Pontevedra and Enjoy the History by Scott James
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in particular and Northern Spain in general have long been considered to
be a hidden jewel in the entire Spanish tourist industry and hidden away
within Galicia itself are some further jewels and we are going to examine
you look at all of the autonomous regions that make up modern day Spain,
Galicia has to be the most remote and hidden away within that remoteness
always classed as the poorer cousin to some of the other richer regions
Galicia had an economy that did not easily lend itself to modernisation
and herein lies a paradox in that it is this very reluctance to embrace
modernity throughout that gives the region much of its appeal as far as
tourism is concerned.
natives of Galicia if you trace them back far enough have origins very
similar to their Celtic cousins in the north and are justifiably proud
of their language and culture and these connections no matter how stretched
or tenuous give them their sense of regionalism and uniqueness.
always seemed to be a very closed and inward looking area being fiercely
resistant to any formal external invasion and in many ways this degree
of isolation was very much driven by the geographical location of the region.
but surely in the 20th century, Galicia began to develop and today traditional
lifestyles rub shoulders with modernity throughout the region whilst at
the same time the region has lost none of its more traditional culture
and within the tourism economy this is starting to show real benefits.
those who wish to visit somewhere slightly interesting and possibly out
over the ordinary then a trip to Pontevedra is just the order for the day.
can be found on the main road leading from Vigo northwards to Santiago
de Compostela on the N550. If you believe the stories that surround the
town according to myths and legends and then Pontevedra was supposedly
built by a character called Teucro who was one of the heroes of the Trojan
reality however Pontevedra was actually constructed by the Romans who first
constructed a bridge across the Lerez River and the present day town began
to emerge round this bridge.
original bridge has now been restored almost to its original condition
and is now called A Ponte do Burgo and the bridge remains to this day one
of the town's principal landmarks. The town is also one off the four provincial
capitals within Galicia.
total of Pontevedra and is probably best started on what is called the
Alameda Boulevard which has often been described as the green lungs of
the town. One of the more established parts of the city the boulevard houses
many lovely 19th century buildings that are now home to many important
one had to provide a potential top five of "must see" sites in Pontevedra
then I guess that the following would make it onto the list.
first site would possibly be the Ruinos do Santa Domingo which are the
ruins of a Gothic church which can be found at the end of the Alameda Boulevard.
These ruins form part of the Museo de Pontevedra where it is possible to
see Roman artefacts medieval coats of arms and tombs. The main buildings
of the museum which is highly regarded and viewed as one of the best in
Galicia can be found on the Praza da Lena.
in all museums and collections house rare artefacts including Gold Celtic
bracelets and necklaces and locally found Bronze Age treasures.
these ancient artefacts can be found rare paintings from down through the
centuries including paintings by Zurbarin and Goya.
are other attractions within Pontevedra amongst which is the huge Praza
da Ferraria with its huge fountain in the centre. Alongside this and worthy
of a mention is the Casa das Caras with its sculpted faces, the 14th Century
Iglesia de San Francisco.
the best site to see in Pontevedra is what could be described as one of
the greatest monuments to Galician Architecture is the 16th Century Basilica
de Santa Maria la Mayor.
church, dedicated to Pontevedra's patron saint, the Virgin de la Peregrina
and is built to a circular plan and features amongst its many highlights
a bow fronted façade that is well worth a visit.
in all Pontevedra is perhaps not the tiny, boring little town in the regions
that many assume it to be.
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