Lugo Travel Guide
Lugo Local History
Lugo is the oldest Galician capital, and was found during the expansion policy, carried out by Augustus. This Roman Emperor had the desire to join the northeast peninsula of Spain, to the Roman Empire. In 24BC, Paulo Fabio Maximo founded " Lucus Augusti", and named the area after the emperor. The city was to be the capital of the jurisdiction of Lugo, incorporating northern Gallaecia. The name Lucus, where the name Lugo comes from, is a derivation of the name of the Celtic God "Lugh", God of light, who was worshipped in this area in pre-Roman times.
In the year 460, on Easter night, a bloody event took place in which the Swabians gained control of the city, killing its governor. Under their reign, the city played an important role as a religious centre, and as the headquarters of famous councils. In the year 585 the Swabian rule made way for that of the Visigoths. At the beginning of the eighth century, the city was attacked and taken over by Muslim troops headed by Muza, although this rule lasted only a short time. In 740 the Asturian monarch, Alfonso I, recaptured it and entrusted its repopulation to the bishop Odoario.
In the following centuries the medieval unrest continued. The city underwent more attacks by the Arabs, independent attacks against the Asturian monarchy, such as the one headed by Count Oveco, as well as communal attacks against the church, like the Maria Castana revolt at the beginning of the fifteenth century.
Entering the middle ages, under the rule of the Catholic Kings, brought a time of peace which was to be broken in the nineteenth century with attacks by the French (the War of Independence) and the Carlist Wars. This caused substantial damage to the wall which surrounded the city.
Lugo Parks & Gardens
Island of San Roque - The San Roque island, also known as Cela island by the neighbouring village, is an area typical of the wetlands of Terra Cha. It is one of the largest and most interesting islands on the high course of the Mino, and it belongs to the Rabade municipality. It is a very beautiful place and a walk there is certainly very pleasant. Not only does this area provides the chance to appreciate the typical countryside of the area, but it provides housing to many bird species during winter. The most remarkable thing, in terms of fauna, is the large quantity of ducks around the island, which are almost within touching distance. Although there are grazing areas and even some farmed land, for example corn, San Roque is really a wood dotted area with small meadows, and the intrepid traveler might find it exciting to lose himself in this pleasant, pretty island crammed with woodland flowers in spring.
Santalla - The area of Santalla, on the right bank of the river Mino, is a good example of how near the city of Lugo is to the country. Almost without going away from the thousand-year-old stones of the Roman wall, you find yourself in Santalla, by taking the little road leading to Cuina, with a small paradise of grazing land and orchards. This place is chosen because it allows visitors to appreciate the city on the other side, in an area specially developed over the last few years. The university campus, and the housing developments built around it can be seen by the visitor from a place that is geographically near. This walk is suitable for doing on foot, rather than by bike, because it is short and can be reached from almost anywhere.
A Fervenza - There are many beautiful places along the course of the Mino river. When speaking about the Fervenza, it is tempting to rank this as the most beautiful place that can be enjoyed on the Lugo riverbanks of the Mino. It is not only a great oak woodland with an old mill, the river Mino a boiling flow. The wood, which is mysteriously full of pools amongst the enormous oak trees, opens out onto brilliant green meadows which lay each side of the Mino, in one of its most bright and colourful stretches. It is a pity that a large part of its rich countryside is being lost due to felling of some of the biggest oak trees. A Fervenza is an ideal route for mountain biking, but it can be done easily on foot.
Playa del Fuerte de San Damian - The beach itself forms four small corners of sand. The upper part of the beach has a lovely picnic area, and there is a staircase down the beach to provide easy access. The beach offers fine golden sand, with still waves, making it an excellent family location. Situated at Ribadeo, Lugo.
Os Castros - At a length of 430 meters, and a width of 15 meters, this is a beautiful, very well equipped beach. Access is very simple, as it is signposted in the town. It has an attractive viewpoint from where the Red Cross usually keep watch. It is one of Spain's blue flag beaches. When the tide is out, this beach is joined to Das Illas. It offers good for surfing possibilities and fine white sand, with heavy waves. Located in Ribadeo.
Playa Cabalar - This lonely, peaceful beach with its crystal-clear waters offers fine white sand, and moderate waves. Lying amongst the cliffs in a green and rocky setting, the fine white sandy surface of the beach mixes with the seaweed. To get here, visitors will have to walk a couple of minutes through a grass meadow from the neighbouring beach of Os Castros. Located in Ribadeo.
A Pasada - The beach has been granted the blue flag, and lies sheltered beneath a small cliff with a picnic area on top. It is extremely rocky, but the beach itself has fine white sand. It is very popular among windsurfers because of its excellent waves and surfing possibilities. Located in Reinante, Barreiros.
Pena da Salsa - A lovely beach in the shape of a shell, offering transparent water and fine white sand. It emerges beneath a cliff around 2-3 meters high. It usually has waves and is therefore ideal for body-boarding and surfing. There is a campsite, and easy access following the paved road which skirts along the sea. Located in Benquerencia, Barreiros.
Lugo Restaurants and Bars
Lugo is famous for its wide gastronomic offerings, and its typical cuisine is mainly based around pork and veal. In the restaurants in the city, visitors can also sample a rich variety of the best fish and Galician seafood. The most outstanding typical dish is "lacon con grelos" (ham and turnip tops), which is served cooked, and accompanied by chorizo (spicy sausage) and "cachelos" (cooked potatoes). Squid is the food of Galician fairs. It is cooked in enormous copper kettles, and served cut up, garnished with sea salt and paprika, on wooden plates.
Another typical of Galician cuisine, is soup stock, which was the basic food of the Galician peasant. Its ingredients are very simple, and include pig fat, turnip tops and potatoes. Empanadas (pies) are equally popular, with a variety of fillings to cater for all tastes. Typically from Lugo are filled with zorza (marinated pork), pork, eels, pork fat and apples. Typical desserts are "filloas" (crepes) and cheese from the area.
A good way for visitors to sample the rich Lugo cuisine is by "tapeo", through the wide variety of "tapas" (little snacks) in bars and taverns which are customarily on offer, together with the typical cup of ribeiro or any other wine. The most common wine areas include Plaza del Campo and nearby Rua da Cruz, Rua Nova, and Rua Catedral.
Campos - This restaurant is situated In the historic district. Specialties include Galician seafood and fish, octopus with 'cachelos' (boiled potatoes), and 'freixos' (fritters) with cream and honey. Reservations are recommended, and the restaurant is located at Rua Nova, 4 27001.
Meson de Alberto - This robust inn is a cornucopia of fresh seafood and produce from Galicia. A traditional cuisine with a few innovative touches. The restaurant offers very generous portions, which is hard to find these days. Parsnip tops with seafood, scallop stuffed sole, flambeed pancakes, are all dishes to be appreciated. They serve hearty stews every day of the week. There is an excellent sampling menu for visitors who can not decide what they want to eat. The average price of a main course is 20 - 40, and there is a Gourmet menu at 36. The restaurant is located on Calle Cruz, 4 27002. Tel: 98/2228-310.
La Barra - Situated in a historic building, and built in 1942, this restaurant is set within the walled area of town. It houses a Shellfish tank, and recommended is the fish and shellfish pies, baked grouper, the Entrecote of beef, and 'Filloa' (Galician crepes). The wine list is exceptionally comprehensive with Albarinos, Godellos and Ribeiros. There is also a selection of cigars to choose from. Reservations are advisable, and the average price for a main course is 20 - 40. The restaurant is closed on Sundays. It is located at Calle San Marcos, 27 27001. Tel. 98/2252-920.
Verruga - Built in 1951, this pretty dining room has a predominance of wood. It serves regional Galician cuisine, and recommend is the fish and shellfish dishes, all the meat preparations from Lugo, and the home-made desserts. The wine list offers almost two hundred examples of Galician wines and other Spanish Denomination of Origins, and there is a selection of cigars. Reservations are advisable, and the restaurant has the capacity to seat 80 patrons. The average price for a main course is 20 - 40. Verruga is located on Calle Cruz, 12 27001. Tel: 98/2229-572.
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