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Portomarín (Lugo), San Pedro

The six-column west portal is all that remains of the Romanesque church of San Pedro de Portomarín. Portomarín was an important river crossing on the pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela. The church was transferred – with the rest of the town – to a higher site in 1962, when the old town was flooded by the construction of a reservoir on the Miño river. A badly worn inscription on the tympanum – verifiable through 18th-century transcriptions – commemorates the consecration of the church by Bishop Rodrigo II of Lugo in 1182. The capitals and other sculptural details are closely related to architectural sculpture at San Paio de Diomondi, where a tympanum inscription records the setting of the lintel in 1170. At Portomarín, the cusped lintel of the portal blends the design of the cusped lintel of the north transept portal of Lugo cathedral with the cusped arch that once decorated the south transept portal of the cathedral. It is an emphatic statement of episcopal authority in a town where the Hospitallers established a commandery by 1182 and soon found themselves in conflict with the bishop over their own construction of a large church. Bibliography: D’Emilio, James (2007). “Inscriptions and the Romanesque Church: Patrons, Prelates, and Craftsmen in Romanesque Galicia,” in Spanish Medieval Art: Recent Studies. Ed. Colum Hourihane. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Pp. 1-33, at 22-23.