null Itinerario - Santa Trega
The first city
1. Calvo Sector
Excavation work began in this area in 1914 and even then the complexity of the site was clearly visible. One of the points of access to the settlement was located here: the northern gate. There are also two rebuilt huts, one of the site’s iconic images. These would have formed a part of a more complex structure, defined in archaeology as a “dwelling unit”. Their somewhat chaotic layout and position on the mountain suggest they were part of the settlement’s final expansion.
2. Mergelina Sector
Excavated in the 1930s and recently re-excavated, the urban development project is more clearly visible here than in the other sectors that can be visited. Streets that ran in a north-south direction served to organise the spaces for the families living here to build their dwellings. Situated to the west, a rectangular structure superimposed on to other previous circular ones stands out. It has been identified as a sacred space or communal area.
3. Southern gate
The second point of access to the settlement, architecturally more complex than the gate to the north, is situated here. Beside the gate, and outside the wall, is one of the settlement’s largest concheiros, or shell middens, an accumulation of rubbish made up of a significant number of shells —hence its name—, fish remains and pottery fragments
4. Huts on the summit
The summit of the mountain is notable not only for its magnificent views and visual command of the landscape, but also because it possesses several circular structures confirming that the mountain was inhabited from its summit down to the lower slopes nearer the river. Given all of the changes that have occurred over the centuries, it is more difficult to appreciate any hint of urban development here, showing a closer resemblance to other settlements from the Iron Age in the province of Pontevedra, where no trace of urban planning is to be found.
5. Santa Trega Archaeological Museum (MASAT)
Created in 1917 in the town of A Guarda and moved to its current location in 1944. Here, almost all of the archaeological artefacts that have been uncovered during the different excavation campaigns between 1914 and the present day are kept. By exhibiting the most representative material accompanied by a meticulous dialogue, the MASAT is not only an exhibition space, but also an interpretation centre for the site. Featured among the objects exhibited are sculptures, amphorae remains and an extensive collection of Roman coins.
¡Lo que no te puedes perder!
A Guarda’s Historical Quarter (A Guarda)
A stroll through its streets allows us to familiarise ourselves with the architecture and design of the fishermen’s quarter with its traditional fishermen’s houses, which are narrow, several storeys high and colourful. Along with the breakwaters, they have shaped the Port into a gathering point where locals and visitors alike can enjoy the pedestrianised streets full of bars and restaurants. The fish market is situated on the quay and is open on working days to visitors curious to see what fish and seafood has been caught that day. The A Guarda swordfish fleet is considered one of the most important in Spain. The Lobster Festival is held on the first weekend in July, and has been declared a Festival of Tourist Interest.
Santa Cruz Castle (A Guarda)
This castle forms a part of the defensive fortresses and systems that were built along the final stretch of the River Miño in the 18th century during the War of Independence between Spain and Portugal. As we walk through the walled site, different interpretation panels and audio guides that can be downloaded onto a smartphone provide an in-depth account of the fortress’s history. The Interpretation Centre helps us understand its function within the wider defensive system as a whole
Museum of the Sea (A Guarda)
This museum is housed in a building especially constructed in 1997 to recreate an ancient defensive fortress with a circular floor plan: a watchtower. It is situated in the port, the original building having been knocked down in 1945. The items exhibited here enable visitors to familiarise themselves with the life and traditions of fishermen in A Guarda, and include examples of traditional and modern-day fishing gear as well as local residents’ accounts recorded on audio-visual media.
Seixal Saltworks (A Guarda)
Old saltworks dating back to the 1st century which formed a part of a large salt mine on the Atlantic coast. Several stone slab, tiered, settling tanks and small, dividing walls also built using stone slabs are preserved. The salt produced here was used to preserve fish, enabling it to be transported and sold in other regions. The Coastal Path passes in front of the saltworks, running alongside the coastline of A Guarda from the port to the mouth of the River Miño, to end at O Muíño beach. The 3.6 kilometre path is pedestrian and part of it can also be used by cyclists.
River Miño Estuary ()
A natural border between Spain and Portugal. The mouth of the River Miño forms an estuary considered one of the peninsula’s most important wetlands, where two ecosystems, river and marine, converge. The PR-G 160 route, which begins near Salcidos parish church, allows walkers to discover the diversity of nature and the landscape the Estuary embraces, whether it be the flora and fauna, the ethnographic elements such as the “pesqueiras” (stone structures used to fish for lamprey) at the mouth of the river, the ceramic furnaces in Salcidos or the windmills on the coast. Interpretation panels along the route provide information on the Estuary’s importance in relation with its fauna and vegetation, as well as significant ecological aspects.