Roots to gain the sky
In Galician, the carballo (Quercus robur) adopts
the female gender when it is an old tree with a
large trunk and well-developed crown. The holm
oak of Rochas or A Saínza is magnificent. It
officially measures 6.90 metres at its perimeter
which should be taken at a height of 1.30 metres
from the ground. A little higher up it divides into
two great branches more than thirty metres high.
Apart from its botanical interest, the tree at A
Saínza possesses outstanding cultural value. Its
roots are merged into the history of the land
where it was planted, near the chapel of the
Virgen de las Mercedes, and in memory of the
people of the area (See the Biosphere Reserve
“Area of Allariz”).
Every 24th of September, on the occasion of the
local holidays, the shadow of this oak wood also
gives shelter to an important pilgrimage, one of
the few re-creations in Galicia of the battle
between the Moors and the Christians. The socalled
“attack” takes place in the Campo do
Castelo and has been declared a Fiesta de Interés
Turístico (holiday of tourist interest).