Category Archives: Galicia

Visiting Lugo city (Galicia)

lugo cathedral

Situated in the northwest of Spain, Galicia region, on the bank of the River Miño with a population of about 100,000 inhabitants, Lugo city has a lot of to offer visitors in culture, architecture, gastronomy, nature, festivals, sport, parks, and above all, its historic Roman wall, which was declared a Heritage World site in 2000 by UNESCO. Moreover. Lugo is surrounded by breathtaking landscape of natural beauty, forming part of the reserve of the biosphere “Land of the Miño”

mapa lugoLugo was founded about the year 14 before Christ by the Romans, who called it Lucus Augusti, and constructed the Roman wall in the mid 3th century. The Suevi ( Suevos) arrived in Lucus Augusti in the mid 5th century and destroyed the town, although the Roman wall was not demolished. After that, the Visigoths were in Lugo until 714 that the town was invaded by the Muslims. Afterwards, Alfonso I king of Asturias ( 693-757 ) reconquered Lugo in 755.


What to visit in Lugo City

The Roman Wall of Lugo was built between the years 263 and 276 AD in order to defend Lucus Augusti, although the fortified wall was not enclosed the whole Roman town. In fact, a part of Lucus Augusti in the southeast of the town was left out of its circle.

Nowadays, the imposing Roman Wall is the most emblematic construction in Lugo, being the unique Roman wall in the world that the entire original perimeter survives intact. The fortified wall has a circular shape and its perimeter measures about 2,150 meters, its height is between 8 and 12 meters, and its width is more than 4 meters. There is a pedestrian street on the top of the wall that is highly popular among citizens and tourists because visitors can see a wonderful view of Lugo while they are walking over the wall. Moreover, the Roman wall has 10 gateways to enter the walled area and 6 staircases and a ramp to reach the pedestrian path over the Roman wall.

lugo roman wallThe Romans really left an unmistakable cultural imprint on Lucus Augusti such as, the Mosaics House whose remains tell us that it was built between 1st and 2nd centuries, here visitors can see wall paintings, mosaics, and remains of an important Roman house. It is in the walled area near the Town Hall. Outside the walled area in the south east on the bank of the Miño River are the Roman Baths ( Termas Romanas) built between 1st and 2nd centuries AD and the Roman Bridge built in the 1st century although it has been repaired several times.

If visitors take a leisurely stroll along its pedestrian streets and squares inside the walled area, they will be able to find some of the most remarkable buildings of Lugo, shops, markets, restaurants, typical bars with the famous tapas of octopus and tasty seafood, enjoyable places to rest and have fun.

Santa Maria Cathedral of Lugo was built between the 12th and 13th centuries in Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles, its main facade dating from 18th century in neoclassical style. The beautiful north gate of the Cathedral dating from 13th century in Romanesque style is worth a visit. Inside the Cathedral visitors should not miss the outstanding main altarpiece dating from 18th century, the amazing choir-stalls of 66 seats date about 1625; San Froilan Chapel from 17th century in Renaissance style; the Chapel of the Virgen de los ojos Grandes and the cloister are dated in the early 18th century in baroque style. Don’t forget that this Cathedral is on the primitive route of pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Episcopal Palace was built in the 18th century in Baroque style, it is in Santa Maria Square in front of the Magnificent Cathedral of Santa Maria near Santiago Gateway.

Town Hall, which is one of the most beautiful buildings in Baroque style in Lugo, was built in the mid 18th century and the clock tower was added in the late 19th century. It is in the Mayor Square.

San Francisco Convent and Church were built in the 18th century in Gothic style. There is a beautiful cloister in Romanesque – Gothic style that is worth visiting. The Convent’s building is used as Provincial Museum where mosaics, paintings, coins, and other interesting Roman things can be seen free.



Arde Lucus Festival

Arde Lucus is a popular festival for citizens, tourists who want to know and enjoy a real Roman life. Therefore, Lugo really goes back to two centuries ago and becomes Augusti Lucus once a year in June when the Arde Lucus Festival is celebrated. In fact, local people and visitors must wear Roman fancy dresses in order to perform several aspects of daily life of the inhabitants of Augusti Lucus. As for the town, it is plenty of taverns, street markets, live music, dances and all sorts of Roman entertainments. By the way, the Arde Lucus Festival certainly attracts more than 500,000 people every year. Obviously, it is well worth visiting.

Anyway, If you are thinking of enjoying Galicia, we certainly suggest visiting Lugo during the next Arde Lucus on 19th, 20th and 21st of June, 2015.
Lugo is 500 Km. from Madrid.

More places to visit near Lugo (Spain)

Galicia: The region where is places Lugo. In Galicia you can visit other cities as Santiago de Compostela or A Coruña.

Asturias, Cantabria, Pais Vasco: Other regions near Galicia.

A Coruña: What to visit in La Coruña city (Galicia)

a corunna

Situated on the north-west coast of Spain (Galicia) between the sheltered inlet of the Cantabrian Sea  (Ría da Coruña, Rías Altas ) and the Atlantic Ocean, its history goes back to the prehistoric Celtic times (Celtas), A Coruña (La Coruña) city covers the Coruña Peninsula and its isthmus. Moreover, the city has also been expanded and widened toward the mainland for years. In fact, with a population of about 250,000 it is one of the largest and most important cities in Galicia region.

mapa a coruña spainA Coruña is not only popular with the tourists because its lighthouse, its new Outer Port (Puerto Exterior), its Inner Port (Puerto Interior), its tasty seafood, its great beaches but also its architecture, its museums, its parks, and above all, its promenade (Paseo Marítimo) which is 10 km. in length. Evidently, A Coruña has a lot of to offer visitors in the way of entertainment.


What to visit in A Coruña

maria pita squareTaking a walk along the promenade (Paseo Maritimo) from east to north, on the right, people can see several cruise ships, many boats on the historic Inner Port of A Coruña on the Cantabrian Sea Ría da Coruña) and Sant Antón castle dates from 17th century to east of the isthmus. This important port welcomes tourists who arrive in A Coruña by sea. On the left some interesting buildings, parks and the renowned solana ( galleries or balconies of the buildings are closed with glasses or their facades cover in glasses ) from 19th century. In this area, the tourists can enjoy the old city strolling through its streets, they will find the landmark María Pita square, where is the City Hall a beautiful building from 18th century, in this area are some of the main restaurants and bares of the city; Saint George (San Jorge) church nearby; the San Agustin market; Romanesque Santa María del Campo church about 14th century; Santiago church the oldest Romanesque bulding in A Coruña dates from 12th century. Following the walk visitors will come across some interesting buildings and several of the most lively and traditional places to have a drink and tapas.

Crossing the isthmus people will arrive at the west of A Coruña peninsula where are the sandy beaches of Riazor and Orzan which are washed by the Atlantic Ocean. Being a popular tourist destination, A Coruña has a wide range of sport activities from diving, surf, sailing, windsurf, fishing to multiple activities for all the family. The large and clean beaches and seafood are the main attraction for tourists in A Coruña. By the way, it is said that in A Coruña often rains, However the rain does not last long. It is only a shower

Going on holiday to A Coruña is a unique experience of enjoying its fresh seafood and the famous tapas. Do not miss out tasting its traditional seafood. However, people should not leave A Coruña without spending some hours wandering about its city center, meeting people, having a drink, at the cafés or pubs, the city really comes alive during the night.


Tower of Hércules

hercules towerThe lighthouse called the Tower of Hércules, which was built in the 2nd century when Trajan was Roman Emperor (53-117) and restored and covered in Neoclassical style in the 18th century, is the oldest Roman lighthouse in the world that is still working. Being the most remarkable building of A Coruña, the Hércules Tower is sited on a hill to 57 meters over sea level and about 49 meters in height, in a strategic point to the north of the A Coruña Peninsula by Artabro Gulf. Therefore, this lighthouse was declared a World Heritage site on the 27th June 2009 by UNESCO.

Nowadays, the Roman remains of the tower can be seen inside the lighthouse which were not covered during its restoration. Besides, if visitors have plenty of time, they will enjoy climbing the 232 steps to get the overlook from where they can see a breathtaking view of the city and surroundings. Before leaving this area visitors should take a look around, the Sculpture Park, an open air museum at the Tower of Hércules, the Wind Rose and the Aquarium Finisterrae are nearby.

The ticket to visit the Tower costs between 1,50 and 3 euros although on Mondays are free.


Outer Port

Today, its new Outer Port (Puerto Exterior) of A Coruña, which is a way of opportunities for the future of A Coruña, is being constructed on a strategic location in Punta Langosteira, Atlantic Ocean. It will give A Coruña opportunities for business and industrial investment. It is to 10 km. away from Coruña City to the west of A Coruña..


More places to visit near A Coruña (Galicia)

Santiago de Compostela: Read here our favorite places to visit in Santiago de Compostela.

Asturias and The Basque Country: Two of the greenest regions of the country. Besides, in there you will find some of the best gastronomy of the Iberian Peninsula.

The best cities to visit in Spain: Looking for traveling to another city? Check here the most visited destinations of Spain.

What to see in Santiago de Compostela / Ciudad Vieja de Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela is the Capital of Galicia region and is well known all over of the world as a lively city. Santiago it is not only popular with the tourist because its cafes and surroundings but also its architecture, museums, gastronomy, and of course El Camino de Santiago (The Way of S. James). Visitors interested in culture should not miss out the Ciudad de la Cultura de Galicia.

The Old City of Santiago de Compostela is a monumental and well preserved medieval city and its ancient buildings were constructed around the tomb of Apostle Santiago. In fact, in 818 Alfonso II king of Asturias, known as the Casto ( 760-842), ordered to build a church in the same site where the hermit Pelayo had found the tomb of the Apostle in 814. Although the city was destroyed by Almanzor in 997 it was rebuilt in the 11th and 12 th centuries. Moreover in the following centuries emblematic buildings were constructed in this city which was declared a World of Heritage site in 1985.

mapa santiago spainSantiago de Compostela is situated in the north-west of Spain and has about 96.000 inhabitants. It takes about two days to visit Santiago of Compostela city. You can arrive in Santiago by car, by bus, by train, by air, and of course, on foot because the most people make a pilgrimage to the Way of Saint James.


Route: The Old City of Santiago de Compostela

Actually there are so many interesting buildings in this baroque city that the best option is to stroll along its pedestrian streets and squares admiring its architecture, such as Obradoiro Square which is the most famous site of the city, here tourists can see: the Cathedral, the Hostal de los Reyes Católicos, Colegio de San Xerone and Palacio de Raxio all them worth a visit. Surrounding the Cathedral visitors will find other three squares and several streets all are must-see places.

Bordering the Cathedral visitors will find other three squares: The Inmaculada Square with the Monastery of San Martiño Pinario in baroque style. The north facade of the Cathedral features baroque and neoclassical elements, it is a perfect place to take a rest. The Quintana Square with the Monastery de San Paio of Antealtares, the Cathedral’s Clock Tower which has one of the most big bell in the world that can be heard from 20 kilometres around, and the baroque Holy Door facade in the east of the Cathedral. Finally, Platerias Square is bordering the Clock Tower. In the Romanesque south facade of the Cathedral, it’s located La Casa del Dean (the Pilgrims Office), and in the middle of the square is the Fountain of the Horses.

Following the walk through its medieval streets and squares visitors will enjoy baroque, romanesque, renaissance and neoclassical buildings in Rua do Vilar, Rua Nova, Rua Tras Salome and Rua Franco which is well known by its traditional restaurants, taverns and bars where people can have a drink or try their traditional tapas. Before going to Cathedral visitors should visit Colegio de Fonseca where they can stare a breathtaking cloister. By the way, most tourists will like to experience the pilgrim mass and watch the botafumerio in action, so they should know that it is at 12 midday in the Cathedral.

It takes 3 hours to visit the old city on foot, however, if people want to attend the pilgrim pass it will take about 5 hours.

Tourists will enjoy the city more if they have free time to take a rest or have a drink and eat some tapas in the taverns and bars before entering the Cathedral.


What to visit in Santiago de Compostela

– The Cathedral of Santiago of Compostela is the largest Romanesque church in Spain it was constructed between 11th and 18th centuries, (in Romanesque, Gothic, renaissance and baroque style) its great beauty, design, splendor let us imagine its history. Therefore, a must for people who arrive in Santiago is the Cathedral and its spectacular facades: the Obradorio in the west and Holy Door in the east are baroque style , the Platerias in the south is Romanesque style, and Inmaculada in the north is neoclassical style, to add the four squares around the cathedral which have interesting buildings.The inside of the Cathedral is spectacular and although you have heard a lot of tourists talk about the outstanding Cathedral until you see it yourself it is impossible to imagine.

Do not leave the Cathedral without seeing its museum, cripta (crypt) and claustro (cloister). If you have free time do not miss out going up the rooftops of Cathedral you will like the breathtaking view of the city and surroundings. By the way, if you want to attend the pilgrim mass it is at 12 midday. Do not forget it is the destination The Way of S. James’ pilgrims.


– Mercados de Abastos (Food Market):  is the most visited market in Santiago by citizens and tourists who can buy the best fresh seafood and market’s bar will cook it while shoppers look around and wait for their lunch. In a friendly way tourist will enjoy the traditional market where people can taste the delicious fruit, fish, cheese, honey wine and so on. It is placed in the Old City.

– The Alameda Park, which is near the old city, has a lot of facilities for tourists, citizens and children, being an ideal place for all family with its drinking fountains, picnic area , benches for resting is the most visited park in Santiago for the walks and leisure, Moreover this park has the best points to taking beautiful photographs of the cathedral above all at sunset.

– Way of St James. Pilgrimage routes:  Most visitors to Santiago are here to experience the Way of S. James. Because it is the final destination of the pilgrims. It was declared a World Heritage site in 1993 by UNESCO

Read also our post with the best cities and monuments to visit in Spain.