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Home -> History -> Prehistory -> Forts

Forts

Remains from the Iron Age period are plentiful, over twenty, including most notably for their characteristics and dimensions,  the Castro Montaz in  Oleiros, the Castro do Cura in Cortegada, the Castro de Chapa, the Copa do Castro in O Castro and Toiriz Castro in Silleda. In the case of the latter two, currently, thanks to the  collaboration and involvement of the  Silledense archeologist  Xulio  Carballo and the efforts of groups such as the Cultural Association Copa do Castro and the Collective  for the Restoration of the Castros de Toiriz, we can enjoy walks back in time through our ancestors’ history, in situ, using the tables in the areas set aside for recreation and, above all, bringing to light  in detail the history, life and customs of its people through information panels distributed throughout the enclosures.

  • Copa do Castro
  • Castro de Toiriz
Location: Coto do Castro 100 metres from the church of San Mamede, in the parish of O Castro
Coordinates:  X: 561.514  Y4.729.880  H:29
How to get there: from Silleda take the PO211 road until you reach the railway station turn right once you arrive at the parish church.

Copa do Castro, also known as Coto do Castro or San Mamede Castro, is the name given to this Iron Age settlement, which formed part of the Trasdeza landscape over 2000 years ago.

The idea of its restoration arose from the initiative of local people through the association Copa do Castro and their desire for the value of the site to be brought to the fore.

Structure: It consists of a single enclosure or flat crown surrounded by a two metre high wall. It has high natural viewing platforms with informatiion panels, from which can be appreciated to the west the Castro de Chapa, the dolmens of Monte dos Escurros in Negreiros and A Bandeira, and to the north, the valley in which lies the parish of Saídres, the river Deza,Corpiño sanctuary or the foothills of Mount Carrio.

What to see: The fort has a number of interesting elements to see and it is advisable to not only visit the settlement itself but to start from the path created for this purpose.

The Path: In order to offer a fun alternative to visiting the fort itself, a 3.5km path was designed which starts and finishes at the crown (Copa).

The circular route offers a leisurely walk through various enclaves of the parish, among which are: the stone cross (Crucero), the Church and the Railway Station.

The stone cross: Situated on the side of the Castro, legend has it that it was left there in place of the church when it moved to its present location, next to the road, following the murder of the parish priest. Since then, every year during the festivities of the patron saint the second weekend of September, a procession climbs to the stone cross.

The Church: Since the twelfth century it has formed part of the cultural heritage which is included in The Trasdeza Romanesque Route, decorated with extremely beautiful medieval features, such as the façade, rabbets, the side metopes and the presbytery with its crafted capitals.

Railway Station: Work started in 1927 and it was inaugurated in 1958 as part of the Santiago-Zamora line. Worth Highlighting is the main building, inspired by the traditional architecture of the region, with clear influences from Galician palaces (pazos).

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Location: Lugar de Os Castros
Coordinates:  X: 560702.64  Y 727626.93  H:29
How to get there: From Silleda, opposite the church along the street dos Castros eastbound for 400 metres.

On the site called Os Castros there is a fort, this Iron Age archaeological site was recently given the name, which was taken from the nearest village, of Castro de Toiriz by archaeologists. The Castro has two walled enclosures, one nearly circular located at the top of the hill, on the crown (Eira dos Mouros) and the other at a lower level adjoined to the former on the southern and eastern points. Towards the exterior of the latter compound appears a defensive system parallel to it consisting of a trench and parapet.

This fort has not been excavated, but due to the characteristics of its location and the remains of pottery found, archaeologists estimate that the fortified village could have been erected in  the 4th  century BC In addition to the heritage value of the Castros deToiriz they are a reference point for many popular legends that give this place a special mysticism. At this Iron Age site you can find information boards offering an insight into the restoration work carried out by the "Colectivo pola Recuperación dos Castros de Toiriz" in 2010.

Biodiversity

The mild climate of the area allowed for forest diversity, above all, as one would expect, the existence of mythical trees full of legends such as oaks (quercus robar) and chestnut (castanae sativa) which surround the fort. Also thermophiles, such as bay (Laurus nobilis) more typical of Mediterranean areas, make the most of the sunny locations and well drained soils.

The forest is interspersed with some presence of pine, cut eucalyptus logs and open areas with gorse bush (Ulex) and broom (Cytisus).

This area has a highly unrestricted geological formation which is dominated by granitic rocks, exploited by the ancient inhabitants of the area, which are often flown over by crows (Corvus corax) and the odd Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus).

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Mámoa da Chousa Nova Copa do Castro Castro de Toiriz Pena Longa Chao de Petos Pena das Cazolas