Noia Galicia - main plaza
The main town square or plaza in Noia (called "la Alameda" in Spain), is in fact to the side, rather than at the centre of Noia.
It is faced by Noia's Town Hall, a Franciscan church, a mansion house called "Varela Radio" and a large apartment block with cafe bars at ground level. The "Alameda" also has a fresh spring water fountain to the side of the Franciscan church which people continually use to fill up their empty evian bottles (see photo at foot of page).
Above right, a view looking across Noia's main piazza, la Alameda (July/August 2002).
Within the gardens adjoining this area there is a bust of the famous Galician sculptor, "Felipe de Castro", from whom the gardens take their name.
Noia's town hall, the "Casa do Concello", although old in appearance, only dates from the 1950's. It does however contain some of the original cloisters from the Convent ("Claustro Franciscano") which originally occupied the site.
This area of the piazza is additionally occupied by another old Franciscan building and a new apartment block which also lies in the grounds of what was Noia's old Convent. The apartment block in question is in fact the one in which we stay when we visit Noia and is owned by my wife's parents.
Below, Noia's Town Hall on the site of the original Convent (July/August 2002).
Noia's new square is in two sections. The area nearest the town is gardened with some small lawns, trees and flowers, whilst the main part of the plaza is tiled and lined with both palm and deciduous trees.
The main square is extensive in size and locals and holiday makers alike can be seen walking its length on an evening before relaxing in one of the adjacent bars for a drink. In Spain these communal areas still have great social significance and are normally well maintained and used.
The main plaza is a major focal point in the social life of Noia and is of sufficient size to host the larger concerts during the festival season, as well as many other smaller shows and presentations throughout the rest of the year. We have been on the square when as many as 4000 people have been enjoying a musical performance during one of the main festivals. This area also acts as a meeting point and, with its many granite and cast iron benches, is a busy and ideal people watching point.
If you stand on the main piazza facing the town hall, the medieval centre of Noia will be to your right some five or six minutes walk away. If you decide to take a stroll to the medieval district, you will notice a change in architecture, atmosphere and culture as you leave the new and head for the old.
Above left, a view looking down at Noia's main piazza, "la Alameda", with the stone Town Hall in view to the right. Both the Noia-Muros bay and nearest beach, Testal, are to the left and well out of shot.
To find out about medieval Noia (Noya), select an option from the right hand menu at the top of the page.
The shot to the right shows the fresh water drinking fountain, adjacent to the main plaza, which is typical of all Galician towns and cities. This fountain is comparatively grand, but many are nothing more than a large granite sink with a small water spout discharging in to it. Water from these springs is always safe to drink and you will invariably see someone "filling up" from those in built up areas.