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Pontevedra is the capital of the Pontevedra province in the Galicia region of Spain.
Pontevedra sits at the end of the Pontevedra ria thus combining beautiful fjord like scenery, sheltered beaches and the attractive and friendly city of Pontevedra. It is not suprisingly popular as a tourist destination, particularly with Spanish and Portugese.
The galician coast is very beautiful but often lashed by Atlantic storms. Down the coast the Rias Baixas miss the worst of the storms and the long rias further protect the beaches along them, making the towns and villages along the four Rias Baixas some of the best for holidays in Galicia.
The Ria de Pontevedra is beautiful, a long narrow inlet of sea with steep, forested sides and plenty of sandy beaches.
The city of Pontevedra is slightly inland and has a typical Galician flavour. The streets are narrow cobbled alleys and open out onto colonnaded squares with granite crosses and houses usually with flower-filled balconies.
There are various monuments worth visiting as you walk around the old town:
The Convento de Santo Domingo is a Gothic convent and now home to a museum of Galician coats of arms.
The 16th century Iglesia de Santa Maria la Mayor has an excellent Plateresque facade.
There is a pilgrim chapel, testament to the importance of pilgrims in Galicia (home to Santiago de Compostela), the Santuario de la Peregrina whose footprint is in the shape of a scallop shell (symbol of the pilgrims).
The Alameda is a large open area surrounded by important buildings and monuments to naval achievements including Christopher Columbus who is said to have sailed from Pontevedra.
Pontevedra has an excellent selection of bars and restaurants. Most bars sell tapas. The best are in the pleasant zona monumental area on the river edge, also a good area to head for if you are looking for the local nightlife.
Museums in Pontevedra
The Museo de Pontevedra has an excellent collection of gold bracelets, jet jewellry and exhibits from Bronze Age as well as a good art collection with paintings by Goya and Ribera as well as Galician artist Alfonso Castelao. The museum is in five seperate buildings, four are lovely mansion houses set around a small square - the Praza de Lena. The fifth is in the ruins of the Igrexa Santo Domingo.
Where to visit nearby?
Visit Combarro to see its famous horreos (grain silos) on stone columns on the water front.
Nearby Vigo has good beaches and makes an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area.
A little further away but really not to be missed is the beautiful city of Santiago de Compostela and its wonderful cathedral which is the goal of many pilgrimages.