Top Historic Sights in Vigo, Spain

Explore the historic highlights of Vigo

Co-Cathedral of Santa María

Co-Cathedral of Santa María, popularly known as La Colegiata, is one of the best examples of religious architecture in Vigo, an exponent of neoclassical art in Galicia and the city’s most important temple. It is the co-cathedral with Tui Cathedral. Located in Vigo’s Old Town, it was built in 1811 over the remains of a previous church and commissioned from Melchor de Prado y Mariño. This basilica with three naves ha ...
Founded: 1811 | Location: Vigo, Spain

Castro Fortress

The Fortaleza del Castro is a hilltop fortress in Vigo built in 1665 during the Portuguese Restoration War in order to protect the city from the continuous raids by the British Royal Navy, allies of Portugal. Built on the hill of the same name, the defensive system of the city consisted of the fortresses of Castro and San Sebastián and the now disappeared city wall. The city wall had an irregular shape due to the orogra ...
Founded: 1665 | Location: Vigo, Spain

Castro de Vigo

The O Castro site is Vigo’s archaeological site par excellence: this was the origin of what is now the largest city in Galicia, between the second century BC and the third century AD. When you step on the stones of this museum site, the O Castro de Vigo. A Orixe da cidade, you’ll discover where the first inhabitants of Vigo lived. The Castro is a 1 mile² archaeological site that includes the reconstruction ...
Founded: 2nd century BCE | Location: Vigo, Spain

Salinae

Salinae is an important archaeological site in Vigo: an interesting tour of the only preserved solar evaporation marine saltworks from the Roman Empire. A suggestive staged space explains the creation and development of the Roman salt industry in Vigo and the utilisation of fishing resources. It is the recovery and museological presentation of a Roman site, an evaporation salt lake, in operation during 1st-3rd centuries ...
Founded: 0-300 AD | Location: Vigo, Spain

San Miguel de Bouzas Church

The church of San Miguel de Bouzas is one of the examples of Vigo’s religious architecture with the most history: in 1542, the neighbours of Bouzas told the prelate Don Diego Muñoz that they were so many they needed their own church, so as to avoid having to travel to the neighbouring Coia parish. This was the origin of the current Church of San Miguel, which was first a small chapel, was expanded years later, and was ...
Founded: 1697 | Location: Vigo, Spain

San Salvador de Coruxo Church

The Coruxo Church is an impeccable example of religious architecture in Vigo with beautiful skylights. Alongside the churches in Bembrive and Castrelos, the Romanesque temple in Coruxo is one of the best preserved in Vigo. The church of San Salvador was built in the 12th century; it belonged to the Benedictines until the 14th century and later became the parish church. Many of its Romanesque art ornaments have b ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Vigo, Spain

Bembrive Church

The small and beautiful Romanesque church in Bembrive presides this parish of Vigo since the 12th century and is one of the most significant examples of religious architecture in Vigo. This Romanesque church in Vigo was probably constructed over an ancient monastic temple, since the name of the church’s neighbourhood is Mosteiro (Monastery). The single nave church"s tympanum holds a beautiful Celtic cross. ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Vigo, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.