- What to see and Do
Located on a ledge above the sea where is the formidable Monterreal Castle and around the old port, the town is a cluster of beautiful stone and granite houses emblazoned declared a Historic-Artistic Interest. Bayonne is a city made for walking.
Its narrow cobbled streets are dotted with restaurants under arcades, charming small hotels, churches and endearing. Another corner you can not miss is the park that surrounding the Monterreal Castle and the spectacular surrounding fortress walls. From there is a beautiful view of the Cies Islands.
Located in the Spanish province of Pontevedra, Baiona was established in 140 BC, and throughout history has had a number of names including Balcagia and Erizana. It is sometimes called Bayona. You can get to Baiona by bus or train from Vigo, or by car on the AP-57 motorway.
Although the population of Baiona is estimated to be about 12,000 people, in Summer the population more than triples owing to an influx of tourists who come to enjoy the coastal town’s beauty.
Baiona was the first port in Europe to receive the news of the discovery of America on 1st March 1493, when La Pinta Caravel, one of three ships that Christopher Columbus took on his first voyage to America arrived.
Bayona is picturesque. Its embankment is 5 kilometers long. The city is surrounded by the low mountains of Monte Boi.
Unlike most parts of Galicia, in Baiona is warm and sunny weather, and with six very lovely beaches, and a number of tourist attractions, Baiona has quite a lot to offer any tourist.
Castillo de Monterreal
The Castle of Monterreal (Castillo de Monterreal) is the main local attraction and trademark of Bayonne. It was built by order of the Spanish Queen Isabella of Castile due to the fact that in the XIV-XV century Bayonne, which at that time was the largest port of Galicia, was regularly attacked by pirates.
In the area of the Monterreal castle complex, in addition to the protective walls, there are several towers. The clock tower with a bell for a signal in case of an enemy attack, the Tenase Tower, which protected the port by cannons, and the Rector's Tower, which served as a lighthouse for ships.
Surrounded by a stone wall, sitting in a small peninsula flanked by a pine, the old hotel so-called Parador and restaurant watches the entrance of the Rias Baixas and the Cies Islands. Parador is a hotel with a historical and architectural value.
In front of the fortress walls stands a sculpture of the city's founder Alfonso XIX Juan Oliviera, erected in 2001 in honor of the 800th anniversary of the city.
In 1963, a plaque was placed at the main entrance to the fortress, showing the path of the discoverer. It shows the routes sailed by Columbus and the navigator Pinzon.
The statue of Virgen de la Roca
On Mount San Roque (Monte San Roque) is a statue of the Virgen de la Roca, built by architect Antonio Palacios in 1930. The statue of Virgen de la Roca is the most famous sculpture of the city. The height of the statue is 15 meters. The Virgen holds a ship in her hand which is an observation tower. From there there is a panoramic view of the valley. A picturesque park is nearby.
The Navigation Museum is an interesting museum with an extensive collection covering the entire maritime history of Bayonne.
The Ramalossa Bridge
On the outskirts of the city there is a medieval bridge (XIII century), built in the Romanesque style. It connects the village of Nigran and Bayonne. The bridge is 36 meters long and consists of 10 arches. 8 of them belong to Bayonne. A local ritual is associated with this bridge. Here come the girls who want to become mothers. In the middle of the bridge is a sculpture of San Telmo, the patron saint of sailors.
The Church of Santa Maria
The Church of Santa Maria de Baiona is a medieval church built in the 13th century in the Romanesque style. Its not a big church, buts its historical heritage and the sorroundings and the location put in to a very nice ambiance of tranquility and history
The Chapel of Santa Liberata
The Chapel of the Holy Liberate (17th century) is dedicated to the first crucified woman - a martyr originally from Bayonne. The church is decorated with two bell towers. On the façade are the coats of arms of Bayonne and Galicia. On the altar are scenes of the torment of Liberata and her 8 sisters.
Replica of La Pinta
Pinta (La Pinta) is a copy of the eponymous caravel Pinta, one of the three ships of the first expedition of Christopher Columbus, during which America was discovered (1492). The ship is located in the port of Baiona and is also a trademark of the city.
There is a festival in Baiona on 1st March every year, the Fiesta de la Arribada, commemorating the arrival of the Columbus ship. La Pinta also houses a small museum which gives visitors a glimpse of what it was like sailing on one of the famous Columbus ship.
Casa Lorenzo Correa
In the historic part of Bayone stands out the house of Casa Lorenzo Correa (XVIII century). This distinguished baionés was mayor of Cuernavaca (Mexico), General Manager of the Roosters Lid Mexico and mayor of Pontevedra in 1756. The coats of arms of this family are perfectly preserved. Now here is the city administration. The building consists of 2 floors, has a tower.
The Casa de los Ceta
The Casa de los Ceta (16th century) is called the "House of Forgiveness" (Casa de Perdon). Under Catholic kings, a cruel privilege was introduced that acquitted the prisoner if at the time of the public execution he could hold on to the chain that hung over the front door of this house.
The monolithic "Arrival" rises in the Redro de Castro square. It was built on the initiative of the Institute of Spanish Culture in 1965 in honor of the arrival of Caravel Pinto. The caravel was carved on a 20-ton rock by a sculptor from Bayonne, Angel Fernandez.
In 1866 the first Silleiro Lighthouse was inaugurated, located at Cabo Silleiro, at sea level. In August 1924, was build new lighthouse on the hill 85 m above sea level and about 250 meters from the shore of Punta de A Negra. This building has a rectangular floor plan and on its west façade is the lighthouse tower, which has had a 3,000-watt lamp since 1960. Which can be seen for 40 miles if the weather is clear. In addition to the siren, it has an electric emitter with a 200-mile range. If you walking few dozen meters along the road, you can see the ruins of the military zone with cannons from where there are magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Cies Islands and the entrance to the Baiona estuary. Many people practicing paragliding around.
Also interesting to see and visit
Visitors to Baiona can also enjoy any of its six beaches; A Ladeira which is the largest, A Concheira and Os Frades which are near the Monte Boi walk, A Riberia and A Berbeira which are next to the Monterreal Castle and Santa Marta. If you like biking, you’ll find guided biking tours available. For those that love nautical tourism, the Monte Real Yacht Club offers sailing and yachting services.
There are lots of places to savor Baiona’s culinary delicacies including O’Rizon on Calle Areas and O Mosquito on Elduyan Street. As it is a fishing town, expect a enjoy a lot of seafood. The main dishes are rice with lobster (bogavante), sea bass in salt (lubina en sal). The octopus is also very tasty. We also single out a large selection of shells.
The town also has quite a nightlife with a number of pubs which remain open until morning.
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