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Xunta is fixing up the Albergue at monasterio de Oseira

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alansykes

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
The huge old tithe barn which serves as the albergue at Oseira is humid and was consistently cold on the five or six times I've slept there in November and December. A million € seems a lot of money for the benefit of the not many pilgrims who stay there - I've always had the place to myself, and idling through the visitors' book one December 20th calculated that slightly under a thousand people had stayed there that year.

Oseira is a wonderful place and if they do something sympathetic I'm sure more people will enjoy it. Vespers there is a special treat, the small brotherhood keeping the huge complex alive. I always enjoy a kind monk with a dim torch ushering me up and down stone staircases, along deserted corridors and past various darkened courtyards catching the moonlight on the way to the chapel, the slight Gormenghast effect enhanced by one of the monks looking (and creaking) a bit like Mr Flay.
 

IngridF

Intrepid Peregrina
Year of past OR future Camino
2012, 2015 ,2017, 2019
More here:
I enjoyed my stay there in 2015, it was in August and the albergue was full. I was there very early, got a private tour by the monk who spoke english very well and was allowed to take photos inside the monastery. Vespers was a treat. Still I find 1 million Euros is a big chunk of money... where is all this money coming from all of a sudden?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Like Alan, I was totally alone. Ingrid, wow, you found it full! Being alone was kind of spooky, but I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. The setting is gorgeous —if you walk up some nearby hills, you get a marvelous perspective.

As far as the albergue goes, it was the coldest dampest night of any night on any camino I have ever experienced (but then I never stayed in Samos, and my sense is that it would be a similar experience). Luckily there were lots of heavy blankets. I remember that getting to the bathroom and shower required a long walk through corridors, under eaves, past locked doors, with lots of hallways. I suppose that that feature will be eliminated with the million euro renovation, but it really did add to the experience.

The visit to the monastery reminded me a lot of Sobrado, though maybe there was less moss growing inside and fewer obvious leaks in the roof.

The monastery has a separate section for people who want to have a three or four day monastic experience (males only, I think), and I met a cyclist who really enjoyed that.

Like Ingrid, I have to wonder about this expenditure. I can’t imagine that 1,000,000 euros would be enough to totally restore the monastery, so it would be interesting to see the long term plans. The renovation of San Juan de Ortega cost more than 4 million and I don’t believe that included the albergue (and it was 7 years ago).
 

JLWV

Jean-Luc
Year of past OR future Camino
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
I was there in June 2016.
Very cold and wet.
Many pilgrims too, but as I got to the last visit tour, I also had the guide for mi alone.
May be there was some change between Laurie's passage and mine, as the access to the showers was only a stairs (very slipy) on the right side of the room. Very old fashion laundry
There was a small heated room for winter, on the left side when entering.
Liked the vespers
The hospitalero was from French speaking Belgium.
I noted that next to the monestry there was only one bar where to eat.
Jean-Luc
 

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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I was there in June 2016.
Very cold and wet.
Many pilgrims too, but as I got to the last visit tour, I also had the guide for mi alone.
May be there was some change between Laurie's passage and mine, as the access to the showers was only a stairs (very slipy) on the right side of the room. Very old fashion laundry
There was a small heated room for winter, on the left side when entering.
Liked the vespers
The hospitalero was from French speaking Belgium.
I noted that next to the monestry there was only one bar where to eat.
Jean-Luc
My night there, in November, 2017, was similar to both @JLWV's and @alansykes'. The place was very cold and damp (rather like Samos). I was alone in the albergue, so just piled on the blankets, and like JLWV went up the stairs to the very basic bathroom facilities. The highlight of my time there was not the albergue, but a tour of the monastery with an English-speaking monk and the chance to pray vespers with the community. I saw another woman in the chapel during vespers. She was not staying in the albergue and I understood that she had some kind of ongoing relationship with the monastery and was there for a retreat. I don't know if a female pilgrim passing through could have arranged the same. I am apprehensive about that albergue joining the Xunta organisation, with its institutional-style facilities and (to me, most of the time) indifferent hospitaleros. I fear the Xunta spending a million euros to destroy centuries of history, however uncomfortable.
 

ginniek

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
frances 2017
Reading the article and knowing something about construction in and on historic buildings I bet that a million will not be enough to deal with the dampness and also the accessibility issues in that building, let alone making it into a destination.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
I concur with all that has been said. My visit in the height of summer was damp (even with a dehumidifier running) and perishingly cold. I can not imagine what it would be like in winter!
But I loved it. Would go again.
Highlight was vespers and morning prayers - and seeing the library. Oh that library, I didn’t want to leave!
My kids were really taken by the absolute silence requirement - and the resulting non-verbal communication we observed.
 

Ann_S

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VDLP May 2019
I had a similar experience in July 2019. Cold and damp, old bathroom. Only 3 pilgrims. But great setting and friendly welcome. Loved the building itself, the setting, and appreciated the monastery tour. Two large vending machines seemed totally incongruous, with the glowing light and loud motors. We simply unplugged them to regain the monastery feel. (And plugged them back in when we left in the morning)
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
It was full when I was there in July 2012, (a school party). I was given space for a mattress on the floor at the kitchen end. Cold, sure, and dampness evident from the efflorescence all around me.
P7021087 (1).jpeg
The dorm is down at the apse-like end of the barrel vault - no windows, no ventilation, as mentioned in the article.
P7021086 (1).jpeg
From what I can glean from the article, it sounds like another part of the monastery complex is to be converted into an albergue.
 
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debra

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
I loved my stay there in 2010. However I have to say that the albergue was updated already as when I stayed there no was kitchen or tables and was not damp, yet had ants. Bathroom up stairs was only toilets no shower. However it was an interesting stay as the monks let me and my friend use their showers, the two of us were the only people that night. The morning service we went to was great after the awkward moment in which it became clear to all we could not understand written Spanish as the the two of us were to be section D in the service with the 6 books to tell us when and what to reply with, only dead silence. One of the monks walked over and joined us as well as opening the books and pointing when we were to reply. After the service, we were invited and had breakfast with the abbott who spoke English.
All in all it was the best experience I had on the Camino.

I know from the talk with the abbott that in 2010 over 1mil had already been put in to renovations to the monastery and I have no clue how far 1 mil could go in repairs for as when I was there tons of parts of the monastery needed help. At the time the abbott didn't understand why pilgrims walked to the monastery but didn't attend services as he stated only about 20% of pilgrims went to services and also that he and monks did not really like the school groups as they, trashed the albergue hall bathrooms and there were always ants after such a group.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Some of the work is done.


6 months of work and 64,000 € to restore the interior decorative painting on the walls separating the church from the sacristy. The paintings depict an altar to the Virgen Mary and scenes from the Assumption.

I haven’t seen anything on the albergue restoration. But since the total budget for this project was reported to be 1 million euros, they still have a lot left to spend!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I think if the albergue was updated this would be a popular place to stay on the Via. I would.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Just saw an update on the Oseira Albergue with a photo.


Looks like they are constructing a new building rather than trying to repair the old. They seem to be trying to hide it out of sight but I wonder how they decided to put a new building right next to the monastery. And also what will they do that the cavernous space that used to be the albergue?
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Having looked at the update, I am not sure that I would stay there again. I have less than no interest in staying in another albergue designed by Xunta or municipal authorities, especially one occupying such an historic space. I might take the other route on my next time through on the Sanabres, hopefully, this fall.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I might have misunderstood, but doesn't the article state that renovations on the old facilities will be completed by next summer? Of course, even if the old building is renovated, it doesn't necessarily follow that it will be used to accommodate pilgrims.
afirman que los trabajos están muy avanzados en lo que atañe a la mejora de las instalaciones del que ya existía, que prevén podrá abrir durante el próximo verano.
 

Flog

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
I loved the atmosphere and setting of that place, and I liked that it was a bit out of the way...a more peaceful setting than Samos but every bit as damp and clammy. We had a lovely evening and a very cold night there, even laden with blankets, about 6 of us. I'm not sure I would detour again to a modern xunta building even in such pleasant surroundings.

A spanish pilgrim I had been walking with slipped coming down the treacherous tiled steps from the shower and cut himself badly....this after an impossible to regulate, scalding shower that would strip your skin and I wondered what the poor guy had done in a previous life to deserve it, he really struggled to make it the few days to SdC afterwards.

I wonder too if the idea of a new building has anything to do with health and safety and the standardization and homogenization of some facilities..
a shame in my view, something special is always lost in the name of improvements....
 

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