Travels

5 things to see in Vigo, the olive city

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Eclipsated by Santiago and A Coruña, Vigo is the eternal forgotten of Galicia. This maritime city known by the nickname "Olivine City" has an olive tree in the heraldic shield of the city but its nickname comes from an ancient olive tree that existed in the atrium of the church of the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria and was planted by the monks of the Order of the Temple (Knights Templar) the fourteenth century.

Although Vigo has been consolidating over the years as a tourist attraction and both from the City Council of Vigo and from other tourism agencies and offices, the city is being promoted as a tourist destination, the Olivine City remains a secondary or seasonal destination which It is a shame because this city has incredible coasts, spectacular mountain routes, a wide cultural offer and a gastronomy to suck your fingers and that is worth enjoying at any time of the year.

Vigo is fortunate, unlike other Galician cities, to have a milder climate since the sea moderates the climatic conditions so that in addition to being one of the rainiest places in Galicia it is also one of the places with more number of Clear days and in winter its temperature does not fall below 12º which makes it a destination to go to in any season.

Visiting a city implies knowing it more in depth, in more detail, and in this way making it more ours or, perhaps, making ourselves more of it. It is not just about walking through its streets as if we were mere tourists who come and go but rather that it is about interacting with it, living it, experiencing it. That's why I leave you places, stories and some experience to live this city and fall in love as I did.

Stroll through the Vello Helmet

Constitution Square, Vigo (Galicia)

Touring the narrow, steep and cobbled streets of the Vigo Casco involves knowing the history of this city, how it emerged and how it has improved over the years.

Vigo is reborn in the 19th century with the liberalization of maritime trade that allows them to use its natural port and its strategic geographical position and also with the arrival of the Catalan bourgeoisie that transforms the fishing industry. Until this moment, it was almost impossible to develop as a city because of wars and restrictions in maritime commerce, so it is from the 19th century when the city begins to expand by tearing down its walls, improving the streets and squares of Casco Vello and building Union bridges between the center and the outer neighborhoods.

But it is especially in recent decades that the Velco Helmet is transforming and becoming a swan. Previously it was an area, let's say ... bad city, place of smuggling and heroin addicts and if you hire a guide to explain the Helmet Vello better you will hear it on more than one occasion to mention this change; Apparently walking through the old city was a high-risk activity due to its danger but calm, this has changed. It has changed so much that the Casco Vello has become a perfect place to stay, go out for dinner or have a drink.

In your walk through the Vello Helmet you can find wonders such as the Plaza de la Constitución, considered the most important square in the city, named because because in this place the Spanish Constitution of 1812 was first read in the city. Here we can find the Old Town Hall building (1859), the house of Pereira de Castro and the first lamppost of the city that illuminated using electric power. It is also in this square where you can stop and have a drink as it is full of bars and restaurants like La Central.

Other unique buildings that are worth seeing are Casa de Ceta and Casa de Pazos y Figueroa, the oldest buildings in Vigo, located in Plaza de Almeida or Plaza de las Cebollas. You can get here through Calle de los Cestos, a place where tradition is lived through wicker basketry or through Calle Real, one of the most famous streets in Casco.

We can not miss visiting the House of Pedro Román where the Central Library is currently located but that once was a Casino.

Vigo through its architecture

Puerta del Sol with the Siren in the center. Vigo (Galicia)

If we leave Casco Vello and cross the Eixample we can find a typically bourgeois architecture brought by Catalan businessmen in the 19th and 20th century. In this architecture we can especially observe the change of the city and how it becomes a cosmopolitan city with a powerful trade and a rich cultural offer.

It is here that we can find the Puerta del Sol that links the Casco Vello with the Ensanche and is crowned with an impressive sculpture by Francisco Leiro called the “Siren” in honor of the sculpture figure.

During the walk we can see modernist-style buildings such as the Simeon building located in front of the Sireno and whose legend tells that the head of the woman seen in the center of the facade is from the architect's mother; A little weird, it's true. The García Barbón Theater is inspired by the Opera de Garnier (Paris) and observing it is something impressive, at least I spent a lot of time doing it. Right in front of the Theater is the Casa das Artes that has painting exhibitions of very important local artists such as the painter Luis Torras or José Otero Abeledo better known as Laxeiro.

But without having to mention all the emblematic buildings and with an architecture that is worth visiting, I will tell you that if you walk along the Rúa de Policarpo Sans you can observe some of the buildings mentioned above and many more because it is one of the most emblematic streets of the Expansion.

I stayed at the Hotel Inffinit in the city widening but on the edge of the Vello Helmet. It is less than 5min walk from the Plaza de la Constitución.

Two people, one room for two nights from € 144

Monte or Castro

Views of Vigo from the viewpoint of Monte O Castro, Galicia

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