Parroquia Santa María de Aciveiro
Parroquia de SANTA MARÍA DE ACIVEIRO
It is one of the richest and most important parishes in terms of artistic and archaeological manifestations, starting with the existing mámoas in the Candán mountain range (Puerto Fieiro, Olleiros, Puerto Tixoa, la Laguna and Campo de la Sierra) and cradle of the most representative of our municipality, the monastery of Santa María a Real de Aciveiro, a jewel of the late Romanesque, centre of agricultural, commercial and artisan life during the years from its foundation in 1135 until the disentailment of 1835. It has a quadrangular floor plan, with the different sections, as was the norm in Cistercian convents, around an inner courtyard or cloister, and has a church with three naves, with the central nave measuring five and a half metres wide, divided into two sections: The first is formed by arcades with five openings and ends in a simple imposing arch from which the false triforium starts (a singularity that is not common in Galician Cistercian churches, only shared with Santa Marina de Augasantas and Santa María de Xunqueira de Ambía, both of which are in the Ourense Romanesque style). A double arcade three metres high forms the second body. The side naves are two metres wide and house chapels dedicated to St. Bernardo and St. Bieito. The whole complex is crowned by a wooden ceiling, and on the sides there are two carved sepulchres that possibly belong to Don Pedro Martínez, of the house of Sotomayor and to Sano Gonzalo de las Penas himself. The altarpiece is attributed to the sculptor Miguel de Romay. The two most interesting elements of the church are the Romanesque door that remains in the north wall, and the triple apse, a true masterpiece that presents the typical Xaqués taqueado in the arches and xadrezado in the cornices, and serves as a seat for a memorial inscription, as well as containing other ornamental details that clearly show the mastery of chip techniques, which is also present in the workmanship and diversity of capitals throughout the monastery.
Other artistic and artisan samples worthy of admiration are the numerous granaries attached to the old farmhouses, highlighting what belonged to the stonemason Manuel López Barciela, in the place of Cotiño, finished in Gothic chapel, as well as the crosses, among which the one in the field of the monastery, made by Xosé Ferreiro in 1893, stands out. This same stonemason would also be in charge of carrying out the transept of the Plaza de la Iglesia de Forcarei.
At the top of Candán there are the remains of a hermitage dedicated to San Bieito, built by the friars who also came to erect the monastery at the beginning of the 12th century, possibly on the remains of an ancient pagan altar consecrated to Iovi Candamio, one of the invocations of the god Jupiter.