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Suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Santiago, comprises the civil provinces of Orense and Pontevedra, is bounded on the north by Pontevedra, on the east by Orense, on the south by Portugal, and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The city has a population of 3000, and is of very ancient origin. Ptolemy calls it Toudai and attributes its foundation to Diomedes, son of Tydeus (just as the foundation of Lisbon is attributed to Ulysses). During the Roman period it belonged to the conventus juridicus or judicial district of Braga. The city seems to have been at first situated on the top of Mount Alhoya whence it was moved to its base, where it was in the time of the Goths. When King Egica shared the government with his son Wittiza he made him live at Tuy, probably at the site known as Pazos de Reyes (palaces of the kings). The See of Tuy is very ancient; one of the four bishops of Galicia at the first Council of Braga (561) was Bishop of Tuy. The first historically known bishop was Anila who attended the second Council of Braga (572); he signed as suffragan of Lugo. Neuphilias lived under the Arian King Leovigild, by whom he was exiled and the Arian Gardingus put in his place. Gardingus abjured his heresy at the third Council of Toledo. Anastasius was present at the fourth and sixth Councils of Toledo; Adimirus at the seventh; and Beatus sent the cleric Victorinus to represent him at the eighth. Genetivus was present at the third Council of Braga (675) as a suffragan of Braga, and also at the twelfth Council of Toledo. Oppa was present at the thirteenth, and Adelphius at the fifteenth.

Tuy fell into the hands of the Mahommedans, but was not entirely destroyed as it is numbered among the cities reconquered by Alfonso I, but not recolonized until the time of Ordono I. The exiled Bishop of Tuy took refuge in Iria (Compostella), and a parish was assigned to him for his support. The first known Bishop of Tuy after the Saracen invasion is Diego (890-901), present at the consecration of the Church of St. James the Apostle (899), also at the Council of Oviedo in which this see was raised to the rank of a metropolitan (900). Hermoigius founded the monastery of San Cristóbal of Labrugia, resided in Tuy, and in 915 began the reconstruction of the cathedral. At the battle of Valdejunquera he was made prisoner by the Arabs and taken to Cordova where he was forced to leave as a hostage his nephew, St. Pelagius, a child of thirteen. The latter suffered martyrdom in defence of his chastity; his relics were transferred to Oviedo and he was declared the patron of Tuy. Naustianus (926) retired to the monastery of Labrugia to avoid the assaults of the Norsemen who had come up as far as Tuy along the River Miño. His successor, Vimaranus (937-42), retired to the monastery Rivas de Sil, as did the next bishop, Viliulfus (952-70). The Norsemen led by Olaf were encamped at different times at Tuy and ravaged it cruelly (1014), on which account Alfonso V placed it under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Compostella. Bishop Alfonso I and his priests had been made captive, and thereafter, until the time of Doña Urraca, a sister of Alfonso VI, a period of forty-seven years, the See of Tuy was vacant. Doña Urraca re-established it and made Jorge (Georgius) bishop. He took up his residence in the monastery of San Bartolomé, whose monks were canons of the cathedral. The decree of the restoration of the see is dated 13 Jan., 1071. Bishop Adericus (1072-95) succeeded Jorge. The bishops, by concession of Raymond of Burgundy and Alfonso VII, were lords of the city, and Bishop Alfonso II began building the new cathedral, which was finished a hundred years later by Esteban Egea (1218-39). In the time of Bishop Pelayo Meléndez (1131-55) the canons adopted the Rule of St. Augustine. Among the bishops who deserve special mention are: Lucas de Tuy, called "El Tudense", annalist of Doña Berenguela, to whom we owe the compilation known as the "Cronicón de España"; Juan Fernández de Sotomayor, councillor of Queen Doña Mariá de Molina, who was present at the Council of Vienna (1312); and Prudencio de Sandoval, a Benedictine, celebrated annalist of Charles V.

The Western Schism caused a division in the ranks of the clergy of Tuy, the bishop giving allegiance to the Avignon pope, others to the pope at Rome, whom Portugual also obeyed. Martin V commanded the latter to recognize the legitimate bishop, and when some resisted this order their churches were allowed to be governed by vicars residing in Portugal (1441). The cathedral of the diocese, which is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, resembles a medieval fortress, as it is built on the crown of the ancient castle fort (Castellum Tude). It belongs to the early Gothic period and, on account of its height, the importance of its side naves, its clerestory (now walled up, but preserving its ancient arches and columns), the interior is well worthy of note. The ground plan is that of a Latin cross (the four arms being extremely short) with four naves, those on the side terminating in the apse. The chapel of San Telmo (San Pedro Gonzalez), built by Bishop Diego de Torquemada (1564-82) who transferred to it the relics of the saint, is worthy of note. Between the altar of the Visitation and that of the Seven Dolours is the unique sepulchre of Lope de Sarmiento (d. 1607). To the cathedral is attached a handsome Gothic cloister. The churches of the old Dominican and Franciscan convents have been converted into parish churches, the convent of Santo Domingo being used for a barracks and that of San Francisco for primary and secondary schools. Tuy has a fine hospital (built by Bishop Rodríguez Castañon) and a home for the aged in charge of the Little Sisters of the Poor. The seminary, which is dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi and the Immaculate Conception, was founded in 1850 by Bishop Francisco Garcia Casarrubios y Melgar. Among the illustrious men of the diocese may be mentioned St. Teutonius, the humanist Alvaro Cadaval y Sotomayor, and Francisco Avila y La Creva, author of a history of the diocese.


Florez, Esp. Sagrada, XXII-XXIII (Madrid, 1798-99); Marguia, Esp., sus monumentos: Galicia (Barcelona, 1888); Davila, Teatro ecles. de Tuy; Sandoval y Argaiz, Episcopologios.

About this page

APA citation. Amadó, R.R. (1912). Tuy. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Amadó, Ramón Ruiz. "Tuy." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. <>.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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