Galeras Park runs along the banks of the River Sarela, in a flattish area where it is joined by the Corgo stream. This watercourse is delimited in the west by the Finca do Espiño estate and Monte Pío, and in the east by the old town; this enables us to compare the size of the blocks of flats and large singular buildings (Cathedral, Convent of San Francisco, Medicine Faculty, Monastery of San Martín Pinario, former hospital, etc) with that of the small houses and rural constructions leading up to Monte Pedroso. It therefore marks the transition between city and countryside.
Galeras is, above all, a large meadow that is well suited to walking, children’s play and sports. Furthermore, it is bordered by several unique architectures as well as cafés and restaurants, with views of the park.
`Vaquería de O Carme de Abaixo´ is the name of an old cattle farm, whose lands and structures now house several residential buildings, exquisitely rehabilitated by the well-known architect Víctor López Cotelo. Due to the quality of the project carried out here by this architect, it won the prestigious Spanish Architecture Biennial prize in 2003.
Opposite the farm, surrounded by fruit trees, is the `Raíña Fabiola´ public school designed by the Italian architect Giorgio Grassi. In its symmetry and regularity, the project reflects the timeless values that characterise this architect´s work. It thereby appears in the centre of the plot as a solid, serene volume without surprising forms; as if it had always been there.
Opposite the school, on a hillock and surrounded by luxuriant vegetation, there is themodernist `pazo´ (palace) of O Espiño, a fascinating, romantic building from the beginning of the 20th century. And beside it, on Monte Pío, the autonomous region of Galicia´s presidential residence, designed by the famous Galician architect Manuel Gallego Jorreto; it is characterised by its discrete integration in the surrounding hillside.
Another outstanding building in the Galeras neighbourhood, because of the volume and regularity of its architecture, is the former General Hospital of Galicia, which was recently moved to the A Choupana neighbourhood on the city outskirts.
From Galeras Park it is possible to continue, by means of an alternative 40-minute walk, to the top of Monte Pedroso, which is the Compostela residents´ `hill´, the unavoidable landmark that can be seen from any part of the city. A place for going for a walk or a bike ride, it is also the best viewpoint for discovering Santiago within the surrounding landscape. It is a privileged interlocutor of the Cathedral and the entire city; due to this scenic interdependence, it was decided many years ago to make this a restricted building area, so that no constructions may compete with the Cathedral as regards height, visibility or territorial dominion. In order to reach the top, first of all you have to go through Granxa do Xesto Park, a large natural space on the hillside, halfway between a park (due to its configuration and facilities) and woodland, being in fact the entrance of a forest park.