The Basilica of San Martiño de Mondoñedo dates originally from the ninth century. Founded in 870, by Sabarico, it was the cathedral from then until 1112 when Queen Urraca moved the bishopric to Villamajor de Brea. The new cathedral taking its name Mondoñedo from the site of San Martiño Mondoñedo. There is evidence of an earlier church from the 6th century but the present basilica dates from the 9th to 12th centuries and is Romanesque. There are ancient wall and ceiling paintings as well as carvings. The building was restored in 2007.
The tourist office, which is behind the church and was open when we arrived, holds the key to the basilica. Our guide was very helpful telling us about the history but also leaving us to walk round quietly too.