In the 90s, the renovation of the N-547 road in O Pino, near Santiago, left the chapel of St. Irene stranded at the end of a no-through road, thus preventing many pilgrims from visiting a beautiful historical landmark on the Way. However, if the pilgrim should choose to visit the chapel he/she will find one of the great historical fountains of the Way: The fountain of St. Irene or Holy Fountain, a work dating from 1692.
The chapel is small in size and architecture. The building is rectangular with a single nave and a square apse, a wooden floor and gable walls of slate and granite masonry. The facade has a pentagonal trace overlap in the central hub of a lintel, vain cover low arch and a simple gable.
In the interior, there is a baroque altarpiece with solomonic columns and an inscription bearing the date of its painting: 1716. The chapel itself was probably built in the late seventeenth century, and its superior quality more than justifies a visit.
In the altarpiece there are a good set of images that can be dated to around the year 1700, all specifically intended for the original design. Of particular interest there are the wooden sculptures of St. John the Baptist, that of a monk on the right of the altar, and several other monks- all of whom still retain their original colors and gilding. Furthermore, in the sacristy can be found two other well-preserved statues of St. Irene (XVIII) and St. Pedro (XVIII).
The Fountain is a beautiful baroque stone edifice, with interesting trace ends in straight pediment with pinnacles and arranged in a cross angle. At the front there is a niche that is bare now but until very recently contained a statue of Saint Irene. It was stolen a year ago. The secular tradition of the ancient fountain bears witness to fame of its waters, to which was popularly attributed healing properties, especially for the skin.
If you want to enjoy this place do not stop looking at our tours for the French Way.
Text: Rosa Vázquez
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