The charming Galician town of Portomarín is located in the province of Lugo. This small village born at the foot of the river Miño, preserves in its history and origin truly curious and remarkable events. Moreover, it is a very important place on the French Way, with only 1,500 inhabitants, it is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. It has great relevance within the Jacobean route, as it is the end of the first stage of the French Way from Sarria.
The ancient village of Portomarín developed during the medieval period, at the foot of a Roman bridge over the river Miño. The most curious fact related to this village is that it had to be moved in the 20th century. In 1962 the Belesar reservoir was built on the river Miño, which meant that the original site of Portomarín was flooded with water. For this reason, the civil and religious buildings of the village were literally moved to a new location. The place chosen for the new location was a little higher than the original site, in Monte do Cristo.
We say that it was moved “literally”, because there were cases, such as the church of San Nicolás, in which the stone ashlars were marked in order to be able to rebuild the church in the new location with all the pieces in place. If you look closely, it is still possible to see the inscriptions on the stones of the church walls.
Today it is considered a young village with only 50 years of existence, but it hides a past full of stories and legends. Depending on the time of the year when we visit Portomarín, or if the day is clear, we can see the remains of the old Portomarín at the bottom of the valley.