The Sanctuary of San Andrés de Teixido
Only 12 km separate the locality of Cedeira from the Sanctuary of San Andrés de Teixido, one of the most breath-taking parts of the earth, in a constant struggle between land and sea. The sanctuary is a Gothic Sailor styled temple with subsequent Baroque renovations, built between the 15th and 18th centuries with the offerings of the faithful. It highlights its triumphal arch of the 15th century with the mural paintings and its baroque chapel from the eighteenth century.
In its popular baroque altarpiece, the 12 apostles are represented, and in the room of San Andrés, there is the image-reliquary of the 17th century. At the altar of the church we can find all kinds of objects offered to Saint Andrew, highlighting the sanandreses (in Galician they are called sanandresiños), also known as votive offerings made from pieces of bread without yeast and painted with bright colors. They are handmade by the women of the village, and can be purchased at any of the souvenir shops.
Currently, they have become a popular souvenir for visitors, and they have several forms and each one a different meaning:
-The Hand: To ask for love, good companies and friendship.
-The Fish: for work and sustenance.
-La Boat: for traveling, home and business.
-The Saint: for physical and mental health, and good coexistence.
-The Staircase: to get to paradise.
Pilgrimage to San Andrés de Teixido
There are numerous days when it is traditional to go on a pilgrimage to San Andrés de Teixido: on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Pentecost, on the 24th of June (San Juan Bautista), from August 16th to September 9th (which is the season of the great pilgrimages, especially on September 8th, the highest-ranking day), also on the third Friday, the third Saturday and the third Sunday in September, as well as the 29th of that month (San Miguel). And finally, from the 27th to the 30th of November (St. Andrew the Apostle).
The pilgrims have the habit of leaving a stone in mounds or milladoiros that are formed on both sides of the road towards the temple. More than half a dozen of them are preserved, formed by thousands and thousands of stones. According to the popular legend, these mounds of stones will speak at the Final Judgment, saying which souls fulfilled the promise of going to San Andrés.
It is also a tradition to drink from the fountain of the Tres Caños, ask San Andrés for a wish and throw a small piece of bread in the water. If it does not sink, it’s a sign that we will have good fortune in our life, at least for a year.
As for the natural environment of the place, the cliffs are incredible, a must-see in San Andrés de Teixido, as they are the highest in continental Europe. They are 612 meters above sea level. The Atalaia of Herbeira is the viewpoint from where you can see the best views of the cliffs.