10: O Cádavo - Castroverde - Lugo

The tenth stage (30 km) leads us from the mountain to the plain, from O Cádavo to Lugo, passing along Castroverde. In this section, Vilabade is a peaceful backwater and Soutomerille is in ruins hoping to be recovered from oblivion. Castroverde is governed by the monumental tower, hoping to resuscitate to life and go on watching the Way. Our route gets to the oldest city in Galicia, the bimillenary Lucus Augusti, Lugo. .

Passing the Alto da Vacariza, we get to Vilabade, where there was a Franciscan community for attending pilgrims since the middle of the 15th century. The Gothic church of that convent is still preserved and was declared national monument. It dates from the 15th century and has an only nave and presbytery covered by ribbed vault and restored in the 17th century by Diego Osorio Escobar, Archbishop of Puebla and Viceroy of Mexico.
The Baroque altarpiece, created by Francisco Lens in 1759, is dominated by an image of Santiago Matamoros. The beautiful neoclassic porch of the church is the product of a restoration.
Beside the church, closing the square, you find the Pazo de Abraira-Arana, Casa Grande de Vilabade, dedicated to rural tourism. Erected by Diego Osorio for his retirement, it complements with Nosa Señora do Carmen Chapel that took in the Virgin Brotherhood also founded by the Viceroy of Mexico.


But the old Way, the still called French Way or main road, went from O Cádavo to Castroverde through A Frairía and Vilalle. Besides, the diversion through Vilabade’s way with the Franciscan Monastery did not go up to the Vacariza but it would open into through the Carme hermitage.
Santiago de Castroverde, called Santiago de Vilariño in its religious denomination, has a church dedicated to the Apostle, and the tower of the old castle of the Lemos that later belonged to the Altamira erected in the 14th century.
The village is known to exist since the end of the 9th century as a part of the Trastámara County as well as a pilgrim’s hospital since the end of the 13th century.


From Castroverde to Lugo, we find San Miguel do Camiño, Souto de Torres, Santa María de Moreira, where there is a ‘Leira do Camiño de Santiago’ and Vilar de Cas.

Vilar de Cas is one of the so many diversions of the Way… One way would go through Paderne, Romeán and Báscuas and the main way through Soutomerille and Gondar, that later declined.
Soutomerille, a remarkable centre of population years ago, had a monastery and preserves a Romanesque church restored in the beginning of the 17th century as well as monumental houses. Today, only silence exists.


In Gondar, there was an important hospital that turned into A Nova Convent in 1369 as pilgrims preferred the new course through Romeán and Báscuas. The building survived until the beginning of the 20th century.
A French coast, proof of the Way, joined Gondar and Báscuas. Then, the Way went through Carballido (it preserves a pilgrim St James from the 15th century), Santiago de Fóra (today Santiago de Castelo) to the old Lucus Augusti.


In Lugo, the Way entered the Chanca and went up the Carril das Flores, entering the Wall through the ‘Porta de San Pedro’ or ‘Toledana’. There was the first hospital (Santa Catarina Hospital).
Here is the new pilgrim’s hospital in the Primitive Way in Lugo.


Travellers went through the Rúa de San Pedro. At the end of this street we find the Sancti Jacobi chapel that even today is the Santiago, A Nova parish church. This parish church, including Santigo de Fóra, is one of the foundational parishes of Lugo’s church.


They went through the one called Praza Mayor today, in those days the so-called Cortiñas de San Román, where we find the headquarters of the City Council of Lugo.
On a first stage, the gardens of the Episcopal palace changed the route of St James for the Rúa dos Cregos, entering the cathedral through the main facade. Afterwards, the entrance went on the Praza de Santa María and Porta Norte, also called Porta dos Perdóns. In the surroundings there was a hospital.

Pilgrims prayed before the Santísimo, permanently exhibited at Lugo’s cathedral, before the Romanesque image of ‘Nosa Señora dos Ollos Grandes’ and, naturally, at St James Chapel. The cathedral, started by Master Raimundo in 1129, is a beautiful whole of Romanesque, Baroque and Neoclassic styles.

San Pedro Lugo

The Gothic cloister of the old Franciscan Convent (today the Provincial Museum), the church of this same convent or St Domingo Convent, St Froilan Church and the City Council from 1738 are remarkable monuments of Lugo’s geography.
And the Roman Wall, enclosing the historical city and offering an original high walk along the ‘adarve’, as well as the historical Roman baths by the Miño River, where there is also a Roman bridge.

Muralla Lugo

There were hostels-hospitals at Porta Miñá (San Miguel), Praza do Ferrol (San Bartolomé), another one at Raíña-Dr. Castro and the last one at San Lázaro. There were numerous hospitals in Lugo both in the old and the new part of the city, including different hostels and houses around the cathedral.