Take a Step Back in Time in Lugo

By: Stephen Stewart

Galicia in particular and Northern Spain in general have long been considered to be a hidden jewel in the entire Spanish tourist industry and hidden away within Galicia itself are some further jewels and we are going to examine Lugo further.

If you look at all of the autonomous regions that make up modern day Spain, Galicia has to be the most remote and hidden away within that remoteness lies Lugo.

Historically, always classed as the poorer cousin to some of the other richer regions Galicia had an economy that did not easily lend itself to modernisation and herein lies a paradox in that it is this very reluctance to embrace modernity throughout that gives the region much of its appeal as far as tourism is concerned.

The natives of Galicia if you trace them back far enough have origins very similar to their Celtic cousins in the north and are justifiably proud of their language and culture and these connections no matter how stretched or tenuous give them their sense of regionalism and uniqueness.

Galicia always seemed to be a very closed and inward looking area being fiercely resistant to any formal external invasion and in many ways this degree of isolation was very much driven by the geographical location of the region.

Slowly but surely in the 20th century, Galicia began to develop and today traditional lifestyles rub shoulders with modernity throughout the region whilst at the same time the region has lost none of its more traditional culture and within the tourism economy this is starting to show real benefits.

The ancient town of Lugo is in eastern Galicia lays on one of the main roads into Galicia from Leon. It was not surprising given its location that the Romans chose to use it as their provincial regional capital.

As many historians have pointed out on quite a few occasions the Romans were a race that never did anything by half measures and so you can be rest assured that when they decided to use Lugo as their regional headquarters firstly they would make sure that it was fortified and secondly they would make sure that those fortifications were extremely robust and well constructed.

Hence you know have a town built in the 21st century that has some of the finest examples of Roman fortifications and architecture in existence today. So much so that the walls of Lugo are now major tourist attractions in their own right.

The Roman settlement at Lugo originates from about 15 BC but the actual fortifications were begun in earnest in the third century AD under the rule of the Roman emperor Augustus.

As has been mentioned before, the walls of Lugo surround the entire town and they are punctuated at regular intervals throughout the entire circumference by outposts of 82 different towers.

The other main attraction of Lugo is its Cathedral which now sits on the site of an earlier church construction that stems from the 12th Century. Perhaps not as large or impressive as its westernmost neighbour in Santiago de Compostela, the Cathedral at Lugo is still well worth a visit if you have the time.

Within the town walls the streets still follow a traditional roman axis and the narrow cobble stoned streets are a delight to wander around when you have the time and there are quite a few interesting restaurants that can be found in out of the way locations dotted throughout the town.

Travel and Leisure
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Travel and Leisure