In any city, the marketplace is an example of its residents’ daily life. Here in Santiago, there are three different reasons for visiting the market: culture, gastronomy and architecture. Traditional shopping customs and a face-to-face approach are still alive here, which is one of its main attractions.
During the Middle Ages, sellers occupied several squares in the city: Platerías, Azabachería and, especially, Cervantes. Towards the end of the 19th century, it was decided to concentrate this intense activity in the former gardens of the Count of Altamira. Here is where this food market was created, whose buildings from the late thirties were designed by Joaquín Vaquero Palacios. If we go inside, we’ll see how its architecture reflects the traditional Galician building style, featuring granite, well-rounded shapes and a touch of village life.
The market is opened every day except Sundays. Next to the permanent stands, country women sell fresh produce cultivated in their own vegetable gardens with their own hands. Each one of them has an assigned place, decorating the market with their colourful fruit and vegetables.
The most appealing building is probably the one selling fresh seafood and fish that are brought daily from the Galician coast, Atlantic Ocean and Bay of Biscay. In other buildings, we will find the famous Galician veal, pork, which is the main product after the pig-slaughtering season in November, poultry and rabbit. Potatoes, bread, fruit, vegetables, cheese, along with flowers, seeds and plants complete this still life, which sheds light on Galicia’s gastronomic culture.
There is also the possibility of tasting some of the produce in a range of establishments or simply attending different events in the market’s renovated gastronomy room.