What to see in Orense? Ourense, as it is known in Galician, is the city of water since there are 8 bridges that cross the Miño River, and although the beauty of the city is well known in Spain for its nature and its hot springs, we can see cathedrals in it. , Roman bridges, castles and cloisters that will make you fall in love if you decide to visit it.
Have you still not decided what to visit in Ourense? Here we give you 10 reasons why you will not hesitate a second more to get closer to this beautiful Galician corner.
Recommended places to see and visit in Ourense
1. As Burgas
One of the attractions that is undoubtedly the favorite of tourists is this installation of 200 square meter outdoor thermal pool, whose water comes from the springs of As Burgas, a historical monument used for centuries to take hot baths and get relaxation.
These springs are still operational today, which prompted the creation of the pool. Its natural water (with a temperature between 38 ° and 39 ° C) provides many properties that promote muscle relaxation and skin care. Access to the pool is free and there are lockers so you can store your belongings.
These springs have been in operation for centuries, for both therapeutic and religious purposes. It is worth mentioning that it was the first Roman settlers who discovered and also enjoyed these magnificent hot springs. As a traveler you can also enjoy and experience the relaxing sensation that has amazed many for so long.
2. Cathedral of Orense
Built during the 12th and 13th centuries, it is about one of the largest Romanesque temples in the entire Iberian Peninsula, as well as one of the monuments that ended the Middle Ages in the community of Galicia. Currently, it is the most iconic cathedral in Ourense.
Its structure dedicated to San Martín de Tours It was modified as the years passed, which added other architectural styles such as Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, among others. It was also named minor basilica by Pope Pius IX and cataloged as Asset of Cultural Interest in the year 1931.
3. Millennium Bridge
Is a marvel of contemporary architecture which is also known as seagull bridge due to the way it was built. It is one of the six bridges that are located on the river Miño, this specifically between the bridge of the national road N-525 and the medieval bridge.
The immense structure of curious figure travels approximately 278 meters and it is 23 meters wide. The main characteristic that stands out is its pedestrian walkway that runs and wraps around the entire structure rising up to 22 meters, and offers a wonderful view of the river and the city.
4. Old Bridge, Roman Bridge and Puente Mayor del Orense
All these names belong to the same bridge, and are due to the origins of the bridge dating back to the 1st century AD. That said, it is worth mentioning that it was the first bridge built on the Miño River, which today has five more bridges.
Despite the multiple reconstructions it went through, some details of the original Roman construction can still be appreciated, as in the primitive arches that are still preserved. Its significance in the city is so great that the bridge appears on the shield, although the tower that is seen next to him was demolished.
5. Monterrey Castle
It is also known by its name in Galician “Monterrei Castle”. It is a historical monument whose foundation occurred approximately in the 10th century, and it was the residence of powerful families such as Romay, Ulloa, Zúñiga, Fonseca, Viedma, Acevedo, the Dukes of Alba and many other renowned lineages.
Today, this magnificent fortress is one of the most interesting and popular tourist spots, which you can visit during your stay in the city of Ourense. In it you can explore its different and historical areas that are of great importance in cultural heritage from the province.
6. Historic center of Ourense
Being one of the most populated cities in Galicia, it has many streets full of value and history that offer their visitors a variety of things to do. The first thing you’ll want to visit is the As Burgas hot spring, where you can enjoy relaxing hot baths.
Others tourist attractions in the historic center of Ourense that stand out significantly are: the Cathedral, the Pórtico del Paraíso, the Plaza Mayor, the Town Hall, among other buildings, monuments and public places that will be of interest to you. In the historical center It is where you will know the culture the most of Ourense.
7. Outariz Hot Springs
It is about other of the hot springs that fascinate tourists, as well as those of As Burgas. But there is a difference, both in history and culture, since the Outariz hot springs were built based on Japanese culture, preserving the principles of respect and harmony with mother nature.
In them you will find a total of 14 hot springs (11 exteriors and 3 interiors) that are divided into two circuits, known as Zen and Celta. The first is special for meditation and relaxation, while the second is ideal for eliminate muscle contractions and tensions.
8. Cloister of San Francisco
This cloister once belonged to a former Franciscan convent, which was built after a fire completely destroyed the first church of this type, which was on the site that today is the Plaza del Corregidor. Centuries passed and the convent became a barracks in 1843.
When undergoing this transformation, many more changes occurred, such as the move of the church to Parque San Lázaro. However, the cloister was abandoned. The cloister then transformed again, this time into a tourist attraction Y Historic-Artistic Monument which still retains its beauty.
9. Plaza del Hierro
This public place is more considered a crossroads than a square, and it is very famous for being the site where a traditional market of farm tools, pots and hardware for many centuries, and it was what ended up giving it the name of Plaza de Hierro.
Today, it is an area surrounded by restaurants, taverns, tapas places and various buildings from past centuries, what makes it a must see on your trip.
10. Portico of Paradise
It is located inside the Cathedral of Ourense and consists of a sculptural jewel full of images and colors, representing columns with statues of the prophets, the apostles and the 24 elders of the Apocalypse. The portico was built in the 13th century and remodeled in the 16th.
Actually, its details and beauty are even more showy as they have been renovated with the help of maintenance and restoration works. Now that you know the existence of this wonder, do not forget to take a look and contemplate it when you visit the Cathedral, which is one of your first tourist stops.
Map with 10 places to visit in Orense
What to visit in the Province of Ourense?
If you are going to do tourism in this Galician area and want to know even more, we invite you to travel to the towns of Ourense:
Gastronomy in Ourense
Unlike other Galician provinces, Ourense does not have a coast and, therefore, its typical cuisine does not have a variety of fish and shellfish. However, meats are part of the main dishes that are served in the city, highlighting the pork. Among the most popular delicacies in the area are:
- The Galician broth.
- Smoked chorizos.
- The slaughter pancakes.
- Nut soup.
- Galician octopus.
- Almendrados de Allariz.
Ourense is also known for being a prominent field in wine production, among which stand out: Valdeorras, Ribeiro, Ribeira Sacra and Monterrey.
In the busiest areas in Ourense you will find a large number of elements that will serve you as perfect souvenirs or memories of your adventure in the city. You will find different places of clothing, crafts, gastronomic products, among others.
It is worth noting that the handicrafts are a set of ceramic and leather pieces, as well as traditional goldsmiths and toys. These types of souvenirs are the most classic and representative of history, customs and culture from the city.
During your stay you will also want to know the typical celebrations, since they are an important part of Ourense, and you can enjoy them with enthusiasm, as in the Ourense Carnival, the San Sebastián festivals, the Feast of Saint Lazarus, among other.
Carnival of Ourense
This festivities is also known as entroido throughout Galicia, although the activities and costumes are different according to each city or town. The entroids of the magic triangle are known in many municipalities in the south of the province of Ourense, and are listed as Festivals of National Tourist Interest.
San Sebastián festivals
They are also known as Festa dos Fachós, which are festivals held on the eve of San Sebastián’s day in January. Are made in the Castro Caldelas Castle since about the 18th century, making bonfires to pay homage to the saint and beg him to end the plagues.
The festival in honor of San Lázaro is held in the square that bears his name, carrying out the procession of the saint. Some of the typical elements of the festival are: bagpipes, donut stands and burning madam (firecrackers from small figures that rotate around the same point).
We recommend you:
Tourist map of Orense