Guide to Ourense– Galicia, Basque Country (Pais Vasco), Spain
Stretching out on the banks of the River Mino is the city of Ourense, the capital of the only land-locked province in Galicia and situated firmly on the Ruta de la Plata (Silver Route).
The city of Ourense, with its beautiful surroundings, is inundated with historical architecture; the Old City preserves major historic sites, including an exceptional Cathedral.
Here you will find atmospheric streets and small squares, pretty fountains and the traditional ‘cruceiros’ (monumental crosses) as well as numerous other historical buildings. The capital’s rich heritage can be discovered all along the streets which make up the Old City.
The arcaded Main Square was the centre of the city’s social and trading life since it was where the markets, festivals and all other cultural and social events took place.
The most recognised symbol of the city is the famous Roman Bridge Puente Viejo and is the main focal point of the city.
It offers visitors the opportunity to visit areas with a wealth of history, there are a great many medieval monasteries and churches however one of the main attractions is the hot sulfur springs (the waters here reach astounding temperatures of around seventy degrees centigrade), which has been attracting visitors since the Roman times.
The Cathedral of Ourense is influenced by the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and houses the Cathedral Museum, which contains valuable works of religious art. Standing over the historic quarter is the clock tower attached to the Cathedral of San Martino.
Another site not to miss is the old Palacio Episcopal medieval ruins which are the home to a large museum housing fascinating archaeological collections. Divided into two sections: Archaeology, a collection of objects and pieces of art from the Paleolithic period until the Middle Ages and another of Fine Arts. The building was declared a Property of Cultural Interest in 1931.
An absolute must is the Palace of Oca-Valladares, considered to be one of the most important in Galicia.
Churches of Ourense
- Church of Santa Maria Madre
- Church of Santa Eufemia
- The convent of San Francisco
Places to see in Ourense
Housing two major attractions the Capilla de San Miguel; this Mozarab style chapel is dedicated to San Miguel.
Monasterio de San Rosendo
A baroque style monastery located in the village square.