Monasterium: a landmark on the Caminho de Santiago

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Livraria Lello

The 234 kilometer of one of the prominent canals of the Santiago Way is marked by the beautiful Palace of the Monastery of Leça do Balio. It houses the temporary exhibition “Monasterium KM 234” that will have a transfer already this Saturday, June 9, between 10:00 and 17:00, from the Trinity to the Monastery “lionês”.

“Monasterium KM 234” tells the story of the conversion of the Romans to Christianity. It was the time of preachers and crusades, of soldiers and pilgrims, drawing crowds to places touched by the divine, real or legendary, like Palestine, the disputed tomb of Jesus, Rome, where St Peter died and was buried, or Santiago de Compostela, where the mortal remains of St James the apostle lay. Around that time, on the weakened Iberian Peninsula, occupied by the Muslims after their offensive, which began in 711 and was only halted in Poitiers in 732, the legend of the presence of St James in Galicia, where he had been laid to rest, was born.

And it was in the context of the Christian reconquest and fervent religious proselytism, under the banner of St James, that the pilgrimage began. It came from a variety of origins and along many roads, all leading to Galicia, and has continued for more than a millennium. On one of them, the Portuguese St James’ Path, which goes from the south of the peninsula to Santiago, to which legend and devotion added the symbology of scallops, which became synonymous with the pilgrimage, the Leça do Balio Monastery plays an important role as the home of warrior monks, a hospital and a place for pilgrims to stay.