4: Portomarín - Palas de Rei


We go through CASTROMAYOR. The name comes from the great hill fort in the surroundings. There is a Romanesque church dedicated to St Mary. And we get to VENTAS DE NARÓN, the last population in Portomarín that was very important in the Middle Ages. In the year 820, there was here a great battle between Arabs and Christians where the latter got the victory. The Codex of Calixtus mentions it as Sala Regina.

                                    Castro Mayor  Ventas de Narón


In LIGONDE, a stone cross recalls the place of the old hospital, which was maintained by the Ulloas, and the pilgrim’s cemetery. Carlos I and Felipe II, who were on pilgrimage to Santiago, stopped at this village that was very important now.

In EIREXE, there was a deeply modified Romanesque church, which belonged to the house of St Marcos of León from the Order of St James.

                                    Cruz Ligonde  Ereixe


Palas de Rei

Many pilgrims deviated from Portos (Eirexe) to Vilar de Donas. Its Romanesque temple is a national monument.

In the 12th century, the knights from the military Order of St James established here. They fought against the numerous hold-up men on the road. This church was the burial place of the members of the Order in Galicia.

Apart from valuable tombs, there are beautiful paintings from the 14th century that showed us the donas (women) who lived in this monastery and paid for its construction.

                              Vilar de Donas Vilar de DonasLestedo


In Lestedo, where we can find a temple dedicated to the Apostle, there was a pilgrim’s cemetery and a hospital founded by the Ulloas.


Pico SagroWe arrived in Rosario. From here, Pico Sagro (Sacred Peak) in Compostela can be seen in the distance. The name of Rosario is believed to come from the pilgrims praying when they saw their goal about to be reached.Santirso

According to the Codex of Calixtus the twelfth stage of the road ended at PALAS DE REI, the so-called Pallatium Regis. This term might be related to the Gothic king Witiza who lived here. The final stage of the road started here and many of the pilgrims who had travelled to Lugo joined this road.

In the outskirts of Palas de Rei, there are many important monuments but the only trace of the past in the centre is the Romanesque gate of the parish church of St Tirso.


Although we deviate from our route, we visit the Pazo de Ulloa. The Ulloas were one of the most outstanding families in the Middle Ages whose surname came from the name of the nearby river. They attended pilgrims in their pazo (a big country house, typical in Galicia, which belonged to a rich family) which was the setting of the most famous novel by the Countess of Pardo Bazán titled Los Pazos de Ulloa.Pazo Ulloa

TThis is the Castle of Pambre from the 14th century. It is the most complete medieval fortress in Galicia and one of the few that survived the Irmandiña revolt. Gonzalo Ozores de Ulloa built this castle.

The Queen doña Urraca visited this place on several occasions. Back to the road, we get to Porto de Bois, which was the scenery of the battle between the house of the Trastámara and Fernando de Castro, the Count of Lemos, who was defeated and had to go into exile first to Portugal, then to England.