At the village of Leboreiro, a once important place from the 11th to 13th centuries and called “Campus Levurarius” (Rabbit Field) by the Codex Calixtinus, we stopped to enter the 13th century Church of Santa Maria.
Rebuilt in the 18th century this church has an interesting legend attributed to its founding. It was said that a nearby fountain was emanting a “heavenly odor” and at night a “shining light”.
Villagers, seeing this as a sign from above, proceeded to dig at the source of this divine intervention and found an image of the Virgin Mary there. They immediately placed it on the altar of the church. The one catch was that the image would not stay where it was placed and somehow returned to the fountain.
This pattern repeated itself over several days until the villagers carved the tympanum we see here today and dedicated the church to the Virgin Mary. Satisfied, the image of the Virgin remained on the altar and has been in the church ever since.
To add to the legend, it was believed by villagers in the 1960’s that the she returned to the fountain every night to comb her hair.
The church also has some interesting Romanesque design elements supporting the roof and corbels.Michael’s Pilgrimage