Parroquia de Santa María de Dúas Igrexas
Parroquia de SANTA MARÍA DE DÚAS IGREXAS
A parish located in the western foothills of the Candán mountain range, which conserves vestiges of the dolmen culture, on Mount Penide, and of the castreña culture, in the Loureiro hillfort, with a well-defined antecastro and of considerable height in its walls. Popular legends link this castro with the primitive ponte del Cura, where the blonde nymph Loureiriña, who appeared to those who crossed the bridge, used to bathe.
The parish church has a single nave and a bell tower with two sections, the first quadrangular and the second octagonal. The current apse, also quadrangular, was completed in 1724 and reproduces the shape of the primitive Romanesque apse. The walls of the building are smooth, of concertina stone, and are covered with a complex ribbed vault, in imitation of the main apse of Aciveiro. Inside, several altars and images of popular art of notable merit are preserved. The religious genesis of the parish was, at first, the existence of two churches very close and of equal category, one consecrated to San Vicente, open to worship until the beginning of the 19th century and later demolished – only a baptismal font and a part of the old transept were saved -, and the other, Santa María, which is currently open to worship.
The parish was the cradle of skilled stonemasons and craftsmen, as is shown by the existence, in the 18th century, of the most important wax workshop in the whole region, owned by Xosé Barreiro, who had more than ten workers under his orders.
The painter Xosé María Barreiro was born in Loureiro, one of the most highly valued artists in the current Galician painting scene. Several of his works can be seen in the Town Hall of Forcarei.