FINISTERRE: WHERE THE WORLD ENDS

Finisterre's view

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The city of Finisterre

Where the West ends where the sun goes to bed and seems to be swallowed by the sea, the last point of Europe, the End of the Earth or the classic End of the World, many are the epithets that could be applied to Cape Finisterre. This cape in the north of Spain, specifically in Galicia, is one of the most magical places in Europe.

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A place of special energy

Finisterre Since at least the Bronze Age it has been a meeting place for people, a place of special religious significance and a place of pilgrimage. For at least two thousand years, this cape, one of the most westerly in Europe, has welcomed people from all walks of life. In pre-Roman times, the Nerians and Artabrians dominated this enclave, crowned by Mount Facho, which is just over 200 metres high, and according to classical tradition, one of the most important and mysterious religious relics of antiquity, known as the Ara Solis, was kept here. According to sources, this altar dedicated to the sun stood near the present-day lighthouse and was built in imitation of Greek architecture. It was supposedly a kind of ‘baldachin’ made up of four columns supporting a small rounded dome, the lower part of which was covered by a stone on whose surface were engraved symbols alluding to the sun. According to tradition, the worship of the sun and the visit to this altar attracted masses of people whose aim was to contemplate the stone, especially during the solstices. Even as reported, in this case according to sources probably of medieval origin, there must have even been a high priest who would be in charge of organizing religious ceremonies and whose name, according to various authors, would be Regulus.

In the 2nd century BC, according to classical geographers, Roman troops would have reached this place immersed in the conquest of Hispania led by the general Decimus Junius Brutus, a relative of Caesar’s murderer, who approached with curiosity to see the famous place of pilgrimage. Tradition says that before the fear that the place generates among foreigners, because of stories that ran at that time, he did it alone without his soldiers. And it was said that whoever passed towards the bottom of the cape would lose their memory and not even remember their number. To prove that it was simply a baseless story, he numbered each of his soldiers by number to show them that they had nothing to fear from that place.

It seems that with the passage of time the place fell into oblivion, along with the process of Romanization, and it would not be until the Christian era when it resurfaced as a meeting place for diverse people. It seems that Ara Solís disappeared, some legends say that it was even destroyed by the Apostle Santiago himself during his preaching in Spain. With the passing of the centuries a hermitage dedicated to San Guillermo was erected in its place. So the Christian tradition hit the pagan tradition that had been dying for some time.

Expansion

Another crucial commercial area in this city is known as El Ensanche.

It is located in the historic center of the city and this area is characterized by a large number of commercial establishments. The Santiago Centro Open Shopping Center is located here.

Its main streets are: General Pardiñas, Doutor Teixeiro, Republic of El Salvador, Montero Ríos, Alfredo Brañas Boulevard and Roxa and Galicia squares.

Other streets full of shops are Rosalía de Castro, Fernando III el Santo, República Arxentina A Rosa and Santiago de Chile. These complement a unique and varied commercial offer.

Here you can find international brands, large Spanish franchises, Galician fashion, food stores, gift shops, jewelers, boutiques, shoe stores and leather goods.

Then, if you want to relax, you can find many bars, restaurants and cinemas.

The Finisterre's cape

A reference place for those traveling to Galicia

With the discovery of the remains of the Apostle and the beginning of the pilgrimage to Compostela, it gradually became the natural extension of the Camino de Santiago.

Today it is without a doubt the second most visited place in Galicia after the Cathedral of Santiago itself. Getting there is easy, especially because of the numerous tours and excursions that companies like Galicia Travels offer.

And once the pilgrimage to Santiago is over, it is mandatory to visit Finisterre. For all this, it is today, in the 21st century, a place of reference at a national and international level that cannot be left without visiting.