San Xulián de Moraime is a parish in Muxía, A Coruña, which is located on the Way of St. James and only a few metres from the Lighthouse Route. An area marked by rough sea, which explains why the coastline is called Coasta da Morte (Death Coast). One of Galicia’s great natural beauty spots featuring many unspoilt areas as well as impressive beaches.
Our hostel is part of the surroundings of the Romanesque church of San Xiao, after which the place is named, and reflects the same peace and spirituality as in the neighbouring buildings.
If you visit the church, don’t miss the small door featuring, in the tympanum, a Romanesque sculpture. It is a table reminiscent of the Last Supper, portraying Jesus Christ beside a boy and six characters pointing to him with their index finger. The church’s façade also stands out due to its rich, highly symbolic ornamentation. The same seven figures sitting at the table, without counting the boy, can be found in the façade’s foreground.
The first documented mention of the monumental complex goes back to 1095, in relation to a donation by the count and countess of Traba. It was destroyed by the Normans in 1105 and later by the Saracens in 1115. It was rebuilt thanks, in part, to a donation by Alfonso V of Galicia (Alfonso Raimundez, who became Afonso VII of Leon and then of Castile), who lived in the area and was educated by Pedro Froilaz of Traba. The 14-year-old monarch’s donation was documented in 1119 for the church’s restoration, which is estimated to have concluded in the second quarter of the 12th century. The monastery was the one with the greatest influence in the “costa da morte” area until the 15th century.
In 1105, the ensemble was attacked by the Normans. Later, in 1115, the attack came from the Almoravids, with the present-day church being erected from 1119 onwards.
Alfonso VII spent some years of his childhood in Moraime, which he didn’t forget on being crowned. The monastery therefore enjoyed the royal favour of Alfonso and his successors, which resulted in its domain extending to lands between Muxía and Fisterra.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, the place was attacked on several occasions by English privateers, leading to its abandonment. It thereafter became a parish church and part of the monastery complex was converted into a rectory during the 18th century.