In Lobios, the hot-springs experience blends the curative powers of the thermal waters with the fascinating environment of the Baixa Limia-Serra do Xurés Nature Park. Twenty-first century spa villages and settlements dating back to the ancient Roman Empire are surrounded by mountains, glacial valleys, reservoirs, cascades, granite eruptions shaped like needles and bowling pins, and riparian and mountain forests that are home to mountain lions, roe deer and wild horses. This is Nature’s architecture, which coexists with human-built megaliths, Roman roads, granaries and watermills.
From a Roman villa to a spa village
On the road to the spa village of Lobios we take the OU-540 through the municipality of Bande, where there is a unique example of the heritage of the Baixa Limia region that is very closely linked to hot spring therapy: the Roman sites of Aquis Querquennis Roman archaeological site. We suggest you reach this stage in your trip by early afternoon to visit this important site. The turnoff is small and simple and signposted few kilometres after the village of Bande.
The excavations of the Roman village of Aquis Querquennis
This large Roman military camp – dating from the first or second century AD – was the base camp for the construction of the Via Nova, an important Roman road close to the site that linked Astorga and Braga. Situated on the banks of the River Limia, on a spit of land that occupies part of the As Conchas reservoir, from which it partially emerges when the water is rising, it has a blue and green background marked by the waters and riparian forest and a mountain.
The site is very large: to date, over two thousand metres of rectangular wall have been excavated and many building elements have been found inside, such as rows of square pillars, the remains of beautiful columns and standing arches.
Next to the camp, we’ll also be able to discern what remains of an ancient Roman mansio, a kind of inn for travellers on the Via Nova which boasted an oven for baking bread, accommodations, kitchen and patio. You’ll find hot springs welling up generously among the remains. You can make use of them as did the Romans in times long past and as the locals – who ascribe properties against rheumatism and skin diseases to them – continue to do.
We suggest that before touring the archaeological remains, you visit the Aquae Querquennae Via Nova Interpretation CentreVia Nova, which is on way to the site. It recreates the route of a Roman road and the elements found
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