Nov 12

Pastoriza Route

43º 16' 53'' N  8º 34' 5'' W (start)      map

Length: 8 km
Estimated time: 1½ hours 
Difficulty : medium-low
Type of route: linear
Boroughs through which it passes:Arteixo
Starting point: Arteixo riverwalk

The church of Santa María makes up the “sanctuary of the Virgin of Pastoriza”. It has a Romanesque origin, although the current building is a Baroque-style church from the 17th C, with a single nave and a presbytery shaped as a Romanesque semicircular apse. It has an image of the Virgin Mary from the 13th C. The origin of the sanctuary and the devotion to the Virgin of Pastoriza is surrounded by numerous legends and ancient traditions, gathered together in a small book, “The Legend of Pastoriza”, written by Emilia Pardo Bazán and published in A Coruña in 1887.As a good woman from A Coruña I have always offered my affection and devotion to the Virgin of the sea, about whom I have heard a thousand prodigious stories told by unassuming people since I was a child,” wrote the Countess Pardo Bazán.

Nowadays hundreds of pilgrims continue to offer the Virgin their devotion and affection, making pilgrimage to the Sanctuary to attend religious acts and thus offer her their commitment. It is for this reason that Arteixo town council signposted a route via Rañobre, thus offering the pilgrims a safer and more attractive route while at the same time rescuing important cultural events of our town's history from oblivion.

Once there, it is traditional to go up the stairs that lead to “Monte Cruceiro” where there is an image of “the Virgin's cot” and a pile of rocks where the Immaculate had been hidden. The pilgrims go round the rocks three times, and later pass below them and kiss the image of the Saint.

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