Built in the 12th century by Pedro Álvarez de Soutomaior it is one of the most important castles in Southern Galicia. Its origins can be traced back to the reign of Alfonso VII, when a military construction was built in a strategic location in the town of Soutomaior. On a hill at 119 metres above sea level at the bottom of the Ría de Vigo, the castle was near the coast but protected against the sea incursions of the Normans, the Turkish or pirates. It also controlled the communications from north to south, and dominated the valley of the Verdugo River, from its confluence with the Oitavén River to its mouth.
In the 15th century, the defensive tower was turned into a two-walled complex. At that time, the castle was closely linked to Pedro Álvarez de Sotomayor, popularly known as Pedro Madruga, who held the title of Count of Camiña, Viscount of Tui, and Mariscal of Baiona. There seems to be evidence that Cristopher Columbus and Pedro Madruga were the same person, since they had friends and rivals in common, and about one hundred places discovered in the New World were renamed with place names from As Rías Baixas.
Over history, Soutomaior was the centre of feudal power, the setting of many battles, and the summer residence of the noble families. Today, it is a historic site open to the public with a garden recognised as an International Garden of Excellence. The current magnificence of the building has been the result of several renovations and alterations.
La Hougue Bie is a Neolithic ritual site which was in use around 3500 BC. Hougue is a Jèrriais/Norman language word meaning a \'mound\' and comes from the Old Norse word haugr. The site consists of 18.6m long passage chamber covered by a 12.2m high mound. The site was first excavated in 1925 by the Société Jersiaise. Fragments of twenty vase supports were found along with the scattered remains of at least eight individuals. Gravegoods, mostly pottery, were also present. At some time in the past, the site had evidently been entered and ransacked.
In Western Europe, it is one of the largest and best preserved passage graves and the most impressive and best preserved monument of Armorican Passage Grave group. Although they are termed \'passage graves\', they were ceremonial sites, whose function was more similar to churches or cathedrals, where burials were incidental.