Chao Samartín is a Castro located in the municipality of Grandas. It was founded in the Bronze Age, around the year 800 BCE.
The beginnings of this fortified village lay toward the end of the Bronze Age (about 3,000 years ago); the first defenses are from this period, a moat and a palisade that surround a sacred enclosure with an entrance preceded by some large rocks. Inside a building was located that is quite large for its era (some 60 m²).
Already in the Iron Age the inhabited area of the castro started to grow considerably. In the 4th century. the defenses existed of a wall and several moats that in their interior contained dwellings of circular and rectangular plan with rounded corners. These dwellings had one room and a roof of plant materials. The only entrance to the village was from the south through a large gate over a moat. The inhabitants were farmers, prepared foods in ceramic pots and pans and used tools of iron, copper, silver, and gold, as is shown by the objects that have been found at this location. In this era, the first sauna in this castro was built.
With the arrival of the Roman Empire, a period of peace and prosperity began that altered the defensive character of the hill fort because the inhabitants started to take advantage of the fact that nearby several gold mines were found. Their prosperity came to a halt when the settlement was suddenly abandoned after an earthquake taking place toward the 2nd Century AD.
Excavation of the castro were begun in 1990 and there is still a large part of the village hidden under the soil that has not been studied yet. Investigations showed that the settlement was suddenly abandoned, which is explained by findings of many tools, jewelry, and other objects of value that pertain to the Roman Period.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.