Castro de Santa Trega

A Guarda, Spain

Castro de Santa Trega is a Galician fort and archaeological site located on the hillsides of Mount Santa Trega. The site is strategically located overlooking the mouth of the river Miño. Belonging to the Castro culture, it is the most emblematic and visited Galician fort.

Santa Trega is a ‘Castro-Roman’ settlement. It was inhabited between 100 BC and 100 AD, in a period when the process of Romanisation of the northwest of the Iberian peninsula had already begun. Despite this, the construction system reflects techniques that respect the Castro tradition and has seen very little Roman influence. This style is dominated by the use of circular structures. Only a small percentage of the estimated size of the settlement has been excavated so far. At present only the northern part, excavated in the 80s, and some structures at the top of the mountain are open to visitors. It is bordered by a wall which surrounds a stretch of land more than 700 metres north-south by 300 metres east-west. However, these measurements are not confirmed to be accurate.

Proof of a human presence approximately 2,000 years prior to the settlement's construction is confirmed by the petroglyphs or rock engravings left in various locations in that area. Many of these petroglyphs were concealed by structures raised during the construction of the fort. The Laja del Mapa’ also known as the Laja Sagrada (Sacred Rock), is the better known of the geometric representations that are still visible. Situated on the highest part of the hill, the engraving is made up of various spirals, concentric circles and roughly parallel lines. It is evident that these engravings have no relation to the fort, since they are a product of a society that developed 2,000 years before, during the final stage of the Galician Neolithic period.



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Founded: 100 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Spain


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Rosa Maria Quintana Lehminger (5 months ago)
Very interesting celtic city
Ve Rena (6 months ago)
We were surprised to discover this place and it's definitely worth a visit. The view is awesome but most importantly it makes Galician Celtic history quite tangible.
Scott Bartelt (10 months ago)
Very interesting but wish it had signs in English. Plus, the weather was horrible. But still, pretty amazing to be in the presence of so much history.
Christiana Fitzpatrick (12 months ago)
Wonderful views. Incredible historical site, with lots of access.
Tino A (2 years ago)
A place you can not miss if you visit Rias Baixas. Amazing views. And a piece of the history of Galicia and Spain. All is very good indicated by signaling and friendly and helpful staff. You can access with the car until the top of the montain. Car parking. Toilets. Restaurant. Merchandising stores.
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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".