ArtNatura Galicia Tour & Guiding Services

Monastery of Santa María de Oia


This monastery is placed on the highest point of the architectural scenery of this municipality enclosed by the sea, and it is probably one of the most impressive edifications of Galicia. Throughout the years, it has overcome several renovations until reaching the perfect combination of two different artistic styles: the Romanesque and the Baroque. 

The building was founded in the 12th century and its origin is linked more to miraculous legends that to true stories, since its birth is surrounded with a great number of unknowns. This structural wonder was declared Site of Cultural Interest and is considered one of the most appreciated relics of the Galician community. 

However, this monumental construction is not only a unique historical remain, as it hides the greatest secrets behind its walls. The monastic garden, which originally belonged to the Cistercian monks, is still in a process of recovery, and it is one of the best kept enigmas of this antique bastion. This space holds an ancestral heritage of extraordinary herbal medicine knowledge, which in the past made it possible to perform the convenient mixtures for the creation of medicines. 

Nowadays, there are amassed an important number of specific documentary proof regarding the properties of these medicinal herbs. Thanks to these documents, experts are conducting relevant work for the recovery of this garden, with the purpose of continuing the praiseworthy task of the ancient monks, as a cultural and educational component related to the life of the medieval monasteries.