Photo Post: Santiago de Compostela’s Galeras Park

Galeras Park, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Cherry trees in blossom

Like I said on my earlier post about the Sarela River Trail, I think Santiago de Compostela is uniquely fortunate to have its older part of town surrounded by parks and green spaces rather than by sprawl, as happened to countless other European cities in the past century. Built on a bluff between two small rivers, Santiago only became the administrative capital of Galicia in the 1980s, so much of the World Heritage-declared historic core has been protected.

Galeras Park, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
A heron flying through the willows

With the Alameda Park to the southwest and Belvís Park running along the east, Santiago has plenty of places to go running, have a picnic, or just breathe some fresh air in. Joining these quality parks is Galeras Park, situated just to the northeast of Santiago’s old town. A tranquil meadow dotted with willows and fruit trees, Galeras straddles both banks of the Sarela River as it meanders southwards.

Galeras Park, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Springtime lushness

Nearby, Monte Pío (“the pious mountain”) rises up and offers hikers panoramic vistas of the old town and the cathedral…as long as you don’t get too close to the regional president’s hillside residence. Closer to the river, a vacant Modernista-style pazo or mansion broods among encroaching oak trees, a property that could be redeveloped in the near future.

Galeras Park, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Very Galician street art

Although many folks who come to Galeras are merely passing through on their way along the Sarela River Trail, the park’s well-maintained greenery welcomes frisbee-throwers, dog-walkers, and lay-out-in-the-sun-ers. You can hop from one side of the creek to the other on a handful of bridges, breathing in the blooming flowers in springtime and looking for wildlife and street art year round.

Galeras Park, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
View of the cathedral

What was your favorite photo from this post? What other cities can you think of that are home to lots of public green spaces like Santiago? Tell me below in the comments!

Sarela River, April 19th, 2015

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