12: San Romao da Retorta - Melide

Leaving San Romao, with a Romanesque church of the 12th church, the Way goes towards Melide. It is an easy 25 km stage that shows the end of the Primitive Way as Melide is a crossroads, but we will follow our route to Compostela. If our Way is the first one, we must understand that the old pilgrims were those that marked way to the routes that then coincided with this section.


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
We find small villages such as Seixalbos, Xende, Ferreira… In Ponte Ferreira (Palas de Rei), there is a Roman Bridge as well as a Romanesque church from the end of the 12th century that belonged to Vilar de Donas.



Augas Santas (‘healthy springs’) is also in Palas de Rei, where there was a monastery in the 9th century. San Salvador de Merlán Church also preserves beautiful Romanesque remains.
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.
Santiago de Vilouriz belongs to the Toques and near Melide we find San Antoíño de Toques that has a Benedictine monastery and preserves a pre-Romanesque church from the 9th century.


That is the end of our primitive way as from here the itinerary is the same as that of the French Way.
Melide, where there is a pilgrim’s hostel, was always aware of its role as a crossroads so beside the Espírito Santo church (it was a Franciscan Convent), the central square of the village is called ‘Praza dos Tres Camiños’, because the Primitive Way, the North Way and the French Way to Compostela converge here.

Melide iglesia