Padron in Galicia is the final stopping place before reaching Santiago de Compostela on the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Indeed, Padron may hold the earliest link to San Tiago (St James). He was known to preach in this area while on pilgrimage 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.
Padron is positioned at the end of the tidal stretch of the Rio Ulla. It was once known as the 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, not forgetting Padron 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 “Pedron Stone,” which is believed to have been housed at this site since 1133. As legend has it, the Pedron is the stone upon which the boat carrying St. James’ remains was allegedly moored upon arriving on Spanish soil. The ancient 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 Christian 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 (San Gregorio’s mount), is a historic spot which is believed to have been the preaching ground of St. James while on pilgrimage in Galicia before he returned to Judea and his death at the hands of Kind Herod. Only later were his remains brought back to the area to be buried.
The mount is a collection of stones and boulders with a stone cross at the summit and can be reached by climbing a handful of heavily worn steps.
The site includes a small church as well as a fountain. St. James, as a demonstration of God’s power, is believed to have created the fountain by thrusting his sword into solid stone from which water flowed. The fountain still stands today.
For pilgrims who walk the Portuguese Camino to Santiago, at this point of the journey, it is believed that the pilgrim must pass through hell, purgatory, and glory if they are to satisfy the Camino trial.
Religious And Other Prominent Buildings
In line with a rich culture and religious history, Padron 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 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 the river. 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 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, I 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 plan to walk the Camino de Santiago, check out my book, A Wild Woman’s Guide To The Camino de Santiago. I share everything you need to know before you begin your Camino. Read at A Wild Woman’s Guide To The Camino De Santiago or click the link below.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2019. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Photo Credit Udo Christmann