What to see :: Introduction :: 1. Laxe

Providing a small selection of Laxe's heritage, we can highlight:

Santa María da Atalaia Church

It is located in a watchtower, from where its name derives. Dated towards the end of the XV Century, although its construction began in the XIII Century and different elements were added until its conclusion in the XVII Century.

It is of a simple and rustic construction, its style is marine Gothic, a style that mixes Roman architectural elements like the buttress with others from the Gothic style that can be seen in the interior, like pointed arches and vaults. The bell tower has been moved for acoustic reasons, given that if it were located at at the foot of the church the wind would carry the sound towards the mountains, instead of the town. The tower has space for six bells of which two are preserved today, the others were melted down to make cannons during the War of Independence against the French.

The church also had various cannons in its atrium to defend the town from attack, given that the church, as well as the atrium served as a watchtower for suspicious boats or pirates. It was also used to inform fleets when whales approached the coasts so that they would go out to hunt them.

Inside the church, the image of Virgen de la Atalaya stands out (Virgin of the Watchtower), and the stone altar, polychromed, and depicting five scenes of the Resurrection of Christ. In the interior we can also find the tombs for the first Counts of Altamira, the first nobility of the area. In a lateral area of the atrium the wife and son of The Captain of the Adelaide are buried - an English boat that foundered in Laxe in 1830.

Santa Rosa Hermitage

In 1676 a voyager bearing the surname of Couceiro erected a cross at Cornaceiras in the honour of Santa Rosa, to honour a promise he had made to the Saint. Under the cross, named ?Cruz do Navegante? (the Traveller's Cross) he left some relics belonging to the Peruvian Saint that he himself had brought over from Perú. Centuries later, in 1941, Manuel Ramos Mesia erected Santa Rosa Hermitage, of little architectural value but of a great spiritual value, given that many pilgrims travel there, especially around the 30th of August, when its festivities are celebrated.

Casa do Arco (House of Arco)

In Ramón Juega Square we find the most important public building in Laxe, and also of great importance to Galicia for its Gothic style. The construction of this house was ordered in the 15th Century by the Dueña Urraca de Moscoso, Countess of Altamira and her second husband Don Pedro de Osorio. In the XIX Century the Counts of Altamira suffered a serious crisis that forced them to sell this house constructed in granite stone. Originally the house had six access doors, although the main façade of the house was always to the west, where there's a great door flanked by two chimneys. The most notable feature of the house is the south façade where a pointed arch gives access to Rúa Real.

The coats of arms underneath the arch also stand out: one of them on the door lintel bearing a Gothic-German inscription, a chalice and a consecrated wafer. On the second coat of arms the Moscosos family symbols appear (the wolf head) and from the Castro family (six circles).