Portomarín is a charming Galician municipality, located in the province of Lugo. Born by the Miño river, the town’s history and tradition attracts a great number of tourists. Portomarín is also well known by the pilgrims, it is a very popular stop in the French Route to Santiago as it is the final stop of the first stage of this route, which starts in Sarria. If you don’t know this region yet, here are 7 things that you can do in Portomarín.
- Saint Nicolas Church
Also known as Saint John’s church, it was the determining factor for Portomarín to become a must stop in the Camino during the Middle Ages. The church was built in the 13th century. It was because of its strategic location (the church was connected to the only bridge that, in the Middle Ages, crossed the Miño connecting Lugo and Ourense), that the church was designed as a fortress of the Galician Medieval architecture.
- The staircase and the Snow Chapel
Portomarín’s staircase is the busiest entrance of the place. Pilgrims coming from Sarria (the starting point of the French Route) come up these stairs. On top of the staircase, you can find the Snow Chapel. The Snow Chapel is the , and the staircase that you use to get to said chapel was part of the old town’s bridge. From the top of the chapel there is a spectacular view of theEmbalse de Belesar Dam.
- Conde de la Maza’s country house
Visiting Conde de la Maza’s country house is a must if you go to Portomarín. The monument, built in the 16th century, is one of the few that could be saved from the Belesar Dam’s flooding, and it has been restored years after the flooding.. It is because of its move from the old Portomarín to the new one, that we can admire it today as one of the great examples of the Galician civil architecture.
The old town of Portomarín
The town of Portomarín was built in the Middle Ages and it was originally located in the riverbank of the Miño river, among the town’s famous visitors we can find the Catholic Monarchs, Carlos V or Felipe II. Belesar’s flooding was the reason why most of the monuments had to be moved creating a new Portomarín, but Portomarín’s essence could not be moved. When the Miño waters run low, you can still see the remainings of the con vineyards, monuments, and whole towns even that had been flooded.
Terraces over the Miño in the Club Náutico
The terraces of the Zona Verde and the Gaddafi are some of the most popular locations of the city, and some of the tourist’s favourite stops in Portomarín.
Most monuments tend to be majestic. But, in the case of the Magdalena’s Chapel, it is the simplicity of its design,, and the Galician granite with which it was built, what makes the chapel so charming. The chapel is in Ventas de Narón, a remote place that you can find in the outskirts of Portomarín.
Castro of Castromaior
Castromaior was built in the Iron Age, and the village will remain populated until the Roman occupation, when the castro is abandoned. The village has continued to evolve, and today it is a must stop in Portomarín as it is an incredible view point of the whole region./b>
On top of these places, Potomarín also offers accommodation and restaurants for visitors and pilgrims who stop by in their way to Santiago.