History Monasterio de Moraime, A Coruña

Official website

Discover history first hand

Join this experience together with other guests!

The Costa de Morte is home to a wealth of places brimming with history and heritage. But there are few on a par with Moraime and, more specifically, its church of San Xiao, a temple that has witnessed and set the scene for passing pilgrims, kings and pirates, and whose stones and surroundings continue to reveal secrets that date back as far as two millennia.
The church, considered one of the pivotal pieces in Romanesque art on the Costa de Morte, was built in the 12th century.
Its early stages of settlement were complex and the place soon became the object of several attacks – first by the Normans and, not long afterwards, by the Saracens. However, thanks to the count of Traba and King Alfonso VII, in particular, its reconstruction was possible.
The monarch’s care for Moraime stemmed from a historical event that took place there and played an essential role in many dynastic struggles. It was in Moraime that Pedro Froilaz, count of Traba, chose to hide and protect the young Alfonso Raimúndez, the future King Alfonso VII, from the power games that ensued from the second marriage of his mother, Urraca I. Following the death of Raimundo Borgoña, the first husband and father of the future king, Urraca I married Alfonso de Aragón, the Battler, arousing the fear that he would decide to get rid of anyone who may stand in the way of his claims to the throne and the rights of his descendants. The count of Traba proceeded to hide the future Alfonso VII in Moraime while the beginnings of a dispute that would last for several decades took place. Galician nobles and Gelmírez, the bishop of Santiago de Compostela, would also play an important role in this dispute.
A few years later, far from Moraime, but still immersed in the confrontation with his step-father, Alfonso VII made significant donations to the rebuilding of the monastery in whose cells he had found shelter.

Guided visits to the church

We provide guided visits to the church of San Xiao in Moraime. It is completely free for guests.