null Itineario - Alto dos Cubos

Alto dos Cubos

Approximate duration: 30 minutes

1. Access

The invisible defensive systems. The hillforts or fortified Iron Age settlements in the north-west were characterised, among other things, by their defences. Walls, ditches or parapets transformed these inhabited hills into true fortresses. Alto dos Cubos has all of these elements, although they can only be perceived by the elevations of the land or the concentration of stones in specific areas. At the places where the track steepens we cross over two parapets, just before entering the hillfort proper.


2. Surrounding the outcrop

The huts. The hillfort’s constructions were ordered around the large granite boulder, or “bolo”. Although this forms only a small part of all of the constructions the site was comprised of, today three buildings with circular floor plans can be seen. They are interpreted as having been houses, or at least the two with an atrium most probably were. They would have had conical roofs made from plant materials, and the atriums would have been used as everyday working spaces. In their interiors, ceramics or grinding stones were found, giving us clues as to what the everyday life of the hillfort’s inhabitants was like.


3. Command of the landscape

A lookout over the River Miño. Hillforts were deliberately positioned on high land, from where to control and watch over the landscape. Alto dos Cubos fulfils this requirement to perfection. It has an unparalleled view of two of the most significant natural routes in this area of Galicia: the final stretch of the River Miño before it empties into the Atlantic Ocean and the beginning of the Meridian rift. Mineral extraction, lands used for agricultural activities in the Iron Age, the Via XIX, which linked Bracara Augusta (Braga) and Lucus Augusti (Lugo) in Roman times, and, in the Modern Age, the fortified villas of Tui and Valença do Minho (Portugal) could all be controlled from here.


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Monte Aloia Natural Park (Tui)

The mount is a true watchtower, reaching a height of 700 metres above sea level, with 5 different vantage points and extraordinary views of the River Miño. The “Casa Forestal Enxeñeiro Rafael Areses” Nature Interpretation Centre provides an interpretive exhibition to inform visitors about the natural park. Rafael Areses was the engineer responsible for the reforestation of the park in the early 20th century. The park is associated with leisure activities, especially hiking, and forms a part of the network of routes throughout the Baixo, or Lower, Miño.

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Tui (Tui)

A city of Roman origin and with a long and varied history. It features among its many monuments Santa María cathedral (an ancient fortress and temple, consecrated in 1225), San Telmo chapel, the church and convent of the nuns of the order of St. Clare, the Porta Bergán (Bergán Doorway) and the gothic church of Santo Domingo. Tui lies on the banks of the River Miño, which separates it from Portugal, but they are joined by the International Bridge, whose construction was influenced by Eiffel, opening in 1886.

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Petroglyphs of Monte Tetón ()

An ensemble of engravings grouped together in two main sites and which include an iconographic repertoire made up of cup marks, square patterns, animal and human figures and, above all, combinations of concentric circles.

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Muíños do Folón e do Picón (Water mills of Folón and Picón) (O Rosal)

A route which takes us past 60 water mills following the river downhill in succession and forming an impressive ensemble of traditional engineering. It has been declared a Site of Cultural Interest and is a true natural balcony overlooking the Baixo Miño.

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Fortaleza de Goián (Goián Fortress) (Tomiño)

The Forte de San Lourenzo (Fort of St. Lawrence), built in the 17th century, was included in the defensive system of the “Raia” (“the Line”), the border between Galicia and Portugal during the Portuguese Restoration War.

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