PLAZA DO RELÓ (Clock Square)
The most significant buildings are the Council, the Tower “Do Reló” and the Alonsos’ House. Nowadays the square is called Do Reló, – that is translated as “of the Clock” -, but it had many names depends on the moment, particularly the political situation. It was the Plaza Mayor (“Main Square”) until 16th century, “Constitution Square” afterwards, and then “Republic Square” and “Spain Square”.
TORRE DO RELÓ (Clock Tower)
It is part of the ancient Medieval Wall and protected one of the town entrances at the enclosure highest point. In 1570 was risen the current tower upon the primitive one. Then was rebuilt in 1730 because the previous one was falling to ruin, the bell was substituted at that time but the clock will be a Jose Manuel Andreini’s donation in 1924. In the body of the tower we find some coats of arms that came from a near building.
SAN MARCOS SQUARE
This plaza is in between Colón street and San Marcos street and the current Peace Court. Until the 19th century here was the San Marcos Hospital that offered help to the poor and pilgrims to Santiago came from Portugal. It is unknown the date of its foundation but it is recorded the existence in the 14th century when the hospital and the chapel were rebuilt.
Divided in two sectors the walled town. At the beginning and the end were the only entrances to inside of the town. The stone stairway is also from time immemorial and connects the Praza do Reló (Clock Square) with the port.
BAJO MURO STREET
This street is called Bajo Muro (Low Wall) because a part of the ancient defensive rampart is still kept here, it gave shelter to the population from the enemies attacks. Besides Ireira street preserves another part of this ancient wall.
The maritime façade is part of the historic core and is one of the most characteristic pictures of the town. It comes up from a building typology, the seafarer’s architecture, between dividing walls, typical in all of the galician Rías Baixas. This façade is comprised in the seafarer district and its oldest buildings are located between the promenade and the Malteses street, inhabited in the old times just by sea-faring families.
Currently the appearance offered by the A Guarda maritime façade is a set of colorful houses which give the feeling that are stacked up and is going inland far from the coastline. Due to the colorful and shapes variety is one of the most photographed and meaningful urban landscape of A Guarda.
These dwellings were built in the second half of the 19th century and early 20th by some returned emigrants of A Guarda from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Brazil, popularly called the indianos.
The houses of the indianos are characterized by the use of the stonework, tile and forge. They are showy buildings that adopted the most significant architectural structures of the american country, for that reason each one has its own personality. Some of them were built to living in as the villas, and others were dedicated to business or social activities.
They are preserved a good number of this houses in all of the parishes, however it must be highlighted Galicia street due to the great number of them. The buildings were conceived with an evident open space sense, making up this wide avenue and the others that in the early 20th century amazed by its spaciousness.
The Route of the Indianas Houses shows a some of this buildings placed in the center town. The proposed route starts at Puerto Rico street where some examples of this colonial architecture are maintained, the route continues by the historic center until finish in Galicia street, afterwards passes by the Alameda, with some utterly outstanding villas. Twelve of this prominent buildings were selected to do a easy tour of less than one hour.
They were built on the coast and subsisted under difficult conditions throughout the 19th century and some of them reached the beginning of 20th century, when they were abandoned due to the continuous breakdowns which made them unuseful. By walking the Littoral Pathway or the Cetareas (shellfish hatcheries) Route we find the remains of some of this ancient constructions at the La Guía neighbourhood, As Solanas, A Cruzada and in the parish of Camposancos.
In the parish of Salcidos, just a few metres from the Birds Observatory A Xunqueira and the Santa Tecla Camping, can be visited two pottery kilns recently restored that worked until the 60’s of the 20th century. Bricks and roof tiles, – cabacos in the argot -, were fired in the kilns and destined to the construction. Still a lot of locals from the parish of Salcidos keeps in their memory to work as telleiros or cabaqueiros (roof tiles craftsmen) just a few decades ago, they emigrated in groups to other regions in Galicia and Spain during spring and summer.
FOUNTAINS & LAVOIRS
There are numerous fountains and public lavoirs spotted in the three parish of A Guarda. Between one of the most interesting is the A Ribeira fountain and wash-house, in the port, refurbished in 1854; the fountain and wash-house called A Poza at the O Couto neighbourhood in the parish of Camposancos, the one in A Cal, and also the one with its fountain in the A Cruzada neighbourhood.
At the parish of Camposancos are preserved the marcos (boundary posts), ancient stone posts which pointed the primitive property boundaries and had different marks depending on its use. Since 12th century, Camposancos lands owned to the Monastery of Barrantes, when it disappeared were handed over the Cathedral of Tui Canonry in the 15th century. After the confiscation in the 19th century the neighbours of Camposancos recovered these lands as lands of use communal. Some marcos (boundary posts) disappeared but not all of them: the marco of O Couto is perfectly identified and is located in the start of this street, right in the portuguese Way along the Coast.