Lugo Tourist Attractions
Lugo, situated on the upper Miño (Galician Minho), in the uplands of Galicia in northwestern Spain, is chief town of its province and the see of a bishop.
It is a town with a long history: there was a Celtic settlement on the site, and the Romans developed it into an important city and military base under the name of Lucus Augusti. The town has preserved most of its circuit of Roman walls, with numerous towers. When the Moors, under their general Muza, attacked the town in 714 they were unable to destroy the walls and had to content themselves with burning the place down. Within a few years, however, it was rebuilt. In the 10th century Lugo was captured by Norman raiders, but after they were driven out the town enjoyed a relatively peaceful existence until the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century. Lugo is now the center of a beautiful, largely agricultural region. Around the outskirts of the town are rather dreary and unappealing districts of high-rise apartment blocks, but within the old walls Lugo is a lively town which also has many peaceful nooks and corners and handsome old buildings.
The town center is completely enclosed by the old town walls, built by the Romans in the second and third centuries A.D. and renovated or rebuilt in the 14th century. They have a total length of 2,131m/2,330yd, an average height of 11m/36ft and an average thickness of 4.5m/15ft. Of the original total of 85 towers 50 have survived the various sieges of the town. There are ten gates, the oldest of which are the Puerta de Miñá, Puerta de Falsa and Puerta de Nova. The Puerta de Santiago, opposite the cathedral, was built in the 18th century and is surmounted by a figure of Santiago Matamoros, St James as the Moor-Slayer. At the gates there are steps up to the wall-walk, and a walk round it, which takes about half an hour, affords interesting glimpses of the town, including its back yards, and views of the surrounding hills.
An ancient route taken by the pilgrims on their way to the tomb of the Apostle of St. James, the Way of St James is a World Heritage Site. Lining the route are ancient churches, monasteries, chapels and hostels.
Leave Lugo on N 640, going south, and in 4km/2.5mi turn right into the road to Friol, from which a narrow road on the left is signposted to Bóveda. This passes through a verdant region of woodland and meadows, with areas of pastureland and small fields enclosed by granite walls. The tiny village of Bóveda is worth seeing for its own sake, with its low slated granite houses enclosed by walls and its hórreos (maize stores) - the very picture of a typical old Galician village.
Bóveda's particular attraction, however, is the little church of Santa Eulalia de Bóveda, in the basement of a house on the left at the entrance to the village, which has been declared a national monument. The church is believed to have originally been a Roman nymphaeum (shrine housing a sacred spring) which was converted to Christian use. In the center of this underground chamber, which was of pre-Christian origin, is the basin of the spring, and on the walls are paintings of birds, animals and Christian symbols.
Leave Lugo on N VI (the road to La Coruña) and at Rábade (13km/8mi) turn right into C 641, which runs north to Villalba (22km/14mi). From there the route continues on N 634, which crosses the Puerto de la Xesta (590m/1,936ft) and then descends to Mondoñedo (alt. 200m/660ft), which can be seen picturesquely situated in the valley below.
Cathedral of La Asunción
In the center of this old episcopal town stands the Cathedral of La Asunción, which dates from the 13th Century; the towers flanking the Gothic doorway were added in the 18th century. The most notable feature of the interior, in addition to the Plateresque choir and the two organs, below which are 14th century frescoes, is the figure of Nuestra Señora la Inglesa, originally in St Paul's Cathedral in London, which was brought here by English Catholics during their persecution by Henry VIII.
Plaza de España
The cathedral stands on one side of the very beautiful, slightly sloping Plaza de España, which is surrounded by typical Galician houses, their projecting upper storys supported on timber columns. A stroll through the streets of the town will reveal many old noble mansions bearing coats of arms.
Map of Lugo Attractions