City of Culture of Galicia


Table of Contents

to start with!

The City of Culture (Cidade da Cultura de Galicia, officially and in Galician) is an architectural complex located in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, and was designed by Peter Eisenman, built on top of Mount Gaiás, the structure consists of several buildings and spaces dedicated to culture and leisure. Construction was halted at the end of March 2013, so that two of the planned buildings, an “Opera House” and an “International Arts Centre”, were never realised.

The project for the construction of this architectural complex began in 1999, when the Xunta de Galicia launched an international architectural competition for the construction of the building on Mount Gaiás, in Santiago de Compostela.

Twelve proposals from leading national and international groups of architects were initially submitted to the competition, with the Monte Gaiás city complex occupying an area of 141,800 square metres.

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Fontán Building of the City of Culture

The opening of the Fontán building in the Cidade da Cultura responds to a double need in Galicia: on the one hand, the integration of the three Galician universities and, on the other, the promotion of research in heritage studies, to provide our autonomy with one of the national reference centres in this field – in collaboration with the CSIC – as well as an observatory specialised in landscape and cultural routes such as the Sil Canyon.

Gaiás offered the opportunity to develop this project at a reduced cost by building on an existing structure, originally intended for the Musical Theatre.

In Fontán are :

  • Institute of Heritage Sciences (INCIPIT), a body under the auspices of the Consiglio Superiore della Ricerca Scientifica (CSIC) that promotes scientific research on cultural heritage.
  • An inter-university research centre on the cultural landscapes of the Atlantic, which aspires to be a unique research centre in Spain in the field of cultural heritage studies and which in the future will also have the function of a permanent observatory of the Pilgrims’ Way to Santiago de Compostela.


The architectural design of the Fontán building is defined as simple and unostentatious in terms of materials, as evidenced by the full-height glazing and the decision to opt for a metal roof; the materials that describe its formal appearance are glass and metal. Overall, the Fountain is characterised by its sustainability, functionality and also flexibility to facilitate possible future changes in its services and uses.

Parque do Lago

The Parque do Lago is one of the three green spaces of Gaiás (the Galician Forest and the Literary Garden) of approximately 51,163 square metres dedicated to the contemplation of nature.located in Viso, the Parque do Lago is a project directed by the architect Isabel Aguirre that aims to regenerate the landscape; she is the director of the Galician School of Landscape of the Fundación Juana de Vega.

This green area has a 4,783 square metre lake, surrounded by existing vegetation, and a wooden platform equipped with benches and an energy-saving LED strip lighting system. The park also has an oak forest that has been transformed into a space with tables, benches and sports equipment.

If you are particularly fond of this type of landscape, Galicia Travels organises excursions to Fuciño do Porco.

The Fontán Building

Read also : FRAGAS DO EUME

Literary Garden

In the centre of the Ciudad de la Cultura de Galicia complex is the Literary Garden, a green space dedicated to Galician writers and poets. This garden, which occupies just over one hectare, is planted with 14 different species of trees that resemble the leaves of a book, and is completed with a small route, the Camiño dos Libros, and an artistic installation created by means of plaques with literary quotations from Galician authors.

Vegetation covers walls up to eight metres high with climbing plants, there are also slopes planted with a rich variety of species, and a small lake and a viewpoint create a pleasant place to relax and get close to the letters. At the back of the garden, sheltered from the winds, there is an open-air auditorium where concerts and plays, recitals and other literary activities can be held.

The project revolves around the landscape concept of a “dynamic garden”, a place where vegetation is alive and has the ability to evolve freely over time without invasive human intervention. The spontaneous vegetation that grows there was respected and easy to maintain species were used.

Ecological materials, such as ecological wooden beams, were used for the landscape.

Like the Parque do Lago, the Garden was designed by the architect Isabel Aguirre and her team from the Escuela Gallega del Paisaje, and carried out by workers from the public company TRAGSA.

In Fragas do Eume you can live a very similar experience, hiking in the Galician nature.