null Yacimiento - Castro de Penalba

One of the most ancient hillforts

The hillfort, or Coto, de Penalba is located in an area where a large number of rock engravings are to be found. It lies on an elevated piece of land with numerous rocky outcrops. The "Pedra da Serpe", or "Serpent's Stone", a petroglyph associated with fertility rites, is preserved on its peak.

In its beginnings, the hillfort was a stable, Final Bronze Age settlement, with an economy based on agriculture and picking and which, at one time, was destroyed by a fire. Immediately after the fire, the process to rebuild the settlement began, using new construction methods, typical of a novel, fortified landscape.

This second phase saw the construction of the settlement's defensive system, with a granite masonry wall built using stones of different sizes, and an exterior wall face laid in irregular courses and stone-filled.

The work to condition the dwelling space stands out, with retaining walls on which flat surfaces were laid to accommodate various circular huts on masonry plinths.

A curved iron dagger, originating from the Mediterranean, stands out among the items found here.

In the 18th century the mount was reoccupied, with the building of a chapel dedicated to St. Anthony, possibly superimposed on the remains of an ancient chapel associated with the Christianisation of the settlement.

An elevated spot

This hillfort is situated on an elevation of the land and is a typical early Iron Age enclave. This location allowed it to dominate and control the mid-valley of the River Lérez, which provided vital resources, but also meant it was subject to external threats which might have affected the stability and prosperity of the settlement's inhabitants.