating country through which we passed, was a mass of brilliant
yellow blossom; there were as yet no leaves upon the oak trees, but they
did not look bare, for ivy covered their stems, and ferns luxuriated
among their gnarled branches, while fresh green fronds spread out in all
directions, with as much grace as if they had been specially arranged by
the hand of an artist; even the tallest trees were decorated in this
way, and the crannies in which the ferns nestled were often eight or ten
yards above the ground.

The fields were a beautiful green, some pale with waving maize almost
ready to be harvested, others covered with fresh grass or young
potatoes. In many a plot of green we passed a peasant woman in charge of
two or three cows, all attached to a rope which she held in her hand. As
we passed the villages we noted behind every house a quaint Gallegan
maize barn (_Gal. horreo_), raised on four or six stone pedestals, and
built like a diminutive stone house with a gabled roof. The trellis
porch of almost every cottage was covered with a vine, and vine-covered
verandahs hid most of the lower walls; the vine leaves had not begun to
appear, but their knotted and spreading branches were very picturesque.
Spring flowers were peeping from the banks beneath the hedges, and we
descended several times from our carriage to gather flowers we had never
seen in England, and of which we did not know the names. Ever and anon
we passed groves of chestnut and walnut trees, and apple orchards not
yet in blossom, while behind them rose green hills alternating with
rocky mountain crags, which had for their background the blue outlines
of more distant mountains. The highest peak that we could see on this
journey was the Pico Sacro,[228] whose pointed cone looks at a little
distance somewhat the shape of Fugiama; the view from its summit amply
rewards the climb. Some think that the name _Monte Sacro_ or _Pico
Sacro_ is of earlier date than the introduction of Christianity into
Galicia, and as this mountain has numerous dolmens and other prehistoric
ruins on its slopes, it has been suggested that the Celts may have once
made it a centre of their religious worship: even in our own day the
peasants have many superstitious notions connected with it. Lopez
Ferreiro wrote in 1868 that sick people used to take an offering of
bread up to one of its high ridges, and leave it there after calling on
the mountain to cure them with the following words:--

    “Picosagro, Picosagro,
     Saname este mal que eu trago.”

Molina, quoting Justin, says that the ancients considered it unlawful to
touch this mountain with iron, and they had a tradition that great
sheets of gold were found upon its surface; these were supposed to
result from the fact that the mountain was constantly struck by
lightning, which turned everything it touched into gold. Molina
attributes another name that this mountain went by--_Mons acer_--to the
violent tempests which raged around its cone, and which, he adds, “make
the fortress that is built upon it quite uninhabitable.” Old documents
bear witness to the fact that there was, in the eleventh century, a
monastery upon one of its slopes, and that its church was called _San
Sebastian del Pico Sacro_; on its summit there are still the ruins of a
strong fortress built there by Archbishop Alonso Fonseca

The nearest mountain to Padron is green to its summit even in winter;
while I was there some ladies climbed to the top in a little less than
three hours. Below stretches the valley of the Ulla, one of the most
fertile valleys in the province. Everything seems to thrive
there,--flax, maize, wheat, the walnut, the filbert and the chestnut,
the orange, the lemon, and almost every kind of European fruit tree;
bamboos are also grown there; the trellis-work over which the vines are
trained is mostly made of them, but the two things that are chiefly
grown there are onions and flax. A great deal of linen is spun by the
poor women of Padron, but all by hand, not by machinery.

About half-way between Santiago and Padron we stopped to look at a
church which faced the road, the church of _La Virgen de la
Esclavitude_. We found its inner walls covered with pictures, or rather
glaring daubs, representing sick people in bed. The bedsteads were of
all kinds, wooden beds, iron beds, and children’s cots; all these were
thank-offerings brought by people who had been cured in answer to
prayer. One picture, representing a sick man in bed, had a prancing
horse standing by the bed, because, I was told, the invalid had
recovered after making the church a present of a horse; beside another
bed three nuns were praying. People make pilgrimages to this church in
such crowds that special trains have to be run for them.

As we approached the town we passed comfortable-looking houses on both
sides of the road with gardens attached. In the gardens we noted fine
rhododendrons and tulip trees covered with blossom; the cherry and apple
trees were also in blossom. Padron, lying much lower and being much more
sheltered than Santiago, is nearly a month ahead in spring-time. We saw
orange trees with oranges that looked ripe enough to pick.

At length we reached a church with pyramidal towers like the one over
the treasury of Santiago Cathedral; this was the _Colegiata de Iria,
Santa Maria de Iria_. From the earliest days of Christianity in Galicia
this church, or the one that preceded it on this spot, has been the seat
of a bishopric; it numbers the names of many illustrious men among its
bishops. It was a bishop of Iria, _Teodomiro_, who discovered the
sepulchre of St. James. In the days of Miro, King of the Sueves
(569-583), there was a bishop here with the name of Andrew, who played a
conspicuous part in the church councils of Lugo and Braga.[230] The
principal entrance of this edifice, which is Romanesque, does not date
further back than the thirteenth century, and the rest of the building
(all but the sarcophagi in the _capilla major_ and the towers) is work
of the eighteenth century. There was formerly a bishop’s palace
attached, but not a trace of it now remains. Twenty-eight bishops who
fled here for refuge at the time of the Mohammedan invasion are buried
inside the church. On the chief altar there is a very old Byzantine
statue of the Virgin, in stone. An archbishop of Santiago, Rodrigo de
Luna, was also buried here (1450-1460); his sarcophagus is opposite that
containing a bishop of Orense, which is much more ancient.

Beneath the chief altar of the church is preserved the rock to which the
disciples are supposed to have fastened their boat when they brought St.
James’s body from Joppa. On the rock are some letters of a Roman
inscription to which various archæologists have devoted much time and
thought. Pilgrims to Santiago hold this boulder in great veneration,
and feel it their bounden duty to visit it; the name for it is _el
pedron_, the big rock, and some derive the name of the town from it,
though it is more likely that Padron is from _el padron_, _i.e._ St.
James the Apostle. Close to the church is the bank of the river to which
the disciples moored their boat; it is still called _Barca_ in memory of
that event.

Rising from the slope of the mountain on the opposite side of the river
is a hillock, or ridge, on which stands a little chapel to mark the spot
where St. James is supposed to have dwelt during his sojourn in Iria;
below the altar is a spring of delicious pure water: Morales remarked he
had not tasted better water in all Galicia; its flow never ceases summer
or winter. The townsfolk informed me that St. James preached to the
people of Iria from this spot. Sanchez relates that in 1484 the
traveller Nicolas Popiélovo came here to see the spring; and he gives
his readers the traveller’s own words about his visit. A little higher
up the mountain, which is called _Monte San Gregorio_, is the actual
boulder upon which St. James stood when he preached. There is an opening
here between two pieces of rock through which a thin person can manage
to pass, and the Portuguese, who come here in great numbers, believe
that good fortune will befall those who can get through, consequently it
sometimes happens that fat persons also try to get through, but get
stuck in the middle and find it difficult to extricate themselves. There
are many legends connected with this rock, one of which is that it
opened on several occasions to receive and shelter St. James when he was
chased by the pagans. Another rock a little farther on is known as the
Altar of St. James, and he is there supposed to have offered up
bloodless sacrifices; and yet another rock is shown as St. James’s
couch. The view of Padron from here is very beautiful among its fields
and gardens, and with its two rivers, the Sar and the Ulla.[231] The
highest building in the town is an old Carmelite nunnery, now inhabited
by Dominican friars.

To the south-east of Padron, at a distance of about a mile, is situated
the _Convento de San Antonio de Herbon_, a Franciscan monastery founded
in the end of the fourteenth century by Gonzolo Mariño, a relative of
the first Count of Altamira. Among its monks may be reckoned the famous
_trovador_ poet, _Rodriquez de Padron_, who retired thither in his old
age and adopted the conventual garb. When the monks were all expelled,
this monastery became for a time an ecclesiastical seminary. In the
church there is a beautifully carved wood statue of St. Francis of
Assisi, which some think to be the work of Adolfo Cano; there is
wonderful character in the face, and for that alone its celebrity would
be deserved.

Opposite the monastery and on the other side of the river are the
remains of an ancient fortress, whose walls are two yards and a half
wide. Sanchez calls it Castro Valute, and states that an _ara_ was found
there in which there was a cavity to receive the blood of victims

We drove on beyond Padron for about a couple of miles, crossing the
bridge over the Ulla near the village of Cesures, which in the _Historio
Compostellana_ is called Cesuris. Some think that this fine old Roman
bridge is from the time of Octavius Augustus, and that it was called, in
his honour, Cæsar’s Bridge, and they believe this to be the origin of
the present name. The Ulla is an historic river. It is mentioned by
Ptolemy, and by Pomponius Mela, and its name occurs in numerous Gallegan
documents of the Middle Ages, for on its waters were borne the ships
that brought both Moorish and Norman invaders into Galicia, invaders
against whom the fighting archbishops defended their people most

About two miles beyond Cesuris there stands on a ridge in the slope of a
green hill a quaint little church belonging to a little village called
Janza. I particularly wished to see it, because I had heard
archæologists say that on account of its elegant simplicity and
beautiful proportions it was thought to be the work of Mateo, the
architect of the _Pórtico de Gloria_, or at least that of one of his
pupils. I got out of the carriage, and, meeting the village priest’s
maid-of-all-work, asked her to show me the easiest path by which I could
ascend to the church. As we went along, my guide, who had dropped her
boots over the hedge into a field, and was proceeding barefoot, informed
me that, as the priest’s servant she had a great many duties, one being
to fetch all the water required for household purposes from a
neighbouring spring. It was a beautiful day, and the air and scenery
resembled that of some of the finer parts of the Yorkshire moors.

“How exhilarating it is here,” I remarked.

“Yes, you are right,” replied the maid. “It’s very beautiful. A _Padre_
who came here a few weeks ago preached us a sermon about it, and said
that, for any one whose heart was right with God, there could not be a
more beautiful or a

[Illustration: PADRON]


more healthful spot than this. But why have you come so far to see such
a poor little church as ours? And where have you come from?”

“I have come from England,” I replied.

“Have they any religion in England?” she asked.

“Oh yes,” I answered; “we have both religion and churches.”

“But do they worship God there--and confess?”


“Then it must be in France where they have no religion!” she cried.

“Why do you think that?” I asked.

“Because they have turned all their monks and nuns out of the country,
and now they have no church and no religion.”

“But the churches are there still,” said I.

“I know all about it,” she replied. “Some of the nuns they turned out
came to live in a _palacio_ near here for a time. Now they have a home
in Madrid.”

“And some of the nuns came to England,” said I.

“And did the English give them shelter?” she asked eagerly.


“Ah, of course, and so they should. Poor things! Poor things! How
dreadful to turn them out like that!”

Entering the tiny church, I found that its granite walls were painted,
and, worse still, the sculpture of its granite capitals was decked out
in glaring colours. To paint stone in this way was a fashion peculiar to
the eighteenth century. At one time the Cathedral of Santiago was thus
painted over. It is only since 1840 that the colour has been removed; we
still see red and white stripes where the blocks of granite are joined.

As I was returning to the carriage, some children presented us with some
branches covered with cherry-blossom which they had picked from their
garden in their wish to please us; they were indignant when we offered
them silver in return.

Returning to Padron, we lunched at the little inn, and found a salad
made of red peppers particularly cool and refreshing after rather a hot
drive. Then we went to see the pretty spot on the river-bank where the
market is held, and the house where Rosalia Castro died, with its tablet
to her memory. Padron seemed to me an ideal place for a poet to live and
die in; its beauties are so varied, its outlines so delicate, and the
blue haze upon its surrounding hills so romantic. One great charm about
this miniature beauty is, that at every few steps, whether you walk or
drive, the scene changes; nothing is so big as to appear unchanged when
the observer has moved on. In the great valleys of Switzerland and the
Tyrol you may walk long distances without getting any perceptible change
in the picture, but in Galicia, and especially in places like Padron,
the scenery may almost be termed kaleidoscopic--only that the employment
of such a word suggests suddenness, and there is nothing sudden here--it
is a gradual melting process, where no beauty is so large and coarse as
to obstruct another or become monotonous. Macìas, the Poet of True Love,
was born near Padron, and Juan Rodriquez was born at Herbon: we have
already seen that it was in the monastery there that this _trovador_
chose to end his days. Rodriquez wrote, _El Siervo Libre de Amor_, “The
Free Slave of Love.” He flourished in the first quarter of the fifteenth
century. He is sometimes called _Rodriquez de la Camara_.[233]

On the bank of the river near the monastery where Rodriquez breathed his
last is the summer residence of the Archbishop of Santiago, standing in
a beautiful garden with luxuriant trees. On one side of the house is a
tall cypress and on the other a still taller palm. Near Padron, but seen
better from the train than from the road, are the picturesque ruins of
two ancient towers, the _Torres de Oeste_ (a corruption of Turres
Augusti).[234] Molina[235] said they were among the greatest antiquities
of Spain, that there were five of them close to the river at sea level
and very strongly built, and from them a great chain used to be thrown
across the river to guard the water passage from the sea by way of the
ria (loch). These towers are close to the spot where the Sar flows into
the Ulla.

The sun was setting as we drove back to Santiago, and we saw it
reflected like brilliant fires in the cottage windows; when it had quite
set and the road was getting dark, we passed through a village where the
people were all dressed in their best, and lined the road on both sides;
the women and girls were on the right and sat on the bank four rows
deep, all dressed in their gayest attire with coloured handkerchiefs on
their heads. The men on the other side formed a dark lined crowd round a
party of musicians who were about to strike up for a dance. As we
approached Santiago we saw rockets and other fireworks that were being
let off in honour of St. Joseph’s Day.



     Situation of Noya--Antiquity of the town--The coach drive from
     Santiago--Singing cartwheels--Where the golden torques were
     found--Copper and iron--Mountain valleys--Waterfalls--Paper
     mills--A ruined monastery--Nearing Noya--A peep at the sea--A
     village green--The oldest church--Noya merchants of the fourteenth
     century--The Sunday before Easter--My visit to a nun--The church of
     San Martin--The interior--The castellated apse--The rose
     window--Imitation of the _Pórtico de Gloria_--The wooden
     roof--Strange brackets or corbels--Lamperez--An alderman of
     Noya--An old house--The old wall--The Franciscan monastery--The
     Noya magistrate--An old family mansion--Drives in the
     neighbourhood--_Puente de Alonso III._--The Tambre--Fruit
     blossoms--Flowers--Examining the cartwheels--Inside a granite
     cottage--A cross by the roadside--The Ria--Greek colonies--Roman
     inscriptions--Our drive to Portosino--A famous _trovador_--English
     ships--Muros--A good port--Greek type of beauty preserved--A Greek
     costume--Visit to a dolmen--_Pena de Oro_--Gallegan peasants and
     the Moors--Another granite cottage--A Grenadier in the Engineers--A
     square apse--Noya pilgrims--A leper chapel--Scene from our
     balcony--Maunday Thursday--Good Friday--Fetching home the
     candlesticks--A Good Friday dinner--A lady resident--Market baskets
     in church--Thirteenth century houses--José Ferreiro--Galicia’s
     first vocabulary--Bull fights at Noya--Two kinds of
     homesickness--The music of the _gaita_

Noya is a town of nearly five thousand inhabitants, but the hills and
valleys by which it is surrounded are so thickly dotted with villages
that on market days and feast days, when the people flock in by every
road, there is a great deal more life in it than the above statistics
would lead a visitor to expect. Noya is almost a seaside town, for it
lies on the banks of a magnificent ria, an inlet of the Atlantic, and so
close to the ocean that the rocky coast can be distinguished by the
naked eye. The river Tambre, which has its rise in the centre of
Galicia, flows into the ria to the north of the town, and the river
Trava on the west, so that Noya is bounded on three sides by water. High
green hills slope away from the water and shelter the town from cold and
wind. It is a lovely and romantic situation.

“Noya,” writes Molina,[236] “is a pretty town, and one of the oldest in
Galicia, and it has inhabitants of noble blood. Here they make many and
good ships, both great and small, because the district abounds in
timber. Noya has the best sardines in the realm, so that people wanting
sardines ask especially for those of Noya.”

Pliny mentions this town under the name of Noela, and Florez heard that
there was a stone in the bridge over the Tambre which had the word
“Noela” inscribed upon it. According to popular tradition, the town was
founded by Noah, or by one of his daughters, and received its name from
that patriarch. However that may be, the arms of Noya, which may be seen
over the door of the little hospital, and which are printed at the head
of municipal letter paper, are Noah’s ark and a dove.[237] Both Pliny
and Pomponius Mela speak of all the coast of Galicia between the Duero
and Cape Finisterre as Celtic, and the dolmens with which the
neighbourhood of Noya abounds are another indication that this part of
Galicia was inhabited by Celts.

It was a glorious day, the 23rd of March, that we chose for our journey
from Santiago to Noya, and so hot that we were glad to leave off some of
our winter clothing. There is no railway to Noya, but a coach goes there
twice every day, and the journey takes a little over five hours. Our
coach started at two p.m.; the inside was like a box that would hold six
people, three on each side, with an upper storey covered with a double
or telescopic hood, which was filled with “second-class” passengers. The
Easter holidays began that day, so most of our fellow-passengers were
students from the University going home for Easter. They were sprightly
young fellows, with bright faces and strong limbs; it was a pleasure to
see them get out and walk up the hills. One of them picked a lovely
bunch of violets and handed them in to us at the coach window. From the
very start the scenery was beautiful; we were out among the giant hills
and fertile valleys in a few minutes, there being no ugly suburbs to
pass through. Noya lies, as we have seen, upon the sea level, but the
road thither from Santiago runs first down into a valley and then up,
up, up to the ridge of a very high hill, much higher than Santiago. Here
the air grew rare and bracing, and the scenery was like that between
Pitlochrie and Braemar. We passed innumerable _castros_ and _tumuli_,
and saw far off on the summit of a conical hill, which commanded the
surrounding valleys for many miles, the fine old castle of Altamira. The
family of Altamira is one of the oldest, and still one of the greatest
in Spain; but I hear that they are letting that fine old castle crumble
to ruin! Many a peasant with his bullock cart met us on the road, and we
always knew of a cart’s approach by the distant sound of musical
cartwheels, and once or twice, when three carts joined in the chorus,
the “singing” became very loud; I felt inclined to put my fingers in my
ears. A fellow-passenger remarked that the oxen needed some such sound
to cheer them on their way, and that the children always sing to their
oxen when leading them in the fields, because it makes them work better.
A little farther on, as we were passing close to a _castro_, another
passenger explained that it was to these vantage points that the Celts
are supposed to have fled at the approach of an enemy. It is in such
places as these that the golden torques are found. Many Roman coins have
been found in these castros, a fact which has led to the belief that the
Romans in their turn employed them as camps.

From a passenger on the return journey I learned that some of these
hills were rich in copper and iron, which ought to be worked, and would
be, but for the fact that Spaniards prefer to keep their money in paper
under lock and key! My informant, who was an elderly resident of Noya,
said that he had himself discovered in his youth the remains of an
ancient tin mine, and had made many vain attempts to interest
capitalists and resuscitate the industry. Not far from Noya there are
some iron mines, but they belong to Englishmen; they are called _Minas
de Vilacoba_, and almost as many women are employed there as men.

Many of the mountain valleys were full of oak trees, while others were
covered with waving rye (_secale cereale_), wheat, and other cereals.
The highest part of the road lay for about a mile and a half between
green hills mostly covered with furze and without any trees, but when we
began to descend the landscape changed; in place of the Scotch Highlands
we seemed to have arrived at the pine-crested rocks of Norway. The pines
looked like Christmas trees covered with tall brown candles; these
“candles” were some of them a foot and a half long, and in the sun they
looked a rich reddish bronze. Waterfalls foamed between the mossy crags
and boulders, and picturesque bridges spanned the mountain streams. One
bridge, consisting of a single semicircular arch over a small stream,
was clearly a relic of Roman days. We passed, half hidden by the trees,
some four or five paper mills worked by the gushing water.

At last dwelling-houses came in sight, white-washed granite cottages
roofed with red tiles; they were nearly square, with about four rooms to
each. The road now descended rapidly, and we passed to our right a
picturesque dell surrounded on three sides by a noisy waterfall, in
which stood an old monastery and its church, _San Justo de los
Tojosutos_, so named because the slope upon which the dell is situated
is covered with tall furze (tojo). The little church, whose spire rises
up to a level with the sides of the dell, dates from the twelfth
century. We could see part of the beautiful arcade of the ruined
cloister from the coach as we passed. No monks have lived there since
its monastic inmates were turned out, but I was told that this little
cloister was once used as a place of banishment for monks of Osera who
had broken the monastic rules. The modern building adjoining is the
house of the village priest. All the pasture land on the hills round the
dell and the two neighbouring valleys, right down to the bank of the
Tambre, once belonged to the monks, and they had a right to all the fish
caught in that part of the river, which, by the way, was particularly
rich in lampreys. People say that the kindness and generosity of the
monks towards the poor did much to encourage idleness and increase the
number of paupers.

We were at last nearing Noya; women were at work in the fields; they
wore very short skirts, hardly below the knees, and wide-brimmed yellow
straw hats with a band of black ribbon round the low crown; the men also
wore this kind of hat, the manufacture of which is the special industry
of one of the Noya villages. A young peasant woman met us as she was
leading her oxen home. She was as upright as a young pine; perhaps her
queenly bearing was a result of carrying burdens on her head, and
certainly Gallegan women do hold themselves remarkably well. At a bend
in the road we caught sight of the sea for a moment in the direction of
Cape Finisterre. The scenery remained beautiful and rugged till we had
reached the bottom of the wide valley in which Noya lies. In front of
one of the cottages we saw a quaint sight,--a cottager was mounted on a
ladder with a mortar trowel in his hand doing something to the roof,
while beneath him, motionless as a statue, stood a tall woman supporting
on her broad-brimmed hat the board from which the man helped himself to
mortar. Here was another use to which the head of a Gallegan woman could
be put.

The coach drew up in a sort of village green, near a fountain, and in
front was the public walk, or Alameda. The first thing that attracts a
stranger’s attention is a bust of Noya’s

[Illustration: NOYA


famous sculptor, Filipe de Castro,[238] which is placed on the top of a
tall pedestal and forms a sort of landmark for visitors. The houses of
Noya are built of granite; I noticed that some of them had not only
tiled roofs but also tiled walls. “To keep the wet out,” I was told.

The first church we visited was that of _Santa Maria a Nova_, which is
the oldest church in Noya, and dates from the year 1327. Its cemetery
contains many interesting horizontal gravestones, on which are cut the
insignia of the office of the persons buried beneath them. On one we
found a stone-mason’s hammer.

On the outer side of the right wall are three sarcophagi in arched
recesses. The inscription on one is Era MCCC, which is equivalent to
A.D. 1272; these are thought to have belonged to an earlier church, for
the present one was completely rebuilt in the fourteenth century. I
noticed one sarcophagus that rested on two stone lions, and had
represented on its sides a bridge, and fish swimming beneath the name of
the person buried there. In front of the church, in the little
graveyard, is a sarcophagus with the recumbent effigy of a warrior with
his sword by his side; he wears a tall fur-brimmed hat and a kind of
kilt which is a curious example of the costume of his day.

Over the window beneath the three-arched portico of the church is a
coloured statue of the Virgin, and the Adoration of the Magi, into which
the archbishop Berigel, who built the church, is introduced. One of the
kings is represented as an Ethiopian with black skin and rolling eyes;
two angels are waving incense; their garments are bordered with gold,
and the whole group is very Byzantine. To the right of the entrance is a
dedicatory inscription and the name of the archbishop who built the

Inside the church there are two other sarcophagi with the effigies of
rich Noya merchants and inscriptions with their names and dates.

The Sunday before Easter is a solemn day in Spain, and although the
market in the morning was not interfered with, Noya dressed itself in
sombre hues in the afternoon, and a solemn procession passed with music
beneath our balcony at 4 p.m. We looked out and saw four men supporting
on their shoulders a platform on which was a chair and the seated figure
of a naked Christ, life size, and wearing a crown of thorns from which
drops of blood were represented as streaming. Over the shoulders of
this ghastly figure was a crimson velvet mantle bordered with gold; the
hands were tied together with a cord. Another platform followed bearing
a standing figure of the Virgin, also life size; her skirt was of
plum-coloured velvet, and the velvet shawl which covered her head and
shoulders was of violet bordered with gold. A great crowd of people
followed, all very silent and subdued. Many of the women wore black or
grey handkerchiefs over their heads.

The next day I called at the convent of the Trinitarian nuns to take a
message to one of the inmates from her married sister in Santiago. The
outer walls of this convent were a yard wide; opening into the dark
porch was a large window with a revolving wooden shutter, concave in
shape, like half a barrel. Through this opaque window I had to announce
my name and the object of my visit to an invisible nun who had answered
the bell by calling to me from the other side of the barrel. She began
every sentence she uttered with “Ave Maria,” and then went to ask the
Mother Superior if I might speak with the nun for whom my message was
intended. When she came back she tapped the wood several times to let me
know she was there, and then informed me with more “Ave Marias” that if
I would came again after Easter I might perhaps speak with the nun, but
not before. It ended in my having to return to Santiago without giving
my message. I discovered afterwards that though these nuns appeared to
be terribly shut in, they have, stretching far behind their convent, a
beautiful garden, which they tended themselves with great industry. They
also have a school for girls, where a speciality is made of fine
needlework and embroidery.

The largest and the most important church in Noya is that of San Martin,
which dates from the year 1434, and was built by Archbishop Lopez de
Mendoza. This edifice has been singled out by Señor Lamperez as a fine
and typical example of Galicia’s popular style of architecture, a style
which, dominated by laws dictated by local common sense, abandoned the
exotic styles which had preceded it, and boldly adopted both the
traditions and the materials that were to be found on the spot. This
popular architecture was divided into two branches, under the first of
which may be classed the parish churches, and under the second those
attached to the monasteries--the conventual churches;[239] these are two
distinct types, but they have one characteristic in common, namely, the
wooden roof, the kind best suited to the conditions

[Illustration: THE BED OF SAN MAMED, NOYA]


of the country. A wide nave covered with a roof of wood offered no
difficulties as to equilibrium; we find it in some of the ancient
architecture of Syria; and in the Middle Ages it was introduced, as
Lamperez reminds us, both in the churches of Languedoc and in those of
Catalonia and Valencia. Galicia was very slow to adopt the Gothic style;
she clung to the older ones, the Byzantine and the Romanesque, long
after these had been completely abandoned in other parts of Spain, and
the consequence is that she does not possess a single edifice that may
be termed a good example of the Gothic style. There is no province,
however, in which the travellers will find a more favourable opportunity
of studying the period of Transition.

Outwardly the church of San Martin appears to be of a very much earlier
date than that which is inscribed upon the lintel of the principal
entrance. It has a heavy, square, fortress-like look, and its lofty apse
is castellated, evidently with a view to its adaptability as a fort in
times of warfare. Here again we see how circumstances--the imminent
possibility of Noya having to defend herself against insurgents, had a
greater effect on the mind of the architect than any consideration as to
what the laws of the pure Gothic might demand. Noya was perhaps the most
important town in the feudal territory of the fighting archbishops of
Santiago, and being a centre of considerable mercantile wealth, she was
only too likely to invite attack, which might come either from the sea
or the land.

The rose window of the façade, decorated with trumpet-blowing angels, is
Gothic, but the arch of the entrance beneath it is Romanesque. The idea
which dominates the sculpture of this entrance is evidently taken from
that of the _Pórtico de Gloria_ at Santiago; here we have elders, though
fewer in number, with musical instruments, strange monsters supporting
the pillars, and finally the twelve apostles.[240] The faces, however,
are all quite original and remarkably lifelike; it has been suggested
that the sculptor chose as his models the rugged and weather-beaten
faces of contemporary Noya fishermen. St. James wears his usual
pilgrim’s cap with shells on it. All the faces wear a happy look, and
are almost smiling; the salt sea breezes have probably worn off much of
their original expressiveness, but there is enough left to make them
very interesting.

The plan of _San Martin de Noya_, like that of _Santa Maria a Nova_, is
one nave with wide parallel arches, and a wooden roof; its style is
supposed to be Gothic, but, as Lamperez remarks, it is full of
_romantismos_, that is, features which are distinctly Romanesque; the
only part that is vaulted is the castellated apse. A wooden roof was
naturally the easiest and cheapest in a district where timber was so
remarkably abundant as at Noya, and when shipbuilding was the most
thriving industry.

A real peculiarity of this church, and one which I do not remember
noticing in any other Gallegan architecture, is the great stone corbels
or brackets which, like gargoyles, form the sides of the church both
inside and out. The outer ones were built either with the object of
facilitating the erection of a parapet or tribune from which processions
and other spectacles could be witnessed, or intended to be used like
tent poles, and covered with awning when cases were tried or fairs were
held there; the latter seems to me to have been their most probable use:
some of the largest churches in Holland are still surrounded by shops
and booths in this manner; the brackets in the interior support
wooden-floored galleries in the nave, and are the most striking part of
its ornamentation. Each is composed of two long stones; in the end of
each stone there is sculptured an arch which forms the end of a deep
niche filled with the head and torso of a statue with its hands upon its
breast as if in the act of adoration; in some, the upper statue is that
of a bearded man and the lower that of a woman; others appear to
represent monks. Both when taken as a whole and in detail these Noya
corbels represent an important point as regards the study of ornamental
sculpture in Galicia.

The Gothic apse, which is semi-dodecagonal, has narrow lancet windows,
and between the windows there are lofty buttresses. In the interior of
the church, to right and left of the apse, there are pillars supporting
arch stones without arches; whether this should be taken as a sign that
the church was originally intended to have three naves, or not, is
uncertain. In the opinion of Lamperez, _San Martin de Noya_ does not
give the impression of being an edifice in the construction of which the
architects changed their original plan; it indicates rather that it was
executed rapidly and upon one plan; “it is an example of the archaism of
the Gallegan style, and of the persistence with which the Cathedral of
Santiago was imitated throughout the province.”

An interesting sarcophagus has recently been discovered




in an old chapel on the left side of the church; it has upon it the
recumbent effigy of a Noya alderman. The inscription is carved upon his
stone pillow in such a manner that at a short distance it looks like
embroidery; he holds a dagger in his hand, and wears a kilted skirt and
a tall hat, and dates, in all probability, from the fourteenth century.
The coloured glass in the rose window is modern, but its mellowing
effect on the light that streams through it is very pleasing.

Almost facing the apse of this church is an interesting old house which
is supposed to date from the end of the fifteenth or beginning of the
sixteenth century; its first floor rests upon a porch, or rather a
colonnade, with four Gothic arches; the windows are very small, and the
walls massive. This house is thought to have belonged to one of Noya’s
wealthy merchant families; part of it is now used as an hotel; the
balcony is modern. There are several other houses in Noya that are very
similar to this one, and equally old, for Noya too had her own nobility
and her days of splendour. The house opposite the façade of San Martin
is an old one, and behind it are to be seen the ruins of what was
formerly the summer residence of the archbishops of Santiago; there
still remains a wall with a Gothic window, and a little while ago there
was an arch still standing. In this courtyard a rebel was publicly
executed by order of the archbishop, in the fourteenth century.

Many parts of the old wall which surrounded the town in medieval days
are still standing; the fisherwomen mend their nets upon it. At one time
the water of the ria washed against its many gates, but now it does not
come farther than the bridge with six arches. Ships and small boats
float up towards the town with the tide, and are left stranded at low
water. A little way up the river Trava, which skirts the southern side
of the town, is a picturesque flour mill, on the road to which stands
the quaint little hospital with the Noya arms above its entrance.

The Franciscan monastery, already partially in ruins, is now used as the
town prison. I went up its broad old stairs, walked round its cloister
to admire its graceful arcades (later Gothic), and saw, in what had been
perhaps the refectory or the library of the monks, one solitary
prisoner; the floors were composed of rotting rafters that threatened to
give way as we walked, though I was assured by the gentleman who acted
as my guide, that they were entirely of chestnut wood, and very strong.
The windows looked out on a beautiful garden shut in on three sides by
verdant hills.

The Noya magistrate, when I was speaking about the prison, informed me
that there were only seventy cases of crime in Noya in the whole of the
preceding year, and none of them grave. “The man you saw in the prison,”
he added, “is of feeble mind, and as soon as room in an asylum can be
found he is to be removed thither.”

Near the monastery there is a fine old family mansion belonging to the
Varela family, containing some quaint furniture, pictures, and clocks;
it stands in a beautiful garden with fountains and arbours, and is full
of flowering trees, giant magnolias with spreading branches, and
camellias of every colour; I saw there many semi-tropical shrubs of
which I did not know the names.

There are some charming drives in the neighbourhood of Noya. Our first
was to the _Puente de Alonso III._ (Bridge of Alonso III.), a fine old
bridge which crosses the Tambre about two miles from the point at which
its mountain waters mingle with the brine of the ria. It was the 25th of
March, and the fruit trees, which covered many of the valleys and half
hid the villages with their pink and white blossoms, were a sight worth
coming a long way to see. Green hills, their summits now bleak and bare
like the Scotch moors, now covered with furze still yellow with bloom,
sloped upwards in the distance on the farther side of the majestic
river, and as we drove inland along its bank we could see, on looking
behind us, the graceful curves and rugged peaks of the last outposts of
the Pyrenees rising above the waters of the Atlantic Ocean on either
side of the shining ria. One of these giant gates of the Atlantic, the
one to the north, is called Monte _Barganzos_; we could see the ria
coming inland to meet the Tambre just as the Arctic waters flow down to
fill the lochs that separate the island of Skye from the western coast
of Scotland. The Tambre flows with great force when swollen by the
affluence of other mountain streams; it is twenty Spanish leagues in
length, and winds in and out among the mountains like the letter S. Some
of the slopes on either side of the river were carpeted with a brilliant
green, others were covered with pine woods, while others again had
groves of oak trees, whose bare branches were interspersed with the
blossom of the cherry and the apple. There were villages everywhere,
very small ones, often with only half a dozen houses in each. Now and
again the hillside was a mass of white blossom like freshly fallen snow;
and after we had driven about two miles the town of Noya itself could
hardly be seen for its profusion of encircling blossom. Rye and wheat
stood high in many of the fields; it was to be harvested in May, when
maize would immediately be sown in its place, to be cut in its turn in
October. Green peas filled some of the plots, and were already in
flower; they too were to be ready in May, and some were already in pod.
Other plots were heaped with vegetable manure, and about to be sown with
maize. Our road then ran close to the water, which was fringed with
overhanging willows, and here and there a tall eucalyptus, an orange, or
a lemon. There were lemon trees in all the village gardens. The oranges
of Noya are quite passable, though not so luscious as those of Southern
Spain. Fine “lords and ladies” peeped from under the hedges, and in the
more shady nooks there were a few ferns and hyacinths. The pine trees
here too were covered with “brown fingers,” and below each finger we
could see a cone.

Our carriage stopped near a picturesque village, through which lay our
path leading to the Bridge of Alonso III. In a shed as we passed I saw
some carts of the “singing wheel” kind, and took the opportunity to
study their make; the walnut wood axles, as smooth as satin, were as
thick as a man’s thigh, the wheels were solid disks of oak with
iron-bound edges.

We entered one of the cottages; it was built with great solid blocks of
granite, and had walls three-quarters of a yard thick; such cottages
last for generations. They are deliciously cool in summer and warm in
winter, for each has a great oven built into the wall and forming an
excrescence on the outside, not unlike the mud ovens of Central Asia.
Here the bread is baked; while near it, hanging from a hinge on the wall
like a picture, is the _escaño_, or wooden dining-table; it takes up no
room, and is on the principle of the seats in the corridors of trains,
and never in the way; two hooks in the ceiling, a couple of yards apart,
support two loops of cord, and in these loops rests a long pole; on the
pole hang the clothes of the family. This too is on the same principle
as the wardrobes of Turkestan; they, like the table, can be got out of
the way in a moment when their room is required. A small baby boy in a
quaint wooden cradle delighted us with its beautiful brown eyes, and its
little sister standing near also had magnificent eyes. Opposite the
kitchen, across the narrow passage, we opened another door, expecting to
see another dwelling room, but behold, it was a cattle stall, dark, with
no windows, and containing one solitary cow, who looked at us with great
surprise. The baby’s mother informed us that the cows were always kept
in the houses, and that only the bullocks were out ploughing.

The interior of the next cottage was shown to us by its owner, an old
woman wearing a yellow straw hat with a black ribbon band round the low
crown, crossed in two short ends at the back; in a shed outside we saw
piles of freshly mown hay full of daisies, and aromatic with field
herbs. Fowls were running about in the kitchen, which also did duty as a
hen-coop. We noticed a crucifix on a shelf in the bedroom. As we came
out again into the lane, a long-legged pig met us at a gallop, and a man
trotted briskly past on a mule.

To our right, just before we reached the bridge, we came to a tall
sculptured stone cross raised upon four steps of stone; this cross dates
from the fifteenth century. The sculpture is well preserved; on the
lower part are the figures of three monks, each looking in a different
direction; they wear the garb of “Benedictine,” “Dominican,” and
“Franciscan” respectively. Galicia is full of such crosses, as England
was once. In the Middle Ages a stone crucifix often stood in the place
of an oratory. In many districts scarcely yet cleared from the forest a
cross raised in the middle of a field was enough to satisfy the devotion
of the Anglo-Saxon thane,[241] his ploughmen and shepherds; they
gathered round it for public and daily prayer in places where churches
were scarce.

Laurel bushes in full flower and with a very small leaf adorned the
bank, and sprang from crevices in the bulwarks of the bridge. This
bridge had, originally, pointed Gothic arches built in the fifteenth
century, but when it was restored in the nineteenth the new arches were
made semicircular. In my photograph the old pointed arches are clearly
distinguishable among the others;[242] half way across we looked down
over the parapet upon an old apple tree that sprang out of the brickwork
of the breakwaters which were built on the eastern side, like the
pointed prows of ships, to cut the force of the torrent-fed river; on
the western side the breakwaters were square, and washed only by the
gentle sea-tides of the ria. Ascending the farther bank after we had
crossed the bridge, we came to a large village, the very one that
Professor Dogson of Oxford walked out to from Noya, that he might gather
and examine the names of the villagers with a view to proving their
Basque origin.[243] A little higher up on the slope of the hill is a
village named Argalo, after a king of the Greeks, the fifth king of
Lacedemonia, about 1400 B.C., and founded by Greek settlers at a little
later date.[244] Aguiar asserts that in no part of the Peninsula are
there more traces of Greek colonies than in Portugal and Galicia. There
are thousands of Greek names still to be found in Galicia, names of
towns, mountains, and rivers, such as Agra, Melante, Berroea, Berta,
Boea, Bura, Camara, Cardia, Cella, Cora, Naron, Samos, Lais, Pindo, and
Caspindo. The Gallegan name for maize bread is _broa_, which is also a
Greek word. Two of the three generals who confronted the Romans in the
north of Spain were Leucon and Megara. The custom of wrestling naked on
festive occasions was derived by the Gallegan villagers from Greek
colonists, and preserved up to the middle of the nineteenth century.

As we were returning to Noya, we passed on the road a woman carrying a
large sack of flour on her head; her boots were tied together and slung
above the sack, and she was walking barefoot. At a distance of about an
eighth of a mile from Noya we again alighted from our conveyance, and
ascended a short way up a hill to a tiny village hidden among the trees,
to look at a stone with a Roman inscription which the villagers had
discovered a few days previously. In the yard of one of the cottagers,
built with slabs of ancient stone, we found the writing we had come to
see; the woman who owned the cottage was quite aware that her find was
likely to be valued by the local archæologists, and she was determined
only to part with it to the highest bidder, so we contented ourselves
with a photograph. The letters of the inscription are very clear where
not broken away, as may be seen from the photograph.

    NA ... M

(To the gods, to Moso, his mother Florina, etc.)

The stone had formed part of one of the cottage walls; in a heap of
rubbish we discovered part of a stone column about three-quarters of a
foot in diameter, also the Doric base of a very much larger column
turned upside down among a pile of stones. The friend who acted as my
guide had found some interesting fragments of Roman pottery there a few
years before, and was convinced that it was the site of an important
Roman settlement. This gentleman presented me afterwards with a
photograph of another Græco-Latin stone of the first or second century,
found in that neighbourhood, on which, beneath a curious figure standing
under a crescent, were the letters--


The last line is the usual _Voto Solute timens Numini posuit_.

On 27th March we drove along the bridge over the river Trava, and
skirted the southern shore of the ria by a road cut in the slope of a
hill, a good road only finished in 1900. Almost all the roads round Noya
are quite new; until some twelve years ago travellers had no choice but
to ride or go on foot. Every step of this drive was beautiful; the day
was fine, and the ria looked like a Swiss lake beneath us,--it might
have been Lake Como, with its mountain scenery on either side. On our
left was Monte Barbanzos, looking far more like a range of peaks than
one single mountain--its base spreads over five Spanish leagues. This
mountain is partly covered with furze and partly with grass; it has no
trees, but the mountains on the opposite side of the ria are mostly
covered with pines, which stood out in a fringe against the sunlit sky
as we retraced our steps to Noya. The shore below us formed numerous
little bays and inlets with beaches of silvery sand, perfect for summer
bathing. Here the ancient Iberians are thought to have dwelt before the
arrival of the Celts; the latter were a continental people, but the
Iberians loved to dwell by the sea. An archæologist who has explored
this part tells me that the names here are very like those of Italy
(which land was also partly peopled by Iberians). A little farther on we
passed the spot where a famous _trovador_ of the thirteenth century is
said to have lived--he was one of those whose erotic verses are
preserved in the Vatican collection. At last we reached a particularly
snug little bay which still retains the name given it by the
Romans--Portosino, _Portus Sinus_. From here the telegraph wire ran
through the pine trees to Son. On a little neck of land which forms the
bay of Portosino we visited a factory for tinning sardines; boats
belonging to it bring the fish to a little landing-place two yards from
the factory door. Behind the factory was a garden, a regular old
English garden--but for its tropical fruits--with a straight path down
the centre hedged by shrubs, and bushes of stocks, red and pink, in full
bloom; between the garden and the house of the owners of the factory
there was the typical Gallegan wash-tank, with sloping stone sides on
which to rub the clothes; here a woman with bare feet was washing linen
in the running water, which entered the tank on one side and left it on
the other; trees sheltered the tank, and beyond was an arbour over which
there climbed a variety of cacti with red flowers and finger-like leaves
of dark green. In the garden I noted fig trees as broad and sturdy as an
oak; there were also lemon trees laden with ripe lemons; we had passed a
grove of orange trees a few minutes before, some of which were in
blossom. A huge pear tree, white with blossoms, overhung a good piece of
the garden, and near it was a Nispera Japonica (Japanese Medlar), with
its fruit already the size of green cherries.

We plucked branches of blossoming black thorn from the hedges which
lined the road, and then alighted beside a pine wood to gather a
remarkable plant which local fishermen employ to poison trout; it is in
no way injurious to the fish for eating purposes, and saves the trouble
of waiting for a bite!

Near Portosino, but on the opposite side of the ria, there are twelve
boat-building establishments; boats of all sizes are built there, some
large enough to cross the ocean, but only sailing boats. They supply the
whole coast with fishing boats, and the pine woods upon the neighbouring
hills supply them with timber. But Noya’s most important activity is the
exportation of pines to Cardiff.

Sometimes English ships come into the ria; and when our fleet is
stationed at Villagarcia the officers visit the neighbourhood of
Finisterre and enjoy some good sport. Borrow wrote, “Certainly in the
whole world there is no bolder coast than the Gallegan shore, from the
debouchement of the Miño to Cape Finisterre.” Opposite Portosino to the
north of the ria we could discern the port of Muros, a town that has so
long been famed for its beautiful women.

Muros is the name given to a juridical division of the province of
Coruña, which comprises twenty-nine parishes and some forty thousand
souls. The town of Muros, nestling in a fold of Mount Costina, has about
three thousand inhabitants, who are chiefly engaged in fishing and
sardine packing; it is divided into two parts, called respectively Gesta
and Cerca. In the central square, or _Plaza de los Toros_, there is a
tall Gothic clock tower which has been so much repaired that very little
of its antiquity remains. The church, _Santa Maria del Campo_, was
founded in 1504 by Diego Minguez. The port of Muros is a very good one,
sheltered on three sides by lofty mountains, and opening into the _Ria
de Noya_; it admits ships of every size and kind, and has a good beach
for sea-bathing, and a mild temperature.[245] English sailing ships
called at Muros long before they discovered Vigo, and the seafaring folk
of Muros have visited for centuries the coasts of Scotland and England;
they are energetic, and make a good deal of money. I had fully intended
to visit Muros from Noya, but was obliged to abandon the project on
account of the uncertainty of the journey. It takes five hours to cross
the ria in fine weather, but if the weather is stormy one may be kept a
prisoner at Muros for days together, and I could not risk so much time.

Muros is believed to have been founded by Greek colonists long before
the Christian era, and the classic beauty of its women is attributed to
the fact that the town never, till quite lately, had much intercourse
with other places, and that the purity of the Greek type was thus handed
down from one generation to another. My hostess in Santiago had talked
much of Muros and its beautiful women; she described them as mostly
fair-complexioned with very dark eyes, pearly teeth, and black hair, the
latter so thick that when worn in a plait “you could not get your
fingers round it, and so long that it reached to the feet.” “People turn
in the street to look at a Muros woman,” she added; “their beauty is so
striking.” These women have a dress of their own, loose and flowing;
they never cover their heads with either hat or handkerchief, though if
the weather is very cold they will draw their shawls up over their

Our third drive took us up the side of a hill called _Pena de Oro_ (Rock
of Gold), and bearing that name as far back as the fourteenth century,
as a recently discovered document testifies. Part way up the slope we
passed a charming villa and garden belonging to a Santiago family, that
of Don Pedro de Pais. A woman working there kindly came on with us as
our guide to a dolmen (cromlech) which we wished to visit. It was at
this point I took a photograph of Noya from the carriage. But no
photograph could do justice to its delicate framework of cherry and
apple blossoms, which literally smothered its innumerable villages, and
joined them all in one pink-and-white mass. It has been predicted that
these villages will ere long form part and parcel of Noya, for the
spaces between them are filling up rapidly.

The dolmen was situated on the flat top of a high hill far from all
human habitation, and shut in by pines and the slopes of yet higher
hills. It was a rough scramble up steep goat paths winding among stones
and furze. We found seven Druidical-looking stones placed in a small
circle round what had once been a grave. Sr. Barros Sevelo opened the
grave some thirty years ago, and describes the various implements,
ashes, torques, and urns, that he found there, in his book on the
antiquities of Galicia. The stones lean against one another like the
leaves of a tulip; there was once a great slab across the top. The
peasants of the neighbourhood call this dolmen _Casa dá Moura_, and
implicitly believe it to be a Moorish ruin, for the Moors are the only
strangers they have ever heard of; they attribute everything that is old
to them, including the Latin inscriptions! The hill on which the dolmen
stands is called _Monte Paraino_. From it we had an extensive view of
the valley through which our road passed, and of the villages on the
farther slope. Among them we noted a large white house, the residence of
a former _Rector_ of Santiago University, Señor Romero Blanco, who
enjoys considerable repute in the world of medicine.

As we were descending the hill to rejoin our conveyance, we entered a
cottage and had a chat with its owners. On my expressing a wish to see
the rooms, the woman took me by the hand and led me through a passage
and up stairs so dark that we had to strike a light to see the steps. In
a room on the upper floor there was a bed covered with a neat
counterpane. “This room belongs to my nephew who has gone to America,”
she said, with a touch of sadness in her voice. “We have only had one
letter from him since he arrived there, and that came a month ago.”[246]
The cottage, built of granite slabs, had hardly any windows; most of the
rooms were low and dark, and we were in danger of knocking our heads
against the rafters. The old man looked very hale and hearty; quite fit
for another ten years of active life.

“How old do you think me?” he asked, and then he added: “I am
eighty-six; I was born in 1821. In my younger days I was a grenadier in
the Engineers; I have served in almost every part of Spain.”

When we emerged to the sunlight I looked at him more closely. He was a
tall, well built fellow with a fine military bearing, and had features
that would have done credit to a general.

A couple of miles farther on we came to a little church (upon our
right), which dated from the twelfth century, and had a Romanesque
entrance not unlike that of _Santa Maria de Sar_, a semicircular arch
resting upon columns with sculptured capitals--only much rougher in its
workmanship; the apse was eighteenth-century work, square in form and
much higher than the nave. The apses were lower than the nave until the
fifteenth century, and often circular in form. This church was
constructed entirely of granite; the statues which once stood in its
niches are now placed in the wall of the apse; the churchyard was full
of horizontal tombstones. On festal occasions a procession of peasants
passes over them with as little concern as if they were paving stones.
The Gallegans have none of our superstitious horror of graves and
coffins, but like to have the remains of their departed always near

We drove on till we had almost reached a hill called _San Mamed_, rising
from the slope of _Monte Confurco_, among the granite boulders of which
there has stood a little chapel of some description ever since the
fourth century; this was probably the site of a hermit’s cell in the
days of San Fructuoso. On certain days in the year, and especially on
10th August, the people of Noya make excursions to this hill. Some of
the boulders are so big that a man can stand upright beneath their
projecting sides. The excursions or _romerias_ are a kind of religious
picnic, from which both spiritual and physical blessings are expected to
result. So great is the faith in San Mamed, that delicate women walk the
whole way from Noya, often taking quite young children with them;
although they are ready to drop with fatigue, they persevere for the
sake of ultimate good. A curious hollow in one of the great boulders is
called the bed of San Mamed, and people suffering from various internal
complaints think they will be cured if they stretch themselves upon the
saint’s bed.

The moon shone full upon our road as we drove back along the
pine-skirted road, and lit up the faces of the young peasant women who
passed us with baskets of fish upon their heads, and sang as they
walked, “Tralala, tralala.”

The little white-washed leper chapel which stands on a green slope
separated from the town by the river Trava belonged once to a leper
hospital. The people still take their offerings to that chapel on the
day of St. Lazarus, whereupon the priests sell the offerings received
and give the proceeds to the poor.

The next morning I witnessed an interesting scene from our balcony. A
bullock cart drew up in front of the little hotel--the cart was
practically nothing more than a raft; upon it stood two fine sturdy
peasant women, and on either side of it there walked two more whose
appearance was equally muscular; two of them wore the typical
flat-brimmed straw hat with a pious-looking black ribbon round the
crown, the others had handkerchiefs tied over their heads. One of the
bullocks has got something into its hoof, and the women try to get hold
of its leg, but it kicks violently every time they approach. At last one
of them succeeds in getting a rope round the refractory leg, takes hold
of it, and turns up the hoof, while a rapidly increasing crowd looks on.
The woman now borrowed a knife from a bystander, and proceeded to pick
the furze or thorn out of the hoof; meanwhile another of the women
fetched a cup of alcohol from a shop and a box of matches; she poured
the alcohol into the cavity of the upturned hoof and set a light to it;
the hoof was now in a blaze, and the bullock kicked and struggled with
all its might, but the women held on to the hoof till the fire had
burned away the obstruction, then they let it go and proceeded to load
the cart with sacks full of something heavy. They worked away exactly as
if they were four strong field labourers; not a man in the crowd
attempted to give them the slightest assistance, nor did they seem to
require any. These women labourers are most conscientious in their work,
and it is very rarely that a woman gives way to drink. They are
extremely self-denying, and in those families where there is still a man
left, the wife “gives the chicken to the husband and contents herself
with the broth.” When the husbands and sons have emigrated, the wives
and daughters cheerfully take upon themselves all the agricultural
labour, in addition to the care of the children and the home. Yet, in
spite of it all, their cottages are remarkably clean and comfortable.

On Maundy Thursday we had a “fast” dinner, the courses of which
were--prawns; a mash of chick-peas and eggs; cockles served in scallop
shells; turbot; lampreys and green peas; and lastly, _salmonete_ baked
in a pie. In the afternoon a procession passed beneath our balcony; four
men carried a platform on which stood a life-size figure of Christ
sinking beneath the weight of His cross; He wore a purple mantle
bordered with gold; two Roman soldiers, half-clad, were on either side.
Six priests and a crowd of men, including the musicians, preceded, and
a crowd of women and children followed; nearly all the women had white
handkerchiefs over their heads.

On Good Friday, as soon as it was dark, children began to run about the
streets with lighted candles, and by 9 p.m. every window was
illuminated, and another procession passed beneath our balcony. In this
procession they had the Virgin robed in black, and going to seek her
Son; a very doleful march was played by the musicians, the silent crowd
preceding, each person with a lighted candle.

On the Saturday before Easter all the bells of the town began to peal at
10.30 a.m., and in answer to my question as to why they did not wait
till Easter morning, I received the reply that on Sunday morning the
ringing would interfere with the church services. In the afternoon I
went to the church of San Martin, and saw the people come and fetch away
the candles they had placed before the altar; each candlestick (there
were some four hundred) had a piece of paper round it with the name of
its owner. “How do you each find your own candle again so quickly?” I
asked of one.

“Each person recognises their own candlestick,” was the answer. All
through the week little boys were going about with noisy wooden rattles
which sounded exactly like frogs croaking, and tried our nerves
terribly. On Wednesday evening they took the rattles to church, and
croaked in the dark before the candles were lit. This was supposed to
represent the cries of the Jewish rabble before the Crucifixion, but the
distracting noise continued in Noya for several days. The first time I
heard the rattle I innocently asked the landlord’s daughter to give the
boy a silver coin and ask him to move on to another street. “It’s no
use,” she replied,--“that noise will grow much worse, and it will
continue several days; it is part of the festival.” The Wednesday
evening service in which the rattles take a special part is that of _Las
tenieblas_; in fact, this name applies to all the matins during the last
three days of Holy Week, and the rattle, _carraca_, is meant to take the
place of bells.

The dinner menu on Good Friday was as follows:--Lobster; bread soup;
turbot; baked cockle tart; omelets; coffee.

As we stood on the balcony watching for one of the processions, a lady
resident at Noya turned to me, and said wistfully--

“I feel sure you will be baptized before you leave Noya, and become a

“But are not Protestants Christians too?” I asked.

“Oh, but you _will_ be baptized, and all Noya will run to see. Your face
tells me that you will be baptized. What is your name?”


“Ah! they say the devil spins round three times every time he hears that

On Easter Sunday we were present at the ten o’clock Mass, and saw the
village women walk coolly into the middle of the church with their great
market baskets on their heads; then each in turn lifted her basket off
her head and placed it by her side till the service was over, when she
again lifted it to the top of her head and marched out. To the English
mind this close combination of Sabbath and market-day is at first
somewhat repugnant, but surely if our religion is worth anything it must
have a better influence over us when it is part of our daily life than
when it is kept quite separate, like a Sunday-go-to-meeting bonnet! Yes,
it was both Easter Sunday and market-day; as we came out of church we
were immediately confronted by innumerable booths, stalls, and tables
covered with village merchandise,--oranges grown in the vicinity, the
local wide-brimmed straw hats, baskets of eggs, rows of coffins--large
ones painted black, small ones white--village cheeses and young
vegetables, small piles of maize, millet, chick-peas, hand-woven cloth,
and tin kitchen utensils. I asked the price of the straw hats; they were
about tenpence halfpenny each, and came from the village of San Cosmo.
Small onions were twisted into a regular braid and sold by length, and
“Spanish” onions, _cebollas_, were also plentiful.

On another occasion we wandered through some of the older streets;
there was one, very narrow, the _calle de la Condessa_, with
thirteenth-century houses on both sides; they had Gothic windows and
Gothic colonnades, and the outer walls were ornamented with an artistic
device peculiar to Roman architecture, _entabtamento_ (entablature). In
a more modern street we found a tablet on the house in which one of
Noya’s heroes was born,--“Luis Cradaso Rey, born in 1844, commanded the
Spanish fleet in the Philippines; he died on board his flagship, the
_Reina Cristina_, in 1898.” I have already mentioned the bust of Felipe
de Castro in the Alameda, but Noya was also the birthplace of Galicia’s
other great sculptor, José Ferreiro. Friar Luis Rodriquez was another of
her famous men; he was a monk of the Franciscan monastery (which is now
a prison) and the first person to publish a vocabulary of the Gallegan

There is no public square in Noya, and there is no bull-ring, but Noya
has her bull-fights four times a year, as regularly as the seasons. On
these occasions a street serves the purpose of a ring; the two ends are
blocked by tribunes filled with spectators, and the balconies of the
houses on both sides overflow with ladies and gentlemen. A Noya
bull-fight is conducted in this way:--The men rush at the bull--which is
practically a tame one from the neighbouring hills--and try to aggravate
it; at length they succeed, and it plunges at them, whereupon they turn
their backs and flee before it in a crowd, falling at last in a heap,
one on top of another, those who come last and fall on top getting their
clothes rent by the horns of the bull, to the immense gratification of
the spectators; it ends in the bull becoming the _matador_ and the men
playing the part usually assigned to the bull. There is a poetical
description of one of these performances, by Enrique Labarta Posé. We
are told, in running verse, how the town was placarded with “A Grand
Bull-fight,” and how the inhabitants gathered from far and near on a
sweltering August day--the feast day of Noya’s patron saint, San
Bartolomé. When the company had assembled--all the children, all the
young people and all the old ones--the president rose and waved a
handkerchief, as the signal that the performance should now begin. Music
burst forth, a door opened, and--a bull appeared; but such a quiet,
gentle creature! he actually walked along as if he were going to pay a
call--to chat with a fellow-bull in the neighbouring field. The men now
rushed at the poor creature; one pulled its tail, another beat its back,
another ran a stick into its side till the president felt so sorry for
it that he gave the signal for its withdrawal. Another bull then
appeared. The men simply threw themselves upon it, and the bull bore
their onslaught with the serenity of a martyr at the stake! and without
moving a hair. Again the president’s heart was touched; he signalled,
and the victim was allowed to go. A third bull now came forth to the
sound of more music, and a similar scene was enacted. At last some one
roused the president, who had dozed away in his chair, and that
gentleman now brought the performance to a close amid the ringing cheers
of a delighted audience.

All the students who had come to Noya for Easter returned to Santiago by
coach on Sunday, to be ready for work on Easter Monday, which is not
Bank Holiday in Galicia.

We returned by the first coach on Monday, and found the scenery of the
journey even more beautiful than when we had come. It was as we were
nearing Santiago that we saw three hundred young men who had come down
from the mountains to search for work, and to emigrate if none could be
found. I understood now how it came about that the Gallegan emigrants
sometimes died of home-sickness, for I had experienced something of the
inexpressible charm of their beautiful country, their hills and valleys
always green, and their perennial streams that are never parched, and I
could understand something of what it must be to these poor fellows to
be separated from such a home by thousands and thousands of miles in a
land where all nature was so different. South America, with its wide
prairies under a merciless sun, its wild and savage mountains where one
may travel for days together without finding a sign of human life, is
very different from populous Galicia with its gentle, smiling scenery,
its mountains whose slopes are veritable gardens, its innumerable
springs, its rias and its rivers, its vines and its orchards. Every step
of land visible from Noya is cultivated, every peasant is a proprietor.
Yes, I had begun to understand the devotion of the Gallegans to their
beautiful native land. Who would not love passionately so sweet a
birthplace? Even the Russian loves his steppe, where the scene never
changes for thousands of miles. In Galicia, every nook, every crag,
every peak, every valley has a distinctive character that is all its
own, with its own peculiar beauty. Galicia’s cottage homes are of
granite, they last for many generations; even the Russian exile loves
his home, though his _isba_ of wood will not last twenty years. Shall
not the Gallegan regret Galicia, where there is so much that his memory
can cling to? There are two kinds of home-sickness to which the Gallegan
emigrants are subject,--_saudades_, a milder form, and _morrina_,
already mentioned; they die of the latter, but the former is not fatal,
and the sound of their beloved musical instrument, the _gaita_, or
bagpipe, has been known to revive their spirits and give them the power
to throw it off.



     Villagarcia--Site of King Alfonso’s new palace--Pontevedra--A
     magnificent stone bridge--The fishermen’s guild--The fishermen’s
     church--The façade--The interior--The architect of Santa Maria la
     Grande--Morales--Santo Domingo--Beautiful ruins--A romantic
     museum--Sepulchral effigies--Ambassadors to Tamerlane--Roman
     milestones--Escutcheons--The contents of the museum--Iberian,
     Celtic, and Sueve antiquities--Stonemasons’ marks--The founder of
     the Pontevedra Archæological Society--The Conventual Church of San
     Francisco--The legendary Chariño--Museum in the Municipal
     Buildings--Mediæval keys--The archives of Pontevedra--Drive to
     Marin--English Protestant missionaries--The river Lerez--Santa
     Clara--Drive to the village of Combarro--Pedro Sarmiento--The house
     in which he was born--_Las Sarmientas_--Heavy taxes--San Juan de
     Poyo--Santa Tramunda--The Jewish quarter--Mansion of the Sotomayor
     family--The Castillo de Mos--A mediæval castle--A beautiful
     drive--Passing through a battlefield--Vines trained over
     granite--Entering the castle grounds--The little theatre--The old
     keep--Gothic staircase--Dungeons--The chapel--The parapet--The
     turret--The reception rooms--An authoress--Three periods of
     architecture--Very old chestnut trees--Prehistoric rock
     drawings--Cup marks--Half an hour’s walk from Pontevedra

We spent another week in Santiago after our return from Noya, and then
proceeded by train to Pontevedra, the chief town of the province of that
name.[247] Two of the stations we passed on the way were Padron and
Villagarcia. It was at Villagarcia that a British fleet lay for several
weeks in the spring of 1907, as I found to my cost, for the officers had
been before me and had bought up all the best photographs available in
several of the neighbouring towns. Villagarcia is beautifully situated
on the eastern bank of the Ria de Arosa, nineteen kilometres from the
town of Pontevedra, and is called _la Perla de Arosa_ (the Pearl of
Arosa). It has a population of about seven thousand. The sea-bathing
here is excellent, and there are delightful walks in the vicinity; but
the fact that King Alfonso has selected it as the site of his new summer
palace is perhaps the best proof we can give of its healthful beauty and

Pontevedra, surrounded by hills on three sides, is situated on a small
peninsular formed by the rivers Lerez, Alba, and Tomeya, just before
they empty themselves into the sea. During the Middle Ages the town was
surrounded by a rampart with bastions and castellated towers at regular
intervals. A little to the north on the road to Santiago there is a
magnificent stone bridge over the river Lerez, with twelve arches; it
was built upon the site of an older bridge in 1765, and is also called
_Puente del Burgo_. There are many old houses in the town, with the
escutcheons of influential families still upon their walls.

Pontevedra too has her ancient history: she claims, on the authority of
Strabo, to have been founded by the Greeks, who came over with Teucer,
and to have been called _Los Helenos_ in consequence. Strabo got this
information from Asclepeades Merleanus (the Grammarian of
Andalusia).[248] It is not known when the name was changed, but there
seems no doubt that it must have been about the time of the advent of
the Romans, and that Pontevedra is derived from _Pons vetus_. Roman
milestones discovered during the last hundred and fifty years prove by
their inscriptions that at least one of the Roman military roads passed
this way.[249]

During the Middle Ages Pontevedra was a town of considerable maritime
importance; Molina calls it “the largest town in Galicia,” with a
fishing trade of seldom less than eighty thousand ducats annually, and
says, “it trades with Valencia, Andalusia, Sicily, and places even more
distant; more than a hundred vessels laden with sardines leave its port
every year.” All the activity and all the wealth of this town was
connected with the sea; its merchant fishermen formed among themselves a
sort of fishing guild, and, like the Hanseatic League, kept all the
maritime commerce in their own hands, including that of all the towns on
the Ria de Arosa, as well as Marin and Vigo. Pontevedra was the only
port for loading and unloading vessels all along the coast from Bayona
to Los Trangueiros; she also, along with Noya, had a monopoly of the
preparation of fish oil, conceded to them by Fernando in 1238. On one
occasion, when twelve or thirteen Pontevedrans had been carried off by
Turkish pirates, the Archbishop of Santiago, Don Gaspar Avalos, granted
these merchants a very curious privilege, namely, that they might fish
on Sundays, provided that they would spend the money so made in
ransoming the captives.

The fishers’ league, or guild, was called _Gremio de la Cofradia del
Cuerpo Santo_, and the merchant fishermen called themselves _Mareantes_:
they had their own ordinances, laws, and regulations, and, being an
extremely powerful and wealthy body, they had control of all municipal
affairs, and always came off best in any dispute with their neighbours.
In gratitude to Heaven for the prosperity which they enjoyed, these
merchant fishers subscribed money to build a church worthy of their
town, and the result was the beautiful edifice of _Santa Maria la
Grande_. The money was not subscribed all at once in a lump sum, but
different parts of the church were built at the expense of the various
donors. In the façade to the right of the principal entrance is an
inscription giving the name of a _Mareante_--Bartolamé Trigo--and
stating exactly what part of the wall had been paid for out of his
pocket. Now, two Bartolames figure in the local documents of the
fifteenth century, one young and one old, so that, in spite of all his
care, we cannot be sure whether this donor was the son or the father.
Inside the church there are many more such inscriptions on the walls and
on the pillars. Sometimes the wife’s name figures beside that of the
husband, as for instance in the oldest of the side chapels, where we
find an inscription giving the names of Juan de Barbeito and his wife
Taresa, and stating that they were the founders of the chapel; it is the
oldest of all the inscriptions. Here is one from the right wall beneath
the choir[250]--


Juan de Celis was an influential _Mareante_ of the early days of the
sixteenth century. But my readers must not think that the church,
because each paid for his own bit of work, was like a patchwork quilt,
with work of all shapes and sizes. It is, on the contrary, a remarkably
beautiful edifice, and the only patchwork about it results from a fusion
of several styles of architecture. Here we find, it is true, the Gothic
merging into the Renaissance style, but the fusion is brought about with
consummate skill, and, in the opinion of those most competent to judge,
the architect could not have succeeded better; he had to keep in touch
with the art of the thirteenth century, and at the same time to




the later element of the neo-Græco-Roman or _plateresque_. The result is
a harmonious combination which deserves the highest praise. The nearest
English equivalent to the predominating style is what we call “Tudor.”

The façade, which is in the Renaissance style, is considered to be the
finest part of Santa Maria, and “the jewel of Pontevedra”;[251] it is
divided into five sections or storeys, in three of which there are six
columns with statues between; above each statue is the shell of St.
James. Over the chief entrance is a beautiful relief representing the
Assumption of the Virgin--eight Apostles clustering round the couch (a
four-poster) of the dying Virgin; the faces are very fine. All the
columns are covered with elaborate alto-relief in the _grotesque_ style
of the Renaissance. The church is built upon an eminence, and the
ground, sloping sharply away from the façade, is covered with three
handsome flights of steps; it is thus impossible, unfortunately, to get
a good near view of the façade, for every step you take away from it
brings you a step lower and makes the point of view less favourable.
Above the stone wall which encloses the church on either side of the
steps there is a remarkably fine iron railing. The bell-tower is
eighteenth-century work, all except the lower storey, which is of the
same date as the church. The real date of the façade is 1546, for Señor
Casto Sampedro has discovered (in 1907) the deed of contract for its
erection; the date of the vaulting of the naves is 1559, the chapels are
of various dates. In former days there was a gate of the town between
castellated walls facing the church; the present flight of steps is
modern. In a book of the sixteenth century, entitled “_Chronicles of
England and France_,”[252] in the possession of the British Consul at
Villagarcia, there is a picture of the fortified town of Pontevedra with
its battlements and towers; a very small portion of the castellated wall
still remains near the Convent of Santa Clara.

All round the outer walls there is a fringe of _plateresque_ stone lace
which is very effective. One corner of the church, added later, forms a
modern chapel, dedicated to El Cristo del buen viage (the Christ of the
good journey). I looked in at the window, and saw an altar with a
crucifix and a great many artificial flowers; in front of the window was
a railing and a slit for coppers. This chapel, though modern, has its
interests, and good Catholics about to take a journey drop a copper in
the slot for good luck.

The richly decorated interior of Santa Maria is most graceful; fan ribs
radiate from the sculptured capitals of the tall clustered piers, and,
interlacing, spread themselves over the vaulting in a geometrical
network, while stone filigree fringes the central arch. The two side
naves are divided from the central nave by pointed Gothic arches; each
nave is covered with three separate vaults; at the head of the principal
nave there is an apse of the same width, while on either side of the
apse, at the head of each side nave there is a small chapel. All the
vaulting is of one height. There was till quite recently a most gorgeous
iconographic seventeenth-century _retablo_ behind the chief altar, but,
having become rotten and dangerous, it has now been removed in fragments
to the local museum. The entire inner wall of the façade is entirely
covered by a series of scenes from the Old and New Testament, sculptured
in bas-relief upon the granite blocks--it is so dark in that part of the
church that without the aid of a candle the work is hardly visible; one
or two of the Biblical scenes are difficult to identify. I do not
remember seeing anything like them in any other church; it is a
superfluity of sculpture, a kind of inner façade, _contrafachada_. It is
composed of nine divisions in three compartments. Among the scenes
represented are: the creation of Eve, Adam and Eve driven out of
Paradise, and the death of Abel. The chief interest in these is the
treatment of details--the houses, mills, and bridges in the background,
all have interest for the antiquarian.

Upon the site where _Santa Maria la Grande_ now stands there once stood
a church built in the ninth century; this is proved by existing
documents, and it is also known that the name of that church was also
_Santa Maria la Grande_; it stood on the highest spot in the town, and
was in all probability the site of a Roman temple; this eminence
dominates both the sea and the _ria_.

With regard to the name of the architect of _Santa Maria la Grande_
there has been a good deal of doubt; he seems to have been more modest
than the _Mareantes_ who contributed the funds. Señor Villa-Amil thought
that he had discovered both the date and the name of the architect when
he found in a manuscript the statement that on 10th July 1517, Juan de
los Cuelos, _maestro de la obra de la iglesia de Santa-maria la Grande
ortogó_, etc. Murguia stated that the architect was a Portuguese,--Pedro
Gonzalez,--but a local archæologist, Señor Casto Sampedro, has now
proved both these statements to be erroneous, for, while reading through
some ancient documents preserved in the notarial archives of the town,
in the spring of 1907, he suddenly lighted upon the real name of the
sculptor of the façade, Cornelius de Holanda.[253]

Morales, who visited Pontevedra in the reign of Philip II. (in 1572),
spoke of this church as _Santa Maria de los Pescadores_ (the fishermen’s
church), and said “they have spent more than twenty thousand ducats on
it, and intend to spend another twenty thousand, the sum still needed to
complete the work.” There are several pictures in the church, which,
though of little value as paintings, have still an archæological
interest, and there are some old chalices in the sacristy. In the
principal nave there is a graceful font, very shallow, with an
inscription round the brim and a sculptured pedestal.

On our way to Santa Maria la Grande, we had passed the ivy-covered ruins
of a beautiful Gothic abbey; the sky was visible through the lancet
windows of its graceful apses, and its crumbling walls seemed to speak
to us from another world. This was all that remained of the Conventual
Church of Santo Domingo.

I have heard this ruin spoken of by archæologists as the sole specimen
of purely Gothic architecture in the whole of Galicia; every other
church in the province seems to have borrowed something from the style
of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. In 1880, Fita urged that the
ruins of Santa Domingo at Pontevedra should be carefully guarded, and
preserved as a national monument, but to-day the practical citizens of
Pontevedra are complaining of the space taken up by its walls, and
suggesting that it be cleared away to make room for some useful modern

In a history of the Order of San Domingo, published in 1613,[254] it is
stated that there is no document in existence which gives the date of
the foundation of Santo Domingo of Pontevedra, but that the site for it
was purchased in Era 1321 (1283 A.D.) from a lady, Donna Sancha Roca
Helda, and it is certain that the edifice was standing in the beginning
of the fourteenth century. All that remains of it to-day is a little bit
of the transept and its five polygonal apses--one large one with two
small ones on either side; all five have fan vaulting and double lancet
windows. The ornamentation of the columns is iconographic: on one of the
capitals is sculptured a fight between warriors and a dog; on another,
monster birds with long twisted necks attacking one another with their
beaks. The inner walls show traces of having been once covered with
frescoes representing the Resurrection and the Life of Santo Domingo, of
which some still remain. “It is the number of the apses,” writes
Villa-Amil, “which constitutes the singularity of this church, for it is
the only one of all the conventual churches built in Galicia during the
Middle Ages which has that number, all the others (and here he mentions
ten) have only three. Otherwise there is nothing remarkable about it.”
The door which opened between the church and the sacristy is still
there; it is Gothic, with an archivolt decorated with fluted mouldings,
leaves, and twisted fillets; the statues which adorned it are gone. In
the largest apse there is still preserved the original altar table of
one solid piece of stone.

Santo Domingo, now an archæological museum, was once the principal
necropolis, the Westminster Abbey, of the province of Pontevedra. As far
back as the close of the fourteenth century, illustrious men left money
to it in their wills, and the command that they should be interred
within its precincts. The sepulchral effigies of _Don Payo Gomez de
Sotomayor_ and his wife the Infanta de Hungria, _Donna Juana_, are still
there in their Gothic niches. Don Payo is coated with mail, his head is
covered by a helmet, and his sword is by his side. The family of
_Sotomayor_ is one of the oldest in Spain, and the chapel in which their
effigies lie was founded by them. _Payo Gomez de Sotomayor_ was one of
the two ambassadors sent by King Enrique III. of Castille to the court
of Tamerlane in 1402; the other was _Hernan Sanchez Palazuelos_: they
helped Tamerlane in his fight against the Turks. Tamerlane loaded them
with presents, and also presented them with two beautiful captives (one
of whom was said to be a member of the royal family of Hungary), whom
they eventually married. Donna Juana, whose effigy is in Santo Domingo,
was the captive who became the wife of Payo Gomez. On her tomb is an
escutcheon in which the arms of the Sotomayors are united to those of
the house of Hungary. Close by there is also the effigy of Don Suero
Gomez de Sotomayor, the son of the ambassador to Persia.[255]

The ruins of Santo Domingo rise in the midst of a modern town; on two
sides they overlook the street, and on a third side a huge grammar
school for boys is being erected. The plot on which the ruins stands is
shut in with a railing, and has been turned to the best possible use,
for it now serves as an Open-air Archæological Museum. Rows of Roman




mile-stones decorate one of its paths, and a row of ancient coats of
arms lines another, while the wall behind them is a mass of ivy, laden
when we were there with heavy black berries, that hang like bunches of
grapes between the escutcheons. Cannon balls, a cannon that was thrown
overboard by the sailors of a Spanish gallion when pressed by the Dutch
in 1702, and an old iron anchor sixteen feet long with a ring at one
end, were the first objects that attracted my attention; near them was
an old stone cross (taken from the old church of San Bartolomé) some
twenty-five feet high, and the horizontal tombstone of one of the monks
of Santo Domingo which had been found in an old cemetery belonging to
the monastery. There was also an old altar covered with tessellated
work, and on it a curious statue of St. John the Baptist dating from the
fourteenth century. St. John holds a plate on which there is a lamb
sculptured, and the front of his tunic terminates with a human hand
(very clear in the photograph). The frontal of an altar taken from the
church of _la Virgen del Camino_, and dating from the fifteenth century,
had a curiously sculptured representation of the Descent from the Cross;
Mary is taking the body of Christ in her arms, two disciples support the
head, another supports the knees; the Christ has a long drooping
moustache which reaches almost to His waist, and the monk who supports
the head has a similar moustache, only a shorter one. We also noted
several horizontal tombstones, with emblems upon them indicating the
class of work in which the respective persons buried beneath had been

One half of this museum is reserved for Roman, and the other for
Iberian, Celtic, and Sueve antiquities. In the latter I saw several
stones that were thought to belong to the period of the Sueves; there
were also some rough boulders with strange markings on them thought to
be Iberian writing. Near a bed of purple and white irises was a fine
stone fountain that formerly stood in the principal square of the town,
also a circular font covered with sculpture. The inscriptions on the
Roman milestones are dedicated to Trajan, to Hadrian, to Constantine the
Great, and other emperors. There are with them a number of _aras_,
capitals, and funereal inscriptions; belonging to a later date there are
Byzantine statues, hand-mills, sarcophagi, and numerous objects of
antiquity. These are all scattered among the flower-beds, and the whole
is like a rock-garden rather than a museum. The ivy-draped walls of the
Church of Santo Domingo are covered on the inside with lapidary
signs--stonemasons’ marks--I counted some eighty-five of them.

The founding of this most unique and fascinating Museum in 1896 was due
to the suggestion and energy of Señor Casto Sampedro, who has not only
devoted endless time to its arrangement, but has published with the
minutest care, in the local _Archæological Journal_, all the
inscriptions it contains as well as those from the local churches. Señor
Sampedro is a lawyer by profession, but his office is a veritable
curiosity-shop, filled with antiques of every class and description: he
is also an epigraphist, highly skilled in deciphering ancient documents.
When a manuscript gives him any trouble, he pins it on his office wall,
and looks at it at intervals during his work, sometimes for days
together, before the correct meaning occurs to him. Señor Castro was
also the founder of the Pontevedra Archæological Society.

We next visited the church of the Franciscan monastery. This edifice is
built in the shape of a Latin cross, with one very wide nave and a wide
transept; at the head of the nave are three Gothic apses, a large one
the width of the nave, and a smaller one on either side. The apses have
recently been restored, and the lancet windows which had been bricked up
are now filled with coloured glass from the manufactory at Leon. The
transept was begun in the fifteenth century, but the rest of the church,
with the exception of the chapels, dates from the middle of the
thirteenth. The apses have fan vaults, and are of the first period of
Gothic art, very similar to those of Santo Domingo. The side chapels are
filled with the sumptuous tombs of wealthy families of the vicinity. The
table of the chief altar is a great stone slab, seventeen feet long and
three wide; it is thought to date from the foundation of the edifice. On
one of the lateral altars I noted a black-faced statue of St. Benedict
of Palermo. Two pairs of sarcophagi at the foot of the steps leading to
the chief altar had the recumbent effigies of two interesting couples;
their length is about seven feet. One on the right is thought to be a
famous admiral of the fourteenth century, the legendary Chariño. The
feet of all these effigies are crossed, their heads rest upon stone
pillows, while the top of each sarcophagus represents a couch. The
inscription on the tomb thought to be that of Chariño has been the
subject of considerable discussion in books and pamphlets. Payo Gomez
Chariño was the admiral who, at the head of a fleet composed of
twenty-seven ships from Pontevedra and thirteen from Noya, broke and
burned the famous bridge over the Guadalquivir



near Seville, _Puente de Triana_, which, being the key to the Moorish
dominion of that part of the country, enabled Ferdinand III., to take
the city.

Besides the Open-air Museum of Santo Domingo, there are also a couple of
rooms devoted to antiquities in the handsome new municipal buildings
overlooking the Alameda, but the keys are not always forthcoming for
visitors, and I only visited one of them; it contained a collection of
coins, some bronze agricultural instruments, a few arrow-heads, and a
few Roman amphoras, and round the walls were a series of pictures to
show what Pontevedra looked like before the English destroyed its
battlemented walls and towers. In a bookcase I saw among other books an
old copy of Pliny’s _History_. There was also a collection of ancient
keys, and another of fifteenth-century bells. In a glass case there were
some medals, among which was the square medal worn by the Inquisitors.
The room to which I could not get the key contains the pieces of the
seventeenth-century _retablo_ that was removed from Santa Maria la
Grande, and many interesting pieces of old furniture.

The archives of Pontevedra were very rich in historical documents
relating to the past history of the town and province, but about three
years ago the authorities of Madrid took it upon themselves to send some
one to fetch them bodily to the capital, where they now lie in piles
unread and uncared for, while local archæologists, who for the love of
their town would willingly devote to them the most painstaking study,
are left behind to lament the departure of a precious mental pabulum.
What Madrid can gain by thus robbing the smaller towns of their
archæological treasures, and damping the ardour of local enthusiasts, I
fail to see. This is not the way to educate the people and make them
value all that is connected with their past. No wonder that the citizens
of Pontevedra should look upon the ruins of Santo Domingo as an eyesore;
why should they do otherwise when they feel that if it _had_ any value
it would be carted to Madrid!

In the public gardens the azalias were covered with white blossom, and
in the private gardens between the houses the wisteria was also
resplendent, so too were camellias and oranges. One of the finest
houses, standing in its own grounds, was that of Admiral Mendez Nuñez;
it is here that our English admirals who come with the fleet are usually

One of the most charming drives in the vicinity of Pontevedra is to
Marin, a little fishing town which lies upon a crescent-shaped bay on
the south-east coast of the _ria_; there is also a steam tramcar route,
but it is far pleasanter to drive. Marin is a diminutive port, it has a
little wharf, and is so safe and commodious that ships, all except the
largest, can enter it in the most stormy weather, and its bottom affords
splendid anchorage. As our carriage left the town behind us, we caught a
fine view of the bridge over the Lerez, and the bull-ring near it. To
our left we passed the handsome summer residence and grounds of the
Marquis de Monfero Rios: here an orange grove had recently been planted,
and some of the trees were laden with golden fruit; beside them was an
avenue of tall pines which led up to the principal entrance of the
villa. Hyacinths, nemopholi, and drooping narcissi covered the banks
beneath the hedges that bordered our road as we proceeded, and behind
them in the gardens were wisterias again, and camellias, and white roses
creeping in profusion over the walls; but the principal feature of the
whole drive was the vines; they showed as yet no signs of leaves, yet
their dark knotted branches looked as if they had plenty of life in
them, for tendrils were shooting all over the frames. These vines were
not trained like hops on sticks, as they are in the Crimea, nor on
trellis-work like those of the Austrian Tyrol, but rested upon bamboo
canes from eight to twelve feet long, especially cultivated for that
purpose; the cottages had bamboo brackets swinging out over their doors
and lower windows to form supports for the vine branches; these make a
deliciously cool covering in hot weather. The hills did not slope down
to the water, but descended in terraces cut like steps; there were steps
of vines, steps of corn, steps of grass, and steps of green peas; but
always steps, never patches. At Marin we were kindly welcomed by some
English Protestant missionaries, who do what they can to improve the
condition of the poor fisherfolk; they have recently built a tasteful
little chapel near their dwelling: the priests do not favour their
presence, but the same liberty is accorded to them as is accorded to
Mohammedans in England. At Marin numbers of fisherwomen are occupied in
gathering cockles and other shell-fish on the shore; cartloads of
cockles are taken up to the mountain villages, where the peasants live
on them for days together. I constantly found groups of cottage children
picking cockles out of their shells and making of them their mid-day

An excursion by boat upon the river Lerez was planned for us, but had to
be abandoned on account of the rain; this is one of the most beautiful
excursions that tourists can take from Pontevedra; the banks of the
Lerez are thickly wooded, and are one mass of flowers and ferns in April
and May.

The convent of Santa Clara is surrounded by lofty and forbidding walls;
part of it is very old and part quite modern. Tradition says that the
original building was a centre for the Knights Templars, whose duty it
was to protect pilgrims and travellers on their journeys through the
wilder parts of the country: it is said that this accounts for the fact
that there is no escutcheon of the Order of Santa Clara upon the walls.
The apse of the conventual church is Gothic, and resembles, with its
lancet windows, those of Santo Domingo and San Francisco: the nuns are
not allowed to leave their convent on any pretext whatsoever--they are
cloistered for life; they do not even enter the body of their church,
but worship in a gallery behind a wooden trellis, like the Jewesses in
the synagogues of Bokhara.

Our next drive was across the bridge to the village of Combarro, and
then on to the monastery of San Juan de Poyo Grande, to hear the monks
sing the _Salve Regina_ at their Saturday afternoon Mass. As we were
just reaching the bridge, we got out of our carriage to look at the
little house in which Pedro Sarmiento is said to have been born. Pedro
Sarmiento de Gamboa was a celebrated navigator of the sixteenth century.
Sir Clements Markham tells us that Sarmiento’s writings on the Straits
of Magellan are admirable work, and well known to English naval
surveyors.[256] It seems that Sarmiento left Pontevedra at the age of
eighteen, and devoted seven years of his life to studying the Incas. The
Inquisition found him guilty of possessing mysterious and magic rings,
and although his confessor had authorised his collecting them, he was
condemned to say Mass, on his knees and nearly naked, in the Cathedral
of Lima. While this sentence was being carried out, he was shut up in
the convent of Santo Domingo without a single book, fasting on
Wednesdays and Fridays, and reciting seven psalms a day. At length his
case was brought before the Pope, who somewhat softened the severity of
his punishment. He eventually returned to Spain, equipped a large fleet
and sailed forth, to be caught by three English ships and tortured to
confess that he carried precious metal. The English took him to
Plymouth; he travelled thence to Windsor, where he was kindly treated
by Queen Elizabeth, till his enemies got up some scandals about him,
whereupon Elizabeth sent him on a diplomatic mission to Flanders and
afterwards on another to Spain. He was taken prisoner, while asleep at
Burgos, by Viscount de Bearny, and put in prison; thence he was ransomed
by the king for six thousand _escudos_, and four horses. Such was the
early history of the eminent navigator. He wrote many books, including a
_Treatise on Navigation_, _Information concerning the Stars_, and a
_Treatise on Fortification_.

The little house in which Pedro Sarmiento passed his childish days[257]
is nothing but a white-washed granite cottage with the usual red-tiled
roof. The last relic of the Sarmiento family is still there in the shape
of two old maiden ladies, whom the townsfolk call _Las Sarmientas_. They
have sold most of the original house, and only kept one little end of it
for themselves to live in. No one who had studied the massive build of
the granite cottages of Galicia would feel any surprise that one of them
should last for nearly five centuries; they are as solid and firm as the
rock from which their blocks are hewn.

About two kilometres distant from Pontevedra is the quaint little
village of Combarro, with about four hundred inhabitants; it is thought
to be very ancient and to have derived its name from the Greek word
χαμπτο. We left our carriage to scramble up and down its steep,
narrow, and stony streets, with its houses of granite and its balconies
of wood, and its red-tiled roofs. Some of the balconies were painted
green, others blue, while most of the walls were covered with whitewash.
We were invited to visit the inhabitants of several of the houses, and
found all very poor. The village covers a steep hillside sloping down to
the water, and most of the people are fisherfolk.

At the door of one of the houses there suddenly appeared a woman of
about forty-five years of age. I could see threads of silver in her
thick black hair, but her face (though it had a wrinkle or two) was
still beautiful. She addressed us in tones of the most passionate
fervour; she wrung her hands, she lifted them to heaven, she swayed her
body like a reed swayed by the wind, and at length burst into a flood of
tears. “What is all this?” I asked of the friend who was with me, for
the woman spoke in the Gallegan dialect, and so fast that I could catch
very few of her words.

“She is telling us of all the hardships that she and her neighbours have
to bear,” replied my friend. “She says they are all being ruined by the
heavy taxes that the Government


[Illustration: A NATIVE DOVE-COT]

is imposing on all the produce of their industry, and the heavy rents
demanded by the landlords.

“‘We live from hand to mouth,’ she cried; ‘and everything we earn with
the sweat of our brow is swallowed up in discharging our liabilities, in
paying our rates, our rent, and our taxes. We cannot even buy bread for
our children because of the oppression of the rich--because we have no
money. There is plenty of money in the land, and plenty of food, but it
does not come our way; we are being ground down and killed by the heavy
and unjust taxes, and there is nothing to encourage us to work, and no
hope for the future. Oh, it is dreadful, dreadful!’”

Leaving Combarro, we now mounted the hill on which stood the church and
Benedictine monastery of San Juan de Poyo; the church with its two naves
and its two towers dates only from the eighteenth century, but the
cloister with its arcade dates from the sixteenth. Here we saw the stone
sarcophagus of Santa Tramunda which had recently been discovered in the
neighbouring hermitage of San Martin. On the lid of the sarcophagus was
an ancient form of the cross, rarely seen after the sixth century;
behind the sarcophagus was a full size painting of Santa Tramunda, with
her name and the date 1792. There is a tradition that she was captured
by Mohammedans, but, escaping from their clutches, was miraculously
enabled to walk home over the sea, without being drowned. The monks who
now inhabit the cloister are a begging Order, _de la Merced_, founded by
San Pedro Nolasco for the ransoming of captives; they have not been
there long. At the appointed hour they gathered before the altar and
sang with candles in their hands; they were all dressed in white with
black leather girdles, and the whole performance was interesting. At the
close they filed out at the doors to right and left of the altar. These
monks have restored the church with their own private funds; it is a
handsome granite edifice. The two Padres from Solesme, sent by the Pope
Leo X. to instruct the monks of Spain in the art of singing Gregorian
music, had just left San Poyo, and so it was with special interest that
we listened to their rendering of the hymn composed by their founder,
San Pedro Nolasco. There is still a handsome carved wood choir in the
back of the church; the cloister too, with its groined vaulting, is well
worth inspection.

In front of the church there is a terrace commanding an exquisite view
over the Ria de Pontevedra, with the island of Tumbo in the distance,
and Marin away on the opposite side of the water.

In the old days, before the Jews were expelled from Spain, Pontevedra
had, like other towns, its Jewish quarter--it was called _Lampas dos
Judeus_ (_lampas_, burying-place). At the end of the street was a space
called _Picota d’os Judeus_, where Jewish delinquents were publicly
punished; Christians were castigated on the spot now covered by the
Capilla de la Peregrina, an edifice of the eighteenth century. Several
of the houses that were inhabited by wealthy Jews are still standing.
Those Jews who remained in Spain became Christians. Señor Sampedro told
me he had talked with an old man of ninety, who said he remembered
seeing on the wall of the old church a list of the Jewish families into
which the Christians were not allowed to marry.

The old town mansion of the Sotomayor family is still preserved in
Pontevedra, and their castle, the _Castillo de Mos_, is the only
remaining example of a mediæval castle in Galicia: the latter is now the
summer residence of the Marquis de la Viga de Armijo. We drove to it
from Pontevedra in about two and a half hours, through beautiful and
historic country. The bridge, _Puente de San Payo_, by which we crossed
the river Verdugo, has given its name to the battlefield where Marshal
Ney, at the head of seven thousand French troops, was utterly routed on
7th June 1809, by a force composed of rude undisciplined Gallegan
peasants under the command of Noroña, and backed by some English
marines. The peasants fought with anything that could be used as a
weapon; in place of guns, they made rough catapults out of the trunks of
oak trees, and formed a kind of battery under the direction of Colonel
M’Kinley. Children still find skulls in this battlefield and in the
surrounding country, and bring them in to Pontevedra as curios.

The vines that we passed on the drive were trained, not over bamboos,
but over rough granite columns, often nearly six feet in height; the
hills were terraced with verdant steps as before, and there was an
absence of all flatness and monotony; even the hedges round the gardens
had changed to granite, so plentiful was that material. The people find
it easier and cheaper to wall their fields and gardens with blocks of
granite than to plant hedges. We passed stretches of land covered with
the canary-coloured blossom of cabbages, others brilliant with some
purple flower, others, again, with tall green grass mingled with
hyacinths. On all sides the horizon was bounded by distant mountain
peaks of a hazy blue, and the eye was free to travel unhindered over
many a mile of cultivated hills and valleys. Here and there amongst the
granite hedges would be a real English hedge of blackberries with
familiar wild flowers in the grass below. The kilometres were marked by
the quaintest of pointed milestones, which looked as if their proper
place was a cemetery. In some of the ploughed patches, women with red
handkerchiefs over their heads, and legs bare nearly to the knee, were
busy sowing seed in the freshly ploughed furrows. The cottages were all
of sparkling granite, and as solid in their build as if they had been
cathedrals; in many a cottage garden we saw a lemon tree full of yellow
fruit; presently we crossed the railway line, and near it a plantation
of bamboos. Then a granite quarry came in view; a second time we crossed
the railway and then came the river, its banks blazing with mica dust.
Then came a village with a granite church and a schoolhouse; the road
itself has been hewn out of granite rocks; boulders covered with moss
and with ferns in their crannies formed the sides of the road; now we
had reached the top of a hill covered with chestnut trees, whose bright
green foliage was lit up by the powerful sun, and from this point of
vantage we looked across an exquisite valley that lay on our right.
Women were busy turning up the clods with antiquated implements which
appear to date from the days of Noah. One woman had hung her giant
umbrella in the branches of a neighbouring tree, and another had stuck
hers in the field. It is no unusual sight in Galicia to find umbrellas
apparently growing among the cereals, for every peasant takes his “gamp”
with him to his daily labour, and has to leave it somewhere while he
works. All at once we catch sight of a castellated wall on a distant
hill; this is our first view of the castle we have come to see. Our road
now skirts the wide luxuriant valley, and the castle towers upon one of
the highest of the peaks that command it. Terrace after terrace of
cultivated land slopes down to the bottom of the valley. Shrubs of white
broom wave over our road, and banks of primroses come into sight; then
we see a signboard with the words _el Castello de Mos_. Pine-covered
hills are now surrounding us, and our road ascends the one that is
crowned by the castle; our way is now bordered on both sides with high
bracken and other ferns, and the air is fragrant with the scent of the
pine. Tall eucalyptus trees mingle with the pines near the road, and we
see the bark peeling off their mastlike stems and lying in sheaths
across the road. Another signpost comes in view upon which are two
fingers; one points out the road to Redondela, and the other shows us
the direction of the nearest railway station, that of Arcade.

At length we enter the grounds of the castle, not by the principal
entrance, which looks as if it were seldom used, but by a side gate.
Inside the grounds the first thing we notice is a small building
opposite the castle, with the word _Teatro_ over the door, and a bust in
a niche on either side. The gardener who acted as our guide invited us
to enter the little playhouse, and explained to us that the plays
performed in the theatre were got up and acted by the family and their
guests. The family comes there in the beginning of August and stays till
1st October. The present master is a widower with no children, but
nephews and nieces help to make the place merry, and there are always
plenty of guests. Special seats are reserved for the family and their
guests, and the rest of the little theatre is filled by servants and

The castle stands, as we have seen, upon the top of a pine-covered hill;
it is surrounded by a thick wall and parapet enclosing a green sward,
and beyond that are the beautiful park-like grounds. The entrance to the
castle is by way of its oldest part, an old keep dating from the
fourteenth century commanding the chief entrance. There are loopholes or
crenelles, through which arrows and other missiles could be discharged
at assailants, from a bulging wall behind which there is room for
several men to conceal themselves, and there are more of these holes in
the passage. The pretty Gothic staircase, pointed arches, and stone
balustrade are quite modern, but as nearly as possible a copy of the
original. At the top of the stairs is the chapel, and below the chapel
is the family crypt containing the tomb of the wife of the present
marquis, who died some seventeen years ago. The carving on the door
represents St. Peter and St. Paul and is very good work. Over the altar
there is a picture, said to be a copy of the famous “San Antonio” of
Murillo at Seville; the saint is kneeling before the Child, which has
Its left hand resting upon his head. There is also some modern sculpture
in memory of Don Diego de Sotomayor, the builder, in 1543, of the walls
and fortifications which enclose the castle. Don Diego lies in full
armour, and the inscription tells us that this tomb was erected (in
1870) by his descendant, “Don Antonio Aguilar y Torrea, Marques de la
Vega de Armijo y de Mos Conde de la Bobadilla, Visconde del Pegullal.”
On the wall at the top of the stairs are some magnificent antlers of
deer killed by the father of the present king of Spain, when he was a
guest at the castle for the third time in 1882. The rooms of the old
keep have walls nearly three yards thick, and the openings for the
windows are like passages. Beneath the _Sala de Armas_ is a dark
dungeon--a black hole--to which there was originally no other entrance
but the trapdoor in the floor; there is now a door to it from below,
and it does duty as a wine cellar; but it has had its victims, and the
story goes that a bishop was once confined there. On the wall of the
_Sala de Armas_ there is a medallion of Alfonso II., and a curious
genealogical tree of the Sotomayor family, which grows downwards and
begins at the top with Froila Fernandez, _Conde de los patremonios de
Galicia_. The present marquis is in his eighty-fourth year; as he leaves
no descendants, the estate will go to the left branch.

We ascended to the castellated parapet at the top of the keep to enjoy
the exquisite panorama of the wide village-dotted valley and the
surrounding peaks; there was the river Verdugo, and yonder, the
waterfall which supplies Vigo with electric light; in the distance we
could see the village of Puente Caldelas; all the pine woods and the
meadows in the vicinity of the castle are part of the Sotomayor estate.
Opposite the Castle Mos on a cone-shaped hill, a little loftier, if
anything, we could see ruined walls and a chapel. This was the peak
called la Peneda, and the chapel of _la Virgen de la Peneda_; the walls
are a remnant of fortifications placed there by a fighting Archbishop of
Santiago to whom all the valley was subject, that he might keep an eye
on the movements of the unruly Sotomayors.

The turret is filled now with small bedrooms for visitors, and huge
wardrobes stand in the passages, while in every bedroom there is a
commodious zinc bath. The reception-room, the ceiling of which is
handsomely carved, is draped with fine old tapestries, but those on the
walls of the dining-room are modern. Good old-fashioned stone chimneys
and wide hearths give the whole place an air of comfort; there is a
billiard-room with French windows opening into a stone balcony on two
sides of it, and from here we see three old cannon still perched upon
the outer walls; they are ornaments now, and covered with verdigris, but
there was a day when they had their use. In the billiard-room we found a
little book describing the castle, written by a niece of the present
marquis, la Marquesa de Ayerbe;[258] she has published several other
works. The marquesa began her book with a quotation from Taine,[259]
about the kings and knights of the Middle Ages being one and all
warriors by profession, and who, in order to be always ready, had their
horses standing in their bedrooms while they slept. Then came a verse by
Molina, in which he enumerates the great families of Galicia, including
that of Sotomayor. “The reason that Sotomayor arrives so far on in the
list is,” explains the marquesa, “because Molina, to be quite impartial,
took the families alphabetically--there is no question of precedence.”
The authoress tells us she was herself born, baptized, and married in
the castle, so that she has spent nearly every summer of her life there,
and that she is a true native of beautiful Galicia, which she
passionately loves. She reminds her readers of Taine’s remark that in
the days of the Moors in Spain all the eminent medical men, surgeons,
artists, and men of brains and talent, generally were either Moors or
Jews, and that they exercised a beneficial influence upon the country by
importing civilisation from the East. She also gives an interesting
quotation from the will of a Sotomayor, which is still in existence and
bears the date 1468, and another from one dated 1472; she states further
that the fort on a neighbouring peak is called _Castrican_ or
_Castrizan_, and that the chapel there is dedicated to _Nuestra Señoro
de los Nieves_. Perhaps the Sotomayor of the Middle Ages who has left
the most vivid traditions in the minds of the people is Don Pedro,
nicknamed Madruga, of whose doings the cottagers in the valley below
have many strange legends.

There are three distinct periods exemplified in the architecture of
Castillo Mos: first, the old keep, with its massive walls, which forms
the kernel of the building; second, the outer walls and fortifications
built by Don Diego in the sixteenth century; and, lastly, the modern
work done in the lifetime of the present marquis, who has succeeded in
turning an abandoned ruin into one of the most beautiful and romantic of
all the summer residences I have ever seen. The grounds are delicious
with their fine old chestnuts hoary with age, their waterfalls, lawns,
and flower-beds, while the keep over the entrance in the outer wall is
now used as the library, and its walls are covered with bookshelves. The
grass plot between the castle and the wall has many orange trees, and I
saw fine large oranges lying about on the grass that no one had thought
it worth their while to touch, because they were of the bitter kind,
only good for preserving! and almost hidden among the long grass was a
deep granite well approached by a winding stone stair covered with ferns
and moss. The chain bridge over the remains of the old moat, the fine
old trees, the bronze bust of the celebrated painter Castro Placentia
(who painted the “San Antonio” in the chapel), sculptured by Mariano
Bellini at Rome in 1891. A stream of pure water gushes from the hillside
and flows near the shady old chestnut trees


whose huge moss-covered trunks must be at least two hundred years old.
Here and there the ground was thickly carpeted with camellia blossoms.
In hot weather the family dines out of doors in the shade, at a table
consisting of one solid piece of wood, brought from America, and which
must have been sawn from the trunk of a tree at least twelve feet in

It was two o’clock when we returned to our conveyance, and as we had
brought our lunch with us, we ate it in the carriage, and were thus able
to avoid a break in our homeward journey. At 4 p.m. we were once more in
our comfortable hotel in Pontevedra, after a delightful excursion, which
we would not have missed for a great deal.

My next outing was on foot, and of quite a different kind, my object
being to look with my own eyes upon some of the wonderful prehistoric
rock-drawings that have quite recently been discovered in the vicinity,
and to compare them with the hemispheric or “cup and ball” drawings that
have been discovered in various parts of Scotland and Ireland. These cup
marks were for a long time considered to be merely a primitive form of
ornamentation, without any further significance, but, according to the
latest theory, they are a very ancient form of writing, while the
accompanying circles are thought by some to represent the religious
belief of the writers. Mr. Rivett Carnac tells us that it has been
suggested that these writings are ideographic and belong to a period
when the materials for record were limited to stone--long before the
discovery of an alphabetical system,[260] and before the discovery of
metal. In the Ethnographical Museum at Berlin I have seen some fine
specimens of Peruvian writing by means of knotted cord--a method that
was used in China in the very earliest days of that country’s history.
“This system,” says Mr. Rivett Carnac, “was ideographic, just as the
knot in the pocket-handkerchief is ideographic.” It seems not at all
unlikely that our distant ancestors may have understood the meaning of
these cup marks, just as the Chinese and Peruvians understood the knots
upon their string.

Cup marks are to be found in many varieties in almost every part of the
world, the most frequent being concentric circles with a central cup or
dot, and this is the kind that I found upon some flat granite boulders
on a rocky slope near a pine wood about half an hour’s walk from

These cup marks had been discovered by Señor E. Campo only a few months
previous to my arrival, and as yet their existence is hardly known
outside Pontevedra. Señor E. Campo, who is a member of the Pontevedra
Archæological Society, lost no time in making drawings of this
prehistoric writing for his Society; it was this gentleman who kindly
conducted me to one of the spots where the writing is to be seen, and it
was he who provided me with the drawings that I now place before my
readers. Those who have studied the subject will notice at once the
remarkable similarity that exists between this writing and the examples
found on rocks in India, in various parts of Great Britain, in the Isle
of Man, and in Denmark. It seems incredible that such a similarity of
design could possibly have arisen without there having been at some time
or other a close connection between the peoples amongst whom they
originated. Professor Nilsson has attributed the circles and symbols
found on rocks in Scandinavia to a Phœnician origin--but how comes it,
in that case, that there are no such carvings amongst genuine Phœnician

Humboldt considered the signs which he found upon rocks in South America
to be, not symbols, but merely “the fruits of the idleness of hunting

It is quite true that cup marks have been found in Cornwall and in
various places on the East Coast of Scotland, but this is no proof that
they were the work of Phœnicians, even if we take it for granted that
these people came to Cornwall for tin, and that they traded with the
tribes dwelling on the eastern shores of Scotland. Some writers have
suggested that these cups and dots represent primitive maps, others have
taken them to be sundials, and others, bolder still, have recognised
them to be gambling-tables! It has also been thought that they were
symbolic enumerations of families or tribes, emblems of philosophical
views, or possibly stone tables for Druidical sacrifice.[262] It is only
during the last fifty years that the attention of archæologists has been
drawn to these widely diffused examples of archaic writing, and until a
few months ago it was not known that Spain too could furnish examples.

In the _Proceedings of the Society of Antiquarians of Scotland_ for the
year 1899, we are told that in Kirkcudbrightshire alone there are not
less than forty-nine separate surfaces on which cup and ring markings
are found; these surfaces vary in size, direction of slope, texture, and
position to such a degree “that no safe conclusions can be drawn as to


meaning or use of these mysterious incised markings, occurring, as they
do, not only on solid rock ... but upon thin slabs ... on boulders, and
even at the very apex of a piece of rock ... and also on stones within a
cairn.... At the present date Inverness heads the list with one hundred
and twenty sites; Kirkcudbrightshire is second with fifty-four, and
Nairn and Perth have forty-six each.”[263]

Many of the drawings above alluded to are almost exactly like those I
brought with me from Pontevedra. They look as if they must have been the
work of one and the same race. As they are nearly always found close to
the sea, it looks as if they must have been done by a seafaring people.



     Southey at Redondela--Sacked by the English--The most modern town
     in Galicia--The finest climate in Spain--Submarine cables--Vigo’s
     harbour--_Vicus Spacorum_--Bayona--Tuy--Early history--The
     Miño--The International Bridge--Occupied by the French--Learned
     bishops--The oldest cathedral in Galicia--A puzzling
     inscription--Quaint sculpture--Santo Domingo--The Cathedral--Its
     history--The portico--The interior--A rectangular apse--The
     cloister--San Telmo--The Portuguese frontier--Passports--Education
     in Portugal

The prettiest spot through which we passed on our railway journey from
Pontevedra to Vigo was Redondela, whose picturesque houses scattered
among the green hills and fringing the Ria de Vigo, with a tiny harbour
all to themselves, were a delight to the eye as we looked down upon them
from the train windows. Macaulay mentions Redondela, and alludes to the
fact that it was sacked by the English in 1715. Southey was charmed with
it when he passed through on his way from Coruña to Lisbon, and he took
the trouble to translate into English verse a long legend about one of
its ancient towers,[264] telling how a lover jumps into the sea in his
despairing frenzy. It was Southey, too, who wrote--

    “Spain! still my mind delights to picture forth
     Thy scenes that I shall see no more, for there
     Most pleasant were my wanderings. Memory’s eye
     Still loves to trace the gentle Miño’s course,
     And catch its winding waters gleaming bright
     Amid the broken distance.
... Galicia’s giant rocks
     And mountains clustered with the fruitful pines,
     Whose heads, dark foliaged when all else was dim,
     Rose o’er the distant eminence distinct,
     Cresting the evening sky.”

Redondela, once an important town, is now little more than a collection
of scattered villages, whose inhabitants are chiefly engaged in oyster
fishing. At high tide the waters of the Ria de Vigo come right into the
town by way of a little river that passes through it under a pretty
bridge, which separates Redondela from its neighbour, Villavieja. Out in
the blue waters of the Ria we could see the famous little Hospital of
San Simon floating like a shell upon the surface.

Our train hugged the shore of the Ria, winding and curving with the
water’s edge till we came into the station of Vigo. Vigo is the most
modern town in Galicia; it owes its rapid development to its
geographical situation and to its bay and harbour, famed for being among
the finest in the world. Some forty years ago Vigo was a tiny village,
known as Vigo de Cangas. Cangas, situated on the opposite bank of the
Ria, is still nothing but a village with a few scattered houses, and it
seems incredible that Vigo was, so short a time ago, one of its
dependent hamlets. Vigo is built upon the sloping side of a hill, from
the top of which mountains may be seen on every side except where the
Ria bounds it on the west. Between the various mountain peaks may be
seen fertile valleys of all shapes and sizes, and separated from one
another by mountain ridges covered with oaks and pines.

The climate of Vigo is reputed to be the finest in Spain; its soil
produces almost every kind of vegetable and fruit in the greatest
abundance, and much earlier than they can be grown in other parts of
Galicia. The principal industry of the town is fishing, in connection
with which there are numerous factories for salting and preserving fish.
Other industries are paper-making, the refining of petroleum, and
tanning. The building of fishing-boats also constitutes an important

Vigo is a port of the first rank; it has three submarine cables, and is
a naval station for the British fleets. There are some forty-five young
Englishmen employed at Vigo in connection with the cables laid by the
British Government. I am told that a number of them have become Roman
Catholics in order to be able to marry Spanish ladies. The English at
Vigo publish a newspaper in their native tongue for circulation amongst
themselves. At present Coruña can boast of having greater commercial
importance than Vigo, but from its more favourable situation Vigo is
bound in time to take the lead.

At the mouth of Vigo harbour, about ten (Spanish) miles from the
anchoring-ground, lie the group of islands known as the Cies, formerly
called Cecas, or Siccas. Humboldt once visited them, and it was he who
first suggested that they might possibly be the “fabulous” or long-lost

The Ria de Vigo, whose waters are part of the Atlantic Ocean, forms, as
we have seen, one of the finest and safest harbours in the world; many
consider it the best in Europe. The depth of the Ria varies from 90 to
150 feet; it is sheltered from all winds, and so large that the fleets
of many nations could anchor there at one and the same time.

Several of the streets of Vigo are lined with handsome blocks of white
granite buildings, after the style of those in Berlin, but handsomer,
because those of Berlin are only stucco. There are no ancient churches
or other sights of archæological interest to be seen at Vigo, and the
chief business of the traveller--after he has looked down upon the
valley where the French army capitulated on March 28, 1809--is to take
the beautiful drive along the shore of the Ria to Bayona, where there is
an old church, the _Colegiata de Santa Maria_, which once belonged to
the Knights Templars, and an interesting old Franciscan convent dating
from the eleventh century.

It is thought that Vigo stands upon the ancient site of _Vicus
Spacorum_, but whether this supposition be correct or not, it is an
accepted fact that Bayona is a far more ancient settlement. Molina wrote
that Bayona was formerly called _Voyana_, from the fact of its having
the figure of an ox on its coat of arms. There is also a legend that a
Roman prefect named Catilius Severus retired thither after his power had
been taken from him. Pliny thought the ancient name of Bayona was
_Abobrica_, and Vosius speaks of it as _Lambriaca_.

From Vigo we went by train to Tuy. Tuy is a mediæval, walled city rising
in the midst of a fertile valley through which the river Miño flows,
dividing the two kingdoms of Portugal and Spain. The old walls have
almost disappeared, and the houses of Tuy now spread far beyond them,
making altogether a population of some five thousand three hundred
inhabitants. At the top of the conical hill which the city covers,
stands the Cathedral, looking more like a castle than a church, with its
castellated walls and its fortress towers.

Tuy is said to have been founded by Greek colonists, and to have derived
its name from Tyde, _i.e._ Diomedes, king of Ætolea (not of Thrace),
whose parents were Tydea and Delphyla.[266] Morales thought he
recognised as part of a Greek pillar a piece of stone fifteen feet in
diameter which he discovered in a garden at Tuy. The same writer also
alludes to the wrestling matches still kept up by the inhabitants of
this town. He remarks that they wrestled in his day with such violence,
and squeezed each other so violently in the contest, that their very
lives were in jeopardy.

When the Romans took possession of Tuy, they moved the town from the
hill to the valley, thinking that once on lower ground it would require
less supervision. It was King Ferdinand II. who brought the town back to
its original hill and made it a walled city.

The river Miño brings Tuy a rich supply of fish, amongst which are fine
salmon, lampreys, and trout. The vines of Tuy make a better wine than
those of Ribadavia, and every kind of fruit grows in its fertile valley.
From the north-west there flows into the Miño, close to the town, a
little river the sands of which contain gold, and for this reason it has
received the name of Ouro. Opposite to the Ouro another river joins the
Miño; this is called Molinos, because of its many flour-mills. The land
in this neighbourhood fetches a very high price, on account of its
remarkable fertility. The soil is sandy, and every hillock is fringed
with pine trees.

The railway station of Tuy is on the line that runs from Orense to Vigo,
and the town itself is nearly two miles from the station. By a branch
line across the Miño the Gallegan railway is connected with that of
Northern Portugal. The junction is effected by means of a very fine
international bridge over the river, which is known as the _Puente
Internacional_. On the southern bank of the Miño there rises another
hill city confronting Tuy, the Portuguese fortress of Valença.

Although the antiquity of Tuy is traced back to the days of Troy and
Diomedes, and although we know that the Romans struggled desperately
before they could master it, there is very little mention of Tuy in the
history of their times. In the days of the Goths, King Witiza is said to
have established himself there and to have raised the town to a position
of great opulence. During the Middle Ages, after it had been attacked
both by Moors and Norman pirates, Doña Teresa, a natural daughter of
Alfonso VI., who was mistress of Portugal in 1220, claimed Tuy as part
of her dowry; but her sister, Doña Urraca, appeared on the spot with a
powerful army and forced her to evacuate it and retire across the Miño.
From that time on throughout the Middle Ages, the two cities of Tuy and
Valença scowled at one another across the water--the sentinels of two
clashing powers. Later on, during the War of Independence, French troops
occupied the citadel of Tuy, and the town was blockaded by the Spaniards
in 1809. The French General Martinière made a successful sally, and the
Spanish forces were driven back at first; but on April 16, 1809, the
French were forced to evacuate the fortress.

Tuy was one of the seven provinces into which the ancient kingdom of
Galicia was divided. In 1833, when a new division of Spanish territory
took place, Tuy became part of the province of Pontevedra. As a diocese
Tuy is now a suffragan of the Archbishopric of Santiago.

Molina (writing in the sixteenth century) stated that “Tuy has always
been famous for the erudition of its bishops.” There was a grand council
of bishops held in the Cathedral of San Bartolomé at Tuy in the days of
Archbishop Gelmirez, about 1122.[267] Whether the existing church of San
Bartolomé is the actual one in which that council was held, is not
known, but at any rate we know that this edifice is the oldest church in
Tuy, and, what is more, it is the oldest cathedral in the whole of
Galicia. The present Cathedral of Tuy, dedicated to the Virgin Mary,
crowns the summit of the mediæval citadel; but San Bartolomé is situated
lower down in the plain, and dates from the time when Tuy was in the
valley. San Bartolomé has three naves, each of the two lateral ones
being separated from the central nave by four rectangular piers
supporting vaulted arches. At the end of each nave is a chapel. The apse
chapels are covered with half-barrel vaulting. The ornamentation is very
plain, and shows, in the opinion of Casanova, distinct traces of
Oriental and Norman influence. The bases of the columns are decorated
with deep semicircular concave mouldings and plinths resting upon the
feet of monsters. The capitals are sculptured with classic leaves
interwoven with living forms, human and grotesque, with birds and
animals, singly and in groups. Above the abacus there is in many parts
the ornamentation known as the chess pattern, and here and there on the
imposts we find the billet ornament, or moulding in notches, of which we
have a specimen in Lincoln Cathedral. Villa-Amil considers the
chess-pattern ornamentation in this church to be one of the most
definite signs of its antiquity, and at the same time he points out the
close resemblance in form, dimensions, and ornamentation which this
edifice bears to the Cathedral of Mondoñedo, which dates from the
eleventh century.

This church has on the exterior of its northern wall an inscription
which has been the occasion of much controversy among archæologists and
epigraphists. No one has been able to decipher it, but Señor Manuel Lago
of Lugo has suggested that the characters may be Oriental, and written,
like Chinese, from right to left.

Here are drawings showing the sculpture of some of the capitals, for
which I am indebted to Señor Villa-Amil. On one capital is depicted a
dinner party. Three of the guests are standing with their hands upon the
table as if about to begin the repast: one of them is a woman. On the
table may be seen a large dish, in front of the woman, and a smaller one
in front of each of the men: a knife with a wooden or bone handle is
also distinctly visible beside one of the plates. A soldier, or
sentinel, stands to the right of the table, and confronting a man in the
garb of a monk who appears to have just arrived upon the scene, lays the
blade of his sword upon the newcomer’s shoulder in a most threatening
manner, as if to warn him that he interrupts the banquet at his peril.
The whole grouping of this piece of sculpture is most dramatic and
lifelike. The work probably dates from the tenth century, if not farther
back still. Visitors who wish to see the most interesting capitals must
hunt for them, often in the darkest corners, and with the aid of a

In the sacristy there has lately been discovered some old columns which
date from the ninth century, and here too the sculpture on the capitals
is very curious.

Another church worth examination is that of Santo Domingo. This building
was consecrated by Bishop Sarmiento in 1534,[268] but the Gothic
vaulting was only completed in 1730. A large part of the expense of its
completion was borne by the Sotomayor family, two of whom became bishops
of Tuy. The church is in the form of a Latin cross with very short arms,
and only one wide nave terminating with a hectagonal apse and two small
circular chapels to right and left. The Pointed Gothic arches of the
nave rest upon Græco-Roman pillars supported by exterior buttresses. The
central arch leading to the apse is also Pointed Gothic, and rests upon
Gothic pillars. The vaulting of the transept is cylindrical, but the
rest of the vaulting is Gothic.[269] The Gothic apse, which reminds us
strongly of that of Santo Domingo at Pontevedra, was formerly lighted by
three long and narrow lancet windows, and the smaller apses had each two
such windows, but the bad taste of the eighteenth century led to their
being all bricked in, in order that a hideous reredos might be placed
behind the altar. There are two entrances to this church, the chief one
at the end of the nave, and another, called the Door of the Rosary, at
the end of the south arm of the transept. This last is pure Romanesque,
and possibly the oldest part of the edifice; it has an archivolt
composed of two pointed arches which rest upon two pairs of shafts. The
capitals are curiously sculptured: on one I could distinguish faces of
angels and long-necked swans, on another was a monkey with a long tail
twisted round some small object. On the tympanum, within a border of
horseshoe arches, there is a very old group representing the Adoration
of the Magi, the figures of which have been sadly mutilated. Enclosing
the tympanum is an arch decorated with various images of a symbolic
nature. The Eternal Father is represented by a hand stretched out from
clouds in the act of benediction.

We now come to the Cathedral, which is the principal object of interest
in Tuy. King Ferdinand of Leon conquered Tuy and took it from Alfonso of
Portugal in 1170, and as he made a handsome donation in 1180 to its
bishop for the building of a Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it
is thought that this was the date at which the foundations were
laid.[270] The Cathedral was consecrated in 1124, and at the same time
opened for public worship. The original plan of the building was in the
form of a Latin cross with very short arms, and with three naves in the
transept as well as in the body of the church.

The western façade is very fine, but the episcopal palace which has been
built to the right of the portico detracts greatly from the beauty of
its perspective. The chief façade, with its high flight of steps and its
two massive and castellated towers, has an exterior portico, also
castellated and supported on four pillars. This is the only portico of
its kind in Galicia, for those of Santiago and Orense are interior
porticos, and that of Lugo is merely an additional piece built into the
original Romanesque doorway. The interior of the Tuy portico is square
and covered with Gothic vaulting. The entrance door is flanked on either
side by four columns and as many statues: each statue stands upon the
back of some animal, except one, which rests upon the shoulders of a


[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL, TUY.]

three have their feet upon monkeys; between each pair of statues there
is also a column. This class of decoration is anterior to the use of
niches; it is also to be seen in the northern portico of Chartres.[271]
The decoration of the lintel is divided into three subjects, the central
relief representing the death of the Virgin. The tympanum is covered
with a sculptured group representing the Adoration of the Magi.

As we enter the building we are struck with its beautiful and airy
proportions; above the side naves are galleries covered with arches
quite separate from, and below, the Gothic vaulting. Graceful arcades
decorate the whole interior, but unfortunately the view is spoiled by
modern brick walls and pillars added towards the end of the eighteenth
century. The choir, too, is in the centre of the chief nave--a mistake,
unfortunately, so common in Spain, and, as I have before had occasion to
observe, quite spoils the perspective; this choir was constructed in
1700 at the expense of Bishop Gomez de la Torre. The capitals on which
the arches of the nave rest are finely sculptured, but many of them are
too high up to be examined without a visit to the galleries--which,
however, is quite worth while, for it is from the galleries that the
finest view of the elegant triforium, of French design, can be obtained.

But the great feature of this edifice is the fact that it is a fortified
cathedral, and is at one and the same time a monument of war as well as
of religion; its granite towers with their castellated parapets and
loopholes dominate not only the city, but the country round, for miles.
I went up to the top parapet, and found that the walls of the tower were
a yard thick. From the parapet I looked down upon the old Cathedral
Church of San Bartolomé in the plain below, and upon Santo Domingo,
which lay between. The bell in the clock tower was cracked by lightning
in December 1793. The clock tower is older than any other part of the
Cathedral. It was once a royal tower, and was given by the Emperor
Alonso VII.

In the Sala Capitula we saw many interesting parchments with curious
seals, dating from the eleventh and twelfth centuries; these were only
discovered by accident in February 1907 by the _Archivero_ José Martinez
Novas; many of these were the deeds by which the various kings conferred
their donations upon the Cathedral, and most of them had seals of lead
or wax. Here we were shown a number of Papal Bulls--one of Paul II.,
others of Eugenius IV., Leo X., Julius VI., and Benedict XIV.
respectively. Many of the parchments shown us were of the second half of
the tenth century. These newly discovered trophies must have been
hidden away by the priests at the time of the French invasion. The lower
part of the old tower is now covered by fifteenth-century work, but the
Romanesque arch of one of its upper doorways is still visible in the

This Cathedral is the only church of any importance in the whole of
Galicia which has a rectangular apse, the usual forms being semicircular
or polygonal. In England the practice of making the east end of churches
square began early in the Norman period; we have them, for instance, in
Winchester and Salisbury, but they were rare in France and Spain until
towards the close of the Gothic period. The only example I know of in
Galicia is that of the _Colegiata_ at Bayona.

In its general form and structure of the naves and transept the
Cathedral of Tuy bears rather a close resemblance to that of Santiago de
Compostela. But the cylindrical vaulting of the nave and transept is
quite Latino-Romanesque, without any indication of Byzantine influence.
The ribbed ornamentation of the vaulting is somewhat after the style of
the German Gothic, in the opinion of Señor Casanova, and the triforium
as seen from the pavement of the central nave is not unlike those of the
churches of Southern France.

The Cathedral cloister has some very old arcades with sculptured
capitals, but the upper storey is modern and in bad taste. Behind the
Cathedral is the _Capilla de la Misericordia_, one of the oldest in Tuy;
it is built upon the solid rock. Close by is a little modern chapel
dedicated to San Telmo, the patron saint of Spanish fishermen, whose
birthplace was Tuy. The great naval school at Seville is dedicated to
this saint, who, according to tradition, has been known to appear to
sailors in distress in the form of a bright light and lead them safely
to a haven.[272] One of the Cathedral chapels is also dedicated to San
Telmo, and was built in 1577 by Bishop Diego de Torquemada.

The principal drive in the neighbourhood of Tuy is to the Portuguese
frontier town of Valença, on the opposite side of the Miño. We started
at 2 p.m., on a fine afternoon in the end of April, and enjoyed crossing
the handsome bridge which joins Portugal to Spain above the blue waters
of the largest river in Galicia. Portuguese sentinels in blue uniform
greeted us on the farther bank, and questioned us in the language of
their country as to our object, but they did not ask for passports. At
the post office in Valença we posted Portuguese post-cards to various
friends in memory of our afternoon visit


to Portugal, and while we were writing them a group of
respectably-dressed boys between the ages of twelve and sixteen gathered
round us and watched us as we wrote. On my laughingly remonstrating with
the postmaster, he replied, “You need not mind the boys; not one of them
knows how to read.” So much for education in Portugal in the twentieth



     Our last view of Tuy Cathedral--Scenery between Tuy and
     Orense--Ribadavia--Boundaries of Orense--Crossing the Miño--The
     _Puente Mayor_--The hot springs--Their usefulness--The Cathedral of
     Orense--Its _Pórtico de Gloria_--The wonderful crucifix--The
     cloister--Santa Eufemia--Fight for her body--The oxen
     decide--Cardinal Quevado--Sculpture brought from
     Italy--Wood-carving--Spanish enamels--A silver crucifix--The
     reredos--The Orense Museum--Stone sarcophagi--Roman mosaics--A
     strange musical instrument--The Gallegan bagpipe--Orense and the
     Sueves--The Monastery of San Francisco--La Trinidad--Allariz--An
     interesting church--Convent of Santa Clara--Allariz mentioned by
     Ptolemy--Strongly fortified--_Aquasantas_--The parish church--_San
     Pedro de la Mezquita_--_Junquera de Ambia_--_El Mosteiro_

We rose early on a glorious April morning to catch the first train to
Orense. The sun shone brilliantly, and the outline of the blue-grey
hills with which Tuy is surrounded stood out clear and distinct. On some
of these peaks there are still the ruins of fortifications raised by the
ancient Celts when they fled from the Romans in the valley. As the
railway omnibus was taking us through the pine woods to the station, we
caught, at a bend in the road, a view of the Cathedral of Tuy. “What
ancient castle is that?” I inquired of a fellow-passenger. “It is the
Cathedral,” he replied, smiling. This was the second time that I had
mistaken that edifice for a mediæval stronghold.

The line from Tuy to Orense runs through scenery more beautiful than
that of the Austrian Tyrol. For a long time the winding Miño is visible
close beneath the train windows, as it makes its way through the verdant
valley, banked by mossy boulders and clumps of pine or chestnut trees,
and now and again rushing through narrow ravines. The first station we
passed was that of Salvatierra, near which towered a mediæval fortress
almost hidden by ivy, while, dotted about, were some little houses
painted red. Terraces of vines now covered the sloping hills; every now
and again we were in the thick of a pine wood. The station in the pine
wood was Nerves: between it and Arbo the Miño’s bed grew very narrow
and stony, and the waters foamed as they forced their way between the
boulders; then they whirled round in an eddy, and the next minute we
were looking at a sparkling waterfall, below which a peasant sat fishing
with a very long line. At Pousa, the next station, we compared the
architecture of the houses on the Portuguese side of the water with that
of the Spanish houses on the opposite bank: the Portuguese houses were
larger and more commodious in appearance. Steep mountains walled us in
as we neared the station of Freira, and our train described a curve or
loop worthy of the Canadian Rockies. After the next station, Filgueira,
the river burst from its granite ravine and fled round the circular base
of a conical mountain.

We had now reached Ribadavia, and the country on all sides was covered
with vine terraces. Ribadavia, hardly more than a large village in the
district of Ribadavia, in the province of Orense, was once an important
town. Garcia, king of Galicia, the son of Ferdinand the Great, had his
Court at Ribadavia, and his palace stood on the spot now occupied by a
Dominican convent. There are two churches at Ribadavia that are well
worth a visit--the conventual Church of Santo Domingo, and the Church of
Santiago. The former is a good specimen of Gallegan architecture, with
its wooden roof and its whitewashed granite walls and arches; the latter
has an interesting Romanesque window.

Orense, it will be remembered, is one of the four provinces into which
modern Galicia is divided. It is bounded on the north by the provinces
of Pontevedra and Lugo, on the south by Portugal, on the east by Zamora
and Leon, and on the west by Pontevedra and Portugal. Its most important
rivers are the Miño, the Sil, the Limia, and the Bibey. The chief town,
Orense, is situated in an extensive and luxuriant valley which lies in
the midst of mountains, many of them having summits of bare rock devoid
of all vegetation. Orense is a clean, bright little town, with more
movement in its streets than is usual in Gallegan towns; it is in closer
connection with Madrid than the others, and has not that mediæval look
so characteristic of the province.

The river Miño lies between the railway station and the town, and is
crossed by an exceedingly fine bridge, which is acknowledged to be one
of the sights of Orense. Molina wrote of it that its principal arch was
so high and of such a width that the Miño could flow beneath the central
arch alone--even after its waters had been swollen by the reception of
its many effluents--without touching the other arches. This bridge, the
_Puente Mayor_, had originally nine arches, but several of them
disappeared at the time of its renovation. Until about 1830, a mediæval
fortress was still standing by the bridge, but it had to be removed on
account of its ruinous condition. This bridge is the highest in Spain,
as well as one of the finest.

Our first walk in Orense was to _Las Burgas_, the hot springs, which
have been known and appreciated by the inhabitants of Orense ever since
the days of the Romans. These springs have never been known to decrease
or to increase: the flow of their waters is always the same both in
summer and winter. Their water keeps hot longer than is the case with
boiled water. The water of one of the springs is hotter than that of the
other; it can be drunk cold, it has neither colour, taste, nor smell;
the water of the other is sulphurous. Descending a flight of stone
steps, I found the water of the first spring flowing through a granite
wall beneath an arch decorated with sculpture into a stone basin; a
small space round it was paved with granite and enclosed with a railing,
in front of which there was a small public garden laid out with paths
between its flower-beds. The water which overflowed from the basin ran
into a large tank, and here a group of women were engaged in washing
linen. The sight that met my eyes in the neighbourhood of the second
spring was less pleasing; here women were busy scalding and skinning
poultry at one tank, while at another they were cooking meat in the
seething water. There are butchers’ shops close by, and their meat is
carried down to the springs to be washed and cleaned before being
exposed for sale. I noticed that the women who were employed in skinning
and cleaning the carcases were standing with their bare feet ankle deep
in bloody water, on which there floated the usual refuse of a butcher’s
shop. The place might easily have been mistaken for a slaughter-house.
My guide informed me that on the occasion of a visit paid to the springs
last year by the present King of Spain, the whole place was cleaned up
and carefully prepared for the Royal visit.

Molina has something to say about the hot springs at Orense: “In the
middle of Orense, hot springs bubble up with as great a noise of boiling
as if they were heated from below by a great furnace. The water is so
hot that you cannot put your finger into it even for a minute: you can
cook fish in it. The women wash their linen there, and make every use of
the hot water that they would make of it in their own houses.” The
ground is so warm round these springs that




frost and snow are never seen near them even when all the rest of the
town is covered with a white carpet.

The Cathedral of Orense, dedicated to St. Martin of Tours, stands on the
spot where Carriarico, King of the Sueves, erected a church in the ninth
century. The present edifice was erected by Bishop Lorenzo in the first
half of the thirteenth century. Since then it has undergone restoration
at various periods, with the result that the form of its exterior is
somewhat irregular. It is in the Gothic style, and its naves, transept,
and apse are remarkable for their elegant simplicity. The lantern tower
was restored as recently as the close of the nineteenth century. A
narrow street, the _Calle de las Tiendas_, now runs in front of the
principal entrance, which once had a fine flight of steps leading up to
it. Like so many of the churches in Galicia, this Cathedral was planned
and begun in the Romanesque style, though it was eventually finished in
the Gothic. The lantern is notable, as Lamperez has pointed out, as an
example of the amalgamation of the Mohammedan system of
vaulting--without a keystone--and the Christian with one.

Like the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, that of Orense also
possesses a _Pórtico de Gloria_, but this is, alas! nothing but a poor
imitation of Mateo’s masterpiece, executed in the thirteenth and
fourteenth centuries; and to one who has carefully studied Mateo’s work
the copy at Orense seems nothing but a painful caricature. The people of
Orense call it _El Paraiso_. The cloister was begun in the fifteenth
century, and, judging from the small part of it still intact, it must
have been a beautiful example of Gothic work. A Romanesque gate led to
the cloister; the few of its capitals remaining show some interesting

We entered the Cathedral by the north door, after admiring the toral
archivolt and triple columns of the door leading to the Capilla de San
Juan, with its statues of St. Peter and St. Paul. The first sight that
attracted our attention was the handsome sarcophagus, covered with stone
relief, of Bishop Vasco Perez Marino, who, according to one account,
brought the crucifix, which Orense counts as one of her greatest
treasures, from Cape Finisterre, somewhere between 1333 and 1343. The
crucifix itself, we found in a chapel on the opposite side of the
transept nave. Villa-Amil says this could hardly be the Finisterre
Christ, because there exists documentary evidence that during the
sixteenth century both the Christs were objects of adoration at the same
time. Molina describes them both, and says that the Christ at Orense is
one of those that were made by Nicodemus. (There are two others in
Spain, one at Burgos and another at Arenas.) Bishop Juan Muñoz de la
Cueva wrote of this crucifix in 1727 that the sight of it filled the
hardest of sinners with confusion and contrition, and attracted the
devotion even of foreign kings and pilgrims. Its hair, which is black
and long, and its nails, are said to be human. I remember seeing the
Christ at Burgos laid out on the pavement in the nave of the Cathedral
on Good Friday that the faithful might kneel before it and kiss its
feet, and I was informed at the time that it was covered with human
skin. The figure of Christ in both cases is life-size. Villa-Amil
believes that the Christ at Orense is of a later date by two centuries
than Bishop Marino, and he adds that in the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries the worship of crucifixes was particularly fervid. The Popes
granted special Indulgences to pilgrims who visited the Orense Christ,
and as Orense was a halting-place for pilgrims to St. James, it was
visited by most of the foreigners who came on that pilgrimage. The
Christ is made of wood, and tightly covered by several layers of
flesh-coloured cloth, which looks like human skin; the feet and arms are
so constructed as to be easily moved. Pilgrims stick their fingers into
the body, and are amazed to find that an impression is made just as
would be the case with a human body. Señor Benito F. Alonso, who is a
native of Orense, has carefully examined this Christ, and gives his
readers a practical explanation of all that for so long appeared so
miraculous with regard to it.[273]

We next visited the cloister next to the _Sala Capitular_, and here our
attention was drawn to some very quaint sculpture upon the old capitals:
on one of them was the figure of a horse, and on others there were
Biblical groups which must be among the earliest work in the Cathedral.

The ashes of one of Orense’s first martyrs, Santa Eufemia, are preserved
in this Cathedral. Santa Eufemia, according to historical accounts,
suffered martyrdom near the walls of an ancient city called Obobriga
(which some writers have tried to identify with Tuy) about the middle of
the second century of the Christian Era, in the reign of Antoninus
Pius.[274] Tradition relates that a young shepherdess, guarding her
sheep upon a mountain slope on the confines of Portugal and Galicia, saw
one day a hand stretched out from between



the boulders, and on one of its fingers was a golden ring. The girl put
out her hand and took the ring. From that moment her power of speech was
gone and she was perfectly dumb. She returned in terror to her home, and
by signs explained to her father what had taken place. Her father took
the ring from her, and, hastening to the spot where the hand had
appeared, found it still there and replaced the ring. As he did so a
voice said to him, “Here is the body of Santa Eufemia. See that it is
removed and placed with honour in the Church of Santa Marina.” The
command was carried out, and from the year 1090 till the time of Bishop
Sequin (1164) the ashes of the saint rested in the little chapel on the
Portuguese border. It was only with great difficulty that the bishop was
able to translate them to the Cathedral of Orense. The coffin was placed
upon a cart, but just as it was about to proceed to Orense the
Portuguese of the neighbouring villages came in great crowds, and
threatened to use force if the body was not carried back to their own
Cathedral at Braga. Bishop Sequin and the Bishop of Braga were friends,
having both been educated at the monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, and
they did their best to bring the dispute to an amicable end, but the
feelings of the Portuguese were so violent that the only resource open
to the bishops was to harness a couple of untamed oxen to the cart and
let the animals decide for themselves whether the saint should be
carried to Orense or to Braga. The oxen at once started off in the
direction of Orense, followed by a large concourse of the clergy, who
chanted psalms and prayed at every halt upon the road. When the
procession had reached Sejalvo, just outside Orense, the oxen stood
still and refused to move another step, whereupon the priests, followed
by all the dignitaries and aristocracy of the town, carried the coffin
upon their shoulders to the Cathedral, where it was deposited to the
sound of solemn music.

At the spot where the oxen stopped, Bishop Sequin erected a small
chapel--right in the middle of the road--and placed beside it a stone
cross with the effigy of Santa Eufemia, which was still standing in the
eighteenth century. The pedestal of the cross and the inscription dating
from the twelfth century are still there.

On the altar opposite the door of the sacristy we found three beautiful
thirteenth-century pictures in silver relief, representing scenes in the
history of Santa Eufemia.[275] To see these properly we were obliged to
have a candle. In the first, the young martyr stands trembling before
her pagan persecutors, while an angel appears in the clouds above to
support her in her resistance to their evil designs. In the second
picture--to the right--the victim is being tortured, and in the
third--to the left--is the scene in which the little shepherdess
indicates to her father by signs that she has seen the hand and been
struck dumb. All the faces are beautifully done, and most lifelike, and
the ornamentation round the pictures is very tasteful.

Another work of art is the marble sculpture above the recumbent effigy
of Pedro Quevado y Quintano, who was Bishop of Orense from 1776 to 1818.
He was one of the most beloved of all Orense’s prelates. When Napoleon
summoned an illegal Assembly at Bayona, Quevado was one of those who
refused to appear, and he protested strongly against the abdication of
the Spanish Sovereign. Grandmaison has described how, when more than
three hundred exiled French priests took refuge in the Peninsula,
Quevado received them as a brother, and placed his bishop’s palace at
their disposal. When Napoleon placed his brother Joseph (Pepe Botella)
on the throne of Spain, Quevado was deprived of all his emoluments as a
punishment for his patriotism. Pope Pius VII. made Quevado a cardinal in
recognition of the noble generosity with which this bishop had helped
the people of Orense from his own purse in their time of great need.
Orense celebrated his investiture with five days of festivity, during
which the town was illuminated and every kind of public amusement was
indulged in.

The marble sculpture which decorates his tomb was executed in Italy: it
consists of two medallions with two relief figures, one representing
Strength--Hercules, who is wrapped in the skin of the lion Nemius, and
has just torn from its place a massive pillar. The other represents
Charity--an old woman--caring for two destitute children.

The most beautiful tomb in the Cathedral, however, is not that of
Quevado, but that of some unknown person. It is richly decorated with
statues, the central one representing King David with his harp and
crown. All the statutes have pointed shoes showing beneath their long

Besides the famous Christ of which we have spoken above, this Cathedral
possesses another large crucifix, a figure of Christ, also life-size. It
is of Byzantine workmanship, and the figure is nailed to the cross with
four nails, as was customary between the seventh and twelfth
centuries.[276] The head wears





a Gothic crown, and a damask tunic covers the body to the knees.

Another treasure of this Cathedral is the beautiful wood-carving of the
choir, which was long believed to be the work of Francisco Moure, a
native of Orense, who is known to have executed the fine carving of the
altar in the Jesuit monastery of Monforte and the choir at Logo. But
just before my arrival at Orense a local archæologist, Señor Eugenio
Alvarez, discovered in the archives of the Cathedral a document proving
that the choir at Orense was the work of a foreigner--an Italian named
Juan de Angeles--in the sixteenth century.

I heard from a reliable source that there were some exquisite specimens
of enamel work in the treasury, but did not have an opportunity of
inspecting them. It is very rarely that they are shown to visitors.

In a cupboard lined with velvet in the sacristy is preserved a beautiful
crucifix of silver filigree work. The hair and clothes of the Christ are
of gold. Sad to say, a native of Orense, who made a fortune in South
America, has recently spent a hundred and twenty-five thousand pesetas
in having this beautiful work spoiled, _i.e._, modernised and decked out
with coloured stones; its original date is unknown, but it is thought to
be the work of the silversmiths of Santiago.

The reredos on the chief altar is also worth inspection, it is thought
to be the work of a Fleming; each niche containing a statue is decorated
with golden lace. It is the only reredos of its kind in Spain. Every
statue in it is said to be worth ten thousand (Spanish) dollars.

We next visited the Orense Museum. Here we found a stone bearing an
inscription relating to the Burgas, or Hot Springs, which had once been
erected near them by the Romans; the inscription was in honour of the
nymphs who were supposed to haunt the springs. Here also we found
several interesting stone sarcophagi; one was that of a converted Jew of
Monforte who spent a great deal of money on the churches; his name was
Gaibor, and he flourished in the eighteenth century. Here, too, were
specimens of good Roman mosaic, taken from the Roman baths in the
neighbourhood; some Byzantine capitals; a sarcophagus bearing an
inscription in the Gallegan dialect, from the fourteenth century; a
sarcophagus of the fifth century without a cover; a bronze cross of the
fifth century; some Roman pens; some Roman amphoras; bronze hatchets
found in the bed of the Miño; and a number of arrow-heads, some of green
serpentine, others of stone. Among the documents were some Papal Bulls
and other parchments in a glass case. One of the things that interested
me most was a musical instrument of mediæval structure; it had a handle
like a barrel organ, but its strings and screws were like those of a
violin. I am told that this strange kind of instrument is still in use
among the blind musicians of Galicia; and there are two of them
represented in the Orense _Pórtico de Gloria_, two of the
four-and-twenty elders are playing them by turning the handle. In this
museum we also found a good specimen of the Gallegan bagpipe, or
_gaita_. It was here that Señor Macìas showed me a recently completed
plan of the old Roman road that passed through Orense from Braga to
Astorga, at which he and several other archæologists had been working
for some time. The walls of the museum are hung with old paintings, some
of them being portraits of the family of San Rosendo, brought from the
monastery of Celanova. But perhaps the most treasured object of all is
the stone with the Roman inscription which Señor Macìas and his friends
had such difficulty in removing from the site of the ancient _Civitas

The name of Orense is derived from the Latin word _Aurea_, “golden,” and
was the name given to the town by the Romans. As we have seen elsewhere,
the great pride of Orense is the fact that the Sueve kings Carriarico
and Teodomiro abjured Arianism within her walls after hearing of the
miracles of St. Martin of Tours, and through the preaching of St. Martin
of Dumio, after there had been more than a hundred years of strife
between that heresy and the Catholic Faith, a strife which brought with
it all the evils of a civil war. Six centuries later the monastery of
the Franciscan Order was established within the walls of the city. Soon
after its completion, in a quarrel between Bishop Yanez de Noboa and the
monks, a man who had killed a member of the Noboa family in the street
took refuge with the monks, and as they refused to deliver him up, the
citizens burned their monastery to the ground. A few years later a new
monastery was begun on the site where it now stands, on a hill just
above the town, to the east of the Cathedral; this was finished about
the middle of the fourteenth century. It is now used as a barracks for
an infantry regiment, but its architecture is well preserved and quite
worth a visit; it has a beautiful fourteenth-century Gothic cloister
with graceful arcades resting on double shafts, every capital having
different sculpture. The façade of the church has a fine Gothic door
with three columns on either side, and some quaint sculpture on their
capitals. This church has one nave and three apse chapels; its form




is that of a Latin cross; the roofing of the nave is of wood, while the
transept and apses are covered with Gothic vaulting. The four arches of
the transept form curvilineal triangles, as if originally intended to
support a cupola or lantern. The apses, which resemble those of Santo
Domingo of Pontevedra, are connected by doors of communication in their
walls; they are lighted by very narrow and long lancet windows. Some say
that the sculptured figures on the capitals in this church are intended
to represent the struggles that took place between Bishop Yanez de Noboa
and the monks, but this is not correct; they merely represent the
monsters, birds, and foliage so much affected in that period. The church
contains some interesting tombs.

Another old church at Orense is _La Trinidad_, founded in the middle of
the twelfth century by Juan de Lares; it has two circular towers
flanking its façade, they probably did duty during the Middle Ages as
fortified watch-towers, for they have the appearance of bastions. The
wall of the Gothic apse seems also to have been castellated. This church
must have been standing when our Duke of Lancaster--who had married a
daughter of Peter the Cruel--invaded Galicia to claim the lands that his
wife inherited from her father. The Duke took Ribadavia in 1386, and
then marched upon Orense, which he assaulted and sacked.

In several of the small towns within a short drive of Orense there are
interesting monuments of mediæval architecture. One drive well worth
taking is to Allariz, where the Church of Santiago has many points
worthy of study, such as its quaint circular apse with a tiled roof and
Romanesque windows, and its square stone tower, also with a tiled roof.
At Allariz there is also the convent of Santa Clara, with its sumptuous
church and five altars, one of which is of the Corinthian order and as
lofty as the church. On the arch above the closed door there is an
inscription with the date “Era 1324.” The nuns of this convent have
among their treasures a beautiful crystal cross of mediæval workmanship,
with an ivory image of the Virgin, which alone is worth going to Allariz
to see. Near the Church of St. Stephen, at Allariz, there is a spot
called _el campo de la Mina_, which was used as a Jewish burial-ground
until the sixteenth century; some old tombstones bearing Hebrew
inscriptions have recently been found there. Huerta thought that Allariz
was the ancient town of Arraduca mentioned by Ptolemy. The historian
Gandara stated that the remains of King Witiza were discovered at
Allariz in 1663, but no other writer has confirmed this statement.
It is certain, however, that Allariz was one of the most
strongly-fortified towns in Galicia during the Middle Ages, and it is
one of the oldest _Fueros_ in the province. It can also boast of the
fact that the great poligraphist Feijoó received his early education
within its walls.

Another pleasant drive is to _Aquasantas_, where there is an interesting
parish church, built of granite, with three naves, the central nave
being supported by pillars 30 feet high. In the side nave to the right
is the tomb of Santa Marina the martyr: there is a high square tower
with a clock. This church once belonged to the Knights Templars.

Not far from _Aquasantas_ there is the Church of _San Pedro del
Mezquita_, and thirty kilometres distant from Orense there is the parish
church of _Junquera de Ambia_, now a small village, but once an
important Roman settlement close to the military road that connected
Braga with Astorga. A milestone bearing the name of Hadrian was
excavated there towards the close of the nineteenth century, it belonged
to the year 133 A.D., and its inscription stated that the distance to
Braga was seventy-four miles.[277] The present church dates from the
year 1164, as we are told by an inscription on the tympanum of its
doorway. Molina states that the ancient family of Ambia owned the whole
of _Junquera de Ambia_, and much more land besides, and that one of
them, having no heir to succeed him, built a fine church on his own
estate: in the sixteenth century this edifice was turned into a
_Colegiata_, but it is now a parish church in the diocese of Orense; it
has a fine tower in the Romanesque style. The chief entrance is a good
example of the same style at its best period; it has three archivolts
with toral moulding.

At _El Monteiro_ there is also a church with an interesting apse, or
rather three circular apses with Romanesque windows.

There is also a remarkably fine church at _Monterrey_ about fifty-five
kilometers from Orense. This town was peopled by Alfonso VIII. of
Castile in 1150, and called Monterrey because of its mountainous
position. In its vicinity there are some rich tin mines. It is at
Monterrey that there is a fine old square tower, the _Torre del
Homenaje_ (the bell at the top is modern), and in the church above
alluded to there is a mediæval reredos of sculptured stone.[278]






     Monforte--The Jesuit College--A picture by Greco--Cloister planned
     by Herrera--Relics in the convent of Santa Clara--Doña
     Catalina--The modern town--Like a spider’s web--The Province of
     Lugo--The town of Lugo--The Roman wall--Towers and windows--A
     Celtic town--Derivation of the name--The Sueves at Lugo--The seat
     of a Metropolitan--Struggles between the clergy and the
     nobles--Lugo’s great privilege--The continual exposition of the
     Host--Early references to this privilege--The Archives of
     Lugo--Molina--Lugo Cathedral--Its peculiarities--Our Lady of the
     Large Eyes--The lateral façade--Wood-carving of the
     choir--Sarcophagus of Froila--The chapel of Our Lady with the Large
     Eyes--The convent of San Francisco--Peculiarity of its
     apses--Frescoes--The cloister--Borrow on Lugo Cathedral--Santo
     Domingo--Traces of the Roman occupation--Rain in Lugo--A great
     Roman Catholic gathering--From our hotel windows--A funeral
     procession--St. James on horseback--Mondoñedo

Monforte, or, to give it its full name, Monforte de Lemus, in the
province of Lugo, was our next halting-place after we left Orense. The
population of Orense is under five thousand, and there is, besides the
Jesuit College, nothing in the modern town to recommend it to the
visitor’s attention beyond the fact that it gives its name to an
important railway junction, by which communication is carried from
Galicia to Madrid and the rest of Spain. We decided, however, to spend
one night there that we might have time to visit the fourteenth-century
tower with dungeons below it that crowns the mediæval citadel, the
remnant of the palace of the Counts of Lemos, and the neighbouring
Benedictine convent with its handsome church of _San Vicente del Pino_,
bearing the date 1539.

Two professors conducted us through the various public apartments of the
Jesuit College. They showed us with pride a painting of St. Francis of
Assisi by Greco[279] (and bearing his signature), which is said to be
finer than the one that is so highly prized in the Madrid Gallery. St.
Francis wears a grey robe and cowl, and holds a skull in his hand, and
another monk with hands clasped is looking up to his face as he listens
to his words. We next visited the church; there our attention was drawn
to the famous reredos of carved wood, said to be the work of the great
Gallegan wood-carver Francisco Moure. Every niche is filled with an
exquisitely carved group representing some well-known Biblical scene.
Moure died before this work was completed, and it was finished by his
son. Among their many precious relics the Jesuits were particularly
anxious that we should note the skull of the second Pope, and other
valuable relics. They then took us to see their fine cloister, which
dates from the year 1600, and was planned by Herrera, the architect of
the Escurial. The whole college is well built, and stands in extensive
grounds; its façade is imposing, especially from the train windows. This
college was intended by its founder to draw students from all parts of
Spain, and to be one of the principal centres of learning in the

We were now conducted to the neighbouring convent of Santa Clara, and
our guide requested the nuns to show the remarkable collection of relics
which they were known to possess. But these ladies, who interviewed us
from behind a double grating of iron bars, refused point-blank to allow
the eyes of the uninitiated to rest even for a moment on their sacred
treasures. “Here is a little book,” said the Lady Superior, “in which
you will find a list of our relics,” and she handed it to me through the
thick bars that separated her and her companions from the outside world.
I brought the book away with me, and read in it later that the convent
in question had been founded by _Señora Doña Catalina de Sandoval y
Roja_, of whom the convent possessed a full-length portrait. She was the
wife of _Don Pedro Fernandez de Castro_, seventh Count of Lemos.[280]
This pious dame exerted her every effort to endow her convent with a
fine collection of relics. She was by birth a Neapolitan princess, and
Pope Paul V. granted her a Bull allowing all the “archbishops, bishops
and abbots of the Kingdom of Naples to give to her new convent any
relics they might have in their churches.” On receipt of the Bull, Doña
Catalina’s husband had lost no time in sending letters to all the church
dignitaries of Naples to notify them that they might now send what
relics they liked to Monforte. Four trusty Capuchin monks bore the
letters to Italy, and returned laden with relics, which they handed over
to Doña Catalina, with the letters in which the archbishops and bishops
replied to Count Pedro. Some of these divines excused themselves,
saying that their relics were so small that they were not worth sending,
but others sent a great many from their rich collections. All the relics
that were thus accumulated were deposited, with the letters that
accompanied them, in the convent of Santa Clara, in August 1703.

Looking through the list of relics given in the book, I noted that there
were among them,--several pieces of the true Cross, in golden cases; a
nail from the Cross in a crystal case; a thorn from the Crown of Thorns;
a little piece of the sheet in which the body of Christ was wrapped; a
little piece of the Virgin’s veil; a bone from the body of St. Paul; a
fragment of the column to which Christ was bound; a bit of cloth stained
with the blood of John the Baptist; a drop of milk from the Virgin’s
breast; a tooth of St. Catherine, and a drop of milk (that was drawn
from her breast by the knife of her executioner); a bone from the body
of Pope Gregory; the heads of six of the eleven thousand virgins
(English maidens) who fled from Cornwall with St. Ursula. There was a
long list of other heads, or rather skulls, of saints, and this was
followed by a long list of bodies, some complete, some incomplete; then
came a still longer list of bones, arm bones, shin bones, and every
other kind of bone. I could not help feeling, as I turned over page
after page, that the nuns of Santa Clara were wise after all in refusing
to expose their museum of human remains to the curiosity of passing

The modern part of Monforte, on the plain beneath the citadel, with its
wide streets lined with black poplars and its clay-built houses, is much
more like a Castillian than a Gallegan town; in fact, to my eyes, so
long accustomed to narrow streets and the granite houses of Galicia,
Monforte presented a strange and novel contrast. Monforte is built out
round its citadel like a spider’s web. I do not know any town except
Carlsruhe to which I can compare it.

The province of Lugo, the fourth and last division of Galicia with which
we have to deal, lies to the north of Orense, and is itself bounded on
the north by the Bay of Biscay, with a coast-line of sixty Spanish
miles. The province of Lugo is very mountainous, but in its centre there
are fertile plains and valleys watered by innumerable rivers and
streams; the most important of which is our old acquaintance the river
Miño, which has its source in a spring near the town of Lugo. The Ulla
and the Eo also have their rise in this province, the latter being the
natural boundary between Lugo and Oviedo.

Lugo, the chief town of the province of Lugo, was our next stopping
place after Monforte. The railway station is on the plain, but Lugo
stands upon a hill, and is still surrounded by an ancient wall which
dates from the days of the Romans. This wall, with its many bastions and
semicircular towers built of massive granite, must have been a fine
sight during the Middle Ages, for it is still one of the finest ruins of
its kind in the whole of the Peninsula. Molina wrote in the sixteenth
century that the walls of Lugo were one of the marvels of Spain, and so
wide that two carriages could drive abreast round their entire circuit,
and crowned by so many towers that there was one at every eighth step.
He adds that when Lugo was at the height of her splendour each of these
towers contained living-rooms, and was inhabited by a watchman whose
duty it was to guard the town. “Even now,” he continues, “each tower has
still many windows, and pieces of the old window-panes are often picked
up near them; the glass was very thick and white.” Molina also speaks of
some ancient Roman baths which were mentioned by Pliny, and which he
considers to be the oldest baths in Spain--more than a thousand years
old. “How strange,” he remarks, “that though the springs are only forty
steps distant from the river Miño, their water is quite hot; such a
difference of temperature within such a small space is marvellous.”

Like Monforte, Lugo is built upon a hill rising in the midst of a plain.
The ancient Romans made this town the centre of their administration of
Galicia; they kept two cohorts of the Seventh Legion stationed here, and
it was an important point of defence against the attacks of unsubdued
native tribes. Within the walls there are to-day twenty-nine streets and
several fine squares, but the town spreads far beyond the walls, and
there are quite as many inhabitants dwelling outside. In the days of the
Romans, Lugo was known as _Augusta Lucus_. Tradition tells us that the
Romans found a Celtic town there, and although we have as yet no actual
proof of this, we know for a certainty that the ancient Celts had a god
called Lugus or Lug (gen. Loga). Jubainville thinks that the name of
Louth in Ireland is derived from Lugus. This deity was supposed to be a
god with a human form; the same authority cites five continental towns
thought to have derived their names from the same source, but he does
not seem to have noticed that of Lugo in Galicia.[281]

Such was the importance of Lugo under the Romans in the time of Pliny,
that more than a hundred and sixty-six free persons are said to have
come to Lugo to act as judges in public causes. When the Sueves made
themselves masters of Galicia in the fourth and fifth centuries, they
made Lugo the centre of their government, and their kings held their
Court there. During the days of the Goths the town lost its former
greatness, and was reduced till its only importance was that which it
gained from being the seat of a Catholic bishopric. During the Arab
invasion even the churches of Lugo suffered destruction, the inhabitants
were scattered, and her bishop was taken prisoner; but in 740 King
Alfonso I. came to Lugo and began restorations. After the death of this
king, Bishop Odoario continued the work that had been begun.

During the sixth century Lugo was for some time the seat of a
Metropolitan. At a Church Council held at Braga in 572, Nitigisco, the
bishop, signed himself Metropolitan of Lugo. Several important Church
Councils were also held at Lugo. In the days of her Metropolitan
importance, Lugo had no less than fourteen churches under her sway, and
these comprised a very large territory. Her power and influence were
great; she watched over the public peace, she helped the cities when
they were attacked by outside foes, and encouraged them to strengthen
their bulwarks; her powers over the interests of the citizen were almost
regal for more than a century, though the people were never unanimous in
their approval of so much power being vested in the Church, and the
nobles were continually struggling to throw off the yoke of the

When and how Lugo lost the dignity of being a Metropolitan See is not
known, but it was some time between 1095 and 1113, during the
Pontificate of Calixtus II. Another honour which was conceded to this
town in the remote past, and which she still retains, was the remarkable
privilege of exposing continually the Sacrament of the Eucharist upon
the chief altar of her Cathedral. The exact origin of this privilege has
been sought in vain, but those who have looked into the matter most
carefully are of the opinion that it probably dates from the Council of
Lugo held in 569, and that it was established as a protest against the
heresy of Priscillian, which threatened at that time to dominate
Galicia. Acuña, in his _Historiæ Eclesiastica de los Arzobispos de
Braga_, has the following passage: “Por que na mesma Cidade em algum
destes dous Concileos se decretou é estableceu à verdadeira prescença de
Chisto Noso Deus neste Divinissimo è Altisimo Sacramento à quem os
hereges d’aquelle tempo tanto contradiziao.”[283] An early reference to
the exposition of the Sacrament at Lugo occurs in a document bearing the
date 1130, which states that the Divine Mysteries were celebrated
_nocturnæ diurnis temporibus_ in the Cathedral at Lugo. And in 1621 the
Bishop of Lugo wrote to Pope Gregory XV. that they had had “on the chief
altar of the Cathedral the most holy Sacrament ever since the time of
the condemnation of the heretics.”

From other ancient documents it is known that the Host was exposed in a
crystal box, and in such a manner that it could be seen by every one who
entered the cathedral. Large sums of money were contributed from time to
time by the kings and princes of Galicia in connection with this
privilege. A Count of Lemos gave, in 1672, a donation of seventy pounds
weight of gold. In March 1669 a decree was passed that the Kingdom of
Galicia should contribute 1500 ducats annually, and in later years the
State assigned an annual payment of 15,000 pesetas towards the expenses
of this privilege to Lugo. There still exists in the archives of Lugo a
document bearing the date 1734, in which the King of Spain conceded an
annual payment of 400 pesetas from the Kingdom of New Spain towards the
veneration of the Holy Sacrament of the Cathedral of Lugo. The most
recent event in this connection occurred in 1897, when on 18th June the
Pope granted to the Lugo clergy the privilege of celebrating the Holy
Sacrament every Thursday throughout the year, except the Thursdays which
should fall upon Feast Days.

Until quite recently the glass case containing the consecrated bread of
the Eucharist stood upon a curious altar stone--an Obsidian stone said
to have been brought from South America; the stone is now kept in the
sacristy. On examination of it, I found that it had the appearance of a
small block of black marble, but was in reality a block of volcanic
glass; it reflected my face like a mirror.

In 1772 the Archbishop of Saragossa presented Lugo with an exquisitely
worked casket studded with precious stones, and in this the Sacrament
was manifested until a thief got into the Cathedral and stole it on 8th
December 1854. Another casket was thereupon provided by public
subscription; it was the work of the famous artist Ramirez de Arellano,
and has been in use since 3rd May 1859. It is a very beautiful piece of
work in the plateresque style, representing Faith triumphant over
Heresy, containing a chalice covered with diamonds, emeralds, and other
precious stones, amongst which there are no less than fifteen hundred
specimens of the topaz.

Molina mentions a possible connection between the continual exposition
of the Sacrament at Lugo and the suppression of Arianism, but he adds
that he has heard of a more likely explanation, namely, that at one time
all the cathedrals in Spain shared the privilege of Lugo, but that after
the invasion of the Moors Lugo was the only privileged cathedral,
because she alone had not been desecrated by the common enemy. In
another place Molina describes the arms of Galicia as “a chalice
containing the Host, because Galicia alone was not conquered by the

Lugo Cathedral was begun in 1129 in accordance with a plan prepared by
Raimundo de Monforte, whose son succeeded him in the superintendence of
the work. According to the best authorities, the Cathedral is, in the
main, a copy of that of Santiago de Compostela, but a copy on a much
simpler scale. As Lamperez points out, its low naves do not run into the
naves of the transept, and the latter has barrel vaultings. The whole
architecture of this edifice shows a vacillation, a wavering of
conception which has produced a strange mixture of style,--bordering on
originality; this very result is in itself a curious study. Here we see
all the changes of style that occurred between the beginning of the
twelfth and the middle of the nineteenth century. Villa-Amil calls it a
compendium of the history of architecture.[284] In the arms of the
transept we have the Romanesque style, and it is also seen in the
vaulting of the lateral naves: in the rest of the naves we have a fine
example of the Transition, and in the head of the church we have an
important example of the Gothic style as it was interpreted in
Galicia--the Gallegan Gothic. The _Capilla del Pilar_ and the lateral
portico furnish us with good examples of the plateresque style, so also
do the two large _retablos_ at the ends of the transept. The upper
portion of the lower is Græco-Roman, of the earliest period of its
restoration; while the sacristy and the wood-carving of the choir stalls
are in the decadent taste of Philip IV.’s day. The Chapel of Our Lady of
the Large Eyes is a sumptuous example of the Borrominesque, and the
principal façade exhibits an interesting example of the bad taste of the
second period of the Restoration. The whole is a remarkably harmonious
mixture of all the mediæval styles, but the transept is too narrow and
too dark. Although that part of the town which is within the walls is
mostly on the same level, the Cathedral stands in a slight hollow, so
that its domination of the eminence on which the town is built is less
complete than it should have been. Instead of standing out like our
York Cathedral, it seems to be oppressed and choked by the surrounding
streets and houses.

The lateral façade possesses considerable architectural interest; it has
a Gothic portico, the vaulting of which is richly ribbed. The double
doors are within a Romanesque archway, over which there hangs, like a
medallion, an archaic statue of Christ, quite Byzantine in the position
of the feet, and with a stone halo _veseca piscis_, and a crown and a
cruciform nimbus. This statue reminds me strongly of the figure of King
David to be seen in the _Puerta de las Platerias_ at Santiago. The
lintel of the door is composed of two semicircular arches, with a Latin
inscription on the pendant.

The beautiful wood-carving of the choir stalls is by Francisco Moure of
Orense, the artist of the famous reredos in the Jesuit College at
Monforte. Risco speaks of these stalls in “España Sagrada” as the most
beautifully carved stalls in the kingdom; they are famous for the good
taste displayed in their design, as well as for the actual beauty of
their execution. Cean Bermúdez was another who praised them exceedingly.
Villa-Amil tells us that their cost was five thousand ducats.

Until the fourteenth century none but bishops were interred within this
Cathedral; even the greatest nobles had to lie in the cemetery. The most
interesting bit of sculpture within the edifice is the marble
sarcophagus of Froila, which was moved from its original place in the
_Capilla del Pilar_ about thirty years ago; it has a prismatic cover
with a triangular base, and its ornamentation is funicular. On its front
is a curious piece of bas-relief, representing a naked corpse suspended
in a grave-cloth held by two angels, while the Eternal Father is
represented in the clouds above touching the body with His right hand
and giving it His blessing. At the head of the sarcophagus, on the
cover, there is a quaint figure of a seated monk engaged in reading.

In the lateral naves there are some elegant Romanesque windows (now
closed up), and the capitals beneath the arches are adorned with
interesting sculpture; here the chess pattern ornamentation is very much
in evidence.

In a handsome eighteenth-century chapel adorned with stone arabesques
and crowned with a cupola, built in the year 1726, is to be seen the
curious stone statue known as “the Virgin with the Large Eyes”--_Virgen
de los Ojos Grandes_--which St. James is said to have left at Lugo when
he founded the original Cathedral. It is supposed to be the oldest image
in Spain after that of the _Virgen del Pilar_, at Saragossa. The Virgin
holds a Child in her arms. I did not think her eyes unnaturally large.
Villa-Amil says that it takes fourteen men to move this statue: it now
stands upon an elaborate Churrigueresque throne. The Virgin’s crown
sparkles with precious stones; it is a comparatively new one, and was
placed upon her head by the Bishop of Lugo about three years ago.

The Convent of San Francisco, at Lugo, is said to have been founded by
St. Francis of Assisi when he was returning home after his pilgrimage to
the sepulchre of St. James. The cloister of the present building bears
the date 1452, and an inscription on the arch which separates the
central nave from the right arm of the transept tells us that the church
was not completed earlier than 1510. The plan of the church is a Latin
cross, or, as Villa-Amil calls it, a _tau_, for the cross has
practically no head, only a poligonal apse with two smaller apses, one
on either side. This kind of apse is rather rare. Street compared them
to those of the Frari in Venice, and wrote of them as follows: “These
apses are remarkable for having an angle in the centre, whilst their
windows have a bar of tracery across them, transom fashion, at mid
height. It is certainly a very curious coincidence that in both these
particulars it resembles closely the fine church of the Frari at
Venice.” Villa-Amil reminds us, however, that the apses of Santo Domingo
at Ribadavia have the same angle. All three apses are covered with
fan-shaped vaulting, the ribs of which rest upon side columns. The
interior of this church was originally decorated with frescoes, and the
remains of them are still to be seen: as frescoes are very rare in
Spain, they are rather noteworthy. In each of the apses there are two
curious sepulchral arches; these are both Gothic. The statues of several
of them have been destroyed, but there are still three effigies of
knights in full armour.

With regard to the cloister of this monastery, Villa-Amil declares that
it has not its equal either in Spain or anywhere else. It is a strange
mixture of the Gothic and Romanesque styles, but the latter predominates
throughout. The nearest approach to it in Galicia is the cloister of
_Tojosutos_, near Noya.[285] It is indeed sad to think of the way in
which this interesting monastery has been neglected, and to note the
state of dilapidation into which it has been allowed to fall. The fact
is that the town of Lugo seems to have got left behind in the race for
civilisation and improvement; she has fallen out of the beaten track,
and life and energy have gone from her. Even her beautiful Cathedral
gives the visitor an impression of neglect, if not of decay; and this
may in some way account for the erroneous impression that George Borrow
received of it. “The Cathedral church itself is a small, mean building,”
... he wrote. I am convinced that if Borrow had entered the Cathedral
but for a moment he could never have described it as either small or
mean. But we must remember, too, the remarkable fact that neither Ford
nor Borrow had any eye for architecture. Carrying their writings with
me, and reading their descriptions on the spot, I was continually
astounded at their utter blindness in this respect. Borrow was right,
however, when he wrote: “It is singular enough that Lugo, at present a
place of very little importance, should at one period have been the
capital of Spain.”

Another interesting monastery is that of Santo Domingo, which is now
inhabited by some nuns of the Augustine Order. This also is a mixture of
Romanesque and Early Gothic.

Lugo contains many traces of the old Roman days, but she has as yet no
museum to shelter them. Her Roman inscriptions have many of them been
built into the town walls at various periods of its restoration. Many
persons still repair to her medicinal baths for the cure of scrofulous
disease, and within the bathing-house part of the wall of the Roman
baths described by Pliny may still be seen. According to Barros Sivelo,
there are also some remains of the Roman prison, but I had not time to
search for these.

The province of Lugo is said to be the most rainy part of Galicia, which
is saying a great deal, seeing that Galicia is the most rainy part of
Spain. The streets of Lugo are constantly enveloped in an impenetrable
white mist during about eight months of the year; but when the sun does
shine, there are splendid views to be obtained on all sides.

In the year 1896 a great Roman Catholic gathering took place at Lugo
under the title of “Second Spanish Eucharistic Congress.”[286] Numerous
religious meetings were held under its auspices, at which there were
often more than six thousand people. Church dignitaries from many parts
of Europe attended this Congress, and the printed account of the
proceedings, of the speeches made and the papers read, form a bulky
volume. Alas, that after such a revival Lugo should have once more
fallen back into her former state of inertia!

From our hotel window we overlooked the principal square of the town
with its tree-encircled fountain in the centre. One side of the square
is taken up by the handsome _Casa de Ayuntamiento_ or municipal
buildings, which have a handsome eighteenth-century front and a high
clock tower which is one of the principal architectural ornaments of the
town. The front windows of the first storey rest upon an arcade of eight
arches which forms a cool shelter from the blazing sun in summer and a
protection from the ceaseless rains of winter. A funeral party crossed
the square on the afternoon of our arrival at Lugo, and we looked down
upon a procession composed of forty men, each carrying a lighted candle.
Before them was carried a black banner preceded by two crosses raised
aloft upon black poles. The coffin was borne by four men, while two more
on either side held on to a black ribbon, or streamer, the other end of
which was attached to a corner of the coffin. Six priests followed the
coffin, singing as they went. Behind the priests came a crowd of poor
people, including many women and children.

The next morning we looked out upon a bright and busy scene, for it was
Lugo’s market day, and the people from all the neighbouring villages had
come in to sell their wares. Baskets of oranges, local cheeses, and
onions attracted our attention. Amongst the crowd women walked about
with pitchers of water balanced sideways on their heads, not with
brass-bound pails as in other parts of Galicia.

After our second visit to the Cathedral we passed through a gateway in
the old Roman wall over which there was a figure of St. James on
horseback, and soon found ourselves in the more modern part of the town.
A wide carriage road encircles the walls, and the circuit makes a
pleasant drive in fine weather.

About fifty kilometres distant from Lugo, in a green valley surrounded
on all sides by mountains, lies the town of Mondoñedo. This town is not
without its interest to students of Galicia, but as there is no railway
to it, tourists seldom find their way thither. The Cathedral of San
Martin at Mondoñedo is said to date from the year 1114. The sacristy is
decorated with interesting frescoes about which a good deal has been
written. It has three naves divided by Corinthian columns, and its form
is that of a Latin cross, within which are no less than twenty altars,
the largest of which is dedicated to San Rosando, and was consecrated in
1462. A cloister joins the Cathedral to the episcopal palace. Above the
principal façade, which is in the Corinthian style, rise two fine bell



     Betanzos and the Phœnicians--Earliest inhabitants--The _Fiesta de
     Caneiros_--Municipal archives--Market day--The “abominable
     tribute”--Tiobre--May Day--San Martin de Tiobre--Santa Eulalia de
     Espenuca--The Church of Santiago--Its slanting architecture--A
     tower of the Middle Ages--Santa Maria de Azogue--San Francisco--The
     tomb of Fernán Peréz de Andrade--The Church at Cambre--A forerunner
     of Toledo Cathedral--Was it planned by Mateo?--Petrus Petri--The
     drive to Puentedeume and Ferrol--Borrow on Ferrol--The great
     Arsenal of Spain--Modern enterprise at Ferrol--A trait in the
     Spanish character

Betanzos is one of the oldest towns in Spain; some writers think it was
founded by the Phœnician traders who came to the north-western coast in
search of tin and other metals. Betanzos was one of the seven provinces
into which ancient Galicia was divided, and throughout the Middle Ages
it had a considerable degree of importance. The Ria, on the bank of
which the town of Betanzos stands, is now shallow and unimportant, but
there is every reason to believe that in the days of the ancients its
waters were navigable up to the town walls, and covered with shipping.
Betanzos is now in the province of Coruña and only one hour distant by
train from the town of that name. As we had not been able to visit it
during our sojourn at Coruña, we made it our next halting-place after
Lugo: the journey (by express train) occupied just two hours. The
province of Lugo contained, during the Middle Ages, more monasteries
than any other part of Galicia, but to-day there is only one ruined
monastery left, and that is at Sarria, the first town at which our train
stopped after leaving Lugo.

The earliest inhabitants of Betanzos were probably a mixed community of
Greeks and Celts: the Romans called the town either Brigantium Flavium,
after Vespasian (or Titus), who founded the Roman city about 72 A.D., or
_Flavia Lambris_. The present town stands on what is now only a small
creek, nearly a mile distant from the sea, and only small boats can
reach it. On three sides there are sloping hills mostly covered with
woods and pasture land, so that the situation of the place is decidedly
picturesque. Many residents of Madrid and other inland towns have villas
here for the summer months; and as it is only a few miles from Coruña,
it is better known to Spaniards than most parts of Galicia. The river
Mandeo flows through the town and discharges itself into the creek or
ria. On August 18, every year the inhabitants celebrate their _Fiesta de
Caneiros_. This is a kind of Battle of Flowers which takes place upon
the ria. The water is covered with boats gaily decorated with flowers.
The tide carries the holiday-makers out towards the sea, and with it
they return in the evening after much feasting and merry-making. The
festival is a unique one even to Spaniards, and friends who have taken
part in it speak with rapture of the brilliance and beauty of the scene.
Myriads of garland-covered boats are borne upon the water, and happy
faces peep from under the festoons of flowers and foliage.

At Betanzos the best hotel is nothing but a country inn. From its
windows we looked out upon the open space known as _Plazo del Campo_, on
the opposite side of which stands a handsome eighteenth-century building
which served at one time as the principal municipal archives of Galicia;
part of it is now a municipal school for boys. Over the principal
entrance, which is reached by a double flight of stone steps, are the
ancient arms of Galicia (a chalice containing the Host). Omnibuses to
Ferrol and Puentedeume start in front of this building, and there is
always plenty of movement, but on market days the scene is particularly
varied and interesting, and on the first and sixteenth of every month a
fair is held here. During the fair one corner of the Plaza becomes a
cattle market, another is filled with horses, and another with pigs. The
crowd is so great that one can only make one’s way through with

Betanzos is full of interest for archæologists. To begin with, it is
closely associated with the legend of the Hundred Maidens to which I
have elsewhere alluded. Molina says in this connection, “Of all that I
am writing in this little book, there is no subject more worthy of
attention than the story of the abominable tribute that King Mauregato
levied upon the Christians,” and he then proceeds to tell how a few
noble-spirited Gallegan youths rushed upon the Moors at a spot called
_Pecte Burdelo_, and freed Spain for ever from their disgraceful
demands. A street in Betanzos bears to this day the name “Street of the
Hundred Maidens” (_Calle de las Cien Doncellas_).

The oldest parish in the modern town is Bravio, and its churches date
from the second half of the twelfth century.[287] The oldest parish of
the ancient town is Tiobre. We walked up the hill to see the little
church of Tiobre, which stands on an eminence to the north-east of the
town. It was the second of May, the day on which Spanish children hold
their festival which corresponds with our election of a May Queen. At
one spot in the road we found a party of children supporting an arch
gaily decorated with coloured ribbons. A small child of three was being
made to pass beneath the arch with closed eyes, while the children sang
a verse about the sleep of Winter; then, as they sang of the coming of
Spring and of the waking up of the flowers and birds, the child was made
to open its eyes and pass beneath the arch once more. I took a snapshot
of the merry group, and then we proceeded up the hill past the modern
church of _Nuestia Señora del Caneiro_, to which many pilgrimages are
still made. From the cemetery we had a very fine view of the town below,
though we could not see the whole of it. I noticed that the town lay so
snugly amongst its many hills that from whatever eminence you might look
down upon it some of its streets were always hidden from view. Beyond
the church we had to walk single file between fields of wheat and rye
till we came to the little church of _San Martin de Tiobre_. It is a
very small granite edifice with a handsome Romanesque entrance and a
lateral door in the same style, while over the triumphal arch it has a
rose window, which has unfortunately been closed up, so that the
interior is darker than it should be. There are four columns with
beautifully sculptured capitals, two on either side of the chief
entrance. The roof of the nave is of wood, but the vaulting of the apse
is stone. A few months previous to my visit an inscription was
discovered on the wall, below the rose window and a little to the left,
but it had not yet been deciphered. The _fronton_ which supports the
bell is, of course, eighteenth-century work. It is a pity that the
granite blocks of which the church is built have been all lined out with
white paint.

There is no finer view obtainable of Betanzos than that from the little
platform surrounding the Tiobre church. This eminence is in reality a
very large tumulus, which is supposed to date from the days of the Celts
and is called _El castro de Tiobre_, from the two Celtic words--_Dis_,
God; and _obre_, town. According to the _Historia Compostelana_ there
was a church here called _San Martin de Tiobre_ in the ninth century.
The architecture of the existing edifice is Romanico-Byzantine, the
prevalent style all over Galicia during the Middle Ages. Dr. Oviedo says
that this church must have been built after 1224, the date at which
Alfonso IX. moved the population from old Betanzos to the new town.

On a steep hill to the south of Betanzos known as _Santa Eulalia de
Espenuca_ there are some very ancient caverns, or natural grottos,
supposed to have sheltered a troglodite tribe in prehistoric times. The
name Espenuca is derived from the Latin _spelunca_, a cave. On the
western slope of this hill there are also some granite tombs, monoliths
shaped to hold the body, such as were common in the eighth and ninth
centuries, but more correct in their design, and therefore possibly
belonging to a still earlier date. Dr. Oviedo believes there existed
here a Christian church and parish as early as the fifth, and documents
prove that there was one here in the ninth, century.

From Tiobre we had noted the two elegant spires that were added some six
years ago to the church of Santiago, and thither we now repaired. In the
tympanum of the arch over the chief entrance to this church there is a
piece of sculptured relief representing St. James on horseback; he waves
a sword with his right hand and holds a flag with his left. Before him
kneels a young woman with her hands upraised in supplication--evidently
one of the hundred maidens about to be sent as tribute to the Moors just
before the famous battle of Clavijo.

The tympanum is surrounded by a triple archivolt resting on a jamb with
three corresponding shafts. Dr. Oviedo was greatly struck by the
representation in one of the archivolts of the Last Supper. He calls it
“a book in stone,” unique in Galicia and possibly also in Spain, as
showing a special phase in the sculptural art of the Middle Ages. The
sculpture on the capitals is the most eccentric that I have ever met
with in Galicia: on one there is a lion with the head of a man, and on
another a monk is embracing a lion. On entering the church I was
surprised to find that the whole building leaned a little to one side,
after the manner of Santa Maria de Sar.[288] When the new towers were
added, about six years ago, the nave was cleared to its real depth and
the bones of the many dead who had been buried there were removed. There
are three naves. The stained glass in the graceful lancet windows of the
Gothic apses is modern, and came from the factory at Leon. The roofing
is of wood and supported by six Gothic arches. The scultptured
decoration of the chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul is interesting.

Exactly opposite the church of Santiago there is a square tower,
evidently intended for the protection of this town during the early
Middle Ages; it is now used as a dwelling-house.

Another church worth visiting is that of Santa Maria de Azogue. We found
it in the midst of repairs and full of scaffolding. In this church too
there is the same kind of slant as that at Sar. Dr. Eladio Oviedo is of
the opinion that both this church and that of Santiago date from the
fourteenth century--that is, from the second period of Gothic art.

We next visited the ex-conventual church of San Francisco, beneath whose
pavement lie buried more than a hundred distinguished men belonging to
the highest aristocracy of Galicia. One is impressed at once with the
sculptural decoration of the chief entrance, which is purely Romanesque.
Villa-Amil considers this church to be the most remarkable--from the
point of view of sculpture--of all the Franciscan edifices in Galicia,
and he adds that we have no clue to the exact date of any one of them.
The sculptured sarcophagus of Fernán Peréz de Andrade has an inscription
with the date 1387. This sarcophagus rests on the back of a bear and a
wild boar, both life size. On it is the recumbent mail-clad effigy of
Andrade, who must have been a great sportsman, for his feet rest upon
two dogs, each of which has a smaller dog between its paws; another dog
is biting the corner of his stone pillow; the outer side of the
sarcophagus is covered with alto-relief representing a lively boar hunt,
in which are to be distinguished four huntsmen on horseback and a number
of dogs, one of which has got hold of a boar and is biting its ear; each
dog wears a collar; there is a second boar in the rear. There are a
number of other tombs, but the one I have just described is by far the
most striking of them all.

One end of the transept is lighted by a rose window, the other has
double lancet windows. The triumphal arch leading to the chief apse is
adorned with the sculptured figures of angels and grotesques. There are
three Gothic apses with lancet windows. The exterior of this church is
peculiar, with its tiled roofing, and the whole style of it strikes one
as very archaic.

A few miles out of Betanzos, on the railway line to Lugo, but situated
in the province of Coruña, there is a small station called Cambre, and
here every visitor interested in Spanish







architecture should break his journey and pay a visit to the church of
_Santa Maria de Cambre_, the conventual church of a Benedictine
monastery founded in the tenth century. The church is all that now
remains of the monastery, and it is not the primitive edifice, as it
only dates from the thirteenth century. This church has excited
considerable interest among Spanish archæologists, from the fact that
its dimensions and disposition are exactly those of the cathedrals of
the Middle Ages: it is in the form of a Latin cross, with three naves
and a transept, a _girola_ and absidal chapels; it has six cruciform
pillars on either side of the chief nave, the four which support the
_girola_ being more massive than the others. Lamperez, who has made this
edifice an object of careful study, was particularly impressed by the
exquisite harmony of its entire plan. Five graceful Gothic apse chapels,
semicircular in plan, are clustered round the head of the building. All
the windows are Romanesque with lobular archivolts and chess pattern
ornamentation. The chief entrance is also Romanesque, with a triple arch
and sculptured tympanum. As we have already seen, the Romanesque style
was employed by Gallegan architects right up to the fifteenth century,
long after it had been discarded by the rest of Spain. We have seen how
the cloister of San Francisco at Lugo was built in that style in the
fifteenth century, and we have noted the Romanesque entrance to _San
Maria del Azogue_ at Betanzos, and the pillars of Santa Maria of
Pontevedra, which are an example of the employment of the Romanesque
style as late even as the sixteenth century.

The arrangement of the five semicircular apses at Cambre is the same as
that of the apses in Santiago Cathedral, as also is the sculpture of the
capitals, so here we have one more proof of the tyrannical influence
which Santiago Cathedral extended over Galicia. Lopez Ferreiro thought
that the church at Cambre might have been planned by Mateo, the
architect of the _Pórtico de Gloria_, but Lamperez has recently found an
inscription in the chief nave, _Micael Petri me fecit_, and on a column
in the same wall he has found the letters P. P. one above the other.
“Does this stand for Petrus Petri?” he cries. “The mere mention of this
name so glorious in the annals of Spanish architecture demands the most
careful investigation,” and he then speaks of a document bearing the
date “Era 1295” (A.D. 1257), in which Fernando Dominguez and a brother
of his sell to Petrus Petri, a priest, and to his brother Michaeli
Petri, certain estates in Miguela (in Lugo). “The fact that the names
mentioned in this document are found engraved on the stones of Cambre,”
he adds, “is worthy of our attention; and was not Petrus Petri the
celebrated architect of the Cathedral of Toledo?” Petrus Petri died in
1291, so there is no reason why he should not have been in Galicia in
1257. There is no indication, however, in the epitaph of Petrus Petri,
that he was a priest.

Lamperez has also compared the architecture of Cambre with that of
Toledo, and is greatly struck with the similarity in the pavement of the
apses and in their vaulting. “Might it not be possible,” he ventures to
suggest “that Petrus Petri was a Gallegan, and a pupil of the great
Mateo? Petrus Petri may have studied the Gothic vaulting of Mateo in the
_Pórtico de Gloria_ (which is among the earliest Gothic vaulting in that
part of Spain), and he may then have tried his ‘prentice hand’ in the
church at Cambre. A little later he may have given immense development
to his plan in building the _girola_ of Toledo.... If this could but be
proved,” continues Lamperez, “we should then know for a certainty that
Petrus Petri was a Spaniard, and we should be able to explain how he
came to adapt the French Gothic style in the development of Spanish

Every few hours an omnibus drawn by two pairs of horses leaves the
_Plaza del Campo_ at Betanzos for Puentedeume and Ferrol, the latter
town being reached in five hours. Puentedeume lies in a beautiful valley
surrounded by vine-clad hills, and the whole journey is through
delightful Gallegan scenery, while on the way a good view is obtained of
the ruined castle of the noble family of Andrade. Borrow visited Ferrol
from Coruña by sea, and he thus describes his first view of its
wonderful harbour: “We were in one of the strangest places imaginable--a
long and narrow passage overhung on either side by a stupendous barrier
of black and threatening rocks. The line of the coast was here divided
by a natural cleft, yet so straight and regular that it seemed not the
work of chance but design. The water was dark and sullen and of immense
depth. This passage, which is about a mile in length, is the entrance to
a broad basin, at whose farther extremity stands the town of Ferrol.”

Ferrol has been for centuries the great Arsenal of Spain; the tremendous
three-deckers and long frigates destroyed at Trafalgar were built there.
The present fortifications were erected between 1769 and 1774. Pitt is
reported to have remarked that if England possessed a port on her coast
equal to Ferrol, the British Government would cover it with a strong
wall of silver. During his Ministry Pitt sent an expedition to take
Ferrol, and when fifteen thousand English soldiers disembarked there
without warning on April 25, 1800, they found the place quite unprepared
for war and very badly provisioned. “They were nevertheless obliged,”
say Spanish historians, “to re-embark, but not before they had learned
that Ferrol was a difficult place to blockade.”

The arsenal of Ferrol was at the period the finest, not only in Spain,
but in all Europe. It came into existence before the reign of Philip II.
Ferdinand VI. and Charles III. gave great impetus to the perfection of
its hydraulic works, which for extent, magnificence, and solidity had
not their equal. The tower has on its walls the following inscription:--

    “Maximum supremae artis quis videre volenti
     praecipuum hic orbis illi sistitur opus:
     in quo firmiter perlustrantes maria cuncta
     naves, procinctus classes, atque omnia videt.
     O Felix Hispania! admodromque felix:
     te fauste gubernat, regit tibique sapienter
               imperat Carolus III.,
     Rex inclitus pusimus augustus, quem
         totus non capit orbus.”[289]

“The misery and degradation of modern Spain,” says Borrow, “are nowhere
so strikingly manifested as at Ferrol. Yet even here there is much to
admire, ... the Alameda is planted with nearly a thousand elms, of which
almost all are magnificent trees, and the poor Ferolese, with the
genuine spirit of localism so prevalent in Spain, boast that their town
contains a better public walk than Madrid.” And of the naval arsenal he
wrote: “I have seen the royal dockyards of Russia and England, but for
grandeur of design and costliness of execution they cannot for a moment
compare with those wonderful monuments of the bygone naval pomp of
Spain.” He then informs his readers that the oblong basin, which is
surrounded by a granite mole, is capacious enough to permit a hundred
first-rates to lie conveniently in ordinary. In connection with this,
let us read a paragraph from a Madrid correspondent which appeared in
the _Daily Telegraph_ for April 18, 1907: “It is practically certain
that the Arsenal at Ferrol will, under a contract with the Treasury, be
handed over to a private company. I have good reason to believe that the
industry will be placed in the hands of an English firm. Negotiations
for concluding the contract have already been set on foot. The firm
which leases the factory will be allowed full liberty for developing the
industry, but it will be under obligation to build ships and carry out
other work for the State on favourable terms. In this manner Ferrol will
be converted into a great naval factory, which will be able to compete
with other shipyards, on account of the abundance of raw material, coal
and iron, in the immediate vicinity. It is an open secret that Germany
desired to be the favoured Power, and that German shipbuilders made
certain proposals. These, however, were declined; and should the matter
be finally carried through, it will be found that the enterprise has
been placed in English hands.”

How sad it seems that Spain has not sufficient energy to rehabilitate
her own excellent handiwork! An Englishman who travelled in the
Peninsula in 1810 wrote: “The Spaniards are brave, acute, patient, and
faithful, but all their characteristics are insulated, all their
exertions are individual. They have no idea of combining, either
publicly or privately, in a manner to call forth their respective
talents and render every one useful to the common cause. The Germans may
be said to combine too much and the Spaniards not at all.”[290] Yet
Spain was once at the head of the cultured nations of Europe.



     The monastery of Osera--Peralta--Foundation of the monastery and
     its first abbot--“The Escurial of Galicia”--Difficulty of
     access--The journey--On horseback--A petrified ocean--Primitive
     maize barns--A sea of rocks--Privileges enjoyed by the monks of
     Osera--The façade--The cloisters--The church--The choir--The
     altars--The sacristy--The cemetery--The oldest part of the
     building--Fountains--The journey back to Cea--The excursion to
     Celanova--Scenery of the road--Floors of walnut wood--The
     _escaño_--A typical invention--A sturdy tower--Welcome given us by
     the monks--The conventual church--Wood-carving--San
     Torquato--Marble pictures--Relics of San Rosendo--Other
     curiosities--Stalactite work--The _Eremita de San Miguel_--Was it a
     Moorish mosque?--The inscription--Santa Comba de Bande--Its
     architecture--Sarcophagus of San Torquato--A hard nut for Spanish
     archæologists--San Juan de Baños--Visigothic architecture--From
     Santa Comba to Orense--The monastery of _San Estevan de Rivas de
     Sil_--A rare excursion--Our plan of campaign--Conjunction of the
     Miño and the Sil--Mountain air--The start--The ferry-boat--The
     ascent--A stone gateway--The architecture of the monastery--The
     Cloister of the Bishops--Other cloisters--The church and
     sacristy--Statues--A School of Art--Plundering the ruins--Like an
     eagle’s nest--Hermits--San Pedro de Rocas--On donkeys--A rock-hewn
     church--The sixth century

Alfonso VIII. must have been a very pious king, for he founded quite a
number of monasteries, and amongst them the Cistercian monastery of
Osera, which lies in the diocese of the bishop of Orense, from which
town we set out to see it. In the year 1477 a monk of Osera, Thomas de
Peralta by name, undertook to write a history of his cloister and its
abbots. In his book[291] he tells us that this monastery was founded in
1037, that its first abbot was named Garcia, and that its first son was
San Famiano, a native of Germany and the child of noble and wealthy
parents, who, wishing to live a religious life, went to Italy and came
thence to Galicia, where, at the age of fifty, he entered the cloisters
of Osera in the year 1142. He remained there until his death in 1150,
and during that period wrought many miracles, the fame of which spread
throughout the whole world and brought many fresh inmates to Osera.
Peralta gives a short biographical sketch of every abbot who governed
Osera from the time of San Famiano down to his own days, in the end of
the seventeenth century. He is very careful to state the exact amount of
money each abbot spent in alms to the poor, in addition to the sum
allotted annually to that purpose from the general fund. And indeed they
could afford to be liberal without practising much self-denial!

Peralta tells us that the monastery is situated upon a mountain, whose
inaccessible slopes and rocky crags instil horror into the mind of the
spectator.[292] It is bathed by the river Osera, from which it took its
name, the river in its turn having derived its name from the bears with
which the mountain was once infested. The word _osera_ means “a den of
bears.” The arms of the monastery are to this day a couple of bears
climbing a pine tree. Peralta conscientiously adds, however, that no
trace of the existence of any bears in that part has been preserved in
writing, and that the monastery might possibly have received its name
because the spot upon which it was built was of a kind suited to such
animals, the monks being the first human beings to set foot there. King
Alfonso’s original donation, on founding the monastery, consisted of
only four square miles of unpopulated and uncultivated land; but as time
went on, “by the help of God and the gifts of the kings of Spain and the
nobles of Galicia, it grew richer and richer till,” when Peralta wrote,
“it was one of the richest monasteries in the whole of the Peninsula.”
My readers will gain some idea of what its wealth was from the fact that
the monks possessed at one time a right to all the fishing in Vigo Bay!
Florez observes that the prayers of the monks were very effectual; that
kings, princes, and popes showered donations and privileges upon them;
and that their monastery, rebuilt after a fire in 1552, became a
structure of such architectural grandeur and such magnificent
dimensions, that it was at length called “The Escurial of Galicia.”[293]

On my arrival at Orense I made many inquiries among my friends there as
to the possibility of paying a visit to the ruins of Osera. One and all
shook their heads. “It is very difficult of access,” they said; and only
one person could I find who had been there, an elderly priest, who told
me that it was too rough an expedition for ladies, and that he himself
had only been there once, and that was in his younger days. Happily,
however, I at length found, in a back street, an intelligent and
good-natured shopkeeper who had a lawyer brother living in the village
of Osera, within the very gates of the monastery. This gentleman kindly
gave me a letter of introduction to his brother, and told me how to get
there. “You will have to drive for three hours, and then proceed on
horseback for two hours more,” he said.

Following the instructions given, we accordingly left our hotel at
Orense at 5.15 a.m. on a fine April morning, and drove in an open
carriage to the village of Cea, which lies about seventeen kilometres to
the south of Orense. The drive, which took just three hours, was a very
beautiful one. The road ran along hillsides which were literally covered
with bushes of white broom, that looked like a carpet of snow at a
little distance; then, another hill coming right in our way, our road
had to bend and double till we seemed to be going back to Orense and
could see its Cathedral towers in front of us: it was like the famous
loop in the Canadian Rockies. Then our way cut through giant boulders of
white-looking granite, and we went up and up till the valleys beneath us
were hidden by white clouds. A little later we were passing the
outskirts of a charming pine wood on the slope of a hill; through the
wood there ran a gurgling stream on whose margin a group of peasant
women had gathered to wash their linen. Then came a tiny village, in
whose gardens we saw long-stalked cabbages, some of them five and a half
feet high; the hills became covered with yellow and white broom
intermixed, here and there a bunch of furze, whose brilliant flowering
was almost over. Besides the broom there were clumps of tall loose
heather of a purple hue. The hedges, very like our English ones, were
dotted with blue gentians as the sun came out, two flowers to each
stalk; and in the woods we saw the fresh young green of the budding
chestnuts lighted up by the early sun. Then came a cone-shaped mountain
to our right, whose sides were covered with such a beautiful rich, soft
green carpet that we felt we should like to get out and stroke it. Again
the roadside was lined with white-flowered broom, as airy and delicate
as the plumes ladies wear in their hats. After another half-hour the
pine trees grew taller, till they were like bushy dark green tufts upon
tall bare poles; between them were the gnarled and knotted trunks of
aged chestnuts, and yonder--alone in its glory--rose a dark
needle-pointed cypress; and then, through the branches of the trees,
there peeped a little village church. We now put on our brake and went
slowly downhill.

Arrived at the quaint inn of the one-street village of Cea, I made
inquiries for a horse to take me up to Osera. Several villagers brought
their steeds for my inspection, and at nine a.m. I found myself
comfortably mounted on a sturdy pony and slowly ascending a stony path
which lay between woods of pine trees and boulders of granite. It was
more like a goat path than any human line of communication. My pony
picked its way between stones and boulders for a good two hours. Two
villagers, a man and a woman, whom I had engaged to accompany me, walked
on either side, the one carrying my camera, and the other my coat. Every
now and again our way lay beside gushing streamlets of pure spring
water, which sparkled over the white feldspar in the morning sun, and
yellow flowers larger than primroses soon sprang up in clusters between
the stones along our route. Now we pass a green field of long fresh
grass, blue with hyacinths and shaded by a clump of chestnuts, just like
a bit of old England. At length we reach a sort of tableland on the top
of the granite mountain up which we have been slowly climbing for an
hour and a half. Trees, fields, and flowers have quite disappeared, the
very hedges have turned to granite boulders, and for a time we seem to
be making our way over a petrified ocean, whose waves of granite rise
higher and higher before us, and cover the ground as far as we can see
on every side. Our rough path was now hedged on both sides with great
blocks of crystallised feldspar, so white and transparent in appearance
that I almost mistook it for marble, and my thoughts travelled to the
quarries of Carrara. Those roughly hewn blocks had been placed there by
human hands, it was clear, but other sign of man’s existence there was
absolutely none. On we toiled for another half-hour, and then we came to
a granite village, almost the same colour as the granite around. This
village had the most primitive maize barns I had ever seen: they were
round, like giant beehives, with straw-thatched roofs; and as the sun
was blazing full on the grey village and its yellow straw, I stopped to
take a photograph. The houses were all built of granite, and the hedges
to the gardens were all of granite. On we went again through more seas
of bare granite rock, and then, all at once, the scene changed: we had
come to the top of a ridge, and before us, as “from Pisgah’s mountain,
we viewed the promised land.” There lay a vast but very shallow valley,
scooped out between the surrounding uplands, and in the



PHOTOS, BY AUTHOR] deepest hollow of that valley was planted the
monastery of Osera, the Gallegan Escurial.

We came to the outer wall of the monastic demesne about fifteen minutes
before we reached the entrance. It was a thick and high mediæval wall, a
rampart wall, with strong round turrets about fifteen feet high at
regular intervals. Outside these walls there were green pasture lands
stretching up the mountain slope as far as the eye could see, but the
only woods and trees we could distinguish were those within the demesne;
they must have been all planted by the monks at one time or another. The
centre and lowest dip of the valley, where the monastery stood, was so
much lower than the surrounding wall, that we could not even see its
church towers when we had drawn a little nearer.

There was a picturesque little village just within the outer gates of
the monastery. I took a snapshot of one of its long maize barns,
crawling like a great caterpillar over the granite wall. In one of the
houses dwelt the lawyer to whom I had brought my letter of introduction.
He and his aged mother welcomed me kindly, and while the old lady went
off to prepare me a cup of chocolate I chatted with her son, and took
some notes from a book to which he drew my attention. It was entitled
_Codigo Civil_ (Civil Code), and contained an interesting paragraph
relating to the monastery I had come to visit. It was to the effect:
There exists an insensible gradation between the charters granted to the
population of more important towns of Galicia, and those conceded to the
people dwelling on the solitary estates, which are in themselves, so to
speak, centres or townships. One of the earliest indications of the
gradation is to be found in a letter promulgated in 1207 by the abbot
and monks of the monastery of Osera, which is now preserved in the
Archives of Natural History at Madrid,[294] in which all the people
dwelling in the hamlet of Aquada were commanded to pay annually--a
hundred and forty loaves of good bread, fifteen pots of honey, fifteen
pullets or fifteen kids, and fifteen crocks filled with fried cakes.
Furthermore, whenever the king or other great personages should visit
the monastery, these villagers were to supply its major-domo with as
many chickens and kids as he might require. In addition, they were bound
over to plough the fields belonging to the monastery, and to lend their
help in the harvest season. And last, but not least, they were to convey
in their own vehicles any of the monks who might wish to make an annual
visit to Santiago or Marin, and they were not to recognise any other
suzerainty than that of the monks. The only compensation for all these
kind offices which the monks promised to the villagers was a supply of
good merino from their flock.

We now approached the historic building, and I stood for a while before
its handsome Renaissance façade, the lowest storey of which has four
columns resembling giant sticks of twisted sugar-candy. The large
bas-relief between the two columns on the left of the entrance
represents an incident in the life of St. Bernard. The saint has laid
himself down to sleep in a solitary spot, and an angel from heaven
flutters above him with food in a basket, but the devil is there too,
ringing a big bell so that St. Bernard may not be able to hear the voice
of the angel and refresh himself with the food. The bas-relief between
the columns on the right represents the birth of Christ. Joseph and Mary
are there, and behind Joseph is a bull impatient to reach the manger. On
some stone steps leading to the manger is the figure of a warrior in the
dress of Charles II.’s day, with a deep lace collar, tight stockings,
and flowing hair: this costume attests the date of the work.

The second storey of the façade has a balcony, decorated with the arms
of the military orders of Santiago, Calatrava, Alcantara, and
Montesa,[295] and on either side of these are two smaller balconies.
Above the large balcony are two lions in relief, and here, too, we see
the Royal Arms of Spain with a crown and eagles, also in relief. Above
are various statues, the most important being those of St. Bernard and
the Virgin.

The first cloister that we entered was the most modern one, it dated
from the eighteenth century; here we found a very handsome stone
staircase. Passing on to the second cloister, which bears the title
_Claustro de la Procesion_, we found it to be work of the end of the
seventeenth century. The southern lateral door of the church opens into
this cloister; on passing through it we noted the torso of a finely
carved wooden statue of St. John the Evangelist, thrown down like
rubbish in a corner, when it should have been carefully preserved in a
museum. We now passed through a small portico into a third cloister, the
oldest of all. The roof of the portico is composed of ancient monastic
tombstones covered with inscriptions; on one I read the date MCCCXXII.,
and another MCCCLXII. The oldest cloister, which had three storeys, is
very narrow, and Gothic in style; the arcades and portico are full of
bramble bushes, and at one end of it the village priest has inaugurated
for himself a small trout pond filled with flowing water from the
neighbouring spring. We entered a dark, windowless, cavern-like room
with a wide hearth: this was where the monks stored their clothing;
another room next it was used as the granary. Ascending the grand
staircase, of twenty-four steps, we visited the upper rooms; one was a
recreation hall, it had a round hole in the middle of the floor, through
which, by means of a mirror, the monks could see all that went on in the
portico below; here, without being seen themselves, they could watch the
abbot receiving his royal and princely guests.

The conventual church next attracted us, and we examined its three
naves, its gallery bearing the date 1675, its vaulting, and its graceful
fan tracery. Its pillars throw up their groined arches like branching
palms, and the whole effect of this vaulting would be very fine but for
the abominable whitewash which covers all. This architecture is mostly
work of the latter part of the seventeenth century. There are pointed
Gothic arches on either side of the principal nave. The choir,
originally above, is now in the nave; in its upper stalls is some of the
wood-carving that belonged to the monastic library, whose very shelves
have been carried off. Some of the finest of its wood-carving is now in
one of the Madrid museums; we saw a little of it, some strips that
vandalism had happened to leave on one of the doors.

The imposing churrigueresque _retable_ (reredos) behind the chief altar
is falling into melancholy decay, and offers a most depressing
spectacle. It is sad, indeed, that Spain has not yet seen fit to make
Osera a national monument, and that architecture, sculpture, and
wood-carving of such high excellence should be left to rot and perish
like things of no value.

On one side of the altar is a beautiful stone statue representing St.
Catherine holding out a sword, on the tip of which is her son’s head;
she had sacrificed him, the story goes, on account of his disobedience.
There are a number of altars of varied interest, but the most notable
one is the _Virgen de la Leche_, or the Virgin feeding the Child at her
breast. The Child wears a long robe down to Its feet; the Virgin wears a
blue tunic bordered with gold, and reaching below the knees; under it is
a red skirt; on her feet are shoes. This is probably the oldest object
in Osera; it is Byzantine.

The sacristy which we now enter is perhaps the most interesting part of
the church; it is like a clump of whitewashed palms, whose branches
meeting form its roof; like the church, it dates from the sixteenth
century. The windows of the sacristy look out into the oldest cloister.
We found here a table covered with a handsome monolith slab of marble,
and a very valuable carved ivory figure of Christ upon a wooden cross.

Outside is a cemetery enclosed by high walls on two sides; the lower
part of the wall of the church seen from the cemetery is much older than
the rest: its Romanesque architecture attests its age. It is probably
the only part that escaped the fire of 1551; it forms a rotunda round
the presbytery.[296]

The present parish of Osera numbers some one thousand six hundred souls,
counting all its scattered villages. The territory included in the
monastic domain spreads over a large part of the province of Orense, and
even enters that of Lugo. In its palmy days, when its rents flowed in
and its cells were filled with monks, Osera must have been a little
world in itself. The present monastery took a hundred years to builtd
concluded in the time of the sixty-fifth abbot, whose name was Simon
Rojo. There were once some beautiful fountains in the cloister patios,
dating from the middle of the sixteenth century; two of these are now to
be seen in the town of Orense, one in the _Plaza del Hierro_, and the
other in the Public Gardens.

From time to time the monastery of Osera has been associated with the
history of Spain. For three years it sheltered a great lady of Galicia
and her entire court, Donna Juana de Castro, the unhappy wife of King
Peter the Cruel, 1557-1560. We are told that Donna Juana repaid the
monks for their hospitality by many rich grants and privileges.

My lawyer guide had his study lined with guns, cartridges, and other
indications of a sporting life; he informed me that there were plenty of
hares, rabbits, foxes, and wild boars in the neighbouring hills; and how
well he looked, and how rosy were the little village children. But no
wonder, for the pure bracing air of those granite highlands was like
champagne. One forgot there was such a thing as fatigue. The journey
back to Cea took quite as long as the journey up, for my surefooted
beast had to pick his way among the boulders even more carefully when
descending that stony path, which was more like the dry bed of a
waterfall or a mountain stream than anything else. The sun, now high in
the heavens, beat down upon us with such strength that, though I carried
an umbrella, I was glad to put on my coat to protect my skin from its
burning rays. My two companions stopped several times to drink water
from the springs, using the hollow of their hand as a cup. The people of
Cea looked at us with interest as we made our way back to the little
inn; they evidently thought that I had taken that arduous journey to
Osera for the welfare of my soul. Cea too has her pious traditions; she
is said to have her roots in Roman times, and to have been the
birthplace of the two martyrs, San Faciundo and San Primitivo. Later on,
the abbot of Osera held the proud title of Count of Cea, and Cea was, as
it is now, the name, not only of the village, but of a district which
comprises a number of other villages as well. We saw on its outskirts a
fine new church in course of building.

Another excursion which we took from Orense was to the Benedictine
Monastery of Celanova, which is now used as a branch of the Orense
Grammar School for boys, under the guidance of monks. All its masters
are monks, and it is called _Colegio de P.P. Escolapios_. Celanova is
about twenty-nine kilometres distant from Orense; the little town
clustered round the grand old monastery numbers some five thousand
souls. The original monastery was founded in 937 by San Rosendo, bishop
of Mondoñedo and Santiago. The present edifice dates only as far back as
the sixteenth century, having been begun on 8th August 1548. Its
grandeur and magnificence is due to the fact that Philip V., on deciding
to retire into monastic life, chose Celanova as his residence. It was
not completed till the end of the eighteenth century.[297]

The road from Orense to Celanova runs southward in the direction of
Portugal, for Celanova lies only a few miles from the Portuguese
boundary. It was a glorious drive along a new road, which had only been
completed in 1902; it twisted and curled in such a way that we often
seemed to be driving towards Orense instead of in the opposite
direction. The hillsides and fields were covered with vines, mostly
young shoots that had been brought from America, as more likely to
withstand the mildew plague than the old kinds; these shoots were
planted exactly as we plant hops in Kent, and had much the same

Farther on we noticed, a little way back from the road, a private house
with cypress trees in its garden. In Galicia the cypress tree is always
a sure indication either of a cemetery or of the estate of some family
of aristocratic lineage, for peasants never think of planting such
trees. We had come to the old _Palazio de Bentrazes_, the ancient family
residence of the Counts of Torremuzquiez. We left the carriage to view
this mansion, now abandoned to residents of a humbler class, who had
made their money in South America. We saw the arms of the aristocratic
family let into the stone wall, and there was, in several of the rooms,
some quaint and beautiful carved household furniture. The floors were
all of walnut wood, stout and strong; the chimney-pieces with their open
hearths had a broad and noble look to match the thickness of the walls,
some of which I found to be a yard in width, while others measured a
yard and a half. In the grounds close to the mansion was a family
chapel. But the most interesting thing of all was the _escaño_, which we
found in the kitchen. It was like a long wooden pew out of some old
church, placed exactly in front of the hearth, for about ten people to
sit and warm their toes; behind was a flat board, which at meal time
could be swung down from behind their heads and suspended in front of
them, to serve as a dining-table. This canny arrangement was to obviate
the necessity of going away from one’s cosy seat by the fire to eat
one’s dinner in a cold part of the room. The food could be served up
straight from the fire to the table by the member of the party who acted
as cook, and all carrying of dishes was thus avoided. As soon as the
food had been cleared from the table it could be swung back to its
place, and then it would look once more like the high back of an
old-fashioned pew, taking up no room and getting in nobody’s way. The
_escaño_ is a really typical invention peculiar to the north-west of
Spain, where the winters are so cold and the houses more suited for
keeping people cool in hot weather than for keeping them warm in cold.

Once more in our carriage, we mounted steadily till we reached Celanova,
passing nothing of special interest except a little church called _La
Virgen del Cristal_, which has a wonderfully minute crucifix among its
relics. Many of the girls in Orense bear the name of Cristal in honour
of this church; for a local poet, born in Celanova, Manuel Curros
Enriquez, has immortalised its legend in verse.[298]

Presently to our left we passed an old strong tower, square and sturdy,
like some of our old English fourteenth-century erections, which keep
the same dimensions from the ground to the top, and have little slits
for windows.

At last our vehicle had crawled to a height where vines could no longer
thrive, and where the ground sparkled with mica as though sprinkled with
large diamonds. I was interested to learn, from a Spanish lady who
accompanied me, that it is customary for ladies to dust their hair with
this powdered mica when they are going to balls and dances. Arrived at
Celanova, we lunched at its modest inn at the top of three flights of
stairs, and then proceeded to the monastery, whose church façade joined
to its imposing front of three storeys forms the eastern side of the
town square, the _Plaza de la Constitution_. In the early days of the
monastery there was no town at all, only two or three poor cottages; and
even when more houses were built they were only allowed to have one
storey, as the monks did not wish to have any buildings in their
neighbourhood reaching to a greater height than the windows of their own

The monks gave us a cordial welcome, and gladly took us to see their two
magnificent cloisters, the handsomest of which bore in one of its
archways the date 1582, their _Sala Capitular_, their spacious kitchen,
the ancient refectory with a curious stone pulpit in its wall, so long
unused that the door leading to it has been filled up. The upper cells
of the cloisters have now been turned into large dormitories for the
schoolboys. The monastic church is a magnificent edifice, large enough
for a cathedral, with a handsome cupola. This is indeed reckoned by
Spanish architects to be one of the most sumptuous churches in the whole
Peninsula. Its architecture is Doric, with walls, roofing, and tower of
hewn stone; there are three naves and two sets of choir stalls, one
above the other. All these stalls are of exquisitely carved wood. The
relief on the lower stalls, which are of walnut wood, represents scenes
in the lives of San Rosendo, St. Benedict, and other saints. Many of the
upper ones are covered with geometrical designs and life-like scenes
from church legends. On one I found a thief escaping on horseback with a
bag of treasure, which he holds above his head. Another--a very curious
one--represents a monkey on horseback. It was worth coming all the way
from Orense to see that carving alone. I can quite believe the story
that a wealthy English or American visitor once offered an immense sum
for the complete set of stalls.

The chief altar has two sarcophagi,--one is said to contain the body of
San Torquato and the other that of San Rosendo. Two other sarcophagi
behind the chief altar contain the bodies of San Rosendo’s mother and
sister, Ilduara and Adosina. Behind the altar and on both sides of it
are some remarkable relief pictures in coloured marble, representing
scenes in the life of Christ. The work of these pictures is very fine,
and deserves special attention. The façade of the church is as fine as
its interior, and, like it, is of hewn stone.

We were now shown the precious relics of San Rosendo; three well-made
bone or ivory combs, all dating from the tenth century, when monks had
long beards and were allowed to comb them; we were also shown three
rings that were worn by San Rosendo--one a seal ring, and two ornamented
with large crystals. The mitre worn by this saint was now laid before
us, in a glass case which bore the date 1779. It is a very small pointed
cap with two fringed sash ends to hang over the shoulders. Morales saw
it towards the end of the seventeenth century, and remarked that it was
so small that most likely it was the one in which the saint was buried,
and that he had a larger and better one for daily wear. This writer
seemed surprised that there was so little gold embroidery on the mitre.
Villa-Amil has a picture of it in his _Mobiliario Liturgico_. The glass
of its case has been broken for the last fifteen years, but the monks
have not felt they could afford the expense of getting it renewed.

We also examined his ivory chalice on a Byzantine tray, and the carved
crook of his staff. San Rosendo was not only a powerful bishop, he had
royal blood in his veins, and was a near relative to Ramiro II., so that
his influence in Galicia was very considerable.

It occupied quite an hour to look at all the relics stowed away in a
chest inlaid with tortoiseshell in the sacristy. Here were relics of San
Rosendo packed in a beautiful silver box, specially made for them; and
the skulls of several other saints, each in a separate glass case on a
gold or silver stand, the most precious of all being that of San
Torquato, the disciple of St. James, kept with his ossified heart.
Drawers were now opened, and magnificent chasubles and other priestly
garments, rich velvets covered with silk embroidery and gold thread,
were spread out before us one by one, till our eyes grew weary of

Above the broad stone staircase is a ceiling with stalactite work like
that of the Alhambra, and quite Arabic. But we were reminded of the
Moors even more forcibly by a strange little chapel that the monks now
took us to see in their garden, a chapel with roofing of red tiles. This
was no other than the famous and much-written-about _Eremita de San

This little chapel or oratory is quite apart from, but close to, the
monastery wall. It is rectangular in form, with a tiny transept and a
square apse. At first sight its interior appears to consist of three
little rooms opening one into the other, with horseshoe arches; between
them are no columns or ornaments of any kind. Before the entrance there
is a



square portico. The whole is of granite, but one sees nothing but
whitewash. All the arches are in the shape of a horseshoe; and, noting
this fact, some writers have hazarded the opinion that the building must
originally have been a Moorish mosque. That idea has now been abandoned
in favour of the supposition that it was most probably designed by a
Moorish architect in the pay of Christians, and completed towards the
close of the ninth or beginning of the tenth century. It is much admired
by architects for the beauty of its proportions.[299] According to
tradition, San Rosendo was in the habit of repairing thither to say
Mass. Yepes believed it to have been built by San Rosendo’s brother
Froila. One of the monks kindly copied for me the inscription, which he
described as being in Lombard characters peculiar to the tenth century--

    “Autor hujus operis in Deus crederi, esse dele
     peccata omnibus te Christe hic orantibus instat
     praesens memorea indigno famulo tuo Froila qui
     optat et in Domino te conjurat O bone et delecte
     qui legis ulme peccatorem memorea habeas sacrata
     ex oratione tua.”

Of course, if Froila put up the inscription himself, we have a clue to
the date of the building, but the question is--How are we to be sure
that it was not put up by some one else after Froila’s death?

I had heard that there was another little church with horseshoe arches
about two hours’ drive beyond Celanova, the church of Santa Comba
(Columba), near the village of Bande; and, wishing to compare the two,
we stayed the night at the little inn at Celanova, and drove to see
Santa Comba the following morning. We started about six a.m.

Between the little town of Banda (once a halting-place on the Roman road
between Astorga and Braga) and the church the scenery was very like that
of the moorlands of Scotland, with few trees and a good deal of bracken
and furze. Although it was April, the oak trees scattered here and there
still wore their brown leaves from the previous year; white stemmed
birches lined many of the fields, and reminded us that we had reached a
higher zone, for these trees are never seen in the low valleys or near
the sea-level in Galicia; they need a sharper and more bracing

The church of Santa Comba stands on the side of a hill about an eighth
of a mile distant from the coach road, and a winding sandy path leads up
to it, skirting a picturesque village as it approaches the church. This
part of the journey had to be done on foot, and beneath a blazing sun.
What a quaint, archaic little church it was! Outwardly it was divided
into three sections, rising one above another like three steps, each
with a red-tiled gable roof. It was constructed of irregular blocks of
granite,[300] roughly cemented together; there were two entrances, the
principal one being the western wall and a lateral door on the southern
side. In front of the principal entrance was a small Gothic portico,
evidently of much later date than the body of the church. The most
striking characteristic of this little edifice are its extreme
simplicity and its horseshoe arches. It is built in the form of a Greek
cross, all four ends of which are of equal length, though the eastern
end is lengthened by a small chapel which serves as an apse. The central
part of the church is not unlike that of San Miguel de Celanova, square,
and supported by four slightly horseshoe arches. The arch leading to the
little chapel is also horseshoe in shape, and much more pronounced.
Above the four arches is a cupola formed by four walls, in two of which,
the eastern and the southern walls, there are small windows. The church
is covered with intersected cylindrical vaulting. Running round the
walls above the arches is a banded zigzag impost of a very rugged
character. In the southern arm of the cross, the northern arm of the
transept, stands a Roman altar, _ara_, of white marble, from which the
inscription has been effaced, and at the end of the transept stands a
large marble sarcophagus carved from a single block, perfectly plain,
without a trace of carving or inscription of any kind; the lid is also a
monolith. Tradition says that this is the sepulchre of San Torquato,
whose skull we had seen at Celanova. From the white stone above this
sarcophagus Portuguese pilgrims chip fragments to take away with them,
believing that its dust will cure inflamed eyes and other troubles.

The eastern arm of the cross, prolonged by an apse chapel, contains the
chief altar, and is reached by a horseshoe arch, like those of the
Cordova mosque. On either side of this arch, but quite separate from it,
are placed two pairs of grey marble columns, each of a single piece,
whose lower ends disappear beneath the ground, showing that the original
floor of the church must have been much lower down than the present one.
The capitals of these two columns are Corinthian, the columns themselves
are Roman, and it is believed that they must have been brought from the
old Roman baths of which ruins are yet to be seen at Bande, where people
still come in the summer time to drink the mineral waters. The chapel is
almost square, and covered like the rest of the building with
intersections of cylindrical brick vaulting. There is a little hole in
the wall beside the altar, for the Host; the little window behind is
filled with honeycombed marble fretwork, which has rather a Moorish
look. The flooring is composed of granite slabs, each with a hole by
which to lift it. The walls are a yard thick. Although all the arches,
including those of the portico, are more or less horseshoe in shape, the
windows (five in all) are Romanesque. One of the entrances to the porch
has been closed up. Over the chief entrance is an inscription, and the
date 1670; there is also an inscription on the wall of the portico,
declaring the edifice to be a church of refuge. There were churches of
refuge all over Galicia until the eighteenth century.

For many years this diminutive church of Santa Comba de Banda, on the
borders of Portugal, has been, like San Miguel, a hard nut for Spanish
archæologists to crack. It has been written about and discussed over and
over again, but mostly by authorities who have not taken the trouble to
go and see it. I doubt if, among all the archæologists and architects
who have touched upon the subject, there are as many as three
individuals who have examined it personally. Even Lopez Ferreiro, the
greatest archæologist in Galicia, has not yet been to see it! This
writer has suggested that San Comba and San Miguel may have been built
to serve the purpose of mortuary chapels. Of Santa Combe he says: “It is
one of those very rare examples which represent, in the history of art,
the continuation of the Byzantine style in its last period, that of
transition to the Romanesque style.”[301]

The plan on which the church of Santa Comba is built is, we have seen,
Christian--that of a Greek cross. It must therefore have been built by
Christians, for Christian worship, but at what date? And how comes it to
have these horseshoe arches? Is it an example of _Mudejar_ architecture?
Did some Moorish slave design it at the bidding of a Christian master?
Let us compare it with that other little Christian church with horseshoe
arches, St. Juan de Baño, in Palencia. The plan of the latter is
rectangular; it is divided by two rows of horseshoe arches into three
naves, and had before its renovation three square apse chapels, one at
the end of the central nave and the others placed at right angles with
the heads of the right and left naves respectively. This plan is unique;
there is nothing like it in any part of Spain. French architects who
have been to see the church shake their heads over the suggestion that
it is a monument of Visigothic architecture. “True,” they say, “that it
bears the name of King Recesvinto, and the date 661, but how can you
tell when that inscription was put up, and whether it is correct?”
Spanish authorities, however, are now unanimous in pronouncing St. Juan
de Baño to be an example of Visigothic architecture constructed in the
seventh century, before the earliest date at which the Moors invaded
Spain. For years they quoted it in their text-books as the only example
of Visigothic architecture in the Peninsula, but now they are positive
that Santa Comba de Bande is another remnant of the same architecture
and of the same period, for they have found it mentioned in a charter
given by Adozno to San Rosendo as a church that had already been
established more than two hundred years in the year 910;[302] and Santa
Comba too is to be ranked as a national monument, as a precious relic of
pre-Moorish Spain. But should not a careful comparison be made between
Santa Comba and the strange little oratory of San Miguel in the garden
of the Celanova Monastery? A drive of three hours is all the distance
that separates them, yet no comparative study of the two has ever been
made. The roofing and the general sculpture of the two buildings, as
well as their horseshoe arches, are strangely similar, and what
differences there are may quite well be due to reconstruction. In fact,
I fail to understand why Santa Comba should be thought to be so much as
three centuries older than San Miguel.

A thick low wall of granite surrounds the little grass plot upon which
the church of Santa Comba stands, and is quite in keeping with the rest
of the picture. The village close by, whose houses are built of granite
and thatched with straw, is also rather old and quaint. The granite
lintel of one of the cottage doors bears the date 1713. We ascended its
wooden steps at the invitation of the woman who lived there, and found
the furniture of the rooms very curious; it consisted chiefly of some
very large wooden chests that seemed to be hundreds of years old. The
woman’s old mother was occupied in spinning a counterpane. As we drove
along we had

[Illustration: SANTA COMBA DE BANDE]




constantly seen peasant women with their distaffs spinning in the fields
as they kept an eye on their cows.

The moon came out, and cast a silvery light upon our road for the last
half of the journey, and the granite boulders stood out in great white
masses on either side. The horses could see their way as if it had been
broad daylight. As we neared Orense we could see the lights sometimes
exactly in front of us, sometimes to our left, sometimes to our right,
and occasionally they were exactly behind us, so much did the road curl
and twine. It was past midnight before we entered the sleeping town.

There was yet another great monastery which I was anxious to see before
leaving Orense--the beautiful ruined monastery of _San Esteban de Rivas
de Sil_ (St. Stephen on the Banks of the Sil); for I had heard that it
was unquestionably the best example of the Flamboyant Gothic style in
Galicia. The ruined monastery of San Esteban is situated on the crest of
a hill which it takes some two hours and a half to climb, by a path too
steep even for mules; and as there is no hotel at the foot of the hill
and no refreshment-room at the top, it is a long pull to come out by
train from Orense (a journey of one hour), climb the hill, explore the
ruins, and return to Orense the same day. Consequently the excursion is
very rarely undertaken. After much pondering as to how an easier and
less fatiguing plan of campaign could be devised, I decided to travel by
a morning train to the little railway station in the valley at the foot
of the monastic cliff, and, after finding some cottager who could give
me a night’s shelter on my return, proceed to climb up to the ruins.
This plan succeeded admirably.

San Esteban is the third station from Orense, and the whole way thither
is between verdant mountain slopes, and beside the rapidly flowing
waters of the beautiful Miño. It was like making an expedition to a
halting-place in the middle of the Aarlberg Pass, in the Austrian Tyrol,
and then ascending one of its verdure-clad mountains. The hillsides were
cut into steps or terraces wherever there was the smallest patch of
cultivated soil. Here the steps were planted with cabbages, and there
covered with smooth red soil, and sown with seed that had not yet
appeared above the surface; here again were rows of peas whose pods were
just forming, and yonder were steps one above the other, on which tall
rye waved with every breath of wind; beyond were terraces of nursery
fruit trees, and farther on the mountain was ribbed with brown steps
that looked as if they must lead to some giant fortress held by men
twice the size of puny mortals. As our train crawled along upon a ledge
of rock some thirty feet from the foot of the mountain, we had many a
little archlike tunnel to pass through. Rocks and crags now replaced the
cultivated terraces, and the scene grew wilder, but even between the
precipitous rocks and giant boulders there were clumps of rich green
chestnut trees, paler walnuts, and apple, pear, and cherry trees, all
covered with fresh foliage. Now came a foaming cascade hurling its
waters from a height between two crags, and then a peaceful valley
spread itself out before our eyes, and we could see the gleaming river
darting through it. Vines now covered many of the slopes, and oaks and
poplars grew so close to the railway that the train seemed as if it must
touch them as it passed. Once more the river entered a mountain gorge,
and boulders like mediæval castles hung out over its foam on both sides.
We creep very slowly now, in and out, threading our way through
innumerable little tunnels and over bridges beneath which there dash the
furious waters of many a foaming cascade. Suddenly the river whose
course we have been following seems to divide into two streams, one of
which branches sharply to the right and disappears, while the other
flows on below us in the rocky ravine.--What we really saw just then was
the conjunction of Galicia’s two greatest and most historical
rivers--the Miño and the Sil.--Our train has described half a circle in
its attempts to find out a gulley from where this new river flows, and
our line is about to complete the figure of an S when we draw up at the
solitary station of San Esteban.

How glorious was the mountain air that greeted us as we stood upon the
little railway platform in the midst of that magnificent pass, and
there, opposite us, but so high up that we had to throw back our heads
to see them, were the ruins of the monastery we had come to see. It was
a wild and beautiful scene. There was only one cottage in sight, and
thither we made our way; it stood upon a ledge higher than the station,
a little farther along the course of the river. The old peasant and his
wife gave us a dignified welcome, and readily promised to find me an
escort to the monastery and a bed on my return. The view from the ledge
on which the cottage stood was unique. Below us was another junction of
rivers--the Cabe flowing into the Sil, and the waters of the two streams
forming a figure like a Y in a bed of granite boulders between three
steep verdure-clad mountains. It was on a high ledge of the mountain
road round which the Sil

[Illustration: THE RIVER CABE, ORENSE]



turned that the ruins were perched, and to reach them I must cross both
the Cabe and the Sil.

It was past midday when, leaving my companion in the cottage, I started
out with the peasant and a young girl as my guides. We scrambled down
between the boulders of a steep and jagged path till we reached the
Cabe, and then crossed the rushing water by a rustic bridge formed of
two rough pine stems with little planks of wood laid across them. On we
scrambled again by another goat-path to the bank of the Sil, which was a
much wider river and had to be crossed on a raft. The peasant had
already whistled several times for the ferryman, and that useful person
appeared at the end of a quarter of an hour’s time with a crazy raft,
and ferried us across the stem of the Y from a floating wharf which
served as a landing-place. The water was flowing fast, and we crossed in
eddies, our raft twirling round continually. It would not have been safe
to stand, so we crossed kneeling and steadying ourselves by clutching at
the oar.

The ferry-boat landed us at the foot of a steep path, on the edge of
another mountain. Here in olden days the monks kept a man on the watch
to gather toll from every person who stepped ashore, but now the ferry
is private property. Lampreys are caught in this part of the Sil, and
many other fine fish; the old ferryman spends his odd moments fishing
for eels, which he sells in Orense at a dollar apiece.

We begin the ascent of a winding woodland path, with trees, bushes, and
grasses high on all sides, and here and there between them a cascade,
which we cross by means of a granite slab and moss-covered rocks. Every
now and then we stop to look at the path by which we have come, and
follow with our eyes the blue waters of the Sil in the narrow ravine
below. Up and up and up we climb, and never for a moment do we cease to
hear the sound of rushing and gurgling water, for, besides the river
below, there are mountain streams gushing forth from between the stones
every few steps of the way. After an hour’s climb we reached a point
where the path divides into two. We choose the narrow, steeper, and more
direct one, of which each step seemed to be a granite boulder. A wayside
cross now meets our view; it is time-worn, and was evidently placed
there by the monks to cheer the heart of the pious climber.

On one of the ledges we stopped to look at the ruins, and at the sky
showing through the many windows. All round the monastery the cultivable
parts of the mountain are covered with vines, potato patches, and other
signs of human life, and the last part of the ascent is through
vineyards and beneath arches formed by vine branches. Once more we pause
to look across the ravine, and see before us a rock whose jagged form
bears a remarkable resemblance to two cathedral towers. Now comes
another cross with a Virgin Mother and the wounded Christ on its one
side, and a crucifix on the other; below are a skull and cross-bones,
and beneath them again is a metal figure of a monk. We have reached the
precincts of the monastery.

Passing through a grand old stone gateway, we came to a kind of square
formed by one side of the monastery and the façade of the church. The
façade has two bell towers, and an imperial coat of arms over its
Renaissance entrance, which must have been added at least two centuries
after the lower walls were completed; it probably replaces the original
Romanesque entrance.

The whole of the lower storey of the monastery is built in the
Romanesque style, while the two upper ones belong to the beginning of
the sixteenth century, and are specimens of the decadent decorative
Gothic style. “In spite of the fact,” remarks Vazquez Nuñez, “that three
centuries must have elapsed between the building of the ground storey
and the one above it, and in spite of the fact that they belong to such
different styles of architecture, the combined result, though it lacks
unity, is nevertheless one of noteworthy and singular beauty.” The
monastery is nothing but a ruin; its roofs are gone--or going, its
floors are so shaky that it is hardly safe to tread them. Ivy covers its
dilapidated walls and peeps in at its graceful windows. Bushes fill the
patios of its beautiful three-storey cloisters, and everything of value
that could be carried away has gone. Even the granite balustrades of its
handsome stone staircase are disappearing. The upper part of the
_Claustro de los Obisqos_ (Bishop’s Cloister) is a marvel of the
Flamboyant Gothic style; its buttresses, plain at their base, terminate
in gabled and elaborately carved pinnacles like the petals of a foxglove
bursting forth from its stiff stem. The pinnacles rise above the
handsome stone lace or plateresque cornice, and wonderful gargoyles jut
out at irregular intervals beneath it; yet the arcades below, with their
slender double columns and their classic capitals, belong to a different
age and a different style. There rises a tall stone cross in the centre
of this patio, for it was used during several centuries as a
burial-place for bishops. Nine of these dignitaries were buried there in
stone sarcophagi before the year 1563, when the administrator of the
abbey, Don Alonso Pernas, exhumed them and had them placed in niches on
either side of the high altar in the church. In 1594 the abbot, Victor
de Najera, had a new _retablo_ constructed, and here he placed the
bodies in two large stone sarcophagi with divisions. Finally, in 1712,
these sarcophagi were placed in niches high up on either side of the
altar and enclosed by iron railings. Vazquez Nuñez, to whom I am
indebted for these dates, gives the full Latin inscription that Alonso
Pernas copied from the original sarcophagus of Bishop Ansurio, who was
buried in 925. The varied sculpture of the capitals in the lower part of
this cloister is extraordinary. I noted one capital with a two-headed
snake as its ornament.

The principal cloister is very much larger than the one we have been
describing, and though its architecture is much simpler it also is a
magnificent sight, with its three storeys, the lowest consisting of
graceful arcades with semicircular arches supported by Doric columns,
the next of Doric columns with single arches, and the third of graceful
windows with semicircular arches. On one of the inner walls of this
cloister is a curious piece of stone bass-relief representing Christ and
the Twelve Apostles. Some think it must have served as a reredos to some
ancient church, but the difficulty then is that the _retablo_ was not
introduced until the latter part of the Gothic period, and there are
signs about this work that it is of much earlier date. Vazquez Nuñez
believed it to be work of the twelfth century, but it may be even older.
There is a third cloister, much smaller and plainer than the others; it
is in the Renaissance style, but not in any way remarkable.

The church and its sacristy are in a state of better preservation than
the monastery, for the church is in daily use as a parish church for the
neighbouring villages. In the sacristy there are still some wonderful
relics, such as limbs of saints, that thieves have not thought it worth
while to steal, but several of the fine sarcophagi that contained the
bones of the bishops have disappeared quite recently. There are eight
paintings still upon the walls of the sacristy, and some handsome old
carved chests.

The conventual church of San Esteban, which has three lofty naves
divided by pointed arches, though begun in the twelfth century, is
decorated in the style which de Caumont called _ogival tertiaire_. It is
a remarkably elegant church, and its proportions are particularly
pleasing; its tall columns, with their capitals high up under the
moulding of the four-centred, or what we should term Tudor, arches, are
most effective. Alas! that these, and its profusely and gracefully
ribbed roof with its bosses and pendants, should all be covered with
hideous whitewash, paid for, I was informed, by alms collected from the
poor of the parish for that purpose! Like the Bishops’ Cloister, this
church, though begun three centuries earlier,--as the date “Era
MCCXXII.” on one of its pillars shows,--is a remarkably good example of
the decadent period of decorated Gothic architecture. The stalls of the
choir, which are said to have been covered with exquisite carving, fell
to pieces from sheer neglect, and were stolen in bits, some of which
have found their way into museums, and others are now part of the
furniture of the houses of the neighbouring poor. I found a plain
boarded gallery being put up over the vaulting at the lower end of the
church in place of the dilapidated vaulting, by order of the new Bishop
of Orense, who visited the place on horseback in 1906.

Statues of St. Stephen and St. Benedict adorn the chief altar and also
one of the side ones. St. Stephen is always represented with a quill pen
in his right hand. Massive _retablos_, their niches filled with statues,
are still behind the numerous altars. My attention was especially drawn
to a statue of the Virgin, with a black face, a gold nimbus and crown;
eleven pink cherubs hover round her, all larger than the Child she
holds. Both Mother and Child show the white of their eyes. This statue
is said to be a copy of a famous Byzantine Virgin in a church in
north-eastern Spain.

The three semicircular apses of the church are very fine; the central
one is lower than the lateral ones, to let the light enter the rose
window in the wall above it. All three are in the purest Romanesque
style, and perhaps the most interesting part of the church. They are
divided by buttresses in the form of lofty columns which reach to the
cornice, and the tympana of these arches and the archivolts are all
sculptured. Vazquez Nuñez observes that the sculpture of the Crucifixion
on one of the tympana is remarkably full of detail for sculpture of the
twelfth century.

This monastery had at one time within its precincts a thriving school of
art, in which hundreds of monks were trained as painters and sculptors,
and the charter granted in connection with it is still in existence. One
reason why the beautiful old building is so fast going to ruin is that,
after the monks had been turned out in 1836, there was no one left there
to guard it; nor has there been any one ever since. Year after year the
poor of the vicinity came at night to fetch away its stones and bits of
woodwork to build their own cottages with; to them it was a source of
wealth. Even


the carved stalls of the church were not spared; they were carried off
by people who traded in work of that class. My peasant guide told me
that he was born in the village on the slope above the monastery, and
had often in his childhood been awakened on a dark night by the
hammering and sawing of people who had come to rob the ruins. The
monastic clock and the church organ were removed years ago to the
Cathedral at Orense.

The monastic kitchen was a building quite separate from the monastery,
with a road between; it also now stands in ruins, but is still a witness
to the fact that cooking was a very important part of the proceedings. I
should say that there must have been ample room for the housing and
feeding of at least a thousand monks in that monastery; and what
exquisite views they had from their windows, right across the deep
ravine at the bottom of which the Sil had rushed ever since the days
when the Romans extracted gold from its sand. One would think that the
very thoughts and feelings of the monks must have been coloured by a
sojourn in a spot so secluded, so romantic, and so beautiful!

Osera, in its shallow dip, is entirely shut in by billows of treeless
and verdureless granite. San Estevan, balanced like an eagle’s nest at a
dizzy height on the edge of a precipitous but wooded mountain crag,
almost hidden among leafy trees, commands an indescribably beautiful,
though somewhat limited view of all the mountain peaks around, of their
thickly wooded slopes, and of the torrent below. Looking back upon the
impression that each gave me, I should say that San Estevan’s position
was the most romantic, the most poetic that I ever saw, and that Osera’s
was the most extraordinary. The hermit who first discovered the spot
where the monastery of San Estevan now stands must have been a lover of
nature, of trees, of birds--an artist; the saint who first elected to
dwell among the bare granite rocks of Osera must have sought
unrestrained liberty for the eye and the foot, rather than a leafy nest,
and have eschewed not only his fellow-man but nature as well.

The mountain on which the monastery of _San Estevan_ stands was
sprinkled in the early days of the Middle Ages with the cells of
hermits, and the entire eminence was looked upon as sacred; one or two
ancient oratories are still standing among the trees of the slope below
the monastery. But during the same period the province of Orense had
another eminence which it held as equally sacred--Mount Barveron. Cut in
the rocky side of that mountain is to be found the most ancient
monument of Christian art which the province contains. I allude to the
church and ancient monastery of _San Pedro de Rocas_.

To reach this isolated spot we had to drive to the little village of
Escos (_Santa Maria de Escos_), about sixteen kilometres from the town
of Orense, and famed for its splendid hams. Our road mounted steadily
the whole way, and skirted the mountain-side. At Escos the village
priest gave us a kindly welcome, invited us to lunch at his house, and
promised to provide us with suitable beasts on which to continue our
expedition. An hour later we started off, our party consisting of two
priests on horseback, and two Spanish ladies and myself on donkeys. A
fine cavalcade, indeed; but alas! the mountain path up which we tried to
proceed was composed chiefly of deep pools of rain-water and precipitous
slabs of slippery granite. Our saddles were of the most primitive kind,
our donkeys began to fight, and the two priests very soon found that
their own feet were more reliable than those of their steeds. Those
first fifteen minutes were truly a bad quarter of an hour. After many
attempts to proceed in as fine a style as that in which we had started
out, it ended in our all doing the pilgrimage on foot and dragging our
useless steeds behind us, till, just as we were approaching our goal, a
peasant appeared, and kindly consented to relieve us of our beasts and
lead them back to Escos. Our way led through beautiful open country,
strewed with boulders and jagged rocks, but by no means bare, for in
between the granite crags there grew clumps of flowering broom and other
shrubs, and beside every stone there peeped some flower or other.
Brilliant blue gentians, purple heather, a kind of yellow primrose,
daisies, violets, and buttercups, all enlivened the scene, and we seemed
to be passing through a magnificent rockery. On and on we scrambled,
over this boulder and round that crag, till we came to the side of a
mountain precipice overlooking, not the sea, but a vast green valley,
which stretched for miles on three sides of us.

Chiselled out of the live rock in the perpendicular side of the
precipice we found the parish church of Rocas, whose villages are
scattered over the mountain for miles around; this was once the church
of the Benedictine prior of _San Pedro de Rocas_. Three rock-hewn
chapels in a row form the three naves of the strange, crypt-like church,
which is carved or scooped out of one solid rock, and measures about
twelve yards in length and six in width. To the right of the church
stands, like a gigantic campanile, a huge cliff, upon



the crest of which a bell is seen suspended. History does not say by
whose hands this strange edifice was carved, but it is thought to be the
work of anchorites who, like San Fructuoso, sought in this solitary spot
a retreat and a refuge.

The entrance to each of the three cave chapels is formed by a
semicircular arch, and above these, like a natural façade, rises the top
of the apparently inaccessible precipice. Two low openings connect the
three chapels with one another. The arches and the interior are
decorated with simple twelfth-century mouldings and sculpture; the
arcades are also Romanesque of the same period. The rock above forms a
kind of rude barrel vaulting, and a round hole bored in the centre of
the barrel lets light into the church from the top of the cliff. The
flooring consists of large rough granite slabs. In this church there are
two objects that are of great interest to archæologists: one is a stone,
two and a half feet long and one and a half feet wide, on which is
carved the date “Era 611” (A.D. 573), and with what are supposed to be
the names of six hermits who retired to this lonely and wild spot that
they might end their days in prayer and meditation. Señor Vazquez Nuñez
speaks of this inscription as “without a doubt the most important
epigraphic monument of Christianity in the province of Orense,” and he
laments the fact that it should lie there year after year neglected and
exposed to destruction. One corner of the stone has already been smashed
off by visitors to the place; and not so long ago some one trying to
move it chipped off a bit of the inscription. Six of the most famous
archæologists of Spain have at different times gone to see this stone
and copied the inscription, about which there has been much learned
discussion. In the midst of the inscription is sculptured a Greek cross,
while round it, like a frame, and running horizontally across between
the lines, is a funicular fillet.

The other object of special interest is in the back of the cave behind
the altar in the lateral chapel to the left. To get to it we had to
crawl on hands and knees through a small opening between the altar and
the wall. It is a small Roman _ara_ with no inscription, but sculptured
in an interesting manner with archaic arches and funicular
ornamentation. There is also in the church an ancient baptismal font. In
side niches are two stone sarcophagi with recumbent figures: the relief
above one of them represents the dead man’s soul being borne to heaven
in a cloth by his guardian angel. I noticed that both the recumbent
statues appeared to have their feet chained to the rock; the hands of
one of them were folded on his breast, the other had his hands folded
lower down. Their drapery consisted of a light-fitting garment beneath a
cloak, which fastened with a brooch over one shoulder; both had beards
and longish hair which curled down over the neck. These were probably
two twelfth-century friars of the monastery. Outside the church we found
several ledges of rock that must have been cut as resting-places for
sarcophagi, and also a number of flat tombstones.

The church, as we have seen, is cut in the rocky side of a precipice.
Below the ledge which serves as a path in front of the three entrances,
the rocks form a hollow like an extinct crater, whose sides are so steep
that it makes one giddy to look down. The monastery has disappeared all
but a few ruins, some rooms of which served for some years as a home for
the parish priest. No one lives there now, as it is too isolated a spot;
and the last priest who attempted to live there was set upon by robbers
and nearly killed (about seven years ago). The spot is indeed isolated,
for the eye travels thence over many miles of country without being able
to discern any trace of human life. This is quite different from the
situation of Osera, and bears absolutely no resemblance to that of San
Estevan; yet all three are in the same little province of Orense, in the
very heart of Galicia.



     Dates and bananas--Magnolias and camellias--Canes for
     trellis-work--The chestnut--Killing the goose that lays the golden
     egg--Walnut wood--The finest mouthful in the world--Shipment of
     pine trees to foreign ports--Ignorance of the peasants--The
     eucalyptus, the birch, the willow, and the
     ash--Gorse--Tobacco--Flax--The linen industry--How linen is
     bleached--The potato--Maize barns--Two crops in the year--The
     cultivation of the vine--How the peasants make their wine--Coffins
     for sale--Drunken husbandmen--English soldiers and Gallegan
     wine--Cabbages--_Caldo Gallego_--Spanish onions--“As large as a
     plate”--Every kind of fruit known to Europe--Attar of orange
     flowers--Fig trees--Apples--Pears--Wood
     strawberries--Cherries--Plums--Medlars--Pomegranates--Quantities of
     fruit for sale--A novel way of catching trout--Reeds--Red
     peppers--Flowers in winter--The hoop-petticoat narcissus--Wild
     flowers that we have not got in England

The climate and soil of Galicia are so varied that not only can every
plant known to Europe be made to flourish there, but many tropical ones
as well. In the low and sheltered valleys both dates and bananas have
been known to ripen in the open air; the magnolia and the camellia grow
there in profusion. The magnolia was first imported to Europe from
Carolina, New Jersey, in 1688, by Pedro Magnol, from whom it derives its
name; the wood of one variety of this tree is used in Galicia for many
purposes; it has a beautiful grain and is almost an orange colour; the
_magnolia grandiflora_ often reaches the height of a hundred feet and
more; it bears a handsome white blossom. There is also a small Japanese
magnolia which is trained against the wall. The camellia exhibits here
some six hundred varieties, and is, during the winter months, the chief
ornament of the public walks and gardens: this shrub was introduced to
Europe by a Spanish Jesuit, Pedro Camelli, in 1738. The mimosa, covered
with yellow blossom, takes the place of our laburnum, and might be taken
for it at a little distance. Another favourite tree is the azalia, which
is constantly found in the public squares and gardens. Wisteria does as
well here as in Japan. I noticed it especially luxuriant in Pontevedra.
The cane, or bamboo, _arundo donax_, is much cultivated in Gallegan
fields and gardens, especially in the province of Pontevedra, where
canes are used to form trellis-work to support the vines, as well as for
fishing-rods; they flower in August, and often grow to the height of ten

The chestnut, the oak, and the walnut are three of the commonest trees
in Galicia. The chestnut, the king of the Gallegan forests, grows to
perfection, and its nut formed, until quite recently, one of the
principal means of sustenance among the poor; but of late years the
ignorant peasants have taken to cutting down their chestnut trees for
firewood, and are thus killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. In
many districts the chestnut woods are disappearing with ominous
rapidity, and, added to this, there has been for the last twenty years a
disease among them which is killing them off in thousands,--they dry up
and die, hundreds together,--and it is feared that, with the
disappearance of its woods, the land will also suffer from a change of
climate. Walnut wood is considered to be the best for the manufacture of
furniture, and as this tree is so plentiful, it is even used for
flooring in the houses of the wealthy. The wood of the cherry tree is
also much used in making furniture. The fruit or nut of the walnut is of
two kinds, one very large, the other rather small. I was told that a bit
of maize bread, a skinned walnut, and a lump of cheese were “the finest
mouthful in the world!” The poor have a process by which they smoke and
dry the chestnuts that are to be preserved for winter use; these are
eaten just as you would eat a hard biscuit. I tried one, but found it
too hard for my teeth. The pigs in many parts are fed largely upon
chestnuts; hence the remarkably fine flavour of their bacon.

Pine trees cover the higher mountain slopes; the shipping of pine stems
to other countries forms one of the principal industries of several of
the coast towns, such as Noya, which ships pine wood to Cardiff in great
quantities, and also to the Asturias, whence coal is brought back in the
returning vessels. The sad part of it is that when the pine trees are
cut down few think of planting fresh ones, although those who planted
would be well repaid for their pains, as the pines of Galicia grow with
remarkable rapidity. A priest told me that one of his parishioners had
realised a comfortable little fortune in the space of twenty years by
planting pines in a few acres of hilly land and selling the trees to
shipbuilders when grown; but he added that such enterprise was rare, and
that the people were too ignorant to take in the idea that any good
could come of planting trees, though they were willing enough to cut
down those that were there already.



A few years ago the attention of the Spanish Government was drawn to the
growing scarcity of wood, and several towns were ordered to make
plantations, but want of proper instruction led to failure. There is
plenty of room for forests in those parts where other vegetation does
not thrive. The fact that pines are necessary for navigation, and that
ships cannot be built without them, has led to the pine forests being
partially protected by Government from the firewood-collecting peasants.
It is high time that something should be done to protect so valuable a
tree as the chestnut, whose fruit has more than once taken the place of
bread in times of famine.

The eucalyptus, originally imported from Australia, grows to a great
height in Galicia, and its bark, as I have already mentioned, may be
seen lying across the roads in spring-time like wide bars of iron. The
black poplar lines the streets of Monforte, but it is not so common in
Galicia as in Castille. Box is plentiful, and grows to a greater height
than with us. There are three kinds of laurel in most of the public
gardens, and the dwarf palm is also much used as a decorative tree.

The birch, _betula alba_, only grows in the higher zones. I found this
tree on the high moorlands near the Portuguese frontier. The willow, the
ash, and the Portuguese laurel grow in abundance in the valleys along
the river banks, and in most places where the ground is moist. The lime
is another tree that grows abundantly, and to a great height, in
Galicia. In March and the early part of April the uncultivated parts of
the country are gloriously yellow with gorse, _ulex Europæus_, which
sends out long shoots and branches covered with brilliant blossom, and
is altogether finer than I had ever seen it in England. When its
flowering bloom is over, the peasants cut down the gorse and pound it,
with some grass, into a kind of paste for their cattle; it is said to
improve the flavour of their beef. They call this shrub _tojo_.

Tobacco also does remarkably well here, and grows to a great height, but
it is not cultivated. It was in the forties of the nineteenth century
that Ford wrote: “In order to benefit the Havanah, tobacco is not
allowed to be grown in Spain, which it would do in perfection in the
neighbourhood of Malaga; for the experiment was made, and, having turned
out quite successful, the cultivation was immediately prohibited.”

Flax was very extensively grown at one time, and it is still much
cultivated in Lugo and Orense; it grows also in the valley of the Ulla,
round Padron. Ever since the days of Pliny, Spain has had a reputation
as a flax-growing country, and Galicia has always been one of the
provinces which produced the largest quantity, her damp and rainy
climate being the most favourable to its growth. The ancients called the
linen made from Spanish flax _carbasus_, and esteemed it more highly
than that of Italy. The fact that the sails of ships were called
_carbasus_ has led to the conjecture that the sails of Roman ships were
manufactured from Spanish cloth. Catullus mentions the beautiful Spanish
handkerchiefs used by the Roman ladies, _sudaria saetaba_, but these
received their name from a town in Valencia, _Saetabis_, where flax was
also grown. The linen industry flourished in Galicia during the Middle
Ages, but it was already in its decline in the seventh century. In 1656,
Francisco Martinez de la Meta tried to rouse the Government to the
danger of allowing Russia and other countries to import their
manufactured goods into Spain, and thus become the ruin of the linen
industry.[303] Towards the close of the eighteenth century the
falling-off of this industry in Galicia was attributable partly to the
fact that a great deal of bad flax was sown. In the early part of the
seventeenth century, an Asturian author, Francisco Consul, wrote a
treatise on the bleaching of Gallegan linen, which he considered to be
the finest in Europe. In 1804, Labrada wrote that the manufacture of
linen was the chief industry of Coruña, and that certain Englishmen had
started factories there and imported the latest kind of carding
machinery.[304] At present the peasant women carry their distaffs about
with them, and spin in the fields as they mind their cows. When they
wish to bleach their linen, they boil it and spread it in the sun, then
boil it again and spread it once more in the sun; if by this time it is
not sufficiently bleached, they repeat the process.

The potato is extensively cultivated; it forms, with maize, kidney
beans, and cabbage, the chief food of the Gallegan poor. When it was
first introduced, the peasants refused to plant it, but they gradually
came to see its usefulness, and in 1778, when there was a famine in the
land, they learned that the very rain which may spoil a harvest only
fattens the potato. The value of the plant was at last brought home to
them, and from that time to this it has been assiduously cultivated.

A special feature of every landscape in Galicia is its innumerable
maize barns with their thatched or tiled roofs and church-like spires.
There is one in the back garden of every peasant’s cottage. Maize is the
most popular cereal in the province. When Borrow entered Galicia on
horseback, he was surprised to find that, instead of barley, maize was
given to his horses for provender, and he was equally surprised to find
that the animals ate it without hesitation. Wheat, rye, barley, and
millet are also cultivated, but not to the same extent as maize. The
peasants sow wheat or rye and barley for their first crop, and as soon
as this has been harvested they sow maize in its place, and thus get two
harvests in the year. Opinions differ as to the ultimate advantage of
this practice.

Galicia is essentially a vine country; from time immemorial her vines
have been appreciated, but rather for their abundance than their
quality, as too little care has been bestowed upon their cultivation. Of
late years disease has crept into the vineyards, and heavy loss has been
experienced in consequence. A new kind of vine is now being introduced
from America as likely to withstand disease better than the old kinds.
The American vines can easily be distinguished from the older kinds, for
they grow on sticks like hops, while the gnarled branches of the latter
are trained over trellis-work made of the local bamboo. Every peasant
house has its vine-covered verandah, and the beauty of many a Gallegan
landscape is greatly due to the vine-clad terraces that cover the
hillsides. In the early spring, when the branches are still bare, they
look, in the distance, like fishermen’s nets spread out to dry in the

Most of the peasants grow grapes for themselves and make sufficient wine
to supply their own households. A peasant who lived in a little cottage
near Orense showed me in an outhouse a large vat in which he made his
wine. The vat, which was of oak, lay on its side; it was strongly bound
with wood and iron, and had a square hole on the upper side into which
the grapes were put. My informant explained to me that as soon as the
grapes were in the vat he would wash himself thoroughly, and then,
wearing no garment but a shirt, which he drew up round his waist, he
would get into the vat and proceed to stamp upon the grapes till they
were reduced to a soft pulp. This process he would repeat three days
following,[305] kneading the grapes for about twenty minutes on each
occasion. “I then close the vat and leave it for a month,” he continued,
“after which I can draw the wine from the tap, and it flows clear and is
quite ready for the table.”

“But what are those long black boxes above the vat?” I asked.

“Those are coffins,” was the reply. “I keep a store of them, and sell
them to my neighbours when wanted at six pesetas” (five shillings)
“apiece. It is convenient to have them ready, as our village is so far
from any town.”

Although wine is so plentiful and cheap, the very poor content
themselves with water, and seldom touch any other beverage. Red wine is
supplied free at all the Gallegan hotels, and a very pleasant drink it
is; there is hardly more alcohol in it than would be found in an
ordinary fruit syrup, and the wines of Pontevedra are said to be even
less alcoholic than those of Orense. I have already mentioned how the
town of Ribadavia lies in the very centre of the vine country. The
people of that part are said to indulge rather freely in the wine that
their soil produces for them in such abundance. When a man has made
himself drunk after his midday meal, the neighbours say, “He has climbed
up into his vine” (_estar subido a la para_); and the story goes that an
English wine-merchant once came to Ribadavia to negotiate with some of
the husbandmen for the purchase of their wine, but that at every house
where he inquired for the master he was told that the owner of the
vineyard had “climbed into his vine,” and could not be seen. Tradition
has it that the Englishman grew very indignant, and made a remark in his
notebook to the effect that these particular wine-growers should be
avoided in future; he did not realise that the men he had wished to do
business with were one and all too drunk at that hour to drive a
bargain, and that his wisest course would have been to call again later
in the day. In this connection we may add that during the English attack
on Vigo in 1719, one of the officers wrote in his journal: “Most of the
soldiers abused themselves so much with wine that a small body of men
might have given us a great deal of uneasiness” (Macaulay).

A species of cabbage, known as the Gallegan cabbage, grows very
plentifully all over Galicia; local writers speak of it as “the bread of
the poor”; it is said to be the most economical and the most digestible
kind of cabbage that exists. The life of this plant is usually four
years, and it grows with a long stalk, the heart of the cabbage often
reaching a height of a foot and a half above the ground. It is of this
cabbage that the famous Gallegan broth--_caldo Gallego_--is chiefly
made; the richer classes add the water in which half a pig’s head has
been boiled, but the poor often put in nothing but cabbage, potatoes,
and a few haricot beans. In spring, when the cabbage water has a strong
smell, the vegetables are boiled separately, after which the cabbage is
taken out of its water and placed in the pot with the potatoes.

One of the principal exports from Orense to our shores is the “Spanish
onion.” This vegetable, in the words of a local housekeeper, “is often
as large as a plate.” It grows plentifully in the valley of the Ulla,
all round Padron, and in most of the low-lying valleys of Galicia.

Every kind of fruit known to Europe can be cultivated in Galicia. I have
already stated that in all the lower valleys every peasant’s garden has
its lemon tree, also oranges ripen well in the neighbourhood of
Pontevedra and Noya, but they are never very large. During the
fourteenth century an aromatic oil, or _attar_, was manufactured at Noya
from orange flowers grown in the neighbourhood. The Spaniards called
this oil _atatiar_, and it is probable that they learned the art of
making it from their Moorish conquerors.

Fig trees are to be found wherever there are oranges. I saw particularly
fine ones in some of the gardens; their growth was very sturdy, and not
unlike that of the oak. In the vicinity of Tuy there are a good many
olives scattered amongst the other trees, but there are no plantations
of them. The needle-pointed cypress is also to be seen, but, as I have
said, this tree is rarely found outside the gardens of the aristocracy.

Apples are produced in great variety: there is a small sweet
russet--_manzana parda_; a large green apple with little black
spots--_tartiadillo_; a pretty greenish-yellow apple that has its name
from the town of _Sarria_ near Lugo; a green apple as large as a
football--_tres en ramid_ (three on a branch); and another large green
apple, wide at the base and rather tapering, very sweet--_fada_.

The finest pear for eating is considered to be the _Urraca_, which is
small and dark green in colour. The fact that this variety has been
named after Queen Urraca leads to the supposition that it originated in
Galicia. Another pear, _pera de manteca_ (butter pear), is of two kinds:
_de oro_ (golden) and _de plata_ (silver); both these varieties are very
large. Then there is the _pera de Judas_, a large green pear, excellent
for eating.

The earliest fruit is the wood strawberry, which is ripe about the
middle of May. Cherries are plentiful in June, especially a large black
one, very sweet--_guinda_. Later there are several kinds of greengages
and plums: the _claudia_ is greatly prized for preserving in syrup.
Apricots and peaches also abound; one kind of peach, the _pavia del
revero_, was selling in the local markets at fifteen dollars per hundred
in 1906. Melons also do well here, especially the water melon, which is
very plentiful. Medlars of two kinds are seen in the markets in great
quantities, where they are sold at the equivalent of threepence a pound.
The earliest grapes are a very small white kind, which ripen about the
end of September, and sell at about sixpence a pound. Pomegranates grow
in the warmer valleys; so far as I could make out, there are no almonds,
though it is probable that these too, like the date and the banana,
would thrive here if once introduced.

During the summer months the squares and public places are crowded with
fruit-sellers, and the quantities of fruit they bring in from the
country round are a sight to see.

Among the plants that interested me there was one called Torvisco
(probably from the Latin _Turviscus_), which is known to us as the
flax-leaved daphne. Its leaves are used by the peasants for catching
trout. The fish nibble the leaves when they are placed in the stream,
and are poisoned at once; whereupon they are taken out of the water and
cooked for the table. It seems that this kind of poison does not in any
way affect the wholesomeness of the fish for eating purposes.

Reeds grow in quantities near Padron, and the gathering and selling of
them forms the principal occupation of whole villages. A kind of rough
waterproof worn by the labourers in rainy weather is manufactured from
reeds; and rush hats are also worn. The villagers of Laino have a
refrain which they sing when they go rush-gathering:--

    “Ellas eran de Laino,
     Ellas de Laino son.
     Collen hoshuncos no prado
     Vamos vender a Padron.”

Which is in English:--

    “These are from Laino,
     From Laino do they come.
     We gather them in the meadows,
     And sell them at Padron.”

A well-made reed hat is considered rather a luxury; it costs upwards of
a pound, and is only worn by the well-to-do peasants.

The _pimiento dulce_ (capsicum), or sweet red pepper, grows to
perfection in all the valleys. There are three crops in the year: small
green pimientos are gathered in May, large green ones in July, and large
red ones in August. The pimiento is a favourite ingredient in Spanish
cooking, and it is also served as a salad to cold meat.

There are flowers out of doors all the year round. Not only is the
camellia brilliant with white and red blooms in December and January,
but high hedges of wild geraniums are also in bloom, and sweet-scented
violets abound in the woods in January. In March and April the
hoop-petticoat narcissus carpets meadows as profusely as the wild
hyacinth does with us. I have seen it both a delicate creamy white and a
brilliant yellow. Many of the wild flowers are much the same as those of
our own Devonshire hedges and meadows, but I noticed a number that I had
never seen in England; and there is no doubt that were an English
botanist to devote the months of March, April, and May to the wild
flowers of Galicia, he would be amply rewarded for his trouble, and feel
the additional satisfaction that is always derived from the
consciousness of being the first in the field.



     The dignity of human beings--Mineral wealth of Galicia--Gold in the
     sand--Ancient authorities--Ireland and Spanish gold--Visigothic
     coins--Galicia’s secret--Turned up by the plough--Medicinal
     springs--Mineral waters--Climate never extreme--The baths at
     Lugo--Borrow’s account--An island hydropathic establishment--Hot
     springs--Galicia as a health resort--Mondariz--Women in the
     fields--Amazons--Martial zeal--Wellington and the Gallegan
     soldiers--“The inimitable Gallegans”--Another word about their
     reputed stupidity--Great men--Making a list--Fare thee well

“Whatever withdraws us from the power of our senses,” said Samuel
Johnson, “whatever makes the past, the distant, or the future
predominate over the present, advances us in the dignity of human
beings.” We cannot study the past of a spot so full of human interest as
Galicia without some gain; we cannot study the physical beauties of the
Spanish Switzerland without being transported for a time to those
mountains and valleys that the Gallegans love so passionately, to those
limpid streams and those beautiful rias. The mind needs change of air
just as the body, and a few hours spent in that distant corner of Spain
will, I trust, have been as refreshing to the mind of the reader as a
few months spent in travelling and studying them were to the writer of
this volume.

I have not exhausted my subject; it is too wide to be exhausted in a
work six times the size of the present work. I have touched on too many
points of interest to be able to do full justice to any: history, both
ancient and mediæval, geography, architecture, archæology, natural
history, ethnography, ethnology, climatology, literature, and many other
branches of knowledge have had their share of my attention; yet, as I
glance through what I have written, I am painfully conscious of how much
has been omitted. I intended, amongst other things, to add a long
chapter on the mineral wealth of Galicia, and another on the customs of
the Gallegan peasants; but time and space fail me. With regard, however,
to the mineral wealth of the country, to the character of its women, to
the martial spirit of its men, and to the reputed stupidity of the
Gallegans, I should like to add a few words to what has already been

The greater part of the mineral wealth of Galicia has never been
exploited since the days of the Romans. From the train window, as I was
passing through the province of Lugo, I saw the place where the Romans
diverted the course of a Gallegan river that they might more easily
attain the gold which lay hidden below its flowing waters. Morales--an
eye-witness in the reign of Philip II.--stated that the Miño had gold in
its sand, and that the bishop of Tuy showed him a nugget of purest gold
as large as a chick-pea, and that the Count of Monterrey had let a part
of this river which flowed through his estate for twenty ducados a year
to people who searched for gold in its sand.

Both Justin and Silius Italicus mention the rich veins of gold in
Gallegan soil. Justin speaks also of the abundance of lead, copper, and
iron. Molina mentions the abundance of tin that in his day was extracted
annually from Gallegan mines, and he adds in a note that gold-mines were
once worked there. I have already alluded to a tradition current in
Ireland, that the ancient Irish obtained their gold from Spain, and it
is more than probable that the torques in the Dublin Museum, as well as
those I have described, were made of Gallegan gold.

It is an interesting fact that nearly all the Visigothic coins that have
been found are pure gold; this is another indication that gold was once
plentiful in Galicia. Even in our day, poor women can earn three and
four pesetas a day by sifting sand of the river Sil for gold. I have
described the golden torques in Señor Cicerone’s museum--all of massive
gold--and these we know were found buried in various spots in Galicia.
Whence came the gold of which these were made? “This,” says Señor
Villa-Amil, “is Galicia’s secret.” At present no one knows the
whereabouts of any gold-mine in Galicia, but that is no proof that gold
is not there.

Silius Italicus said that this province was so rich in veins of gold
that nuggets of the precious metal were often turned up by the plough,
and it was this fact which led him to speak of Galicia as _Dives

Galicia is rich in medicinal springs, and her waters have been used to
cure diseases from time immemorial. I have mentioned the remains of
Roman baths (_thermæ_) at Bande (near Celanova) and at Lugo. It was from
the Greeks that the Romans learned the value of medicinal waters, and
they made wide use of them until the declining days of their greatness,
when bathing came to be looked on as injurious and effeminate, and the
old bathing establishments were allowed to go to ruin. In the ninth
century, under Charlemagne, baths came once more into fashion, and new
ones were established. In the fifteenth century a good deal was written
about the curative powers of mineral waters, especially in Spain.
Galicia has more of these springs than almost any part of Spain, and her
climate is the most temperate: the sea, bounding her on two sides,
modifies the heat of summer, so that in the hottest months the
thermometer never stands higher than 20° _Reamur_; in the months of
December, January, and February it does not often go below five and six
degrees. As for the geological formation of the ground, it consists of
layers of granite and gneiss for the most part, and of gneiss and mica
in the neighbourhood of Coruña, Ferrol, and Betanzos; round Santiago,
Sobrado, and Mellid there are found remarkable groups of amphibiolite
and diorite, while serpentine (of a greenish colour) is also abundant.
Slate is found in many varieties, and near Mondoñedo there are
fossilised shells, including petrified bivalves. Quartz is very
frequent. The alluvial soil near the rivers in the low-lying valleys is
covered with water in winter.

Lugo has sulphur springs on the banks of the Miño; the bathing
establishment is built with a patio and galleries round four separate
springs, and there is hotel accommodation for a large number of
visitors; these baths are considered to be the best in Galicia. Borrow,
who visited them in 1836, wrote that they were “built over warm springs
that flow into the river. Notwithstanding their ruinous condition, they
were crowded with sick.... The patients exhibited a strange spectacle,
as, wrapped in flannel gowns much resembling shrouds, they lay immersed
in the tepid waters amongst disjointed stones and overhung with steam
and reek.” The water smells strongly of sulphur, and on coming in
contact with the air acquires a milky appearance. Its iodine has
wonderfully healing properties in cases of scrofula, glandular
swellings, and dyspepsia, also in cases of muscular rheumatism. As I
have said elsewhere, Pliny wrote about these baths, and part of the
Roman buildings may still be seen.

Another place where there are baths is Carballo, in the province of
Coruña; here the older springs are _sulfuro-sodico_, and the new
_sulfuro-calcico_, although all are close together. On the little island
of Toja, near Villagarcia, there are some mineral springs which are now
being exploited by a company; they are visited by sufferers from skin
diseases, but chiefly during the month of July. The season only lasts a
few weeks, and during that period a doctor resides on the island and
superintends the bathing establishment. At Caldas de Reyes, fifteen
kilometres from Pontevedra, there are also hot sulphur springs, and I
have already spoken at length of the Hot Springs at Orense. Galicia has
innumerable iron springs. In 1878, Señor Varela Paga published tables
showing that the waters of Galicia were richer by far in medicinal
properties than the best of those in France, and he added that the
mineral springs of this province were, without doubt, of immense
importance, and that the two things wanting to place them amongst the
most renowned curative resorts in Europe were good ways of communication
and good hydropathic establishments.

The most modern of all the hydropathic establishments in Galicia is that
of Mondariz, situated a few miles to the south of Pontevedra in the
valley of Mondariz. Patients go there to drink the waters of two widely
renowned springs called respectively Gandara and Troncoso; their waters
are considered particularly beneficial in cases of dyspepsia (now looked
upon rather as a symptom than a disease) and other stomach
troubles.[306] The establishment for the reception of guests is very
large, and the prices are in proportion to its grandeur. Lady visitors
are requested to wear no hats except when attending Mass. The scenery of
the surrounding mountains and valleys is very beautiful, and there are
some exquisite drives, one being to Castello Mos, the mediæval castle
which I have described in my chapter on Pontevedra.

And now a last word about the Gallegan women. I have said that the women
of Galicia work in the fields like men, and that most of the
agricultural labour is necessarily performed by them, seeing that the
men emigrate in such numbers. It is interesting in this connection to
note that Justin wrote of the women of ancient Galicia, as not only
having the care of all domestic matters, but also cultivating the fields
while their men-folk gave themselves to the pursuits of war. “Their
travail,” says Ford, “was not simply agricultural, for, according to
Strabo (III. 250), they merely stepped aside out of the furrows to be
brought to bed, if such a term may be used, returning back to their
other labours just as if they had only laid an egg. The men were worthy
of such Amazons.” But Ford overlooked the fact that it was of the people
of Galicia that Strabo was writing when he said that it was customary
for the husband to retire to his bed for a short period as soon as his
child was born. Aguiar draws attention to this extraordinary practice in
his History of Galicia. This writer also remarks that the proverb so
common all over Spain, to the effect that he who is unfortunate and
needs assistance should “seek his Gallegan mother,” was another
indication of the Celtic origin of the Gallegans, the Celts having
always held their women in honour.[307]

The martial zeal of the men of ancient Galicia is constantly referred to
by historians: they were a foe against whom both Julius Cæsar and D.
Brutus were proud to have waged war; and later, in the days of the
Saracen invasion, they were the only Spaniards that the Moors could not
conquer. And what about their courage and endurance in modern times?
What did the Duke of Wellington think of the fighting qualities of the
Gallegans who fought under his banner against the French invaders? So
pleased was the Iron Duke with his Gallegan soldiers, that before
leaving the country he issued a proclamation in honour of the fourth
Spanish army:--

“Warriors of the civilised world! Learn heroism from the individuals of
the fourth army, which it has been my good fortune to lead into the
field. Every one of its soldiers has merited more justly than myself the
command that I hold.... Strive all of you to imitate the inimitable
Gallegans. Let their intrepidity be remembered to the end of the world,
for it has never been surpassed....”

The fourth army was composed of Gallegans and Asturians, each of which
received their separate meed of praise from the Duke. This proclamation
was issued at Lesata, and bears the date September 4, 1813.

And now a final word about the reputed stupidity of the Gallegans.
Galicia has from time immemorial produced more great intellects, more
literary men, and more poets, than any other province in the Peninsula.
Not only can Galicia boast of having a first Golden Age and a second
Golden Age, but she can also produce a long list of glorious names
reaching right up to the present day. I have mentioned a few of these,
but space has not allowed me to refer to more than a few. I have said
nothing of Saavedra, or of Martin Garcia Sarmiento, both born in
Pontevedra; of that famous woman, Maria Francisca de Isla y Lozada, born
in Santiago, who was called by Bossuet “the pearl of Galicia”; of the
seventeen eminent cardinals who were natives of Galicia; and of the
innumerable other illustrious sons whom Galicia has given to Spain.
Señor Cabeza Leon, professor of International Law at Santiago
University--whose kind assistance in connection with my research work
has been invaluable--tells me that he has already collected and verified
the names of more than a thousand famous Spaniards who came from

And how does Galicia stand to-day? I can answer without hesitation that
she stands well to the front. A large proportion of the intellects that
are governing Spain from Madrid at the present moment have come from
this province. Two of Spain’s greatest living archæologists, Villa-Amil
y Castro and Lopez Ferreiro, are sons of Galicia; and “the best
authoress that Spain has produced during the present century,”[308] Doña
Emilia Pardo Bazán, is Galicia’s daughter. So much for the stupidity of
the Gallegans.

       *       *       *       *       *

Fare thee well, Galicia! Thou art a land where railways have preceded
roads, and where motor-cars have arrived before trains; thou art a land
whose peasants are oppressed by bad government, usury, and their own
crass ignorance; thou art a land where glorious monuments of mediæval
architecture are left to fall into melancholy ruin and decay, when they
should be guarded amongst the most precious treasures of the nation, a
book in which the Spanish youth might read and learn of the achievements
and aspirations of their ancestors; thou art a land that for the
wonderful richness of thy soil and the exuberance of thy vegetation
might be made the Garden of Europe. All these thou art, and more; yet
not only art thou practically unknown to the rest of the world, but thou
art forgotten even by Spain: thy own Peninsula is almost unconscious of
thy existence, though thou art the spot which has provided her with her
most sacred traditions, her poetry, her _trovadors_, and her Patron
Saint. Thy beautiful mountains, thy pine-clad peaks, thy waterfalls, thy
torrents and thy rias, thy smiling valleys and thy mossy ravines, thy
terraced slopes and thy limpid streamlets, are separated from the rest
of Europe by the waters of the River of Oblivion.

It may be that some of the prominent men who are thy children would
hesitate to own that thou hadst given them birth; but thy simple
peasants, when they cross the wide seas to seek their fortune in a
distant land, carry their passionate love for Galicia to those far-off
shores, and sometimes, sometimes--they die of the anguish that is called


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Aarlberg Pass, 333

Abderrahmen I., mosque of, 83

Acorns as food, 212

Acuña, _Historiæ_ quoted, 301-2

Adozno, 332

Aecius, Sueve, 28-29

Africanus, Scipio, 13

  Agricultural Syndicate of Coruña, 172;
  need for knowledge, 179;
  the Gallegan plough, 212-13;
  carts, 213;
  fields of Noya, 240-41

Aguiar, 2-3, 9-10, 178, 195;
  on Gallegan dulness, 178

Aguilar y Torrea, Don Antonio, 270

Aimerico, 69

Alanes, 29

Alba River, 255

Alcala de Henares, 265 _note_

Aldrede, _quoted_, 54 _note_

Alexander III., Pope, 77

Alexander IV., Pope, 67

Alfonso I., 301

Alfonso II., _el Casto_, 62, 271

Alfonso VI., 94, 101, 279

Alfonso VII., 124, 195

Alfonso VIII., 317, 318

Alfonso X., _el Sabio_--
  Cantigas of, 44-46, 52, 54-57, 205;
  will of, 50

Alfonso of Portugal, 282

Alfred and Orosius, 30-33

Alhambra, the, 328

Allariz, church of, Santiago, 295;
  mentioned by Ptolemy, 295-96

Almanzor, 42-43, 200

Alonso, Sr. Benito F., _quoted_, 26, 76, 290 and _note_

Altamira, castle of, 232-33

Alvarez, Jacome, 150

Alvarez, Sr. Eugenie, 293

Ambia, family of, 296

Ambrose, St., 39

America, South--
  Immigration into, 174-76, 247 and _note_;
  herds of, 214;
  rock-drawings, 274

Amiens Cathedral, 98 _note_, 109;
  statues, 122

Amil, Villa-, 6, 7, 136

Anastasius the Librarian, _quoted_, 75-76

Ancares, Sierra de, 18

Ancient Britons, poetry of the, 185

Andalusia, 6;
  socialism, 175, 184;
  education, 178;
  mule-breeding, 180;
  students of, 192

Anderson, Jos., 68

Andrade, family of, 314

Andrade, Fernán Peréz de, Sarcophagus, 312

Andrew, Bishop, 226

Angeles, Juan de, 293

Ansurio, Bishop, Sarcophagus, 337

Antealtares, convent of, 104

Antela, lake of, 20

Antelo, Andreo, 103

Antiquarians of Scotland Society, 68, 274-75

Antoninus, 223, 290

Apacius, 219

Aquada, 321

Aquasantas, 296

Aquitaine, trouvadores of, 55

Arabs in Galicia, 301

Aragon, architecture of, 81

Arbo, 286

Arcade, 269

Arcadius, 15, 31

Arch, the horseshoe, 82-84, 331;
  circular, 84-85

Archæological monuments of Galicia, 42

Archæological Museum, Santiago, 205

Archæological Society of Orense, 26;
  of Pontevedra, 262, 274

Architecture of Galicia, 78-93
  Mudejar, 80-81, 331;
  Byzantine, 82;
  _Spanish_--the horseshoe arch, 82-84, 331;
  the circular arch, 84-85;
  two streams of influence, 86-87;
  the _Capital_--sculptured capitals, 126-135;
  favourite subjects, 126;
  plain, of English cathedrals, 126-27;
  foliage, 127-28;
  scalloped, 131;
  Corbels, 238;
  the rectangular apse, 284;
  Gallegan-Gothic, 303;

Arellano, Ramirez de, 302

Arenas, the Crucifix of, 290

Arezzo, 6;
  MSS of Etheria, 36

Argalo, 243

  Development, 153;
  emigration to, 174-75

Arianism in Galicia, 29, 84, 86, 294, 303

Armijo, Marquis de la Viga de, 268

Arosa, 219

Arosa, Ria de, 17, 254, 255

Arraduca, 295

Art, lay schools of thirteenth century, 129-30

Arteago, Señor, collection, 208

Artisans, corporations of, 81

Asclepiades, 10

Asia, Central, mud-ovens of, 241

Astorga, 294

Asturias, 17;
  horses, 214;
  bears, 215;
  trade, 344

_Atatiar_, 349

Ataulf, 86

Augustines, the, 72

Augustus, S., 15, 31-32

Augustus, towers of, Padron, 230

Autun Cathedral, 114

Avalos, Gaspar, 255

Avitus I. and II., 39

Ayerbe, Marquesa de, her book, 271-272

Ayerbe, Marquis de, 271 _note_

Ayras, Juan, 53 _note_

_Babus_, the, 6

Bacchiarius, monk, 39

Balearic Isles, 170, 216

Ball, Robert, 207

  Church of Santa Comba, 329-32;
  village, 332-33;
  Roman baths, 353

Barbeito, Juan de, 256

Barca, Hamilcar, 13

Barcelona, 169-70, 192

Barrows, 6

Bartlett, Mr., 157 _note_

Barveron, Mount, 339-40

Basque language in Galicia, 4, 242 and _note_

Basques, the, 192

Baths, Roman, 331, 353;
  medicinal, 353-55

Bayona, 255, 278;
  _Colegiata_, 284;
  the Assembly held, 292

Bazán, Emilia Pardo, 188 _note_, 357 and _note_

Bearny, Viscount de, 266

Bedoza, lectures, 193

Bellini, Mariano, 272

Benedict XIV., 284

Bentrazes, Palazio de, 325-26

Berceo, Gonzalo de, 44

Bergidensis, 34

Berigel, Archbishop, 235

Berlin, 278;
  Ethnographical Museum, 273

Bermúdez, Cean, 138

Bermudo III., 195

Bernard, Archbishop, tomb, 149-50

Bernard, John H., 36 and _note_

Bernardo, 98

Berni, 98 _note_

Besada, Señor, 18

  Churches of, 88 _note_, 310-12;
  history, 308-9;
  the _Fiesta de Caneiros_, 309;
  Bravio, 310;
  Nuestia Señora del Caneiro, 310;
  ancient caverns, 311;
  church of Santiago, 311-12;
  San Francisco, 312

_Bibalatarin_, 83

Bibilis, the, 22

Bibles, manuscript, 195

Bilbao, 218

Biscay, Bay of, 17, 153-54;
  lampreys, 219

Blanco, Sr. Romero, 247

Boabdil, 205

Bætica, 15

Boissier, _quoted_, 40

Bokhara, synagogues of, 265

Bologna University, 90

Boneval, Bernal de, 53 _note_

Boniface VIII., 54

Borrow, George, 75;
  translation of the Bible, 4;
  on Sir John Moore, 157;
  _quoted_, 176;
  in Padron, 222;
  on the Franciscan convent, Lugo, 306

Bosworth, Joseph, translation of _Orosius_, 30-31

_Botafumeiro_, 72-75

Boulders, rocking, 7

Bourgogne, sculptured foliage, 129

Braga, 1, 31, 39, 294, 296;
  Church Council, 226, 301;
  cathedral, 291

Braga, Theophilo, 3 and _note_ 2, 55

Brambach, W., 44

Bravio, 310

Brest, 154

Bretons, 8

Bridge of Pines, Granada, 83-85

Bridget, St., 69

_Briga_, the Celtic word, 152

Brigantium, 14

British Museum, 68

Brunelleschi, 90, 91

Brutus, Decimus, “Callaicus,” 8;
  in Spain, 13-14, 20-21

Buckle, 78, 79

Buenos Ayres, 153

Bull-fights, 170, 252

Burgas, Las, 293

Burgos, 171, 266;
  Cathedral, 93;
  the Crucifix, 290

Byzantine Art, 81;
  frescoes, 123

Cabbage, the, 348-49

Cabe, the, 334-35

Cadiz, 13;
  Tower of Hercules, 162;
  emigration, 177

Cæsar, Julius, in Spain, 2, 3, 7, 8, 10, 14-15;
  in Britain, 32-33

Cæsar’s Bridge, 228

Cairuan Grand Mosque, 84-85

Calaicos, term, 9

Caldas de Reyes springs, 355

Cale, 9

Calixtus II., Codex of, 63-65, 73, 94, 96, 99 and _note_, 301

Calybe, the, 22

Calyphate, the, 43

Cambden, William, 11

Cambiadores, Hermandad de, 52

Cambre, 312-14

Camelli, Pedro, 343

_Campo Santo_, 161-62

Campo, Sr. E., 273

Campomanes, Count of, 179-80

Cana, Pay de, 53 _note_

Canadian Rockies, 319

Cangas, 277

Cano, Adolfo, 228

Canterbury Cathedral, capitals, 127;
  sculpture, 131

_Capas de junco_, 203

Capilla de Las Animas, 198-99

Carballo baths, 354

Carboeiro, Monastery of, 195

Cardiff, trade with Galicia, 245, 344

Cardoso, Jorge, 28

Carlos III., 218

Carlsruhe, 299

Carmelite convent, Santiago, 205

Carmelites, 227

Carnac, J. H. Rivett, 273

Carnivals, 203

Carracedo, Cistercian monastery, 33

Carrara marble, 161

Carriarico, Sueve, 289, 294

Carril, 201;
  oysters, 219

Carthaginians, the, 12, 13;
  coins, 206

Cartwheels, singing, 213, 233, 241

Casa da Moura, 247

Casanova, Fernandez, 95, 96, 132

Casanova, Sofia, 184

Casares, Dr. Miguel Gil, 144

Casas y Novoa, Fernando de, 93, 105

Cassiterides, the, identification, 11-12, 278

Castelar, Emilio _quoted_, 185

Castille, education, 177;
  language of, 188

Castillo de Mos, 268-73, 355

_Castro de la Rocha_, the, 223

Castro, Filippo de, portrait, 196;
  bust, 234-35, 251

Castro, Juana de, 324

Castro, King, 203

Castro, Rosalia, nature of her poetry, 103, 182-83;
  her life, 184;
  _Follas Novas_, 184;
  _Cantares Gallegas_, 184, 189;
  Failde on, 184;
  the harp with two strings, 185;
  a short poem translated, 186;
  burial, 187;
  influence on the Gallegan language, 188;
  the “chirrio,” 213;
  the house where she died, 229

_Castros_, 6, 232-3

Catalina de Sandoval y Roja, 298-99

Catalina, Infanta, 73

Cataluña, 6

Catedral Vieja, the, 106, 132

Cathedrals, origin of, 89-90

Catherine of Aragon, 69

Catherine of Leon, 116

Cattle-breeding, 179-80

Cauca, town of, 4;
  the term _Cauca_, 4-5

Caumont, influence, 78 and _note_

Cea, 319, 320, 324-25

Cebrero, hill of, 22;
  hospital and church, 176-77;
  wood of, 217

Celanova, 294, 325, 329;
  Benedictine monastery, the drive to, 325-27;
  carved stalls, 327;
  sarcophagi, 327;
  relics, 327-28;
  the Eremita de San Miguel, 328-29

Celis, Juan de, 256

Celles Cathedral, 97

Celts in Galicia, 5-12, 244

Censers, swinging, 72-76

Censorius, Count, 29

Cerviño, Antonio, 178

Cesures, 228

Chain of St. James, 66

Champagne, Count, 52

Charcoal fires, 191-92

Chariño, Payo Gomez, 262-63

Charles III., 192, 315

Charles of Orleans, 52

Chartres Cathedral, 109;
  windows, 115;
  statues, 122;
  portico, 283

Chestnut, the, 344

Chili, emigration to, 175

Chinas, 210

Chinese early writings, 273

_Chirimias_, the, 75 and _note_

_Chirrio_, 213

Chocolate of Santiago, 191

Christchurch, Bournemouth, 115

Christian Art, symbolic character, 108-9

Church, the, influence in the Middle Ages, 79-80

Churriguera, José, 93;
  style of, 93, 105, 106

Ciceron, Sr. Ricardo Blanco, collection of, 205-9, 353

Cies, the, 277-78

Cimbri, the, 10

Cimmerians, 10

Cinania, 14

Cirencester, 33

_Civitas Limicorum_, 21, 25, 26

Clarions of Santiago, 75 and _note_

Claudia, poet, 15

Clavigo, 99, 311

Clement IV., 67

Clement, St., 72

Cluny, Monastery of, 88;
  monks, 97, 128

Cluny Museum, 68, 150

Coins, ancient, 206-7, 223, 233

Colegiata de Iria, 226

Colegiata de Santa Maria Vigo, 278

Colegio de Santa Cruz, Toledo, 138

Colegio de San Jerónimo, 200

Columbus, La Gallega, 22

Combarro, 265-67

Compostela, Pedro de, 47

Compostela, Santiago de. _See_ Santiago.

Congress, Catholic, at Munich, 43;
  Eucharistic, at Lugo, 306

Conjo, Church of, 62

Conques Cathedral, 96

Constantine, 81

Constantinople, 81-82

Consul, Francisco, 346

Contractus, Hermanus, 44, 45

Cordova, 5;
  Grand Mosque, 43, 83, 85-86;
  bronze work, 106

Corn-rent, Ramiro’s, 98-99

Cornide, Sr. Joseph, 11, 217, 219, 220

Cornwall, cup-marks, 274

  Brigantia, 1, 14, 152, 191;
  province of, 152;
  Tower of Hercules, 154, 161-63;
  harbour, 154-55, 171;
  glass-covered verandahs, 155-56;
  gardens of San Carlos and tomb of Moore, 156-58;
  Campo Santo, 161-162;
  Francis Drake, 163-64;
  Church of St. George, 164;
  fishing industry of, 164-66;
  the making of ice, 165-166;
  chocolate factories, 166;
  the poor of, 166-69;
  the “Little Sisters of Charity,” 167-69;
  tobacco factories, 169;
  streets, 170;
  social life, 170;
  the Assembly, 170-71;
  churches, etc., of, 171;
  waterworks, 177;
  bulls of, 214;
  commercial importance, 277

Costina, Mount, 245

Credrie, 207

Cremation, 7

Crimea, vine-growing in, 264

Cristal, the name, 326

Cro-Magnon, 5

  Trade with Spain, 166, 170;
  Gallegans in, 183;
  and Rosalia Castro, 187

Cubillas, the, 83, 85

Cuelos, Juan de los, 258

Cueva de los Letreros, 5

Cueva, Juan Muñoz de la, 290

Cup-markings, 273-75

Customs in Galicia--
  The Mantilla, 199;
  water-carrying, 202;
  a wedding, 202-3;
  carnivals, 203;
  a village festival, 230;
  animals in dwelling-houses, 241-42;
  wrestling, 243;
  excursions or _Romerias_, 248;
  Holy Week ceremonies, 235, 249-51;
  use of umbrellas, 269;
  funerals, 307;
  use of mica, 326

Cypress tree, the, 325

Dalmatius, Bishop of Compostela, 97

Dante, 76

Daroca, 81

de Voguë, 185

Denmark, rock-writings of, 274

Dias, Pastor, 188 _note_

Didron, 108, 109 and _note_;
  on iconography, 122

Diomedes, King, 278

Dionisius, monk, MS. of, 122

_Diurno_, the, of Ferdinand I., 194-95

Dogson, Prof. of Oxford, 242

Dolmens, 6, 246, 247;
  on coast of Noya, 232

Dominguez, Fernando, 313

Dominicans, 227

Dorchester Church, Oxfordshire, 115

Drake, Sir Francis, 163-64, 201

Drowning, prevalence in Spain, 169

Dublin Museum, torques, 207, 353

Duero, 15

Durando, Guillermo, 46

Eadmer, 47

Easter Sunday markets, 251

Ecuador, population, 176

Education in Galicia, 177-78;
  _Institutos_, 197

Edward I., 76

Egas, Enrique, 138-39

Einsiedeln, 67

El Monteiro, 296

Elizabeth, Queen, 201, 266

Emigration from Galicia, causes, 172-77;
  Ford on, 177;
  evils of, 178-79;
  home-sickness of the emigrant, 183

  Pilgrims to Santiago from, 76;
  and Padron, 222-23;
  English at Vigo, 277;
  English enterprise in Galicia, 315-16

English cathedrals, plain capitals, 126-127, 131

Enrique II., 76

Enrique III., 260

Enriquez, Manuel Curros, 326

Eo, the, 22, 299

Epiphanius, S., 28

Eremita de San Miguel, 328-29, 332

Escos, 340

Escurial Collection, 3;
  library, 47

  Emigration, 117;
  mule-breeding, 180;
  pigs, 212

Estudio Viejo, the, 192

Etheria, story of, 33-38

Etruscan terra-cottas, 5-6

Eucalyptus, the, 345

Eucharistic Congress at Lugo, 306

Eugenius IV., 283

Eulogius, S., 28

Euphemia, Santa, 290-91

Eusebius of Cæsarea, 29

Evans, discoveries, 5

Fabius, Quintus, 13

Faciundo, San, 325

Factories, need for, in Galicia, 180

Failde, his book on Galicia, 178-81;
  on Rosalia Castro, 184, 187;
  on the Gallegan character, 185

Famiano, San, 317

Fegueroa, Marquis of, 52

Feijoó, _cited_, 50-51, 296

Ferdinand I., 194

Ferdinand II., 279

Ferdinand III., 177, 263

Ferdinand VI., 315

Ferdinand and Isabella, foundation of the Hospital Real, 136-37

Ferdinand of Leon, 282

Fernandez, Froila, 271

Fernando, King, 73

Férotin, Father Marius, 36, 37, 38

Férotin, M. Macias, 195

Ferrandez, Sr. Anton, 5

Ferreiro, José, 251

Ferreiro, Lopez, 24, 95 _note_, 96, 173

Ferrer, Mauro Castella, 68-69, 223

Ferrara, Ricobaldo de, 46

Ferro, Miguel, 71

Ferrol harbour, 22;
  oysters, 219;
  fortifications, 314-15;
  arsenal, 315-16

Fiesta de Caneiros, 309

Figueroa, Emmanuel Bonaventuræ, 196

Figueroa, Marquis of, _quoted_, 187

Filgueira, 287

Finisterre, Cape, 14, 17, 217, 245

Fish of Galicia--
  Sardine industry, 217-18;
  anchovy, 218;
  salted cod, 218;
  lamprey, 219, 335;
  turbot, 219;
  oysters, 219-220;
  scallops, 220;
  cod, 220;
  salmon, 220;
  mullet, 220-21;
  trout, 221

Fishermen’s League of Pontevedra, 255-256

Fita _cited_, 223

Flacila, 15

Flamenco, Pedro, 103

Flax-growing, 345-46

Florence, Duomo, 91

Florez, _cited_, 8-9, 163

Fonseca, Archbishop, 69, 106, 192, 193, 225;
  will of, 195;
  portrait, 196

Fonseca, Medical College, 193

Ford, 192;
  on emigration, 177

Forum Limicorum, the, 26-27

France, 229;
  pilgrims from, 71-72;
  French troops at Tuy, 280

Frances, St., 69

Francis I., 91

Francis of Assisi, St., 55, 305

Franciscan monastery, Pontevedra, 262

Frari, Church of the, Venice, 305

Freira, 287

French language, 54-55

Fruime, 45

Froila, Sarcophagus of, 304, 329

Fructuoso, 195

Fructuosus, St., 39, 40 and _note_--42

Fruime, Cura de, 188

Fuencaliente, 5

Gaibor, J., 293

Gaita, the, 294

Galaico-Portuguese language, 55

Galba, 13

  History, 1-16;
  the term “Galicia,” 8-9;
  boundaries, 17;
  configuration, 18;
  climate, 18-19;
  vegetation, 19-20;
  rivers, 20-22;
  harbours, 22;
  gardens, 22-23;
  first golden age of Galicia, 24-38;
  her second golden age, 49-59;
  language, 50-59, 187-88;
  architecture, 78-93;
  taxation, 173, 179;
  education, 177-178;
  cattle-breeding, 179-80;
  mule-breeding, 180;
  absence of factories in, 180;
  morals, 181;
  usury, 181;
  _trovadors_ of, 188;
  coinage, 206;
  minerals, 233, 353-55;
  monasteries, 317-42;
  trees, fruit, and flowers, 343-51;
  livestock, _see that title_;
  fish of, _see that title_

Gallegan arms, 22

Gallegan, the--
  Home-sickness, 253;
  bravery, 356;
  stupidity, 356-57

Gallegos, the, 8-9

Gamurrini, M., discovery of, 36-38

Gandara, springs, 355

Garcia, Abbot, 317

Garcia, King, 287

Gautier, Léon, 56

Gelmirez, Archbishop, 54, 106, 149, 199, 280;
  book of, 62-63, 65;
  palace of, 134-35;
  his mint, 135

Geographical Society, the, 196

Georgia, 4

Geraldus, 207

German characteristics, 153

Geyer, Paul, 36

Ginzo, the, 20

Ginzo de Limia, 26

Giotto, 90

Girardo, 63

Gold, ancient objects of, 206-9;
  torques, 207-8, 233

Gomez de la Torre, Bishop, 283

Gomez-Morreno, Sr., 83, 84 _note_

Gonzalez, Amaro, diary, 201 and _note_

Gonzalez, Gomez, 147;
  tomb in Sar, 150

Gonzalez, Pedro, 258

Good Friday customs, 250

Gothic architecture, rise of, 88-90;
  symbolic character, 90-91;
  periods, 92

Goths in Galicia, 301

  Bridge of Pines, 83-84;
  art of, 87;
  conquest, 136;
  university, 192

Grandmaison, 292

Granite houses, 266, 269;
  amount of granite in Pontevedra, 268;
  a granite quarry, 269;
  granite villages, 320

Gratian, Emperor, 223

Greco, “St. Francis of Assisi,” 297

Greek churches, absence of statues, 122

Greek colonies, traces in Galicia, 10-11, 243, 278

Greek types of women, 246

Gregorian Chant, the, 267

Gregory the Great, St., 45 and _note_, 67

Guadalete River, the, 158

Guadalquivir, burning the bridge, 262-263

Guillen, Master, works, 102-3, 138, 140

Guina, peak of, 18

Handmills, 7

Hannibal, 13, 22

Hasan Ali, Abul, 205

Hedgehogs, 216

Hedges of granite, 268;
  of blackberries, 268-69

Helda, Donna Sancha Roca, 259

Henry II., 77

Herbon, Monastery of, 227-28, 230

Hercules, Isthmus of, 5;
  Pillar of, 12;
  Tower of, 12

Hermanricus II., 29

Herodotus, 10, 11, 206

Herrera, architect, 298

Herrero, 92

Hesiod, 212

Himilcon, expedition of, 11

Holanda, Cornelius de, 259

Honorius, Emperor, 15, 31

Hospital de San Lazaro, Sar, 150-51

Hospital de San Roque, 205

Hospital Real, the--
  Foundation, 136-37;
  architecture, 137;
  statuary, 137-38;
  cloisters, 138-39;
  chapel, 139-42;
  sculptures, 140-42;
  belfry, 142;
  decadence, 142;
  the nuns of St. Vincent de Paul, 142-43;
  the kitchen, 143;
  efficiency, 143-44;
  Philip II. at, 201

Hot springs of Orense, 288-89

Houses, Portuguese and Spanish compared, 287. _See also_ Granite

Huerta y Vega, Manuel de la, _cited_, 8

Hugo of Porto, 63

Hugo, Victor, 74

Hundred Maidens, legend of the, 309, 311

Iberians, the, 4, 5, 244

Ice, making of, 165-66

Iconoclasts, 82

Idatius, Bishop, 4--
  Birthplace, 25-28;
  and Aecius, 28-29;
  Chronicles, 29-30, 284

Ildefrede, Abbot, 61, 203

Immaculate Conception, the, 47-48

Incas, the, 265

Incense, first use of, 72 and _note_, 73;
  the censer of Santiago, 72-75

India, rock-inscriptions, 274

Inquisition, the, medal of, 263;
  and Sarmiento, 265

  Of Limia, story of, 26-27;
  Roman, 223, 243-44, 306;
  cup-marks, 273-75;
  on the stone at Rocas, 341

_Institutos_, 197

Inverness, rock-drawings, 275

  Poets of, 51 and _note_;
  art in, 127-28;
  emigration, 173, 177;
  the potato famine, 179;
  torques of gold, 207-8;
  “cup and ball” drawings, 273

Iria, 61, 223

Iron instruments, absence of, 7

Isabel of Granada, abbess, 205

Isabel, St., 69

Isabel, Queen, 73

Isidore, St., _cited_, 8, 9;
  death of, 40;
  writings, 86

Italicus, Silicus, 10

  Emigration, 175-76;
  oxen of, 212

James, St.--
  Tomb of, 42-43, 52;
  legend of, 60-63, 178, 223-24, 226-27;
  ceremonies of the pilgrimage, 66-68;
  representation in the Pórtico de Gloria, 114;
  the festival, 212

Janza, Church of, 228

Jehan de Chartres, 53 _note_

Jerome, St., _Chronicles_, 25-26;
  and Idatius, 28;
  history, 29;
  translation of the Scriptures, 32

Jerusalem, the journey to, 24-25

Jesuit College, Monforte, 297-98

Jesuits, the, 22

Jet images of Compostela, 66-68

Jewish burial ground, 295

Jews in Spain, 268, 295

John X., Pope, 65

John of Gaunt, 76

John, St., 28

Joseph Bonaparte, 292

Joyce, _Book of Leinster_, 207

Juan Arias, Archbishop, 66

Juan, Bishop of Seville, 54

Juan de Briena, 69

Juan de Granada, 205

Juan de Lares, 295

Juan II., 69

Juana, Donna, 260

Jubainville, _cited_, 5, 8, 10 _note_

Julius VI., Pope, 284

Junquera de Ambia, 296

Justinian, Emperor, 82

Justino, 10

Kashab hill, Tangier, 118

Keller, Dr. Fernando, 67

Kent, 33

“King of Galicia,” title of, 1

Kirkcudbrightshire, cup-markings of, 274-75

Kirker Museum, Rome, 68

_König Fredrick August_, the, 153

La Virgen de la Esclavitude, 225-26

La Virgen del Cristal, 326

Labrada, 346

Lago, Señor Manuel, of Lugo, 281

Laino, reed hats of, 350

Lambert, Father A., of Lemberg, 38

Lamperez, _quoted_, 92-93, 98, 236

Lancaster, Duke of, 295

Land question in Galicia, 175

Landino, 194

Landoso, 20

Language of Galicia, 50-59, 187-88

Las Burgas, Orense, 288-89

Las Sarmientas, 266

Latin language, the, 53-55

Le Play, _cited_, 181

League of Fishermen, Pontevedra, 255-56

Lemos, Courts of, 297, 298, 302

Leo X., Pope, 75, 267, 283

Leo the Isaurian, 82

Leon, 17, 312

Leon, Sir Cabeza, 205, 357

Leonora, wife of Edward I., 76

Leovigild, 16

Lerez, the, 255, 264-65

Libredon, 61

Ligurians, the, 5

Lima Cathedral, 265

Lima of Peru, the, 21

Lima, Ponte de, 26

_Limace_ or _Lunace_, 207-8

Limia River, the, 13, 20-21

Limia, town of, 25-26

Limicos, city of, 26

Lincoln Cathedral, 98 _note_, 280

Linen trade of Galicia, 345-46

“Little Sisters of Charity,” 167-69

Livestock of Galicia--
  Pigs, 210-12;
  poultry, 212;
  oxen, 212-14;
  horses and mules, 214 and _note_, 15;
  goats and deer, 215;
  wolves and bears, 215;
  hares and rabbits, 215-16;
  owls, bats, muskrats, 216;
  wild cats, 216-17;
  birds, 217

Lodoselo, 26, 27

Logo Cathedral, 293

Lope de Vega, 178

Lopez, Bishop Juan, 259 _note_

Lopez de Mendoza, Archbishop, 236

Lorenzo, Bishop of Orense, 289

Los Trangueiros, 255

Louis VII., 69

Louis XI., 102

Louth, county of, 300

Louvre collection of coins, 207

Lucullus, 13

Lugo, 1, 21, 22;
  wolves of, 215;
  pheasants, 217;
  councils, 226, 301;
  walls, 300;
  history, 300-1;
  convent of San Francisco, frescoes, 305;
  cloisters, 305-6;
  Roman remains, 306;
  the Eucharistic Congress, 306;
  market day, 307;
  flax-growing, 345;
  sulphur springs, 354;
  Roman baths, 353

Lugo Cathedral--
  Pórtico, 282;
  Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, 301-3;
  style, 303-4;
  sarcophagus of Froila, 304;
  the “Virgin with the Large Eyes,” 304-5

Luna, Rodrigo de, 226

Lusitania, 8, 13, 14

Lydian coins, 206

Macaulay, 276

Macdonald, Dr., 206

Machado, José, 194

Macias, Dr. Marcelo, 21, 25

Macias el Enamorado, 52;
  poems of, 57-59, 182;
  birthplace, 230

Macineira, Sr., 7

M’Kinley, Colonel, 268

  Athenæum, 5;
  Archæological Museum, 5, 208, 263;
  Royal Library, 63;
  fish for, 165, 166;
  smoking habit in, 169;
  invasion of 1706, 170-71;
  the university, 192, 197;
  “St. Francis,” by Greco, 297-98;
  Archives of Natural History, 321

Magellan, Straits of, 265

Magnol Pedro, 343

Maldonado, Cardinal, 103

_Mamoas_ of Galicia, 6-7

Man, Island of, rock-writings, 274

Mandeo river, the, 308, 309

Mandeville, Sir John, 55

_Mareantes_, 255-56

Maria Francisca de Isla y Lozada, 357

Maria of Savoy, Queen, 93

Mariana, 1

Marin, 255, 263-64, 267

Marinho, Pero Annes, 53 _note_

Marino, Bishop Vasco Perez, 289, 290

Mariño, Gonzalo, 227

Markham, Sir Clements, 265

Martial, _cited_, 8

Martin, Anton, fountain of, 93

Martin, Dumiensis, 16

Martin of Tours, St., 294

Martinez de la Meta, Francisco, 346

Martinière, General, 280

  The Pórtico de Gloria, 109, 110, 289, 313;
  representation of himself, 118;
  his art, 120-21;
  birthplace, 123-24;
  pension, 125;
  the Palace of Gelmirez, 132;
  Chapel of St. Joseph, 133;
  style, 228

Matilda, wife of Henry I., 70

Maunday Thursday customs, 249-50

Mauregato, King, 309

Maurus, St., 193

Maxwell on Moore, _quoted_, 158-59

Mazaredo, General, 157 _note_

Medicinal waters, 353-54

Medulio, Monte, 21

Mela, _cited_, 9

Mela, Pomponius, 232

Melida, José Ramon, _cited_, 5 _note_, 6, 7

Mella y Cea, Sr. Ricardo, 172-73

Merida, museum of, 83

Merleanus, Asclepeades, 255

Merlemond, Oliver de, 131-32

Mértola, 83

Metal-work, Roman, 205

Mezonzo, St. Pedro de, 42-43

Mica, use of, 326

Michael Angelo, 91;
  cupola of, 75

Midacritus, 12

Miñan, spring of, 21

Mindaño, skulls from, 197

Minerals of Galicia, 233;
  gold, 353;
  medicinal springs, 353-54;
  gneiss, etc., 354

Miñez, Airas, 53

Minguez, Diego, 246

Miño, the, 14, 21-22, 220, 234, 276, 278, 279, 286-88, 299, 300, 353

Miro, King, 16, 226

Molina, Francisco, 137, 162-63;
  his list of pilgrims, 70

Molinos, the, 279

Monasteries of Galicia--
  Schools of culture, 24-25;
  origin of, 41;
  influence on architecture and learning, 88-90;
  principal, 317-42

Mondariz, baths of, 355

Mondoñedo, Cathedral of, 70, 307

Money-changers of Santiago, 68-69

Monforte, 293--
  Jesuit College, 297-98;
  convent of Santa Clara, 298-99;
  poplars of, 345

Monroy, Archbishop, 149

Montalembert, _quoted_, 33, 41, 79, 86

Monte, Arnaldo de, 63-64

Monte Barbanzos, 240, 244

Monte San Gregorio, legends of, 227

Monteil, Ademar de, 44, 45

Montenegro, Domingo A. L., 104

Monterrey, Count of, 353

Monterrey Torre del Homenaje, 296

Montes, Lorenzo, lectures, 193

Montferrand, Pierre de, 53 _note_

Moore, Sir John--
  Tomb in Coruña, 154, 156-58;
  Maxwell, _quoted_, 158-59;
  Wellington on, 159;
  “The Burial of Sir John Moore,” 159-60

Moors, the--
  Invasion of Galicia, 2, 3, 42;
  influence on Spanish architecture, 80-81, 83, 86-87;
  traces of, in Galicia, 83, 88 and _note_, 303, 309, 328;
  the Mussalman arch, 84-85;
  relief work of, 87;
  customs, 118, 170

Morales, Ambrosio, 2-3, 178

Morocco, immigration, 176

_Morriña_, 183, 253

Mos, Marquis de, library, 218

Mosaics, Roman, 205

Moure, Francisco, 293, 298, 304

Mudejar architecture, 80-81

Mule-breeding, 180, 214-15

Muñez, Don Pedro, 192

_Munices_, 208

Muñio, Bishop of Mondoñedo, 63, 149

Murguia, 192, 193

Murillo, “San Antonio,” 270

Muros, port of, 245-46

Muros, Diego de, 136, 196

Muros, Ria de, 17

Muruáis, Filomena Dato, 184

Musical instruments, Gallegan, 294

Musk-rats, 216

Mystery plays, 122

Nairn, rock-drawings, 275

Najera, Victor de, 337

Namatea, story of, 108-9

Napoleon in Spain, 142, 159, 189, 195, 292

Naser, 205

Necho, King, 11

Nerves, 286

Newick, R. C., and “The Burial of Sir John Moore,” 159-60, 160 _note_

Ney, Marshal, 268

Nicholas V., Pope, 73

Nicolas of Pisa, 90, 121

Nilsson, Prof., 274

Nitigisco, Bishop, 301

Noboa, family of, 294

Nocela de Pena, 26-27

Nogueira, village of, 195

Noris, General Henry, 164

Noroña, 268

Norway, emigration, 173 and _note_;
  trade, 218

Notre Dame, Paris--
  Façade, 109, 120;
  statues, 122;
  sculptures, 129

Novas, José Martinez, 283

Novgorod, 2

  Lampreys of, 219;
  situation, 231-32;
  the journey from Santiago, 232-34;
  houses, 235, 239;
  Santa Maria, 235;
  Trinitarian convent, 236;
  San Martin, 236-39;
  the old wall, 239;
  prison, 239-40;
  drives, 240;
  granite cottages, 241;
  a sculptured cross, 242;
  Roman inscriptions, 243-44;
  Portus Sinus, 244-45;
  boat-building and trade of, 245;
  a photograph, 246-47;
  churches, 248;
  San Mamed, 248;
  the leper chapel, 248-49;
  Holy Week, 249-251;
  famous men, 251;
  bull-fights, 252;
  the journey back to Santiago, 252-53;
  shipping, 344

Nuestia, Señora del Caneiro, 310

Nuñez, Admiral Mendez, 156, 263

Nuñez, Fernan, of Toledo, 57

Nuño, Juan, 142

Obobriga, 290

Obsidian stone, 302

Odoario, Bishop, 301

Ordenes, 191

“Order of the Knights of Spain,” 52

Orense, 1, 20, 22, 184;
  pigs and goats of, 211;
  wolves, 215;
  rabbits, 216;
  the line from Tuy, 286-287;
  the Miño, 287-88;
  Las Burgas, 288-89;
  Franciscan monastery, 294-95;
  church of La Trinadad, 295;
  drives, 295-96;
  Orense Grammar School, 325;
  flax-growing, 345;
  wines of, 348

Orense Archæological Society, 26

Orense Cathedral--
  Swinging censer, 76;
  portico, 282;
  the El Paraiso, 289-90;
  the burial of S. Euphemia, 290-92;
  tomb of Quevado, 292;
  another crucifix, 292-93;
  wood-carving, 293

Orense Museum, 26;
  Roman remains, 293-94

Origen, heresy of, 32

Orosius, Paul, 8, 30-32

Ortegal, Cape, 217

Osceas, 73

Osera, 319, 324

Osera Cistercian monastery--
  Monks of, 234;
  the Escurial of Galicia, 317-18;
  the journey to, 318-21;
  the charter, 321-22;
  façades, 322;
  cloisters, 322-23;
  conventual church, 323;
  la Virgen de la Leche, 323;
  sacristy, 323-24

Ouro, the, 279

Oviedo, Dr., 22, 111, 117, 178, 201, 299;
  and the _Salve Regina_, 44-47

Ox, the, on coins, 206

Oxford University, 90, 170

Padron, 61, 62, 66, 183;
  lampreys, 219;
  an emporium of Phœnician trade, 222;
  _Iria Flavia_, 223;
  Rocha de Padron, 223;
  the road from Santiago, 224-30;
  Pico Sacro, 224-25;
  Colegiata de Iria, 226;
  Monte San Gregorio, 227;
  Convento de San Antonio de Herbon, 227-28;
  Cæsar’s Bridge, 228;
  Castro Valute, 228;
  church of Janza, 228-29;
  Towers of Augustus, 230;
  reeds, 350

Padron, Rodriquez de, _trovador_, 227

Paga, Sr. Varela, 355

Painted Stone, 229

Palazuelos, Hernan Sandrez, 260

Palestine, the journey to, from Galicia, 25

Palestine Pilgrims Tract Society, 36 and _note_

Paraino Monte, 247

Paris, library, 63;
  University, 90

Parker _quoted_, 127, 131

Paul II., Pope, 283

Paul V., Pope, 298

Paulinus of Nola, Bishop, 122

Pausanius, 212

Pecte Burdelo, 309

_Pecten veneris._ _See_ Shell of St. James

Pedro, Constable of Portugal, 57

Pedro de Leon, 142

Pedro de Mezonzo, S., 203;
  the _Salve Regina_, 42-47

Pedro de Pais, family of, 246

Pedro Don (Madruga), 272

Pedro Nolasco, San, 267

Pelagius, doctrines, 32

Pena de Oro, 246

Peralta, Thomas de, history of, 317

Perez, Abril, 53 _note_

Perez de Reoyo, Narcisa, 184

Pernas, Don Alonso, 336-37

Perpendicular style, 91

Persia, 12

Perth, rock-drawings, 275

Perugia, 190;
  museum, 68

Peruvian writing, 273

Peter the Cruel, 295, 324

Petrarch, 90

Petri, Petrus, 313-14

Pharmacy, the faculty of, 197-98

Philip II., 69, 201, 315, 353

Philip V., 325

Phœnicians, the--
  Phœnician colonies in Galicia, 11;
  trade, 11-12, 222;
  and the Tower of Hercules, 162, 163;
  coins, 206;
  Phœnician remains, rock-drawings, 274

Picard, Fulbert de, 64

Pico Sacro, 224-25

Pigeon, the, 217

Pilgrimages, early, 33;
  to Galicia, 42;
  to Santiago, 60-77;
  to La Virgen de la Esclavitude, 225-26

Pines, profit from, 344-45

Pinto, Ferñao Mendes, 55

Pisa Cathedral, 96;
  tower, 145, 147

Pita, Maria, story of, 164

Pitt, 314-15

Pius VII., Pope, 292

Pius VIII., Pope, 141

Placentia, Castro, 272

Placidia, Empress, 29, 36

Plateresco style, 91, 92-93

Pliny, 214, 216, 232, 278

Poets, Gallegan, 49-59, 185-89;
  Irish, 51 and _note_;
  Murguia’s list of Gallegan, 53 _note_;
  Provençal, 188

Poictiers Cathedral, 97

Polo, Marco, 55

Ponte-Pinos, 83-84, 85

Pontevedra, 1, 18;
  early colonies of the province, 10, 11;
  Ria de, 17;
  harbour, 22;
  rabbits, 216;
  position, 254-55;
  history, 255;
  trade, 255;
  Santa Maria la Grande, 256;
  Santo Domingo, 259-60;
  grammar school, 260-61;
  the open air archæological museum, 260-62;
  church of the Franciscan monastery, 262;
  historical documents of, 263;
  gardens, 263;
  other museums, 263;
  drives--Marin, 263-64;
  by the Lerez, 264-65;
  Combarro, 265-67;
  the Castello de Mos, 268-71;
  convent of Santa Clara, 265;
  house of Sarmiento, 265-66;
  Ria de Pontevedra, 267;
  San Juan de Poyo, 267;
  Capilla, de la Peregrina, 268;
  Jewish quarter, 268;
  _Castillo de Mos_, 268-73;
  chapel of La Virgen de la Peneda, 271;
  rock-drawings, 273-75;
  wines of, 348

Popiélovo, Nicolas, 227

Pórtico de Gloria--
  Sculpture, 107;
  triple archway, 107-110;
  figure of Christ, 110-11;
  the four evangelists, 111;
  the four-and-twenty elders, 111;
  the prophets, 112-13;
  symbolism of the statuary, 113-14;
  the Tree of Jesse, 114-15;
  statue of St. James, 115-17;
  Moses, 117;
  the pillars, 117-19;
  Mateo, 118;
  capitals, 119-20;
  the statues, 120-23;
  colouring, 123;
  capitals, 127-32

Portosino, 244-45

Portugal, language, 50-51, 187;
  taxes 180;
  frontier, 284-85

Posé, Enrique Labarta, a “bull fight,” 252

Potato, the, 346

Pottery, Roman, 205

Pousa, 287

Prado, sculptor, 199

Primitivo, San, 325

Prince of the Asturias, title, 1

Priscillian, heresy of, 15, 29, 31, 301

Provence, language of, 189

Prudentius, poet, 39-40

Prudhon, 173

Ptolemy, 11

Puente de Alonso III., 240-42

Puente de San Payo, 268

Puente de Triana, 263

Puente del Burgo, 255

Puente Internacional, 279

Puente Mayor, 288

Puentedeume, 309, 314

Pyrenees, the, 17-18

Quadrado, 84

“Queen Isabella,” style of architecture, 91

Quevado y Quintano, Pedro, 292

Quintana de los Muertos, 104

Raimundo de Monforte, 303

Ramiro, his corn-rent, 98-99

Ravenna, the _Ravenate_, 223

Recared, 16, 84, 87

Recesvinto, King, 84, 332

Redondela, 269, 276

Refuge, churches of, 200

Renaissance, architects of the, 90-93;
  the Spanish, 92-93

Rennert, 57 and _note_

Repoll, façade, 109

Retablo, seventeenth century, 263

Rey, Luis Cradaso, 251

Rheims Cathedral, 109, 122

Rianjo, 201

_Rias bajas_, the, 17

Ribadavia, 287, 295;
  vines of, 279, 348

Ribas, Sr. Francisco, 218

Ribera, Pedro, 93

Rios, Amador de los, 54

Rios, Marquis de Monfero, 264

Ripoll, 64

Ripon, monastic church, 89

Roads in Galicia--
  The St. James’s road, 60;
  special, for pilgrims, 62, 65;
  bad condition of, 177;
  plan of a Roman road, 294

Robles, Sr., 2 _note_ 1

Rocas, the church, 340-42

_Rocha de Padron_, 223

Rock-drawings, 273-75

Rodil, José Ramon, 195

Rodrigo, Archbishop, 16

Rodriquez, Juan, 230

Rodriquez, Luis, vocabulary, 251

Rodriquez, Ventura, 104

Rojo, Simon, 324

Roman Remains in Galicia--
  The Roman arch, 81-82, 85;
  coins, etc., 205-6, 223;
  inscriptions, 223, 243-44, 306;
  castros and tumuli, 232-33;
  bridge, 233;
  milestones, 255, 260-61, 296;
  fortifications, 286;
  mosaics, 293;
  stones, 293-94;
  Roman baths, 300, 331, 353

Romana, Marquis of, 157 _note_

Romance dialect, the, 53-54

Rome, government of Spain, 13;
  sacking of, 32

Roncevalles, monastery of, 65

Rosendo, San, 325;
  relics at Celanova, 327-29

Rotberto, 98

Rouen Cathedral, windows, 115

Roulin, M., on the Pórtico de Gloria, 109-10

Rozmilal, Baron de, pilgrimage, 66

Rush-gathering, 350

Russia, poets of, 185;
  the pigeon, 217

Saavedra, 357

Sahagun, 159

St. John’s, Ephesus, 70

St. Paul’s, London, 91

St. Peter’s, Rome, pilgrims, 70;
  style, 91;
  statuary, 123

St. Petronius of Bologna, Cathedral, 96

St. Sophia, Constantinople, 82

St. Vincent de Paul, nuns of, 142

Salas, the, 20

Salisbury Cathedral, 96, 284

Sallust, 9

Salvatierra, 22, 286

_Salve Regina_, the, 43;
  authorship, 42-47

Sampedro, Señor Casto, 257, 258, 262, 266 _note_, 268

San Anton, fort of, 171

San Antonio de Herbon, Convento de, 227

San Bartolomé, 261

San Bartolomé Cathedral, Tuy, 280-81

San Benito, church of, Santiago, 199

San Clement, Rome, plaited designs, 128

San Cosmo, 251

San Esteban, monastery of, ruins, 22, 333, 335-36, 338-39;
  sarcophagi, 336-37;
  cloisters, 337;
  conventual church, 337-38;
  position, 339

San Felix de Solovio, Santiago, 200

San Francisco, Betanzos, 312

San Francisco, Lugo, 305, 313

San Francisco monastery, Santiago, 209 _note_

San Juan de Baños, Palencia, 84, 331-332

San Juan de Poyo, 265, 267

San Justo de los Tojosutos, 234

San Justo River, 248

San Lorenzo, Santiago, 209 _note_

San Marco, Leon, 65

San Mamed, 248

San Martin de Nieble, 83

San Martin, hermitage, 267

San Martin, Mondoñedo, 307

San Martin, Noya, 236-39

San Martin, Pinario, 195, 200, 209 _note_

San Martin, Tiobre, 310

San Miguel de Celanova, 330

San Payo, convent of, 104, 203-4

San Pedro de Rocas, 340-42

San Pedro del Mezquita, church of, 296

San Roman, Toledo, 81

San Roman de Hornija (Valladolid) 84

San Rosendo, family of, 294

San Sebastian del Pico Sacro, 225

San Sernin of Toulouse, comparison with Santiago, 95-97, 132

San Simon, Hospital of, 277

San Vincente del Pino, Monforte, 297

Sanchez, 132, 135, 192-93, 195

Sandez, Fernandez, 43

Santa Clara, convent, 205, 265

Santa Clara, Monforte, 298-99

Santa Comba de Bande, 84, 329-33

Santa Cruz monastery, Coimbra, 291

Santa Eulalia, 226 _note_

Santa Maria a Nova, 235

Santa Maria de Azogue, Betanzos, 312, 313

Santa Maria de Cambre, 313-14

Santa Maria de Escos, 340

Santa Maria de Iria, 226

Santa Maria de Sar. _See_ Sar, Colegiata de

Santa Maria del Campo, 246

Santa Maria del Puy, church, 44

Santa Maria la Grande, Pontevedra, 256, 263, 313

Santa Maria Salomé, Santiago, 199-200

Santa Susana, Santiago, 62, 199

  Moorish invasion, 42-43;
  pilgrims to, 60-77;
  jet-workers of, 66-68;
  money-changers of, 68-69;
  capture by John of Gaunt, 76;
  school of artists, 124;
  birthplace of Rosalia Castro, 184;
  a walled city, 190;
  position and climate, 190-91, 192;
  hospitality of, 191;
  absence of fires, 191;
  chocolate of, 191;
  medical college of Fonseca, 193;
  convents and churches, 198-202;
  a students’ riot, 198;
  the Alameda, 199;
  Colegio de San Gerónimo, 200;
  Plaza de Alonso XII., 200, 201;
  the Consistorio, 200;
  fountains, 202;
  convents for women, 203-5;
  San Payo, 203-4;
  Santa Clara, 205;
  Archæological Museums, 205;
  Hospital de San Roque, 205;
  private collections, 205-6;
  the pig market, 210-12

Santiago Cathedral--
  Story of the gates, 42-43;
  music, 53;
  the giant censer, 72-75;
  style of architecture, 62-63, 88, 93;
  beds for the pilgrims, 72;
  Candlemas 1907, 74-75;
  the original church, 94-95;
  compared with St. Sernin, 95-97;
  fire 1170, 98;
  the two master builders, 98;
  cupola, 99;
  naves, 99;
  the seven gates, 99-100;
  the Puerta de las Platerias, 100-2;
  windows, 101;
  sculpture and statuary, 101-2, 108;
  façades, 102-5;
  bells, 102, 103;
  clock-tower, 102-3;
  the _Capilla Mayor_, 103;
  statues, 103-4;
  entrances, 103-4;
  façade of the Azabacheria, 104-5;
  the _Pórtico de Gloria_, 105;
  _see also that title_;
  staircases, 105;
  the Obradoira, 105-6;
  cloisters, 106;
  sculptured capitals, 126;
  foliage, 127-28;
  galleries, 128;
  chapel of St. Joseph, 132;
  capitals of, 133-35;
  the palace of Gelmirez, 134-35

Santiago, church of, Betanzos, 311-12

Santiago, church of, Ribadavia, 287

Santiago Hospital. _See_ Hospital Real.

Santiago University--
  Library, 70;
  faculties of Law and Medicine, 192-93;
  the medical college, 193;
  architecture, 193-94;
  library, 194-95;
  patriots of, 195;
  portraits of, 195-96;
  reading-room, 196;
  Natural History Museum, 196-97;
  management, 197;
  faculty of Pharmacy, 197-98

Santillana, Marquis of, letter _quoted_, 50

Santo Domingo, Coruña, 164

Santo Domingo, Lugo, 306

Santo Domingo, Padron, 187

Santo Domingo, Pontevedra, 259-60, 282

Santo Domingo, Ribadavia, 287, 305

Santo Domingo, Santiago, 209 _note_

Santo Domingo, Tuy, 281-82

Sar, Colegiata de--
  Architectural peculiarity, 145-49, 192;
  foundation, 149;
  tomb of Archbishop Bernard, 149-50;
  relics, 150;
  other tombs, 150;
  the hospital, 150-51

Sar River, 22, 146, 148, 222, 227

Saragossa, St., Virgen del Pilar, 304-5

Sardine trade, the, 164-66, 217-18, 232

Sarmiento, Martin Garcia, 216, 357

Sarmiento, Pedro de Gamboa, 265-66

Sarria, 308

Scandinavia, rock-drawings, 274

Scilly Islands, the, indentification, 11

Scotland, “cup and ball” drawings, 273

Scott, Sir Gilbert, 131

Segobriga, 83

Sejalvo, 291

Seoane, _cited_, 214, 216

Sephronius, Bishop, 83

Sequin, Bishop, 291

Sergius I., censer of, 75-76

Sevelo, Sr. Barros, 247

Severus, Catilus, 278

Severus, Sulpicius, 223

  Cathedral library, 73;
  tobacco and cigar factories, 169-70;
  emigration from, 177

Shell of St. James, the, 66-67, 71, 102, 220, 257

Shobdon, church of, 131

Sicily, 13

Sil River, the, 21, 208, 234-35, 353

Silvestre, Gregorio, 57

Silvia of Acquitaine, 36

Sinai, Mount, 35, 37

Sirmondo, Jesuit, 30

Sivelo, Barros, 2 _note_ 1, 4 and _note_, 7, 10

Slav pilgrims to Santiago, 7

Sobrado, monastery of, 77, 220

Socialism, in Galicia and Andalusia, 175, 184

Sodom, 37

Solesme, 267

Sotomayor, Diego de, tomb, 270

Sotomayor, Payo Gomez de, 260

Sotomayor, Suero Gomez de, 260

Sotomayor family, 271-72, 281;
  house in Pontevedra, 268;
  genealogical tree, 271

Soult, Marshal, 158

South Kensington, cast of the Pórtico de Gloria, 123

Southey, at Redondela, 276

  Origin of Spanish language, 49;
  Spanish characteristics, 153;
  emigration, 175, 176;
  natural laziness, 176-77;
  government of, 177;
  education, 177-78;
  universities of, 192-193;
  pigs of, 212;
  the Spanish onion, 349;
  architecture. _See_ under Architecture

Statuary of the Middle Ages, harmony of, 121 and _note_;
  influence of the drama on, 122;
  absence of, in Greek churches, 122

Stoke, Miss, _quoted_, 128

Stonehenge, 7

Strabo, _cited_, 6, 10

Street, 85, 95 _note_, 96 _note_, 123, 132

Sueves, the, 15-16, 28 and _note_ 29, 30, 49, 261, 301

Susana, Santa, 199

Swanston, Paul, 160

Sweden, 216

Tabor, Mount, 35

Tambre river, 22, 143, 231, 232, 240, 244

Tamerlane, court of, 260

Taxation in Gaul, 173, 179, 266-67

Telmo, San, 284

Templars, the, 265, 278, 296

Teodomiro, 226, 294

Teodomirus, Bishop, 62

Teresa, Doña, 279-80

Teruiel, 81

Teucer, 255

Theobald IV., 52

Theodoricus, 15, 16

Theodosius, Emperor, 4, 30

Theophilus, S., 28

Ticknor, George, 50

Tiobre, 310

Tobacco factories, Spanish, 169-70, 345

Toja, mineral springs, 354-55

Tojosutos, cloisters of, 305

Toledo, 1, 86;
  cathedral, 93

Tomas, Irish bishop, 202

Tombstones, 82-83

Tomé, Narciso, 93

Tomeza River, 255

Torquato, San, 327, 328, 330

Torquemada, Bishop, 284

_Torques_ of gold, 206-9, 233

Torremuzquiez, Counts of, 325

Toulouse Cathedral, sculptures, 128

Toulouse Museum, 134, 208

Tower of Hercules, Coruña, 154, 161-63

Trajan, Emperor, 163, 219

Tramunda, Santa, sarcophagus, 267

Trava, the, 231, 239

Tree of Jesse in sculpture, 114-15

Trevino, Francisco, tomb, 69

Trigo, Bartolamé, 256

Troncoso, springs, 355

Trovadores of Galicia, 52-59

Tumbo, island of, 267

Tumuli, 6-7

Turkestan, wardrobes in, 241

Turrafo, the, 22

Tuy, 1, 10, 22;
  wolves of, 215;
  lampreys, 219;
  railways, 279;
  wrestling matches, 279;
  history, 279-80;
  province, 280;
  San Bartolomé, 280-81;
  Santo Domingo, 281-82;
  drives, 284-85

Tuy Cathedral, 278, 280;
  exterior portico, 282-83;
  built for defence, 283, 286;
  parchments, 283-84;
  rectangular apse, 284;
  cloister, 284

Tyrol, the Austrian, 264, 333

Uceda, Captain, 162

Ulla River, the, 222, 225, 227, 228, 299, 345

United States, trade with Britain, 180

Urraca, Queen, 116, 279-80, 349

Ursula, S., 299

Usury in Gaul, 181

Valença, fortress of, 279, 280, 284, 285

Valencia, 346

Valerius, Abbot, 33-35, 37, 38

Valladares, Avelina, 184

Valparaiso, 175

Valute, Castro, 228

Vandals, 15, 29

Varela family, 240

Varela, Prof., 197

Valmar, Marquis of, 53

Varro, Marcus, 4

Vatican Library, 52, 55, 244

Vazquez, Arturo, 26

Velazquez, 11

Velazquez, Alonso, 202

Velez, Archbishop, 103

Venice, Doge’s palace, 148

Venta de Baños, 84

Verdugo, the, 268

Vespasian, 223

Vézelay, church of, 97;
  façade, 109;
  the arcades, 128

Vianna de Castello, 20

Vieira. _See_ Shell of St. James

Vienna Museum, 207

  Harbour of, 11, 22, 153, 154, 318;
  oysters, 219;
  the road to, 276-77;
  commercial position, 277;
  houses, 278;
  Colegiata de Santa Maria, 278;
  English attack on, 348

Vigo, Ria de, 17, 276, 277, 278

Villagarcia, 149, 205, 245, 254

Villavieja, 277

Vine cultivation, 180, 224, 264, 268

Violante, Queen, 205

Viollet le Duc, 78 _note_, 129-30

Virgen de los Ojos, 304

Virgen del Pilar, 304

Visigoths, 83, 84;
  churches of the, 86-87

Wales, 8

Wallingford, 33

Walter, minstrel, 53 _note_

Water supply of Santiago, 202

Wellington, Duke of, on Moore, 159;
  and the Gallegans, 356

Westminster Abbey, capitals, 127;
  memorial of Sir John Moore, 157

White Tower, London, 98 _note_;
  capitals, 127

Wilfrid, St., 88

William X., 69

William de Rubruquis, 69-70

Winchester, 284;
  capitals, 126-27;
  transept, 135

Witiza, King, 1, 279, 295

Wolfe, Rev. Charles, 159

Woman in Galicia, 166, 178, 202, 234;
  the women labourers, 249, 269, 355

Woodwork, stalactite, 194

Writings. _See_ Inscriptions

_Xeito_, the, 218

Yanez de Noboa, Bishop, 294, 295

Yepes, 45

York Cathedral, 304

Zanelo, 65

Zepedano, 73, 149

_Printed by_ MORRISON & GIBB LIMITED, _Edinburgh_


 [1] Barros Sivelo tells us that his friend Sr. Robles collected data
 for a history of Galicia for twenty-seven years, but died before he
 had begun to write it.

 [2] In the reign of Philip II.

 [3] Theophilo Braga.

 [4] Barros Sivelo, _Antiquedades di Galicia_, 1875.

 [5] _The Bible in Spain_, ch. xxvii.

 [6] It is believed that Spain was once united to the north African
 coast, and it is certain that in antiquity the Straits of Gibraltar
 were much narrower than they are now.

 [7] See _Cronicon del Obispo Idacio_, ed. by Dr. Marcelo Macias, 2nd
 ed., 1906.

 [8] See chapter on “The Caucasus” in my _Russia_.

 [9] “Maravillosa es hallar en el Asia y en la España pueblos de
 nombres identicos, iberos albanios, galecios, y calibes” (Aguiar).

 [10] See Lecture on “Arte Primitivo en España,” by D. José Ramon
 Melida in the Athenæum of Madrid, 1902.

 [11] See description of these in my _Russia_.

 [12] See article by Señor Melida, “La Ceremica prehistorica de la
 Peninsula iberica,” in _Nuestro Tiempo_, June 1901.

 [13] Those which owe their origin to the Romans appear to have been
 built to hold from 100 to 10,000 men.

 [14] _Piedras ossilantes._

 [15] H. d’Arbois de Jubainville. See his _Les Celts depuis les temps
 les plus anciens_. Paris, 1904.

 [16] _España Sagrada_, vol. xv.

 [17] “Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt
 Belgae, aliam Aquitarie, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra
 Galli apellantur. Hi omnes lingua, institutes legibus inter se
 differunt” (_De B. G._ i. 1).

 [18] See my _Russia_. See also Plato’s theory of Atlantida.

 [19] No one now disputes the fact that the Celts are an Indo-European
 race. Jubainville says of them, “On peut comparer l’empire celtique
 à l’empire romain. Au sud il ne s’étendit pas autant; il ne comprit
 ni toute l’Espagne, ni toute l’Italie, ni toute la péninsule des
 Balkans, mais plus au nord il contenait une grande partie de l’empire
 d’Allemagne, une portion de l’empire d’Autriche et le région
 septentrionale de la grande Britagne, qui échappèrent toujours à
 la domination romaine, enfin, il comprenait l’Irelande où jamais
 les legions romains n’ont pénétré.” The same writer adds, “Le lieu
 d’origine des langues celtiques parâit avoir été un très petit
 pays, situé sur les bords du Rhin, du Main et du Danube, la où se
 trouvent aujourd’hui la Hesse-Darmstadt, le grand duché di Basle,
 de Wurtemburg, et la Bavière septentrionale.” Farther on he affirms
 that “la patrie des Cimbris était la Schléswig-Holstein et non la
 Crimeé” (because Tacitus mentions a people of that name as dwelling in
 Schleswig-Holstein in his day).

 [20] See Garcia de la Riega, _Galicia Antigua_, 1904.

 [21] Joseph Cornide, _Las Cassiterides_, 1790.

 [22] _Les Celtes_, Paris, 1904.

 [23] See Barros Sivelo. Hamilcar intended to make Spain his base of
 operations for the invasion of Italy. See Stone’s notes to Livy.

 [24] See Livy, lib. 53, or rather its Table of Contents, for the book
 is lost.

 [25] See Tables of the Capitoline Triumphes and other ancient

 [26] See Suetonius, and Plutarch, who wrote in his _Life of Julius
 Cæsar_: “We are told that when he was in Spain he bestowed some
 leisure hours in reading part of the history of Alexander, and was so
 much affected with it that he sat pensive a long time, and at last
 burst out into tears. As his friends were wondering what might be the
 reason, he said, ‘Do you think I have not sufficient cause for concern
 when Alexander at my age reigned over so many conquered countries, and
 I have not one glorious achievement to boast?’ From this principle it
 was that immediately upon his arrival in Spain he applied to business
 with great diligence, and, having added ten new cohorts to the twenty
 he received, then he marched against the Callaecians (Galicians) and
 Lusitanians, defeated them, and penetrated to the ocean, reducing
 nations by the way that had not felt the yoke.”

 [27] I have been obliged to omit my chapter on Priscillian for want of

 [28] Called by Pliny and Pomponius Mela, “the Celtic promontory.”

 [29] See Chapter on Tuy.

 [30] Ford.

 [31] _Ibid._

 [32] Valenzuela.

 [33] Lib. 1. v. 235.

 [34] See Dr. Marcelo Macias, _Civitas Limicorum_, 1904.

 [35] _Loc. cit._

 [36] _De Bell. Hisp._

 [37] _España Sagrada_, vol. xv.

 [38] “La Gallega,” Nave Capitaina de Colon, by C. Garsia de la Riega,

 [39] Lopez Ferreiro, _El Priscilianismo_, 1878.

 [40] Laborde, after dividing the history of Spain into four great
 epochs, says, “Dans la première époque” (under the Carthaginians and
 the Romans) “les Espagnols font partie du grand système qui gouvernait
 le monde, mais plutot alliés que sujets des Romains, se civilisant
 comme eux et non par eux, ils les égalèrent dans presque toutes les
 connaissances utiles, et furent a la fois le soutien et la richesse de
 leur empire.”

 [41] Comision de Monumentos.

 [42] Dr. Macias points out that the change of _i_ into _e_ in the name
 of the city was probably governed by some law of euphony according
 to which not only was the final long _i_ changed into long _e_ but
 also the short _i_ in the middle of the word to the short _e_, as in
 _sinu_, _sino_, _pilo_, _pele_, _minus_, _menos_.

 [43] The name Sueve, Suevi (Anglo-Saxon, _Swaefas_; Modern German,
 _Schwabe_), was a generic appellation, like that of the body of
 distinct tribes who composed the Allemannic confederacy; the name of
 Suevi was frequently interchanged with that of Allemanni by ancient
 writers. See Hampson’s Essay on King Alfred’s “Orosius.” The Sueves
 had come to Galicia from the territory stretching between the Rhine
 and the Elbe.

 [44] Arian professed that the Son was not equal or co-substantial with
 the Father. See Gibbon, vol. iv. ch. xxxvii.

 [45] Quoted by Dr. Macias from _Hist. de los Heterod. Espanoles_, vol.
 i. p. 123.

 [46] Gibbon quotes many lines from Idatius, and calls him Spain’s most
 eloquent historian.

 [47] Ordination was not allowed before the age of twenty-five.

 [48] The Sueves entered Spain in 411 and Galicia in 411. See _Esp.
 Sagrada_, vol. iv.

 [49] See Bosworth and Florez.

 [50] King Alfred’s _Orosius_, bk. v. ch. xii.

 [51] About five years before the birth of Idatius.

 [52] “Two great interests then moved the hearts of Christians,
 led them from their homes, and threw them into the midst of the
 difficulties, perils, and tediousness, now incomprehensible, of
 a journey to the East. They would kiss the footsteps of the Lord
 Jesus upon the very soil where He encountered life and death for our
 salvation; they would also survey and see with their own eyes those
 deserts, caverns, and rocks where still lived the men who seemed to
 reach nearest to Christ by their supernatural austerity, and their
 brave obedience to the most difficult precepts of the Saviour”

 [53] “The learned librarian of a lay-brotherhood established in that
 place.” See Preface to Bernard’s translation.

 [54] Published by the Imperial Academy of Vienna, in vol. xxxix. of
 _Corpus Sculptorum Ecclesiasticorum Laborum_.

 [55] Since published separately, with a facsimile of the opening
 page of the manuscript. Translated by J. H. Bernard, B.D., Palestine
 Pilgrims Text Society.

 [56] See Bernard’s translation.

 [57] Férotin.

 [58] Bernard said in his preface: “I have been much struck by the
 accuracy of St. Silvia’s (Etheria’s) topographical descriptions; they
 are evidently those of a person who had seen the places described.” Of
 the document itself he wrote: “The manuscript is said to be written in
 an eleventh-century hand, and Gamurrini considers it tolerably certain
 that it was the work of a monk at Monte Casino.”

 [59] See Valerius’s _Life of St. Fructuosus_, quoted by Montalembert.
 St. Isidore, according to Cuvier, was the first Christian who arranged
 for Christians the knowledge of antiquity; so we may call him the
 father of Ecclesiastical Archæology.

 [60] Montalembert translated these and other stories about this saint
 from the Latin of Zepes. See his own note.

 [61] Capilla parroquial de San Fructuoso.

 [62] See Lopez Ferreiro, _Hist. de la S. Iglesia de Santiago_, vol.
 ii., 1899, and _España Sagrada_, vol. xxxiv. The Arab historians also
 tell this story.

 [63] “Cette œuvre au texte si court et au chant si long; à l’écouter,
 à la lire avec recueillement cette magnifique exoration paraissait
 se décomposer en son ensemble, répresenter trois états différents
 d’âme, signifier la triple phase de l’humanité, pendant sa jeunesse,
 sa maturité et son déclin; elle était en un mot, l’essentiel resumé de
 la prière à tous les âges.” See Huysman’s _En Route_, where Durtal’s
 conversion is made to take place as he listens to the _Salve Regina_.

 [64] _España Sagrada_, xix.

 [65] Read before the Sixth Catholic Congress at Santiago, July 1902.

 [66] St. Gregory the Great, who died about 604, was the first monk
 who became a pope. “It was he,” says Montalembert, “who inaugurated
 the Middle Ages, modern society, and Christian civilization. He was
 the first to collect the ancient melodies of the Church, in order to
 subject them to the rules of harmony, and to arrange them according
 to the requirements of Divine worship, ... he established at Rome the
 celebrated school of religious music, to which Gaul, Germany, England,
 all the Christian nations came in turn.”

 [67] See Borrow’s _Bible in Spain_, ch. xxviii.

 [68] _Historia de la Santa Iglesia de Santiago_, vol. ii.

 [69] See Nos. 55, 262, 313.

 [70] See Fita, Braga, and Monaci.

 [71] It appeared first in _El Eco de Galicia_, and then, amplified, in
 the _Boletin de la Accademia Galliga de la Coruña_, May 1906.

 [72] The language of Galicia has been called _Madre de la Portuguesa_
 (“Mother of Portuguese”) by Amador de los Rios and by Pedro José
 Pedal. See _La Poesía Gallega_, by the Marquis de Figueroa, 1829.

 [73] See work on Alfonso _el Sabio_, by the Marquis de Valmar, i. 2nd
 ed., 1897.

 [74] The Irish poets were much given to contests of wit, usually
 carried on in the following way: When two of them met, one repeated
 the first half of a very short poem, which was a challenge to the
 other to repeat it. Sometimes it was a quotation from some obscure,
 half-forgotten old poem, sometimes an effusion composed on the spot,
 in which case the second poet was expected to give, extemporaneously,
 a second half of the same length, prosody and rhyme, and making
 continuous sense.... In Ireland it was believed that a true poet
 never failed to respond correctly.... So generally cultivated, and so
 universally admired was this talent for impromptu reply, that in the
 ecclesiastical legends some of the Irish saints are credited with as
 much proficiency as the best of the poets. See P. W. Joyce, _A Social
 History of Ancient Ireland_, 1903.

 [75] See Marquis de Figueroa, _De la Poesía Gallega_.

 [76] Murguia gives the names of the following Gallegan poets: Abril
 Perez, Airas Miñez, Bernal de Boneval, Juan Ayras, Pay de Cana,
 and Pero Annes Marinho. The same writer, quoting Michel, says, “In
 1361, Messire Jehan de Chartres and Pierre de Montferrand took three
 _juglares_ with them on a pilgrimage to Santiago. Walter, an English
 minstrel, also visited Santiago about that time.

 [77] Aldrede (quoted by Valmar) said, “Many of the words thought
 to have been borrowed from the Moors by Spain are really old Latin
 words.” See his _Del origine y princípio de la lengua Castellana_,
 vol. iii. cap. xv.

 [78] See _España Sagrada_, vol. ix.

 [79] “Los bases essenciales de la versificacion, de las lenguas
 románicas son, el numero de silabas, el acento dominante del verso
 (cesura) y al terminar, del verso, la homofonia de las silabas
 acentuadas al final de los versos (asonancia o’ rima). No entre, en
 esta verseficacion la cantidad prosodica de los griegos y de los
 romanos.” See also Friedrich Diez, _Die Poesie der Troubadours_.

 [80] _Paradiso_, Canto xix. v. 124.

 [81] See study by Hugo Albert Rennert, Ph.D., Prof. Univ. Pennsylvania.

 [82] The works of Silvestre are very rare. 1st ed. published in
 Seville, 2nd ed. Granada, 1597. (Another edition mentioned by Ticknor,
 Granada, 1588.)

 [83] See his “Nobleza de Andalusia,” Seville, 1588.

 [84] “El mas glorioso entre los sepulcros de los Santos de todas las
 naciones de la tierra,” quoted by Sanchez.

 [85] Lopez Ferreiro, _Lecciones de Arqueologia_, quoted by Villa-Amil.

 [86] See his _Mobilario Liturgico_, 1907.

 [87] Quoted by Fernandez Sanchez.

 [88] See article in Smith’s _Classical Dict._; also Walter Lowrie’s
 _Christian Art and Archæology_, 1901. Lowrie thinks that the use of
 incense originated in funeral processions. “Constantine,” he says,
 “presented to St. Peter’s a censer (_thumiamaterium_) of purest gold,
 adorned on all sides with gems, to the number of sixty, and weighing
 fifteen pounds.”

 [89] Ford wrote: “In the Spanish theatres no neutralising incense
 is used as is done by the wise clergy in their churches. If the
 atmosphere (of the theatres) were analysed by Faraday, it would be
 found to contain equal portions of stale cigar smoke and fresh garlic

 [90] See _Mobilario Liturgico_, p. 176.

 [91] These so-called clarions or clarionets (or _chirimias_, as they
 are locally called) are not really clarionets, they are like flutes,
 sounded by the help of a reed fixed to the mouthpiece. I have been
 assured that they are the only two of their kind in existence.

 [92] See his _El Pontificade Gallego_, 1907.

 [93] See Richard Ford, _A Handbook for Travellers_, London, 1855.

 [94] Purchase.

 [95] See _Historia de la Santa Iglesia de Santiago_, vol. iv. 1901.

 [96] As Lamperez has remarked, the return to Gothic and mediæval
 architecture witnessed in France and other countries in the nineteenth
 century may be distinctly traced to the interest aroused first by
 Caumont, and later by Viollet-le-Duc in the architecture of the Middle

 [97] See Montalembert on this subject.

 [98] “À la tendencie espiritualista y sutilisima de la arquitectura
 de la Edad Media, con sus complicados problemas de equilibrio,
 suceden los elementos greco-romanos y el dominio de la masa. El
 aspecto expressivo la emoción religiosa que producen los monumentos
 del Renacimiento no es por las formas clásicas, sino à pesar de
 ellas, puesto que la desposicion de los templos es la caracteristica
 cristeana, y solo la vestidura espagana. Socialmente, al colectivismo
 artistico, succede el arts personal.” See article by Lamperez in
 _Escuela de Estudios superiores_, Madrid, 1904.

 [99] Leo V. was an Iconoclast, and for this he was assassinated
 while attending matins in his chapel. The great struggle against the
 Iconoclasts was terminated during the regency of Theodora, mother of
 Michael III. (the Drunkard), who came to the throne in 842. See George
 Finlay, _History of the Byzantine Empire_.

 [100] “Byzantine art is the Greek spirit working in Asiatic elements.”
 Choisy, quoted by Lethaby and Swainson in _Sancta Sophia_.

 [101] See M. Gomez-Morreno, _Excursion à traves del arco de
 herredura_, Madrid, 1906.

 [102] There are two in the Museum at Leon.

 [103] Gomez-Morreno.

 [104] An illustration of this was published in _Monumentos
 Arquitectonio de España_.

 [105] See Juan Agapite y Rivilla, _La Basilica Visigoda de San Juan
 Batista_ (Palentia):

    “la única construccion visigoda que nos queda.”

 [106] Gomez-Morreno writes: “Sus arcos todos, asi ... reproducen
 fielmente la traza de los primitivos cordobeses, con adornada mocheta
 ó borcelón por impostas y despiezo, convergente al centro de la curva”
 (Saladin). “La mosquee de Sidi Okba à Kairuan. Al mismo tiemps con
 Abderrahmen II. (821-852) el emirato cordobes adquiria fuerza politica
 abriéndose al Oriente: un arte nuevo se produjo à base de le indigena,
 pero engalanado con arreos bizantinos, y simultaneamente principió
 à fijarse al tipo musulman de nuestro arco. Ya hemos visto cómo
 caracterisa su fase anterior el no traspasar la semicircumferencia
 en más de un tercio del radio, y con frecuencia en cantidad poco
 sensible, á excepcion de los estelas, donde el trazado de la curva se
 hacía á capricho. Desde Abderrahmen II. impera otro orden invariable:
 la prolongacion es de una mitad del radio, ó sea con flecha de tres
 cuartos del diámetro, en forma que el arco resulta construido sobre un
 exágono: la irradiación del despiezo de sus dovelas verifícase desde
 el centro dela linia de arranque; muchas veces los hombros del arco
 van descaradamente enjarjados: enrasen con el vuelo de los impostas,
 ellegando más tarde á rebasarlas algo, y ellas perfilan una mocheta
 ó bien la gallarda nacela que se erigió moldura única. Otro nuevo
 elemento complementario y en lo sucesivo unseparable casi de nuestro
 arco, es el alfiz ó recuadro, de origen quiza’ pérsa.”

 [107] Santa Comba de Bande and San Pedro de Rocas.

 [108] See George E. Street, F.S.A., _Some Account of Gothic
 Architecture in Spain_, 1865.

 [109] See J. Amador de los Rios, _El Arte Latino-Byzantine_, 1861.

 [110] See Tarig-ben-Zeyad and Mirza-ben-Nosayar, both quoted by Amador
 de los Rios.

 [111] Ataulf was the founder of the Visigoth kingdom in Spain, just as
 Alaric was the founder of the Ostragoth kingdom in Italy.

 [112] “Los objetos artisticos que constituyen el Tesoro de Guerrazar,
 revelan claramente la existencia de una arte en que se asocian y
 asemelan los elementos constitutivos del arte _romano_, ya alterado
 por la poderosa influencia de la Iglesia latina y del arte bizantino,
 tal como aparece en la primera edad de su desarollo” (_op. cit._).
 Many of these are now in the Cluny Museum.

 [113] “La única senda possible para realizar la obra del Renacimiento”
 (_op. cit._).

 [114] See _Historia de la Arquitectura Christiana_, 1904.

 [115] In Galicia there are practically no traces of the Moors, except
 an Arabic inscription on a stone in a church at Betauzos, the name of
 a street there. The carved woodwork of the Fonseca ceiling, and that
 at Monforte, are of more recent date, and the work of Spaniards.

 [116] “Then nearly all the bishops’ seats, the churches, the
 monasteries of saints, and even the oratories in the villages, were
 changed by the faithful for better ones” (_op. cit._). Radulphus
 Glaber (who died 1045), quoted by Parker in _Gothic Architecture_.

 [117] See F. Gregorovius, _The City of Rome in the Middle Ages_.

 [118] Even in Rome there had been till then no Burgher class
 sufficiently strong to build a sure foundation for a secular
 constitution (_op. cit._).

 [119] See Lamperez, _Historia de la Arquitectura Cristiana_.

 [120] “Es la época de apogeo del arte cristiano y de la idealizacion
 de la materia hasta convertirla en sutilisima expresion del
 pensamiento religioso” (_op. cit._).

 [121] “Ce ne sont pas des soldats qui rapportent un art dans le
 baggage” (Viollet-le-Duc).

 [122] See Edward Preissig, Ph.D., _Notes on the History and Political
 Institutions of the Old World_, 1906.

 [123] See Lamperez, _op. cit._

 [124] Lamperez. See also Buckart, Geismuller, and Munty, three great
 authorities quoted by Lamperez.

 [125] See Arturo Vazques Nuñez, _La Arquitectura Cristiana en la
 provincia de Orense_, 1894.

 [126] The first cathedral built over the apostle’s body was finished
 in 874, and consecrated on May 17th, 899.

 [127] Until the fifteenth century the dates given in Spanish
 inscriptions were calculated from the “Spanish era,” which began
 thirty-eight years before the Christian era. To bring a date to our
 own reckoning we must therefore subtract thirty-eight.

 [128] See _Monografía de la Catedral de Santiago_, by Fernandez
 Casanova, 1902, and _Historia de la S.A.M. Iglesia de Santiago_, vol.
 iii., by Lopez Ferreiro.

 [129] Street wrote of the cathedral of Santiago: “This cathedral is
 of singular interest, not only on account of its unusual completeness
 and the general unity of style which marks it, but still more because
 it is both in plan and design a very curiously exact repetition of the
 church of St. Sernin at Toulouse. But S. Sernin _is earlier in date
 by several years_, having been commenced by S. Raymond in 1060 A.D.
 and consecrated by Pope Urban II. in 1096” (_Gothic Architecture in
 Spain_, 1865). But Lopez Ferreiro writes forty years later that, after
 comparing the two cathedrals with the minutest care, he has found
 sufficient divergence in their detail to indicate a different style, a
 different school, and a different inspiration.

 [130] The barrel vault (roof shaped like half a barrel) is peculiar to
 the architecture of the eleventh century. English architects call this
 “Earliest Norman.”

 [131] Street was the first to draw attention to these buttresses. He
 wrote in 1866, “The buttresses which appear on the ground-plan are all
 connected by arches thrown from one to the other, so that the eaves of
 the roof project in front of their outside face. There is consequently
 an enormous thickness of wall to resist the weight and thrust of the
 continuous vault of the triforium, these arches between the buttresses
 having been contrived in order to render the whole wall as rigid and
 uniform as possible.”

 [132] See _Hist. Compost._

 [133] See Chapter IX.

 [134] It must be remembered that the Cathedral of Santiago stood
 completed in all its glory more than a hundred years before the
 foundations of Cologne Cathedral were laid. Amiens Cathedral was not
 begun till 1220, and not completed until 1288. All the architecture
 in England dating from the period in which Santiago Cathedral was
 completed is Early Norman. The chapel in the White Tower, London
 (1081), is considered to be one of the best and most perfect examples
 of this period. Part of the west front of Lincoln was built by the
 bishop of Remi (of Reims) between the years 1085 and 1092. Canterbury
 Cathedral was not finished till 1184.

 [135] Codex of Calixtus II. bk. v.

 [136] In ch. ix. of bk. iv. of the Codex of Calixtus II. we read:
 “Tiene esta Iglesia” (that of Santiago) “tres portadas principales,
 y siete pequeñas. De las primeras la una mira al Occidente, la otra
 al Mediodia, y la tercera al Septentrion. Cada una de estas portadas
 tiene dos entradas, y cada entrada dos puertas.” See chapter on “La
 Portada de las Platerias,” in Ferreiro’s _El Pórtico de Gloria_.

 [137] See Lopez Ferreiro, _op. cit._

 [138] “Un compendio en piedra de la divina revelacion.”

 [139] Lopez Ferreiro, _op. cit._

 [140] See Fernandez Sanchez, who gives it in full.

 [141] See Chapter VI. for further explanation of this word.

 [142] “La obra mas bella y suntuosa, verdaderamente magnifica, y tan
 monumental que al contemplarlæ no se perciben los detalles, es la
 fachada de la Catedral de Santiago construeda en 1737 por Casas y
 Novos” (Lamperez).

 [143] The Spanish word _portico_ is derived from the Latin _porticus_,
 French _porche_, English _porch_. Roulin points out that this word
 is one of the thousand examples of Spain having altered the Latin
 language less than France has done.

 [144] Lopez Ferreiro, in his _El Pórtico de Gloria_, was the first
 modern writer to interpret its meaning thus. For a long time
 previously it was taken erroneously to represent the Last Judgment.

 [145] See A. N. Didron, _Christian Iconography_, translated by E. J.
 Millington, compiled by M. Stokes, 1886.

 [146] “Now on a certain day it came to pass that as she sat in the
 church and read, a poor man drew nigh to pray, and beholding a woman
 robed in black raiment and already stricken in years, he took her for
 one of the needy, and drawing forth a cake of bread, he placed it on
 her lap and went away. But she, despising not the gift of the poor
 man, who had not recognised her rank, accepted the bread and thanked
 him; and she placed it before her on the table, and every day she used
 it for the prayer of benediction until no more of it remained.” See
 _op. cit._

 [147] See _Speculum humanae Salvationis_, etc. Didron found a copy of
 the Byzantine Guide to Painters in a monastery at Esphigmenon which,
 he thought, dated from the fifteenth century.

 [148] See Lamperez.

 [149] _Revue de l’Art Chrétien_, 1895.

 [150] Lopez Ferreiro.

 [151] Lopez Ferreiro here quotes Viollet le Duc: “To give the hero
 proportions superior to those which you give to the other persons
 engaged in the combat is the most effectual way of impressing the
 spectator with the greatness of the deed.”

 [152] See Villa-Amil.

 [153] Villa-Amil, taking the tore for the barrier of purgatory,
 concluded that the foliage behind it must be meant to represent flames!

 [154] “Le Jugement dernier de Saint Jacques de Compostella se
 distingue enfin par des éléments iconographiques très specieux, très
 interessants: et pourtant nous le répétons, l’iconographie de la
 partie centrale de cette belle composition se rapproche sensibliment
 des representations correspondantes qui appartiennent aux siècles
 suivants: elle précède, elle annonce, elle laisse, entrevoir les
 fameux jugements de la période gothique....” A. A. Roulin (_op. cit._).

 [155] _Baculo en tau._

 [156] Fernandez Sanchez says this column is of _agate_.

 [157] “At Llanrhaidr yn Kenmerch, Denbighshire, there is an example in
 stained glass, with the date 1533.... It was likewise wrought into a
 branched candlestick, thence called a Jesse, not an unusual piece of
 furniture in ancient churches; in the year 1097 Hugo de Flori, abbot
 of St. Augustine’s, Canterbury, bought for the choir of his church a
 candlestick of this kind.”--See Parker, _Glossary of Architecture_.

 [158] See his _El Pórtico de Gloria_ (2nd ed., 1893).

 [159] Viollet le Duc has shown how the statuary of the Middle Ages
 produced perfect harmony between “l’intelligence et son envelope.
 Dans les traits des visages comme dans les formes et les movements du
 corp on retrouve l’individu moral. Chaque statue possède un character
 personnel qui rest gravi dans le mémoire comme le souvenir d’un être
 vivant qu’on a connu.”

 [160] Didron has published the whole of the MS. of Dionisius (_op.

 [161] See E. J. Millington’s translation of Didron.

 [162] _Op. cit._

 [163] It was taken under the auspices of the artist Brucciani in 1866.

 [164] “Dans l’Espagne chrétienne aucun monument, avant l’époque des
 grandes cathédrales du XIII siècle, n’est comparable au porche de
 Compostelle; aucun n’est comme lui une construction d’architecte, de
 sculpteur et de poète. En France les porches de Chartres exposent une
 iconographie plus compliquée, et plus savante. L’auteur du porche de
 Compostelle n’a pas réalisé en pierre une somme théologique, mais un
 hymne épique.”--See _Histoire de l’Art_, vol. i., ed. André Michel,

 [165] See his work on the _Cathedral of Santiago_, vol. iv., 1901.
 This authority describes the capital thus: “El perfil de nuestros
 capiteles es de un tambour cilindrico que desde la base se va
 ensanchando por igual con la follaje, hasta tocar en el abaco ó en
 la imposta, bajo cuyos cuatro angulos las molduras se entienden y
 encorvan para delinear la antigua voluta elanca.”

 [166] They fondly believe that this class of design had spread from
 Ireland to the Continent.

 [167] See Margaret Stoke’s _Six Months in the Apennines_, 1892.

 [168] “Chaque artisan était intéressé ainsi à ce que son morceau se
 distinguât entre tous les autres pas une execution plus parfait” (_op.

 [169] See Parker.

 [170] See Adolfo Fernandez Casanova (_op. cit._).

 [171] See illustration in Viollet le Duc, _Dictionnaire Raisonnée_,
 vol. vii.

 [172] See Sanchez.

 [173] See Villa-Amil, _Iglesias Gallegas_, p. 271 (1904).

 [174] Villa-Amil gives the exact wording of the document (_op. cit._).

 [175] “Por una carta del Arzobispo de Zaragoza á su padre et Rey
 Catolico, que publicó. Cean Bermúdez, se sabe que había recibido
 Enrique Egas orden del Rey para ir á Santiago á derigir la obra del
 Hospital por todo el mes de Febrero de 1505” (_Eglesias Gallegas_).

 [176] Villa-Amil points out that the statue of St. Paul in the
 _Pórtico de Gloria_ also has a long beard.

 [177] This kind of verse was very common among hymn-writers of the
 Middle Ages, and is used in the inscriptions on the consecration
 crosses of the cathedral (1211).

 [178] See Lopez Ferreiro, _Hist. Cat. de Santiago_, vol. iv., note.

 [179] Florez gives the Latin of Orosius from bk. I. ch. v. See _Esp.
 Sag._ vol. xxi.

 [180] In the forties of last century this journey took seventy hours.
 See Ford.

 [181] In Murray’s _Handbook for Travellers in Spain_ (London, 1845)
 we read that the body of Moore was afterwards removed by the Marquis
 of Romana from its original grave in the cemetery of San Carlos to
 where it now lies: the present monument was paid for by the British
 Government through the agency of the British Consul, Mr. Bartlett. In
 1839 (three years after Borrow’s visit) General Mazaredo, a Spaniard,
 who lived much in England, raised a subscription there with which he
 repaired the tomb and planted the surrounding ground for a public
 Alameda. Spanish writers do not mention any removal of the body.

 [182] Borrow. Guadalete, Moorish equivalent for Lethe or Limia. See
 account of that river in Chapter II. of this volume.

 [183] _Life of Wellington._

 [184] “El general inglis Moore que murió en 1809 defendiendo la
 poblacion,” says one of them.

 [185] I would recommend all who are interested in the authorship of
 these lines to read Mr. Newick’s pamphlet, _The Writer of the Burial
 of Sir John Moore discovered_ (T. Thatcher, Bristol), which was
 brought to my notice by a letter from Professor Skeat in the _Daily
 Telegraph_ for January 19, 1909.

 [186] _sube al cielo_.

 [187] Ford, _Gatherings from Spain_.

 [188] See _Monografía geografico-historica de Galicia_, published
 Madrid, 1907.

 [189] _Monografía de Galicia_, 1907.

 [190] See Chapter on _Galicia’s Livestock_ in this volume.

 [191] See Chapter on Emigration.

 [192] See B. F. Alonso, _Guerra Hispano-Lusitana_, 1893.

 [193] _La Voz de Galicia._

 [194] There are more Norwegians in the United States than the whole
 population of the mother country.

 [195] See _Le progrès économique de la République Argentine_,
 published by Banco Español del Rio de la Plata, August 1906.

 [196] See Verea y Aguiar, _Historia de Galicia_, vol. i., 1838.

 [197] See Prologue to her _Follas Novas_, by Emilio Castelar.

 [198] It is known in Madrid by the name _morrinha Gallega_.

 [199] See J. V. Failde, _Rosalia Castro_, Madrid, 1906.

 [200] “Nos somos arpa de soyo duas cordas, a’ imaẍinacion y o’

 [201] “Tienen singularísimo valor los diminutivos Gallegas” (Marquis
 de Figueroa).

 [202] See his _De la Poesía Gallega_, 1889.

 [203] “Por Galicia penetró el gusto provenzal en Castille hasta
 principios del siglo xiii.” See Theophile Braga, _Trovadores

 [204] Pastor Dias was one of these; though a Gallegan by birth and
 in temperament, he only wrote one poem in the Gallegan dialect. See
 Marquis de Figueroa (_Op. cit._), p. 41.

 [205] Emilia Pardo Bazán, quoted by Marquis de Figueroa.

 [206] _Op. cit._

 [207] See Eugenio Carré Aldao, _La Literatura Gallega en el siglo
 xix._, 1903.

 [208] Murguia.

 [209] See _Deux Manuscrits Wisigothiques de la bibliotheque de
 Ferdinand I._ Paris, 1901.

 [210] The diary of this Gallegan Pepys begins with the year
 1546:--“Año del Señor de mil e quinientos y quarenta y seis años:
 siendo yo vice Rector de la villa de Carril cayó Sant Juan y Corpus
 Xpi en un dia: fué año de jubileo: fueron ocho de Aureo numero: letra
 dominical fue C. Abia dos años que cantara misa nueva....”

 [211] In rich families thirteen ounces of gold are handed to the
 bride, but whatever the metal, the number must always be thirteen; it
 is a symbol of the husband’s promise to endow his wife with all his
 worldly goods.

 [212] See George Macdonald, _Coin Types_, 1905.

 [213] “The first specimens of British coinage can hardly be later than
 circa 150 B.C.” (_op. cit._).

 [214] Quoted by P. W. Joyce in _A Social History of Ancient Ireland_,
 1903. This writer adds: “How much Ireland was richer than Britain
 in gold is well illustrated by the fact that while the total weight
 of the gold ornaments in the British Museum collected from England,
 Wales, and Scotland (excluding those from Ireland) is not more than 5
 oz., those of the collection in the National Museum in Dublin weigh
 about 570 oz.”

 [215] “Ordono II., en la carta por la que dona á la iglesa de Santiago
 una villa que fué de cierta Elvira, en 27 de Febrero de 922, dice:
 ’_accepimus_ in offertionem ex parte prenominate ecclesie limace eum
 lapidibus et auro sculpto in D, solides necnon ... balteum aureum cum
 lapidibus miro opere compositum similitem in D, solidos.” (Published
 for first time by Señor Lopez Ferreiro in Appendix of his _Hist.
 Igl. Santiago_, vol. ii., 1899. Quoted by Villa-Amil in _Mobiliario

 [216] See Benito F. Alonso, _El Pontificado Gallego_, p. 667.

 [217] See Ford (_op. cit._) on this subject.

 [218] See Dr. K. T. Raer, _Geschichte des Pfluges_, 1845; also Dr. O.
 Schrader, _Prehistoric Antiquities of the Aryan Peoples_, trans. by F.
 B. Jevons, 1890.

 [219] Victor Lopez Seoane, _Fauna Mastologica de Galicia_, Santiago,

 [220] Galicia’s horses were poetically described by the ancients as
 “the children of the Atlantic winds.”

 [221] See V. L. Seoane, _Fauna Mastologica de Galicia_, 1861.

 [222] This author translated Pliny’s _Natural History_ into Spanish.

 [223] See Fidel Fita, _Recuerdos de un viaje á Santiago de Galicia_,
 Madrid, 1880.

 [224] _Esp. Sagrada_, vol. xix.

 [225] Fidel Fita (_op. cit._).

 [226] See Villa-Amil, _Mobilario Liturgico_, 1907.

 [227] See _Monografía de Galicia_, 1905. Sanchez stated in 1885 that
 the excavations already made led to the supposition that the capitol
 covered a space a league broad and half a league wide (17-1/2 Spanish
 leagues make a geographical degree).

 [228] About twelve kilometres from Santiago.

 [229] See Sancha (_op. cit._), p. 438.

 [230] See _España Sagrada_ for a long list of distinguished bishops.
 The church which stood here in the ninth century was called _Santa
 Eulalia_. Fita says that the present church was rebuilt in 1685-1715.

 [231] The Sar flows into the Ulla.

 [232] _Op. cit._, p. 434.

 [233] See Ticknor, _History of Spanish Literature_, chap. xx., and

 [234] _Op. cit._

 [235] Florez.

 [236] In the sixteenth century.

 [237] The legend of Noah having founded Noya is thought to have been
 invented by Annius of Viterbo, or some such person.

 [238] The founder and first president of the Academia de Bellas Artes
 of Madrid.

 [239] See Vincente Lamperez y Romea, _Notas sobre algunos Monumentos
 de la Arquitectura Christiana Española_. Madrid, 1904.

 [240] “It is hard to believe,” remarks Lamperez, “as one compares
 this work with that of the _Pórtico de Gloria_, that three centuries
 elapsed between their construction.”

 [241] Montalembert.

 [242] Borrow, _op. cit._, mentions this bridge,--“we reached a long
 and ruinous bridge, seemingly of great antiquity, ... the bridge of
 Don Alonso. It crossed a species of creek or rather firth, for the sea
 was at no considerable distance; the small town of Noya lay to our
 right” (he should have written left).

 [243] Local authorities have many times assured me that there is no
 trace of the Basque language or people in Galicia.

 [244] Aguiar, _op. cit._, says of this village: “Este memoria es
 antiquisima aun cuando fuere alge posterior su imposition en Galicia á
 la existencia del 5te rey de Lacedemonia que fué dictio Argalo cerca
 1400 B.C.”

 [245] See _Monografía de Galicia_, 1905.

 [246] The Gallegans invariably use the name “America” where we should
 say “South America.”

 [247] Pontevedra was made the capital of the province by Royal Charter
 in 1833. See Villa-Amil, _Iglesias Gallegas_.

 [248] See _España Sagrada_, vol. xix.

 [249] Fidel Fita thought that two Roman roads met here.

 [250] See Villa-Amil, _op. cit._; and Casto Sampedro, _Coleccion de
 documentos e inscripciones para la historia de Pontevedra_, p. 218,
 vol. ii., 1897.

 [251] Lopez Ferreiro calls this edifice the _perla del arte Gallega_.

 [252] This curious little book is an extract from the Hakluyt MS.

 [253] Señor Sampedro hopes shortly to publish further particulars.

 [254] By Bishop Juan Lopez. See full particulars in Villa-Amil (_op.

 [255] See _Narrative of the Embassy_, by Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo, 1403
 A.D. Translated by C. Markham, 1859.

 [256] See preface to _Voyages of Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa to the
 Straits of Magellan_, translated 1895. Sir Clements Markham states
 that Sarmiento was born at Alcala de Henares in 1532, but that he was
 brought up in his father’s house at Pontevedra.

 [257] Señor Casto Sampedro tells me it is without doubt the very same

 [258] Published in 1904.

 [259] See _Les Origines de la France_. The Marquis de Ayerbe occupies
 the post of Spanish Minister to Portugal.

 [260] See J. H. Rivett Carnac, article in _Journal of Royal Asiatic
 Society_, 1903.

 [261] See _Prehistoric Phares_, by Hodder M. Westropp, 1872.

 [262] See Sir J. T. Simpson, _Ancient Sculpturing of Cups and
 Concentric Rings_, 1867.

 [263] See Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland,

 [264] See his _Letters from Spain and Portugal_, 1797.

 [265] See Chapter I., also T. Rice Holmes, _Ancient Britain and the
 Invasions of Julius Cæsar_ (1907), p. 483.

 [266] See _España Sagrada_, vol. xxii. (It was this hero who wounded
 Mars and Venus.)

 [267] See Villa-Amil, _Iglesias Gallegas_.

 [268] Villa-Amil has seen documents proving that the Dominicans only
 acquired its site in 1498, so that it must have been begun after that

 [269] See A. D. Casanova, _Iglesias Medioevales de Tuy_, 1907.

 [270] Lamperez thinks it was begun in 1100, and constructed very

 [271] See Casanova.

 [272] See Ford.

 [273] See Benito F. Alonso, _El Pontificado Gallego_, 1897.

 [274] Benito F. Alonso gives these particulars on p. 234 of _El
 Pontificado Gallego_, but on p. 60 of the same work he speaks of
 Eufemia as a martyr of the fourth century.

 [275] See Benito F. Alonso, _op. cit._

 [276] _Op. cit._

 [277] See _Hübner_, and article by A. Vazquez Nuñez in _Orense
 Archæological Journal_.

 [278] For an account of the longer excursions that should be taken
 from Orense, see Chapter on the Great Monasteries of Galicia in this

 [279] Greco was the painter who, of all others, had the greatest
 influence over Velasquez.

 [280] The Counts of Lemos were at one time the most powerful nobles in

 [281] See his _Les Celts depuis les temps les plus anciens_, Paris,

 [282] See Miquel Garcia y Teyeiro, _Lugo_, 1906.

 [283] _Op. cit._

 [284] See his article in _Mureo Española de Antiquidades_.

 [285] See Photograph in Chapter on Noya.

 [286] “Segundo Congreso Eucaristico español.”

 [287] See article by Dr. Eladio Oviedo published in _La Mañana_,
 Coruña, 1890.

 [288] This inclination is also visible from the outside, which is not
 the case at Sar.

 [289] See _Monografis de Galicia_, 1905.

 [290] William Jacob, _Travels in the South of Spain_, 1811.

 [291] _Fundacion, antiquedad, y progressos del Imperial Monasterio de
 nuestra Señora de Ossera_ (Osera).

 [292] “El sitio es una montana cuyas inascesibles cuestes, y empeñados
 siscos causa horror al que las mira” (_op. cit._).

 [293] See _España Segrada_, vol. xvii.

 [294] See _Tumbo del Monasterio de Osera_, folio 195.

 [295] See _Monografía Geografico-historica de Galicia_, 1905.

 [296] See Arturo Vazquez, _op. cit._

 [297] See Villa-Amil, _op. cit._

 [298] This poet has migrated to Cuba.

 [299] See Ambrosio Morales, _op. cit._

 [300] This kind of building was much used by the Romans, who called it
 “Incertum opus,” the stones being small and unhewn.--See Parker.

 [301] Quoted by Villa-Amil in _Iglesias Gallegan_.

 [302] See Arturo Vazquez Nuñez, _La Arquitectura Cristina en la
 provencia de Orense_, 1894, where the full wording of the paragraph is
 given. The same writer also remarks that in the time of Adozno there
 was a duplex monastery at Santa Comba, and that Adozno fell in love
 with the abbess, but eventually repented and expiated his sin.

 [303] See Labrada.

 [304] Two English brothers named Benjamin set up some machinery in the
 town of Pontevedra about the same time, but their enterprise did not
 meet with success.

 [305] Ford wrote: “The treading out of the fruit is generally done
 by night, because it is then cooler, and in order to avoid as much
 as possible the plague of wasps by whom the half-naked operators are
 liable to be stung.”

 [306] Water, 1 litre:

  Acido carbonico libre   0,983 gramos.
  Bicarbonatado de sosa   2,284    “
  Idem de potasa          0,199    “
  Idem de cal             0,156    “
  Idem de magnesia        0,041    “
  Idem de hierro          0,037    “
  Cloruro de sodio        0,148    “
  Silice                  0,069    “
  Lithina     }
  Arsénico    }
  Estronciana }           Indicios.
  Yodo        }


 [307] _Buscar su madre Gallega._

 [308] “Her earliest success was a prize essay on Feijoó, 1876, ...
 her foundation of a critical review, the _Nuevo Teatro Critico_,
 written entirely by herself, showed confidence and enterprise, and
 enabled her to propagate her eclectic views on life and art. It is as
 a naturalistic novelist that Señora Pardo Bazán is generally known”
 (James Fitzmaurice Kelly, in _A History of Spanish Literature_, 1898).
 The great Benedictine, Feijoó, was also a native of Galicia.

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