null Itineario - Mercado dos Mouros

Mercado dos Mouros

Approximate duration: 30 minutes

1. An island in the River Ulla…?

Since prehistoric times, the River Ulla has been a significant fluvial course, as a place of ritual (votive deposits consisting of weapons were made there during the Bronze Age) and, especially, as a means of communication. Mercado dos Mouros is a small elevation on the River Ulla which, at high tide, is totally surrounded by water. It was a small riverside settlement that exploited the both fluvial as well as agricultural and livestock resources, even functioning as a small landing stage or trading point.


2. The occupation of the site

Underground structures. In this site, three excavation campaigns were undertaken, documenting different structures, among which the following stand out: a circular dwelling measuring over 5.5 m in diameter and built with perishable materials (straw and mud), and in whose interior ceramics, a fragment of a grinding stone, loom and spindle weights and a Roman amphora were uncovered; a rectangular stone structure (though much changed) which can be interpreted as a storage hut, as the remains of amphorae and other storage jars were found here, and, in the area nearest to the river, a wall which surrounded the site, thought to be a retaining wall to prevent the settlement from being flooded.


3. A navigable river

From the mouth of the river itself to the town of Pontecesures as it stands today, the River Ulla is navigable. Currently, different boats sail up and down the river, as indeed they have done since Ancient times. Proof of this are the numerous fragments of archaeological objects found when the river has been dredged over the years. Also, in the Middle Ages, the Normans sailed up the Ulla in an attempt to reach inland Galicia during different incursions.


¡Lo que no te puedes perder!

Towers of the West (Catoira)

In the Middle Ages, this enclave was one of the most important forts in Galicia. It controlled the traffic on the River Ulla and was key to defending the city of Compostela. Currently, the remains of two towers and the chapel are preserved. The surrounding area is of great scenic beauty, and on the first Sunday in August, a festival re-enacting the Viking landing takes place.

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Mercedes Mine Lagoon (Valga)

This is an old open-air clay mine that once manufactured bricks and has now been transformed into a lagoon. It has a floating pontoon and its entire perimeter has been conditioned to allow visitors to enjoy long walks in this peaceful, natural environment. It forms a part of the Valga Ecomuseum, a network of places of natural interest, which also includes the River Valga’s waterfalls, mount Beiro and Vilarello river beach.

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Mount Xiabre ()

The area boasts numerous routes and vantage points enabling visitors to enjoy the historical and landscape heritage. This is the highest point of the Salnés region, ideal for taking in the wonderful views of the Arousa ria and its mussel rafts.

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Abalo Windmills (Catoira)

On the summit of mount Abalo are to be found a number of windmills built at the end of the 19th century, unique in Spain on account of their two-blade system. Their location offers spectacular views of the Arousa ria and the mouth of the River Ulla, as well as Pedras Miúdas lagoon.

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Setecoros Church (Valga)

A baroque church with significant neoclassical alterations in the 19th century, for example, the façade. The current bell tower is even more recent, built in 1910. Setecoros is a record of the passage of time from the Late Roman period to the present day. Near the church is a large and beautiful olive grove with more than 800 trees.

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