- A Coru˝a
This region, occupying the extreme north western corner of the peninsula and called Finis Terrae by the Romans who believed it to be the westermost land in the world, was widely known in the Middle Ages thanks to the Route of St. James, the principal pilgrimage route in Europe. A mountainous, wet region, its jagged coastline is especially noteworthy. It is formed by a succession of inlets, or rias, wide, rocky estuaries and is rich in seafood. Galicia has a culture all its own a rich folkloric tradition its own language, Galician.
Corunna (A Coru˝a) is the largest Galician city. Of historically remote origins, it has preserved a considerable heritage of monuments and old buildings, among which are Romanesque churches and Roman lighthouse. Its most beautiful and original feature is perhaps the characteristic fašade on its houses, which are completely covered by mirador windows.
Santiago de Compostela, is the current capital of Galicia and one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. The old world famous centre of European pilgrimage, its Romanesque cathedral, with a grandiose Baroque fašade, constitutes the centre of life in Santiago. The city has many other interesting buildings, such as the Old University, the Romanesque Collegiate Church of Santa Maria del Sar, the Gelmirez Palace and the magnificent Reyes Catolicos Hotel, currently a luxurious tourist hotel, or Parador.
Lugo, the capital of the province of the same name, has preserved all of its Roman walls and a beautiful Romanesque cathedral.
Orense (Ourese) located inland, also has a beautiful Romanesque cathedral.
Pontevedra, on the headland on the ria that carries its name is a serene, tranquil city with beautiful arcaded buildings.
Vigo is the second largest city in Galicia and the regions most important port. Despite spectacular growth, the city's old Quarter has maintained.
The Galician coast begins at Vegadeo or more precisely at the bridge which spans the river. The first of the Rias Altas or Upper Estuaries furnishes the traveller with a rather comprehensive idea of the scenery which awaits him from here until the Costa de la Muerte and Cabo de Finisterre, where the Rias Bajas or Lower Estuaries begin. Ribadeo is an old port city which descends sharply from its Plaza Mayor to the dock area. Just as in so many other towns along this coast, its true charm lies more in its atmosphere which continues to float through the steep streets, rather than in its monumental possessions. It would be superfluous to call the traveller's attention to the beauty of Ribadeo's surroundings.