Despite being old, some of these mountains are still tall enough to see most part of the Valley from their top; for instance, from the Padornelo you can see the city and the valley as they have been and continue to be complementary to one another.
It is in this landscape, which is green for the most part of the year, where human beings wandered through centuries. That is precisely the case of diocese of Britonia which already existed in the British Isles back in the 4th century, and which was established in Galicia from the late 5th century or early 6th century, in an attempt to escape from the anglosaxons invading that land at the time.
The diocese, going from Ortigueira to Navia soon met its first owner, Bishop Mailoc.
Later on, that parish would develop to give raise to diocese Mindoniense, which rose in the 9th century in the midst of the Reconquest founded by Pelayo, a noble visigoth, and next to which numerous villages later turned out into permanent human settlements would arise.
Settlers never lacked water, the most important of vital neccessities along with food because here, next to the mountains the lands are flat and productive. Streams and fountains share the space with the glassy-watered rivers of Rego Cesuras and Rego Valiñadares flowing in the rives Masma, the most important fluvial channel in Mondoñedo; a name used already in the Medieval and probably Pre-romanic era, which can be roughly translated as “the very wet river”.
Those waters, sometimes calm and sometimes rough, as is the case of the renowned Salto Fervenza, show us the grandiosity of nature inside the valley.
The trees, bushes and water along with the old mountains and plains make the Valley of Mondoñedo a priviliged place not only in Galicia but also in Spain. Unique places are found there, expressed in local legends such as the one in the cave where, according to a long-held tradition, the haunted souls of King Cintuolo and his beautiful daughter, Manfada, dwell.
Placed between the Sierras de Lourenzá, A Toxiza and the Montes de Toledo, the Valley of Mondoñedo is situated in the heart of round mountains, which are the result of millions of years of erosion and where the wind, snow and rain seem like they have always been there.
The map of the place is perennially depicted by pine and eucalypts forests, but other additional tree species such as chestnuts, oaks, birches, poplars and willows are added. Along with its greenery, there is even a wildlife rich area filled with wolves, roe deers, boars, and herds of wild horses, which are nearly extinct.
All of them have largely accompanied the human being from the early days. Traces date from the megalithic age until now since almost all civilizations which have been present in the Iberian Peninsula passed trhough and stopped here.
For this reason, in the Valley of Mondoñedo we can find stately homes architectuarally harmonious with humble buildings, stables and craft workshops. However, it is clear that granaries will never passed unnoticed. Transformed into well-known and stunning buildings which the valley settlers used to preserve food from the land, they have acquired such distinctiveness that many people have renamed them as typical Mondoñedo style buildings.
That is the case of the celebrated “cabozo”, a typical building of the area that serves for the storage of meats, grains, potatoes, etc. which was made very popular in the Mondoñedo valley from the early years of the 17th century, after the arrival of the first corn plants coming from America.
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