- José Luis Senra Gabriel y Galán
Spanish Benedictine abbey dedicated to S Benito, 60 km south-west of the city of León and on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. According to tradition, the settlement originated in the Visigothic period around the martyrial mausoleum identified with the Hispano-Roman saints Facundus and Primitivus. Documentary sources, however, do not mention the site before the second half of the 9th century, it was then abandoned as a result of Islamic attacks. Some years later, a Christian monastic community from al-Andalus restored the older religious establishment, founding an abbey. The initiative was supported by the Asturian King Alfonso III (reg 866–910). From the second half of the 10th century, Sahagún was unequalled in importance among the monasteries of the entire territory of Castille-León. Only two capitals are known from this period (held by the Museo de León and the Museo de Palencia, in S Lorenzo, Sahagún), during which the basilica was praised in documentary sources as ...