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Bareyo, Cantabria

Church of Santa María

The monastery of Santa María de Bareyo was originally founded in the ninth century, along with many similar institutions as part of the Asturian kingdom's repopulation efforts. The Romanesque structure was likely built in the late twelfth century. Though there have been numerous later additions, greatly changing the edifice's exterior appearance, the choir, transept, lantern tower, and baptismal font are original.

Baptismal Font



The basin of the font, shaped into a slight quatrefoil, is sculpted with four sections of ornamentation: two types of interlace, layered palm fronds, and a second vegetal pattern. The base is composed of two lions devouring a man, a detached arm held fiercely between their teeth. The lions can serve a dual purpose here, symbolizing Resurrection and re-birth, while also dramatically warning against the dangers of death without a cleansing of sins. 

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