Leaving the old town via Porta Faxeira, one of the old city gates, we come to the Alameda park. This generic name encompasses three different zones: Paseo de la Alameda, Carballeira (Oak Grove in the Galician language) de Santa Susana and Paseo de la Herradura, which form an area of 56,000 square metres. The resulting park has been, since the 19th century, one of Santiago residents´ favourite walks, although not so long ago it was also the site of Galicia´s most typical cattle market (held every Thursday). This festive spirit is kept alive by the big wheel and stalls that fill the park´s paths and fields during the Ascension Festival (the sixth Thursday after Easter) or St. James’ Day (July 25th).
A curious sculpture by César Lombera, known as `Las Dos Marías´ (The Two Marys) welcomes visitors into the park. They represent two popular characters (sisters and seamstresses by trade), who went for a walk following the same route every day, wearing bright clothes and being heavily made-up. On the right, on the other side of the road, there is Colegio de San Clemente (formerly called Colegio de Pasantes), a school that was founded in the 17th century. Behind its classical façade, it now houses the `Rosalía de Castro´ Secondary School.
The park´s perimeter can be toured by starting along, for example, the Paseo de los Leones, which begins underneath the triumphal arch. There you will meet the Galician writer Ramón del Valle Inclán, immortalised in bronze, before coming to the “lovers’ eucalyptus tree”, where we can admire a classical postcard view of Compostela: the old town framed by the branches of oak and elm trees.