Monte Viso - Mythological Trail
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Monte Viso - Mythological Trail

Monte Viso rises up to the east of the city. Its history goes back to the arrival of the Romans, who used it as a reference point, along with Monte Pedroso, for the urban development of the settlement they planned to erect in the valley between both summits. Later on, its slopes were used by early medieval inhabitants for agricultural activities and, in the 19th and 20th centuries, for establishing tanneries and mines.

Today, you can access the hill from the Cidade da Cultura (Galician City of Culture) or via paths starting in the village of O Viso and the parish of Aríns. At the top you can enjoy a clear view of the horizon, with an excellent panoramic view of the city and its surrounding hills and valleys.

Since 2020, visitors can also discover the mythical world of our ancestors by travelling along a mythological trail, featuring representations of different fabulous beings from Galicia’s oral tradition:

A lamia
A monstruous female creature –half-woman and half-snake– that lives in rivers, fountains and springs. It is related to the people of os mouros and is considered dangerous.

A coca
This is one of the names given to dragons in Galicia. The best-known one is that of Redondela, which, according to legend, abducted maidens in the surroundings until the inhabitants killed it.

O nubeiro
A giant that causes storms and tempests. He sometimes comes down to earth and mingles with people. However, the mythical nubeiro rides the clouds and makes thunder with his clogs. He is related to the tronantes and the escoleres. We should be careful not to invoke him by accident.

Breogán
The mythical king of the Galician Celts, founder of the city of Brigantia and promoter of the tower from which his son, Ith, spotted the island of Ireland. This gave rise to the invasion of Ireland by the Milesians, who set sail from Galicia in a fleet of ships and defeated the people of the Tuatha Dé Dannan, resulting in the Celtic occupation of the island.

Os mouros
Inhabitants of the underworld that live in mámoas (megalithic burial mounds), dolmens and castros (fortified Iron-Age settlements). They inhabit a parallel world and are the keepers of fabulous treasures. They sometimes have dealings with humans, who do not always come off well. 

A meiga
Meigas are the inheritors of ancient rituals and magical beliefs. They know occult arts, divination and spells. They also acquainted with the forces of nature and are traditional healers, to whom people turn in order to cure certain ailments –both physical and spiritual– such as the evil eye.

O tardo
This is a type of trasno (fairy) that causes nightmares, which are its specialty. It sits on the chest of sleepers to inflict pain on them and make them have nightmares. 

A moura
The female figure stands out among the people of os mouros. She sometimes appears as a beautiful young lady that is the keeper of treasures. On other occasions, as an old lady that makes megaliths. She is also the creator of dolmens and menhirs, as well as atmospheric phenomena such as the arco da vella (rainbow).

O gatipedro
A fabulous creature that looks like a cat but has a horn on its head. Just like the tardo, it also causes nocturnal discomfort, making children wet their bed while sleeping.

Os biosbardos
Biosbardos are elusive creatures with nocturnal habits. There is therefore no precise description of their appearance. They are known to inhabit forests and bring good luck to anyone that manages to catch them. They are also called gazafellos and other variants of this term. 

The statues were made by the Compostela sculptor José Manuel Méndez Rodríguez. More information.

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Monte Viso - Mythological Trail
Monte Viso - Mythological Trail

More information

Location
Rúa do Viso, Santiago de Compostela, 15707