null Tour - Castro de Penalba

Castro de Penalba

Approximate duration: 20 minutes

1. The wall

The Castro de Penalba, one of the oldest in Galicia, dated between the 9th and 8th centuries BCE, is comprised of a terrace and an upper site, or croa. The lower terrace is surrounded and demarcated by a stone wall laid on a 3–6-metre-high slope. It is one of the first examples of the monumentalisation and fortification of an Iron Age settlement in the province of Pontevedra.


2. The terrace

The hidden huts. The terrace, in strict terms, has an average width of 31 metres. Several circular and elongated huts with diameters measuring from 5–6.5 metres were documented during the archaeological excavations carried out. They are characterised by their interiors, paved with granite slabs, onto which masonry plinths were laid to serve as the foundations of the walls and roof, made out of perishable materials (wood and mud). These huts were multi-purpose spaces to be used as dwellings, stores or pens.


3. Santo Antón chapel

The current chapel was built in the 18th century. It has a rectangular floor plan and its front door has a lintel and a splayed window. A simple belfry crowns the building. The chapel, dedicated to St. Anthony, would appear to have been built over a more ancient one, whose age is unknown, although it is thought to have been dedicated to St. Martin. On 13 June every year, the traditional St. Andrew’s pilgrimage is held in the chapel.


4. The “Pedra da Serpe” (Serpent’s Stone)

On the upper site of the castro a large granite slab can be found, which, as its name indicates, bears an engraving interpreted as being two serpents, perhaps in a mating scene. The interpretation itself is complex, although it remains a living element in the folklore of the place, as tradition would have it that, having made an offering of a bowl of milk for the serpents to drink from, childless couples should copulate there on the eve of the feast of St. John if they were to be granted children.


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Rock Art Archaeological Park of Campo Lameiro (Campo Lameiro)

The tour of the archaeological park includes access to three different spaces: the permanent exhibition, housed in the Interpretation and Documentation Centre, the archaeological area itself, featuring ensembles such as Laxe dos Carballos, Outeiro dos Cogoludos or Laxe da Forneiriña, and the reconstruction of a Final Bronze Age settlement.

This artistic ensemble was recently added to European cultural heritage through the European Cultural Routes, the Prehistoric Rock Art Trails, an association under the aegis of the Council of Europe which groups together almost all of Europe’s most important tourist destinations based on ancient history.

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Acibeiro Monastery (Forcarei)

A jewel of Romanesque architecture in the province of Pontevedra. It was founded in the 12th century, the Benedictines being the first monks to arrive. The 12th and 13th centuries saw the arrival of the Order of Cistercians, which explains why it does not strictly follow the Cistercian style. It is one of the first seven monasteries that existed in the diocese of Compostela.

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A Lapa de Gargantáns (Moraña)

A megalithic monument comprising a large elongated stone sunk vertically into the ground, with cup and snake-shape engravings. Its function as an element of demarcation would have been related in prehistoric times to funeral, ritual or spatial aspects, as different natural transit routes converge in its surroundings.

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Laxe da Rotea de Mendo (Campo Lameiro)

The most significant motif of this ensemble of petroglyphs is the figure of a large, male deer, probably the largest to be found in Galician rock art and represented in a standing position with its mouth open as if it were making the characteristic rutting sound. A trail links this petroglyph to the Penalba castro.

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Curro de Sabucedo (A Estrada)

Every July, the “curro” (animal pen) in Sabucedo hosts the “Rapa das Bestas” (cutting of the horses’ manes), the purpose of which is to delouse the wild horses and improve their health and hygienic conditions. The “curro” is the pen where this takes place.

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