Theme Week Galicia

23 February 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks

Carnota © Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez/cc-by-sa-3.0

Carnota © Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez/cc-by-sa-3.0

Galicia is an autonomous community in northwest Spain, with the official status of a historic nationality. It comprises the provinces of A Coruña, Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra, being bordered by Portugal to the south, the Spanish autonomous communities of Castile and León and Asturias to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the north. Galicia has over 1,660 km (1,030 mi) of coastline, including its offshore islands and islets, among them Cíes Islands, Ons, Sálvora, Cortegada, and—the largest and most populated—A Illa de Arousa. Hundreds of ancient standing stone monuments like dolmens, menhirs and megalithics Tumulus were erected during the prehistoric period in Galicia, amongst the best-known are the dolmens of Dombate, Corveira, Axeitos of Pedra da Arca, menhirs like the “Lapa de Gargñáns”. From the Iron Age, Galicia has a rich heritage based mainly on a great number of Hill forts, few of them excavated like Baroña, Sta. Tegra, San Cibrao de Lás and Formigueiros among others. With the introduction of Ancient Roman architecture there was a development of basilicas, castra, city walls, cities, villas, Roman temples, Roman roads, and the Roman bridge of Ponte Vella. It was the Romans who founded some of the first cities in Galicia like Lugo and Ourense. Perhaps the best-known examples are the Roman Walls of Lugo and the Tower of Hercules in A Coruña. During the Middle Ages, a huge quantity of fortified castles were built by Galician feudal nobles to mark their powers against their rivals. Although the most of them were demolished during the Irmandiño Wars (1466–1469), some Galician castles that survived are Pambre, Castro Caldelas, Sobroso, Soutomaior and Monterrei among others. Ecclesiastical architecture raised early in Galicia, and the first churches and monasteries as San Pedro de Rocas, began to be built in 5-6th centuries. However, the most famous medieval architecture in Galicia had been using Romanesque architecture like most of Western Europe. Some of the greatest examples of Romanesque churches in Galicia are the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the Ourense Cathedral, Saint John of Caaveiro, Our Lady Mary of Cambre and the Church of San Juan of Portomarín among others.   read more…

Theme Week La Rioja – Santo Domingo de la Calzada

27 January 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Plaza de España © Ecelan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Plaza de España © Ecelan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Santo Domingo de la Calzada is situated on the banks of the Oja River. Its name refers to its founder, Dominic de la Calzada, who built a bridge, hospital, and hotel here for pilgrims on the Way of St. James. The town’s Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada is dedicated to him. Its facade contains statues of Emeterius and Celedonius. The altar was sculpted in 1537-40 by Damián Forment in the Renaissance style. Santo Domingo de la Calzada is one of the Rioja towns most deeply marked by the Pilgrim’s Route to Santiago de Compostela. Its network of medieval streets, declared a National Historic Interest Site, store a valuable heritage, particularly its walls, the Cathedral and the old Pilgrims’ Hospital.   read more…

Santiago de Compostela

4 July 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General, European Capital of Culture

Casa del Cabildo © - Aestudio/cc-by-2.0

Casa del Cabildo © – Aestudio/cc-by-2.0

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia in northwestern Spain, with 95,000 inhabitants. Santiago is the site of the University of Santiago de Compostela, established in the early 16th century. The main campus can be seen best from an alcove in the large municipal park in the centre of the city.   read more…

The Way of St. James

22 August 2012 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage

Ways of St. James in Western Europe © Manfred Zentgraf/CC-BY-SA

Ways of St. James in Western Europe © Manfred Zentgraf/CC-BY-SA

The Way of St. James or St. James’ Way (Spanish: El Camino de Santiago) is the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried. The Way of St. James has existed for over a thousand years. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times, together with Rome and Jerusalem, and a pilgrimage route on which a plenary indulgence could be earned; other major pilgrimage routes include the Via Francigena to Rome and the pilgrimage to Jerusalem.   read more…

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