The hilltop Hamlet of O’Cebreiro lies at almost 1300m and despite it’s small size is a well known spot along the Camino. The village contains narrow cobbled streets and the ancient church of Santa María la Real, dating from 836. Many visitors are reminded of Ireland with the simple stone architecture of the rounded Palloza houses and Church reflecting the common Celtic orgins. Those who have started further along the Camino will be struck by the change from the ornate, overly burnished interiors of Castilian and other churches to the more simple styles here.
The Church at O’Cebreiro contains a number of items of interest: outside is a monument to the Priest who did much to revive interest in the Camino and was responsible for the thousands of Yellow arrows you see along the way. In the chapel is a much-revered 12th-century ‘holy grail’: A peasant from a nearby village braved a fierce winter snowstorm to come to this church for the Eucharist mass. The resident priest scoffed at his devotion, only to find that the host and wine had physically turned into the body and blood of Christ, staining the linens beneath them — which are now in the silver box.