Pontevedra old town is one of the added values as a recognized and awarded city, both for its urban renewal and confort for citizens, residents and visitors, as well as for its rehabilitation and integration in daily life
The economic strength of its port, which operated until the 17th century, contributed to the development of a maritime trade, away from the current economic reality but present in its famous Gremio de Mareantes (Guild of Merchants) and in the stories of its famous sailors. The old town, having a reasonable size, but with an intricate arrangement of streets and squares, perfectly combines noble and regional architecture.
The best starting place is always the Alameda, one of the green areas of the city situated next to the ruins of the convent of Santo Domingo, which are part of the Provincial Museum, and gathers some antiquities in its external structure that has been recently restored.
At the end of the Santa María square we can see the southern façade of the Basilica of Santa María La Mayor, Pontevedra's main church. Built in the 14th century, it has an impressive Plateresque façade, commissioned by the Guild of Merchants in the 15th century and ornamented with some representations associated with the sea and the history of our country, such as scallops and the busts of Christopher Columbus and Hernán Cortés in the rose window.
The squares in Pontevedra, large or hidden among houses and manors, were designated with the names of the guilds or the activities that took place in these spaces. In the past the arcades of the city made it possible to walk along all the streets within the walls without getting wet in case of rain. In one of the streets protected by granite stone we find the Museum of Pontevedra, which comprises three historic buildings.
As a stop in the pilgrimage way to Santiago de Compostela, if you follow the yellow arrows you will see many the religious buildings such as the church of A Peregrina, a Baroque jewel dating from 1778, the church of San Bartolomé and the church of San Francisco, as well as the Convent of Santa Clara.
Civil architecture has also been part of the history of the city. This is the case of the imposing building of the former local office of the Ministry of Finance, example of the late Gothic architecture and a historic monument since 1896. It belonged to the church of San Francisco since the 14th century, when it was built. Later it suffered the effects of the Ecclesiastical confiscations and went through several stages and uses.
Besides being a perfect starting point to explore the Rías Baixas, since the headquarters of Turismo Rías Baixas are located here, the historic site of the city of Pontevedra gathers authentic cultural, historical and urban treasures.