Castro de Castromaior

Portomarín, Spain

Castro de Castromaior in Portomarin is one of the most popular archaeological sites in the northwest of the peninsula. In this castro, developed in the Iron Age, it was inhabited between the fourth centuries BC and first century AD until three different populations, until its abandonment with the first Roman approaches. Of him they emphasize his big dimensions, since it counts on an area of ​​approximately 5 hectares, and his good state of conservation.

Between 2006 and 2010 it was the center of archaeological works in order to discover its entire structure, thereby achieving that in 2010 it obtained the title of Cultural Interest. Thanks to this title and being located a few meters from the route that connects the French Way with Santiago de Compostela, it has become one of the most popular locations on the Camino de Santiago.

Like other popular castros, the Castro de Castromaior is located on an elevation since its inhabitants had great visibility to be prepared for enemy attacks. It is distributed by a main enclosure, where homes were concentrated, and different walled platforms located outside. According to experts, the usual houses that formed in castro, were initially made with vegetables, but a fire calcined them and were rebuilt with stone walls. Currently, in the castro the ditches and holes where the posts were located are preserved.



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LU-633, Portomarín, Spain
See all sites in Portomarín


Founded: 4th century BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Spain

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Claudia Brezovan (2 years ago)
This is something pretty to see. If you are a pilgrim, go see it, it will not make the path longer and it will give you a nice view.
Graciela Porraz (2 years ago)
A little detour from the main El Camino road. We walked to the archeological site and it was surprisingly well kept and interesting to visit. Nice views from that place to the valley.
Sitabai Betts (2 years ago)
Totally incredible from 400bce, I wish more people realized it was there rather than walking right on by, it's steps off the Camino.
KB Raif MD (2 years ago)
Beautiful place , very scenic , quiet and peaceful. You can feel the history at this 2000 year old Gaul site surrounded by concentric defensive earthworks like a labyrinth intended to confuse the attacking Romans, with the Gauls on the high ground on top of the last defensive earthworks throwing Spears , rocks and arrows. Well worth the side trips and just a few minutes off the main trail , was surprised how few people knew it and visited it.
John Boone (2 years ago)
If you are doing the Camino definitely take the slight detour on the way to Melide it adds no time or difficulty to the trek and is a great spot to have a small break and enjoy the 2000 year old ruins. Also we had the spot all to ourselves and got took look on at all the people who skipped it and scoff at their misfortune.
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Glimmingehus, is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".