On day two of their hiking, Carolyn and Meredith stopped to rest in Portomarin. In Portomarin is the Church of St. Nicholas which is the temple-fortress built by the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. The Galician town is on the main route where the Templar and Knight Hospitaller churches were built to protect the way to the tomb of Santiago.
Architecture of St. Nicholas
The church is a fine example of a late Romanesque structure designed to be both a church and a castle. Because of this it shares characteristics of both. As a church, it reveals one barrel vaulted nave, a semicircular apse and all the common Romanesque ecclesial decorative features including: a carved portal with archivolts, rose windows and carved capitals. The striking castle featueres include a perimeter surrounded by merlons. Additionally, it sports four defense towers (one at each corner) while hidden behind is an adarve or a strategically defense street.
Don’t forget to pray for Carolyn and Meredith and check out their blog!