Are you looking for a getaway in Galicia? Welcome to Pazo do Faramello


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"Camellias are lists." Phrases like this are dotted with the walk through Pazo do Faramello, the most visited in Galicia . The one who pronounces them is their owner, Gonzalo Rivero de Aguilar, responsible for this pazo having more than ten thousand followers on Facebook, being a hotbed of people and projects and not living from nostalgia .

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Pontevedra in rural code: pazos where to stop time

The Faramello is a contemporary pazo and here we have a nice oxymoron. You could settle for being one of the most beautiful visits that can be made in Spain, and this is not a hyperbole. However, it does not.

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This pazo interests because, not only does he not live with his back to the community, but he grows with it . Nor is he accommodated in the past, but takes advantage of living in the 21st century and looks towards the XXII, the XXIII … It is also interesting because we want to know why these camellias are so clever .

The Faramello, as they call it in this corner of Galicia, is an industrial and noble pazo . There are only two that combine these two adjectives: Sargadelos and this one . Only this already makes it unique. It is of civilian Compostela Baroque style ; The building has true, and logical, Italian air.

It was built by the Marquis de Pombino, of Genoese origin and from which Gonzalo descended) who arrived in Galicia in the 18th century. That is why it reminds us of a palace in Bologna or Florence. The whole set is a show. Already the entrance to the pazo, with lichens and stone walls, has a certain unreal air.

The gardens. You have to start with them . Up to the Faramello come (or pilgrim, where appropriate) amateurs, experts and fetishists from the gardens to walk and get to know their species.

¿Buscas una escapada en Galicia? Bienvenidos al Pazo do Faramello

The gardens. You have to start with them © Pazo do Faramello

Why would students from, for example, the University of Berlin want to study these gardens , one of the last to attend. For three reasons: they are an example of integrating a building into its natural environment. The pazo built on the terraces over a river, which adds drama to the landscape. In addition, there are landscape finds that, when built, were pure avant-garde; An example is the plant cover of the factory. Today there are many, in the 19th, few or none.

The third reason is very exotic. Rivero says that “in the nineteenth century there was a competition to see what peace brought the weirdest things. Japanese plums were brought to Faramello . And my ancestors realized that everything Japanese here in Galicia was growing very well. ”

That is why here there are Japanese plums, maples, azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas or yedoensis plums, all of them Japanese species . For something remember the pazo, in corners to Japan. It is not because we have an unbridled imagination (that too) but because the imprint of Japan is real and, in addition, it is still alive. And there is more, in the gardens there are historic trees, flowers of all colors and nineteenth-century French gardens perfectly preserved. Faramello is sometimes Italy, sometimes Japan, sometimes France and all the time Galicia.

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In the pazo there are always people . Tourists, schools, groups and, of course, pilgrims come to Faramello: the Translatio Xacobea crosses the pazo. Its gardens are accessed by the visit, which takes place twice a day and are guided by the owner himself, a cult and humorous type, and that fills them with phrases as memorable as that of the camellias.

There is another garden that is freely accessible. It is a public park called Xardin do Recordo or Forest of the Absent, a set of 80 trees of love, 80 trees of love or Cercis. The creation of this forest was an initiative of the Pazo, which ceded the land to pay tribute to the victims of the Angrois accident in 2013.

Let no one think that this forest is a sad place; on the contrary: is there anything more vital than many trees growing?

In this park is the Rocha Nai or mother rock, where the Celts celebrated rites of initiation at puberty. It shines when the sun goes down and healing properties are attributed to it. Pilgrim Manuals of the 14th century mention it as a point of meditation. Together with her we can have, again, the sensation of having teleported to Kyoto but we are 12 minutes from Santiago.

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"This is an infinity pool of the eighteenth century." That is another pearl that can be heard during the visit. Speaking, writing, about Faramello is about doing it on gardens and on water . Resources when making the paper mill. The soundtrack of this place is the sound of the Tinto river as it passes, on which the pazo is built. Here there are fountains, waterfalls, ponds and pools. The infinity pool that Rivero refers to is one of them and is a solution that was built for the paper mill that gave rise to it. There is another pool that is surrounded by a Belle Epoque garden that was projected for King Alfonso XIII . Calm down, we'll talk about what the king painted here.

Who visits the Faramello arrives looking for its gardens. However, once inside the pazo domains, they discover more. There is a baroque chapel (1727) whose altarpiece is Bien Naciona l; It is the work of José Gambino, one of the sculptors of the Cathedral of Santiago and who, by the way, was born in Faramello.

There is also a small shop where you can buy your own wine, jams and camellia oil. After seeing so many varieties of these flowers it is impossible not to go out with a little bottle of this elixir and remembering Coco Chanel, who chose the flowers because they smell nothing and she was that groundbreaking and modern. The visit also holds a surprise that, of course, we will not reveal.

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"This was always a social pazo, " Rivero tells us. “Having been a factory it was always the heart of the village. There was Mass on Sundays and they stayed here to eat and spend the day. 60% free access . That sets it apart from others. It is not walled. ”

The Royal Paper Factory of Faramello was founded here, which in the 18th century was a pioneer and champion of the Galician industry for more than two centuries. This was always an open place and attached to their community. Today it still is.

Now, Faramello is involved in a reforestation project with the International Ecosystem Restoration Foundation. It is a 10-year plan and with it the Atlantic forest is regulated. It also collaborates with Environmental Education projects with schools . The conservation efforts of fauna and flora are constant and the result is spectacular biodiversity.

Here are otters, owls, herons, wild ducks, trout, vermilion frogs, squirrels, ferrets, kingfishers, red foxes and endangered species such as turquoise colored lizard das lizards. In the Faramello they are at home. Conservation work never ends. Today, in addition, social networks, help to share it. “You are the link in a chain. Now I understand a lot of what my ancestors did, says its owner.

This manor, like the illustrious one he has, has had his visitors the same. The traveler likes nothing more than a historical celebrity. Rosalía de Castro and Emilia Pardo Bazán wrote about Faramello. So did Cela, whose hometown, Iria Flavia (no prettier town name) is a few kilometers away. The summers also appeared here King Alfonso XIII and D. Luis de Baviera who, when traveling to Santiago, were staying here.

Now it is not possible to do it because it is a private residence, but very close is A Quinta de Auga . This hotel (where, wherever you are, you can hear the water) is a delicious complement to the pazo. So is another pazo, La Saleta, another place with an exceptional garden. And since we are in this area we can visit Padrón. There we can eat in Os Carrisos that at times (and for wood and crockery) also looks like a Japanese restaurant. How curious is the Galicia-Japan axis.

We end with an anecdote (how we like them): the owner of the Faramello has a special honor, with a real privilege: he could enter the Cathedral of Santiago on horseback . It has never been exercised, as is natural. The current owner prefers to plant camellias, share them on Instagram, create public parks and fill the forest with trees.

A shared publication of Pazo do Faramello (@pazodofaramello) on May 18, 2015 at 1:04 PDT

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Every day: 12:00 and 17.00.

Half price

Reservation essential. Price: € 10 (Includes guided tour + DO Galician tasting wine glass)

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Pontevedra in rural code: pazos where to stop time