O Cebreiro is a traditional mountain village in northern Spain with a population of just 26. But O Cebreiro hides a lot more surprises than its tiny population might led you to believe.
It is really rare to arrive at O Cebreiro in clear sunny weather. But if you are lucky to do so, you cannot stop marveling at the view opening up around you. This small hamlet is the first settlement in Galicia, and pilgrims feel their month-long journey is getting closer to an end. From here, there is no more climbing up but a descent that 150 kilometers, will lead to Santiago de Compostela.
To provide shelter in the often stormy area, O Cebreiro had pilgrim refuges as early as 1072.
Cebreiro’s Iglesia de Santa Maria has a story also to tell the pilgrims. It is said that during the middle ages, the Holy Grail was kept there and was used in masses. On one occasion, a villager struggled through the mountain snowstorm to get to the mass and when he finally arrived the monk celebrating the mass scolded him for doing it for the piece of bread and gulp of wine given out at the end of the ceremony. At that moment, the bread turned into flesh and the wine in the Holy Grail – into the blood. The remains of the blood and flesh are still kept in the church in a silver reliquary.