9: Fonsagrada - O Cádavo

There are 29 hard kilometres in this way that put the pilgrim's courage and strength to the test. The pilgrim should not miss any of the two possible itineraries from A Fonsagrada. Although it means more distance, the beauty of landscapes and the splendour of nature are worth a bigger effort. A Pobra is history made of stone. The pilgrim should visit it and go back to his steps again to be consolidated in the Way.
29 kilometros

Near A Fonsagrada, we find San Xoán de Padrón with a church from the 18th century and Montouto, where the way is only one again.
The original itinerary of the Way is the one of Pobra de Burón, A Puebla, the main point in the history of the Primitive Way. In the 13th century, people already talk about the ‘Camiño d´Ovedo’.
In this Pobra, which was the capital until 1835, there were up to four hospitals although there are only traces of A Trindade Hospital, founded in the middle of the 14th century. Raíña and Santiago Hospitals are also mentioned at the end of this century


The village shows Santa María Magdalena Church with valuable Baroque and Neoclassic altarpieces, the remains of the fortress of the Count of Lemos and the fortress of the Altamira that was devastated by the Irmandiños. It was then restored and now vanishes under the rain and wind.
Leaving Pobra de Burón with an area called O Milladoiro, we find A Bastida, where there were St Lazarus Hospital and Gardens, houses for leprous people and Romanesque church of the knights of St John.
In Xestoso, where we can enter through a new ‘Camín de misa’, there was a Lazaretto with a chapel that was preserved until the middle of the last century.
We must go beyond the Pico Muradal (1.108 m) for getting to Montouto. Montouto (‘Monte alto’) has this name for being 1.050 m above sea level. We find here the ruins of a hospital founded in 1360 by King Pedro I de Castilla, known as The Cruel, to ‘put up, welcome and house the poor pilgrims going to Santiago’.



It was the most important hospital in the Galician mountain. Restored in 1698, it was still functioning at the beginning of the 20th century and in its chapel there was a pilgrimage a year dedicated to St James.
Entering Montouto, the Pedra-Fita of Pena Labrada showed the lost travellers in the hard winters the safe shelter of the pilgrim’s hostel.
Two branches of the way join here and in the surroundings there is a beautiful dolmen (‘As Pedras Dereitas’), remembering the furthest times of human life in this region.
Near Montouto we find the Alto do Cerredo of 960 m high.
In Paradavella, which also belonged to the knights of St John of Portomarín, the ‘pallozas’ and all the beauty of the Galician traditional construction’ is still preserved.
A Degolada, the old ‘Parata Decollata’ crosses the way. In the 13th century it showed the limit of the County of Navia. Then, we find A Lastra (it also belonged to the Order of St John) and A Fontaneira (930 m) near the mountain of the same name with a church dedicated to the Apostle that had been the chapel of a pilgrim’s hostel.


We get to the Campo da Matanza. According to the legend, King Alfonso II, the Chaste fought here against a Moslem army, maybe to defend the way to Compostela. The truth is that the King passed along these regions to Compostela during the discovery of the Apostle’s sepulchre.
Rests of armours, swords and tombs appeared in this field, which was enough for popular imagination to credit the existence of this hard battle with a victory of the Christian King and the following opening of the way to Compostela.

O Cádavo

We get to O Cádavo, capital of Baleira, through the Carrileira de Santiago. A new pilgrim’s hostel in O Cádavo proves the standing passage of the Way, though A Esperela was the most important village before. There was an old monastery here that was the origin of the present Romanesque church with deep further modifications