The Cape Finisterre has been considered as the most western point in Europe sin the most remote history, and therefor, the End of the World. It was distinguished in the year 2007 with the European Heritage stamp (there are only 4 stamps in the whole Spain). Because of its geographical and historical significance, the trip up to there is a rite for all those who visit Galicia, it is full of landscape and monumental surprises. Finisterre is considered as the end of the Way to Santiago and every year more and more pilgrims end here their way obtaining the Fisterrana (document given in the municipal Hostel).
Fisterra has an ancient core on the port and it is a typical old seafaring town full of narrow alleys that descend towards the sea. Its houses and narrow streets are full of originality. In the center you can find Arasolis square and the Buen Suceso Chapel. The chapel has baroque style and it is from the 18th century. It only one nave, emphasizing in it rectangular façade the pediment and the closed atrium with a transept in its center. Inside stands out the squared plant major chapel. It has a baroque altarpiece with the image of the Virgen del Socorro (Virgin of Succour).
In the outskirts, on the way to the lighthouse, we find the most interesting monument of the villa, declared Historical-Artistic Monument in 1985: the Santa María das Areas Church, related to the Way to Santiago as the end of it. It was built at the end of the 12th century, however it had a lot of modifications during several centuries, that is why its style is eclectic: Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque. Inside there is an enormous heritage, it stands out a sepulchral reclining statue from the 15th century and the altarpieces of Nuestra Señora de Finisterra (Our Lady of Fisterra) made by Francisco de Antas, master builder of the Santiago Cathedral in the 16th century. But the focus of attention is the image of the Saint Christ Fisterra (Or Christ da Barba Dourada, 14th century), it has similar style to the Saint Christ of Burgos and of Orense and to which thousands of pilgrims arrive to finish the Way to Santiago after having visited the tomb of the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela. According to the tradition, pilgrims should burn their clothes, bath in the sea, take the scallop shell and go back to their origin places as ” new men “. The Holiday of the Saint Christ is on Easter Sunday and it has been declared of Tourist Interest. Opposite this church was the Pilgrims’ Hospital, founded by the parson Alonso García in 1469 to receive the great number of people who were concluding “their” way there.
Inside the historical set of the villa, San Carlos Castle also stands out. It is a defensive fortification ordered to be built in the epoch of the king Carlos III. The State sold it in 1892 and D. Plácido Castro Rivas bought it. He was a very important manufacturer in the region and native from the villa. In 1948 his son donated the Castle to the village of Fisterra to use it as a museum. Finally, in 2006 the Fishermen’s Confraternity and the Council of Fishing enabled the place in the current Museum of the Fishing. The enclosure shows the evolution of fishing across the time through crafts and devices, seafaring people traditons and the shipwrecks that have taken place on this coast along the history.
Cape Fisterra is a beautiful natural enclave involved in the legend and linked to the Celtic worship to the Sun, the lithography (religious worship to stones) and fecundity rites. The lighthouse, from middle of the 19th century, is situated on the tip of the Cape. This lighthouse guards over the safety of the navigators and its is the most visited place in Galicia after the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. The town hall promotes several hiking routes, one of them finishes here.
You can also do a brief visit to the Fin de la Tierra Cemetery (1998), designed by the pontevedres architect Cesar Portela. It is not finished yet, but it has received several architecture prizes. Spirituality and design are mixed on it, in a set composed by a serie of enormous granite boxes that chase to obtain the sensation that the buckets that shelter the niches have come there randomly, trying to imitate the way in which the nature produces its own architecture.