Mount of Santa Trega

The Santa Trega mountain, 341 m high, is in Baixo Miño, in the municipality of A Guarda, the gateway to the Portuguese Way of the coast, in the southernmost tip of the province of Pontevedra. The climb up the mountain is exciting just by contemplating the landscape, with the mouth of the Miño, Portugal, O Val do Rosal and the Atlantic Ocean. There are several viewpoints at different heights, O Montiño, O Monte, Constantino Cedeira… The highest are Pico de O Facho (328 m) and O Pico de San Francisco (341 m) . In addition to the landscape, on the ascent we enjoy the views of the city of Santa Trega, one of the most important examples of the Castro-Roman culture in Galicia and, above all, of the hermitage of Santa Trega, one of the places of oldest Christian cult in Galicia, and the MASAT (Monte Santa Trega Archaeological Museum).

There is something about this mountain that was chosen for thousands of years as a place of population settlement. In addition to the ideal strategic situation, dominating the sea, river and land, maybe something has to do with the telluric, the legend, the mystery… By the way, before the first excavations, the residents of the area spoke of the remains of constructions that they found as “little houses of mouros” (characters from Galician mythology who live underground, surrounded by treasures). It is also logical, since as soon as they scratched the ground, they found some prehistoric piece, a treasure, so as not to think that the mouros had something to do with it…

Before the famous citania, there were already human traces. Testimony of them are the quantity of petroglyphs, from between 3,000 and 2,000 BC. found in the mountains. There are more than 16 groups of petroglyphs inside the city walls and 12 outside them. Some represent figures of animals or geometric shapes, but most are engravings of concentric circles, many with central bowls, spirals, bowls, and serpentine figures. Some authors interpret them as symbols of constellations, related to astral and solar rites. On Pico de San Francisco there is a very curious group of petroglyphs: Laxe do Mapa, made up of various spirals, concentric circles and linear lines. It is called like this because it has been interpreted as a map of the mountain and its paths.

The MASAT preserves many pieces from different eras: from prehistory (scrapers, bifaces…), from the Bronze Age (bronze axes, cave engravings…), from the castro era (labras, torque finishes ) and Roman influence (anthropomorphic funerary stelae, coins, Cabezón do Trega). Among the castro remains there are many carvings with trisquels, knots, spirals, rosettes… It is also thought that they were related to solar rites.

With the arrival of the Romans, the decorations integrate their own references, such as Hercules and, with the arrival of the Christian cult, Christian symbols enter the mountain, so that the social and religious changes throughout the ages can be seen on the mountain. centuries.

Among all the stones of Santa Trega, the legend tells us of three magical stones, whose location is unknown, of course. Each one of them with a spirit inside: that of water, that of gold and that of fire. If we find the one with gold and raise it, our financial problems would end forever; if it were that of fire, terrible monsters would set the surroundings on fire; and if it were the water, a tsunami would flood everything. Almost better to leave them where they are…

And, of course, the Trega is also a candidate to be the mythical mount Medulio, the one in which in 22 BC a redoubt of Galicians, Artabrians and Astures opted for suicide before ending up in Roman hands.

One thing is clear: this mountain is full of history, legends, views… so… You have to plan an excursion as soon as possible! And, if we want a party, let it coincide with the Festa do Monte, in August, or with the Santa Trega pilgrimage, on September 23. Always respecting the mountain, which is a great treasure.

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