Pazos are one of the most peculiar elements of Galician identity, a symbol of economic, political and social power. Departing from Pazo of Baldran in Ponte Maceira, which enjoys the shade of riverside vegetation, Finisterra´s camino passes through Logrosa next to Pazo de Albariña, and crosses the village of Negreira underneath the arches of Pazo de Coton. This is only a track of the Route of the three Pazos, if you fancy, you can continue by the river walk of Barcala´s river, and you will arrive at the Recreation Area of Covas.
Visit the viewpoint to the Miradoiro do Cotro where you can see several areas protected by Rede Natura 2000, as well as an amazing landscape.
With PEFC, forest owners know that their forest is incuded in a protected area, or affected by any other, taking it into account in their plan.
The Three Pazo’s Route
The official trace of the Camino de Finisterre starts from Pazo de Coton towards the church of San Xian of Negreira and Zas. Some years ago an alternative itinerary was enabled that runs in parallel to Barcala´s river,(a stream of Tambre´s river),very near the pazo, which is part of the Three Pazo´s Route.
This hiking route is a circular route of 15,5km which coincides at some point by your Camino, passing by the Pazo of Coton in Negreira. If you continue the route by the river path, which is also part of an alternative route of the Camino from Finisterre to Muxia, you can identify different tree species by the river bank as alders, birches.even, depending on the season, you can pick up chestnuts which you can find along some parts of the way. Stop by one of the wooden bridges, and listen to the sound of nature, the murmur of the leaves moved by wind, the movement of water and small waterfalls, birds chirping. You will definitely get to recreation area of Covas or Fishermen´s shelter.
Pazos are manor houses located in rural areas, where the owner of the surrounded land used to live. They were built between the 17th and the 19th centuries, nevertheless many of them have their origin as medieval defensive fortress, that´s the reason why they have towers, battlements and loopholes.
Pazo de Baladrón
There are gardens and annexed buildings limited by a wall where the pazo is located, as the saying goes,”dovecote,chapel and cypress, that´s a pazo”. Beyond that place, you can find the land where local people used to work, paying a rent by doing so, either in kind or in cash. In the middle ages that fact already existed. Oforo was a perpetual or long term contract in which the landowner(forista)gives someone the lands(foreiro)in exchange for a fee and the compliance with certain conditions, keeping for himself the direct property but giving away the useful property. In 1926,the termination of this kind of contracts was stipulated by law, in which the lessee has to pay compensation in order to keep the land to the landlord. Another option was to rent the land, but in this case the contract was temporary, generally for 9 years, and the lessee didn´t have any rights in the land. The same happened in the case of the landlord, who shared the management of the land with the owner, sharing between them the products obtained(halves, thirds or as agreed).That´s the way pazos were kept, and also by social and marriage networks whose aim was to increase the political and economic power of the nobles.
Pazo de Albariña
Pazo de Coton was built in modern times, but it is believed that its origins were medieval. On the ground floor you can find secondary rooms as kitchens, cellars..on the main floor there are salons and on the third floor the bedrooms. The house is connected with Saint Mauro´s Chapel through a gallery of stone set on three pointed arches. Under the arches the Carrier de San Mauro, the Camino de Finisterre, old Camino Real and most likely roman road, go along.
Pazo do Cotón
The main façade of the Pazo is from baroque style. It faces the gardens organised in different levels or sections, each of them with their own character and linked between them by staircases or ramps. The emblems of the family owners are hanging up from the walls: The Mariño,the Lobeira,the Saavedra and the Luances.
Every Sunday a fete around the pazo is celebrated. You can buy clothes,shoes,fruit,cold meat,cheese,plants,some furniture as well as pigs. Over the time the pazo keeps on being the centre of events in the village. The booths which are located parallel to Carreira de San Mauro were built around 1950 by the council, with a commercial purpose too. Some of which are still in use.
O Cotro’s viewpoint
You will need a car for the trip we are proposing here, you will not regret it if your feet need resting!
O Cotro’s viewpoint is 500m high and offers spectacular views of Noia’s “ría” (estuary) and over 20 councils! From this point you will be able to see the 1,581 hectaresTambre’s estuary, a place of Special Regional Interest (LIC),with endangered bird species such as reed buntings (Emberiza Shoeniclus), according to the Galician Endangered Species Catalogue.
You can catch sight of Compostela city and some of the summits that shaped the Galician fictional world, such as Pico Sacro or Mount Pindo.
You will recognise Pico Sacro’s by its pointy shape. It is located in Boqueixon Council. According to the legend, the disciples who carried Saint Jame’s dead body to Compostela requested to be received by Queen Lupa, the local pagan ruler, so that she could grant them passage to the city. However, she sent them to Pico Sacro, convinced that its resident dragon would kill them. But the opposite took place: the disciples made the sign of the cross as soon as they saw it, and this killed it. Queen Lupa and her citizens converted to Christianity after this miracle.
Mount Pindo covers the 4,629 hectares bordering the municipalities of Carnota, Mazaricos, Cee and Dumbría. It is an easily recognisable granite massif of nearly 630 metres of height. It is part of the Natural Carnota-Mount Pindo Area, and a Place of Community Importance included in Natura’s 2000 Network. It is the only Galician habitat where gall oaks (Quercus Lusitanica Lam) grow, a vulnerable species according to the Galician Endangered Species Catalogue.
Legends link it to our Galician past. They tell us about the moors, druids, and Celtic heroes who are associated to the anthropomorphic shapes drawn by wind erosion on its rocks.
The role of PEFC
Thanks to its geographical position and its orography, Galicia has an incomparable natural heritage of exceptional value. This is one of the main identity traits of our community, which needs the appropriate conservation to satisfy the needs of current and future generations.
The Galician Natural Protected Spaces Network represents 13% of the total regional surface. This network covers natural spaces that have been granted a special protection regime in accordance with different regional, national, or European regulations, as well as international agreements.
These natural spaces include the most representative and significant ecosystems of Galician land: coastal areas and estuaries, lagoons, fluvial ecosystems, inland forest ranges, groves, and pastures, etc. The regional law that regulates their protection is included in “Lei 5/2019” of 5 August 2019, of Galician natural and biodiverse heritage. Click here to view a map of Galician protected spaces.
PEFC promotes and encourages a level of understanding of the laws that affect protected spaces for landowners, with its inclusion in land management plans reflecting land identification, its cartographic registry, and its condition.
PEFC promotes the Natural Resources Allocation Plans of protected spaces and encourages the creation of specific agreements with landowners to allow sustainable forestry management.
Recreational use of forest
Environment conservation is one of the needs of our present society, but there is also a high social demand for recreational areas in forest. This advises the creation and maintenance of dedicated areas within forest outlines, especially when it concerns publicly owned forets. The quantity and quality of these infrastructures are ways to measure the regional’s recreational value.
PEFC encourages landowners and forest managers to learn about the existence and value of recreational landscapes, as well as the historical, cultural, and spiritual values of forestry resources within their land, and the consequences that their actions can have in their conservation. PEFC also has the objective of studying and assessing the externalities that affect landowners with the social use of their land.