Hospitality and History – Both in Ourense

Galicia in particular and Northern Spain in general have long been considered to be a hidden jewel in the entire Spanish tourist industry and hidden away within Galicia itself are some further jewels and we are going to examine [[keyword]] further.

If you look at all of the autonomous regions that make up modern day Spain, Galicia has to be the most remote and hidden away within that remoteness lies [[keyword]].

Historically, always classed as the poorer cousin to some of the other richer regions Galicia had an economy that did not easily lend itself to modernisation and herein lies a paradox in that it is this very reluctance to embrace modernity throughout that gives the region much of its appeal as far as tourism is concerned.

The natives of Galicia if you trace them back far enough have origins very similar to their Celtic cousins in the north and are justifiably proud of their language and culture and these connections no matter how stretched or tenuous give them their sense of regionalism and uniqueness.

Galicia always seemed to be a very closed and inward looking area being fiercely resistant to any formal external invasion and in many ways this degree of isolation was very much driven by the geographical location of the region.

Slowly but surely in the 20th century, Galicia began to develop and today traditional lifestyles rub shoulders with modernity throughout the region whilst at the same time the region has lost none of its more traditional culture and within the tourism economy this is starting to show real benefits.

The less well known town of Ourense is the provincial capital of Galicia’s innermost province and can be known in this over the region on the main road leading eastward into the country from the port of Vigo.

According to popular tradition than name Ourense is derived from the Hot springs that can be found there and much loved by the Romans who called the town Aquae Urentes (warm waters).

The town retained its importance both politically and geographically down through the centuries in various guises leading to the fact that it is one of the four provincial capitals that make up the modern day region known as Galicia.

Again likely to one of the most striking visitor attractions within Ourense ease the cathedral. The building work on the Cathedral de San Martino was started in the 12th century and as a result most of its features are very traditional in a style that has been described as late Roman and Early Gothic. The interior of the cathedral is quite big and long and has been described as quite gloomy by a great many visitors.

Ourense is one of those towns that very much still follow the original roman architecture and design with regards to town planning and layout.

Other parts of Ourense that are worth taking note are the Praza de Magdalena which is just off the main square and is characterised by beautiful overhanging buildings and flowers. This square is dominated by yet another church as well as the cathedral and this time the church is the Iglesia de Santa Maria Madre which is an attractive church of Baroque design that is built on the site of an earlier 11th Century original.

South of the old town you will find the original hot springs which first attracted the Romans to settle the area. They still pump out water at a healthy 65 degrees so don’t keep your hands under the water for too long!

All in all Ourense is definitely well worth a visit.