Ways of St James
When making their way to Santiago de Compostela, pilgrims cross the Ribeira Sacra along one of the Ways of St James which pass through this region. On the one hand, the French Route crosses the municipalities of Portomarín and Paradela; on the other, the Winter Route takes in the Sil Canyon and the Banks of the Miño.
In the 9th century, the tomb of James the Great was found in the north-west of the Iberian peninsula and a small church was built on this same spot. Just over a hundred years later, the first European pilgrims began to arrive in Compostela. Finally, in the 11th century, Santiago was consolidated as an international pilgrimage centre and, gradually, the routes that we know today began to be established.
The French Route is, undoubtedly, the Way of St James with the greatest historical tradition, passing through the Ribeira Sacra in the municipalities of Paradela and Portomarín.
The Winter Route, in turn, takes in the Sil Canyon and the banks of the Miño, entering the Ribeira Sacra at Quiroga and leaving it at Chantada. This was the route used by pilgrims in the Middle Ages during the winter.