Tuy is episcopal see since medieval times. This town has buildings and spaces that you can visit in a complete day. On a second day you can visit the close Monte Aloya. This is a legendary celtic place where you’ll be able to enjoy amazing views of the river Miño. You can also go faster and continue to the west until the mouth of the river Miño and visit A Guarda. You have to visit its archaeological museum and if you still have time, have a walk through Santa Tegra hill to enjoy its views and its petroglyphs. In the pages Sleep and Eat in Tuy we explain what you can eat there and where should you stay.
The old town of Tui has a medieval structure, with narrow streets. It always had a very intense commercial activity, which remains today. Tuy always paid attention to what happened in its neighbour Portugal (sometimes friend, sometimes enemy), it is the episcopal seat and a very picturesque border town, which was also declared an Artistic Historic Site in 1967.
The city can be divided between the upper area, where the Cathedral, the Diocesan Museum, the Town Hall and the Church of San Francisco are located; and the lower area, where the Church of San Telmo, the Convent of the Clarisas and the old Convent of Santo Domingo stand.
The Cathedral is the most representative monument of the upper part of Tui.That is why we recommend it as a starting point for visiting the town. It began to be built in 1120, although it would not be consecrated until 1225, in the time of King Alfonso IX. Its crenellated towers give it an appearance of fortification. Its structure is Romanesque, although later Gothic decorative elements were added.
The capitals that top the columns of the interior stand out from the Romanesque period, while the portico of the main entrance and the cloister stand out from the Gothic, which is the only one of this style preserved in the Galician cathedrals. It is advisable to climb the tower, from which you can enjoy magnificent views of the city. The Cathedral Museum is also inside the cathedral and there, the trousseau of the Cathedral Treasury stands out.
Close to the Cathedral is the Diocesan Museum, an old hospital for the poor and pilgrims that consists on three floors arranged around a beautiful patio from the Baroque period. It gathers collections of archeology (among which the most interesting pieces are the bronze Celtic helmet of Caldelas de Tui) and of sacred art, as well as a rich goldsmith shop of local, Spanish and American silversmiths.
On a wide, stony path, there is the Church of San Francisco. It has Baroque style. Now, it is dedicated to cultural services. In addition to its balanced façade, it is convenient to look at the half orange dome, the choir, the main altarpiece and the chapel of the “Venerable Third Order”.
From the Cathedral down to the river a serie of streets denote its medieval origin. These lead to the gardens of Troncoso, where you can see what remains of the wall, which was enlarged between the 17th and 18th centuries to respond to the expansion of this border city, being dismantled in the 19th century. Then, you can see the Convent of Santo Domingo, with a Gothic style church modified in the Baroque period. The Gothic side door and the apses that show the original architecture stand out.
Finally, we must see in Tui the Church of San Telmo is a unique example of Portuguese Baroque in Galicia. It was built on the house where the saint died, of which there is still a wall of the crypt. Inside the church the dome and the painting of the main altarpiece stand out. Nearby is the Convent and Church of the Clarisas, also known as the Convent of “The Encerradas” (The Confined), which draws attention to its baroque altarpiece.
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