Betanzos – the capital of Galician Gothic

Betanzos is a city and a municipality in the autonomous community of Galicia in northwestern Spain in the province of A Coruña.

The municipality is part of the metropolitan area of La Coruña.

It is located on the northwest coast of the Iberian Peninsula, in the Rías Altas. Its urban nucleus stands on a hill, located on a peninsula formed by the lower course of the Mandeo and Mendo rivers, which join in the city to form the Betanzos estuary.

Also known as “Betanzos de los Caballeros”, the city was the capital of the province of Betanzos, one of the seven that made up the old Kingdom of Galicia. Its old town, in which important Gothic monuments stand out, has been declared a Historic-Artistic Site.

The town is on the English Way of the Camino de Santiago.

Main attractions

Capital of Galician Gothic, Betanzos preserves one of the best-preserved historic centers in Galicia. In Betanzos the following monuments stand out:

Church of Santiago, 11th century, rebuilt in the 14th century

Church of San Francisco, 14th century

Church of Santa María del Azogue, 14th century

City Walls, 15th century, with the pointed gates of the Old Bridge, New Bridge, Ribeira and Hórreo

Bendaña Palace, 15th century

Gothic houses on Rúa da Cerca, from the 15th (number 5) and 16th (number 9) centuries

Municipal Tower, or “del Reloj”, 16th century

Convent of the Augustinian Mothers, former Royal Hospital, 16th century

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Os Remedios, 16th century, work of Juan de Herrera

Lanzós Palace, 17th century

Church and Convent of Santo Domingo, 17th century

Town Hall, from the 18th century, designed by the architect Ventura Rodríguez

Archive Building, or “Liceo”, 18th century, built for the Archive of the Kingdom of Galicia

Palace of the Counts of Taboada, 19th century

Modernist houses and palaces: Casa Núñez, Casa Pita, Casa Limiñón, Casa del Pueblo, 19th-20th centuries

Palco da Música, 20th century, from where Manuel Lugrís Freire in 1907 delivered the first public speech entirely in Galician

Legacy of the García Naveira brothers in the city, 19th-20th centuries and loaded with the modernism of the time: People’s House, Public Laundry, San Francisco Schools, García Naveira Schools and Asylum, San Miguel Shelter and Sanatorium. And especially Pastime, a pioneering one-of-a-kind theme park.


Museo das Mariñas: ethnographic and historical museum founded in 1982. Its medieval sculpture collection, the Rubens “Apostolate” room, and its section dedicated to Galician costume stand out.

Contemporary Print Museum: located at the CIEC Foundation headquarters, it collects works by such prominent artists as Pablo Picasso, Amadeo Gabino, Luis Seoane, Jesús Núñez …

Best restaurants

There is one Michelin list restaurant in the city:

Mesón O Pote, Travesía do Progreso 9, 30 – 43 EUR • Traditional Cuisine

How to get to?

The nearest airport is A Coruna (LCG).

From A Coruña 24 min (24.8 km) via AP-9

From Santiago de Compostela 44 min (63.3 km) via AP-9

From Madrid 5 hr 17 min (570 km) via A-6

Main information

Area: 24 km² (municipality)

Coordinates: 43°16′45″N 8°12′38″W

Population: 13 053

Languages: Spanish, Galician

Currency: Euro

Visa: Schengen

Time: Central European UTC +1

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