de Santiago / French Way : 32. Portomarín - Palas de Rei
leave Portomarín walk back towards the Escalinata
de Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, the little chapel
at the top of the stairs. Following the yellow arrows
you will cross an old footbridge over the Río Torres
which will take you down a minor road then down
country track gradually walking uphill to the old
main road. When you reach the main road cross over
and walk down the track on the other side. Over
the next few kilometres you will be walking more
or less parallel to the main road passing through
the hamlet of Toxibó, eventually reaching
the village of Gonzar 7.5 kilometres out
Gonzar there are a couple of albergues, one
private, which has a café which does reasonable
food, and the other municipal. There is a small
café/bar on the road but this tends to be open mainly
in the summer.
out of Gonzar take a track just past one of the
albergues and after 1 kilometre you enter the village
village was named after a large hill fort or castro
in the vicinity, the remains of which can still
be seen up on the hillside. There is a local story
that tells of a girl who took pig snouts as an offering
to the gods at the annual festival. She returned
to the area the next day to see that these snouts
had turned into coal which she promptly threw away.
However, something caused her to keep one of them
and she returned home. On waking the next day she
found that the lump of coal had turned into gold
and she ran back to the village to find the rest
of the coal she had thrown away only to find that
it had all disappeared. No doubt picked up by the
path continues through the village and after 2.5
kilometres you arrive at Hospital de la Cruz.
As the name suggests there was once a pilgrim hospital
here but other than giving the village its name
nothing remains of the hospital. Accommodation can
be found at the albergue and a small bar/restaurant
is close by if you want to grab a bite to eat.
past the albergue and across a footbridge down an
old country road for about 1.5 kilometres until
you reach Ventas de Narón.
the previous village of Hospital de la Cruz the
village of Ventas de Narón also had a pilgrim
hospital built in the 13th century by the Knights
Templar. Unfortunately the only remaining intact
part of the hospital is the small Ermita de Santa
María Magdalena, some of the ruins can still be
seen close by. This area is also believed to be
the site of a battle between the Christians and
the moors in the 9th century with the Christians
coming out victorious over the Emir of Córdoba.
are 3 albergues in Ventas de Narón, 2 are priva
run and both have cafés which provide meals and
the other is run by the Xunta de Galicia.
out of the village passing the small chapel and
a wooden wayside cross and up to the Sierra de Ligonde.
This is the highest point on this section at around
756 metres above sea level and provides some great
views over the valleys below. The path now begins
to descend and takes you through the hamlets of
Previsa and Lameiros.
and the next village of Ligonde you will find a
17th century cruceiro which is said to be
the most famous cruceiro on the Camino. A little
further on and just before you enter Ligonde you
will find another stone cross which marks the location
of an ancient pilgrim cemetery, all that remains
of a former pilgrim hospital.
has a couple of albergues but only the municipal
albergue is open all the year round, the other which
is privately run opens only during the summer months.
1 kilometre further down the road you come to Eirexe
(also known as Airexe) which has an albergue
and a couple of pensiones if you were unable to
get a place in Ligonde. There is a small café across
the road from the albergue which does food.
path continues now past a lavadero and towards the
hamlet of As Cruces. At the crossroads here
cross over and head down the road which has a sign
saying Palas de Rey 10 kilometres. This will take
you through the hamlets of Portos and A
Calzada both of which have an albergue.
you want to take a slight detour at A Calzada
you can go to the Monasterio de San Salvador
at Vilar de Donas. This 13th century monastery
was donated to the Knights of Santiago (Caballeros
de Santiago) in 1224 by the noble family Arias de
Monterroso. The church that remains was built in
the 14th century over the previous church. This
national monument is the official burial place of
the Knights of Santiago and contains some impressive
frescoes. Well worth a detour.
at A Calzada the path takes you through the
hamlets of Lestedo where there is a hostal
that provides meals, Valos (also known as
Balos), Mamurria and Brea. The track
now climbs through the hamlet of O Rosario
and up to the Alto de Rosario from where,
on a clear day, you can see Monte Pico Sacro the
mountain that overlooks Santiago de Compostela.
The path now descends passing by an albergue and
a hostal and down into the small town of Palas
de Rei or pallatium regis was given this name
when the Visigoth King Witiza who reigned here during
the early 8th century, built a palace here. Again
like many other towns and villages we have passed
through Palas de Rei prospered during the height
of the Camino de Santiago during the Middle Ages
and there are a number of Pazos and noble houses
dotted around to show the affluence of the area.
One of these, the Pazo de Ulloa is said to have
once been the residence of the Galician Queen Doña
town is nice enough with most of town life revolving
around the Plaza del Concello. There is a small
church la Iglesia de San Tirso which had originally
been built in the late 12th, early 13th century
but it has undergone numerous changes over the centuries
and the only original part of the church is the
can be found at a number of albergues and hostals
a couple of which offer meals. There are a number
of restaurants in the town that offer pilgrim menus
as well as a couple of supermarkets, bars and cafés.
4 kilometres from Palas de Rei there is a well preserved
castle called Castelo de Pambre which was
built by Don Gonzalo Ozores de Ullloa during the
14th century. The castle was lucky to survive the
Irmandiño uprising and was sold by the Duke of Alba
to a local called Don Jose Soto in 1895 for the
grand sum of 27,000 pesetas. It then passed through
the hands of the Moreiras Blanco family and was
latterly owned by Don Manuel Taboada Fernandez the
count of Borrazeiros. When Don Manuel passed away
it was taken over by a religious order and is believed
to have been sold to the Xunta who will open it
as a tourist attraction.
à CF description
at wanadoo.fr - 07/01/2014