Historic centres
On the Way of St. James


Sarria - Lugo

42º 46' 39.9" N - 7º 24' 49.5" W

The Ways of St. James

The French Camino

To know

Church of San Salvador, whose current structure dates from the fourteenth century, but which was built over a previously existing church. It contains Gothic and Romanesque elements, particularly the semi-cylindrical apse and doorway in the northern side. Its tympanum contains an image of Christ the Pancreator, with his left hand held open and the right giving his blessing. The metalwork on the door all dates from the mediaeval period, and the main door is in pointed ?Ogival? Gothic style. In front of the church is the Antigo Hospital de Santo Antonio, today used as the city?s court house. The building was constructed in the mid-sixteenth century, although it underwent several subsequent alterations. It was once used as shelter for the many pilgrims returning from Compostela if they presented their certificate of having made their pilgrimage, known as the Compostelá, and were also given eight Maravedíes to pay for their upkeep on the way home.

Convent of the Mercedarios or A Madalena, built between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, later rebuilt in the sixteenth century. For this reason it combines several styles, including a façade in ?Plateresque? style, a Gothic cloister, and the Baroque door known as the ?Porta dos Carros? and bell-tower.

Also worth a visit is the simple but beautiful church of the old Hospital de San Lázaro, from the eighteenth century.

The high part of the town is charming and evocative, and still contains the tower of the old fortress of Sarria. The fortress was built in the thirteenth century, destroyed by the Irmandiños in the fifteenth century, and then rebuilt. The magnificent remaining tower is 14 metres high, and is reached by a staircase situated in a section of the town?s walls. At its base are two old coats of arms, of the Lemos and Castro families.

Do not miss

The Festas de San Xoán, a festival lasting five days in the town with numerous activities including music, outdoor dances, bullfights and religious and sporting events. They begin on 21 June, ?Young People?s Day?, and continue through the region?s holy festivals, da Fogueira and do Padrón, ending on the day of the Desfeita (25 June).

Singular village

Sarria is a town with close links to the tradition of St. James, and lies along the pilgrims? way, being the most populated town on the ?French Way? in Galicia. At a distance of 111 kilometres from Santiago, it is a valid point to start a pilgrimage on foot and receive the Compostelá certificate, given for having travelled more than 100 kilometres along the Way. Visitors cannot miss the opportunity to walk a section of Europe?s leading cultural itinerary.

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Last update: 04/05/2015