11: Lugo - San Romao da Retorta

There are 19km from Lugo to San Romao da Retorta. But if the pilgrim is interested in mystery, he should go to Santalla de Bóveda and try to get to its meaning, hidden throughout the centuries. The Way the pilgrim steps on is a way with over twenty centuries of history. A milestone showed that the Way goes along the 19th route of Antonino´s itinerary, the main road of the Western Roman network.

After leaving the cathedral at Bo Xesús Street, pilgrims went down the Rúa do Miño, going through the Fonte da Pinguela. Pilgrims from the diversion of the French Way would also follow this route.
They first went out the Wall through the Porta Miñá. After the bishopric transferred the rights on the Porta de Santiago in the middle of the 16th century, pilgrims went out through this door under a statue of Santiago Matamoros.


They would go along the placed occupied by the Carmen Chapel (19th century) that substituted a hermitage of the Virgen del Camino, image preserved in an altarpiece of this temple. They would go down the Regueiro dos Hortos, down the Roman road or the Medieval Road and, after crossing the Roman Bridge, they would get to St Lazaro district, where there was an important pilgrim’s hospital. In the surrounding area, we find the Roman baths, mentioned by Plinio and sung by the Licenciado Molina.

Puente romano

Prógalo has a Romanesque church with an image of pilgrim St James.
In Bacurín, there is a Romanesque church from the second half of the 12th century, dedicated to San Miguel. There is only a nave and semicircular apse, a façade with archivolts, bilobulated tympanum and columns with Corinthian capitals. The Pazo de Bacurín draws our attention, mainly for the access arch.

O burgo

We pass along O Francés and Hospital de Mera, these toponyms are a reference in the Way.
San Pedro de Mera is the last village of Lugo in the Primitive Way. There was a pilgrim’s hospital, where travellers were offered fire, water and salt.

In Guntín, you find San Romao da Retorta Romanesque church from the 12th century with posterior alterations.


A milestone found here proves that the Way we follow coincides with the 19th Roman Way of Antonino’s Itinerary.


Santa Cruz da Retorta is also a Romanesque Church from the 12th century. The church has a Trinitarian Christogram carved in the tympanum of the North door, typical of the areas on the ways to Compostela. In the main facade there is a relief of Christ blessing, between the sun and the moon.
The pilgrim could go on through the Burgo de Negral in Friol, where there was a hospital by the friars of Ferreira de Pallares that would give fire, water, dressing and charity to pilgrims. We go on with O Pacio, also in Friol.

Throughout history, the Primitive Way always go straight on from Lugo to Melide, crossing O Careón along Hospital das Seixas, Santiago de Vilouriz, Vilamor and Compostela. The diversion from Augas Santas to Palas de Rei is a modern invention without any historical rigour.