Parks and gardens have the virtue of transforming themselves throughout the seasons, modifying the city in turn: colouring it in autumn, baring it in winter, lighting it up in spring, shading it in summer, filling it with the aroma of damp soil, of recently cut grass, of flowering plants… and they are, undoubtedly, the best lounges for contemplating Compostela´s sunsets.
A city embraced by green spaces
Santiago de Compostela´s landscape has always been characterised by the presence of green. From almost any point in the city, and especially from the old town, we are presented with perspectives revealing the city´s parks, or fleeing towards farmland or towards the forests covering the hills surrounding Compostela.
During centuries, the sensation of closeness to nature has been enhanced by the city´s historical gardens –the area formed by the Alameda park, the Santa Susana oak grove and the South University Campus, plus the San Domingos de Bonaval and Belvís parks- which are still some of the city´s most emblematic and popular places.
The urban expansion that began in the mid-20 th century led to an increase in the number of residences and the need for guaranteeing sustainable urban development, by creating new green spaces in the city. This task was fully assumed in the nineties, making Santiago , with more than one and a half million square metres of public green spaces, a city that can be encircled and toured by means of its parks and gardens. The city has received several prizes and international acclaim due to this scenic and environmental quality.
The new green spaces embracing the old town have safeguarded this historical relationship between the constructed area and the natural surroundings. Thus, today we can still enjoy the same urban scenes that were enjoyed, a long time ago, by other travellers and pilgrims…
The Green Itinerary is a project that, once completed, will create a large, 15 km-long corridor surrounding the city and linking its main green spaces. It will also in turn connect these with the city´s other green areas: with other parks and gardens, with rural and forest pathways and with the different Ways of St. James, thereby creating a large green-urban route that will facilitate the city´s integration and dialogue with its natural surroundings.