Things to see and do in Santiago that you won’t find in a (normal) guide – part 1

01

1- Spanish deck of cards:

A traditional Spanish deck of cards is divided in four suits: oros (gold), bastos (clubs), copas (cups) y espadas (swords). But why are they topping San Fructuoso Church main façade? Actually they are a representation of the Catholic cardinal virtues: Fortitude, Prudence, Justice, and Temperance.

San Fructuoso Church, rúa da Trinidade

02

2- An angel wearing glasses:

Have you ever seen an angel wearing glasses? Well, you can see one if you look carefully inside Santa María Salomé Church.

Santa María Salomé Church, Rúa Nova 31

03

3- Valle Inclán Tomb:

Ramón María del Valle Inclán was one of the 20th Century’s most important writers in Spanish and he was Galician. He lived between Madrid and two Galician towns, Cambados and A Pobra do Caramiñal, and when he died in Santiago in 1936 he was buried in our public cemetery, where you can visit his tomb, placed under a huge cypress near the entrance.

Boisaca Cemetery, Avenida do Cruceiro da Coruña (how to get there: take bus nº1 in Virxe da Cerca)
04

4- Picnic in an old cemetery:

Back in the 50’s, when Santiago began to grow, the old cemetery was abandoned and the tombs were moved to a new location. After five decades this abandoned empty place became a part of a new park so nowadays you can walk or have a picnic among the 19th Century empty niches or, during summer, attend a concert or an outdoor film or theatre event. We still remember an unforgettable night projection of Bela Lugosi’s Dracula with an orchestra playing its soundtrack there.

San Domingos de Bonaval Park, Cuesta San Domingos 3

05

5- Don’t forget to have a bowl of wine:

Yes, a bowl. Or, as we call it, unha cunca (in Galician) or una taza (in Spanish). In the old times, when glassware was rare an expensive, most taverns and bars served wine in ceramic bowls. And that is how they still do it in most traditional taverns. Don’t expect an amazing wine but a light, young simple local one at really affordable prices (normally under 1€), the kind of wine they always served in these places, perfect with a simple tapa or even better, as most locals do, with a second cunca.

6- … more to come!

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