Los Sarmiento Castle
A former seat of the Kingdom of Galicia, Ribadavia captures the essence of the “ribeiros” and especially the Ribeiro del Avia, the river which passes through its terraces or “socalcos”. Ribadavia is not only linked to wine, but also to the presence of Jewish people. Its Jewish quarter is the most significant in Galicia, both because of its importance and because of its fine state of repair. In fact, the ribeiro wine trade was virtually monopolized by the Jews, and by the Middle Ages it was being drunk in Italy, the Low Countries, Germany and England. They were also responsible for perfecting the cultivation of the vines, making use of the land by cutting terraces and extending the irrigation system. The Jewish quarter is organized around Plaza de Magdalena. Nearby are the Romanesque church of Santiago and a long list of other temples: Santo Domingo, O Portal, San Francisco, Santa María, San Juan... And, like a watchful guard, the castle of Sarmiento. Ribadavia hosts the fair-exhibition which extols the virtues of the wines of the Ribeiro region, declared to be of national tourist interest, like the festival “of history”, held on the last Saturday in August. The Jewish quarter is decked out to recreate an authentic medieval atmosphere: even the old Spanish currency of the Maravedi is used and craftsmen display an extensive selection of their wares.
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