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Igrexa de Santa Maria A Capela

Not far south of Sobrado, tucked away in a peaceful glen, are the remains of a monastery from the 10th century. Most of the original structures are in ruins but there is a chapel on the site that is still in use. The monastery was built next to the Rego Pequeno and water still flows through the remaining structures.

Wikipedia describes it as a pre-Romanesque church in the parish of Santa Maria da Capela and is considered one of the oldest in Galicia. The chapel contains 15th century frescos and 12th century polychrome wood carvings.

In true Galician style, the entire site is accessible to the public. We happened on it by accident. Galicia is densely populated by Igrexas (churches and chapels) and we mark them on the map and try to visit any of them that are close to where we happen to be exploring.


The real difficulty is in finding a way to capture the feeling of being there. We enjoyed exploring there so much we made a second trip back the next day. On day two the weather was entirely different, dark and overcast. Instead of stitching I decided to push myself into using a single lens and work completely hand held. It's a good excercise and always fun to have the freedom to shoot without a tripod. However something happens when I have the camera in my hand and I am searching for something to shoot. Instead of imersing myself in the place, I start to pull away and scan the scene in a more two dimentional way. When reviewing the images of the day this becomes very apparent. Sometimes the handheld shots hold some promise but more often than not they are just lacking the feeling I was hoping to capture. The slow, thoughtful and deliberate approach is so much more rewarding.

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