Vilalba is the capital of A Terra Cha, a communications crossroads and a town famous for its recent growth and the local products: capons, San Simón cheeses... Testimony to its age are the great many Paleolithic sites, as well as several megalithic remains and vestiges of hill-forts. There is also evidence of a Roman presence in the discovery of a various objects. Its medieval history was closely linked to the Counts of Andrade, who in the 15th century strengthened their imposing castle, of which only the keep remains, converted into a Parador Nacional hotel. Next door is the square and church of Santa María. While in town you can also visit the church of San Roque and the Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology, housed in what was once the municipal prison. Vilalba falls on several routes, among them the northern route of the Pilgrim's Road to Santiago de Compostela, which crosses the Royal Road of Betanzos and A Coruña, a detour which many pilgrims also took. Like the rest of the region, Vilalba has a markedly rural character with a greaty many plots of land turned over to pasture for the large number of cattle; modern facilities sit side by side with family-run farms. This is where the internationally famous San Simón cheese is made, which is shaped like a spinning top and smoked.
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