World-renowned pilgrimage and World Heritage site, the cathedral of old town Santiago de Compostela is not only architecturally stunning but is steeped in history. A place to which thousands of Christians walk the ‘Camino de Santiago’, the city and its cathedral mark the historical struggle between Muslims and Spanish Christians in the 10th century – but it is also a symbol of the coming of Christianity in Galicia. With its Gothic appearance, high Roman colonnades in the nave and its sacred interior, the cathedral is both an important and intriguing place to visit in Galicia’s Santiago de Compostela.
Home to the Real Club Deportivo de La Coruña, the Galician and Spanish professional club, the Riazor stadium is the place to visit for avid followers of football or anyone that is interested in sports. Re-built in the 1940s, due to the fact that the club had grown too large for the previous stadium, the Estadio Riazor now seats 34,600 spectators. Having hosted major sporting events, including the 1982 World Cup final, the stadium is both structurally impressive and replete with history, making it a must-see for tourists in Galicia.
Deportiva Riazor, Rúa Manuel Murguía, A Coruña, Spain +34 981 189 800
With its Gothic structure and rich history, the Catedral de Ourense is a must-see if you are traveling to Ourense, Galicia. An important monument and perhaps a throwback to the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela, in the light of the imitative Door of Paradise, this basilica has its own unique story. It was rebuilt in the 13th century, having been destroyed by medieval Muslim invaders of the province, and is highly revered throughout Galicia. Despite being tucked away, the cathedral is a destination that should not be missed out.
Catedral de Ourense, Praza do Trigo, Ourense, Spain +34 988 220 992
Looking over the Atlantic Ocean, high atop a peninsula that juts out into the sea stands the Tower of Hercules. A beacon and landmark to A Coruña’s harbor, northwest Galicia, the lighthouse’s Roman history certifies it as a World Heritage site and a must-visit for tourists. The tower features a sculpture park in the form of enormous, chiseled rocks, which fascinatingly tracks the structural changes to the tower over time. From the tower’s stairs, some 102 meters above sea level, breathtaking views of the deep blue, powerful Atlantic waves can be seen. At night, the tower’s lights scan the ocean’s surface and shine out onto the sea.
Torre de Hercules, Avenida Navarra, A Coruña, Spain +32 981 223 730
An instance of Galicia’s deep, Roman history, the Walls of Lugo are a significant World Heritage Site that simply must be visited. Constructed in the 3rd century and enclosing the town itself, the walls were built as a defence to the Roman city of Lucus. A fascinating architectural structure that spans two kilometres, this site is described by UNESCO World Heritage as ‘an outstanding example of the type of construction and architectural and archaeological group which illustrates various significant periods of human history’.
By Sophia Francis