About Covelo
Come closer to Covelo through its parishes and discover everything they have to offer.
Santa Mariña de Covelo    |    Paraños    |    Covelo    |    Casteláns    |    Maceira    |    Prado    |    A Lamosa
Barcia de Mera    |    Campo    |    Prado de Canda    |    Piñeiro    |    Godóns    |    Fofe    |    A Graña

Maceira - See photos

fotografia This is one of the most important parishes of the municipality. It is located 5 kms from Covelo (Casco) and contains its own health centre, chemists and a restored, functioning house of culture.

The main square is highly attractive with its church and nearby stone cross. At an altitude of 558 metres there is a ground level military site and several examples of cave art in the form of petroglyphs. At a height of 680 metres we find the chapel of the Guiding Virgin, situated on Mount Guía de Maceira from where we have a lovely view of the Tea Valley. On the 15 August a procession is held here which attracts people from the entire municipality.

The fluvial beach of Maceira is particularly outstanding. It is beautifully designed and much visited throughout the summer. Close to the beach the Montaña campsite has been built. It is of top category to accommodate a growing demand for mountain camping that has happened recently in the area. A short distance from the leisure area we find the parish of Fofe where it is worth visiting Fofe Rectory.

It is also worth mentioning the hydraulic sawmill of "dos Carranos". Operated exclusively by waterpower and is a unique example of the ethnographic heritage of the region. The sawmill has been designated as an Asset of Cultural Interest of Galicia and has been totally restored in order to allow it to be visited.

Its towns and places of interest are: As Barcielas, Carmoniño, Castro.

The parish of Maceira is part of the municipality of Covelo and is situated on the on the southern edge of the Upper Tea. It appears (for traces that can still be seen) that it was originally situated on the northern bank, in the place known as As Veigas. It can be assumed that move took place because the land on the northern bank is very dry. In contrast, the southern zone enjoys abundant water that comes from the hills of the Fontefria plateau. In the parish archives (rather misrepresented in recent years) there are documents over 400 years old; there are also even older houses, from which it can be deduced that its current situation dates back to the beginning of the second millennium. In any case, the first inhabitants of Maceira date back to prehistoric times. , and there are numerous signs of this, Celtic forts (now catalogued but in a sorry state of deterioration), dolmens, petroglyphs etc which are irrefutable proof of very ancient cultures.

Although administratively speaking the parish is a single entity, it is divided into two highly distinct parts: Maceira de Abajo and Maceira de Arriba, separated by around 2000 metres , both parts are formed by differing neighbourhoods. Maceira de Abajo has terrain broken by its closeness to the River Tea and its subsequent erosion; it has however rather a mild climate, which allows the cultivation of, amongst others, cereals, vegetables, tubers and many types of fruit, especially apples whose abundance gives the parish its name (Maceira means apple in Gallego). In any case all the cultivation has become very short handed due to the emigration of many of the young people to the cities.

Maceira de Arriba, located to the east of the former, is flatter with a cooler climate being open to the north and at a higher altitude. The entire parish was densely reforested with many different species of trees, in particular the oak, but in recent years this reforestation has been devastated by fire and indiscriminate logging. It is also true that in recent years serious attempts are being made to repopulate the forests and control logging.

For centuries Maceira could be considered to be the commercial capital of the Tielas Valley, made up of the five highest parishes in the county. Until the fifties all communication started and ended here. When the inhabitants of the parishes from the north or east wanted to travel to Pontevedra or Vigo (and from there to anywhere else), came here to spend the night, to catch a regular coach the following day; when they returned the sequence was reversed to go home, either by horse or on foot. This gave rise to a small hotel and catering industry, which diminished with the opening of new lines of communication. Also as a result of this privileged geographical location, another type of industry generally run by self-employed workers grew up in the parish, transport, footwear, locksmiths, a small hydroelectric centre which supplied electricity for the counties of Paradanta 8still in existence after its restoration / remodelling) and a craft sawmill which still exists and is currently being restored for use in rural tourism.

This was the home of liberal professionals, doctor, lawyer, etc. who supplied services to, and benefited from a region with a radius of more than 15 kms. The cattle wealth of the parish, now in steady decline, was so important that it was the reason for the holding of a monthly fair (on the 13 th of the month) where all the cattle commercial transactions from the catchment area took place.

Maceira has been the birthplace of several graduates, according to memory five doctors, a lawyer, three priests and various top quality craftsmen and merchants were born here.

There has always been a great tendency towards the creation of associations and community life in Maceira, with the majority of the inhabitants joining together in mutual assistance; they shared the tasks of sowing, harvesting, irrigation, looking after the animals etc. In 1905 Farmers' Society of San Salvador de Maceira was formed, and their original regulations still exist today. A total of seven fiesta a year are celebrated, the most well-known and that which attracts the most devotees is the one that is still celebrated in honour of the Guiding Virgin on 15 August, in a beautiful place on the slopes of Fontefria, a procession that unites thousands of devotees and ends with a lively meal in the country.

The great splendour of Maceira has clearly been declining, above all since the fifties, as a consequence of the indiscriminate deforestation policy in the mountains, timber is an important economic resource in the region, which has forced the people of working age to find a way out, either through emigration or moving to the surrounding cities where they can find a better standard of living.

Fortunately the majority of the people who had to leave during those difficult times to seek their living in other lands are now starting to return, which is regenerating this beautiful land. This, together with the promotion of rural tourism, subsidies for training and the restoration of monuments and cultural assets, plus the construction or modification of homes so the people who return can enjoy a better standard of living, are giving the parish a much needed revival.

With an eye towards rural tourism there is work being done, together with the council and other organisations, on the improvement of the infrastructure. There is a top grade fifty-space campsite being built next to the fluvial beach, which together with other projects (hiking routes. Equestrian club and so on) is boosting the revival of the parish to its past splendours. .


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