Fundación Iberdrola España signs an agreement with the Diocese of Orense to enhance the value of the reliquary cabinets of the “Holy Nine Bishops” of the Santo Estevo Church

Fundación Iberdrola España signs an agreement with the Diocese of Orense to enhance the value of the reliquary cabinets of the “Holy Nine Bishops” of the Santo Estevo Church

  • A 50,000€ project for the mechanization of the opening of the reliquary cabinets of the Church of Santo Estevo.
  • Thanks to this mechanization, it will be possible to see the late Gothic mural paintings that have been recovered by the Diocese.

Iberdrola, through its foundation, has signed today an agreement valued at 50,000 euros to develop a project to mechanize the opening of the reliquary cabinets of the “Santos Nueve Obispos” of the church of Santo Estevo, Orense.

The agreement was signed this morning in this Galician municipality by His Excellency Leonardo Lemos Montanet, Bishop of the Diocese of Orense, and the President of the Fundación Iberdrola España, Fernando García Sánchez.

During the restoration of the reliquaries of the church, an exceptional set of late Gothic (15th century) mural paintings were discovered when some tastings were made in the lime that covered the wall. This project proposes the creation of a mobile machine that will allow the reliquaries to be put back in their original place but that can be moved to allow the paintings on the wall to be seen.

Among other actions, the project will include the installation of a system of articulated axes with a metallic structure on which the reliquaries will be placed and the creation of 3D plans and kinematic designs for an optimal technical solution.

This new initiative, which will have an investment of 50,000€ is another example of Iberdrola’s commitment to Galicia and its ongoing aim to promote the social value of culture and the conservation of the region’s historical and artistic heritage.

Parish Church of Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil

The monastery of Santo Estevo de Ribas del Sil is a monastic complex, now in disuse, located in the parish of the same name in the municipality of Nogueira de Ramuín, in the Ribeira Sacra region of Galicia. At present, it has been converted into a Parador de Turismo.

On the façade of the enormous monastery, there is a coat of arms carved in granite that represents nine miters. They are those corresponding to the nine bishops who lived around the 10th century and spent their last years in retirement in Santo Estevo and who are venerated as saints on January 26, although they are not formally canonized. The fame of the supernatural prodigies of the nine religions and their rings attracted many pilgrims and generous donations that contributed to the enlargement and embellishment of the monastery, which later passed into the hands of the Benedictines. Already in the 15th century, his remains were transferred to two golden coffers that have flanked the main altar of the church ever since.

In December 2020, during the restoration of one of the reliquaries, a small silk bag was found with four rings and a note that warns of the absence of the other five.

Iberdrola, promoting art and culture

Since its creation, Iberdrola has been committed to the energy, cultural and social development of the communities in which it operates. In this regard, Fundación Iberdrola España represents a further step in this commitment, by promoting initiatives that contribute to improving people’s quality of life. One of the main areas of action of the Foundation focuses on the care, maintenance, and promotion of art and culture.

Since 2011, it has allocated over three million euros. This investment has meant the improvement of more than 40 monuments in Spain. Of particular note is the work on the historic Roman Bridge of Alcántara, in Cáceres; the facade of the Supreme Court, in Madrid; the Sigüenza Cathedral, and the interior of the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral.