We spent our last two nights in Spain at Tui on the Mino River, which is also the border with Portugal.
The Parador in Tui
The Parador is a modern hotel built in the style of a Pazo, and like all the other Paradors was clean and comfortable, with very good food. The hotel has a quiet and peaceful setting overlooking the Mino River and my camera and I walked along the river each evening.
History of Tui
Tui was originally a Roman settlement called Tude, perched on top of a hill beside the Mino River and looking across to Portugal on the far bank. And because of its strategic position it has been conquered and controlled by Romans, Visigoths, Suevi, Arabs, and finally taken by the Spanish. It has all the characteristics you would expect to find in an old town – narrow and winding streets, walls, fortifications, and plenty of churches! And this is a stop on the camino from Portugal to Santiago.
In the town
I walked along the river and then up a narrow cobbled street past the ruins of a prison where old walls were clearly visible. There were apparently two sets of walls: those of the 12C and another set built in the 15C. This was an important town, with impressive mansions and many plaques or coats of arms on the walls.
Churches in Tui
The Cathedral of Tui is extraordinary but there were also other churches, convents, and monasteries, of which we only caught a glimpse.
The Chapel of St Telmo
The Chapel of St Telmo, built on the site of the house where the saint died in the 13C, is the only example of Portuguese Baroque architecture in Spain. St Telmo was a high-ranking priest and is now the Patron Saint of sailors
Convent of Santa Clara
The Convent of Santa Clara (the Poor Clares) was founded in 1524 and today’s buildings date from the 17C-18C. The Convent remains a closed order which is why it is also known as ‘Las Encerradas’. The ‘Tunnel of the Nuns’ was also a gateway into the town in the 12C.
Church and Convent of Santa Domingo
The Franciscans built the original Church and Convent of Santa Domingo in the 14C outside the walls of the town. Today’s buildings date from 15C and the buildings are inside the walls. Some of the old wall remains alongside the Convent, with a gate. This church was the mausoleum for important families in the town.
The Church and monastery are in a small park which overlooks the river and it is very pleasant.
The Mino River
Tui on the Mino River is a fascinating small town and we should have spent more time there!