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Ribadavia

The medieval town of Ribadavia is the capital of the historic region of Ribeiro, which produces the famous and legendary wine so highly praised by kings and poets since time immemorial. Its declared a Historic Cultural Property, consists of a network of traditional “rúas” of medieval character, a blanket of stone where walking becomes a pleasure for lovers of history. A journey full of surprises which include the Castle of Sarmiento, the Jewish Quarter, museums and many churches from different periods and styles. A tale of rock covered by a varied landscape of vineyards and streams suggestive contemplation that make Ribadavia a living museum full of contrasts and history.

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Carballiño

Carballiño owes its origin to its unique strategic location as a crossroads between the hinterland and the coast of Galicia. Its infancy the fair began in the early seventeenth century building on this node communications, and Ai its unstoppable progress into town, then later in town and district head. Its strong local pregnancy was supported by other factors which helped to consolidate a place with a strong personality, and whom the illustrious writer Pedrayo Otero defined as: “A boa terra to flesh or bread eo mellor Apreza wine.”

Gastronomy was also vital to acknowledge this land and would have to add a dish conceived in its market, the “dust feira” that originated the most popular and recognized festival of Galicia: The Feast of the octopus that is held in the unique place the city park, a landscape of 60 hectares which brings together a wealth of natural resources, ethnographic and tourism. The projects undertaken in this area in recent years (Ethnographic Museum, Camping Municipal das Muíños Lousa, farm, Residencia do tempo Libre) are models of recovery and use of spaces before degraded.
We can not forget the great wealth that has O Carballliño thermal, being the quintessential seaside resort and spa institute in Galicia. Its two beaches are renowned throughout Galicia from the late nineteenth century and were the bulwark tourism began with the deployment of this fair city.

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Ourense

On the banks of the Miño Ourense city , maintaining its traditional link with the river through its Roman bridge spans . Crossroads , Old Town retains some of its most important monuments, among which the cathedral.

The Minho River , which crosses the city in its middle course , has determined the present appearance of the orensana capital. Nearly two thousand years ago the Romans occupied this territory attracted , among other reasons, for its hot springs . The best preserved legacy of that era is ” a ponte vella ” ( Old Bridge ), which connects the two banks of the Miño and has become the symbol of the city. Bridge some of the original Roman stones are preserved at the base of the bridge. This important civil work was restored in the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries until its present appearance, with pointed arch and ramps.

Along the streets that make up the Old Town can be discovering the rich heritage that has the orensana capital. The arcaded main square was the center of social and commercial life of the city, since it took place in markets, festivals and all kinds of cultural and leisure activities . The City Hall presides over this space. Its construction dates from the late nineteenth century. It has classical facade with a balcony on the first floor and arcades in its low , topped with a flag and a clock on the top.

With him the old Episcopal Palace rises. This building , set on the site of the original Roman settlement , begun in the twelfth century. Their subsequent expansion and remodeling , projecting its Baroque façade, made in the eighteenth century. The site now houses the Archaeological Museum funds , divided into two sections: archeology , bringing together a collection of objects and art from the Paleolithic period to the Middle Ages , and other fine arts .

In the vicinity of the square you can see the church of Santa Maria Madre . The temple , Baroque , was built in the eighteenth century over an earlier year 1084. From ancient basilica can still admire multiple columns with marble capitals . The present church consists of three bodies flanked by two towers and heraldic shields on the pediment .

On the historic clock tower attached to the Cathedral of San Martino stands . The cathedral was built between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries , and its consecration in 1188. Outside, the Gate of Paradise , the thirteenth century , contains Compostela influences and evokes the Gloria of the Cathedral of Santiago. The south gate , which overlooks the square Wheat is best reflected the transitional Romanesque to Gothic cathedral that rose. Meanwhile, the clock tower , reveals his later bill, it dates from the sixteenth century , as the west front . Inside, the church has a Latin cross, three naves and a transept with a dome at its center. The Chapel has a large altarpiece by Cornielis Holland in 1520 in which scenes from the Virgin Mary and Jesus appear . Among the side chapels worth noting that of the Holy Christ by Juan de Herrera ( s. XVI) , where a Gothic Christ (XIV ) is worshiped. In the nova Claustra , the old Gothic cloister , has been installed and the Cathedral Museum , bringing together pieces of religious art , some of them of great value.

In this beautiful environment of streets and squares, with fountains or cruceiros typical ( stone cross which stands on a column ) , we find other important buildings . Is essential to visit the palace of Oca – Valladares , considered one of the most important of Galicia. Built in the sixteenth century , this Renaissance house shows a two-story facade and a central balcony on which the shields of various noble families Galician appear . From 1850 , the building became the headquarters of the Liceo Recreo, a former orensana cultural institution.

The church of Santa Eufemia originally belonged to a former Jesuit convent. The works of this temple would begin in the seventeenth century, although not completed until the eighteenth century. In this last period is the magnificent baroque facade with columns and concave shapes . The church, the largest after the cathedral has a Latin cross with three naves . The group is chaired by a baroque altar with the image of Christ of Hope (XVIII ) .

The convent of San Francisco (XIV ) , declared a Historic Artistic Monument , known for its cloister, one of the most important of Galicia. Rectangular and has 63 pointed arches , mostly by double columns . This unique space characterized by the rich and varied decoration, with human figures , animals and plants , which appears in the capitals and in the spaces between columns.

Before concluding the tour of the city , do not forget to visit Burgas, hot springs that have brought fame to Ourense. The oldest is the top source of popular style of the seventeenth century. The Burga de Abajo, nineteenth century , was built in neoclassical style , and consists of three bodies and pipes . Festivals, food and surroundings For Ourense and its inhabitants , it is best to visit the city in February, as the capital has one of the carnivals ( here called Entroido ) more peculiar to Spain . It is characterized by its color and its typical characters ( peliqueiros ) , which are rooted in ancient traditions of the province.

In any establishment of the old town of Ourense capital is possible to appreciate the excellent quality of the wines produced in the province and, in turn , are grouped in four Appellations of Origin Ribeiro ( The one we have in Casal de Armán ) Valdeorras , Ribeira Sacra and Monterrei . Any of them can serve as an accompaniment to the local cuisine .

In orensana cuisine are dishes octopus , meat “or caldeiro ” ( boiled beef with oil, garlic and paprika ) or roast kid . Eel pie is a specialty in high demand during the spring. The pastry has as emblems orensana brown glacé ( a dessert made with chestnuts ) and reeds pastry ( cream-filled pastries ) .

Geographically , the capital Ourense is located on the Route de la Plata, traditional route between the south and north of the Iberian Peninsula and also carried pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. In the rest of the province can be visited counties full of history. To the north, one of the most beautiful is the Ribeira Sacra, chaired by the River Sil Canyon and named for the large number of monasteries and medieval churches preserved. In the southern half are two of the most important protected areas in Galicia, the Natural Park Baixa Limia -Serra do Xurés and O Invernadeiro Natural Park . The Parador de Verin, opposite the fortress Monterrei , you can enjoy these natural areas , as well as the old town of Monterrei , declared a Historic Artistic

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Allariz

Allariz, declared to be a Historic-Artistic Site, sits in a river landscape formed by the upper course of the Arnoia. Major religious buildings stand on the streets of a typically medieval town surrounded by forests of chestnut trees. The origins of Allariz date back to prehistoric times, though it had to wait until the Middle Ages to gain the title of Town and Court. The presence of a great many princes, including the future Alfonso X the Wise, led to the town being walled and fortified. Testimony to its importance during this period of history are the major pre-Romanesque, Romanesque and Gothic churches. You can visit San Martiño de Pazó, the Collegiate Church of Xunqueira de Ambía, the Sanctuary of Santa Mariña de Augas Santas and the churches of Santiago, San Estevo and San Pedro. Outstanding among the civil architecture are the remains of the castle and the bridges of Vilanova (15th century) and Frieira (18th century) over the Arnoia. It is also worth taking a stroll through the Campo de A Barreira, a place which has a fountain and beautiful “cruceiros” (stone crosses). It is a good idea to visit this town in August, during the Pie Festival, a tradition which combines folklore and gastronomy.

Vigo

In the Galician province of Pontevedra, situated on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, lies the city that lends its name to the southernmost estuary of the Rías Baixas: Vigo. Its fishing origin has left an historic quarter with a strong maritime flavour, which contrasts with the modern facilities of its marinas. This city is an excellent base from which to visit the towns and villages along the Vigo estuary and the Cíes Isles that form part of the National Park of the Atlantic Islands. The cuisine of the Galician coast, based on fish and seafood, is an added incentive for visiting this region.

The port of Vigo, one of the finest natural ports in the world, was the origin of this city fringed by mountains. Its maritime qualities, already exploited in Roman times, have given rise to the present-day marinas and the transatlantic harbour, as well as to the fishing and canning industries. All of this has contributed to the urban development of Vigo, which includes the traditional port area and boasts major historic buildings and wide tree-lined avenues.

Cidade Vella

The historic quarter, the so-called Cidade Vella, is articulated around the old maritime quarter of O Berbés, near the port. Situated in this quarter, which has Tourist-Historical Interest status, are the arcades around the Plaza de la Constitución, fishing streets and emblazoned houses. One of the main features of this network of tiny streets, in which most façades have glass-encased miradors, is the Collegiate Church of Santa María, the Procathedral of Vigo-Tui. Neoclassical in style, this edifice is constructed on the remains of a Gothic church burned down by the pirate Francis Drake. Also worthy of visit in this area is the do Pedra market, a fascinating place for buying and sampling Galician oysters.

The newer part of Vigo occupies a triangle formed by the Puerta del Sol, Colón and Urzáiz. Lining the wide avenues are notable buildings, one such being the García Barbón Cultural Centre, designed by Antonio Palacios. The modern sector contains one of the best miradors over the Vigo estuary, the Monte do Castro mount. Located amidst the forests and leisure areas are the remains of the hill-forts that constituted the early settlement, as well as the ruins of the 10th-century O Penso Castle, the layout of which was used for the construction of the 17th-century Tower Castle still standing.

The large Municipal Park of Castrelos is located on what once was the estate of the Quiñones de León country house. Amidst Neoclassical gardens and ancient trees, the Municipal Park contains an interesting collection of Roman steles, furniture and statuary, and an art gallery exhibiting European works from the Baroque period as well modern works by Galician artists. The park also boasts an open-air auditorium where key music events are held.

The mounts of A Madroa and A Guía that lay around the city of Vigo provide magnificent viewpoints from which to admire the surrounding landscape. Also worthy of a visit is the Zoo, situated on Mount A Madroa, whilst the Municipal Park also contains the hermitage of Nosa Señora da Guía.The Galician Museum of the Sea, situated at the Punta do Muiño in the parish of Alcabre, comprises buildings, gardens, a square and a wharf. The work of Aldo Rossi and César Portella, this complex houses various items related to the sea.

The Vigo Estuary

The city of Vigo is easily accessible thanks to the motorway and airport, and there are also excellent nautical facilities and a golf course in the vicinity. At its maritime station it is possible to purchase passages to the coastal towns of Cangas and Moaña on the other side of the estuary, and even to the Cíes Isles. Part of the National Park of the Atlantic Islands, the sheer cliffs and dunes of these isles are the home of thousands of migratory birds. The route along the Vigo Estuary affords the contemplation of historic country houses such as Baiona. Its parador, an incomparable viewpoint over the Atlantic, combines elements of the past, such as the medieval fortress, with vestiges of Galician stately architecture. The restaurant serves both traditional and highly imaginative dishes made with products from the region, such as sea bass with razor-shells in turnip green sauce. The beaches of Nigrán, the oysters of Arcade and, further inland, the Mondariz Spa, are just some of the area’s numerous attractions.

Another attraction of the province of Pontevedra is its capital city, which is situated on the estuary of the same name. The network of streets and squares that make up its historic quarter contain major civic and religious buildings. The palace of the Counts of Maceda houses the city’s parador, which provides privileged accommodation for over-night stays.

Another of the major ports along the Pontevedra Estuary is Marín, famous for the Naval Military School. Other places of interest, and also boasting excellent beaches, are Combarro, Sanxenxo and Portonovo; so too, the Ons Isles, which close the estuary and form part of the Galician National Park.The Arousa Estuary leads to Villagarcía de Arousa, O Grove and the island of A Toxa, which boasts one of Galicia’s most impressive spas. Visitors to Cambados can stay at its parador, housed in the former Pazo de Batán country house dating back to the 17th century.

Towards the south of the province, almost on the Portuguese border, the itinerary continues with the Monte Aloia Nature Reserve, which contains highly interesting archaeological remains; the historic city of Tui, the point of entry into Spain for the Northern Road of the “ruta jacobea” pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, where the parador is situated amidst mountains and rivers; and A Guarda at the mouth of the river Miño, where the hill-fort of the Monte Santa Tegra is a worthwhile visit.All of these places offer the opportunity to sample the delicious cuisine that Galician tradition has preserved and that is now exploited by the most innovative chefs.

The Rías Baixas provide hake, turbot and sea bass, not to mention a whole range of shellfish including goose barnacles, oysters, clams, mussels and cockles. These raw materials are served in stews and pies, on their own or combined with other flavours and textures. Veal and Galician potatoes, known as “cachelos”, both have Label Guarantee status and are used in the tastiest of dishes. Wines with the Rías Baixas Label Guarantee make an excellent accompaniment to any of these dishes. Local cuisine sampling can be rounded off by a slice of Santiago cake (an almond-based sponge) and a “queimada”, a traditional beverage obtained by flaming the local eau-de-vie.

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