Strolling among gardens: discover the route of the camellias (2nd part)

2) The Pazo de Rivadulla

Near Santiago, in the direction of Orense, is this spectacular pazo converted into a garden in the city of pilgrims. It is among the oldest in Europe.

The Pazo de Ortigueira, also known as Pazo de Santa Cruz de Rivadulla was the temporary residence of the Spanish writer and politician Jovellanos.

Its construction dates back to the 16th century when the canon of the Cathedral of Santiago, Juan Ibáñez de Mondragón acquired the plots where the pazo was to be built.

In the 17th century, his heir Andrés Ibáñez de Mondragón commissioned a series of works and reforms that gave rise to its present appearance. The enclosure was walled off and the property was divided into three areas: the land of the mountain, the farmland and a reserved space next to the house where the orchard and gardens were located. Avenues and walkways were also created to separate the cultivation plots and facilitate access to them. This whole monumental complex has a layout with clear Renaissance influences.

The gardens of the Pazo de Rivadulla, open to visitors, are unique botanical spaces. They house more than 200 varieties of camellias such as camellia japonica, camellia sinensis, camellia reticulata or camellia sasanqua. They come together to form beautiful walks such as the so-called “Carreira das Noivas”.

In addition to the camellias, we can also see magnolias, leafy oak and olive trees.

We can not leave without admiring the Coca Fountain in Baroque style (seventeenth century), with decorated arch alternating moldings and plant motifs on two columns. At the top of the arch highlights the coat of arms, and the fountain the “Coca”, a winged dragon of mythology that is part of the ancient Mondragon heraldic symbol. It was built by the Compostela workshop of Diego Romay, a benchmark of the Compostela baroque.

At the exit of the pazo we can see the mallar threshing floor, paved… a nine-span hórreo, witness of the rich lands of the Ulla valley and the “Carreira das Oliveiras”, a long walk of centenary olive trees in the shape of a cross.

Did you like these landscapes? If you are interested in doing the route of the camellias, Pambretours can inform you about this and other exciting tours in Galicia. Contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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