Barbadelo is a rural parish belonging to the municipality of Sarria, whose centre is about four kilometres to the west, towards Portomarín and Santiago, located in the middle of the French Way. It is a very small and charming place, which arouses a special interest because it is home to one of the most famous churches on the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago de Compostela.
What to see and do in Barbadelo
The Romanesque church of Santiago de Barbadelo
It is an excellent example of Galician Romanesque architecture from the 10th century. It also has important reforms carried out during the eighteenth century, in these lost, among other essential elements, its original header. It is a temple with a single nave and a square apse. It stands out for its structure and also for the singularity of its capitals. Its importance is such that it was declared a National Monument in 1976 and is one of the best known temples on the French Way.
In the church there are quite esoteric traces that have helped to feed the legend and make it more special. You can see animals such as lions, birds and snakes linked to medieval bestiaries, and strange human representations that are located in the tympanum and in the capitals of the doorway, in the windows and also in a side door. In the exterior capital located to the right of the doorway there is a representation of the flagellation of Christ, something very unusual.
The chapel of San Silvestre
Near the pilgrims’ hostel of Barbadelo is the chapel of San Silvestre. The locals say that the Camino at this point is aneiro, which means that one year it goes one way and, the following season, the other alternative, both with asphalt road surface.