Padron in Galicia is the final stopping place on the Portuguese Camino de Santiago, after Caldas de Reis and before Santiago.
Indeed, Padron may hold the earliest link to San Tiago (St James). He was known to preach in this area and his remains were allegedlly carried up the Ulla River to Padron (although it was then called Iria Faliva) on the way to his burial on the spot where the Santiago Cathedral now stands. You can check out our post, Camino de Santiago – The Life & Times Of St James, The Great for further information.
Padron is positioned at the end of the tidal stretch of the river “Ulla”. It was once known as the famous town of “Iria Flavia”, a centre for trade, religion and culture throughout Galicia’s Roman and medieval history.
Indeed, Padron is the birthplace of some of the Galicia’s most famous citizens.
These days, Padron is most well known for its links to the Camino de Santiago and not forgetting Pardon Peppers, a famous Spanish delicacy.
So, let’s take a look at things to see and do in 24 hours in Padron.
The Pedron & The Church of Santiago
The Church of Santiago is home to the alleged “Pedron Stone” believed to have been housed at this site since 1133. The Pedron is an ancient stone that is believed to be the stone that St James’ boat was moored upon.
The stone is positioned under the altar and is said to be in the exact place it stood at the time of arrival of St James’ boat. This being said, further investigations have indicated that the Pedron Stone was in fact an early Roman altar stone and not the artefact many suggest it is.
Nevertheless, the stone was used for some form of Christain purpose over 2000 years ago. The Pedron Stone is clearly a historical and religious artefact and Padron is likely to be called after the stone.
“Santiaguino del Monte”
“Santiaguino del Monte” is also known as San Gregorio’s mount. This historic spot was said to be the preaching ground of Saint James while he was in Galicia.
The collection of stones and boulders with a stone cross at the summit can be reached by climbing a handful of heavily warn steps.
It is at this point where a Pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago must pass through hell, purgatory and glory if they are to satisfy the Camino trail.
The site includes a small church as well as a fountain. Legend has it that St James is said to have caused water to gush when he thrust his staff into solid stone, as a demonstration of God’s power. The fountain still stands today.
Religious And Other Prominent Buildings
In line with it’s rich culture and religious history, Pardon has a number of religious buildings that are well worth a visit including the Carmo Monastery, Santa Maria Collegiate church of Iria Flavia, the museum of Camilo Jose Cela Foundation, Fondo de la Vila plaza” and the Carmelite fountain below the convent and close to the bridge in Padron old town.
Padron’s famous Sunday market, on the “Espolon Promenade”, is the largest and most popular in Galicia. The market is located on a large rectangular tree-covered park area next to to the river “Ulla”. This promenade also houses statues of two of the town’s most prominent and well-known citizens, “Camilo Jose Cela” and “Rosalia de Castro”
Padron is also known as the home of pimientos de Padron (Padron peppers), a Spanish delicacy served throughout the whole of Spain.
True pimientos de Padron are grown in the area around Padron. The season generally starts around the end of April and runs to October. The peppers are not spicy although the odd one can let off a little heat. The peppers are sauteed in a pan and best served with a decent sprinkle of coarse sea-salt washed down with a Galician beer.
To celebrate the harvest of the pimientos de Padron, the small town of Herbon holds a yearly Pimientos de Padron Fiesta. The date varies but is usually during the month of July or August.
Village Of Teo
While Teo is not a part of Padron, we mention the small village here as many Pilgrims choose to break the journey between Padron and Santiago by spending a night in this village.
So, Padron is clearly the place to be if you are looking to experience a town that has strong links to St James, especially his time in Spain before his death.
If you spend 24 hours in Padron on your Camino de Santiago, we hope you enjoy your visit.
Here at Wild Camino Journeys, we offer Guided and Self-Guided Journeys along the Portuguese Camino de Santiago. If you would like us to take care of the mundane leaving you to enjoy the magic of the Camino, contact us to discuss to your Portuguese Camino de Santiago requirements.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2019. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Photo Credit Udo Christmann