The Alameda park is the most important reference point as regards Santiago residents´ walks and leisure; it is a very pleasant area, a kind of natural lounge. Its privileged location, bordering part of the old town, with a magnificent perspective of its west façade (the most monumental one), makes it the city´s main garden. It also stands out because of the variety and size of its trees and ornamental species, such as its oak grove (`carballeira´ in Galician), magnificent eucalyptus trees or the pergola with views formed by the horse chestnuts in Paseo da Ferradura.
The passing of time has left its mark on its spatial distribution, as we can see in the central avenue with corridors for the different social classes of the 19th century; in what is almost a triumphal arch leading to Paseo de los Leones, or in the layout of flowerbeds, fountains and ponds. And also in its 19th-century, modernist and present-day buildings –Chapel of Santa Susana, Church of El Pilar, dovecot, bandstand, acoustic bench, etc- in the abundance and forms of its statues and sculptures, and in its furniture, especially the granite benches with their artistic cast-iron backs from the well-known Galician factory of Sargadelos.
Right at the entrance we are received by the sculpture of `Las Dos Marías´ (The Two Marys) and the Colegio de San Clemente de Pasantes school, both described in Route 1. Another point of interest, among the many to be found in this park, is the Paseo da Ferradura viewpoint. The Alameda has two sanctuaries: the Church of El Pilar, beside the park´s central avenue, which belongs to the baroque style of the 18th century, and theChapel of Santa Susana, situated at the park´s highest point. The Chapel of Santa Susana is especially important because of its links with the city´s history, since it was consecrated in the 12th century by the archbishop Xelmírez, an important figure in Santiago´s history, in order to house the relics of St. Susana that were brought from Portugal. The present-day church is a reconstruction from the 17th and 18th centuries. All that remains of the early Romanesque building is the main door, some modillions and the window with its fanlight. There is also a Gothic cross on top of the apex of the nave.
Since the Alameda is the city´s most emblematic park, it also houses the Parks and Gardens Interpretation Centre of Compostela.