Castro de Barona - 2
This page offers a little bit more general detail on the "Castro de Barona" ruins in Porto do Son and also tells you where you can obtain further information if you visit the area.
Castro de Barona visitors center
This ancient monument has a visitors center dedicated to everything found at, and associated with, the ruins at Barona. This "mini" museum is called "The Interpretation centre for the Castro de Barona" and is located in the town center of Porto do Son. You can pick up a leaflet all about it at the Porto do Son Tourism center, but I am afraid the English translation is some what confusing. Anyway, I have added a bit more historic information below (obtained from the center) to help the culture buffs among you.
A broad definition
"de Barona" translates to "of Barona" and "Castro" is a term generally used to mean, "a fortified pre-Roman village or settlement.".
A bit of History
As ever in Galicia, facts and myths mingle together and the truth is generally somewhere in between. The Castro de Barona is no exception and a range of stories exist about its origin and use. What would seem factual, is that this old settlement was built on a small peninsula projecting out in to the sea (the "Punta do Castro") and that it is a typical "iron age" settlement of the period.
Popular myth claims that the "Castro" was inhabited by the "Praestamarcos" tribe and that it is the "Vicu Sapcorum" on an ancient Roman road that traversed the "Barbanza" hills and was called "Per Loca Martimia". Whether this is actually true is hard to say, but it is claimed that people lived in this desolate spot for many centuries up until the arrival of the "Suevians"
Interestingly, the "Castro" was not officially discovered until 1933, although it now has "Artistic Heritage" classification in Spain - in other words it is protected for posterity.
Some detail about the Castro's architecture and geography
The "Punta do Castro" is linked to the Galician mainland by a narrow body of rocky beach and it is once you have crossed this sandy stretch that you are actually in the Castro itself.
A clue as to the Castro's purpose is first suggested at this point, as it is here where the initial defences (rows of stones) appear. The settlement was not positioned in this isolated coastal spot to fend off attacks from the sea, but rather to defend itself from attacks form the mainland.
Moving on, three parallel rows of stones, each approximately one metre thick, continue the defences before the entrance is reached. Within the settlement the Castro is divided in to two distinct areas by some angular walls, but all the sub-structures are almost circular in shape and all of roughly the same size. How high these walls and buildings were, no one knows exactly, but one leaflet I came across suggested that there was never any evidence of windows or doors!
As sight see-ers with no historic knowledge of these structures, we initially thought the Castro looked more like some kind of Pagean monument or worshiping ground. That said, they are now being discovered all over the region and the artifacts that are consistently found close by, confirm that they were early civilisations.