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Essential visits on the Primitive Way

Along the Primitive Way you can visit some very valuable places that bathe the north and northwest of the Iberian Peninsula.

Camino Primitivo - Pixabay

Camino Primitivo - Pixabay

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Camino Primitivo - Pixabay

Camino Primitivo - Pixabay

What experiences are not to be missed if you travel along the Primitive Way?

There is no doubt that the Camino de Santiago is an experience that you should live at least once in your life. If you already know it minimally, you will know that the pilgrimage has transcended universal beliefs and that it is not only a religious phenomenon, but it is also traveled for various reasons such as hiking, self-improvement, physical activity, seeking inner peace or enjoying a long walk with incredible views. 

Whatever the reason that moves people to do the Camino de Santiago, this historic journey offers an adventure impossible to forget. However, it is not a single route, but multiple paths that start from different places in Spain, Portugal and other European countries such as France. Thousands of pilgrims choose every year routes such as the Camino del Norte, the English Way or the Vía de la Plata, but these are not the only routes of great tourist interest.

The Primitive Way is the millenary nexus of two of the most important capitals of the Jacobean routes: Oviedo and Santiago de Compostela. Both destinations were originally linked by the wishes of King Alfonso II El Casto, which curiously we can discover in the form of a statue to honor him both in the Cathedral of Oviedo and in the historic center of Santiago. 

Primitive Way: A route of more than 300 kilometers divided into several stages.

The name of the Primitive Way is due to being one of the most scenic routes of the Camino de Santiago and for being the original pilgrimage route used by the ancient Asturian monarchs to reach the remains of the Apostle. It runs through the interior of Asturias starting from Oviedo, passing through the province of Lugo and merging with the French Way in its last kilometers to Santiago.

Immersing yourself in the Primitive Way means walking more than 300 kilometers in 14 stages. Along this journey you can visit some very valuable places that bathe the north and northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, which is why we have listed some of the most attractive destinations on this route.

Asturias: Experiences of the Primitive Way

As it passes through Asturias, the Primitive Way is distributed in different stages within the autonomous community. Starting from Oviedo and ending in Grandas de Salime, the route has a large number of places that you cannot miss as a pilgrim. These are some of the best tourist attractions you can visit in the different cities of Asturias.

Oviedo

➡ Cathedral of San Salvador of Oviedo

The Cathedral of Oviedo is one of the most important architectural ensembles of the entire Iberian Peninsula. It is not for less, since it has a history of more than 1,200 years old and has witnessed the entire evolution of the Christian kingdoms in the Middle Ages. In addition to harboring artistic styles such as Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque, the basilica was built at the request of King Alfonso II of Asturias in the 14th century over a pre-Romanesque complex from the 9th century from which some buildings such as the Holy Chamber survived. 

➡ Church of Santa María of Narranco

The Church of Santa María de Narranco is one of the buildings that best represents pre-Romanesque architecture in Spain and Part of Europe. It should be noted that its structure is more reminiscent of a Roman temple than a Christian church. The quality of the building commissioned by King Ramiro II far surpassed the Asturian architecture in the periods before and after the ninth century, so it enjoys the distinction of National Monument and World Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. 

Salas

➡ Collegiate Church of Santa Maria la Mayor

The Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor was built in the 16th century by order of Archbishop Fernando de Valdés, although later other elements were added such as the bell tower, the portico and the two chapels on both sides of the temple. The building stands out for being originally of Gothic style with Renaissance elements and for having in its possession some great works of art such as 'The mausoleum of Archbishop Valdés', 'The main altarpiece' and 'The chapel of the Malleza'.

➡ Palace of Valdés Salas

The lowered semicircular arch with the heraldic coat of arms of the Valdés de Salas family joins the Torre de la Villa with the Palacio de Valdés de Salas. With a sober character, it was built in the late sixteenth century with techniques such as masonry and stonework, showing a civil architecture of its time in perfect condition. It is here where Fernando Valdés Salas lived most of his life, Major Inquisitor of Spain, Archbishop of Seville and founder of the University of Oviedo, buried in the collegiate church of Santa María la Mayor. 

Pola de Allande

➡ Palace of Cienfuegos de Peñalba

The Palace of the Cienfuegos, also known by popular culture as 'The Palace of the Lords of Allende', is a palace of noble importance declared an Asset of Cultural Interest. It was built on the base of a primitive monument dating from the 14th century and over time it underwent several modifications. That is why today only the Gothic period is preserved in the lower part of the palace, but it is reinforced by three solid towers that make it have a strong defensive character. 

Grandas de Salime

➡ Salime Reservoir 

The Salime reservoir is another of the places that we can not miss if we travel through the Primitive Way. Located about four kilometers from Grandas de Salime, it is one of the most beautiful places in the parliament where you can enjoy nature in its purest state. In addition, below the water level of the reservoir are the houses of the old village of Salime. 

➡ Chao Samartín

The origin of Chao Samartín dates back to the late Bronze Age, where the first defenses and a moat were built. This point is one of the most relevant tourist destinations to be able to understand how the Castro phenomenon originated in the northwestern part of the peninsula, how the inhabitants who lived within the walls evolved and the relationships they established with other nearby towns. 

Galicia: Experiences of the Primitive Way

The Primitive Way in Galicia follows a historic tradition in which pilgrims can enjoy all that the Galician community has to offer before reaching Santiago de Compostela. Throughout the region are hidden some destinations that allow you to live the experience of ancient monarchs. These are the places that best define this route. 

A Fonsagrada

➡ Fountain of A Fonsagrada

Fonsagrada is the first reference of the Primitive Way in Galicia and its name is due to a legend that has as its protagonist one of the miracles of the Apostle Santiago in this place. According to the story, Santiago made milk flow from the fountain to feed the children of a widow in need.

➡ Ethnographic Museum

The Ethnographic Museum of the town is also another attraction of tourist interest, since it exhibits objects and aspects of traditional life in the mountains of Fonsagrada. It houses a collection of pieces of Galician material and spiritual culture, touring in a thematic way the craft traditions, many of which have already disappeared, agricultural work and rich examples of religion and medicine of the time. 

Lugo

➡ Lugo Cathedral

In the historic center of Lugo there are a number of important buildings of great historical and cultural value, as is the Cathedral of Santa Maria. In addition to its historical value, this building also stands out for its internal and external architecture. This religious temple is currently the episcopal see of the diocese of Lugo and was approved as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Melide

➡ Pambre Castle

Being a fortress dating back to the 14th century, Pambre Castle is a very important fortress within the Camino de Santiago. The stability of Galicia within the whole Spanish kingdom and the decline of the Camino de Santiago after the Protestant Reformation led to its function deriving to an important agricultural production.

➡ Monastery of Sobrado dos Monxes

Just 70 kilometers from the remains of the Apostle Santiago, the history of the Monastery of Sobrado dos Monxes in Melide dates back to ancient times. According to several historians, the building is part of the first Christian monasteries built during the 5th and 6th centuries after Christ. Like many others, the monastery reached its peak during the 12th century, as Ferdinand II and Alfonso IX assigned it all kinds of privileges. 

Santiago de Compostela

➡ The Alameda Park

The Alameda Park is one of the best spaces to enjoy one of the best panoramic views of the Cathedral of Santiago. However, you can also discover other points of interest such as the whispering bench or 'Banco dos Namorados'. Designed in the shape of a semicircle, it is a large stone bench that has the peculiarity of allowing two people to converse from its two ends. 

➡ Santiago Cathedral

Of course, the Cathedral of Santiago could not be missing in this list. Needless to say, it is the end point of any route of the Camino de Santiago. After the efforts along the kilometers walked on the Primitive Way, it is undoubtedly worth seeing the majestic facade of one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world.

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