“Religious Triangle”. Virxe do Xurés-Santa Eufemia-S.Bieito de Grou

“Religious Triangle”. Virxe do Xurés-Santa Eufemia-S.Bieito de Grou

Triángulo religioso: Virxe do Xurés-Santa Eufemia-S.Bieito de Grou

The three hermitages form a symbolic, religious and patrimonial triangle in the municipality of Lobios. They are located in the middle of the Gerês-Xurés cross-border Biosphere Reserve (RBTGX)

It can be said that the most important is the hermitage of Nosa Señora do Xurés. Its story stems from a legend related to the appearance of the Virgin on a rock in the area. The views from its location are magnificent. They offer a beautiful panorama over the Vale do Rio Caldo, the Lima and up to the border of Portela do Homem.

The chapel consists of a single nave. Its bell tower with two bells and surmounted by a cross stands out. On one side, two large stone cakes stand out. In the 18th century, a rectangular dressing room was built at the back of the church. It is larger than the chapel itself and more decorated than the chapel.

The ensemble is in accordance with the later construction of an altar at the back to officiate the Eucharist in the open air. It also has a cross, two fountains and a beautiful oak grove where pilgrims are mentioned every August 15th, the feast day of the Virgin. The similarities it has with its Portuguese namesake, Nossa Senhora da Peneda, increase and strengthen the affinities between the two sides of the border.

As for the chapel of San Bieito de Grou, it is located in the parish of the same name, in the parish of Carreira. It is one of the most important devotions of Limia. The building reflects the affection one has for the saint. The façade is decorated with baroque motifs such as plates, scrolls or shell-shaped stoves. In this space lives a stone sculpture of the patron saint of the temple. Inside, the image will be repeated, but this time in wood. The interior ceiling is a barrel vault.

The chapel of Santa Eufemia is located in the village of Manín. Here is a mountain with the same name, where the chronicles tell and remember the neighbors, which was where the body of the saint appeared in the 11th century. According to legend, it was a shepherdess who took care of her sheep on the spot, who found, among some rocks, a hand with a gold ring. She finished with the ring, but at the same time was speechless. As soon as she could, she made it clear to her father that this had led to her returning the jewelry. At that moment, a voice told them that the saint’s body was buried there. They took notice of the warning and dug up the body and transferred it to a nearby chapel, on the limits of the bishoprics of Ourense and Braga. There they rested until the 12th century, when D. Pedro Seguín was bishop of Ourense, and the transfer of the mortal remains to the cathedral of Ourense was organized. On the Portuguese side, they didn’t see him with good eyes, so they fought over the remains. They agreed that it was by chance that they decided where to go: they placed the remains on an ox-drawn cart and waited for them to start walking. The oxen went to Ourense, leaving the mortal remains of the saint there. Today they rest on one side of the main altar of the Cathedral of San Martiño, in the capital.


Our Lady of Xurés


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San Bieito de Grou.


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Santa Eufemia


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Legends / Linked Stories

The origin of the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Xurés comes from an apparition of the Virgin herself on a local rock. She asked the villagers to build a hermitage there. They, filled with the request, began their construction without notifying the bishop of Ourense. In the mid-15th century, when this news reached the ears of the prelate, Pedro de Silva, he ordered an investigation into what had happened. After the research, he gave his approval for the works, but established that the alms collected in the hermitage would be divided into three parts. These parts would go into the relics of St. Eufemia, and indeed appeared in the nearby town of Manín. Another one for the expenses of the hermitage of Xurés and the third for the hermit who took care of it.

According to the writer, who died in January 2021, José Lamela Bautista, there is an unwritten local law that says that the chapel bells must be rung, as a pious custom, every time you go up to the sanctuary. The explanation he reports is that with his sound he exorcises all the evil forces hidden in the corners of the mountains.



Triángulo religioso: Virxe do Xurés-Santa Eufemia-S.Bieito de Grou

Information of interest

The visit is free and access is different for each one. For visits outside of Mass and pilgrimage hours, it is recommended to call 0034 988 448 000.

More information is available:

– On the website of the Gerês – Xurés cross-border Biosphere Reserve (RBTGX): https://www.reservabiosferageresxures.eu/en

– On the Portas do Xurés website (Rede of Portas da Parte Galega da RBTGX): http://portasxures.es/index.php/gl/


De los Ríos Conde, A. (26-3-2021) Ermita de Nuestra Señora del Xurés, protectora de la Sierra. Viewed online and retrieved from: http://vialethes.es/ermita-nuestra-senora-xures

Lamela Bautista, José: A Virxe do Xurés. Asociación Amigos da Virxe do Xurés, 2016.

Turgalicia brochure “Parques Naturales de Galicia. Lower Limia – Serra do Xurés.



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