null Mitos y leyendas - Coto de Altamira

Myths and legends of Coto de Altamira (As Neves)

Where is the cave?

The castro at Altamira holds many unsolved mysteries that have only served to fuel the appearance of legends surrounding it. Different archaeological excavations have documented bronze objects of significant historical value (a figure of the Roman god, Mercury, a sculpture, coins, fibulae, lucernes, rings, pins, handles, a pedestal…), some now missing. 

One such legend mentions the existence of an artificial cave leading to the parish church of Taboexa, situated at the foot of the site. The cave’s possible entrance would be blocked, and the land has been distinctly modified by the work carried out in the quarry opened in the 1950s. 

Why do seven churches guard the River Miño?

The location of a chapel dedicated to Saint Bartholomew at the foot of the castro responds to an attempt to eradicate pagan rituals that were carried out in the hills and introduce Christianism. Legend would have it that Saint Bartholomew was one of the seven brothers who decided to climb to the top of the mount to try to make out the body of Saint Elmo, who had drowned in the River Miño. Several chapels exist today in these places, such as the chapels of San Nomedio, San Fins, in Arbo, or San Bartolomé itself (the others are across the river in Portugal). 

Behind the mount of Altamira lies one of these chapels, San Nomedio, previously known as San Mamede. Some say that this spot might have been the location of the legendary battle of mount Medulio, as it is near the Miño valley, as described by classical sources.