PONTEVEDRA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    13.3.06

SIGHTS

 

Pontevedra’s many sights are well described – in English – in the excellent leaflet I have mentioned as being available from the Turismo – ‘Pontevedra step-by-step’. So this is just a brief introduction to them, to give you a taste.

Really, though, the most enjoyable thing to do is just to wander the marvellous old quarter, remembering to look up from time to time to see the balconies, the flowers, the galerias and the coats-of-arms. With more and more buildings being restored, this jewel of a place gets better and better. The route given in the Turismo leaflet is as good as any. Of course, the more central and prettier your surroundings, the more you will pay for your coffee. And you won’t get a biscuit thrown in.

One of the joys of the old quarter is the old fashioned shops, none of which are there just for tourists. My favourite is the ironmongers [ferretería] in Rua Real. 

Here they have their wares in little boxes behind the counter and they will sell you just one screw, if that is all you want.

 

There are guided walking tours of the quarter in July, August and September (during the day) and from 15 July to 15 August by night.  Details can be found in the flier ‘Viaxa ao pasado’ available from the Turismo

The Alameda

Previously the orchard of a convent, running down towards the sea from in front of the town hall in Praza España.

 

 

The statue of Christopher Columbus.

You will find this between the two neo-classical buildings to the left of the Alameda - as you walk towards the sea. As you can see, he was clearly the first to sail across the Atlantic single-handedly.

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The Pazo de Deputación.  

An example of the eclectic style of the late 19th century. In the Alameda

 

The Ruins of San Domingo

At the top of the Alameda. The remains of a 14th century church, said to be have been destroyed by Francis Drake, who regularly terrorised this coast and is regarded locally, naturally enough, as nothing but a psychopathic pirate. It is not a good thing to boast of a family relationship.

 

The Pazo de Concello

Known both as the Ayuntamiento [Town Hall] and the Casa Consistorial. Also 19th century eclectic. A handsome building in Praza España on the edge of the old quarter

 

The Basilica de Santa Maria A Maior

A large, impressive church in late gothic style, with a plateresque façade.

 

The Casa do Baron de Casa Goda

A 16/17th century mansion, now the town’s Parador. Large neoclassical entrance and beautiful staircase

 

The Praza de Cinco Calles

The first of a series of delightful small squares in the old quarter

 

The Praza de Teucro

A picturesque square, overlooked by several pazos bearing the arms of their 17th and 18th century owners

 

The Teatro Principal

The city's old theatre

 

The Nazarene Chapel

An odd little place of worship, down the side of the Teatro Principal  

 

The Praza de Ferrería (Herrería)

The town’s impressive main square and meeting place. Venue for many events.

 

The Igrexa de San Francisco

14th century church, once belonging to the adjacent convent which has now houses the offices of the inland revenue.

 

The Convent of San Francisco

Now the tax office [The Hacienda]

 

The Praza de Leña

Another charming little square – opposite the museum – which is named after the product (firewood) which was sold here. The scene of my Sunday squid.

 

The Igrexa de San Bartolomeu

One of the finest examples of Galician baroque, dating from the 17th century.

 

The Convento de Santa Clara

Retains its 14th century gothic church, which as polygonal apse and a collection of fine baroque altarpieces

 

The Praza de Peregrina

In this square stands the beautiful, little scallop-shaped chapel of the Virxe Peregrina

 

The chapel of the Virxe Peregrina

Built in 1778. It combines both baroque and early neo-classical elements, such as the altars. This was a major venue for pilgrims on the so-called Portuguese road to Santiago

 

The Burgo Bridge

The bridge taken by pilgrims from Portugal on their way to Santiago

 

The Xardins de Eduardo Vincenti

Just off the Alameda, these gardens, together with the Colón gardens and the Paseo de Rosalía de Castro, provide a relaxing place to sit or stroll among palm trees and aviaries of tropical birds.