Places We love: Monastery of Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil

In the heart of Galicia, between the south of Lugo and the north of Ourense, there is one of our favorite hidden corners,  a magical area where dense Atlantic forests, ancient monasteries and vineyards in terraces settle on the banks of the majestic canyons formed by the rivers Miño and Sil.


This land, the Ribeira Sacra, is famous for its wines and, above all, for hosting the largest concentration of Romanesque churches and monasteries in Galicia. And Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil, surrounded by a spectacular landscape of forests, is a magnificent example of it.


Monastery of Santo Estevo / Ribeira Sacra 

The origin of this monastery was probably a small hermitage built around the sixth century, but it was between the tenth and twelfth centuries when it gained a great popularity due to the pilgrimages motivated by the fame of sanctity of nine bishops who decided to end their days there. However, from the XIII a stage of decay and poverty began until the early years of the sixteenth century, when the whole building was object of successive renovations and extensions, which continued in the 17th and 18th centuries and which almost destroyed their medieval past.

The  magnificent  Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance architecture of the building and its three cloisters makes Santo Estevo (currently turned into a charming hotel) be recognized as one of the most beautiful monasteries in Spain.


Undoubtedly, a place where enjoy mystic and aesthetic.