Annette M. B Meakin.

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G A L I C I A



BY THE SAME AUTHOR

A Ribbon of Iron (The Great Siberian Railway)
In Russian Turkestan
Russia : Travels and Studies
Woman in Transition




rilK I'OK ri( () DK (;i.()KIA, l\ THK cathedral of SANTIAC.O



GALICIA



THE SWITZERLAND OF SPAIN



BY



ANNETTE M. B. MEAKIN



" Lugar mais hermoso
No mundo n'hachara
Qu'aquel de Galicia
Galicia encantada."

Rosalia Castro



WITH 105 ILLUSTRATIONS AND A MAP



t i *



METHUEN & CO.

S6 ESSEX STREET W.C.

LONDON



,.v



.^^



First Published in igog



• • c , •• « •



■ »



« • •



THIS VOLUME

IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED

TO

HER MAJESTY

VICTORIA EUGENIA

GALICIA's QUEEN



CONTENTS



CHAP.

I, Ancient Galicia
II. The Geography of Galicia
■ ' III. The First Golden Age
IV. The Salve Regina .
•^ V. The Language of Galicia .
VI. Pilgrims to Santiago
VII. The Architecture of Galicia
VIII. The Cathedral of Santiago
IX. The Portico de Gloria
X. Sculptured Capitals
XI. The Royal Hospital
XII. The Colegiata de Sar

XIII. La Coruna .

XIV. Emigration .
XV. Rosalia Castro

*' XVI. Santiago de Compostela
XVII. Galicia's Livestock
XVIII. Padron
I XIX. La BELLfsiMA Noya

XX. PONTEVEDRA .
XXI. ViGO AND TUY

XXII. Orense

XXIII. Monforte and Lugo

XXIV. Betanzos AND Ferrol
r XXV. The Great Monasteries of Galicia

XXVI. Trees, Fruits, and Flowers
XXVII. Dives Callaecia
Bibliography
Index ....



PAGE

I

17

39

49
60

78

94
107

126

136

145
152
172
182
190
210
222
231

254
276

286

297

308

317
343
352

359
363



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



The Portico de Gloria in the Cathedral of Santiago

Fro7itispiece

FACING PAGE

Map of Galicia ........ i

The River Sil, Orense ...

Where the Sil joins the Cabe

A Mountain Vineyard

The Treasury, Santiago Cathedral

PUERTA de las PLATERIAS, SANTIAGO CATHEDRAL

PuERTA Santa, Santiago Cathedral

The Silver Altar with Statue of St. James in Santiago

Cathedral . .......

The Stone Coffin in which the Lost Body of St. James

WAS discovered in 1879. It had been hidden there

WHEN Sir Francis Drake attacked Coruna
Window in the Palace of Gelmirez
Archway in the Palace of Gelmirez
Sculpture in the Chapel beneath Santiago Cathedral
Sculpture in the Refectory of the Palace of Gelmirez
Sculpture in the Chapel .....
Sculptured Pillar in the Chapel

Entrance to the Chapel beneath Santiago Cathedral
Sculptured Capitals exactly beneath the Portico de

Gloria .....

The Palace of Gelmirez

Entrance to the Royal Hospital at Santiago
Vestibule of the Royal Hospital
Cloister in the Royal Hospital .
Convent of San Payo, where each Nun had a Separate

Kitchen and a Maid to wait on her
Royal Hospital, Santiago
A Corner of a Cloister, Royal Hospital, Santiago



22

57

57

102

102

102

104



104
127
127
127
128
130
130
130

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132
136

140
140



142
142
144



GALICIA



FACING PAGE

A Doorway leading to a Cloister, Royal Hospital, Santiago

A Sculptured Altar, Royal Hospital, Santiago

Interior of the Colegiata de Sar

Cloister of the Colegiata de Sar

Peasants in Costumes peculiar to Galicia

A Native Cart .

A Street in La Coruna

A Water-Carrier

Keeping May Day

The Tower of Hercules

The Tomb of Sir John Moore on the Ramparts of La
Coruna

Padron ....

Bridge of Alonso where the Tambre joins the Ria de Noya

Noya .....

The Bed of San Mamed, Noya

Cloister of San Justo de Tojosutos

Group of Musicians; one is holding the Galician Bagpipe.

Merchant's Palace of Sixteenth Century, Noya

Ruined Church of Cambados

Interior of Santa Maria la Grande

The Church of Santa Maria la Grande and Houses once
inhabited by Merchant Fishermen

Old Jewish Quarter, Pontevedra .

The Ruins of Santa Domingo now an Open-Air Archaeo-
logical Museum, Pontevedra .

Part of the Museum of Archeology, Pontevedra

Tomb of an Ambassador to Tamerlane in the Museum
of Santa Domingo, Pontevedra

The Village of Combarro, Pontevedra .

A Native Dovecot ....

Castello Mos, now the Summer Residence of the Marquis
DE la Vega de Armijo, Pontevedra

Prehistoric Writing discovered on Boulders near the
Town of Pontevedra in 1907 .

{From a Drawing by E, Campo)

Bell Tower of the Cathedral, Tuy
The Cathedral at Tuy
Porch of Tuy Cathedral



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS



XI



Apse of the Parish Church at Allariz .

Facade of the Church of El Mosteiro .

Entrance to Orense Cathedral ....

Stone Reredos in the Capilla de los Condes, Monterrey

The Puente Mayor, one of the Wonders of Orense

Northern Entrance to Orense Cathedral

Side Entrance to the Church of Santa Domingo at Tuy

Romanesque Faqade of the Parish Church at Allariz

Window in the Church of Santiago at Ribadavia .

Tower near Monterrey .....

Church of Aquasantas .....

Apse of the Church of El Mosteiro

Apse of a Church near Orense ....

Conventual Church of the Monastery of Osera

Part of the Apse of the Church of Aquasantas

The Market-Place, Lugo .....

Children playing Hide-and-Seek among the Coffins ex

posed for Sale in a Street of Santiago .
Romanesque Side Entrance to Church of Tiobre, Betanzos
Tomb of Andrada, Betanzos ....

The Monastery of Osera, Orense.
Cloisters in the Monastery of Osera, two Pictures
Cloister in the Colegiata de Junquera de Ambia
Cloister in the Monastery of Celanova
Santa Comba de Bande .....

Horseshoe Arch in Santa Comba de, Bande
Oratory of San Miguel in Garden

Monastery .....
Monastery and Church of Celanova
The River Cabe ....

My Guide leading me up to the Monastery of San Estevan
The Bishop's Cloister, Monastery of San Estevan, Orense
Rock-hewn Chapel in the Monastery of San Pedro de Rocas
Vestibule of the Rock Chapels of San Pedro de Rocas .
Primitive Maize Barn in Village near Osera .
Mountain Slope cultivated in Steps or Terraces, Orense



FACING PAGE
289



OF Celanova



289
289
290
290
292
292
292
292
294
294
294
296
296
296
312

312
312
312

321

321

321

329
332
332

332

332
335
335
338
340
340
345
345



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t, C ' t,' « ■•• • •

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MAP OF



4-' .



GALICIA



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GALICIA

CHAPTER I

ANCIENT GALICIA

Ancient Galicia— Never conquered by the Moors— The cradle of Spanish
nobiUty-A goal for pilgrims-Modern writers on GaUcia-A nch literature
National ^traditions-Martial genius-No .Basques-Ibenan words
Ligurians in Spain— Barrows and tumuh— Drmdical stones— Celtic Sp^n—
Derivarion of ''GaUcia "-Scotch and Irish traditions-Juhus Caesar-Phoe-
nicran cc^omes-The Cassiterides-Plato's theory-Iron ^.^P P-^-^ts-Qumtus
Fabius— Brutus in Gahcia— The theatre of Caesars battles— The Roman
Legions— The most ancient of all the Spanish kmgdoms

GALICIA is the least known and the least written about
of all the little kingdoms that go to the making of
Spain Her boundaries have been greatly reduced since
the days when the Romans divided the Peninsula mto five
provinces and called one of them Galicia. In the fourth
and fifth centuries, when the Sueves and the Vandals poured
into Spain, they made Galicia their centre, and their kingdom
extended into what is now the kingdom of Portugal, while
Braga now a Portuguese town, was for a long time tfie
residential city of their kings. At the end of the seventh
century King Witiza resided in Galicia, not as its king, but
as the companion of his father in the kingdom of the Goths
whose seat was Toledo ; it was as governor of Galicia that
he resided at Tuy. In the days of the historian Mariana
part of his palace was still to be seen there. His father died
in 706, and he then became king of the Goths. The irruption
of the Saracens in 713 again changed the aspect of the
Peninsula, and the limits of Galicia were contracted ; but
Spanish geographers to this day call her a retno, or kingdom,
and divide her into four little provinces— Coruna, Pontevedra,
Orense, and Lugo. Like our Wales, Galicia once had kings
of her own, and at a later date the title king of Galicia
was given to the heir to the Spanish throne, ]ust as that ol
"Prince of Asturias" is given now. It is an interesting fact
that Moorish historians speak of that part of the Peninsula



2 GALICIA

which' retained "tile 'Christian faith during their occupation
as " GaHcia," and of all the rest of the territory as " Spain."
Just as Novgorod proudly boasts of never having been
conquered by the Tartars when the rest of Russia was sub-
jected to their sway, so Galicia is proud to remember that
she, at least, was never conquered by the Moors.

Galicia may justly be called the cradle of the Spanish
nobility, for almost all Spain's proudest families have their
roots in Gallegan soil, their titles having been given to their
ancestors as a reward for the heroic resistance they offered
to the Moors.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Galicia
seems to have been left out of count, and to have gradually
sunk into oblivion. Even the Spaniards themselves know
very little about her to-day. Yet in the Middle Ages her
fame as a goal of pilgrims rivalled that of Palestine, not only
throughout Spain, but throughout the length and breadth
of Christendom ; while earlier still, when she bravely resisted
Julius Caesar's attempt at conquest, she won for herself no
little glory.

The small amount of information relative to Galicia which
is to be obtained from English and French books is distinctly
unfavourable. We are told that her climate is damp and
rainy, and that her inhabitants are dull, stubborn, and stupid ;
while her wonderful history, her exquisite scenery, and her
fascinating architecture are barely aUuded to, if not passed
over in absolute silence. It is to Spanish writers that we
must turn for information that is neither superficial nor
unreliable.

There exists in the Spanish language a rich literature
relating to Galicia, but a good history of this province has
yet to be written. Aguiar began to write one in the thirties
of the nineteenth century, but death frustrated the completion
of his design, as it did those of several other competent men
who had planned a similar task.^ Aguiar explained in his
first volume that he had been led to undertake the work by
finding how unjustly and incorrectly Galicia had been treated
by earlier writers, and how little she was kno\\Ti to the rest
of Spain, in spite of her being one of the most important,
one of the most beautiful, and one of the most cultured of the
Spanish provinces. He further complained that no historians
had ever taken the trouble to visit Galicia, except Ambrosio

1 Barros Sivelo tells us that his friend Sr. Robles collected data for a
history of Galicia for twenty-seven years, but died before he had begun to
write it.



ANCIENT GALICIA 3

1 Morales/ whose sole object in doing so was to search for

antiquities for the Escurial collection.
1 Galicia was the province that suffered most from the

political unification of Spain ; she was the one most sacrificed
to the centralisation of political administration, partially, no
doubt, in consequence of her position being the most distant
and the most isolated one. There are many devoted Gallegans
who compare their beloved territory to Finland, to Ireland
and Hungary, and are never tired of saying that self-govern-
ment alone could restore to her the prosperity that has for-
saken her shores. They feel that as long as she is governed
at a distance and by strangers she can never hope to raise
her head.

Less troubled by invaders, less influenced by the Moors
than the rest of Spain, Galicia at one time became the centre
in which was propagated the purest of Spain's lyric poetry ;
she constituted a neo-Gothic society the hearth on which
were kindled the earliest flames of Peninsular civilisation ; ^
hither came even kings to complete their education, and the
language of Galicia — " O crown of fame ! " — was the medium
chosen by Spain's greatest troubadours in which to express
their poetic thoughts. But Galicia lost her political existence,
and with it her culture was also extinguished.

But neither unification nor centralisation have the power
to destroy national traditions, and Galicia is still, as one of
her children has expressed it, " the land of glorious recollec-
tions." The songs of her bards are still in the hearts of her
people, and a passionate love for her mountains, vales, and
rivers is perhaps the most marked of all the interesting traits
to be found in the Gallegan character.

We were all taught at school, if not in the nursery, that
Spain was conquered by the Romans, and later on by the
Moors, — all Spain, except one little corner to the north-west,
— and some of us have wondered how it came to pass that
one little corner of the Peninsula should have succeeded in
resisting so stoutly, not only Julius Caesar, but the Moorish
hosts who for eight long centuries held sway over the rest
of the land. We have wondered w^hat sort of people the
Gallegans were, and whence came their martial genius, and,
above all, their unconquerable love of liberty.

Every group of human beings, every town, every nation,
leaves to posterity some record of its civil life and of its customs,
according to the degree of civilisation in which it lived. These
records come down to us preserved in rocks and stones, in

^ In the reign of Philip ii. * Theophilo Braga.



4 GALICIA

hieroglyphics, in Runic characters and in Greek and Latin
inscriptions, in hnes upon parchment and in rustic dwelhngs.
Such is the book in which our past is written, the book
in which every generation has written a page. Some British
ethnologists still think that the Basques are the oldest in-
habitants of Spain, and that they once spread all over the
Peninsula, but, as Barros Sivelo ^ and others have pointed
out, that is impossible, for there is no trace of the Basques
in the whole of Galicia. On the other hand, it has been proved
many times and beyond all doubt that Celtic tribes inhabited
that part of Spain for a considerable period. Borrow, after
translating the Bible into Basque, strongly opposed the
theory that this language was of Celtic origin. As this gifted
student of languages spoke Erse, the native language of
Ireland, fluently as well as that of the Basques, I think we
may consider him a competent judge when he tells us that
" perhaps in the whole of Europe it would be difficult to
discover two languages which exhibit fewer points of mutual
resemblance than the Basque and the Irish." ^

The oldest-known inhabitants of Spain were caUed Iberians.
There are many theories about these people as to who they
really were and whence they came, the most interesting and
probable theory being that of Marcus Varro (who was about
ten years older than Cicero), that conscientious historians
believed that they were originally Scythian Iberians, and that
they made their way from the neighbourhood of Armenia
by way of northern Africa to Spain, ^ It is, at any rate,
an interesting fact that Georgia also bore the name of Iberia
in olden days, and that the hemispheric writing found among
the Georgians of the present day is brought to our memory
by the appearance of the wonderful hemispheric writing still
to be distinctly traced upon the boulders of Galicia. Further-
more, we learn from the chronicle of Idatius, written in the
fifth century, that the Roman Emperor Theodosius was born
in the town of Cauca, in the province of Galicia.* No one
can say with certainty where the town of Cauca was situated,
but it is thought to have been somewhere between Braga and
the river Miho. Now the word cauca in the language of the
ancient Scythians meant " white," and the name of the
mountains of Georgia which divide Europe from Asia is

1 Barros Sivelo, Antiquedades di Galicia, 1875.
^ The Bible in Spain, ch. xxvii.

* It is believed that Spain was once united to the north African coast,
and it is certain that in antiquity the Straits of Gibraltar were much narrower
than they are now.

* See Cronicon del Obispo Idacio, ed. by Dr. Marcelo Macias, 2nd ed., 1906.



ANCIENT GALICIA 5

.. Caucasus." said to have been given to them on^a^count .
of their peaks bang etemaUy white ^^ ^

^;^"ot Sia^^lTlr sUmln l^ prohabUUy hnd others

^hT^at S r;~lrtKtal^n^nvett !
lished themselves on *« b^"^s f fte Cauca ■ ^^ ^^^ ^^,^_

far back as 3000 B.C. J^ey ""™P'f,ri4l numbers of them
that four hundred years after thar arr^ ^^^

wandered forth to seek =1 "7^^°™!^ Spain by what was then I

northern coast of Africa and entered bpa y ^^^^ ^^

the Isthmus of Hercules. But wnen ui ^ ^j^ Ibenans ;

there were two other ^ ^f ^g^L JuS'lle assures us I
-the Ligunans ''"'^ /^e Phremc ans- ^^^^^^^^ ^^ ^^^

that the presence of L>g™ans m spa ^^_,^_ ,

presence of twenty-one Raines ending ^^^ .j-j^^ ^

Ld «sco, and three of these names are fo™ ^^^ ^^^^^^^

Phoenicians never conquered Spam they we y ^^^^ ^^ ^j^^

as far as commerce ^''^^"^^^^"^ler been completely con- !
last the Spanish .P«"'"i"]trsScerthe Romans.'^ I

quered by any of its invaders excepr i joUo^ing the more I
^ I have not had an opportunity of Mow g_.^^^^^^ .^
recent anthropological studies of Senor An ^^

connection with the subject of «?« ™^^'^g.„j„ of Madrid he ;
but in some of his l«=to«%^"*L two primitive races of
has propounded ^ . Wcr„.Magnon Ind ttat of the Celto- ,
Spain were that of */;,^?'„|" ported, moreover, by the
Slav. His conviction had been sup?o™ • ^ ^ analogous
recint discovery of prehistoric ant.qu tes m Egyp^^^^ J^^_
to those that have been found m Spam^^s^ ,

ments, ornamental vases, an" / j ^e^am cases 1

rocks, representations of men an^ an™aB^ ^^^^^ ^^

the signs discovered on Egyptian rocks nav jj^^^t^^ ;

be identical with those ou"dm centra Spamf^ ^.^^ .

Cueva di los Letreros, ^t