We began our day making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on day-old baguette. Along with a couple of apples, this became a welcome lunch on a hiking day with few villages and no cafes. Our goal was to stay the night at a monastery in Sobrado that has been housing pilgrims on del Norte since the Middle Ages, Monsteiro de Santa María de Sobrado dos Monxes (in Galician).
The monastery is a beautiful and enormous complex that was begun in the 10th Century. It is on Spain’s list of National Historic-Artistic Monuments and has also been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Brother John, the Trappist-Cistercian monk who welcomed us and settled us into our sleeping quarters, explained to Barry that the architecture has varied significantly. Over the centuries, the monastery was expanded and updated to reflect the design sensibilities of the day and today includes Baroque, Romanesque, and Renaissance styles.
From a peregrino perspective, the most recent updates to pilgrim sleeping bunks, bathrooms, and kitchen facilities made this a very comfortable stay. The warm hospitality of the monks made it all the more special. And the delicious dinner we cooked with a group of pilgrims more than made up for our stale peanut butter sandwiches at lunch!