Landscapes on the Camino: Melide

After finishing the stage of Palas de Rei, we will enter the region of Melide; a place whose visit you will especially enjoy during our tour.

Melide is known for its fairs, its crops and its economy linked to livestock farming. There is a lot to know in this municipality in the province of A Coruña and in its 13 neighboring parishes.

In the center of the town the French Way and the Primitive Way used to meet. From this unique historical stage for Melide, a Pilgrims’ Hospital (1502) remains standing, today converted into the current Museum of the Earth of Melide.

Castros, museums, medieval churches, unforgettable landscapes and an exceptional culinary tradition are some of the attractions that await the pilgrim when arriving to Melide.

We will point out some aspects.

Gastronomy

Melide is considered one of the most famous municipalities of A Coruña for its excellent gastronomic tradition.

Without being a coastal area, it is one of the places where you can enjoy the tastiest octopus portions in Galicia. The mythical “pulpeiras” of Melide are a must for the thousands of pilgrims who travel every year on their way to Compostela.

Pulpo-a-feira

For all those who do not know the original recipe, the “pulpo á feira” (so called because it is typical of all the fairs, pilgrimages and traditional festivities of Galicia) is prepared boiled in a copper cauldron, with coarse salt, good olive oil and paprika. Experts say it is best eaten in a wooden dish and with chopsticks.

A recipe as simple as it is tasty. The secret of its exquisite flavor lies in the variety of octopus (rock octopus or “pedrero”) with a higher quality than the “altura”, which lives in deeper waters. It is distinguished by its darker color, its larger head and because it has two rows of suckers on its tentacles.

Another gastronomic treasure of the capital is its sweets. A claim almost as powerful as that of the traditional pulpeiras. When arriving at the old town we will feel the unmistakable aroma of the typical pastry of the place: rich, melindres and almendrados kneaded in a traditional way and cooked in a stone oven. On the second Sunday of the month of May, the Melindre and Confectionery Festival of the Land of Melide is held annually, where the artisan trades that were part of the life and commerce of the region are remembered.

melindres

Places to visit

After a good meal, pilgrims can enjoy a leisurely stroll with time to stop and contemplate many places built stone by stone throughout history. Melide and its surrounding parishes preserve a rich Romanesque heritage and from other periods: it is the secular legacy of the Camino de Santiago.

We can contemplate here the oldest transept in Galicia: the chapel of San Roque from the 14th century. It is also located here the cover of the old church of San Pedro (s. XIII) already disappeared.

crucero

In the center of the town, arriving at the stony Praza do Convento, we can visit the Obra Pía de San Antón (from the 17th century) and the Casa del Ayuntamiento, an old palace from the same period.

Presiding over the square is the Convent of Sancti Spiritus, founded by the Tertiary Franciscans in the 14th century. It is one of the greatest treasures of Melidiense architectural heritage. It has a baroque high altar, several Romanesque remains, Gothic sarcophagi, 16th century mural paintings and an ivory baby Jesus.

SanctiSpiritus

To learn more about the historical and cultural memory of the town, we recommend visiting the Museo da Terra de Melide, built in the old Hospital de Peregrinos. In it we can find samples of the military art of the region, ethnographic exhibitions and other curiosities worth seeing.

museo

Continuing with our touristic tour, we will visit another of the jewels of the capital: the church of Santa Maria (late twelfth century). It keeps in its interior some mural paintings of the 16th century. Also noteworthy is its transept dating from the seventeenth century.

stamariamelide

Not far from there we stop to admire the Penas Bridge, which offers the pilgrim a picturesque landscape worthy of a postcard.

Would you like to visit Melide with us?

We have tried to summarize some of the places recommended for a guided tour. However, there are more sites of historical and cultural value in other parishes of the municipality, for example in Santa María dos Ánxeles that preserves architectural elements of the Primitive Way or San Salvador de Abeancos where we find a church of the eighteenth century and a medieval bridge over the river Furelos known by pilgrims as Ponte da Pedra.

Remember that you can contact us for information at any time about the conditions and dates of our tours. Melide and other charming places are waiting for your visit.

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