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 View of Lugo, Galicia

Five must-sees in the urban side of Galicia

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The cities of Galicia have it all: natural and historic monuments, and lots of secrets. We’re going to reveal five unique monuments in Santiago de Compostela, Lugo, Ourense, Vigo, and Pontevedra.  

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Each year thousands of pilgrims travel the Camino, the Way of St James, to arrive at Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago de Compostela. It's here in this square that the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela stands, the architectural wonder that soars above the city. There are three magnificent exterior façades: Obradoiro, Platerías and Azabachería. After marvelling at the architectural flourishes and the two tall towers (Las Campanas and La Carraca), you’ll enter the cathedral via the long Renaissance staircase. Once inside you’ll discover the cloister and the botafumeiro (incense burner) in the Chapter Library, the Porta da Gloria, the vaulted ante-tesoro chamber, the organs and the well-known sacristy. 

View of Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, Galicia

Roman city walls, Lugo

Did you know that Lugo has a Roman city wall around the historic city centre? It’s over 2,000 metres long, has around 85 towers, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. It was built centuries ago using granite and slate slabs, and was used as a defence for many years. There are several gates along its length. Some of them already existed in Roman times. The most iconic are Puerta de Miñá, Puerta de Falsa, Puerta de San Pedro, Puerta Nova, and Puerta de Santiago. 

Roman wall in the historic quarter next to the cathedral of Lugo, Galicia.

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MARCO) in Vigo

If your true passion is art, then the Vigo Museum of Contemporary Art is an absolute must during your stay in Galicia.Originally designed as a prison in panopticon form, today it is a hub of creativity and modernity.It also hosts a number of temporary exhibitions on art, architecture, video, cinema, and even fashion.  

The Vigo Museum of Contemporary Art (MARCO)

Ponte Romana, Ourense

The Roman bridge of Ourense, known as the Ponte Romana, Ponte Vella or Puente Mayor, was built centuries ago to span the placid river Miño. As it's a pedestrianised area you can happily wander from one side to the other and see the sunlight reflected on the water. It's a great place to enjoy a relaxing day and explore the banks of the river.Seven of the arches still stand today, with the highest in the middle, supporting the 300-metre-long bridge.  

Roman bridge of Ourense over the river Miño, Galicia.

The Church of La Virgen Peregrina, Pontevedra

The city of Pontevedra boasts exceptionally high-quality architecture. Near the Praza da Ferraría you’ll find the Church of the La Peregrina of Pontevedra, a unique example of late Baroque with a hint of the incipient Neoclassical style. You’ll notice the floor plan of the chapel is shaped like a scallop shell, and houses the statue of the Pilgrim Virgin, the city’s patron saint. So now you know about some of the best things to enjoy in urban Galicia. Get ready to fall in love with these wonderful cities.  

Church of La Virgen Peregrina, Praza da Ferraría, Pontevedra, Galicia.
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