The attractive city of Pontevedra is located on the coast of Galicia in Northern Spain. The city itself is a mix of old and new, with several museums and historic sites to visit. Enjoy the restaurants and tapas bars located in the old and newer parts of the city, where traditional and delicious cuisine can be found. Head to the beautiful beaches for some fun in the sun, as well as all the popular water sports. Pontevedra is also one of the best stops to make along the “Camino de Santiago” (Way of St. James) with monuments to pilgrims and affordable hostels and other accommodation to rest along the way. The following are some examples of the various attractions of this lovely Galician city.
1. Basílica de Santa María la Mayor
The Santa María church is one of the best examples of religious architecture in Pontevedra. Dating back to the 16th century, the church was declared an artistic and historical monument in 1931. The building combines late Gothic with Renaissance architecture, with several fascinating monuments on view inside the church.
Basílica de Santa María la Mayor
Address: Avenida de Santa María, s/n, 36002 Pontevedra
2. Sexto Edificio
The Sexto Edificio in Pontevedra is a museum and art gallery displaying over 16,000 pieces, including paintings, drawings, sculpture, etchings, historic and archaeological objects. The study of the various exhibits on display has uncovered much about the evolution of Galician society from its humble beginnings in the Middle Ages to the present day.
Address: Pasantería, 2-12, 36002 Pontevedra
Website: Sexto Edificio
3. Ruínas de San Domingos
Located on the Way of St. James, Ruínas de San Domingos is one of the oldest buildings in Pontevedra. The Santo Domingo Convent was founded in 1282, with construction continuing throughout the 15th century. Today only a few sections of the original convent buildings can still be seen, including the main apse, part of the south wall and the convent entrance. The building is considered to be an exceptional example of Gothic architecture in Galicia.
Ruínas de San Domingos
Address: Montero Rios, 6001 Pontevedra
Website: Ruínas de San Domingos
4. Open air museum
The Illa das Esculturas is the largest museum of contemporary outdoor art in Galicia, located on the Lérez River which flows through Pontevedra. The area has been made into a recreation park for the whole family, with walks, bike lanes, bridges and fountains, along with a children’s playground. Along the way, visitors can view work by several artists including Dan Grahan, Francisco Leiro, Jose Pedro Croft, Fernando Casás and Jenny Holzer. Virtually all the sculpture work uses Galician granite in a permanent outdoor display.
Illa das Esculturas
Address: Illa da Xunqueira, s/n, 36005 Pontevedra
Website: Illa das Esculturas
5. Marismas Del Alba
The Marismas del Alba is located between Pontevedra and Vilagarcía de Arousa, alongside the Lérez River. This scenic wetland is a Natural Area of Local Interest in the Pontevedra area. The Marismas del Alba is also a recreational and leisure area, perfect for hiking and walking, with shady trees, wooden bridges and restful benches along the way.
6. Convento de San Francisco
The majority of the building was constructed in the 14th century and the Convento de San Francisco is a Fransciscan Conventual church of the Mendicant order. It was declared an artistic and historical monument in 1896. The church hosts the grave of Admiral Paio Gómez Chariño, who was also a troubadour. There are also impressive mural paintings from the 16th and 18th century in the church.
Convento de San Francisco
Address: Praza da Ferrería, s/n, 36002 Pontevedra
7. Capela da Peregrina
Capela da Peregrina is a sanctuary on the “El Camino de Santiago” (Way of St. James). The sanctuary was constructed in 1778 and is one of the most symbolic buildings in Pontevedra. It was constructed as a sanctuary for the patron saint of the city. The floor of the sanctuary is in the shape of a scallop shell and the building has a Baroque façade with sculptured images of the Peregrina, Santiago and San Roque, all dressed as pilgrims who traveled to Santiago on the Portuguese route. At the foot of the stairs, a fountain can be seen.
Capela da Peregrina
Address: Praza da Peregrina, s/n, 36002 Pontevedra
Website: Capela da Peregrina (in Spanish)
8. Pazo Mugartegui
Pazo Mugartegui is located in the La Pedreira square in Pontevedra and is a beautiful example of Baroque architecture. The building has been restored and is used as an exhibition and conference center and concert hall. It also hosts the Wine Regulatory Council of the Rías Baixas Denomination of Origin.
Address: Praza da Pedreira, 36001 Pontevedra
Website: Pazo Mugartegui (in Spanish)
9. Casco Antiguo de Pontevedra
The historic center of Pontevedra is a fascinating place to stroll and take in the history of the city. While following the narrow cobblestoned alleyways and pretty squares, visitors will find themselves surrounded by homes with pretty, flower-filled balconies. There are several historic monuments to visit, including the Ruínas de San Domingos, Basílica de Santa María la Mayor and Capela de Peregrina, described above. Of particular interest is the Alameda, an area surrounded by buildings and monuments to the naval achievements of the city and in particular Christopher Columbus, who is believed to have sailed from the city.
Casco Antiguo de Pontevedra
Enjoy exploring fascinating Pontevedra
Whether looking for sun, sand or water, searching for fun or wishing to explore historic sites, Pontevedra is the ideal city to visit in Galicia, Spain.
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