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I’m postponing setting off on the last leg as the weather forecast says it won’t be roasting and I wanted to catch something that capped off yesterday so well.

I had stopped very near the top of the long slog up through  the outskirts of M (saves all that messing around with “[t|d]” out of my obsessional respect for people’s language wars).  I stopped when I saw this:

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That sign says “CLINICA DE PSYCOLOGIA. PSITEM”. It was roughly opposite a little church that I looked at and thought “ugh, 20th Century, or 20thC messed up”, and I discovered there were few hotels in M but that one, and it’s fine, was just round the corner, and had a room, garage for Toto for 35Euros.

I settled in and gave myself a siesta for the first time and woke up and thought I should find these two churches the guidebook said were worth finding.  I never did work out which they meant as I think they’ve got the names wrong but I found four and a museum!

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That’s San Pedro with the town hall on the left and a wonderful little town museum just beyond the town hall.  I like that unusual, an grand, door.

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It has a layout that I’ve now seen quite a lot so as you go in and go to the middle of the single nave and look to the altar you have a low arch above you:

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and beyond is  this:

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Above is a simple barrel vault with high walkways.

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And there’s all this (in very stubby north transept), just a sample.

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Above:

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Outside, just before the town hall, is another church, i.e. less than 100m away.  This is the chapel of St. Anthony.

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Very simple inside with rather grand paired niches on opposite sides of the single nave:

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and further up, you can see them in those shots, two smaller niches with these:

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The cleric looking straight ahead, not needing the altar to help him see God and Mary but the nobleman turning, rather overtly, to pay obeiscence?

Then I walked a 3km round trip (cyclists shouldn’t do this much walking!) to find this:

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That’s in what would surely have been a separate, and tiny, village when it was built.  It’s now Santa Maria of M though.

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That very simple and, to me, lovely, east end faces this, in fact, I was backed up against it to take that:

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That’s a horreo, a grain store.  Quite a lot in this area.  Talking of area, the tiny village as was is nestled so close on the church that it was hard to take ‘photos.

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Interesting niches either side of that, south side, door:

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And this, almost on top of the west end of the church:

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It’s huge, you can see it in the earlier ‘photo.

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So right up against, less than 10m separation from, this:

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The west door, under this (why “17”?)

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I think piped water only arrived very recently, this pump is well made, not rusted at all and I’d say it was 2nd half of the 20th Century.  When I visited my French penfriend’s grandmother in a small village in Brittany as an adolescent, ?1972, we got her water from a pump in the village square and chopped wood for her fire, which was her only heating.

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Finally, I came back to the psychology clinic and its chapel.  I was both right about that one and wrong.  It was built in the late 20th C from parts of two churches that had been decommissioned or had died:

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Lovely west door.  (It and the last church were locked so no interior shots.) And this right next to it: said to be the oldest cross in Gallicia:

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And the museum, which I wandered round earlier, between churches 2 and 3, was lovely.  For any other medics out there, here’s the local doctor’s gear (20th C):

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Very recogisable obstetric forceps (near Keilland’s, i.e. rotation needed, or have I forgotton all that?)   and to me a surprising collection of permanent laryngotomy tubes down there.  There was a brilliant collection of everything from lots of prehistoric dolmens from the area, through Roman to a wonderful run through of artefacts from the Medieval era to the 20th C.  Interesting how the medieval is mostly ecclesiastical but more recent had much more of how lay lives were lived.

I’m sorry M, you are a truly ugly 20th C town but you have kept gems within you and gave me a good visit before I reach Santiago: thanks!

    5 Comments

  1. You managed to squeeze in some interesting forceps; something for everyone in this fabulous blog!

  2. Melide (sic) gets a respectful mention on Wikipedia. You’ve accumulated quite a haul of fascinating churches. We walk behind you. Love, M &D.

  3. Wonderful. What a mix of a place and connections. Have kept you Camino company this morning in that we’ve just walked a little of Jakobsweg – the route through Switzerland runs through my friend’s village and along the shore to Geneva. Waving from far away to wish you well on the last stages of your epic journey.

    • That’s a real boost to place you on a another bit of the spider’s web that is the Camino. I think I can paste a graphic in here to show what I mean.
      Map from Wikipedia, originally by Mr Manfred Zentgraf, Volkach, Germany
      That’s from a Mr Manfred Zentgraf, of Volkach, Germany and very happily linked to from here, unchanged.

      Particularly good to be able to reply to this saying “I made it”. Actually, haven’t been into the cathedral yet but I will!

      • Superb, Chris! Success on your first avowed intent, and fulfilling such a long held ambition. So pleased for you, fully fledged pilgrim.

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