Ancestral remains in O Morrazo

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The natural separation between the ría (a type of coastal inlet) de Vigo and the ría de Pontevedra extends up to forty kilometres offshore, almost reaching the Cíes Islands. The so called "islands of the gods" shared pagan worship with other territories of Rías Baixas at the time that they were given this name. With its archaeological remains, O Morrazo still bears witness to the places of worship where people built their altars in ancient times.

Very close to the Mogor Beach, in the municipality of Marín, is one of the most popular petroglyphs in Galicia: the Mogor labyrinth, which has made it to our days in a good condition, with other rock engravings around it. The big rock, called A Pedra dos Mouros (The Stone of the Moors), can be accessed through a walkway that has been specially designed to allow observation of this art without damaging it.

These engravings have similarities with others found in other spots in northern Europe. There are very different theories about their meanings: geographic markings, territorial demarcations, tributes to the gods...

In the neighbouring municipality of Moaña, between the mountains of Domaio and Gagán, there is an area called "Chan" (Galician word for "flat"), because of the plain formed between both elevations. Over five thousand years ago a funerary monument, called Chan de Arquiña, was erected in this spot. This dolmen is currently half-buried and one can see the remains of the mámoa (burial mound of stones) that covered it. A total of sixteen stones make up this primitive grave, where ceramic glasses, axes and knives were found during the excavations performed in 1953.

One of the most photographed and visited spots is the viewpoint on the mountain of O Facho, in the municipality of Cangas. That point overlooks the ría de Vigo, the ría de Pontevedra, the cliffs of the Cíes Islands and the beaches of Ons, up to the Baiona Bay and the O Grove Peninsula.

At 160 metres above sea level, the mountain of O Facho is located in the village of Donón. Its geographic position made this spot the destination and stopping place for several civilisations throughout history. Considering that they had one of the best views of the Rías Baixas before their eyes, it was the ideal spot to place a religious temple, becoming one of the first pilgrimage sites on the Atlantic coast.

There are about 174 altar stones (called aras) on the east hillside. Their engravings make reference to the offering to a god, with its name carved on its surface and, in some cases, the name of the person that it is dedicated to. These votive altars worked the same way as votive offerings and they honour the god Berobreo. Some can be found in the Archaeological Area of the Quiñones de León Municipal Museum (Vigo). Apart from these altars, the castro (Celtic settlement) of Beróbriga has almost fifty round constructions, which were occupied from the 4th century to the 1st century BC.

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