San Martín de Castañeda belongs to the municipality of Galende in Zamora. It sits on the elevated northern bank of the Sanabria Lake in a National Park.
The village probably owes its origins to the Monastery of San Martin from the 6th Century, which was one of the most important religious complexes in the province until the Mendizábal disentitlement. The existence of an ancient fort in the area strengthened the “urbs senabrie” as the organizational center of the region. Thanks to the conservation of the founding epigraph we know that the monastery was built in 921 by mozarabic monks originating from Cordoba. Later, various religious members from San Cebrian de Mazote in Valladolid created the first monastic establishment here.
In 1033, the first mention of the Count of Sanabria appeared in documents and at that time other religious complexes, churches and villages began to emerge.
Founded under the advocation of Saint Martin, the monastery of Castaría or Castinaría would reach its maximum splendour in the 12th century with the Cluny Order. It was reformed by Alfonso VII and adopted the Benedictine rule in the same century.
It is one of the most important Romanesque complexes in the Peninsula. It was declared a National Artistic and Historic complex in 1931. The only part of the original building that is conserved is the church and remains from the ancient out buildings which now function as an Informational Center for the National Park of Sanabria Lake.
In the nearby municipalities there are examples of the traditional architecture of Sanabria built with stone and slate. The beautiful landscape can also be admired from the the scenic viewpoint.