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New technologies to recreate the castro past in Lalín

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The Castrodeza centre promotes culture, gastronomy and legends from the old times in the region with most Iron Age archaeological sites in Galicia

Three-dimensional reconstructions of the most representative castros (pre-Roman hillfort settlements) in Deza, an audio-visual projection about Galician myths and legends, the recipes from that time within everyone's reach and many other things: diving into the castro culture is easy and intuitive in Castrodeza (Lalín), where they take advantage of new technologies for promotion of heritage.

The avant-garde building named Technological Castro, built by the renowned architects Luis Mansilla and Emilio Tuñón, which also houses Lalín's Town Hall, opens a door to the past through Castrodeza, an initiative promoted by the Deputación de Pontevedra (provincial council of Pontevedra) in order to raise awareness of the regional heritage from that time.

The centre is not a conventional museum. Visitors can recreate the castro culture through multimedia and audio-visual resources. This leap to the past allows you to immerse yourself in the lives of the old settlers and get to know how they subsisted, what kind of food they ate and what myths and legends they had.

The exhibit is divided into four circular themed rooms. The first one shows the location of all the castros in the region of Deza, which boasts the highest number of Iron Age archaeological sites per square metre in Galicia, using multi-touch technology to obtain the information and visualise three-dimensional reconstructions of the most representative ones. This experience also helps locate rivers, pathways, churches and small chapels known as ermidas.

The second room offers a spectacular audio-visual projection introducing the magic world of myths in the region and in other areas in Galicia. In the third room there are five pillars, each with a screen, where local tales and legends are narrated by neighbours, showing that the castro culture has been kept alive throughout the centuries.

The exhibit is rounded out by room four, focused on gastronomy and with a dedicated space for the Cocido Festival, a culinary benchmark inside and outside Galicia. A video shows how this tasty dish (a kind of stew made with different cuts of pork and vegetables) is prepared, and the recipe book from the castro time is revealed via data based on recent research, a big puzzle with images and sounds evoking the way people cooked at that time, and QR codes that expand on the information and allow visitors to download recipes. You can also learn about the climate, the landscape, the festivities and the products of each season in the province.

Creative workshops

Apart from this original exhibit, Castrodeza offers various activities combining entertainment with experimentation at enjoyable creative workshops where you can make the castro warriors' typical attire, watch the transformation of the landscape, take part in the usual tasks performed at an archaeological laboratory and learn about gastronomy. These workshops last 40 minutes and they are organised in groups of at least four people. The centre also offers a specific programme for school students, with prior reservation.

Castrodeza was designed alongside the latest expansion project for the Museo de Pontevedra (Museum of Pontevedra); together they make up the Virtual Centre of Castro Culture. The complex, located in the town of Pontevedra, features archaeological remains that were found in the digs carried out at the castros of the province, including items from the region of Deza.

Over one hundred archaeological sites

The region of Deza, comprising the municipalities of Lalín, Agolada, Dozón, Rodeiro, Silleda and Vila de Cruces, has an extraordinary natural, cultural and gastronomic heritage. Its territory was once inhabited by peoples from different cultures, and the remains found attest to that. The petroglyphs of Moimenta, the burial mounds of Alperiz or Refoxos and up to 107 catalogued castro sites, together with a priceless Romanesque heritage, are examples of its rich patrimony.

In the parish of San Martiño de Prado (Lalín) is the stately pazo of Liñares, a manor built in the late 17th century. It used to belong to the Taboada family, one of the major noble houses in Galicia, and it was declared Heritage of Cultural Interest in 2009. After its restoration, that is where the Espacio Liñares has been active since 2014, as a hub for various initiatives.

This space houses the Centre for Management of Archaeological Knowledge, which works as an extension of the Museo de Pontevedra and is in charge of the cataloguing and study process of the province's numerous archaeological remains. Together with Castrodeza, the centre promotes the rich castro heritage of the Deza region. Visitors can observe the work of the archaeological laboratory and learn about its results.

The Espacio Liñares is also home to the Galician Puppet Museum, the ideal spot for the magic world of marionettes. It is the only one of its kind in Galicia and it has two exhibition rooms, as well as an interesting specialised library.

Deza is a paradise of castro culture and Castrodeza is the perfect spot to immerse yourself in it in a profound, intuitive manner. Come and see it for yourself.

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