Do you dream about seeing, feeling and breathing in an incredible place, in which you could stroll through time, finding yourself enjoying the streets which transport you to a medieval, modern and contemporary world at the same time?
Would you like to take part in its festivities like if you were just one of the locals?
Do you feel like entering in a privileged environment where you can see a rainbow drawing the city streets, squares and gardens?
If you have been looking for all this and more, welcome to Mondoñedo, a historical paradise on Spanish lands.
Mondoñedo, a place where distinguished Spanish historic characters, such as Álvaro Conqueiro or the song writer Pascual Veiga, saw the light for the first time; however, this city is not only that, it is so much more. You have just arrived to a locality that embraces you so you can take part of this community from the very first moment and so that you feel like you belong here because its people will share their homes with you, their unique country houses called pazos, their parties, their atmosphere, that particular culture that has been transmitted generation to generation over the centuries. Mondoñedo is well known for its urban design, nature and gastronomy. All this without forgetting about its popular festivities, which in a great way are the expression of a sense of community generously offered to everyone who visits. The following festivities are celebrated in honor of the city’s patron Saint Lucas, going all the way back to the XII century. As Quendas, being the oldest dating back to the 16th century; and Os Remedios and its medieval market. These cerlebrations that now belong to you, but that were looked back with nostalgia for those who had to emigrate to the foreign lands of America carrying in their hearts the dream of their soon return.
Just when you get to the city, the traveller will not take long before sighting its magnificient cathedral, a colossal building with Roman style dated from the 8th century; designed by medieval architects that, certainly manage to design it in a friendly and majestic way, consecrated under the dedication of the Lady of the Assumption and which was declared National Heritage Site in 1902.
According to its style, this temple exhibits the resilient unadorned stone on the exterior only furnished with some watermarks and the lichen of years and years of life. On the interior everything changes thanks to a unique altarpiece made by Fernando de Terán, which is accompanied by prominent imagery which as a whole allows the visitor to admire an exceptional Christian temple.
But, even though its magnificence, the cathedral does not stop in itself, it embraces you, shows you around and then returns the traveller to the city so he can enjoy it once he gets its essence. Now, from the main square where its front side spreads along the street is where we start a whole new experience right on its pavement.
Because it is from here where, as if it was a huge starfish, the main streets scatter. In these cobbled streets the visitor wanders from a feeling to another, from dry to wet, light to shadows, sweet scent to salty one. These old streets paved with old stones and flanked by old houses where through centuries people were exceptionally soaked by this imprint of St. Jame’s Way. Throughout this road, many pilgrims walked to obtain religious indulgences from the Apostol.
It is in these streets where the locals and visitors life boils, where the traveller is offered the best products from this land, from vegetables to craftworks, all this without leaving aside the rich gastronomy the city offers.
Some of these houses extinguish themselves up since they don’t have a way out, while others simulate being gobbled down ancient doorway. Nonetheless, the great majority will lead us to new and, until that moment, unknown places or buildings such as the Sanctuary of Los Remedios, San Pablo’s Hospital, or El Pazo del Regidor Luaces. All this without forgetting about its natural environment, its antique livestock markets and its excellent restaurants in which you can gain your strength back.
Beyond its urban nucleus we can find the tranquility and simplicity of its neighbourhood called Os Muiños, tranformed into an extraordinary place where you can contemplate millers and artisans in a medieval world.
But we can also examine Mondoñedo from a different perspective, we just simply have to climb up the extremely ancient stairs from the Via Crucis and let them lead us to the Monastery of Los Picos, from where we will have the chance to observe a different image of the locality, mingling the architecture, sacred or profane, camouflaging with the green from the nature, the blue from the clear skies or the leaden gray from the rainy clouds.
Everything has been told and much more could be, this is your place, this is your city, Mondoñedo.